The rear wheel has new spokes, tensioned, centred and trued.
As a finishing touch, I've tied and soldered the spokes.
The opinions about this piece of craftsmanship are divers. Especially on track bikes, it's an old habit to tie and solder the spokes, but also on road bikes (Paris - Roubaix). Possible reasons are: increased strength, increased rigidity, no problems with loose spokes once they're broken. Various tests have shown that there is no measurable difference.
But, since my new bike is full of tradition and emotion (more than quality and technology), it's clear that the spokes have to be tied and soldered.'
I've done it only once and it's already a long time ago.
First, I had to find silver wire. I was not sure if this had to be silver plated copper or steel wire or massive silver. Since silver plated copper wire made most sense, is affordable, easy to get and possibly much stronger than pure silver, I decided to buy this. On the internet, there are many sellers of hobby stuff (especially jewellery and beads), that offer silver plated copper wire in various thicknesses. I bought 3 bags with 20m of 0.4mm (26 gauge) wire. Far cheaper than tin plated steel wire from DT Swiss. For 1 wheel (36 spokes) 1 roll or 20m was more than enough. Click here.
First, all 18 farthest spoke crossings had to be wrapped. At each crossing I made around 10 wraps, but maybe I should have done just 7 or 8 to make a less bulky. Each time I cut approx. 10cm of wire from the spool and tried to wrap it neatly. Every time I tried to end with a small knot and tried to feed the end through the coil again. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I didn't. I'm not sure if it makes a big difference after the soldering.
Finally, the coils had to be soldered. I used a 100W soldering iron and tin solder. Not sure if I used the right solder, because I used tin older with lead and resin core. Didn't use any flux (S39).
After soldering all the coils, I was done. Perhaps not all joint are so nice, but at least, they are soldered well and will not come loose. Next time I would go for less wraps. Perhaps a better soldering iron would have heated the wraps better and made the soldering nicer, using less solder. Also, lead free and resin free solder probably would have resulted in a neater joint. But that's for the next time. Perhaps I have to redo the front wheel.
4 days ago