I always love firing up the lathe – this time it was to make a pair of endcaps for a Specialized Roval wheel so the customer could use a new QR15 Fox fork. For some reason Specialized love using old fashioned quick-release forks on their bikes, even the expensive ones. Specialized sell adapters for the later versions of this wheelset but not this generation.
These endcaps were quite different to most of the ones I make. Generally the left and right endcaps are very similar in dimensions and only the length varies but this pair uses a completely different design on either side of the wheel. The hub also has a large 20mm axle which the endcaps need to slide onto meaning two critical diameters to get right. I generally just do a quick sketch by hand but these were a bit trickier so I did a proper CAD drawing.
Penny called to see if I could save her 25-30 year old Campagnolo front derailleur with a stripped cable bolt. I very carefully drilled the M5 bolt hold and re-tapped it to M6 and found a cap screw which wasn’t too obtrusive. I also managed to use the original washer and drilled it for the larger 6mm bolt.
Reynolds have used a variety of hubs for their wheels – at one point they were made by Hadley, then White Industries, then a cheap Chinese hub, and now a combination of DT Swiss and the no-name Chinese.
This particular hub was made by Hadley in the USA – I’m not 100% sure on the dates these hubs were used but they’re fairly rare and swapping from the Campagnolo body to Shimano was proving difficult for their owner.
It took a bit of time but after contacting me I managed to find a used freehub body at one of my suppliers in the USA and I had it shipped over with an order.
As is the case with a lot of hubs the Shimano and Campy versions are dished differently. Back-in-the-day there would have been a Shimano endcap for this hub to accomidate this different dish but no such luck with the used freehub body so I made a 2.5mm spacer on the lathe to sit between the endcap and bearing preload adjuster. You can see the thin silver ring in the photo of the non-driveside of the hub.
After re-dishing and truing the wheels it’s now on it’s way back to Masterton for some racing.
Reynolds carbon wheel
Shimano freehub body fitted
The silver ring is part of the spacer I machined
The old Campagnolo freehub body
The old Campagnolo freehub body
Facing the back side of the spacer on the lathe to make sure that both sides are parallel and flat
These are some tools which I use for wheelbuilding. I’m very picky about my tools and I either make or modify many of them to make them more efficient to use.
These two adapters allow me to build 15mm and 20mm thru-axle hubs in my Park stand – I made both of these.
This syringe-looking tool is for installing nipples into deep section carbon rims without dropping them – this is another tool I made. There are a few threads on the end of the ‘needle’ which thread into the back of the nipple so you can guide it into the rim. The handle rotates on a teflon bearing in the palm of the hand which makes it easy to thread the nipples.
This T-shaped tool is for building with 3/16″ internal spoke nipples and I’ve ground down the head so that it fits into rims with small spoke holes like the old Lew rims. I also have a couple of nut-drivers and a Campagnolo tool which is similar but quite a bit shorter so not as useful in deeper rims, and the tools diameter is much larger which interferes with the rim so I use this Grammo tool the most.
Finally here are my DT Swiss spoke key and bladed spoke holder. You can see the wear marks on the brass spoke holder from many wheels of use!! I’ve shortened the spoke holder so that it holds closer to the end of the spoke to prevent twisting and chamfered the outside of the tool to make it quicker to engage the spoke. I also use a Park spoke key which clamps on 3 sides of the nipple compared to the DT which clamps on 4 sides. The Park is easier to use but for some wheels with alloy nipples and higher tension the 4-sided DT prevents damage to the nipple.
I had a pair of forks which I wanted to measure the fork rake to see if they’re a suitable replacement for another fork. Accurately measuring fork rake is hard without a frame builders fixture but using the lathe I managed to do a good job.
First I mounted the steerer tube in the 3 jaw chuck with a quick release axle held in place between the fork’s dropouts….
…Then use a vernier to measure from the bed of the lathe to the top of the axle. The axle needs to be perfectly horizontal to ensure accuracy – this is easy to do by measuring both sides of the axle and making sure they’re the same….
…Then rotate the lathe chuck 180 degrees and measure again….
…and with a bit of simple math we know the fork rake is 42.1mm
A vernier height gauge would have made things easier and would be useful to have with my granite surface plate – I’ll put one on the shopping list.
What do you do when you want to fit a full carbon threadless fork to an older Giant frame which used an internal 1″ threaded headset?
The Giant frames of this era used an internal bearing threaded 1″ headset, and a threadless version is not available. In order to fit a full carbon 1″ fork it was necessary to either replace or modify the existing threaded bearing cone.
We chose to modify the existing headset cone rather than machine a new one.
In the photos you can see that the internal threads of the cone were removed so that the internal diameter is 0.05mm larger than the largest radius of the fork’s steerer tube. The threads are not completely removed but the surface area remaining is more than enough to correctly support the cone, and by completely removing the thread the internal diameter would be too big and the cone would not locate correctly on the bearing.
The external hex used to tighten the threaded cone was also removed and the external diameter is identical to the headset spacers which are to be used, thus having a visually clean appearance.
In order to tighten the headset we opted to machine a custom sleeve which would be epoxied inside the steerer tube of the fork, like an Alpha Q. The custom sleeve features a 1.5mm wall thickness, counter-bores at each end to save weight, and a one-piece threaded center section. It is 40mm long so as to support the stem area over a wide range of adjustment.
The topcap was also custom machined to fit the radius of the stem, and to give a clean appearance.
The topcap and sleeve weigh 31 grams which is considerably lighter than a standard 1″ expander plug.
What appear in the photos to be imperfections are in fact the remnants of coolant from the machining processes.
Hayden recently approached me wanting to convert a Tune King front hub to QR15 for use on one of the new Fox forks. QR15 uses a thru-axle style quick release of 15mm diameter – hence the name ;-)
At 145g the Tune King is a very light front hub. I machined a preload spacer to sit between the two bearings – this spacer was 12g and can stay in the hub when it’s being used with a standard 9mm quick release. I also machined two endcaps so the hub can accept the 15mm thru-axle .
The factory axle weighs 23g and the new parts I made total 29g so being used as a QR15 hub it should weigh 151g – as far as I know this is the lightest QR15 hub out there :-)
This DT 540 rear hub was supplied as a 140mm but the customers frame was 145mm. Thanks to Tom at Sheppards, the DT Swiss importer, for sending the necessary 145mm axle no questions ask – it’s great to have good support.
I replaced the axle and machined a new spacer which was not included with the axle. There was also a clearance problem with the disc mount – the disc rotor was sitting 4mm too close to the dropout and the disc brake was not able to adjust outwards that far. I machined 2mm from each side of the screw-on adapter and now the rotor sits where it should.
It was interesting to see the insides of the 540 tandem hub – the design is the same as the 240s hub except that the axle and freehub are made from hardened steel rather than light weight aluminium.