I have a friend that is rebuilding an old Triumph. He is getting ready to lace his rims and has all the parts ready to go. He has never done it before and lacks knowledge.

We have watched a few youtube videos on how to do it but none of them really get into what the methodology really is. They seem to focus on the different patterns and styles.

It seems to me that everything we do has a certain way of doing it right. There are things to look out for and little tricks if you really know how to do it well.

Can anyone share what those tricks might be?

If you really know how to do it well, what are the lessons you've learned?

What are the landmines? How can this get screwed up really bad and how can we avoid this?

I would like to take this information and show him up and be there to make it work really nicely and show him a few tricks.

:) Happy New Year and TIA.

  • Good question. sounds like fun. Go Triumph! Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


Lacing wheels is a lost art in biker culture. Good on you and your buddy for attempting this.

Styles vary on manufacturer and hub model. It's best you find your service manual from Triumph for exact specifications. I cannot stress this enough.

After you have your spokes installed you will have to true the rim sideways and radially. You can build your wheel stand, just make sure everything is square.

On most Harley wheels, we divide the spokes into groups of 4 and hand tighten them. You can then place a straight edge hub brake disc flange and one of your markings to measure it. Again, truing varies on the type of wheel you are building so I won't dive too far into Harley specifics.

Remember to tighten things by hand because when you are over your measurement requirements or under, you will find yourself tightening spokes and loosening their opposites at the same time.

When you are starting out, torquing the spokes can be extremely tricky. Don't complete your max torque and then move to the next spoke. This will cause many headaches and leave the wheel off balance. You are best to start with 1/4 torques all the way around and build up to the max requirement. Patience is key.

Don't leave any spoke under the torque requirements, they can loosen while on the road and can cause handling issues, split spokes or worse, death. If you over torque them, your hub flanges can be affected or nipples can go through the rim.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .