We know, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But there are some questions you might not want to ask your local shop or riding buddies. AASQ is our weekly series where we get to the bottom of your questions – serious or otherwise. Hit the link at the bottom of the post to submit your own question!
No matter what the product, if it’s even a bit proprietary, that means that reusing it in the future might be a challenge. And if you’re like our reader, Jason, you might find yourself with a number of older paired spoke hubs sitting in your spare parts bin that could be built up into complete wheels:
I’d like to know how to go about building up older hubs onto newer rims. Primarily, older “paired spoke” design hubs as you’d find on older Bontrager RaceLites/Rolf’s etc. I am proficient at building wheels (500+), but haven’t tackled these hubs that I have sitting in my bin. I would like to re-use them as the main reason they were unbuilt was cracked rims, but am not quite sure how to go about calculating the lengths I’d need or if there is a different approach to them versus a standard non-paired spoke design. -Jason
To get the best answer, we of course went to the current expert on everything paired spokes, Rolf Wheels. Rolf’s owner Brian Roddy was more than happy to take the question head on, and had this to say:
Rolf: If a hub is labeled “Rolf” it is important to distinguish if it says just “Rolf” or “Rolf Prima”. Our hubs say “Rolf Prima” and we can rebuild virtually any of our hubs. Trek-made Rolf wheels from the late ‘90’s and early ‘00’s had hubs labeled only with ‘Rolf” and for those we recommend that customers contact Trek since Trek made those wheels. That said, we know Trek stopped supporting the Rolf wheels they built almost 15 years ago and any Trek-based Rolf hub is at least 17 years old since the last time Trek made Rolf wheels was in 2001. Based on age, we generally wouldn’t recommend the time/expense of rebuilding on hubs of that vintage. If it is a Bontrager hub it is more recent and I would imagine Trek still supports those and would be able to supply a rim.
Of course, this leads to the question of whether or not people/shops can buy rims directly from us to rebuild on these older hubs. We can do this but we don’t like to for a couple reasons. One, we have tried to keep ourselves separate from the Trek-made wheels. Secondly, we pride ourselves on support and we can’t provide much build support because we do not know the Trek hubs. Trek hubs have different pitch circle diameters, flange spacing, spoke hole spacing, nipples etc., and while we can provide spoke length specs for Rolf Prima wheels, hubs and rims, we can’t do the same for Trek-made wheels. We can give you estimates of lengths but you’ll be trial building to dial it in.
TL/DR? Check to see if it is a Rolf Prima hub. If yes, call us and we’ll give you some options. If it just says Rolf or Bontrager, call Trek. If you get no where, call us. If we have a rim that works for you, we would be happy to help, but unfortunately we’ll only be able to give you estimates for lengths building on Trek hubs.
Got a question of your own? Click here to use the AASQ form, or find the link under the Contact menu header up top anytime a question pops into your mind!