Crazy idea with old wheel hubs?

I have a set of Neuvation wheels I got back in 2014 or so for my roadbike.
There were decent wheels for its price. Sadly on of the rims cracked and they have been in a bag ever since.
How hard would it be to buy a rim, spokes and nipples to make a new wheel? Worth it?

I’ve thought about doing it myself, my first road bike came with 105 hubs (mid 90’s) and the rims are some sun rims that aren’t great. Only thing really stopping me is that they’re higher spoke count and I want something like 20/24, plus I don’t have a truing stand yet. There’s an asian brand called pasak which is on AliExpress and they have 30mm depth alloy rims for under $100, thought of getting some plus some decent hubs to try building my own set. Maybe check them out, cost may be low enough that it won’t hurt if it doesn’t work out for you. But I think learning wheel building would be fun

I was thinking about it.
Probably cheaper just to get it to a shop to be trued?
I have a friend who build his own wheels and he uses the brakes to true wheels… He has master how to do it!

Not hard at all….worth it? That is up to you, I guess. The Neuvation hubs are alright, nothing special. There are similar quality wheels on eBay for pretty cheap all the time, often brand new, for pretty cheap.

It’s probably not worth it when you can probably get some inexpensive take-off wheels for pretty cheap. I picked up a new set of Mavic Aksiums for $125 on ebay! They are probably way better than any wheels I could ever build for the money.

Now if you want to tackle a rebuild, the easiest way would be if you could find an exact replacement rim. You line it up with the old rim and then transfer all the spokes and nipples one by one. You still have to learn to tension and true it.

Back in the day I built a number of wheels from scratch using Jobst Brant’s classic book, The Bicycle Wheel. Those wheels were some of the best I rode in those days. They were much better than my over tensioned machine built wheels for Performance. I bought the cheaper Park truing stand which worked fine. The book walks you through lacing, spoke direction, tensioning, and final truing. When you lace it right and methodically, the wheel is practically true at the start. I never used a tensiometer. I did it by feel, plucking the spokes for tone as described in the book.

It’s not worth it, but it is fun to learn a new skill. You can possibly borrow a truing stand from a colleague for a short time?

It’s really not that hard to build a wheel just watch videos on how to do it. One advice for a DIY truing stand put the wheel on your bike. then attach zip ties to the chain stay, cut them down so that they’re just barely touching the rim and that is your truing stand.

Adding: the hardest part is making sure the spokes are installed in the correct order. YouTube has so many videos on this stuff.

1 Like

I am no wheel builder, but have several friends who do and they highly suggest Ali C and his video series.


I swapped rims on a wheelset with no previous experience, it’s not hard. Watch a video (Ali C’s as Chad says are great), and you can get them “true enough” just using the frame/forks.

If you buy a rim that’s exactly the same size as the old one, you can probably re-use the spokes (and nipples). If not, the hardest part is working out how long the spokes have to be!

If you have a pretty identical rim, the easiest way is to tape the two rims together, so the valve hole etc aligns, and just transfer each spoke over from the old rim to the new rim. Still watch a video about wheel building (or read up on it) to learn how much tension you need to put on the spokes, etc.

Whether its worth it depends on the quality of the hubs, how many new parts you need, and how you value your time…

1 Like

If you can find a rim that marches up exactly to the Neuvations, it is a piece of cake. Tape the two rims together, aligned at the valve stem. Get a spoke nipple driver and just move over each spoke, one by one. Even I have managed to do that!! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Finding a matching rim to the Neuvations may be a bot of challenge though…dunno what their specs were.


^ This is key. ^

Getting a matching rim is important if you aim to use the same spokes. Not all wheels match at the spoke bed diameter, and if you get the wrong ones, you’d also need to swap spokes to an appropriate length, which would add to the cost and complexity.


But guys… good advice on quick repair but… learning the lacing part is at least 90% of the fun!!!

1 Like

I build my own wheels (I break a lot on the MTB). It isn’t very hard.

The hardest part is the truing and tensioning, but that is because it takes patience, not skill. You can have a shop do that part cheap. You don’t need a truing stand, you can just use the frame. Even easier if you have rim brakes.

You should do it just to know the skill. It is a useful skill to have.


Those hubs look to be just some basic novatec/powerway/bitex hubs you can pick up for $50.

For spokes, I’ve been getting Pillar 1423 bladed spokes from CN on ebay for cheap. They work, are bladed, arrive in a couple of weeks, and are cheap. Nipples you can get anywhere. Rims… (of ones you’d consider) once you exceed $50 rim you hit the $100-150/rim premium AL rim level, you might as well start considering CN carbon rims (I’ve seen Kinlin (aka Hunt) and H-Plus Son rims in the middle there).

Tools - it’s easy to spend $200 in tools here. Nipple and spoke wrenches, stand, tension gauge, etc. You can borrow these and largely use your phone as a tension meter, but the price adds up.

Here’s the problem… you just spent $40 on spokes, $20 on nipples and grease, $150 on rims, $XX on tools… cheap carbon wheels with the same hubs/spokes are $350 now
cool looking brand name wheels are $250 Campagnolo Calima C17 Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction
Vision Team 30 Clincher Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction

I’d just junk the wheels except for the hub. Maybe use the hub as a workshop tool or travel fork spreader. That or just build a set of wheels for fun.

1 Like

Park tool just released a vid on YT about this very topic.

Also, if one doesn’t mined fiddling, and it’s a rim brake bike, the brake caliper makes for a decent enough truing guide, without having to buy a stand.

I would not rebuild. I would look for wheel kits for building. They tend to be cheaper than what you can get separately. Spokes, mostly, are more expensive by themselves. Also look for brass nipples vs aluminum. A bit heavier but more reliable.

That said, KinLin rims are pretty good, not super light but decent, and pretty cheap.

What kind of hubs are those, btw? Are they serviceable? For cheap, I like Novatec quite a bit. I use their MTB hubs on my road bike and they’ve been pretty solid, easy to rebuild, parts are available such as a steel axle if you want or a free hub with anti bite, or even a steel free hub.

If you intend to reuse spokes they have to go in the same holes. The spokes bend in a specific way, once tensioned. The same for nipples. Anyhow, since those are the bits that break first, I would use it as a time to refresh everything. But if you want to be super cheap, that’ll work. But keep in mind spokes do break and there’s a fatigue limit on them. If alloy nipples, I’d toss those outright.

Sure. Can be done full force or in baby steps. Depends on goals and purpose.

1 Like

The one skill I never learned…and I’m OK with that. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: