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Old 04-23-2014, 12:12 PM
TheOtherChris TheOtherChris is offline
Motorized Bicycle Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: SE Idaho
Posts: 47
Default Re: Hi Wheel (non motorized) build from scratch

A friend had a HF roller so I took some blank dies and turned them to accommodate the 1" channel and then my son rolled the straight channel into a circle.

Then cut to length and welded to have a very big bike rim. (For scale, my son is 6 foot)

Next he laced up the wheel. We were going to make the spokes from welding rod but it was just going to take too much time so we bought the stainless spokes from a place in California that makes these bicycles. My son then laced up the wheel.

I should mention that his first set of calculations were off by 0.50" in diameter which didn't leave enough room to properly tighten the spokes so he had to drill and roll another rim.

The "tyre" on these are solid rubber (non pneumatic) just as they were over a century ago. The rubber is sold by the foot and it has about a 3/16" hole through the middle. We grabbed some galvanized fence wire and threaded it through the length of the tire.

I really wish I had taken a picture of how we tensioned the wire in the tire but we got kind of excited to get it done.
What we did was cut the tire about 4" longer than the circumference of the rim and then wrapped it loosely around the rim with the wire hanging out the ends and overlapping. Then we hooked one wire to the work bench and the other to a come-along and started to pull. As I winched, my son guided the ever tightening tire on to the rim.

We used a jig where the two ends meet to keep them apart so the wire could be joined. We used hi-temp silver solder to join the wire before cutting the excess. After joining you just have to "massage" the tire until the two ends come back together.

Until we ended up with a fully assembled and tired front wheel.
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