Video: Jill Kintner's First Time Building A Wheel

Jan 15, 2021
by Stans NoTubes  

They say the best never stop learning and expanding their skillset. Jill Kintner may be a World Champion, Olympic Medalist, 5-time Queen of Crankworx, and a 25-time USA National Champion, but she'd never taken on the daunting challenge of building her own wheel . . . until now. Like nearly all of our pros, Jill has all of her wheels built in the Stan's HQ in New York. During the long, strange year that was 2020, though, Jill was looking for a new garage challenge, and asked about trying a build herself. When an athlete like Jill set out to accomplish a task, we had no doubt that she'd get it done, but would we ride that wheel? Would she? Watch the video to find out and check out the full interview for a behind the scenes take.

Video and illustrations by Jill Kintner




31 Comments

  • 22 0
 I’ve tried a couple times. Have yet to have any success. Having cement floors I work on my bikes in the living room. It’s to the point now that I don’t even have to start swearing. The dogs just go hide as soon as I open my tool box.
  • 4 0
 First time I did it, I watched a step by step video tutorial that I paused every minute while I worked the wheel. I suggest you try so, it went great!
  • 3 0
 @t1000: I think part of the problem is that I’ve never tried to build a new wheel. Whenever I have tried to mess with a wheel I have always disassembled a wheel that was damaged and tried to rebuild it. I think for a first timer I should probably start out with parts I know are true and not otherwise damaged.
  • 14 0
 Building a wheel crosses my mind every year or two. Then I remember how much time I spend just swearing at getting tubeless setup right sometimes.
  • 2 0
 haha that same thought is exactly what brought me to this article...
  • 7 0
 2 words : roger musson. Read his book, building wheels is pretty easy if you follow his steps. I did my first wheel while I was off my bike due to a broken collarbone last winter. It held up fine the whole summer to enduro and dh abuse which was by far my biggest season ever. I was jobless the whole summer !
  • 1 0
 Came here to say this. I started with a DH set after I trashed my rims. Now, I’ve built wheels for many friends and friends of friends. The latest set for myself have been super solid. Follow Roger Musson’s book and it won’t seem so difficult anymore. It’s super cheap and you get free updates whenever a new edition rolls out. Plus, it’s actually an interesting read.
  • 4 0
 Built my first wheel a couple weeks ago via the Ali Clarkson video, youtu.be/p2jTrJYJGd8 , and it definitely won't be the last. Didn't even take that long to lace it, an evening watching a couple episodes of The Mandalorian and it was all laced up. Probably should drop the wheel off to have the tension and true checked at the shop soon, but the DIY truing in the frame has worked well so far.
  • 9 2
 New wheel builders should NOT use this video as a tutorial.
  • 1 2
 Totally agree. I stopped this at 2 min.,couldn't take anymore
  • 3 0
 I built my wheel with a makeshift stand to hold the wheel and then trued it on the bike. It took forever. Fun though. Good on Jill for learning.
  • 1 0
 flip bike around, sue tape and pencil and you wheel bike stand
  • 2 1
 that was NOT the very first wheel she has ever built. lol. you could very easily see her using tricks and techniques that only someone that has done that at least a half dozen times would know.

source: build hundreds of wheels a year.

P.S. taping the wheel before you are done isn't a good idea. at all.
  • 5 0
 This really was the first wheel she built. I was working on her bike a few days before she started shooting the video. She asked me and some other people for tips and did a bunch of research, but it was definitely the first wheel she’s built.
  • 1 0
 She has mad dexterity from doing art. And mad skills overall from being CWQ. Pros being better than us.
  • 1 0
 Its just a tedious process, its not hard or really a lot of thinking. Mostly just the same thing over and over. One tip is to invest in a mole-finger tool to help getting the nipples into the rim when you are lacing in the final spokes. Mostly just dont try and rush it.
  • 1 0
 we learned this at the bike mechanic course - it was a super awesome day and a half - room went super quiet, everyone in their own zone ( headphones and whatnot ) and doing their own thing - i found it quite therapeutic and didn't think much of it before, but end up enjoying it quite a lot - i can see myself building my own wheels in the future, or for buddies if they ask me. . ... or if i'm ever asked to do this at work. . .. ..
  • 1 0
 I'm no wheel building expert but I've always had success with the Shimano disc wheel spoke lacing pattern (see: www.peterverdone.com/wiki/images/4/4c/Shimano-lace-pattern.gif) - looks like Jill is using a different method?
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I would screw that up for sure lol . The beer drinking lazy mechanic that works in my garage has huge ambition backed up with zero skill.
  • 1 0
 I'm building up my rear wheel and the thing just will not dish properly once I bring the spokes up to proper tension. Driving me crazy. Need some medieval torture device contraption.
  • 2 0
 There’s usually a tension spec from a rim manufacturer. The drive side will almost always have more tension than non drive because the spoke flanges have different center to flange measurements, this also applies to most front disc wheels although not as dramatic. Often times the drive side will be at the hi end of the range and non drive the low side of the tension range. The key is making sure all the drive side spokes are similar tension and all non drive are similar tension and within spec range from manufacturer.
  • 1 0
 Have built my first wheels for a friend's 4x bike years ago, surprisingly they're still running true
Honestly building from a scratch with brand new parts Is always easier than rebuilding with a used rim/spokes
  • 1 0
 Good stuff Jill, I have built my own wheels and I think your tutorial is the best I've seen and will definitely help others to do the same. Rad.
  • 2 0
 She says, "Thank you, book" ... and I still don't know how to pronounce "Jobst Brandt".
  • 1 0
 "Jobber Brangus, ya dingus"
  • 2 0
 Thanks Jill! Very inspirational! Now I'm going to build my own wheels.
  • 1 0
 That illustration is giving me hope
  • 1 0
 It gives me hope and flow.
  • 1 0
 Nice way to go Jill.????????
  • 1 0
 Jilll's just awesome...good work Bryn!
  • 1 1
 JILL, WHAT?! Haha.. Never stop learning! Smile

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