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alienmeatsack

Lacing a Sondors Rear Hub and Rim - Sondors eBike

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Ok. Since no one has tackled this yet, I thought I'd start a thread and build up info needed so either myself or someone here can do this when we upgrade a motor or replace a rim.

The stock Bafang 350w motor has 18 holes on each side of the hub for a total of 36 spoke holes.

The stock rim has 18 holes on each side as well, alternating position left to right, for a total of 36 spoke holes.

The spokes appear to be 8.5" long and are bent slightly at the nipples to accommodate the lacing pattern.

First task is to get the spoke lacing pattern down.

IMG_4549.JPG

IMG_4551.JPG

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Lacing Pattern - Right side, 9 outside spokes.

Here's the lacing pattern based on the stock lacing configuration...

The pattern is the same on each side with the angle of the spokes going the same direction facing each side so they are not mirrored from side to side for stability when the hub and rim are moving.

Pick an allen bolt to be hole 1 and go to the first hole just to its right and that is your hole #1. This will be your "outside spoke holes", meaning the spokes feed into the hub from the inside so they come out of the holes on the outside of the rim.

Align the hub so that the allen bolt you chose for picking the first spoke hole is slightly counter clockwise aligned with the valve stem on the rim itself. If you drew a line from the valve stem to the hub, the allen bolt should be about 1 spoke hole behind CCW of where the valve stem points.

Hole 1's first spoke goes up to the rim at an angle so that it goes into the 2nd spoke hole on the rim past the valve stem going clock-wise. So it's valve stem hole, empty spoke hole, then the next hole on the same side of the rim you are working on is the first hole.

Now, you will first lace all of the outside spokes by feeding each into the inside of the hub so you see them come out of the hub itself towards you. Each outside spoke skips a hole on the hub. And each spoke after the first one then goes into every second hole on the rim, clock-wise. There should be a total of 9 spokes in this configuration.

Only put the nipples on tight enough to hold the spokes, we'll tighten and adjust as we get all the spokes on and freemovement of the hub is important here.

IMG_4552 3.jpg

9 outside spokes.jpg

Edited by alienmeatsack

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If you've done the first 9 spokes right, your hub should be turned counter clockwise so the spokes are slightly "tight" and pulling on the nipples, but the nipples are not tightened down. This twist is important for the lacing pattern to create the bracing for holding the hub when pedaling and stopping.

Now, we move to the other side of the rim. The same direction is used for this row of spokes. We need to we locate our first spoke on this side. Look at the spoke you picked for the first spoke on the other side and go directly across to the side we're on, then just to the left of that is our first left side outside spoke.

This spoke is fed through from the inside of the hub and then goes up and to the right clockwise to the 2nd hole past the valve stem on this side of the rim. It's important to keep the hub rotated so the spokes on the other side stay at the angles they are at. And remember to put the nipple on just enough to hold the spoke in place for now.

Now we put each of the 8 remaining spokes in place, feeding them in from the inside so they come out on the outside of the hub. Each one skips a hole on the rim working their way clockwise around the rim. The final (9th) spoke should go into the last hole just to the left of the valve stem on this side of the rim.

IMG_4564 2.jpg

left side outside lacing 1.jpg

right side outside 9 spokes 2.jpg

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Next, we lace the alternative direction spokes. We'll start on the right side since we just worked on that side already.

For your first spoke hole on this side, pick the last spoke you put in on this side that went in to the rim just to the left of the valve stem hole. Then we count 4 holes counterclockwise including the 9th spoke we just laced and this is our first hole in the rim to aim for. This spoke will go into the first spoke hole in the hub directly to the left of the first spoke we put in on the outside in the step above.

Feed the spoke into the hub from the outside so that it goes towards the inside of the hub, then bring it up and to the left so it passes OVER the spoke that is there. Remember this one goes into the rim 4 holes on this side of the rim from the valve stem hole.

IMG_4566 2.jpg

IMG_4568 2.jpg

IMG_4567 2.jpg

IMG_4569 2.jpg

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Once the first left side inside spoke is in place, passing over the existing spoke shown in orange, we can do the other 8 spokes. Just follow the holes in the hub counterclockwise on the hub and rim, placing each spoke so it goes into the hub from the outside and sits on the inside of the hub itself but crosses over the spoke it passes on its way to the rim. Each spoke should skip a spot, but that hole should have a spoke in it now from the lacing we did in the previous step.

Again, just tighten the nipples enough to keep the spokes in place. At this point the hub should not be able to rotate left/right but should still wiggle around a bit since the spokes are not tight.

right_side_inside_9_spokes.jpg

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Flip the rim around and we are going to repeat this same procedure on the right side of the rim using the last 9 spokes and 9 hub and rim holes.

First we go back to our original starting spot and find our first outside spoke hole and spoke which should be running up to the rim going clockwise in the 2nd hole from the valve stem on our rim. The hole in the hub just to the right of that is our first inside spoke hole.

Once we've installed this spoke, remembering to go OVER the existing spoke going the other way, we then do the rest of the remaining 8 spokes, going over the existing spokes, following the rim around in the remaining holes. Tighten the nipples just enough to hold them in place as before.

At this point, we should now have a correctly laced rim, ready to be tightened and trued.

IMG_4552 2.jpg

9 outside spokes 2.jpg

9 outside spokes 3.jpg

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Tightening and Trueing the rim.

This is the part that takes time and patience. It's where most people find themselves frustrated as well. If you take your time and carefully adjust the tightness of each spoke nipple, you can get a correctly tightened and straight rim.

So, let's mount our rim on the back of the frame, bike upside down OR back end held up in the air so the back wheel can rotate freely. Hang tighten the nuts on each side so the hub is straight and held in place and the wheel freely can be spun.

When tightening the spokes, keep in mind that all of the spokes on one side of the rim will pull the rim to that side and the ones on the other side will pull it to the other side. Tightening these in just the right amounts is what will get your wheel straight and true. To do this, we first need to get our trusty nipple wrench and start by loosely tightening the nipples where they are basically hand tight. We don't want any of them pulling on the wheel or hub, just take out the slack. When you spin the rim at this point, your wheel will most likely wobble to the left and right in different spots.

It's possible some of your outside spokes will need a little bending to fit against the hub and run to the run correctly. Gently bend them by hand at the hub as needed. If you are lucky, this will not be required and the spokes will pull taught as you tighten them.

The best way to get to this point is to use a screwdriver on the inside of the rim on each nipple and tighten them so they are all tightened to the same amount. Now give the wheel a spin, if it's not terribly off, you can now start to slowly tighten down the spokes. I suggest starting at the valve stem, noting your starting spoke, tighten a half a turn or a turn depending on how loose or tight it already is, and repeat this all the way around on each side.

Each time you tighten, spin the rim noting the left to right movement and the up/down movement of the rim. You want the rim to be in perfect alignment with the hub so when it spins, it's a nice smooth even spin and the rim appears not to move at all during the spinning motion.

You will repeat this process giving each spoke a 1/2-1 turn of the spoke wrench and spin, noting the alignment left to right and up/down, and repeat until the spokes start to get tight and have tension in them.

When you spin the rim and see a spot pull to one side or the other, find that spot and gently tighten the spoke or spokes at that spot just a little on the side that is opposite of where it sticks out, so if it's bending to the left, you tighten the spokes a little just to the right of that spot. Be gentle, a little tightening is all that's needed as you slowly work the rim into a straight smooth spin.

The ultimate tightness you are aiming for will be based on how tight your rim was originally. If you did not make a note of that, use one of the front rim's spokes to get an idea of the tightness by tightening it more, feeling how much pressure it took to do so, then loosening it the exact same amount to put it back where it was.

When your spokes start to get near their full tightness, they may try to spin some. To counter this, overtighten the spoke nipple by 1/4-1/2 a turn, then turn it backwards that same amount. This usually causes the spoke that was spinning to rotate back to straight.

When you've reached the tightness matching the original tightness in all the spokes before you started this project (or same tightness as the front spokes), you will be spinning the rim and tweaking the alignment by very slightly tightening or loosening the nipples opposite of the spots that stick out to the left or right.

If you've done the job correctly, you should end up with a rim that spins true and smoothly with no up/down or left/right wobble.

I hope this helps you tackle this task on your own. I know some bike shops will happily true a front fat bike rim but will not touch one with the motor since it does not fit into their stand. If you are lucky enough to have a shop who will do this, or perhaps will do the final truing and are not comfortable doing it yourself, go for it. Otherwise, just take your time and tweak the tightness until it's right and enjoy the ride after.

I suggest that if you are using new spokes that you ride it for a few days and then revisit the spokes and check their tightness. As you ride, the torque and tension put on the new spokes will bend them at the nipple, where they cross the other spokes, and at the hub, and this may require some retightening and checking the straightness of the spin again.

I hope this helps!

 

For a much better more detailed explanation on how to true a rim, see this website. It's an art and it does take patience, so I can only guide you so far.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

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Thanks for this elaborate description and the graphical aids, man. Not sure if I'll ever modify the motor, but I appreciate the additional knowledge.

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I hope to get a 500w replacement motor sometime next month and do the actual lacing so I can elaborate on the truing part more. I've also read that the housing of the 350w hub can be reused for the 500w's guts for a very simple motor swap, so I am also going to try that.

The research on this project was actually quite interesting. There are a lot of spoke lacing techniques, including some that involve 2-3 different lengths of spokes going in all different directions. I was also told that our stock spokes are a little on the thin side and should be replaced. So I've considered finding thicker spokes and doing a one by one replacement to see how that goes.

I'm a glutton for punishment, but LOVE to learn. (Just look at my 4 page 3-Speed conversion thread if you don't believe me.) :D

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Thanks for posting this information :)

How about the size of the spoke wrench for the Sondors?

I'm trying to gather the tools needed for the bike.

Plus I've heard that the spokes are on the thin side too, so please post your upgrade info when complete.

Thanks!

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Yes the spokes are a bit thin for a rear powered hub. I recommend going up a size or two. You may have to have them custom done, the lengths are a bit odd, and if you look at the ends on the rim they bend a little so keep that in mind.

I am not sure what the spoke wrench is, I believe it's standard sized, I need to order a few to test.

 

Since I broke my leg I can't get to the hub project... I have a 750W hub waiting to be laced into a new rim in a few months. I'll have more info then.

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This bend in the spoke at the rim, is that normal? seems like the spokes are side loaded.

Now I'm going to have to look at some other bikes, no wonder they're hard to turn.

 

side loaded spokes.jpg

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Yes, for this bike, hub and rim it is normal. And it is also why lacing the rim is a difficult job. Especially with thicker spokes. Truing is even more difficult because of that and the hub is too wide for any traditional truing stand.

As a said, I will be replacing my hub when I am cleared to stand again on the broken leg, and can complete this thread to show how to do the relace/hub replacment and truing side of things. I am going to buuild my own truing stand to do this. But a -really- hoping the hub's guts will just swap out and I dont have to relace and retrue.

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