Introduction to Wheelbuilding

This two-day course is supported by Sapim, the foremost producer of spokes in the EC, and Ambrosio who currently produce probably the largest and highest quality range of rims for bicycles available.

Although previous mechanical experience is very useful, it isn't an essential pre-requisite as the absolute beginner wheelbuilder can be taken through the steps from selection of materials all the way to completion of a standard, three-cross 32H or 36H wheel. A Velotech Bronze certificate is however preferred, so that candidates are familiar with workshop practice, the adjustment of hubs and the concept of torque.
A Sapim certificate is awarded at successful completion of the course.

We cover:

  • Types and choice of hub and rim
  • Types and choice of spoke
  • Lacing a three-cross 32 or 36h wheel
  • Tensiometers and tensioning
  • Axial and radial truing
  • Dishing

By the end of the course, most candidates will have built at least three wheels, probably four, the last one, if all goes well, unaided. The wheels built are for standard rim brakes. The slightly different techniques and considerations for disc and drum brakes are covered in the advanced course. See this page for details ...


  • Course manual on CD ROM
  • Sapim "What is a Good Wheel?" on CD ROM
  • Sapim spoke length calculator on CD ROM
  • Sapim 3.25mm spoke key
  • Sapim spoke ruler
  • Teas, coffees and on a good day, cake!

Not included:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Transport to and from your accommodation

Taking it further

You can take the advanced wheelbuilding course - see this page for details.