• Welcome to the forum website of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club.

    Should you have any questions relating to the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club, or Vincent H.R.D. motorcycles in general, please contact Graham Smith, Online Forum Webmaster by calling 07977 001 025 or please CLICK HERE.

    You are unrecognised, and therefore, only have VERY restricted access to the many features of this forum website.

    If you have previously registered to use this forum website, you should log in now. CLICK HERE.

    If you have never registered to use this forum website before, please CLICK HERE.

wheelbuilding-series `C`-have i messed up?


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi All,during the re-build of my Shadow wheels, the problems of spoke clearence have arisen.I have got off lightly,being able to insert all spokes twixt back of drum/spoke flange OK (just).I did however run across the problem of the inner spoke heads fouling the outer spokes on the outside of the spoke rings.I am using 8/10 butted on the rear wheel, and have had to resort to grinding substantial flats on one side of the inner spoke heads to achieve clearence, (about 1/4-1/3 of the head had to be removed).
The problem is this: I ground the flats on the inner spoke heads,10 off, sprocket side, no problem. I then ground the corresponding flats on the inner spokes of the other side of the wheel,but had to grind the opposite side of the spoke head, i.e. the flat ground at 5 o`clock as against 7 o`clock. It did not occur to me at this stage that i had spoked the two sides of the wheel as a "mirror image", rather than the same pattern turned through 180 degrees,(which would have meant that all 20 inner spokes would have been ground the same side to achieve clearence). This has made me wonder whether I have spoked one side of the wheel wrongly(spokes back to front)?? Does it matter? I can respoke that side of the wheel with the spokes replaced the "correct"? way, but the flats ground on those 10 inners will then be 180 degrees out-and they will have to be ground again, but given the amount already ground off-possibly scrapped.Any observations from those wise in the art of wheelbuilding-have I messed up?(Stop laughing at the back!) Cheers, Bob.

Black Flash

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi Bob,
the wheels have to look the same from each side, if you look at one side of the wheel facing to you, the outer spokes have to point to the right on top of the spoke flange and exactly same when you turn the wheel and look at the other side. they can also point to the left regarding on the drilling in the dimples, which is unimportant IMO.
I had to grind the spokes heads as well but only on the inner spokes. also check that the spokes heads won't touch the brakedrum. one wheel I dismatled had the paint worn of where the spoke heads where touching the drum. luckily there was enough give when the previous owner fitted the drum, not to crack it.
Peter Barker (A-HRD) sells lasercut shims to solve that problem. simply fit and forget.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member

My strong advice would be to re-spoke the correct way round - you risk wheel collapse the other way.

The spoke heads are made bigger these days than they were originally, that's why there's a problem when lacing-up a Vincent in the cross-four pattern. So you are quite correct, you do need to carefully grind a flat on the heads of 10 of the spokes on each side to prevent the stressed conflict as shown in the picture. Of course, the Central Wheel Company deny all knowledge of the problem and shrug it off - as they did when I discussed it with them last month. But walk round a group of Vincents at any UK gathering and you will see the problem as per the picture. So well done for taking the time to get things right. There is more information in my article in MPH Oct 2007.

Given the oversize heads, I reckon you will be OK to grind another flat in the correct place and not compromise safety, However, you could also use the unground spokes to grind a flat in the correct place, or buy some more.

I have also attached a second picture which shows the correct spoke layout - for a 'cross-four' pattern. Look at the direction of the holes drilled in your rim, this will help you establish the correct orientation of the spokes as you begin lacing-up. Of course, it helps if you already have a laced-up wheel to look at! Building wheels is not a difficult task, it just takes time and patience; choose a time when you are not likely to get interrupted!

Best Wishes,

Peter Barker
Bristol, UK

Ooops, it seems I can't add photos. I'll try later....


  • Vincent Wheel Build 006.jpg
    Vincent Wheel Build 006.jpg
    21.3 KB · Views: 156
  • Spoke Conflict - 'Cross 4' -  8-10 gauge 002.jpg
    Spoke Conflict - 'Cross 4' - 8-10 gauge 002.jpg
    24.8 KB · Views: 159
Last edited:


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Thanks for the info Chaps, I assembled the front wheel loosely in what I now know to be the correct pattern and it fell together and looks and feels right, (you`re dead right Peter, wheel building demands undivided attention-something I did not give last week and the result- a foul up!!).Its true to say that the front (20")assembles better than the rear and the spokes are "happier" i.e. not interfering with each other or pulling over the edge of the spoke flange as with the rear. I agree with Jaqueline Bickerstaffes comments in MPH 602 re the rear wheel/spoke geometry- the rear wheel spoke flanges should be dished more deeply to suit the wider hub/smaller rim and should have been a different part to the front wheel ones.I think Vincents "winged it" a bit here rather than produce two types of flange.
My spokes came from Devon Rim Co. and the heads on the rears are bent at 90 degrees.The ones that I am replacing are bent less tightly, say 80 degrees,(may/may not be originals?) and they fit much better on the inners,where the Devon ones bow horribly due to that head angle,but fit better on the outside where they miss the drum(but hit the spoke flange edge)-surely a case for two different head angles?. I will contact D R Co next week and see if they will play ball with some inners less sharply bent, I`ll let you know how it goes... Thanks, Bob Cottam.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi - just discovered this old thread whilst researching how to lace up the spokes on my Series C. Can one of the experts advise: is it correct then that a trailing spoke is on the outside of the flange (head on the inside) on the nearside, and then on the inside of the flange (head on the outside) on the offside. This seems to be how my old wheel was built, and I think from the pictures what this thread is suggesting. Just trying to get it right.

Thanks for any thoughts from a first-time wheel builder!
Warning! This thread is more than 7yrs ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.