• Congratulations!

    To the Class One

    and

    Class Two Winners!!!

How To: Make a wide hub + Join it to a car rim. Updated again!

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes:

Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
21,386
Reaction score
18,256
Location
Broken Hill, Australia
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
I just finished making this rim up for my "Muscle bike build off #01" bike, and thought I would share the process of building a wide freewheel hub. I have noticed many bikes using wider and wider tires and rims, some like the sand and beach bikes would be a good project for a scratch builder if they could get the rims and tires cheap enough, if you build some of these hubs and the following wheel set up and find some used motorbike tires you should be able to do it for next to nothing, depending on what pieces you have available to you of course... The finished hub cost me nothing, I had all the pieces I needed in my bike stockpile, the rim I show later cost me $10 for the car wheels I used to make it, the motorbike tire I will end up using was free from the bike shop, it saves them from paying to dump it. Total cost for the entire wheel, hub and tire combination: $10.

This can even be done without the use of a welder if you are widening by 2 inches or less, if widening by more than that you will probably need a welder to widen the axle anyway. (If you can find the correct endless threaded rod mentioned later, you could theoretically build one as wide as you want without any welding at all.)

If you are not welding and want to spoke this hub to a wider than standard rim, you might want to check "OneHorsePower's" excellent thread on building a wide spoked rim without welding: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=62829

For reference a 16inch motorbike or car tire can be fitted to a wide 20inch bmx style rim for the perfect beach/sand cruiser combination!

To do this you will need some knowledge of how to dismantle and rebuild a standard wheel hub.

First gather your needed parts, The best hub to use for your parts is one that is even across from side to side, you can do it with the dropped centre ones but it will be harder especially if you are building a hub 2+inches wider than standard, I will explain why later.

DSC00198
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
This photo shows a car rim as well, I will add the process of joining a hub to a car rim later but this first part will work for a normal spoked rim as well so I will keep them seperate.

First thing you want to do is cut your hub in half, then you need to find a piece of tube that fit snugly either inside or outside your hub tube, if you are using a hub similar to mine you may find that a mountain bike seat tube is a perfect fit inside.

DSC00199
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
Cut the tube to the right length to make your hub the width you require, insert your bearing cups if they have been removed before doing this, as they take up some room inside the tube. My hub is going to be 85mm (3+3/8inches) wider than standard.

After trimming to the right length, clean off any paint or powdercoat on the tube you will be welding in, and weld it up! If you are spoking this up to a normal rim, you may not even have to weld it, as the spokes will pull the hub together tightly once they are done up.

DSC00200
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
This photo also shows the two end caps for my hub, they are both drive side threaded endcaps because my bike will be dual drive, they have also been modified to mount brake discs to, you only need to do this if you are running a car wheel, in fact you cant do this if you will be using normal spokes as the brake disc mounts to where the spokes were before, so you can just ignore that if you will be spoking this hub up as normal.

If your hub is going to be 2 inchs (50mm) wider than normal or less, you may find that just using a mountain bike rear axle will give you enough length, they seem to average around 180mm long (just over 7 inchs) If you are going wider than that you will need to lengthen your axles, you can buy 3/8 by 26 thread/inch high tensile endless rod in some places so you may find that easier if you dont trust your welding skills for widening an axle. If you will be widening your own, find two axles that are similar, cut the same amount off each axle to give you your required length, grind the the ends to give you a surface that will allow the weld to penetrate all the way through.

DSC00201
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

Weld it up nice and solid, check it for straightness, if it needs straightening now is the time to do it. Then find a 2 inch long section of pipe, tube or even square tube that fits snugly over your axle, grind down your weld to allow it to slip over, being careful not to grind away more than neccesary and weaken the join, slip it on and weld it up!

DSC00202
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
I have used 1/2inch square tube with 16 guage wall (13x1.6mm) for mine in this picture.

Next step is to fit it all together, if you have widened your axle you will most likely find it no longer fits through the bearing cups in the hub, knock out one side using a drift through the middle, insert the axle and re-install the cup.

DSC00203
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

If you are spoking this hub up to a normal rim, your hub is done! If you are using a car rim, keep reading...


This second section is a little more complex, and assumes you have some welding and fabrication knowledge.

If you are planning on welding spokes to a car rim and to your hub, you will find that the centre tube is not strong enough on it's own to support you, you need to brace the tube and also connect the two end caps to stop them coming free of the hub, one solution for doing this is to find a nice piece of fencing pipe the right size to slip over your entire hub, cut it to the right length to just meet both ends and weld it to the end caps, you will end up with something like this...

DSC00204
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
My hub at this point has the brake disc and freewheel installed on one side, just showing off a little...

Basically now you have a very solid hub that can handle whatever welded spoke design you want to use.

For my hub I decided on four inch by inch (25x25mm) square tube spokes, simply measure the inside diameter of you rim where the spokes will connect and take away from that distance whatever the outside diameter of your hub is. Devide that in two and you have your spoke length. Cut out your spokes! Using welders helper magnet squares or another means, fit your spokes to the hub and weld them on.

DSC00221
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

Now comes the part that is a little bit difficult, you need to find a way to support your rim and the hub/spoke thingy so that they will be perfectly straight when welded, I used a 14inch rim centered underneath to support my 16x3.5inch (made from the narrow side of two 16x5 rims) rimband and propped the spokes up on pieces of flat steel to get them the right height, I could then check that the hub was centered in the rim by comparing it to the hub postioning hole in the bottom rim.

DSC00224
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

After tacking every spoke both sides you will want to check you wheel is running true, if it is not you can cut the spoke tacks where the unbalance is and clamp it to the table, clamp it down till you think you have moved it enough and tack it, then recheck if it is running true, if it isn't do the same again.

DSC00227
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr
This bit can take some time, the good thing is you are very unlikely to bend the rim itself, it will only move the hub and spokes.

When you get it straight (or as close as your fast disappearing patience will allow) weld it up and you have your finished extra wide wheel!

DSC00225
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

DSC00226
by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

Get your tire fitted up, (By the way, motorbike tires can be mounted on car rims!) build your frame around it and enjoy the looks everyone will give as you ride past with a huge grin on your face knowing you did it yourself for next to nothing... :D :mrgreen:

If you do make something inspired by this, please post up a pic here so we can all see it...

Luke.

P.S. If you want to know what this looks like on a bike with a tire fitted, you will have to check the "Muscle bike build off" thread when the build is over. viewtopic.php?f=43&t=68143&start=0



UPDATE 18th MAY 2013 RRB BO#8 "BigJim":

Just finished connecting up my monster 245/30/20 shod 20x8 rims to thier spokes and hubs, adding that here in the how to, as they are 8 spokes instead of 4 and I built a jig off the first one so that the second and any future wheels I do will be easier and quicker.

Start the same way with your hub tube, setting up everything with the magnetic clamps for the first spoke.

8746682987_9e1c809586.jpg


Weld that spoke, position the second spoke at 90 degrees ready for welding.

8746683029_fb83c94c41.jpg


Weld and continue till you have four spokes, the last one can be checked for angle off two spokes instead of just one, which will tell you if your angles are right or not.

8746683057_53ef34c760.jpg


Repeat for the other 4 spokes, except using the 45 degree sides of the magnets.

8746683111_80a770de91.jpg


Your finished your 8 spoke wheel spider!

8746683149_6bd504cafe.jpg


Now to build a jig, using the spider as a guide, so any future wheels are far easier to make. I started with a 13 inch wheel, and added three pieces of steel to decrease the centre hole size to match the tubing I use for my hubs. Make sure you get these central or your wheel may bounce up and down or wobble when done.

8746683181_e37bda912f.jpg


The next step is to build something that holds the back end of the tube, preferably adjustable so you can change the offset of your future rims if you use narrower or wider wheels. Mine is using a motorcycle fork top welded to a simple cross brace made from angle.

8746699431_43b1881d79.jpg


Now, insert your finished 8 spoke spider through the centre hole of your rim, sit the cross brace holding the adjustable offset mechanism on the back of you hub tube and adjust it to fit snug, double check everything is centred and weld the cross brace to the back of the rim.

8746699459_5f1bf91ccd.jpg


You need to find a way of positioning the spokes so they don't move, on my rim that meant just grinding and filling a notch in the outer rim to hold the outer..

8746699503_675d635644.jpg


And welding little pieces of round bar closer to the middle to hold the tubes in two spots.

8746699615_2aca0c436f.jpg


That is the jig finished!

8747831346_42f5536bab.jpg


Now to build your second wheel spider if you are doing a bike with front and rear fat wheels, simply lay the spokes in the slots, slide the hub tube in and start tacking, once it is fully tacked on one side, slide it out and flip it over to fully weld it. I found the first wheel spider takes about an hour to build precisely, future ones built off the jig take only 15 minutes...

Once you have your spiders welded, you need to work out the positioning on your rims, by propping them up on bits of wood or steel till the spokes sit in the centre of the rim. (Note the line marked inside the rim to help with this.)

8747831388_299eb5c78f.jpg


Weld it up, repeat for any other wheels you are using and it is done!

8747831468_4174efd4c9.jpg


You can see at this point I have not yet added the bearing cups and axles to the wheels, but the method for that will be the same as the method described at the start of this "How To"

Here is a link to the build these will be used on: viewtopic.php?f=76&t=72017#p696728

UPDATE 2: MBBO#3 "Mad Maxine"

Tried something different for the next set, modified the jig for 5 spoke centres and used 12 and 18" dirt bike rims and tires with old steel bike rims welded inside to cover the spoke hole and dimples:

15199380826_0aa06410e2_z.jpg


15222409355_c293877230_z.jpg


15222030942_a2f5930108_z.jpg


15202693508_4f38ea277a_z.jpg


16269480655_f8a2b57a98_z.jpg



UPDATE 3: "PEDRO" MBBO#04. Sep 2015:

I have now done some wheels that are not just straight spokes!

Complete details can be found in this thread:
http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/mbbo-04-class-2-lambo-pedro-plans-revealed.94236/

Here are some pics:

21263499436_cc26d3a0bd_z.jpg


20719502414_495e5662c9_z.jpg


21155325719_b7be92b0dc_z.jpg


20721103183_de97eebffa_z.jpg


21434211576_f12e2211c6_z.jpg


21272604748_6090ff5b33_z.jpg


20883367314_0baa4e8d08_z.jpg


Hubs are built the same way, but two pieces of 16 gauge steel and some 3" exhaust tube make up the wheel centres...

Feel free to ask any questions you want or pm me for more information.

Luke.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
6,099
Reaction score
429
Location
Pearland,Texas
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Re: How To: Make a wide freewheel hub + Join it to a car rim.

Really nice post and your work is awesome. Good job,
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
21,386
Reaction score
18,256
Location
Broken Hill, Australia
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Re: How To: Make a wide freewheel hub + Join it to a car rim.

Alger3 said:
Thanks, but I am now leery of doing this, since there seems to be axle bending issues with the 8 speed and above freewheels.
I'm not actually sure what problem you are talking about, has there been an issue with normal length axles bending with 8 speed freewheels?

This idea would hardly ever be used for a 8 or higher speed cluster road/racing bike anyway, due to the added weight, it is more for the bikes you see on this site, single speeds and up to 5 speed cruisers.

If you are worried about bending because you are planning on jumping off buildings or something, you can always upgrade to 9/16th or 14mm axles. :mrgreen:

Here is the finished wheel for those who are interested.

DSC00233 by LukeTheJoker, on Flickr

Luke.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
6,099
Reaction score
429
Location
Pearland,Texas
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Oh that is what those arrow things are for. I thought you used them to hold heavy
stuff on your refrigerator. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Good job and a nice how to post. :wink:
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
21,386
Reaction score
18,256
Location
Broken Hill, Australia
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Uncle Stretch said:
Oh that is what those arrow things are for. I thought you used them to hold heavy stuff on your refrigerator. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Good job and a nice how to post. :wink:
:lol:
Thanks Uncle Stretch!

Luke.
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
414
Reaction score
58
Location
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
This is really awesome
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
21,386
Reaction score
18,256
Location
Broken Hill, Australia
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Vintagebikelover24 said:
This is really awesome
Thanks Vintagebikelover24! :D
I put all this up here in the hopes others will try it, it really is an awesome way to build a bike that stands out wherever you go...

Luke.
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
414
Reaction score
58
Location
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
LukeTheJoker said:
Vintagebikelover24 said:
This is really awesome
Thanks Vintagebikelover24! :D
I put all this up here in the hopes others will try it, it really is an awesome way to build a bike that stands out wherever you go...

Luke.

I would love to try this! But I have no welder :( do you make these for others to buy?
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
414
Reaction score
58
Location
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
Yeah that would probably cost a lot in shipping alone!
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
308
Reaction score
11
Location
Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I would not want to get in the way of Luke and you doing some business. If, the cost of Luke building one of those terrific wheels is a bit too much with shipping, you could make it a tad bit more affordable by doing some work yourself. If you like a more traditional wheel and tire combo, 15" steel car rims can be had at any salvage place for very little money, the rest can be done as Luke outlines above, and than you spoke it just like a traditional bike rim.
http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y484/Rich_Levy/tireandrim_zps98ed27d0.jpg

If you do like the way Luke did it above, do all the leg work yourself, than find a friend to do the welding for you. Most guys in the hobby end of the industry (bikes and autos) are happy to have a chance to work on something alittle different, they will probably do it for free or little money.

Remember, after you have that nice wheel done, you're gonna need a cool frame to set on it :mrgreen: A regular bike frame is cool, but nothing like your own design. You live about 2 hours south and west of me, I have all the stuff here in my garage to bend and weld a frame up, if ya want to have some thing really cool and different, collect the stuff, than give me a holler.

Just a couple of ideas for you to consider.

peace

rich
 
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
414
Reaction score
58
Location
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Rating - 100%
15   0   0
RichL said:
I would not want to get in the way of Luke and you doing some business. If, the cost of Luke building one of those terrific wheels is a bit too much with shipping, you could make it a tad bit more affordable by doing some work yourself. If you like a more traditional wheel and tire combo, 15" steel car rims can be had at any salvage place for very little money, the rest can be done as Luke outlines above, and than you spoke it just like a traditional bike rim.
http://i1277.photobucket.com/albums/y484/Rich_Levy/tireandrim_zps98ed27d0.jpg

If you do like the way Luke did it above, do all the leg work yourself, than find a friend to do the welding for you. Most guys in the hobby end of the industry (bikes and autos) are happy to have a chance to work on something alittle different, they will probably do it for free or little money.

Remember, after you have that nice wheel done, you're gonna need a cool frame to set on it :mrgreen: A regular bike frame is cool, but nothing like your own design. You live about 2 hours south and west of me, I have all the stuff here in my garage to bend and weld a frame up, if ya want to have some thing really cool and different, collect the stuff, than give me a holler.

Just a couple of ideas for you to consider.

peace

rich


I may have to take you up on that frame building idea lol when I get my license, I go for it in 2 weeks (pray I pass) maybe I'll take the ride and we can really get some ideas flowing!
 

Latest posts

Top