Disk wheel built backwards?

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Apr 15, 2004
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I borrowed a good wheel from a friend to use while getting mine realigned. It has the correct offset and fits like it should.

It looks like my wheel may have been built with the rim facing the wrong way. Both wheels are original Dunlops with the MC275 stamp. On the good wheel the "Dunlop" lettering faces the non-disk (left) side. On my bad wheel it faces the other way, towards the disk. Is the lettering always stamped on the same side? If so my wheel needs to be rebuilt with the correct orientation. Perhaps the wheel builder got it wrong and that's why the offset is incorrect?

Debby, I use a man named Jock to get this job done. He does all the wheel building for Walridge. His take on the Norton front disk brake wheel is that it just works. It's weak because of the offset required. It is hard to get right Jock gets them from other wheel builders all the time and he dosn't like them they often need a second try even by builders that do it all the time. Be sure to get good off set measurments off the borrowed wheel and write them down. If you can this done right you can do any wheel. norbsa

I’ve successfully laced up several Triumph and Norton disc-brake-wheels without regard to a left or right side of the rim. In fact, the technique I use is virtually identical to building a bicycle wheel, which you are familiar.

However, instead of a dishing tool, I make final spoke adjustments with the wheel installed between the forks. This ensures that the rim will be properly positioned between the sliders. It works for me.


Don't know about Triumph wheels but I'm told the Norton front disk wheel is not drilled symmetrically. The two sides are drilled at different angles to accomodate the wheel offset or so they say. If you laced it up backwards I'd think you'd have more problems with the wheel going out of true, spokes loosening, etc.

disc front wheel offset


Kelly Moss in San Jose who built my wheels would agree with you on the way the holes are drilled in the MC275 Dunlop rim. Are you going to try to relace it yourself? Truing it while attached to the forks makes good sense.
Yes, I think I'll do it myself. I tried retruing it last night but some of the spokes and nipples are rusted pretty badly so I think it's time for a rebuild with new spokes.

While it's apart I can polish the hub and carefully inspect the rim to make sure I lace it up with the correct orientation. And then install new bearings. Sealed of course.

Then the rear wheel will need to be centered in the frame. It's currently sitting about 1/4 inch to the left. Its spokes are probably rusted out too. So it will probably need to be rebuilt with new spokes as well.

One thing leads to another...

disk wheel on backwards

Debby, Good question about the wheel. I can't check mine out since I'm at work, but the Dunlop markings on the wheel are on the non-disk side.

Debby, I just checked a 73 and a 74 wheel. Both have the Dunlop trademark on the none disc side and the MC275 on the disc side.
Good luck.

Interesting concept – asymmetrical rims!

If indeed this is the case, you should be able to see it. If you end up stripping the rim down to re-spoke, do a comparison test. Stick a spoke and nipple in one side of the rim and move it from side to side, observing the extent of displacement. Then stick and spoke and nipple in the other side of the rim and do the same thing. Compare the spoke movement on the port and starboard sides of the rim. If the range of movement is drastically different from one side to the other, then the rim is asymmetrical. If the same, however, you’re good to go!

I'm having a hard time believing that the way the rim is drilled accounts for the offset in a Norton wheel. In another thread I mentioned the left side spokes are longer than the right side spokes, its the spokes that account for the offset. I suspect Debby that someone may have incorrectly spoked your wheel.
justa thought,
Ok – for those interested in the asymmetrical wheel phenomena discussion, here is another data point.

I found a Norton disc brake wheel from some forgotten project today. It’s laced up complete with a stock disc brake and appears to be original. The following letters and numbers are stenciled into the rim on the disc side: WM2-19.

So, any theories based on this info???

Mine does too. The Dunlop trademark is opposite this on the other side.
A little further back on the rim on disc side is the MC275

No theories, just seems to be consistent.
WM2-19 is just the rim size.

But the Dunlop stamping does seem to be consistent, at least among the six or so wheels I've heard about now. But I'll have to take my wheel apart so I can determine which side is which for sure. Can't tell by looking at it laced up.

The spokes are pretty rusty so it really should be rebuilt anyway. I think the rim will be ok and the hub will polish up nicely. It'sll make a nice wheel when it's all done. And in the meantime I have the loaner wheel for as long as I need it.

Thanks for checking those wheels guys!

Now for new spokes - should I just call Buchanans ?

Nothing wrong with Buchanon's. Their reputation is unsurpased.
They are legenadary here in SoCal. Their prices and service have always been fair.

I did a little price checking lately and their spoke prices were as good or better than everyone else

Just a little tidbit. They started as a frame straightening shop that also did wheels. They were THE SHOP to go to for frames. The wheel business got so big they dropped the frame shop!

I still haven't mustered the courage to lace my own rim. So I salute you.
Good luck!!!
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