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Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home        Rim Lacing 101       Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home

By Andy Wallen 

Editor Note: Below is a recent Q&A from from Andy's column, Ask the Mechanic, the pride of Bikexchange.com. 


I was wondering if you can give me instructions on lacing a 20" BMX rim. I bought a new hub and I don't really want to pay a mechanic to do something that I can do myself, so I will greatly appreciate it if you can assist me.

Thank you,


This is not something that most people will have a high success rate with; however, I get asked enough, and it is, when you get down to it, a relatively simple process.

  1. Observe whether you have holes in the rim that are offset, left and right, or straight.

  2. Insert a spoke into a hole in the hub, and run that spoke to the hole in the rim next to the valve hole.  If the holes in the rim are offset, make sure that the spoke goes into a hole offset to the same side.

  3. Insert the rest of the inbound spokes, into every other hole in the hub, run to every 4th hole in the rim.

  4. Turn your wheel over. Find the hole in the hub that is just to the right of the first spoke you put in (next to the valve hole).

  5. Insert inbound spokes as in steps 2 and 3.

  6. Insert outbound spokes into the vacant holes on the opposite side of the hub.

  7. Rotate the hub so that the spokes pull away from the valve hole.

  8. Cross a spoke over the first 2 (3 if you are lacing 4 cross) and under the last spoke it crosses, and put it into the rim hole that is one hole away from the last spoke you crossed.

  9. Insert the rest of the outbound spokes, as above, run to every 4th hole in the rim.

  10. Insert the last group of outbound spokes as in steps 8-9.

  11. Now, this is the hard  part: True, round, center, and tension the spokes to the proper tension.  Without the proper equipment, this is almost impossible.


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