I started this project in February of 2012 when building my first set of wheels. I had rims with an alternating offset (so the spokes would be shorter by a small amount), I was considering lacing the spokes all on the outside of the hubs (which would lengthen them), and had Bullseye hubs that I needed to measure myself. The best tools to even come close were two web apps both based on an excel spreadsheet (here), and a basic calculator (here). However, they didn’t get very accurate or allow for detailed entry such as alternating or offset seats and the other fine tuning I wanted to do.
As I started to get deeper into this, I used an HTML5 canvas tag to draw the wheel, size it to scale, and dynamically update when changing spoke patterns and other variables. I quickly added the ‘how to measure’ section to guide others for how to get the information the application required, and split into the ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ versions, to try to hide some of the more intricate details when they weren’t needed. Animation was the next logical step, so that got thrown in later, and within the scale of a very sleepless weekend, I had something up that served my needs and then some.
Please add comments here, post in the forums, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org about what you’d like to see next. There are bug report and feature request sections in the forum, which would be the best starting place. Help me build a great wheel building tool for the bicycle community!