Wheel Building

Huh?

Yes! We build wheels!
Wheel building is a normal and critical part of any bicycle shop! But it’s treated a little different each place you go. Depending on where you go, different sorts of wheels are being built.

Here, most of my clients commute by bicycle (as do we) and so most of the wheels I build are either material upgrades from a person’s stock wheel that’s been torn to shreds from daily all weather riding, or simply re-lacing hubs to fresh rims. While I do build fancier stuff for people, even the “custom wheel building” sometimes thought of as a niche, or some kind of art, falls mostly within the scope of “repair” or “maintenance.” I go into how I like to build wheels in a bit more detail at the bottom of the page.

Hand built wheels occasionally in stock

Single speed wheel set in black

Bitex TKR10 Hubs and H + Son Archetype rims
Daily, all weather single speed and fixed gear riding. I set the trailing spokes and label line up for the freewheel side, but can flip it upon request. Logo on hub may come upside down if so.

10/11 speed road Wheel set

Road cycling and fast city commuting.

Disc brake 8/9/10 speed commuter wheel set

32h 29″ (700c) Ukai Laser Disc rims laced to Bitex MTR12 hubs.
Daily commuting, bike camping, and light touring.

Labor

………

$40 no dish wheel
$50 dish wheel

……..

A few customs builds

20190516_143205
20190516_165702
20191009_175702
20190516_170928
20200412_162810
20200412_162856
20200412_162934
20200412_162845
20200412_162953
20200412_163304
20200412_163317
20200412_163348
20200412_163419
20200429_103729
20200429_150000
20200429_150007
20200429_150018
20200411_131629_001
20200411_131638
20200411_131643
20200411_131705
20200411_131730
20200411_131750
IMG_20200520_144704
IMG_20200520_144636
IMG_20200520_144626
IMG_20200520_144615
IMG_20200520_144606~4
IMG_20200520_144509
IMG_20200520_121744
IMG_20200516_191410
IMG_20200516_191424
IMG_20200516_191401~2
IMG_20200516_191326
IMG_20200516_191251
IMG_20200516_191245
IMG_20200715_170851
IMG_20200726_110629
IMG_20200726_110649
IMG_20200726_110721
IMG_20200726_110735
IMG_20200726_110749
Wheelset04
Wheelset08
Wheelset11
PXL_20210513_214032462
PXL_20210501_203229087
PXL_20210513_215213189
PXL_20210501_203205396
PXL_20210501_203128849
PXL_20210501_203048558
PXL_20210501_203042385
PXL_20210501_202835714
PXL_20210402_200745610
PXL_20210402_200615426
PXL_20210402_200641317
PXL_20210402_142939559
PXL_20210402_142902683
PXL_20210402_142930605
IMG_20210216_185405_565
PXL_20210303_173307813
PXL_20210303_173318876
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How I build wheels

I am building in the traditional way. Round spokes, J-bends, brass nipples, spoke prep, and all that. Spoke washers feature heavily in a lot of my builds, and I build with butted spokes no thinner than 1.8mm, from Sapim and 1.5mm from DT Swiss. I stress by hand during the build extensively and gently bend the spokes into their paths. Once goal tension is reached I mount a tire for corrections under compression and check the balance several times inflated and deflated, to ensure no spoke twist.

The ends of the spokes are flush with the tool slot in the nipple head, engaging all of the available thread, the spoke shafts are nicely nestled against the side of the hub flanges, and the labels are all lined up. Trusting this process can still get you very light wheels without sacrificing longevity and stiffness.

I like to offer free wheel work on my wheels for the first season, checking up on the tension around 500-700 miles or so. This process will ensure lasting tension levels and radial and lateral alignment. It will also mitigate material failure, so do your job and ride because I’ve got your back!