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
$40 no dish wheel
$50 dish wheel
A few customs builds
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!