After building literally thousands of wheels over the past 30 years, I wonder when we went to the “one size fits all’ mentality. Your wheels hold you off the ground, that’s what spins and turns and leans and accelerates and takes what you put into it and turns you into forward motion! Kind of deep I know but a proper set of wheels is what makes a great frame come to life!
For 3 decades we have had riders come in and ask, why? Why am I breaking spokes? Why can’t I go up hills? Why does it take me so long to get up to speed? The answer was almost always the same. Your wheels were not made for you.
Pro riders ride many more miles than anybody you know most likely. Do you think they are riding “off the rack” wheels? That’s what the advertising would have you believe, but it couldn’t be furthest from the truth.
When a rider comes into our shop looking for a bike, we always tell them there are thousands of bikes out there, but only one of you. Once we find out more about that individual we are able to help them make an informed decision about a bike. Wheels are the same thing. Every person who walks through our door is unique, and so should be the wheels they ride.
Wheels are made up of basically four components. Hubs, rims, spokes, and nipples. They all have their job to do so you can climb, sprint, or ride across the country. We always use the best parts for each individual’s set of wheels.There are about 5 really good hubs in the world and we work with all of them based on the application. Everything else is a cheap copy or compromise that you are paying the same price for. If your paying the same price you might as well have the best!
Rims dictate the ride characteristics. There are fewer good rim companies than there are hubs, but between the rim, hub, spokes and lacing combinations we can assemble the perfect set of wheels for any rider.
Spokes are what tie the rim to the hub. They are your shock absorbers, wind slicers, and ride enhancers. Using the right spokes for the rider is key or failure is in-evitable.
Lastly, the nipples hold everything together. Usually overlooked as a key component, these little parts can make the difference between wheels that last 7000 miles, or 70,000 miles. The come in many different sizes to make your wheels strong and colors to make your bike look cool!
You might have guessed by now that we love wheels! We love building new ones and we feel bad when one comes in broken. Most of what we know about wheels comes from what we have learned fixing them for so long. Many times a result of corporate bean counting instead of simply doing it right the first time. The best part is you can get the perfect set of wheels for you for the same or less money than all the wheels you see in the magazines every year.