DFW Wheelbuilder? Not LBS?

  • Thread starter Hell and High Water
  • Start date



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Hell and High Water

Guest
Looking for a wheelbuilder in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

I'd prefer an individual, rather than an LBS.

TIA,

-Bob
 
What wrong with an LBS? Assuming you can find one in your area that
*knows* how to build wheels, wouldn't they have all the needed supplies
and tools necessary to build a wheel? Further, what about warranty?
Most LBS charge between $30-60 per wheel for labor. Very reasonable if
they know what they're doing.
 
"Hell and High Water" wrote ...
> Looking for a wheelbuilder in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
>
> I'd prefer an individual, rather than an LBS.
>
> TIA,
>
> -Bob


Buy the book and build it yourself ("The Bicycle Wheel", by r.b.t.'s own
Jobst Brandt)? Not that hard, and much more satisfying than paying an
individual or an LBS to do it.
--
mark
 
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] says...


> What wrong with an LBS?


I always feel like I'm imposing on them.

I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
before, during, and after my wheels are built.

I may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs. I'll
buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for bringing a
bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it there.

I'll do some of the work myself. Tires, etc.

I'd like to get measurements/suggestions/answers from someone, and feel
no responsibility to PURCHASE any products from them, other than their
service.

I've had spotty results from LBS's.

Online prices (for materials) are 50-60% cheaper.

I'd prefer someone who specializes in this.



-Bob
 
< always feel like I'm imposing on them.
I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
before, during, and after my wheels are built. >

Hey, if you're paying what they're asking, its not imposing. Further,
most builders are proud to show off their work and explain what they
did.

< may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs. I'll

buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for bringing a
bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it there. >

And an independent person would want to use *your junk*? The one
independent wheelbuilder I know only uses spokes HE has purchased, and
won't use stuff brought in from someone else. For example, what if you
happen to buy the wrong spoke or the stuff you brought truly is *junk*?
Do you expect anyone to use it?

<I've had spotty results from LBS's. >

OK, if you don't have a good LBS near you that's different. Then maybe
you should be asking for reference to a good wheelbuilding LBS or
independent in your area.

<Online prices (for materials) are 50-60% cheaper. >

Maybe. You might save a few dollars buying online, but you better know
what you need, e.g., spoke size.


<I'd prefer someone who specializes in this. >

Assuming you can find a good LBS who KNOWS how to build wheels in your
area, wouldn't that shop be a specialist? After all, that what he does!
 
Hell and High Water wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] says...
>
>
>> What wrong with an LBS?

>
> I always feel like I'm imposing on them.
>
> I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
> before, during, and after my wheels are built.


During? Not a good idea. There are typically X opportunities to forget
what you were doing, where X corresponds to the number of spokes on a wheel.
Customers asking questions during a wheelbuild is a bad idea, and if they
forget where they were, you'll be eating the cost of detensioning and
retensioning.

If you can find one that *truly* doesn't mind, then great!

> I may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs.
> I'll buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for
> bringing a bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it
> there.


They may charge you more for not having bought the spokes there, but guilt
is your problem, not theirs. Unless they're making you feel guilty.
Remember it's your choice to buy online.

> I'll do some of the work myself. Tires, etc.
>
> I'd like to get measurements/suggestions/answers from someone, and
> feel no responsibility to PURCHASE any products from them, other than
> their service.


If they're pressuring you to buy, leave. If you feel pressured yourself,
work on not feeling that way.

> I'd prefer someone who specializes in this.


Bike shops do. Ask about their experience.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training
 
bfd wrote:

> Assuming you can find a good LBS who KNOWS how to build wheels in your
> area, wouldn't that shop be a specialist? After all, that what he does!


the main problem with store mechanics is they are under tremendous
pressure to work fast.

so often a store built wheel is undertensioned, since it's quicker to
make a round and true wheel with low tension. getting a wheel up to
proper tension and making it round and true is a lot more labour
intensive.
 
Hell and High Water wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] says...
>
>
>
>>What wrong with an LBS?

>
>
> I always feel like I'm imposing on them.
>
> I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
> before, during, and after my wheels are built.
>
> I may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs. I'll
> buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for bringing a
> bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it there.
>
> I'll do some of the work myself. Tires, etc.
>
> I'd like to get measurements/suggestions/answers from someone, and feel
> no responsibility to PURCHASE any products from them, other than their
> service.
>
> I've had spotty results from LBS's.
>
> Online prices (for materials) are 50-60% cheaper.
>
> I'd prefer someone who specializes in this.


I think the best way go is to buy wheels on-line, get a copy of Jobst's
book, and learn to tension/stress relieve/true the wheels yourself.

The reason for this is that complete wheels/sets can be purchased for
much less than the individual components. Unless you have some need for
a particular set of parts, the cost of going that way is tough to justify.

The other reason is that stress relief, truing and tension adjustment
are time consuming, so add a lot to the cost of pre-built wheels, but
are easy enough to learn, and are generally worthwhile skills to
maintain wheels.
 
Hell and High Water wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] says...
>
>
> > What wrong with an LBS?

>
> I always feel like I'm imposing on them.


Is this your impression or from something THEY said did?(Lots of
perceptions are not accurate)

>
> I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
> before, during, and after my wheels are built.
>
> I may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs. I'll
> buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for bringing a
> bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it there.


It bothers some but not all. Things like spokes are not expensive at a
LBS. Saving 40% may seem like a big percentage, but actually only
saving 2 or 3 cents.

But remeber, you are paying for their knowledge and expertise, which
they should charge you for.


>
> I'll do some of the work myself. Tires, etc.
>
> I'd like to get measurements/suggestions/answers from someone, and feel
> no responsibility to PURCHASE any products from them, other than their
> service.



see above.

>
> I've had spotty results from LBS's.
>
> Online prices (for materials) are 50-60% cheaper.
>
> I'd prefer someone who specializes in this.
>
>
>
> -Bob
 
Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:
> Hell and High Water wrote:
> > In article <[email protected]>,
> > [email protected] says...
> >
> >
> >> What wrong with an LBS?

> >
> > I always feel like I'm imposing on them.
> >
> > I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
> > before, during, and after my wheels are built.

>
> During? Not a good idea. There are typically X opportunities to forget
> what you were doing, where X corresponds to the number of spokes on a wheel.
> Customers asking questions during a wheelbuild is a bad idea, and if they
> forget where they were, you'll be eating the cost of detensioning and
> retensioning.


Not true. Since you use the truing stand, dishing tool and
tensiomometer as the 'gauge' to determine when the wheel is done, it's
pretty hard to 'forget' where you are. On busy days, it may take 3-4
hours to finish a wheel for me but I don't forget where I am in the
wheel.


>
> If you can find one that *truly* doesn't mind, then great!
>
> > I may only need some new spokes put on my existing rims and hubs.
> > I'll buy the spokes online, and I don't want to feel guilty for
> > bringing a bunch of junk into the LBS and not having bought any of it
> > there.

>
> They may charge you more for not having bought the spokes there, but guilt
> is your problem, not theirs. Unless they're making you feel guilty.
> Remember it's your choice to buy online.
>
> > I'll do some of the work myself. Tires, etc.
> >
> > I'd like to get measurements/suggestions/answers from someone, and
> > feel no responsibility to PURCHASE any products from them, other than
> > their service.

>
> If they're pressuring you to buy, leave. If you feel pressured yourself,
> work on not feeling that way.
>
> > I'd prefer someone who specializes in this.

>
> Bike shops do. Ask about their experience.
>
> --
> Phil, Squid-in-Training
 
On 16 Oct 2005 06:29:25 -0700, "Qui si parla Campagnolo"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>It bothers some but not all. Things like spokes are not expensive at a
>LBS. Saving 40% may seem like a big percentage, but actually only
>saving 2 or 3 cents.


Well, my local LBS charges 50 eurocents apiece for straight gauge,
brandless stainless spokes including nipples, and doesn't really have
anything better. That means that when I'm building a beater bike wheel, I
spend 18 euros on spokes and usually a fair bit less than that on the hoop
(last one was 13 euros and a bit). I can get DT straight 14 gauge
mailorder for about half that, although the shipping costs (for just that
one item) would be relatively high. The rims they've got run from a few
euros higher than my LBS's, but on the plus side said rims are
double-walled and mostly eyeletted instead of the very simple single-wall,
non-eyeletted design. So about the same amount of money total but with a
better rim.

Jasper
 
Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:
> Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:
>> Hell and High Water wrote:
>>> In article <[email protected]>,
>>> [email protected] says...
>>>
>>>
>>>> What wrong with an LBS?
>>>
>>> I always feel like I'm imposing on them.
>>>
>>> I'd like to spend time with the builder, asking lots of questions
>>> before, during, and after my wheels are built.

>>
>> During? Not a good idea. There are typically X opportunities to
>> forget what you were doing, where X corresponds to the number of
>> spokes on a wheel. Customers asking questions during a wheelbuild is
>> a bad idea, and if they forget where they were, you'll be eating the
>> cost of detensioning and retensioning.

>
> Not true. Since you use the truing stand, dishing tool and
> tensiomometer as the 'gauge' to determine when the wheel is done, it's
> pretty hard to 'forget' where you are. On busy days, it may take 3-4
> hours to finish a wheel for me but I don't forget where I am in the
> wheel.


Read sentence below.

>
>>
>> If you can find one that *truly* doesn't mind, then great!


Then you fall into this category. I guess I don't have enough experience.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training
 
Jasper Janssen wrote:
> On 16 Oct 2005 06:29:25 -0700, "Qui si parla Campagnolo"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >It bothers some but not all. Things like spokes are not expensive at a
> >LBS. Saving 40% may seem like a big percentage, but actually only
> >saving 2 or 3 cents.

>
> Well, my local LBS charges 50 eurocents apiece for straight gauge,
> brandless stainless spokes including nipples, and doesn't really have
> anything better. That means that when I'm building a beater bike wheel, I
> spend 18 euros on spokes and usually a fair bit less than that on the hoop
> (last one was 13 euros and a bit). I can get DT straight 14 gauge
> mailorder for about half that, although the shipping costs (for just that
> one item) would be relatively high. The rims they've got run from a few
> euros higher than my LBS's, but on the plus side said rims are
> double-walled and mostly eyeletted instead of the very simple single-wall,
> non-eyeletted design. So about the same amount of money total but with a
> better rim.
>


It's not MO that is so great but your 'local' bike shop is so high. I
sell DT straight gauge spokes for about 30 eurocents($.40) and a decent
rim for about 30 euros...$45 or so. maybe you need a better bike shop
or ...start one yourself.
> Jasper
 
On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 22:13:58 -0400, "Phil, Squid-in-Training"
<[email protected]> wrote:
>Jasper Janssen wrote:
>> On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 18:00:36 -0400, "Phil, Squid-in-Training"
>> <[email protected]> wrote:


>>> Yikes! Your LBS only has cheap stuff? Hmm... maybe that explains
>>> why the

>>
>> Well, my *really* local bike shop. That's the one 3 blocks over. The
>> one 10 blocks over is one of the two big ones in the city that deal in
>> expensive stuff. And actually, the LBS might have some butted spokes
>> as well, but I don't really go to them for expensive stuff. They're
>> more the kind of shop that you go to to keep your bike on the road
>> cheaply than the ones you go to to keep your Dura Ace bike in tip-top
>> shape.
>>
>> On the other hand, if you want obscure internal parts for three speed
>> Sturmey Archers, these guys are your men.

>
>Gotcha. Same situation here... there's the high-end shop a mile away, us
>(mostly mid-range new bikes for college kids), and "Recycled Bicycles"
>(actual name) about 10 blocks down. Sounds like you have a Recycled Bikes
>near you.


Well, it's more a different class of bikes than old or secondhand,
necessarily. They would also be the people to go to with your Shimano 3
speed or even your Shimano 7 or 8 speed. The 'gearhub/drum
brakes/chaincase/only fix it if it breaks' model is alive and well here,
selling new for as much as 700 or 800 euros on the high end (alu frame,
alu crankarms, often alu rack, often hub generator equipped) and down to
300 or so at the low end 3 speed (all-steel), with a special mention to
the all steel singlespeed/coaster brake crowd at 150-200 new.
>>
>> Estimates usually give about 1 million more ridable bikes than
>> population (16 million bikes for 15 million people is the usual
>> estimate quoted, but we're at 16 million people these days. I can
>> remember when passing 14 was a big deal.). Most of those bikes are
>> single or threespeed utility bikes with fenders, rear rack,
>> chaincase, and generator lights. Many of them date to the 70s, 80s
>> and 90s -- My dad rides a 1950s one bought new by his father, but
>> that one's getting a bit old in the tooth.

>
>It's amazing to see that they're around for that long. The vast, vast
>majority of bikes we see in our town are Huffy-a-likes, no more than 3 years
>old.


Yeah, those do get sold here, but in fairly small numbers. A secondhand 3
speed is cheaper after all (150 or so in my locale, at least that's what I
paid last time -- I live in a student city, and in one of the 4 Large
Cities, they're half that price in the provinces), although our Really
Cheap bikes are not quite as bad as Huffys are. Nor are they as cheap,
though.

>> Still, out of the 100 or so bikes parked outside the local
>> supermarket at any given time, several will be that sort of age. A
>> few will be new-ish, one or two might have road bars, and a few dozen
>> will have derailer gears of any description. Oh, and 5-10 will be
>> unrideable wrecks (and by that I mean vandalised almost or completely
>> beyond repair -- saddleposts and stems snapped off, oftentimes forks
>> snapped, wheels tacoed, frame bent, brake cables broken, one or more
>> of the above).

>
>One hundred outside the supermarket is an amazing number! We usually have
>about 2 or 3 parked outside our supermarkets, but 50 parked outside the
>freshman dorms. Of those 50, 10 actually ride them and will take them with
>themselves at the end of the year. The rest get auctioned off at police
>auctions.


Well, the building it's in, above the ground floor, it's student housing
-- so a fair number of those bikes are there on a semi-permanent basis,
maybe 20 or 30. Especially the vandalised ones are in that class. There's
another supermarket 3 or 4 blocks further that has probably the same
amount of bikes in front of it, but not nearly enough room for them all.
Both of these are on the most common route between the university and the
center of the city, so that explains some of it. Still, though, biking to
your daily groceries is a fairly normal thing to do, even if most people
do have weekly/biweekly groceries they do with a car.

>> Most LBSes exist mainly to do the maintenance on these bikes -- some
>> people patch their own tyres, but many farm even that out. Poor
>> students are usually the only ones who really do their own repairs.
>> They also sell new ones, of course, and second hand ones they take as
>> tradeins, but their main occupation is repair.

>
>There's actually a free bike repair on campus that will patch tubes and do
>other small adjustments at minimal charge. New tubes through them are $3
>though.


It sounds like you think $3 is expensive? At my LBS I pay 5 euros apiece
for Vredestein tubes. Same price, maybe at 4 or 4.50, elsewhere.
Mailorder, same sort of price for Contis. I didn't think it was much
different in the US.

Jasper
 
mark wrote:
> "Hell and High Water" wrote ...
> > Looking for a wheelbuilder in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
> >
> > I'd prefer an individual, rather than an LBS.
> >
> > TIA,
> >
> > -Bob

>
> Buy the book and build it yourself ("The Bicycle Wheel", by r.b.t.'s own
> Jobst Brandt)? Not that hard, and much more satisfying than paying an
> individual or an LBS to do it.
> --
> mark


Not 'hard', but can be 'diffucult'...to get those four varibles in a
wheel correct, all at the same time.
 
Jasper Janssen wrote:
> On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 22:13:58 -0400, "Phil, Squid-in-Training"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>> Jasper Janssen wrote:
>>> On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 18:00:36 -0400, "Phil, Squid-in-Training"
>>> <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>>>> Yikes! Your LBS only has cheap stuff? Hmm... maybe that explains
>>>> why the
>>>
>>> Well, my *really* local bike shop. That's the one 3 blocks over. The
>>> one 10 blocks over is one of the two big ones in the city that deal
>>> in expensive stuff. And actually, the LBS might have some butted
>>> spokes as well, but I don't really go to them for expensive stuff.
>>> They're more the kind of shop that you go to to keep your bike on
>>> the road cheaply than the ones you go to to keep your Dura Ace bike
>>> in tip-top shape.
>>>
>>> On the other hand, if you want obscure internal parts for three
>>> speed Sturmey Archers, these guys are your men.

>>
>> Gotcha. Same situation here... there's the high-end shop a mile
>> away, us (mostly mid-range new bikes for college kids), and
>> "Recycled Bicycles" (actual name) about 10 blocks down. Sounds like
>> you have a Recycled Bikes near you.

>
> Well, it's more a different class of bikes than old or secondhand,
> necessarily. They would also be the people to go to with your Shimano
> 3 speed or even your Shimano 7 or 8 speed. The 'gearhub/drum
> brakes/chaincase/only fix it if it breaks' model is alive and well
> here, selling new for as much as 700 or 800 euros on the high end
> (alu frame, alu crankarms, often alu rack, often hub generator
> equipped) and down to 300 or so at the low end 3 speed (all-steel),
> with a special mention to the all steel singlespeed/coaster brake
> crowd at 150-200 new.
>>>
>>> Estimates usually give about 1 million more ridable bikes than
>>> population (16 million bikes for 15 million people is the usual
>>> estimate quoted, but we're at 16 million people these days. I can
>>> remember when passing 14 was a big deal.). Most of those bikes are
>>> single or threespeed utility bikes with fenders, rear rack,
>>> chaincase, and generator lights. Many of them date to the 70s, 80s
>>> and 90s -- My dad rides a 1950s one bought new by his father, but
>>> that one's getting a bit old in the tooth.

>>
>> It's amazing to see that they're around for that long. The vast,
>> vast majority of bikes we see in our town are Huffy-a-likes, no more
>> than 3 years old.

>
> Yeah, those do get sold here, but in fairly small numbers. A
> secondhand 3 speed is cheaper after all (150 or so in my locale, at
> least that's what I paid last time -- I live in a student city, and
> in one of the 4 Large Cities, they're half that price in the
> provinces), although our Really Cheap bikes are not quite as bad as
> Huffys are. Nor are they as cheap, though.
>
>>> Still, out of the 100 or so bikes parked outside the local
>>> supermarket at any given time, several will be that sort of age. A
>>> few will be new-ish, one or two might have road bars, and a few
>>> dozen will have derailer gears of any description. Oh, and 5-10
>>> will be unrideable wrecks (and by that I mean vandalised almost or
>>> completely beyond repair -- saddleposts and stems snapped off,
>>> oftentimes forks snapped, wheels tacoed, frame bent, brake cables
>>> broken, one or more of the above).

>>
>> One hundred outside the supermarket is an amazing number! We
>> usually have about 2 or 3 parked outside our supermarkets, but 50
>> parked outside the freshman dorms. Of those 50, 10 actually ride
>> them and will take them with themselves at the end of the year. The
>> rest get auctioned off at police auctions.

>
> Well, the building it's in, above the ground floor, it's student
> housing -- so a fair number of those bikes are there on a
> semi-permanent basis, maybe 20 or 30. Especially the vandalised ones
> are in that class. There's another supermarket 3 or 4 blocks further
> that has probably the same amount of bikes in front of it, but not
> nearly enough room for them all. Both of these are on the most common
> route between the university and the center of the city, so that
> explains some of it. Still, though, biking to your daily groceries is
> a fairly normal thing to do, even if most people do have
> weekly/biweekly groceries they do with a car.
>
>>> Most LBSes exist mainly to do the maintenance on these bikes -- some
>>> people patch their own tyres, but many farm even that out. Poor
>>> students are usually the only ones who really do their own repairs.
>>> They also sell new ones, of course, and second hand ones they take
>>> as tradeins, but their main occupation is repair.

>>
>> There's actually a free bike repair on campus that will patch tubes
>> and do other small adjustments at minimal charge. New tubes through
>> them are $3 though.

>
> It sounds like you think $3 is expensive? At my LBS I pay 5 euros
> apiece for Vredestein tubes. Same price, maybe at 4 or 4.50,
> elsewhere. Mailorder, same sort of price for Contis. I didn't think
> it was much different in the US.


Oh, not at all expensive. It's not a bike shop, per se. More accurately,
it's a shack on the side of the student union. It's run by the university
so it's necessarily non-profit. I've always seen tubes at 5USD including
tax. I was just saying it was the only expense that people would have to
pay at the otherwise free bike repair.

--
Phil, Squid-in-Training
 
On 17 Oct 2005 05:50:42 -0700, "Qui si parla Campagnolo"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>It's not MO that is so great but your 'local' bike shop is so high. I
>sell DT straight gauge spokes for about 30 eurocents($.40) and a decent

..33 eurocents
>rim for about 30 euros...$45 or so. maybe you need a better bike shop

37.4 euros. The dollar's not quite fallen *that* low.
>or ...start one yourself.


There's no real market for high-end stuff here. Most of the market's in
$30 for a whole wheel type things. Anyway, MO will fill my needs.

Jasper