Handbuilt Wheels

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by bomber, May 12, 2006.

  1. bomber

    bomber New Member

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    Hi all, I am looking to possibly switch from the wheels my bike came with (bontrager race lites) to something of the handbuilt variety. The choice of handbuilt over something like the bontrager's or mavic equivalent is not set in stone but judging by some opinions is the right move for several reason's i.e. price, durability etc

    Basically being a novice in this area of handbuilts I am looking for opinions/advice on things such as hubs, rim, spoke choice as well as lacing patterns which seem to vary. I ride a trek madone 5.2 mainly fast training and social racing (ha no such thing).

    any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. rek

    rek New Member

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    DT Swiss make really nice wheel gear.

    DT 240s Hubs
    DT RR 1.1 Rims
    DT Supercomp spokes

    32 spokes a wheel, 3-cross...very easily maintainable/serviceable (both in terms of possible spoke truing/replacement and hub servicing), light, strong and cheap(er than Ksyrium SL)

    When built by a quality wheelbuilder who knows what they are doing, a wheel like this is STRONG. I have an almost identical build on my MTB (substitute the road rims for their XR 4.1d lightweight MTB rim).. following a couple of friends on a ride through the city, I pinch flatted on a sharp bluestone kerb, and before I had time to stop, realised I had a 1 metre drop to flat concrete fast approaching with a flat tyre ... nothing. No bend, no buckle, the wheel didn't even go out of true --- just a barely noticeable scar on the rim edge where there was ground contact.

    However I am now a lot more caution when riding about the inner city with a bunch of freeriders, on a lightweight XC bike :p

    One main draw point to the DT rims is their ability to withstand high spoke tensions. I have a road wheelset that is somewhat similar, but lower spoke count and lower durability/a-bit-too-light-for-comfort rims (DT 240 hubs, DT's light 'aero' spokes, Ritchey OCR rims, 28 spokes/wheel, 2-cross) and have had a couple of spoke breakage issues over the ~2 years I've had the wheelset. (If any more spokes break, I'm considering getting the wheel rebuilt with 28 Supercomp spokes and the DT road rims.)
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I get to try out my new DT Swiss wheels this weekend.
    Handbuilt by Joe Young

    240s hubs
    RR1.1 rims
    DT competition spokes (28F/32R)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. e_guevara

    e_guevara New Member

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    another good wheel build combination:

    - Shimano Ultegra hubs
    - Mavic CXP33 or Open Pro rims
    - 32-spoke, 3-cross lacing
    - DT Competition spokes

    now go get yourself a good wheel builder.
     
  5. rek

    rek New Member

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    Ooh these are a good suggestion too. A bit heavier (the 1700g range, compared to ~1500 for the all-DT build I mentioned earlier) but sturdy as anything and a LOT cheaper.

    I bought a cheap second-hand set built like this (Ultegra hubs/Open Pros/32 Competition spokes) for my commuter bike and they've never let me down.. and they deal with kerbs and potholes on a daily basis.
     
  6. bomber

    bomber New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I guess its just a case now of trying to find someone who knows how to build wheels properly!

    Anyone from the UK know a good and reputable wheel builder?
     
  7. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    The key is to find a good builder who's willing to take the time to talk to you. The hub and rim choice pretty much comes down to budget, but the right spoke type/count/lacing is going to be dependent on the rider.
     
  8. bianchirider

    bianchirider New Member

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    i also ride handbuilt wheels on my chorus equiped bianchi.

    DT swiss 240's front and back
    DT revolution spokes
    Mavic Reflex 32 hole tubular rims.

    just a shade under 1400 grams front and back.
     
  9. Jakey

    Jakey New Member

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    I personally like radially laced front wheels... Open pros, with 32 hole record hubs.
     
  10. Mpc350

    Mpc350 New Member

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    Building your own wheels isnt that hard, and you get to really connect with one of the more important parts of your bike. on sheldonbrown.com, there is a great link to wheelbuilding with spoke legnth calculators and everything you need to know. I did it myself twice and found it really rewarding and fun. My first set are still holding true. If it dosent turn out well, you can always go to the LBS and cry out "help!" Sadly, though it is not really cheaper to build your own.
     
  11. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    I have these wheels and they're great. Very strong, very light and the hubs are super fast.
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    After my first ride Saturday with these wheels I can say that I am very impressed. I am not an experienced enough cyclist to give a thorough review, but I could tell a difference at a novice level.

    My original wheelset is the Velomax Circuit and they have done well, but on fast descents I always felt a little uncomfortable, but not this weekend with the new wheels. I still need to put on a better set of tires, but I noticed on most of the fast declines where others were pedalling to increase speed I had to lay off and go into the left lane to avoid running over others in the group. I felt far more secure and the wheels felt very fast. On the hills I am sure they are good as well, but since I am a weak climber I notice more of my personal struggles in suffering than how the wheel is performing. :eek:

    I know in the price range there are many wheels to pick from that have very good attributes, but here is another observation. After Saturday's ride I stopped by the LBS as I have been talking with the owner about purchasing a Cannondale six13 as my second bike. The stock wheels are Mavic Ksyrium Elite and the LBS will upgrade to either Ksyrium SL or Dura Ace for a couple hundred more, but the handbuilt wheels that I purchased are lighter and less expensive than either of these wheel upgrades that he is offering based on the price tags.

    So if a person is doesn't mind the wait for having a set of handbuilt built wheels (2 to 3 weeks depending on the builder's backlog) it may be well worth the wait and the money. Unless one can score a high end set of wheels off from a deep discount seller or ebay.
     
  13. davebee

    davebee New Member

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    try de ver cycles in london. the bloke will spend time talking to you and will also discuss what you want and why you want it. he is a damn good mechanic and wheelbuilder. I have had handbuilt wheels off him before with no problems whatsoever. (www.devercycles.co.uk) 020 8679 6197
     
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