The Chainlink

I am offering wheel building services. Bring any hub and wheel combos (as long as the number of spokes holes is the same) then tell me what type of spokes you want. I determine the spoke length and build the wheels. Builds offered are as follows:

Basic build: the spoke threads are preped, the nipples seats are preped with antiseeze. Then the wheels are built and trued to within +/- .25mm of lateral and radial true (for used rims tolerances may be greater). Spokes are also pre seated and stressed. All spokes are tensioned within +\- 15% of the average for the wheel.

Premium build: same as the basic build but wheels are trued to within +/- .08mm of lateral and radial true and all spokes are tensioned to within +\- 10% of the average (again with used rims tolerances are greater). This tight tollerance of spoke tension combined with the pre seating of spokes mass the wheels extremely strong and maximizes the time in between wheel trues

I also offer upgades to grade 25 stainless bearings with Phil Wood grease for loose ball hubs.

Prices are as follows

Basic built wheel: $50 plus the cost of spokes
Basic built wheelset: $90 plus the cost of spokes
Premium built wheel: $100 plus the cost of spokes
Premium built wheelset: $175 plus the cost of spokes
Loose ball hub upgrade: $30
Loose ball hubset upgrade: $50

Please feel free to send me an email with any questions at WellSpokedWheels@gmail.com

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You are charging more than a bike shop for pretty much the same service they provide...

What kind of wheel building experience do you have, what is the turn around time and what form of warranty do you offer on your wheel builds?

In my experience I have only been to one bike shop that has had the same price as me (none lower) and that shop did not use gauges to measure the radial and lateral true of the wheel nor did they balance the spoke tension.

As for experience I have been building wheels since I was 14 and working at a bike shop since I was 16. I have had classes with Christopher Wallace about wheel building and I have an interview set up with Rolf Dietrich (founder and former owner or Rolf prima) to pick his brain about wheel building. And for the last 3 years I have been the head mechanic at a bike shop on the south side.

Turn around time depends on if the spokes needed are in stock. If they are turn around time is 3 days. If they arnt turn around time is 10 days.

I have no official warranty policy but if there are any problems and it seems they happened under normal riding conditions I will repair the wheels free of charge.

Is there a bike shop standard for lateral & radial tolerances?

Here is a nice short video about a somewhat famous wheel builder. Apparently he builds to .002mm lateral & .1mm radial tolerances.

http://vimeo.com/4921214

.25mm is about at good as you can get by eye. And many bikes shops don't use gauges so that is pretty standard. I am currently helping to create a national mechanic certification though the NBDA and Illinois board of education and the test to become certified would involve using gauges to true a wheel to .08mm of true.

For some reason I can't view the video right now but .002 mm seems like a typo I have never seen wheel gauges with that much definition. .02mm is more likely and easily achivable with a new rim, it just takes a lot of time and .1mm radial is easy to achieve even with a used rim.
Also there are no standard for anything in bike shops. Except in Oregon and Colorado there are state certifications avaliable for mechanics. But hopefully there will be a national certification and set of standards in a few years, there may even be an Illinois certification in the next year.

Sorry, two corrections:

- please try this link (the last digit was missing earlier):

http://vimeo.com/49212143

- .002mm is crazy, and was wrong, I misheard.. He says "five hundredth`s of a mm" for lateral tolerance, so it is .05mm.


Patrick Doherty said:

.25mm is about at good as you can get by eye. And many bikes shops don't use gauges so that is pretty standard. I am currently helping to create a national mechanic certification though the NBDA and Illinois board of education and the test to become certified would involve using gauges to true a wheel to .08mm of true.

For some reason I can't view the video right now but .002 mm seems like a typo I have never seen wheel gauges with that much definition. .02mm is more likely and easily achivable with a new rim, it just takes a lot of time and .1mm radial is easy to achieve even with a used rim.
That worked, I have never heard of this particular wheel builder but He seems to know what he is doing, I have a little bit of a problem with his pre stressing methods though, they arnt measurable or accurate. But that's how most build are, he also uses oil and loc-tite for the nipples a combo that's better than nothing but not something I agree with. But his prices seem very good most shops that I have seen in Chicago charge $75 plus the cost of spokes for what I am calling a basic build.

Also for my premium build I often get the wheel laterally true to within +\- .03ish mm I just say .08mm to accommodate for any abnormalities in the rim. Often wheels bulge slightly around the seam which is something that can't be trued out.

I cannot think of any shop that charges $75 for a wheel build; most are around $60 for a single wheel.

Wheel-building "deals,"  from shop to shop and from builder to builder, often depends a lot on the price of their parts.

Either they get you for the labor or they add extra mark-up onto the parts.

TANSTAAFL. 


Bullshit.

I cannot speak for other shops but our mark up is exactly the same no matter what the wheel build labor is.  In fact when we do wheel build specials in the winter the labor is cheaper and there is a discount on the parts.  I know enough people in the reputable shops in the area that I would feel secure in saying that nobody out there worth patronizing is going to gouge you on the parts to make up for cheaper labor.


James BlackHeron said:

Either they get you for the labor or they add extra mark-up onto the parts.

So you are saying that if a customer brought in a new hub, rim, and proper-length spoke set the cost would be the same $60 it would be if they bought the parts through your shop?

If so, could I get this in writing?

notoriousDUG said:


Bullshit.

I cannot speak for other shops but our mark up is exactly the same no matter what the wheel build labor is.  In fact when we do wheel build specials in the winter the labor is cheaper and there is a discount on the parts.  I know enough people in the reputable shops in the area that I would feel secure in saying that nobody out there worth patronizing is going to gouge you on the parts to make up for cheaper labor.

Yes I am saying exactly that and here it is in writing  It has always been like that; I have built wheels with all or mostly customer provided parts before.  The only time the price of our wheel builds depends on the parts purchase is our winter wheel build specials where if you buy 2/3 of the parts with us it is only $25 to build the wheel and $35 if you bring in mostly your own parts.

If it is a used rim there may be some limitations put on the warranty for the wheel as we do not like to re-use rims unless they are in great shape and were high quality rims to start with.

If you were told anything else by somebody here it was WRONG and I would like to know who told you that.

I would not trust a shop who had a labor rate that varied depending on where parts came from.



James BlackHeron said:

So you are saying that if a customer brought in a new hub, rim, and proper-length spoke set the cost would be the same $60 it would be if they bought the parts through your shop?

If so, could I get this in writing?

notoriousDUG said:


Bullshit.

I cannot speak for other shops but our mark up is exactly the same no matter what the wheel build labor is.  In fact when we do wheel build specials in the winter the labor is cheaper and there is a discount on the parts.  I know enough people in the reputable shops in the area that I would feel secure in saying that nobody out there worth patronizing is going to gouge you on the parts to make up for cheaper labor.

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