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Wheel Building

Wheel Building

At the Cycle Clinic we can carry out any wheel work whether it be truing, spoke replacement or bearing service/replacemnt. The Cycle Clinic does not stock “factory” wheels; we build them instead.
There are a number of reasons why I build wheels rather than buy them in from Mavic, Campagnolo, Fulcrm e.t.c. One of the most important reasons though is that I enjoy building wheels - I find it therapeutic.

I would like to point out before you carry on reading, there is nothing wrong with the wheels produced by Campagnolo, Fulcrum or Shimano. They build good wheels for many but you do also need to choose a wheel set that suits you best. Sometimes that may not be the “factory” option.

There are other reasons as well. First of all, many “factory”wheels which are often hand built are very expensive to put right if you break a spoke or damage the rim. The reason for this is that often, spokes can only be bought in expensive propriety kits. Also all of the high end “factory” wheels use straight pull spokes. After market straight pulls are currently limited to DT Swiss Competition.

“Factory” wheel design is governed by what the marketing folk think will sell. For better or worse that is a low spoke wheel. This puts various constraints on the rim, spoke and hub design. The 23-27mm deep alloy rims you see on many “factory” wheels are there because they are stiffer than shallower rims, to make up for the lack of spokes. The often thick spokes used (Mavic use very thick bladed spokes in there wheels) also impart lateral and radial stiffness to make up for the lack of spokes. Some of the lacing patterns you see like radial spokes on the drive side rear wheel are to improve tension balance. Straight pull spokes are often used as they fatigue less quickly than J-bend spokes (in theory at least). By employing all of these tricks the “factory” wheels can be quite reliable even though they have low spoke counts but unfortunatley not for everyone. Factory wheels also do other thing like tubeless rims with no spoke hole in the outer part of the rim, plastic eyelets plus other things that make the wheel umecomonic to repair aprt for the often high cost of spokes. 


So all the wheels I build can be tailored to your requirements and I do not build with hubs, rims or spokes I cannot easily source so if spares are needed (crash for example) they can be supplied from stock. All wheels I build are fully stressed relieved and I go through a process of side loading the rim and checking lateral and radial true at the end of the build to see if the wheel moves at all (if it goes out by 0.3mm laterally after side loading I consider that movement) and if that happens I true and load again until the wheel becomes stable. This is important as once the I am happy the wheel is stable i.e the side loading causes no measurement change in how true the wheel is I can be assured that when riding no matter how much power you t out or in the case of a disc brake wheel no matter how hard you brake the wheel will remain true.


So you can pick a wheelset and buy from this site if you know exactly what you need or call/e-mail/carrier pigeon a message to me and we can discuss your requirements and tailor a wheelset to your needs even if those are aesthetic needs, this is very important too.

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