Author Topic: Custom wheelbuilding decorum  (Read 879 times)

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« on: November 30, 2019, 08:53:25 pm »
I'm mooting getting some custom wheels for my new stupid meme bike (regular wheels won't work... More on that later...).

Would it be acceptable for me to source rims and hubs, sprockets etc, and take them to a builder and ask them to put them together for me? Using their own spokes and nipples in all likelihood. Or is the deal that you have to pay for the whole thing? I can understand that it may be preferable to build using 'assured stock' in some regards, but I can see some right proper bargains for components on Spa and I'm really wanting to buy knowledge and skill, not gubbins that I may be able to get cheaper myself.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 09:00:53 pm »
Spa build wheels as well.  Otherwise, ask your preferred builder whether they are happy to use supplied components.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 09:10:35 pm »
I'm mooting getting some custom wheels for my new stupid meme bike (regular wheels won't work... More on that later...).

Would it be acceptable for me to source rims and hubs, sprockets etc, and take them to a builder and ask them to put them together for me? Using their own spokes and nipples in all likelihood. Or is the deal that you have to pay for the whole thing? I can understand that it may be preferable to build using 'assured stock' in some regards, but I can see some right proper bargains for components on Spa and I'm really wanting to buy knowledge and skill, not gubbins that I may be able to get cheaper myself.

I take all the parts bar spokes and nipples to my tame wheel builder, and he builds it. It's usually easier for me to source the parts myself as I have access to a wider variety of parts due to the restricted nature with which wholesalers work...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 09:14:27 pm »
it varies with the builder; bottom line is to ask first.

cheers

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 09:24:21 pm »
Cheers QG. Obviously I'd be asking first anyway, but wanted to know if it would ever be 'the done thing' or would always be out of the question.

I know spa do building too, but I'd prefer to have my builder be local to me as they do me all kinds of other mechanical nick nacks too.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 11:03:28 pm »
Some wheel builders claim they can only build good wheels out of certain parts so would grumble at being brought unvetted components.

OTOH wheelbuilding is not terribly hard. If you’re keen to save money give it a go. I’ve build loads of perfectly serviceable wheels with nowt but a spoke key and a can do attitude.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 11:05:02 pm »
I am keen to give it a go one day, but I'd really rather prefer to be able to learn at leisure. I.e. to have some nice wheels to go on my stupid bike first (big reveal hopefully soon), and then do my own in the fullness of time without wanting to be in a rush.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2019, 11:17:46 pm »
I am keen to give it a go one day, but I'd really rather prefer to be able to learn at leisure. I.e. to have some nice wheels to go on my stupid bike first (big reveal hopefully soon), and then do my own in the fullness of time without wanting to be in a rush.

Just avoid the dirt cheap pacenti rims from planet X. I've destroyed 2 of the 4 I have...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 11:21:16 pm »
I've been told that the really important thing to avoid is cheap spokes.

Anyway this isn't a wheel building thread per se. I'll see how I get on with this little venture...
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 11:45:13 pm »
I build wheels for myself and my cycling group, usually at cost - Happy to use the components they supply though I do tend to advise.... Good quality components make better wheels.
Building, truing and tensioning usually takes between 30-45 minutes for a straightforward setup.
I do it for pleasure and to help others.
Others who do it for a living may have different ideas; I wouldn't know. The one wheel builder I knew and patronised years ago supplied the components I did not provide at retail cost and just charged for the build time.
I guess you are not local otherwise I would happily oblige.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2019, 10:57:31 am »
I've been told that the really important thing to avoid is cheap spokes.

Anyway this isn't a wheel building thread per se. I'll see how I get on with this little venture...

The really important thing, at least when you start, is to use spokes the right length and to relieve the stresses properly. Good components used badly will give you rubbish. Even cheap spokes used properly will be better. If you can understand what the right length is, and why, you're well away.

It may well be that knowing the correct dimensions is why some professional builders prefer to supply rims (hubs shouldn't pose a problem, being easier to measure).

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2019, 07:03:18 pm »
DCR wheels have a good reputation - this is from their FAQs, I've purchased a complete wheelset from Dave in the past.

Q: Can I supply parts for you to build with?
A: Where possible David prefers to source the parts for wheels he builds. We have a competitive pricing policy and price match wherever possible. However, certain products are inaccessible through trade accounts and are sold as retail only products. You can supply these if you wish. Labour-only services are also available if you have all the relevant parts.

Q: Can I supply used parts?
A: If you have a hub that is in good condition, David will happily rebuild a wheel onto it. Rims are less likely to be in good condition so re-using them is rare. Spokes come in 1 or 2mm increments, so second hand spokes are unlikely to be reusable. Spokes also fatigue over time so their re-use is generally not recommended, especially if some spokes have already broken.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2019, 07:14:45 pm »
It's hard to build wheels fast enough for it to earn a living unless you use known good components.  I can build a decent wheel out of any old rubbish (and usually do - I hate spending more than £15 on a rim) but I can take 4 hours if I need to.  A pro needs to do one in half an hour or so to make money, and many will decline to build with unknown stuff.  Plus, some will have factored in the retail profit on the components.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2019, 07:18:36 pm »
I guess you are not local otherwise I would happily oblige.

I am local and would be interested to discuss something in the future if that would be okay?

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2019, 08:17:12 pm »
I guess you are not local otherwise I would happily oblige.

I am local and would be interested to discuss something in the future if that would be okay?

Be my guest.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2019, 08:45:56 pm »
I had wheelbuilder Harry Rowland, who has a good reputation, build me a wheel with a rim I supplied because he was unable to source one.  When it split after less than a thousand miles he wasn't interested, his response was that he didn't choose the rim.  I replaced it myself, same rim, and it's still in use many thousands of miles later.
I'd let the wheelbuilder choose the components, or build it yourself.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2019, 09:29:36 am »
I had wheelbuilder Harry Rowland, who has a good reputation, build me a wheel with a rim I supplied because he was unable to source one.  When it split after less than a thousand miles he wasn't interested, his response was that he didn't choose the rim.  I replaced it myself, same rim, and it's still in use many thousands of miles later.
I'd let the wheelbuilder choose the components, or build it yourself.

I can remember Pete Matthews, who had a good reputation building race wheels, in the early 80's asking in the Tandem Club mag for information on what build of wheels members were using. IIRC the general response was "you're the pro, go find out for yourself; don't ask us to do the job for you!" The pros don't always have all the answers!

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2019, 04:38:15 pm »
I've built my own wheels for decades, it's not difficult.

The basic tools you need are a wheel building jig (a very cheap on in my case) and a spoke key.
A fat-handled straight-bladed screwdriver to start the spokes off is helpful and then you use the handle to help bed the spokes in.
There are loads of online videos and guides to follow.

Spocalc online is usually reliable to calculating spoke lengths.
Don't build anything daft (3x for everything is my advice, but large flange hubs might need 2x)

I've always used DT spokes and brass nipples, alloy nipples corrode and then break.

Just give it a go, it's so satisfying once the wheel goes together and you get it true.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2019, 08:36:51 pm »
I've built my own wheels for decades, it's not difficult.

The basic tools you need are a wheel building jig (a very cheap on in my case) and a spoke key.
A fat-handled straight-bladed screwdriver to start the spokes off is helpful and then you use the handle to help bed the spokes in.
There are loads of online videos and guides to follow.

Spocalc online is usually reliable to calculating spoke lengths.
Don't build anything daft (3x for everything is my advice, but large flange hubs might need 2x)

I've always used DT spokes and brass nipples, alloy nipples corrode and then break.

Just give it a go, it's so satisfying once the wheel goes together and you get it true.

A wheelbuilding jig is nice but not essential. I learnt and got by for decades using the frame. Now I have an old fork for doing front wheels which is easier because I can true standing in front of the bench instead of huddling over the frame - but not essential. I may get round to building a jig - it'll make things easier as I get older, rather than wrestling with a frame, although vertical drop-outs are a great help.
The essential thing is probably a good range of accurate measuring devices and spocalc or similar for working out spoke lengths (spocalc does fractional crossing values, which is good, but you won't need them at first). And learn to measure things, it's better than believing manufacturers or suppliers!

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2019, 07:25:22 am »
A dishing tool is also pretty important.  You can check dish by turning the wheel round the other way but it's not quite as accurate.  High-end jigs automatically dish the wheel by moving the rim feelers in at the same rate. 
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 08:47:39 pm »
I had wheelbuilder Harry Rowland, who has a good reputation, build me a wheel with a rim I supplied because he was unable to source one.  When it split after less than a thousand miles he wasn't interested, his response was that he didn't choose the rim.  I replaced it myself, same rim, and it's still in use many thousands of miles later.
I'd let the wheelbuilder choose the components, or build it yourself.

Agree.

Have Spa wheels and Harry Rowlands, neither ever gone out of true or bust a spoke. 

I had wheelbuilder Harry Rowland, who has a good reputation, build me a wheel with a rim I supplied because he was unable to source one.  When it split after less than a thousand miles he wasn't interested, his response was that he didn't choose the rim.  I replaced it myself, same rim, and it's still in use many thousands of miles later.
I'd let the wheelbuilder choose the components, or build it yourself.

I can remember Pete Matthews, who had a good reputation building race wheels, in the early 80's asking in the Tandem Club mag for information on what build of wheels members were using. IIRC the general response was "you're the pro, go find out for yourself; don't ask us to do the job for you!" The pros don't always have all the answers!

What a friendly bunch!
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Custom wheelbuilding decorum
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2019, 12:07:40 pm »


I had wheelbuilder Harry Rowland, who has a good reputation, build me a wheel with a rim I supplied because he was unable to source one.  When it split after less than a thousand miles he wasn't interested, his response was that he didn't choose the rim.  I replaced it myself, same rim, and it's still in use many thousands of miles later.
I'd let the wheelbuilder choose the components, or build it yourself.

I can remember Pete Matthews, who had a good reputation building race wheels, in the early 80's asking in the Tandem Club mag for information on what build of wheels members were using. IIRC the general response was "you're the pro, go find out for yourself; don't ask us to do the job for you!" The pros don't always have all the answers!

What a friendly bunch!

Well he wasnt going to give a bunch of amateurs his knowledge so that there could build their own ' even less share his knowledge with fellow professionals who had built the wheels of the amateurs he was asking so the feeling was a bit reciprocal!