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What is it with wheel builders?

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What is it with wheel builders?

Old 09-03-11, 03:30 PM
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George
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What is it with wheel builders?

I wrote or called Zen, BWW, ROL, Psimets I haven't tried Williams yet. It looks like I'm going to go with Rol wheels, because he was the only one that responded to my calls and e-mails.
Man these guys must be pretty busy. You would think they could at least give you a price or something. Maybe it's just me, but having to wait for a week, or more, to get a price on a wheel set is ridiculous.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:28 PM
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I am looking at rol wheels too. I wish Rol would let you choose your hub you wanted.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by joshnc View Post
I am looking at rol wheels too. I wish Rol would let you choose your hub you wanted.
Wait a couple of weeks, he's getting some new hubs in.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:31 PM
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Do a search in Psimet wheels in this forum. You will find that the complaints are few, and the ones that exist start threads for the reason you stated. Read further into the results and you will find that Psimets are worth the wait every time.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:40 PM
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Soul not on your list?
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Old 09-03-11, 04:50 PM
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What, you didn't try Boyd, Fairwheel bikes, White Mountain Wheels, Valley Cycle, Wheelbuilder.com, etc.? I think we should just name check all the builders out there...
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Old 09-03-11, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Do a search in Psimet wheels in this forum. You will find that the complaints are few, and the ones that exist start threads for the reason you stated. Read further into the results and you will find that Psimets are worth the wait every time.
I agree 100%, but be courteous enough, to give a quote. I'm not just talking about one builder, I'm talking about all of them. All but, Rol that is. You don't expect a quote right away, but a week for one, 2 weeks for another, give me a break. The thing that comes to mind right now is. All the builders say we'll guarantee the wheels for 2 years. That's fine if you can get a hold of them, to get a problem taken care of.IF!
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Old 09-03-11, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by insidious meme View Post
What, you didn't try Boyd, Fairwheel bikes, White Mountain Wheels, Valley Cycle, Wheelbuilder.com, etc.? I think we should just name check all the builders out there...
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Old 09-03-11, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Soul not on your list?
+1. I ended up buying elsewhere (local used deal), but Sean was very responsive.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:58 PM
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My LBS owner/mechanic is an excellent wheelbuilder. No fancy graphics though. I just tell him what I want, he makes sure the idea is sound, orders and builds. I have them in about a week. Big names aren't worth waiting for imo.
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Old 09-03-11, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Do a search in Psimet wheels in this forum. You will find that the complaints are few, and the ones that exist start threads for the reason you stated. Read further into the results and you will find that Psimets are worth the wait every time.
The only reason Psimet might be worth the wait is price (and maybe help with component selection). Building wheels takes some skill, but you don't have to be a master craftsman to do a good job. I got a quote a while ago that was about 15% below anyone else, but my followup email went without a response. If money were tight I would jump through the hoops and wait a few weeks, but it wasn't worth it to me. I get that he's doing this as a side business, and I don't hold it against him, but building wheels is not brain surgery. Any competent mechanic can do just as good a job and you don't have to fight to hand him your money.
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Old 09-03-11, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
I wrote or called Zen, BWW, ROL, Psimets I haven't tried Williams yet. It looks like I'm going to go with Rol wheels, because he was the only one that responded to my calls and e-mails.
Man these guys must be pretty busy. You would think they could at least give you a price or something. Maybe it's just me, but having to wait for a week, or more, to get a price on a wheel set is ridiculous.
Peter White builds great wheels responds promptly.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/Wheels.asp
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Old 09-03-11, 05:35 PM
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It's just that making and selling wheels is so damn lucrative that it gets hard to wade through all the piles of cash to get to the computer. Think Blow sized stacks...

Either that, or they're all on their yachts in teh south of France somewhere. Be patient, the boutique wheel-business is still mostly a mom-and-pop affair... and momma wants to get paid, so poppa's busy takin' care of business.
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Old 09-03-11, 05:49 PM
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PSIMET: worth the wait.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stedalus View Post
The only reason Psimet might be worth the wait is price (and maybe help with component selection). Building wheels takes some skill, but you don't have to be a master craftsman to do a good job. I got a quote a while ago that was about 15% below anyone else, but my followup email went without a response. If money were tight I would jump through the hoops and wait a few weeks, but it wasn't worth it to me. I get that he's doing this as a side business, and I don't hold it against him, but building wheels is not brain surgery. Any competent mechanic can do just as good a job and you don't have to fight to hand him your money.
As Psimet?

Incorrect.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by stedalus View Post
The only reason Psimet might be worth the wait is price (and maybe help with component selection). Building wheels takes some skill, but you don't have to be a master craftsman to do a good job. I got a quote a while ago that was about 15% below anyone else, but my followup email went without a response. If money were tight I would jump through the hoops and wait a few weeks, but it wasn't worth it to me. I get that he's doing this as a side business, and I don't hold it against him, but building wheels is not brain surgery. Any competent mechanic can do just as good a job and you don't have to fight to hand him your money.
I would beg to differ here. I think lots of people here will confirm this. Wheelbuilding is a developed skill in itself, and one that doesn't just happen automatically for your average, or even experienced, mechanic. I'll agree that it's not voodoo science, and that almost anyone can do it with practice and LOTS of patience. HOWEVER...I think the monetary value of time for LBS's tend to constrain the quality of the wheels going out the door from the average mechanic's work station. I absolutely believe that I can build, given enough time, a wheel every bit as high quality as someone like Psimet or wheelbuilder.com etc.. The important point is the time taken to reach that level of quality. When I'm building myself, I'm in no rush. I can take a week or two to work at reaching the perfect balance. The final product is strong and reliable, but it took me forever to complete. Most LBS's charge around $20-30 or so for a wheel rebuild, which doesn't leave a whole lot of time for fine tuning. They have to get the tension 'high enough,' the wheel visually 'true' and 'reasonably balanced' tension during the relatively short period of time allowed for the wheelset to be profitable to the shop.

The true value of the pro wheelbuilder is that he has developed his proficiency to the point that he can reach the very high build standards in a money-making period of time. That combination escapes both the lowly home wheel builder (like myself) and in many cases the shop mechanic. Make no mistake about it. Hand built wheels can easily be as poorly built as (or worse than) machine built wheels, which is why the value of 'custom' is dependent on the skill of the builder in addition to the choice of components. Your average mechanic who despite having built a number of wheels, only does a set every month or so, is allowed ~1 hour to build each set, and doesn't have the time to stress relieve/remove spoke twist/strike the balance of tension vs. true etc. isn't going to produce nearly as reliable a wheel as a legitimate pro builder who has built a large part of his business around it. The pro builder won't take any more time than the mechanic, but difference in quality exists. When it's your business, your reputation is on the line with every set, and compromises = a huge liability.

Just my $.02

Hope I haven't offended anyone by saying this. It's not uncommon (in my area) for folks to wait weeks or months for the local wheelbuilder to "get around" to building their wheels. It's frustrating, but it's not like they didn't have the choice to buy off the shelf. This is (yet another) example of when it truly does pay to have patience, as the many reviews of Psimet wheels around here will attest to. Oh, and even the really great wheel builders aren't making their first million building wheels, chances are good that they do it because they love it, and they make just enough to justify continuing.

-Jeremy
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Old 09-03-11, 06:43 PM
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http://www.gvhbikes.com/wheels.html

Ask for Tom. One phone call. Twenty to thirty minutes. Call took place on Thursday. Wheels are shipping this Tuesday. Great service, great prices. I have no doubt the wheels will be as perfect as the service and price.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
I would beg to differ here. I think lots of people here will confirm this. Wheelbuilding is a developed skill in itself, and one that doesn't just happen automatically for your average, or even experienced, mechanic. I'll agree that it's not voodoo science, and that almost anyone can do it with practice and LOTS of patience. HOWEVER...I think the monetary value of time for LBS's tend to constrain the quality of the wheels going out the door from the average mechanic's work station. I absolutely believe that I can build, given enough time, a wheel every bit as high quality as someone like Psimet or wheelbuilder.com etc.. The important point is the time taken to reach that level of quality. When I'm building myself, I'm in no rush. I can take a week or two to work at reaching the perfect balance. The final product is strong and reliable, but it took me forever to complete. Most LBS's charge around $20-30 or so for a wheel rebuild, which doesn't leave a whole lot of time for fine tuning. They have to get the tension 'high enough,' the wheel visually 'true' and 'reasonably balanced' tension during the relatively short period of time allowed for the wheelset to be profitable to the shop.

The true value of the pro wheelbuilder is that he has developed his proficiency to the point that he can reach the very high build standards in a money-making period of time. That combination escapes both the lowly home wheel builder (like myself) and in many cases the shop mechanic. Make no mistake about it. Hand built wheels can easily be as poorly built as (or worse than) machine built wheels, which is why the value of 'custom' is dependent on the skill of the builder in addition to the choice of components. Your average mechanic who despite having built a number of wheels, only does a set every month or so, is allowed ~1 hour to build each set, and doesn't have the time to stress relieve/remove spoke twist/strike the balance of tension vs. true etc. isn't going to produce nearly as reliable a wheel as a legitimate pro builder who has built a large part of his business around it. The pro builder won't take any more time than the mechanic, but difference in quality exists. When it's your business, your reputation is on the line with every set, and compromises = a huge liability.

Just my $.02

Hope I haven't offended anyone by saying this. It's not uncommon (in my area) for folks to wait weeks or months for the local wheelbuilder to "get around" to building their wheels. It's frustrating, but it's not like they didn't have the choice to buy off the shelf. This is (yet another) example of when it truly does pay to have patience, as the many reviews of Psimet wheels around here will attest to. Oh, and even the really great wheel builders aren't making their first million building wheels, chances are good that they do it because they love it, and they make just enough to justify continuing.

-Jeremy
Thanks for a response with actual content instead of the usual fanboy koolaid (see posts above). I completely agree with your point in bold above. But with the advent of tensiometers and higher quality rim and spoke manufacturing, I just don't think it's that high a bar to reach. Sure, it probably takes having at least few gray hairs to get there, but I have a few LBS-built wheels that came to me true and reasonably evenly tensioned, and are still that way after many miles.

Maybe PSIMET goes above and beyond and delivers wheels with <5% tension variation and runout you need a micrometer to measure, but the reality is that that kind of tolerance is not necessary for a durable wheel.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:53 PM
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as another option
give John Jones a jingle or drop him an email
huge amount of building experience besides makin some awesome wheels
http://jonesprecisionwheels.com/jpw/about/
he recently worked as a mec with Garmin-Cervelo at the Tour of Ca.
currently building a set Velocity A23's for me...
check his build pricing, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised...
and he will and can build with anything.
nice, straight-shootin guy as crazy hooked on two wheelz as me...
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Old 09-03-11, 07:10 PM
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Go with the wheels and builder that makes you happy. Money speaks volumes...
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Old 09-03-11, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
As Psimet?

Incorrect.
+1 on incorrect. wheel building is an art. but today you need lightweight materials to build fast wheels.
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Old 09-03-11, 09:08 PM
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I got a quote from Psimet within 48-72 hours on a build.

Now my response & questions to his quote are going on a few days now....
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Old 09-04-11, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
As Psimet?

Incorrect.
Back off the BF koolaid. I am sure psimet is a fine wheelbuilder but there is no shortage of excellent wheelbuilders. All of whom are every bit as good, some not as good and some better. You don't have to be a big name or a big name on BF to be great.
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Old 09-04-11, 07:48 AM
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His name on BF is not why I hold him in high regard. I do that because of the wheel he built for me. And yes, there are other really good wheel builders (my local shop owner among them). But the post I responded to indicated that any competent mechanic could be just as good. While they may some day be, right now most aren't.
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Old 09-04-11, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
I would beg to differ here. I think lots of people here will confirm this. Wheelbuilding is a developed skill in itself, and one that doesn't just happen automatically for your average, or even experienced, mechanic. I'll agree that it's not voodoo science, and that almost anyone can do it with practice and LOTS of patience. HOWEVER...I think the monetary value of time for LBS's tend to constrain the quality of the wheels going out the door from the average mechanic's work station. I absolutely believe that I can build, given enough time, a wheel every bit as high quality as someone like Psimet or wheelbuilder.com etc.. The important point is the time taken to reach that level of quality. When I'm building myself, I'm in no rush. I can take a week or two to work at reaching the perfect balance. The final product is strong and reliable, but it took me forever to complete. Most LBS's charge around $20-30 or so for a wheel rebuild, which doesn't leave a whole lot of time for fine tuning. They have to get the tension 'high enough,' the wheel visually 'true' and 'reasonably balanced' tension during the relatively short period of time allowed for the wheelset to be profitable to the shop.

The true value of the pro wheelbuilder is that he has developed his proficiency to the point that he can reach the very high build standards in a money-making period of time. That combination escapes both the lowly home wheel builder (like myself) and in many cases the shop mechanic. Make no mistake about it. Hand built wheels can easily be as poorly built as (or worse than) machine built wheels, which is why the value of 'custom' is dependent on the skill of the builder in addition to the choice of components. Your average mechanic who despite having built a number of wheels, only does a set every month or so, is allowed ~1 hour to build each set, and doesn't have the time to stress relieve/remove spoke twist/strike the balance of tension vs. true etc. isn't going to produce nearly as reliable a wheel as a legitimate pro builder who has built a large part of his business around it. The pro builder won't take any more time than the mechanic, but difference in quality exists. When it's your business, your reputation is on the line with every set, and compromises = a huge liability.

Just my $.02

Hope I haven't offended anyone by saying this. It's not uncommon (in my area) for folks to wait weeks or months for the local wheelbuilder to "get around" to building their wheels. It's frustrating, but it's not like they didn't have the choice to buy off the shelf. This is (yet another) example of when it truly does pay to have patience, as the many reviews of Psimet wheels around here will attest to. Oh, and even the really great wheel builders aren't making their first million building wheels, chances are good that they do it because they love it, and they make just enough to justify continuing.

-Jeremy
My LBS mechanic brought my rims and hubs to his house to guarantee that it was done properly. It took three weeks and is psimet quality wheel for half the price. One year of commuting/training/racing and they are still perfectly true.
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