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Hand built wheels(11 posts)

Hand built wheelsPEDDLEFOOT
Nov 11, 2002 12:58 PM
I'm interested in finding out the major differences between hand built wheels by an experieced wheel maker versus the already assembled wheels that you can order from Performance or other online dealers.I have never built a wheel so I don't know all the details of what exactly goes into the process.Genuinely curious and would appreciate some information.
re: Hand built wheelsbrider
Nov 11, 2002 1:31 PM
If I remember right, the machine built wheels are probably more rightly called "machine laced" wheels. There's still a hand-tuning before the wheels are shipped out. As to whether those hands are well experienced is another matter.
re: Hand built wheelsKunfoochi
Nov 11, 2002 3:39 PM
I'm no expert, but I have asked this question before and basically, what I got from it...

An Open Pro Rim laced to a Dura Ace hub(Handmade) is lighter, more aero, and stronger then a Mavic Ksyrium(Boutique wheel), which is the Mavic top of the line clincher.

From that, I suppose you can say that other than the Boutique wheels looking a lot cooler, it's mostly just hype.

Hope that helps some.
How wrong!!cyclequip
Nov 12, 2002 3:03 AM
If that's what you got from the fools posting on this site, then pity. I build wheels professionally. I train on OP's on DA hubs, Sapim Race spokes, brass nipples, Conti rimtape, Panaracer/Fortezza tyres and the set comes nowhere near my Ksyrium race wheelset in terms of aero, strength and speed although the OP's are not much heavier than the K's. The naysayers are riders who have never experienced both. I too was sceptical till I rode K's - that changed my mind enough for me to buy the Mavics.
re: Hand built wheelspmf1
Nov 12, 2002 10:36 AM
"From that, I suppose you can say that other than the Boutique wheels looking a lot cooler, it's mostly just hype"

That has not been my experience and I have both. Do you? Who imparted this golden grain of knowledge onto you? You shouldn't perpetuate such garbage unless you have some first hand knowledge.
re: Hand built wheelsKunfoochi
Nov 12, 2002 1:30 PM
Calm down!! I was trying to help this guy, and as I stated, I'm no expert, I was just passing on the information I received.

And as for you two, don't get so defensive...there are ways to say things nicely, without calling people fools or being angry...after all, we're all just trying to have a nice conversation about bike wheels, and as you may have learned in kindergarten, you can let people express themselves, and if you disagree, that's great for a nice debate, so voice your opinion in a respectful matter, and everyone will be happy! Have a nice day:)
Well put, son...Ahimsa
Nov 12, 2002 7:32 PM
I'd say you handled that very maturely. For some reason the boutique wheel versus hand built wheel argument gets a little hot sometimes. People feel a need to justify their equipment at the expense of being civil. No big deal.

However: (you knew there would be a however didn't ya?)

There's nothing wrong with stating what you heard. It is certainly fine and all to pass along info, especially since you said just that, "this is what I heard".
Do bear in mind though that this is not always the best information for a reply. If you have no direct experience with the gear it is better to sit it out for the most part. Sometimes second hand info is fine, but it really depends on the subject. You just happened to stumble onto a hot button topic this time.


Well put, son...Kunfoochi
Nov 13, 2002 6:37 PM
Ok, I suppose that sounds fair enough, I know better for next time.

It's not that I want to misinform, it's just that I want to contribute and put in all I can here, as others have done for me. If I'm ever not sure about something, I'll strive to make it even clearer than I did in this case, to "remove any doubt that I'm an idiot."

To be perfectly honest again, I have to ackknowledge that you all make good points, but I fail to see where I went wrong in trying to help someone out. Because I don't want to create uncivil controversy, if this happens again, I will keep my mouth shut..but remember...not cause I want to:)

information vs. disinformationpmf1
Nov 13, 2002 5:31 AM
I didn't mean to come off as defensive, but what you said was a bunch of second hand garbage with your own intepretation thrown in. I wouldn't count that as help. If you were curious about something and posted a question, would you want guys to respond who have never tried the product and have no real experience with it? You're not helping the guy who asked the question. I guess this will sound bad to, but the old adage "its better to keep your mouth shut and be assumed to be an idiot than open it and remove all doubt" applies here.
re: Hand built wheelsgtx
Nov 11, 2002 4:08 PM
like another poster said, many of the machine-built wheels are machine laced and then hand tensioned (though some of the really cheap ones are machine tensioned, too). An experienced builder will generally do more stress relieving and bring the tension up a bit slower, which will make for a more durable wheel. It's really not that hard to build a wheel, you just have to be clear on the concept, have the right tools and be patient. If you want to learn more about wheels, check out The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. There is also some good info on the Sheldon Brown site.
Depends on who builds themKerry
Nov 11, 2002 6:00 PM
You can't simply equate all hand built wheels. Colorado Cyclist and Excel get good marks, but you don't hear much about the Performance builds (either way). Any wheel is a combination of the components and the build, so go with a trusted source, including your LBS if they have a good reputation. Recognize that with an LBS you could have more than one person building (as you likely do with the online sources) and the quality can vary widely. Check it out before you buy. My money is on the experienced builder, if indeed they have a good reputation.