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wheel building dilemma(9 posts)

wheel building dilemmaDougSloan
Dec 27, 2002 9:09 AM
I went to the Excel and Performance sites to look at parts to build up some Record/Open Pro wheels.

Performance does not sell the parts, but the fully assembled Record/Open Pro/DT 14/15/14 wheels are only $299.98.

Excel sells the same parts to build up the wheels for $362.80. (but no sales tax here)

Mavic Open Pro Road Rim, 32 Hole 920241 2@ $59.95 $119.90

DT 14-15g Double Butted Spoke 500200 64@$0.75 $48.00

Campagnolo Record Hub Front, 32 Hole 100904 $59.95 $59.95

Campagnolo Record Hub Rear, 32 Hole 100914 Yes $134.95 $134.95

Subtotal $362.80

I could buy the Performance wheels, take them apart and reassemble, if I merely wanted to enjoy the assembly. Why pay more for just the parts? (and I'd still need to buy a few more tools, like a tensionometer -- I don't trust myself plucking).

What would you all do?


Try Wheels To Youabicirider
Dec 27, 2002 9:17 AM
you may want to give them a call I got straight 14 gauge wheelsmith spokes for .17 cents each with nipple. if you buy over 500 its .15ea they didn't even charge shipping total for 200 spokes was like 37.00 they sent without getting payment they invoiced me super guys Thomas Kluth is the Mgr.
phone number is (702) 655-8356
as far as tensionmeter if you can find one and price is right go with the hozan dial meter not the cheaper wheelsmith tensionmeter where you have to line up the marks just a suggestion.
Have fun building wheels it gives one alot of satisfaction knowning they are riding on their own built wheels.

Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
P.S thanks for asking about snow we've had nothing since Ice storm about 1 month ago no snow just cold and windy this is when I miss good ole southern CA.
re: wheel building dilemmaLen J
Dec 27, 2002 9:24 AM
As someone else said, buy in bulk.

In addition you can pick up OP's for less than $50 each if you look around.

At the end of the day, you can buy machine built wheels cheaper than you can build them, however, they were not made by you. In addition, once you build a good set of wheels, doing your own wheel rebuilds/repairs is a snap. It's nice to be self sufficient.

How much is riding your own wheels worth?

Performance and a checkB123
Dec 27, 2002 9:25 AM
Well for time and money savings I'd go with Performance. Check them over for even tension, true, and dish.

A wheel hand built by a pro can't be beat though. Proper tensioning and spoke preping makes a wheel last ages. One of my old campy rims(36h box) handbuilt by me lasted 10 years of hard training and racing before I broke a spoke. That was the first time I ever needed to true it and haven't touched it since(3yrs). I'd say that wheel has 130,000+ miles on it.

Besides those advantages, building a wheel is fun and rewarding. My newest tool is a DT Tensio, an amazing item, which I love.
re: wheel building dilemmamanicoti
Dec 27, 2002 10:56 AM
I tried the "buy a prebuilt set, take it apart and rebuild it" one time and it failed. Had to buy new spokes, but it was pretty much worth it experience wise and value wise in the end. When you rebuild a wheel, you have to make sure you replace the spokes in the same pattern that the original was in because the J bend in the spokes actually settle into the flange and leave impressions when removed. Kind of a template when I built my first wheel, so it did help a little.
I pluck and it works well, just check the wheels after every ride for a few and you can fine tune it.
re: wheel building dilemmaBarnyard
Dec 27, 2002 2:55 PM
75 cents a spoke. Wow! I think the dilemma is paying full retail. I'd shop around more for the parts and build the wheel myself. And if you don't trust yourself in the tension department, you need a mentor, someone to look over your work. Confidence is a must. In my opinion, you don't need a tensionometer. If you lack confidence, chances are you won't put enough tension on the spokes. You don't want to build a soft wheel. Finally, you're using open pro's. Wheel builders will tell you that mavic rims practically build themselves. You too can build an excelent wheel. Problem is, novice wheel builders often just don't finish the job.
re: wheel building dilemmaLeroy
Dec 27, 2002 3:58 PM
Excel Sports' catalog [#63, page 23] lists a built record open pro wheel set at $286.00 with a $12.00 charge to upgrade to 14-15-14 DT spokes, that totals $298.00. It's still cheaper than the sum of the parts. I don't know why Excel doesn't post these wheels on their website.

I just finished repairing a beater wheel trashed by my niece. Just replaced 8 spokes taken out by my former, now toast, daytona rear derailleur. I'd never done any wheel work before, and enjoyed the repair job and the truing job. Felt good to ride the wheel trying it out. I'd like to get the gear and build some wheels.
re: wheel building dilemmaHillRepeater
Dec 27, 2002 4:08 PM
Check Ebay. I've seen new mavic rims go for around $60 a pair there quite often.

If you're open to trying something other than mavic/DT, contact Mike Garcia at He can help set you up with what you need to build up a set of wheels yourself. He uses wheelsmith spokes instead of DT, and has good pricing on non-mavic rims. Good guy to get wheelbuilding info from as well.

For tension, plucking works fine. If you really want a tensionmeter for home use, check out Park Tool. They were supposed to introduce one that was much cheaper than the Wheelsmith unit. I don't know if it's shipping yet, though.

Good luck. Few things beat the feeling of riding the first set of wheels you've built yourself.
good ideas, everyoneDougSloan
Dec 27, 2002 8:10 PM
Sounds like the first thing to do is more shopping around. I'll report what I find. Thanks.