Just a few wheel builds.

Admittedly, I do a sub-par job at documenting my favorite task in the Bike Shop- Wheel Building. Building wheels in a finite way to be creative, precise, honest and thorough all while being graded on those metrics by the outcome itself. The finished wheel is either right or its wrong, there is no in-between. A properly skilled and tooled builder will be able to assess the "finished" wheels in a matter of a few short "tests". True laterally and vertically? Tensioned properly? Spoke length adequate? De-stressed properly? The right wheel for the rider? All these questions answered should give the builder peace of mind that they have done an excellent job. TL:DR?- Building a solid wheel is instantly gratifying!

The process is awesome, too, especially the relationship developed between the builder and the rider. Theres nothing better than taking a customer from start to finish on the process. From humbly being sought out to build the wheel to getting the customers feedback on what a huge difference the new wheels made to their ride.

Linda W. reached out to me seeking a solution to making her S+S steel Salsa Vaya a little more spry on the gravel. Knowing Linda's light weight and riding style as well as her budget allowed me to employ our go-to hub choice (BITEX MT's) with an awesome WTB KOM rim and svelte Sapim Race Spoke to bring together a wholesome build. The best part here was bringing everything together with a tubeless WTB Resolute tire setup.

Ive helped several customers with Mavic woes throughout my tenure at different shops. Its quite the conundrum to explain to the customer how the wheel set they paid $1200+ dollars for "not that long ago"- is in bad disrepair and made obsolete by the unavailability of parts. A plus here is knowing we can build a light wheelset, with superior ride quality, durability and serviceability. This set me down the path of consulting him on a new wheelset all together. With budget being a distant concern, I decided to get him a hub set with some curb appeal and functionality- I9 makes an awesome solution here. Beautiful ano, fit and finish. I sourced my favorite road rim to build with- the venerable HED Belgium C2 and Sapim Laser spokes. This build would be rounded out by a set of Continental GP4000 tires. These rims build up like a dream every time. The customer, being slightly old school, made the drive to the shop all the way from Shelby, Nc after a few rides just to share some accolades. 

A local rider, now departed to Colorado, hit me up before he left to build a bomb proof set of wheels that married bling with high performance and durability. I wanted to select the right parts and pieces that would allow Gerald to ride with confidence and speed. I9 came to mind again, with their orange ano complimenting the paint on his Pivot 429TR and the spry internals warning other trail users and animals of his presence. With budget being of no concern I opted for Sapims top tier CX Ray spoke. I chose CX Ray for their lightness and elasticity knowing the stiffness of the rim would compliment the durability of a ovalized drawn spoke. For the rim- I went with 32h Reynolds Carbon hoops. With their inner width being substantial enough to give the 2.5wt tires he runs a great profile. These wheels built up like a dream at 1540 grams, the finish and precision of all the parts used made this build a pleasure. At this point- these wheels have about 2 years of hard riding on them and they are still rock solid.

This wheel set is representative of the most common configuration that I prescribe to our wheel build clients. The durability and value of the components used allow me to focus on build technique and precision- alot of which is derived from consistency of parts. All while providing the customer with excellent value and performance. Just to summarize- Bitex hubs use an excellent manufacturing regimen, with fit and finish being akin to high end name brand producers. The important bits like the pawls have excellent tolerance and durability and the bearings used are high grade sealed Enduro bearings all at a fraction of peer prices. The ARC rims from Race Face, formerly Easton, have provided my personal bikes with highly dependable, inexpensive performance many times over. Raceface/Easton has their alloy and QC game dialed in, making these a go-to house build option. Ive been able to standardize this build in time and materials at a $575 price point. You even get to choose hub color!

Many many more builds to come providing I can find the 100s of past builds and remember to document future ones.