Tandem Cycling - Any great wheel builders in Michigan?
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I'm thinking of having some new wheels built for our tandem. The last set I had built by Joe Young in Texas (http://www.youngwheels.com). They are GREAT wheels, but if I want to have him service them, true, etc., the shipping is a problem. So I'm thinking for the next set I might see if I can't find somebody a bit closer. Any ideas? I'd be happiest to find a builder somewhere in the broad swath from Grand Rapids thru Lansing to Ann Arbor and Detroit metro area, or perhaps the lower half of the lower peninsula.
I would suggest a call to Midwest tandems in Ann Arbor. He seems to be on top of his game.
09-13-12, 01:05 PM
Maybe I'm second guessing you, but if you really like your current wheels and have confidence in Joe Young's work, I'd just stick with him.
If you just need a simple truing or perhaps a single spoke replaced, I would expect you can find several options locally of guys who are more than competent enough to handle these tasks, though they might not have the experience to build a first-class wheelset, especially for a tandem.
The only other normal service would be for hub maintenance. If you don't to do this yourself, I'd think any above average shop could do it.
The only time I've needed to send wheels back to a builder was when the rim needed replacement. Any decent builder wouldn't reuse the spokes, so I tore the wheels down and shipped only the hubs back.
When we damaged our Rolfs in a crash, I was ready to go the same route, but Rolf wanted to inspect the wheelset, so we obliged. Cost me about $20 to ship and turnaround was just over a week (but UPS only takes a day or two to move stuff between us and Eugene).
Just food for thought.
Try Assenmacher Cycles out of Swartz Creek. Matt has been building frames since the 1970's and does a great job with wheel building, frame repairs and painting.
Should have thought of Assenmacher right out of the box - doh! Midwest tandems, relative new kids on the block compared to Assenmacher, still deserve some consideration. Will do. Any actual experience out there with buying wheels from either, or from others?
09-16-12, 11:08 PM
build them yourself ?
Life is short, and getting shorter, and I prefer woodworking when not working or riding. On the other hand, I'm usually a big fan of "if you want it done right..." so maybe I'll reconsider.
09-17-12, 08:28 PM
I've heard that Chad, the owner of Spin bikes in Lansing, builds some pretty nice custom wheelsets. I've bought a bike from him but no experience with his wheels.
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