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Old 10-10-03, 06:16 PM   #1
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Wheelsmith wheel building...good?

so i finally got my new wheels after much waiting (see the Specialized spoke thread from earlier). what a visual difference these new wheels make! i had black spokes before and now they're metal. looks like someone else's bike.

the wheels were pre-built, but they're made by Wheelsmith. i know they make spokes (i did a search), but i don't see any reference to their wheel-building capabilities. any comments?

in case you're wondering, the wheels are Mavic Open Pros with Ultegra hubs and Wheelsmith double-butted spokes. should be decent wheels that will last me into my next bike, if i'm lucky.
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Old 10-11-03, 12:10 PM   #2
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I would recommend them to my customers... nice wheels.
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Old 10-11-03, 09:42 PM   #3
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thanks! due to some unforeseen events, i haven't yet had a chance to try them out. but tomorrow morning i have a nice long ride scheduled.
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Old 10-12-03, 05:25 PM   #4
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Wheelsmith's builds are really good and reliable.

What spokes did you have before? I didn't read the thread (yet) but Specialized never sold a road bike with composite spokes. They all used Ritchey bladed spokes. I know some of the S-Works mountain bikes had Spinergy composite spokes, but can't recall a road bike that had them (MAYBE the E5?).
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Old 10-12-03, 05:51 PM   #5
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I think that he is saying it is natural metal finish. the spokes before were just black colored metal, whether the poster realized it or not.
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Old 10-12-03, 06:14 PM   #6
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They sound like the wheels that came on my Litespeed Classic. Same hardware as you described, 32 spoke, 3x build. I have a little less than three years on them, and about 20,000 miles. No broken spokes, and have had them re-trued twice, as part of the annual off-season tune-up. These are wheels that make you wonder why people spend $800 on a wheelset. I'd recommend them in a heartbeat.

[edit]
I should add that my Mavic OPs have developed the notorius, dreaded Open Pro "click". Once every revolution the rear wheel will click. In my case, it's because one of the spoke bushings is slightly loose. The remedy is to apply a little chain lube to the offending bushing about once a month. I've heard other people complain of a similar issue caused by the method Mavic uses to join the rim at the weld. In any case, it's a Mavic issue, and not a problem with the build.
[/edit]

Last edited by roadbuzz; 10-12-03 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 10-14-03, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadbuzz
I should add that my Mavic OPs have developed the notorius, dreaded Open Pro "click". Once every revolution the rear wheel will click. In my case, it's because one of the spoke bushings is slightly loose. The remedy is to apply a little chain lube to the offending bushing about once a month. I've heard other people complain of a similar issue caused by the method Mavic uses to join the rim at the weld. In any case, it's a Mavic issue, and not a problem with the build.
hmm. hadn't heard of that! funny thing, while i was trying to get my computer sensor lined up with the new wheels, i noticed the front wheel would do a 'tick' once every revolution. this is at slow speeds, spun by hand, on a stand. can't possibly be what you're talking about already, could it?

(later) this was a very quiet sound, similar in loudness to the sound the sensor makes as the magnet passes by it. i'm talking quiet! but i figured it out. it was one of those rubber 'hairs' that stick out of the sides of tires. it was long enough that it hit the inside of the fork. false alarm!

Quote:
I think that he is saying it is natural metal finish. the spokes before were just black colored metal, whether the poster realized it or not.
yes that's true. i didn't mean to imply they were of some fancy space-age material. i was just commenting on the difference in appearance when changing from black-coated steel spokes to shiny steel spokes. this is a low-end bike, no composites anywhere! i don't know what brand spokes they used, and i don't have the old wheels anymore. but they were straight gauge.

(edited for grammar)
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Old 10-14-03, 11:11 PM   #8
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Wheelsmith Spokes are where it's at .

It's what I use on my Scream. They are more consistant (length and weight wise) than DT Swiss spokes. Makes for a more balanced wheel build.
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Old 10-15-03, 10:04 AM   #9
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i've had two rides on the new wheels now, both mostly hills. the bike feels...more solid. it's a somewhat suble experience, to the point where i'm not sure if it's just in my head! the tension on the spokes is a lot more even than the old wheels, which i can tell just by plucking them (i'm a musician). even after i had the old wheels tuned up by the shop after the first spoke breakage, they were all over the place. i guess like the tag said on these wheels said, a "true" wheel does not necessarily mean an equally tensioned wheel. these are both. while i've only put maybe 40 miles on them, the verdict: very cool.
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Old 10-15-03, 04:09 PM   #10
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Rippo,

It was interesting to read that Wheelsmith does wheel builds. I checked out their web page but couldn't get much in the way of details. How did you arrange to get built wheels from them? Did you go through your LBS?
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Old 10-15-03, 04:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tooth
It was interesting to read that Wheelsmith does wheel builds. I checked out their web page but couldn't get much in the way of details. How did you arrange to get built wheels from them? Did you go through your LBS?
yeah their web page is less than helpful.

my LBS stocks these wheels, so they're off-the-shelf. no special ordering or anything like that. price was comparable to buying a built wheel with the same components from Performance or some other catalog store (although the latter would probably be DT spokes).
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Old 10-15-03, 05:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rippo
can't possibly be what you're talking about already, could it?
Naw. It's the rear wheel (no sensors, etc), and only happens when I'm riding on it (i.e. it's weighted). And, actually, it doesn't always do it, but when it does, it's easy to hear. I wouldn't worry about it... odds are good you'll never have a problem.
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