I posted originally at the Touring forum but only got one response. Guess I should have put it here to begin with.
This is the original post:
"So I stop into my shop w/ clunking in the front wheel Shop owner said the cones are shot, hub is shot & I should just get a new wheel.
He custom builds 'em, offers to put together a commuter/touring wheel: 36 spoke on a Deore hub w/ Alex rim. Total: $125. The guy seems confident that he can build on tough mother of a wheel.
He said he likes Alex, Easton & some others for custom-building. I have Alex 19s that are in their 18 month of almost daily use. The owner told me if I had had them overhauled before this winter they'd still be good.
The deore is equivalent to my tiagra hub but better for commuting/touring he told me. I saw one (a rear wheel) that he did & it did look & feel beefy. But what do I know?
Any opinions would be appreciated since I am totally ignorant re wheels. "
Following up: right after I submitted that post, a friend told me that my front wheel could be overhauled no problem & he & I did just that. The cone was shot but the cup was fine so we replaced the cones & bearings.
Next day I found that the shop owner built it already so now I feel obliged to buy it. My friend told me that this shop owner does this sort of thing all the time, convinces people to buy things they don't need.