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Thread: Wheels

  1. #1
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    Wheels

    Wondering about the difference between wheels that our handbuilt[custom]compared to wheels you buy like easton already made.Whats the benifits if any?

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    Bill
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    Ready mades likely are cheaper so on price anyway you shouldn't go too far wrong. That being said be advised they are likely machine made - not bad in itself but both machine made and hand-built wheels encompass a range from 'good to poor'. A good machine built wheel is likely better than a bad hand built wheel. So IMO the two categories in and of themselves don't necessarily determine quality. A top notch professional wheel builder will takes pride in his work and warrantee it and will build the wheel to match the rider and style of riding paying attention to quality of components (not all are equal) and the finer details a machine cannot. If you want a worthy hand built set ask around your area for a builder of good reputation for high quality work. You'll pay for it but it should stand the test of time. Schraner in his book "The Art of Wheelbuilding" states "The quality of the majority of machine-built wheels from the Far East is in some cases embarrassingly poor.." Key words in his statement not to overlook are 'majority' and 'some cases'. So not all are embarrassingly poor. But you need to know what to look for. He further says ""that the perfect, handbuilt wheel is the most expensive of all, due to the work required - about one hour of high-precision, manual labor. The final decision between buying "handmade" or ready-made wheels therefore lies solely with the user."
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I wish I could come within a day of the 1 hour mark............. That's what makes professional wheelbuilders......................well.........professional....

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    Quote Originally Posted by zencadance View Post
    Wondering about the difference between wheels that our handbuilt[custom]compared to wheels you buy like easton already made.Whats the benifits if any?
    Handbuilt wheels will always be superior to machine built garbage. Well not always, but at least into the forseeable future.
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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    I wish I could come within a day of the 1 hour mark............. That's what makes professional wheelbuilders......................well.........professional....
    Incorrect. Proper spoke tension and attention to detail makes a pro pro.
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    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    Incorrect. Proper spoke tension and attention to detail makes a pro pro.
    Speaking of which, I think machine built wheels are more likely to have lower than recommended spoke tension. A pro builder would be on the spot and I would assume even a novice that decided to build a wheel would try a certain bit to get it right. I assume I did and my wheels haven't exploded on me yet.
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
    Incorrect. Proper spoke tension and attention to detail makes a pro pro.
    Why did you think it took more than an hour?

    Anyone can build a good wheel given a little experience and a minimum of tools. Building them fast enough and still keeping the quality up is the only way to make money in the business.
    Last edited by maddmaxx; 08-27-08 at 07:42 AM.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    Why did you think it took more than an hour?

    Anyone can build a good wheel given a little experience and a minimum of tools. Building them fast enough and still keeping the quality up is the only way to make money in the business.
    I didn't say they take more than an hour. I was just saying it's not the speed people are paying for. I'm sure the pros take under an hour per wheel, but people aren't lining up to buy the wheels because the guy made them in 55 minutes.

    Not anyone can properly tension a wheel, though. Part of it is knowing which order to doing things in, and part of it is analyzing what you have now and how to get it to where you want. I see the difference all the time, which is the wheels that have to be trued every couple of years, and those that never need truing.
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    I am not a "pro" wheel builder. I need about three hours to build a wheel, including lacing the spokes from scratch and truing it on a self-made stand, without using any special gauges.

    I am never in a hurry when building or truing wheels. This way I made dozens of well tensioned wheels that stay true for many years in normal riding conditions.

    A high quality spoke wrench makes life easy.

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