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Old 10-17-11, 01:15 PM   #1
dukes909
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Can I build a wheel for less $$$?

It's always been sort of a quirky little goal of mine to build my own wheelset. I cannot see where I would save any money doing so, however. For example these wheels:
Handspun 36's - $112, and the rear is a few dollars more $122 = $234.

But, adding up the individual pieces:

Rims: $47 * 2 = $94
Spokes: ~$60
Hubs: $27 (F) + $48(R) = $75
Total: $229

$5 difference, could be even more depending on where it's bought from. Is it even worth it to build your own wheels now? I'd like to do it, but the cost thing is a hangup for me. I already have a truing stand, dish tool etc.

Cheers
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Old 10-17-11, 01:24 PM   #2
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Order your spokes from Childhood Dreams on ebay. You will probably save $20-30 there. I have bought spokes from him, and he's great to deal with.
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Old 10-17-11, 01:29 PM   #3
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In general, it's pretty hard to build something yourself and save money if a company is already producing them on a commercial scale. A company buying in commercial quantities is going to get volume discounts that aren't available if you're only buying smaller quantities.

That said, I think it'd still be worth a shot for the experience you'll gain from doing it.
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Old 10-17-11, 01:47 PM   #4
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I think your analysis is sound. Building wheels for oneself is probably a wash in terms of savings. The primary reason I do it is because I have more confidence in the materials and build if I do it myself over something that was machine built or done in a large scale factory overseas. But other than that, there isn't a lot of savings.
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Old 10-17-11, 01:54 PM   #5
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No, I don't think you can save if you are building an off-the-shelf configuration.

I like building my own [sometimes odd] wheels. On one bike, I currently have a Bontrager paired spoke 16h rim laced to a Velocity hub up front. I drilled out the internal nipple rim to accept standard nipples, and the lacing pattern was not quite what Velocity used on their [non-paired spoke] setup, but it works. Then on the rear, I have a Velocity OCR rim laced to some other make of hub. Definitely not an off-the-shelf wheelset.

Did I save any money? I did pick up each of the components quite cheap off of eBay, but not at one time. I basically collected odds 'n ends until I could build up a wheelset.
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Old 10-17-11, 02:39 PM   #6
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The only way to save money on do-it-yourself (vs. pre-built) wheels is to scavenge parts, perhaps with the help of fleabay or craigslist.

But it's still a good idea to treat the wheel you just bought as a collection of parts, and go through the tension, true, and stress-relief process, just as if you were assembling a wheel from scratch. The only thing you can count on is they've laced the spokes for you.
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Old 10-17-11, 03:14 PM   #7
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Many LBS will build a wheel for $25-$40 plus parts. I have re-built wheels aka new spokes or new rim but won't build a wheel. There's no savings in it. I'd rather buy a wheel from one of the online vendors.
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Old 10-17-11, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence08648 View Post
Many LBS will build a wheel for $25-$40 plus parts.
I have re-built wheels aka new spokes or new rim but won't build a wheel. There's no savings in it.
I'd rather buy a wheel from one of the online vendors and then check the spoke tensions and adjust them as required.
fify......and a +1 on if you need a particular wheel for your
esoteric restoration project, sometimes you just have to
build it yourself. But in terms of cost, you just cannot do
it cheaper ever since the cost of spokes went through
the roof.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:20 PM   #9
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I bought a set of Handspun wheels and am very satisfied with the build. I wanted a Deore LX hub with Mavic A319 rims and 36 spokes. After pricing the components for the build, I found that Handspun made exactly what I wanted for about the same price as it would cost me just for the parts.

I put these on my touring bike (290 puonds total weight) for a 700 mile tour (including the C&O Canal Trail) and had no problems with them.
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Old 10-17-11, 05:31 PM   #10
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I build them because my needs and preferences are not mainstream.

if I were to seek what the above poster sought, I'd just buy them too.
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