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Thread: Wheel builder

  1. #1
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    Wheel builder

    I'm looking for a competent wheel builder. "Unfortunately" there's only one source for the 650B rims I'm looking for: Velo Orange. The hubs I'm using are used Campagnolo track hubs, so I'm effectively not buying anything from the builder other than spokes and nipples.

    I live in Southern California and although it would be quite convenient for me to find somebody locally, I am willing to ship the hubs and rims anywhere in the country.

    Can anyone recommend a qualified wheel builder?
    1948 Roadmaster (original survivor)
    1949 Phillips Tandem (only rod brake tandem in the US)
    1952 Goodyear Hi-Way Patrol (nut-and-bolt restoration)
    1953 Raleigh Superbe Roadster (all original survivor)
    1978 Gitane "His-and Hers" Road Tandem (very original)
    1978 Raleigh Competition GS (fixed gear build-up in the works)
    1993 Merlin Fixed Gear "One Off"
    (http://www.californiaclassix.com/Bernard/Merlin.html)
    1998 Bianchi BoSS Single Speed
    (http://www.californiaclassix.com/Bernard/BoSS.html)

  2. #2
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    How about You.

    With new rims and spokes its about as easy as wheelbuilding gets. Its not hard and you can at least lace the wheels up yourself without any special tools or equipment. Once laced just about any Bike shop can bring em up to tension and true them for you.

    Or if you find that the lacing went well and want to try your hand....you can get a wheel stand and a spoke wrench for the same or less $$ than someone would charge to do it for you.

    ....its a great skill to add to your set.
    --Don't Panic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    How about You.
    +1.

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    whatever you do don't go to this guy's mechanic!

    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    I did it for the first time a while ago....go for it. It's not as hard as it looks. I was terrified but it worked out great (after two tries...third time's the charm )

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    I usually build my own wheels but had a set recently built by Anthony at Longleaf Bicycles in NC (http://www.longleafbicycles.com/). I supplied the hubs, and Anthony the rims and spokes. He's a V-O dealer, so he'll supply their rims at the same cost as you would pay buying direct. Highly recommended.

    Neal

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Neal, why didn't you build those wheels?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Neal, why didn't you build those wheels?
    Tom, when I saw that Anthony would pay the same for V-O rims as I would and would have better resources for ordering spokes, I decided to go for a "professional" build. I do a decent job, but by no means am I an expert. His build fee is also quite reasonable.

    Neal

  9. #9
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    I've built my own wheels in the past, but I've used my LBS for my past couple wheels. They only charge $30 per wheel and do a good job. It takes me ~4 hours to build a wheel, so my $30 is well spent.

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    French threaded PDXaero's Avatar
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    Its not the labor charge that convinced me to build my own wheels, I just didn't want to pay $1 per spoke for materials.
    ISO
    stronglight 107 cranks

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDXaero View Post
    Its not the labor charge that convinced me to build my own wheels, I just didn't want to pay $1 per spoke for materials.
    so you make your own spokes? I think $1 a peice is cheap my shop charges me $1.10 per in stead of 2.20 when I have a set built.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  12. #12
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    box of 50 DT Competition is like 30 something bux, a box of 100 is a little over 50. Either way if you buy em by the box you can be well under a buck a spoke...and they are double butted. (My LBS charges 1$ for regular and 2$ for black...all straight gauge)

    IMHO there is something to be said for the quality of the spoke in relation to the price. There's an appreciable weight difference between straight gauge and butted. (and between brass and alloy nipples as well)


    I realize that buying spokes by the box limits you on size. I've found when building a 5/6/7 speed wheel the dish is slight enough that you can frequently get away with the same length spokes on both side of the rear wheel...and if the flange size is close enough between the two hubs (such as on Normandy/Atom/Maillard high-flange hubs) you can even get away with the same length spokes all around. I'm not saying always, but sometimes it works out sweet when you do the spoke length calculations

    is there such a thing as an affordable spoke cutting/threading machine?
    Last edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox; 06-16-10 at 05:48 PM.
    --Don't Panic.

  13. #13
    elcraft
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    box of 50 DT Competition is like 30 something bux, a box of 100 is a little over 50. Either way if you buy em by the box you can be well under a buck a spoke...and they are double butted. (My LBS charges 1$ for regular and 2$ for black...all straight gauge)
    Where do you buy spokes at that price? I've been quoted $1.50 per spoke!

  14. #14
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    i'm a bit off on that price i think. I was going off the top of my head, I went back and checked the site and its actually 65 for a box of 100, not 50.

    http://aebike.com/product-list/dt-sw...470-m876-qc30/

    Still, its a good deal more reasonable than 1.50 a spoke no matter how you do the math.
    --Don't Panic.

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    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    http://www.gravyprowheels.com/95.html Steve is a world class wheel builder and not too far from you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    i'm a bit off on that price i think. I was going off the top of my head, I went back and checked the site and its actually 65 for a box of 100, not 50.

    http://aebike.com/product-list/dt-sw...470-m876-qc30/

    Still, its a good deal more reasonable than 1.50 a spoke no matter how you do the math.
    That assumes that you actually do use all 100 and not just 32 or 36! I say that with thoughts of the several boxes of 64 spokes I have in the parts bin.

    Neal

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    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    I realize that buying spokes by the box limits you on size. I've found when building a 5/6/7 speed wheel the dish is slight enough that you can frequently get away with the same length spokes on both side of the rear wheel...and if the flange size is close enough between the two hubs (such as on Normandy/Atom/Maillard high-flange hubs) you can even get away with the same length spokes all around. I'm not saying always, but sometimes it works out sweet when you do the spoke length calculations

    is there such a thing as an affordable spoke cutting/threading machine?

    I typically will go 3X on rear drive side and 2X on the front and non-drive rear so that all spoke lengths can come from one box. The DIY grade spoke thread cutters result in spokes that are not as strong as rolled threads. I dont think there are any DIY grade spoke thread rollers, expensive shop toy.

  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    I typically will go 3X on rear drive side and 2X on the front and non-drive rear so that all spoke lengths can come from one box. The DIY grade spoke thread cutters result in spokes that are not as strong as rolled threads. I dont think there are any DIY grade spoke thread rollers, expensive shop toy.

    I've heard that the Hozan tool:
    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...tem_id=HZ-C700
    will thread a couple spokes if you need an oddball replacement. As for doing a whole wheels' worth? Nope- the cutting rollers wear too fast.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  19. #19
    French threaded PDXaero's Avatar
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    Edited post

    Found his card, but you'll have to contact him for prices.

    Lee Kilpatrick
    Lkspoke@yahoo.com
    Last edited by PDXaero; 06-17-10 at 01:46 AM.
    ISO
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    Cheapest spokes I've found are $.05 for DT 14 ga from Colorado Cyclist, any quantity, any length. I assume they cut to length or have a huge inventory because of the number of wheels they build. That's with nipples. Butted 14/15/14 DT spokes from Jenson at $60 for 100 including nipples.


    edit: Oh, that should be $0.50/spoke from Colorado Cyclist
    Last edited by desconhecido; 06-17-10 at 05:18 PM.

  21. #21
    Buh'wah?! Amani576's Avatar
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    I'd love to deal with Peter White one day. He seems like such an awesome guy, and he doesn't seem TOO expensive compared to other builders. But, shipping from NH is just about always expensive (especially wheels) to anywhere in the US.
    -Gene-

  22. #22
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Bill Mould in DC, but he's across the land from you.
    I'm sure there are good builders in CA.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    I'm not a doctor, but I watch them on TV.

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDXaero View Post
    Edited post

    Found his card, but you'll have to contact him for prices.

    Lee Kilpatrick
    Lkspoke@yahoo.com
    Yeah, when I have to buy spokes, I'll buy from him. I've kept him in mind and have read good reviews of his spokes.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Earle Young earle.young@tds.net
    he's a regular on the CR list and has done some workshops at Cirque on wheelbuilding.

    Marty
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    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PDXaero View Post
    Edited post

    Found his card, but you'll have to contact him for prices.

    Lee Kilpatrick
    Lkspoke@yahoo.com
    Yeah, when I have to buy spokes, I'll buy from him. I've kept him in mind and have read good reviews of his spokes.
    +1. Highly recommended.

    He is also to be found on ebay, user name "Childhood Dreams."

    Aside from that, I also endorse Zaphod's advice: build your wheels yourself! Having someone else to do it would be like paying someone to play with your toys for you.

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