Old 08-05-10, 06:11 AM
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Bikes: Franklin Frames Custom, Rivendell Bombadil

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Aquakitty, I'd agree that wheel building is not that hard, but to make really good wheels, ones that stay true and round after they are built, that takes experience and skill. Myself, I pay to have this done from a dedicated professional, and I never need to touch them after I recieve them. So ..... there is a balancing act of cost(parts and labor), time(building and/or servicing your wheels for their life), and quality of the build(spokes, hubs and/or rims failing).

There's a lot to consider, starting with the hubs and rims. If you're building your own, you don't have to have a disc rim, so this widens your choices. A Mavic A119 or A319 may suit you, and can take 2" tires. I'm partial to Mavic rims because they seem to have good qaulity control, better than others. No one's perfect though.

For hubs, Shimano is probably best for your price range, parts are readily available, as you may need them.

Prebuilt wheels are attractive, but I always give pause to these because of their often proprietary nature and the prospect of parts down the road.

If you have the time, patience and skill, you can build your own easily. How they hold up though, depends on your knowledge applied to the build. Any Monkey can build a set of wheels, but it takes a skilled monkey to build a set that stands true and round after building them..

I would give one suggestion for a set of well made wheels that you will not have to true or touch after you receive them, check Rich Lesnick's hand built wheels at Rivendell. http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/700c-wheels/18-102 They have a good selection, the ones with the A119 rims are $320 a pair , which is a very fair price. If you want wheels you may never have to true, get some from Rich.
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