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Wheel Builders - Where do you get your components/stock? Other questions too..

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Wheel Builders - Where do you get your components/stock? Other questions too..

Old 08-21-15, 01:48 PM
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on the path
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Wheel Builders - Where do you get your components/stock? Other questions too..

For this thread I'm mainly interested in road bike wheels. Where do you source rims, hubs, spokes, etc?. As far as rims, are there certain brands, model lines within brands, styles of rims, that are typically better to start with than others? What I mean by that is rims that are fairly straight and true to begin with before you even start tensioning spokes.

I'm seriously considering building my own wheelset. I'd like to start with decent enough rims, hubs, and spokes. Hopefully this will help in the building process and make the results better than if I started with inferior rims. Any help at all would be appreciated.
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Old 08-21-15, 02:43 PM
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I've bought from all over the place. Cambriabike, Universal Cycles, saint John street cycles, chainreactioncycles, wiggle, rosebikes, cyclocomponents, EBay shop sellers, EBay private sellers, flea markets, yardsales, OTC from shops both big and small.
IMO the biggest things to an easy build is having the right spoke length, getting the lace right and learn to work in a consistent manner. And to use plenty of thick spokes.
Hubs are what they are. Apart for those drilled for low count straight pull spokes I've never felt that one hub being more difficult than another.
Spokes - well, thicker wind up less and stretch less. Not a critical thing though IMO.
Rims may differ in roundness, particularly at the seam. But I haven't developed any favourites yet. I try to avoid single walls though.
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Old 08-21-15, 03:47 PM
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I get most of my wheelbuilding supplies from BikeHubStore.com He stocks Kinlin rims and several other brands, along with good quality budget hubs(Bitex and his own brand that are likely made by Bitex) and Sapim spokes. Kinlin rims are as good as any other rims I've used and cost significantly less.
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Old 08-21-15, 04:30 PM
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Niagara Cycle Works for most of my wheelbuilding supplies.

Velocity rims are my favorite because they have very little axial (side to side) and radial (roundness) runout. Much less than Sun for example.

I use double butted Wheelsmith spokes. Double butted spokes are more compliant than straight gauge spokes, which results in a stronger wheel. The greater compliance allows for more spokes to take the load before a spoke fails.

Nickel plated brass nipples only.
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Old 08-21-15, 07:57 PM
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BikeHubStore.com is pretty good at fitting this niche. The guy is super quick with email responses in my experience too, which is nice if you need to verify one of the many details involved in building a wheel.
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Old 08-21-15, 09:07 PM
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Some of the answers as to where to source your components depends on what you expect during and after the purchase. Do you need advice? Do you want easy returns? Do you need to additionally have access to tools and abilities you don't have now? Will you need spoke length or cutting services? Is lowest price the highest priority? At what later price that you're willing to accept?

There are a number of levels of all of these for your choosing. If you're only using the parts for yourself then one set of standards and relationships might be good. But if you're reselling (and remember the courts don't require actual money to exchange hands to qualify as a sale) the other after your purchase qualities might become a value. Andy.
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Old 08-22-15, 06:24 AM
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someone on the forum mentioned dans comp for spokes. i have been using sapim double butted "racer" spokes, dans had them at a low price, fast and fair shipping. racer spokes and sun cr-18 rims my usual setup.
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Old 08-22-15, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I get most of my wheelbuilding supplies from BikeHubStore.com He stocks Kinlin rims and several other brands, along with good quality budget hubs(Bitex and his own brand that are likely made by Bitex) and Sapim spokes. Kinlin rims are as good as any other rims I've used and cost significantly less.
Originally Posted by reshp1 View Post
BikeHubStore.com is pretty good at fitting this niche. The guy is super quick with email responses in my experience too, which is nice if you need to verify one of the many details involved in building a wheel.
If you guys are using Sapim spokes, you are paying triple what Dan'sComp charges.
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Old 08-22-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
If you guys are using Sapim spokes, you are paying triple what Dan'sComp charges.
I checked out the site and it seems to be a great resource. As long as one is not a roadie, like me
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Old 08-22-15, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by on the path View Post
I checked out the site and it seems to be a great resource. As long as one is not a roadie, like me
You can get roadie spokes there. They sell straight 14 gauge, double butted 14/15/14 and 14/17/14 cut to any length you want, in any quantity. None of this odd or even only stuff.
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Old 08-22-15, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
If you guys are using Sapim spokes, you are paying triple what Dan'sComp charges.
85 cents vs 90 cents. Not worth making a separate order if you're getting other stuff at BHS. Are you sure you're not looking at CX-rays on BikeHubStore?
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Old 08-23-15, 09:09 AM
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Rims I like: Velocity, DT Swiss, Mavic, H Plus Son

Spokes: Wheelsmith DB or DT Swiss Competition is what I've worked with, no real preference.

Nipples: brass, I live in coastal New England with salt in the air from the ocean and spread by DOT on the roads in winter -- alloy nipples just don't hold up.

Hubs: DT Swiss, Velocity, Shimano, Sturmey-Archer -- never had issues with these. Also built some one-offs with Chris King and Chub hubs but not ridden them.

Where to get: I cheat, employed PT at a bikeshop, so I go direct to companies like Velocity, or through a distributor (no retail sales) like QBP.
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Old 08-23-15, 09:23 AM
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As above, From the bike shop supplier's catalogs, to the shops where I worked .


my 80~90 era reliable Rear touring wheel, I started with a Hub-shell I got at another Bike shop's Garage sale .

it was older Freewheel Phil Wood, so I sent it to PW's shop and they pressed an axle assembly into the hub shell tube.

Rims, Mavic Mod 4.. shop had drawers with DT spokes ..

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Old 08-23-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by reshp1 View Post
85 cents vs 90 cents. Not worth making a separate order if you're getting other stuff at BHS. Are you sure you're not looking at CX-rays on BikeHubStore?
not sure what you are referring to? i just paid $0.40 per double butted 14/15/14 sapim spoke including a brass nipple at dans comp.
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Old 08-23-15, 09:48 AM
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Old 08-23-15, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dr1445 View Post
not sure what you are referring to? i just paid $0.40 per double butted 14/15/14 sapim spoke including a brass nipple at dans comp.
I'm comparing Sapim laser against Sapim laser. He doesn't really say what the $0.40 ones are, I guess they're "Race" which if that's the case, you're right, is a very good deal.
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Old 08-23-15, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by reshp1 View Post
85 cents vs 90 cents. Not worth making a separate order if you're getting other stuff at BHS. Are you sure you're not looking at CX-rays on BikeHubStore?
Nope, not looking at the CXrays.

Double butted 14/15/14 Sapims Races are .40 cents including polyax nipple at Danscomp. At Bikehubstore they are .80 cents plus .10 cents per nipple. More than double. For a couple of 32 spoke wheels that's a $32.00 savings. Shipping from Danscomp is $6.00 vs $12.35 at bikehubstore. More than double. Total savings $38.35

Straight 14 gauge Sapim Leaders are .25 cents including nipple at Danscomp. At bikehubstore they are .70 cent plus .10 cents for nipples. More than triple. A savings of over $35.00. Including the shipping savings the total saved is over $41.00.

For the 36 hole wheels I recently built, I spent $24.00 for Spokes, nips and shipping. The same exact order from bikehubstore would cost $69.95. I saved $45.95.

I wont use the similarly priced 14/17/14 Lasers, myself, (too skinny) but even those would would cost almost $10.00 less at Danscomp and $6.35 less for shipping.
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Old 08-23-15, 04:19 PM
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I believe the guy at Danscomp said the longest they could give you was 300 mm. So for 27" rims with small flange hubs, they might not have long enough spokes. Maybe.
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Old 08-23-15, 07:21 PM
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I use ThorUSA for Sapim spokes. Cheapest ONLINE ordering I found.

I get my hubs/rims wherever cheapest. Amazon and Ebay if I need to!
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Old 08-24-15, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
I use ThorUSA for Sapim spokes. Cheapest ONLINE ordering I found.

I get my hubs/rims wherever cheapest. Amazon and Ebay if I need to!
i used thor before my last order from danscomp. thor's double butted sapim are $.50 each plus $.10 for a nipple and shipping is a little higher than dans. dans is $.40 for the same spoke including the nipple.
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Old 08-27-15, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dr1445 View Post
i used thor before my last order from danscomp. thor's double butted sapim are $.50 each plus $.10 for a nipple and shipping is a little higher than dans. dans is $.40 for the same spoke including the nipple.
And they don't do ONLINE ordering. Which was why I went with ThorUSA.
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Old 08-27-15, 11:40 PM
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+1 dans comp
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Old 08-28-15, 12:27 AM
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I'm no pro wheelbuilder. I've built about eight sets of wheels, for my own bikes. For spokes and nipples, I ride down to Universal Cycles and buy DT Swiss, but I've also built from used spokes. For hubs, I have used various Campagnolo, Mavic, and other hubs, all bought used. For rims, I have settled on Mavic Open Pro for a reasonably sturdy but reasonably light new roadie rim, and have also built used vintage runs from Mavic, Campagnolo, Fiamme; also Sun for a less expensive new rim. The only component that seemed to make a real difference in the ease of build is the rim. The ultra light and soft Fiamme Ergal was challenging. Everything else was pretty easy.
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Old 08-28-15, 01:17 AM
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Looking in from the outside, as someone interested in trying it, it seems like you'd be hard pressed to get a better deal than just buying whole machine built wheels and loosening them to do them back up by hand, or add DB spokes. Am I wrong? Or is it just that you can't find more premium wheels, with Phil-King-Paul-White hubs etc, that aren't built already?

Just as an example this set is $120 even before Nashbar's frequent sales Sun Ringlé Rhyno Lite / Shimano Deore 525 Mountain Wheelset

$35 for the rear hub, $25 for the front, $27+27 for the rims at Niagara adds up to $112 and you still need spokes and rim tape.

Or as another example, VO sells a wheel set for $350, and the hubs are $140+60 and the rims are $65+65 so that's $320.
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Old 08-28-15, 03:16 AM
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I have only built one, but lacing one up is more interesting than just buying a set and re tensioning them :-). Plus you might want spoke prep or raw linseed oil on the spoke threads ? I also ended up with D-lite spokes too and you will not find those in off the shelf wheels :-). Plus some use different spokes for drive and non drive side in a rear wheel. I really love that I accomplished building a wheel, and especially that it has been trouble free for the first 1500 miles :-).
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