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Custom Wheels from Colorado Cyclist

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Old 03-14-19, 05:52 PM
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sooni
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Custom Wheels from Colorado Cyclist

I just received a set of custom EASTON R90 SL wheels with Ultegra Hubs and DT Competition spokes. The wheels are round, true and dished nicely, but I have some concerns about the spoke tension on the rear. My understanding is that less than a 10% (or 5) variance is acceptable for a custom set of wheels.

I bought these so that I had something low maintenance and super reliable to travel with.

I did contact customer support, and was assured by the person who built the wheels that these variances were up to standard but I still have my doubts. Should I be concerned about the following readings?


Last edited by sooni; 03-14-19 at 05:55 PM. Reason: picture in wrong place
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Old 03-14-19, 05:54 PM
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Where did that data come from?
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Old 03-14-19, 05:55 PM
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sooni
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Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
Where did that data come from?
First thing I did out the box was take a reading with my tensionmeter.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:07 PM
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Seems like a setup to fail. Buy wheels from a bicycle big box store and then scrutinize afterwards.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:07 PM
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There was a time (years ago) when I used to order wheels from CC.
Then I had a wheel start cracking around the spoke holes soon after I started using it.
CC refused to warranty it. They expected me to pay full price for them to build a replacement.

I had already read the Jobst Brandt book, and had been considering learning to build my own.
This prompted me to order a truing stand and a tension meter.
When the tools arrived, I measured the tension of the wheel with the cracking.
It was literally off the chart that Park supplied to convert the tension number to kgf.
I have built my own wheels ever since.
And for the record, I am not done adjusting tension until all the spokes on the same side are within 10%.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:12 PM
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sooni
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Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
Seems like a setup to fail. Buy wheels from a bicycle big box store and then scrutinize afterwards.
Not sure I follow. Do you think this needs to be de-tensioned and retrued before I start using?
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Old 03-14-19, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
There was a time (years ago) when I used to order wheels from CC.
Then I had a wheel start cracking around the spoke holes soon after I started using it.
CC refused to warranty it. They expected me to pay full price for them to build a replacement.

I had already read the Jobst Brandt book, and had been considering learning to build my own.
This prompted me to order a truing stand and a tension meter.
When the tools arrived, I measured the tension of the wheel with the cracking.
It was literally off the chart that Park supplied to convert the tension number to kgf.
I have built my own wheels ever since.
And for the record, I am not done adjusting tension until all the spokes on the same side are within 10%.
I have been toying with older wheels, andstudying building. Before I ordered these I planned to attempt the same build. I have all the tools, but when I added up the cost for the exact same materials it came out to about the same so I thought why not just have them built and maintain them myself afterwards. That was part of the reason for the 32 spoke, competition setup. Should be a simple build no?

Customer support mentioned that I have a two year guarantee, but I would imagine that an issue with spoke tension would result in failure over a longer period of time whenat that point I would be SOL.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sooni View Post
I have been toying with older wheels, andstudying building. Before I ordered these I planned to attempt the same build. I have all the tools, but when I added up the cost for the exact same materials it came out to about the same so I thought why not just have them built and maintain them myself afterwards. That was part of the reason for the 32 spoke, competition setup. Should be a simple build no?

Customer support mentioned that I have a two year guarantee, but I would imagine that an issue with spoke tension would result in failure over a longer period of time whenat that point I would be SOL.
I don't build my own wheels (and entire bikes) to save money up front.
I build them so:
- I can get the exact parts I want, and am not limited to what a shop carries.
- I can re-use perfectly good used parts. (Try getting an online shop to re-use spokes).
- I know the job is done right.
- I can repair things in a fraction of the time it would take an online shop or LBS to do it.

The last time I had a mishap that dropped a chain into the spokes, I had the wheel rebuilt with the damaged spokes replaced in a couple hours.
Over the long run, I am certain it does save me money.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I don't build my own wheels (and entire bikes) to save money up front.
I build them so:
- I can get the exact parts I want, and am not limited to what a shop carries.
- I can re-use perfectly good used parts. (Try getting an online shop to re-use spokes).
- I know the job is done right.
- I can repair things in a fraction of the time it would take an online shop or LBS to do it.

The last time I had a mishap that dropped a chain into the spokes, I had the wheel rebuilt with the damaged spokes replaced in a couple hours.
Over the long run, I am certain it does save me money.
No argument here. Although I did get exactly what I wanted as far as the specs go, only difference is that it looks like I will have to retension and retrue to finish the job.

Had I known that this company pushes wheels out without precision I would have started the job myself. I was sure that the response from customer support would not pass the publicity test but wanted to confirm,and perhaps let other potential buyers know the risks.

Would you suggest I loosen up the NDS, get the DS within 10 or 5% then go from there or do you think this requires a full rebuild?

Last edited by sooni; 03-14-19 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:11 PM
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those are butted spokes, right? Are you sure you measured correctly every time? the thinner part is not mach larger than the tensionmeter is long and one can easily have one of those emtal pins at the butted (thicker) part of the spoke.

if the wheel is radially and laterally perfect, i assume the machine built it to true and just achieved a given average tension. With imperfections measuring and in material, a hand wheelbuilder can sacrifice trueness (let's say a mm) to achieve equal tension, which is more important.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
those are butted spokes, right? Are you sure you measured correctly every time? the thinner part is not mach larger than the tensionmeter is long and one can easily have one of those emtal pins at the butted (thicker) part of the spoke.

if the wheel is radially and laterally perfect, i assume the machine built it to true and just achieved a given average tension. With imperfections measuring and in material, a hand wheelbuilder can sacrifice trueness (let's say a mm) to achieve equal tension, which is more important.
Yes they are double butted, all measured in the centre. These were built by a custom wheelbuilder.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:38 PM
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Do you have another wheel you can use as a positive control (i.e., one you know is good to see what kind of variance it has)?
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Old 03-14-19, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sooni View Post
Yes they are double butted, all measured in the centre. These were built by a custom wheelbuilder.
custom wheelbuilder = each spoke has its custom tension 😎
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Old 03-14-19, 08:50 PM
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Either your data is wrong (measurements taken incorrectly) or your tool not calibrated any more (happens with spring scales) or their spreadsheet's math is wrong (using the wrong conversion factor)--or some mixture of all of them....because the R90SL rim is rated to 122KGF. If the readings were actually so far high--180KGF+!, I'd expect spoke hole deformation and rim failure.

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Old 03-14-19, 08:51 PM
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WHICH DT Competition spokes?
They make 2 different gauges. 14/15 & 15/16.
https://www.coloradocyclist.com/dt-swiss-spokes
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Old 03-14-19, 08:56 PM
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You sure you're reading your chart right? It's not too hard to lose your place on the TM-1 chart between spokes and get a value from the wrong row or column. (I'm not too proud to admit that I'll use strips of painter's tape to keep me in the right lane for spoke gauge. )

If I got that wheel in the mail, I'd put it on the stand, try to even out the tensions while keeping it true, then step it all down a bit. The max tension spec is only about 120kgf.
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Old 03-14-19, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Either your data is wrong (measurements taken incorrectly) or your tool not calibrated any more (happens with spring scales) or their spreadsheet's math is wrong (using the wrong conversion factor)--or some mixture of all of them....because the R90SL rim is rated to 122KGF. If the readings were actually so far high--180KGF+!, I'd expect spoke hole deformation and rim failure.
+1
Tensions that high would result in the spoke wrench being WAY TOO HARD to turn. It would be hard to ignore that by anyone that's built a few wheels.
Thus my previous question about spoke gauge. Did you measure the actual gauge with the PARK "notch" tool?
It's easy to read the conversion chart wrong by a row.
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Old 03-15-19, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
+1
Tensions that high would result in the spoke wrench being WAY TOO HARD to turn. It would be hard to ignore that by anyone that's built a few wheels.
Thus my previous question about spoke gauge. Did you measure the actual gauge with the PARK "notch" tool?
It's easy to read the conversion chart wrong by a row.
Perhaps they followed Easton's way of building by tensioning the DS to the max then then dishing and truing using only the non-drive side spokes?.... I can only find out by loosening up the drive side, which I planned on doing anyway.

This is a 4 month old park TM-1 which was measured up against one used at a shop. When I opened the box for the wheels and did a ping test I noticed something out of whack,then proceeded to measure.

These are the DT Competitions (2 -1.8- 2). I used Competition Race on the front.

I have gone over the measurements several times and the readings I presented are what they are. As far as the KGF, I used park tool's online calculator and plugged in an 1.8 gauge steel round spoke.

For some reason Colorado Cyclist seemed to think those readings were good, as I sent them the exact photo as in the OP.

Last edited by sooni; 03-15-19 at 01:43 PM. Reason: removed quote
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Old 03-15-19, 04:19 AM
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I have to agree with several other posts.
Tension up to 186 is too high.
I've had the same, ... tension up to 170 and low of 105 on drive side 32 hole wheel
on a bike I bought.... took it apart.
Maybe a machine made your wheels?
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Old 03-15-19, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You sure you're reading your chart right? It's not too hard to lose your place on the TM-1 chart between spokes and get a value from the wrong row or column. (I'm not too proud to admit that I'll use strips of painter's tape to keep me in the right lane for spoke gauge. )

If I got that wheel in the mail, I'd put it on the stand, try to even out the tensions while keeping it true, then step it all down a bit. The max tension spec is only about 120kgf.
Yep, I checked the site and 120kgf is the max, now I am concerned about the front wheel, and why Colorado Cyclist did not question my readings, when they are clearly out of spec.

Here is the front wheel with DT Competition Race spokes (they got it within 15):


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Old 03-15-19, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I have to agree with several other posts.
Tension up to 186 is too high.
I've had the same, ... tension up to 170 and low of 105 on drive side 32 hole wheel
on a bike I bought.... took it apart.
Maybe a machine made your wheels?
No this was by a custom wheelbuilder at Colorado Cyclist, who has checked my readings and claimed they were acceptable. I have the emails to confirm. Not sure if I should take apart or send back, but I would imagine that they would only accept premium shipping that I would have to pay for from Canada.
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Old 03-15-19, 04:39 AM
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I would keep contacting them, and have them pay the return shipping plus refund your money.

I realize it's a custom hand build, but these numbers look like a machine built them.

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Old 03-15-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I would keep contacting them, and have them pay the return shipping plus refund your money.

I realize it's a custom hand build, but these numbers look like a machine built them.
+1. The only time I (an amateur wheel builder with less than a dozen wheels to my credit) can't keep a wheel within 10% is usually when there is a jog at the joint, and I have to fudge the tensions slightly in that region to get it to run a little straighter. It doesn't even look like the OP's wheel builder can point to that as an excuse, because I would expect the tension to be higher than average on on side near the joint, and lower than average for the corresponding spoke on the other side, and vice versa on the other side of the joint. Here, it's all over the place with no rhyme or reason.
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Old 03-15-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
+1. The only time I (an amateur wheel builder with less than a dozen wheels to my credit) can't keep a wheel within 10% is usually when there is a jog at the joint, and I have to fudge the tensions slightly in that region to get it to run a little straighter. It doesn't even look like the OP's wheel builder can point to that as an excuse, because I would expect the tension to be higher than average on on side near the joint, and lower than average for the corresponding spoke on the other side, and vice versa on the other side of the joint. Here, it's all over the place with no rhyme or reason.
Presuming any of the tension readings are accurate--they point to a bad batch of rims....because the R90SL is a nice rim and has a great record as such.

The DS is sky high and uneven....but the NDS is barely acceptable. Makes me wonder if when the wheel was tensioned they found that with the DS at spec the NDS was way too low, so compensated by jacking the tension up ridiculously....and all the variance is due to the rim starting to fail.
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Old 03-15-19, 12:48 PM
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Another computer science graduate with a bicycle ...
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