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Cost to have wheel built

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Old 11-09-18, 01:37 AM
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gus6464
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Cost to have wheel built

An LFS is quoting me $125 per wheel to have some built. The price doesn't include spokes or anything. I thought that seemed kind of excessive? What's a decent rate to pay for wheel build?
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Old 11-09-18, 05:35 AM
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Noonievut
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
An LFS is quoting me $125 per wheel to have some built. The price doesn't include spokes or anything. I thought that seemed kind of excessive? What's a decent rate to pay for wheel build?
highest Iíve been quoted was $150 for the pair. And thatís from a someone who runs a Park Tool school and teaches wheel building.

but hey, itís hard to make money in the business and if the service is top notch and you believe in this persons business...
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Old 11-09-18, 06:37 AM
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Maybe someone from San Diego can chime in about local pricing. Because this varies a ton with local COL.

Compared to where I live....$100 would be labor for a wheelset by someone who knows what they're doing. Then again out here stuff (both products/services and manpower) is cheaper than the coasts.
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Old 11-09-18, 07:27 AM
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$50/wheel is the going price in our neighborhood.
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Old 11-09-18, 09:05 AM
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I think I paid about $70 here (with lifetime tuneups on the wheel).
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Old 11-09-18, 01:22 PM
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gus6464
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Yeah I would consider $125 for both as a good deal but for each that just sounds insane.
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Old 11-09-18, 02:10 PM
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At Bike Shops they get built wheels from their distributors...
assembled from any component parts in their inventory, and those are at wholesale..

So a built wheel at or below the Retail cost of the parts alone, are possible..
before adding builders labor fee..
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Old 11-12-18, 10:56 AM
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It amazes me that people are willing to spend money for quakity hubs, rims, spokes and nipples then want cut cost on the actual labor to build the wheel (the most important thing).
is the guy going simply assemble the wheels? Or, is he going lace them, properly dish them and tension each spoke? Is he going to tension them again after you've got some miles?

IMO - you get what you pay for.
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Old 11-12-18, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
It amazes me that people are willing to spend money for quakity hubs, rims, spokes and nipples then want cut cost on the actual labor to build the wheel (the most important thing).
is the guy going simply assemble the wheels? Or, is he going lace them, properly dish them and tension each spoke? Is he going to tension them again after you've got some miles?

IMO - you get what you pay for.
What part of him charging $125 a wheel tells me that he's any good? Just because he's more expensive than the others? That's a ridiculous assumption.
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Old 11-13-18, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
What part of him charging $125 a wheel tells me that he's any good?
It doesn't. The money just gives the builder space in which to be good. A charge of $125 is an hour and a half at $80 per hour. 90 minutes might be enough time to obsess over quality. That said though, the charge seems higher than what I typically read about.
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Old 11-13-18, 01:36 PM
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Well I called multiple places and talked to different people and that $125 per wheel was not the craziest price I found. This one was by far the most.

$99 per wheel plus an extra $150 per wheelset because he wraps the crossed spokes in wire and solders it. So cost is really $175 per wheel.

Going with the shop that is charging $75 per wheel. They have a dedicated wheel guy so that's good.

Also no one locally can get the DT Swiss XR361 asymmetric rim right now for some reason so had to source elsewhere but this is what I'm going with:

DT Swiss XR 361 asymmetric rim (650b, 22.5/26 width)
Hope Pro 4 rear hub 12x142 32H
Cannondale Lefty 50 front hub 28H
DT Competition spokes (the xr 361s come with the squorx nipples)
Total including labor: 569

This will be my first custom wheelset with parts from all different places but I think price is good.
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Old 11-13-18, 02:22 PM
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Locally, it's $70 labor, & $1.25 per spoke. Of course, that is if you bring in hubs & rims. So, 36 generic spoke wheels with hubs & rims supplied is $185 +rim tape +tax or around +220 a set.

Throw in some rims at $90-120 each or double/triple butted spokes...that could easily be $450 or more to go on hubs you already own.

Hubs can be a crap-shoot. Last year, I spent $450 on a 4 pawl, 40 spoke Arai brake compatible Phil Wood tandem hub alone then around 300 more for a Son 28...So $750 before the rims were even decided on! All told that wheelset was about $1300 with the drum brake.
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Old 11-13-18, 09:30 PM
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I build my own wheels and charge myself a six pack per wheelset. If you have the time and inclination itís not that hard to learn how to do it yourself. Admittedly itís not for everyone but my truing stand and tools have more than paid for themselves several times over in the short time Iíve had them.
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Old 11-15-18, 07:53 AM
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Go here and do your own. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

I paid for SS spokes from a shop 72 cut and threaded + brass nipples $72, 2 36h Alex rims were $42 from the local co-op and I had some hubs that I paid $50. went to https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html and built my own wheels
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