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Where to get 406 wheelsets in the US?

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Where to get 406 wheelsets in the US?

Old 09-15-22, 08:03 PM
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Where to get 406 wheelsets in the US?

I picked up the bikesdirect mini velo, and promptly rode it until the hubs got crunchy, and the wheels out of true.

Now, I could keep tweaking fixing them, repacking the hubs and such, but wanted to find some wider, lighter, wheels anyway.

The cheapest I could find from velocity, or from some local wheel builders was in the $500 range, which is about what I've put into the bike + accessories so far.

Any ideas for iso 406, silver, rim brake, >=20mm internal width wheels, for under $500?

I'm out of ideas beyond watching for someone selling the wheelset off a recumbent.
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Old 09-15-22, 09:11 PM
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Before I learned to build wheels myself, I had one made by a professional. Where I live, the top wheelbuilder charges $75 labor per wheel and approx $40 for 36 spokes. Add the cost of rim and hub, which you source yourself. BMX rims should cost less than Velocitys.
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Old 09-18-22, 02:48 PM
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Lots of 406 wheels on aliexpress.
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Old 09-18-22, 04:32 PM
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I have two sets of 406 wheels in my basement, one set for lightweight, the other for durability.
Both are wheelsets are new, 6-bolt rotor disc brake compatible, Shimano cassette body, 100/135mm spacing.


Lightweight wheels without eyelets, 19mm width, 22mm deep rim. Straight pull spoles.


Durability wheels with eyelets, 25mm width, 24mm deep rim.

Last edited by cat0020; 09-20-22 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 09-19-22, 04:02 PM
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I just bought a front wheel from thorusa because he was going out of business. Now that he's gone where else in the US can one find folding bike parts? As far as the question here I will say that buying a high quality wheelset is the most important upgrade you can make to a bicycle. Last year I upgraded my mountain bike wheels and it has made me a much better mountain bike rider. My confidence has gone way up and for the first time I feel in control of the bike. If it's not a question of money than I'm of the opinion go ahead and spend the money. I might try looking at Modernbike.com for a cheaper wheelset. They have always been reliable for me.
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Old 09-19-22, 04:14 PM
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No comment.
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Old 09-19-22, 04:41 PM
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For the US (l’ll include Canada, that small country up North) there is not much of a choice for small wheels. This market is small compared to Asia and the EU. There is not a lot of opportunity for a business to strive in it. You can get wheels made locally. The other is to import directly.
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Old 09-20-22, 07:30 AM
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I'm almost reluctant to say it but Amazon has a number of 20 inch wheelsets. I browsed their selection when I was considering upgrading my entry level Zizzo. Instead, I'm probably going to put that $$$ toward an upgraded folder in the spring.
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Old 09-20-22, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jfouellette
For the US (lll include Canada, that small country up North) there is not much of a choice for small wheels. This market is small compared to Asia and the EU. There is not a lot of opportunity for a business to strive in it. You can get wheels made locally. The other is to import directly.

You'd think otherwise, but the EU is terrible for getting quality 406 wheels that fit adult bikes. Last year I had to resort to a wheel from Decathlon Sports which had a crappy low engagement hub and weighed a lot more than what was on the bike before. Eventually I found a BMX rim that had 28 holes (most are at least 36h) and bought a DT Swiss hub for it.

At least Velocity make quality 406 in the North American market.
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Old 09-20-22, 09:15 AM
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Mini velo ownership in North American doesn’t equal to low budgets.

Last summer, for my folding Fhnon I ordered a 406 freehub wheel set on Aliexpress. They had Novatech hubs and where of decent quality for the price. Worked well untill the bike was stolen.

Last edited by jfouellette; 09-20-22 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 09-20-22, 09:50 AM
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Whenever I rode my minivelo, the same as with my folding bikes, I've always had people interested in them. The question I almost always got was "where can I get one for myself?". The problem had always been the lack of availability here in the USA. Now we have more options for folders (except for the fact thorusa has permantly closed down), but the demand has shifted towards ebikes. Minivelos are in high demand, but really only motorized models. Ebikes have become one of the most popular modes of transportation, along with electric scooters. I see the occasional folder, but almost EVERYTHING is motorized. Trying to get anything that isn't hugely popular here in North America (404 wheelsets as a prime example, or these sweet minivelos) costs an arm & a leg to import. Definitely SUX!!!
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Old 09-20-22, 10:30 AM
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I am surprised no mention of Dan's Comp for 406 wheels in the US.
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Old 09-20-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta
I am surprised no mention of Dan's Comp for 406 wheels in the US.
Whoa! 20 inch carbon wheels at $800 & 1420 grams! I wish I'd have known about that. That would've totally changed the direction of my build & saved me pounds. (Seeing no light weight options with no quality hubs, I said Ephit & chose to build my own Velocity's with a dynamo & an IGH)
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Old 09-20-22, 03:54 PM
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This is a related question but not entirely on topic but: do BMX front wheels have the same hub/axle width as rim brake folding bike front hubs?
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Old 09-20-22, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle
This is a related question but not entirely on topic but: do BMX front wheels have the same hub/axle width as rim brake folding bike front hubs?
Keep in mind that folding bike forks come in at least two different fork OLD (Overnut Lock Distance): 74mm and 100mm.

74mm wide wheels can be installed on 100mm wide forks with an adaptor, but obviously not the other way around.

Ditto for the rear. OLD can be 130 or 135mm. On steel frames it kinda won't matter as you can compress or expand the material 5mm, but this is a no-no on Al alloy frames.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 09-20-22 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 09-20-22, 05:55 PM
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Maybe this topic would be better titled:

"Where in the Whole-Wide World to get 406 Wheelsets (apart from Asia).?

?!!

My experience is that Europe has very few 406 wheel options despite more people using 20" bikes for commuting by train vs what is typical in North America.

Velocity are a great domestic manufacturer of high quality product in the U.S.. Unfortunately when I bought a pair of rims from them last year Spanish customs seized the order and I wasn't notified despite customs having my e-mail and postal address on the shipping invoice. By the time I was making enquiries some six weeks later (wondering where my rims were) it was too late and they'd sent the package back to the states. I found out that it'd been received by Spanish customs a day and a half after I placed my order with Velocity and it had subsequently sat unclaimed for weeks wherever they keep "unclaimed" stuff at Barreras Intl Airport on the outskirts of Madrid. To this day I have no idea how much duty customs wanted me to pay.

Thereafter I really looked hard for 406 rims in Europe. My options were all BMX. The lowest spoke count I could get my hands on in 406 was 28h (which is fine - but even that took much searching and I had to buy a new hub).

Anyway, anyone know any European manufacturers of decent 406 wheels? Did I miss something obvious?

Last edited by joey buzzard; 09-20-22 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by joey buzzard
...Thereafter I really looked hard for 406 rims in Europe....Did I miss something obvious?...
Maybe...
shop.ginkgo-veloteile.de/Rims-20-Inch-406-mm
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Old 09-21-22, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackstrida_A_

Thanks. That might be useful.
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Old 01-28-23, 07:34 PM
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I ended up getting a great deal on a custom wheelset from benscycle, running sun rhyno lite rims on Shimano tiagra level hubs.
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Old 01-29-23, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackstrida_A_
Ginkgo made several wheels for me in ETRTO406, ETRTO355 and ETRTO349.

The problem with small diameter wheels is no only the rim but also the spokes, its difficult to find short spokes. Of course a bicycle shop that has a spoke cutting/threading machine can do custom length spokes but this works only for plain diameter spokes, not for butted and aero spokes. Ginkgo has short length spokes both butted and aero like the excellent Sapim CX-ray.

They are able to mount the wheels with components not listed on their website, they can either order the missing component themselves or the customer can do it and ship them to Ginkgo. The last wheel mounting they did for me was with a Tune Climbhill rear hub they ordered directly from Tune (Tune sell only to companies).

The only drawback is that they have a lot of work, so the delay to receive the wheel(s) is often long.

Last edited by Jipe; 01-29-23 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 01-29-23, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
Ginkgo made several wheels for me in ETRTO406, ETRTO355 and ETRTO349.

The problem with small diameter wheels is no only the rim but also the spokes, its difficult to find short spokes. Of course a bicycle shop that has a spoke cutting/threading machine can do custom length spokes but this works only for plain diameter spokes, not for butted and aero spokes. Ginkgo has short length spokes both butted and aero like the excellent Sapim CX-ray.

They are able to mount the wheels with components not listed on their website, they can either order the missing component themselves or the customer can do it and ship them to Ginkgo. The last wheel mounting they did for me was with a Tune Climbhill rear hub they ordered directly from Tune (Tune sell only to companies).

The only drawback is that they have a lot of work, so the delay to receive the wheel(s) is often long.
You are mistaken. Single-butted spokes are butted at the head end and can make a perfectly viable wheel consisting of any spoke length. Double-butted spokes are available to me in custom lengths at least as short as 165mm, which is more than short enough for a 406 w/tall (67mm PCD) flange hub. If I was building for 305 rim w/tall-flange hub, I'd choose single-butted rather than straight-guage spokes.

Last edited by Nyah; 01-29-23 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-29-23, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by willydstyle
This is a related question but not entirely on topic but: do BMX front wheels have the same hub/axle width as rim brake folding bike front hubs?
If you mean 74mm, the answer is No. BMX front hubs are probably 100mm like the rest of the bicycle universe (other than the oddball genre known as folding bicycles). BMX wheels need to be tough. The narrower the hub, the weaker the wheel will be, so, I can't imagine any BMX-rider wanting 74mm.
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Old 01-29-23, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah
You are mistaken. Single-butted spokes are butted at the head end and can make a perfectly viable wheel consisting of any spoke length. Double-butted spokes are available to me in custom lengths at least as short as 165mm, which is more than short enough for a 406 w/tall (67mm PCD) flange hub. If I was building for 305 rim w/tall-flange hub, I'd choose single-butted rather than straight-guage spokes.
You are right, I was meaning double butted because most common spokes are 2mm at the head and 2mm too at the threaded end, the most common single butted are 2,3mm at the head and 2mm for the rest and meant for heavy bike like travel bike, tandem, ebike.

Gingko has high end Sapim and DT-swiss double butted and aero spokes in a lot of length to fit a lot of hub-rim combinations including length for ETRTO349 and ETRTO355 rims (I don't like ETRTO305 which is mainly used for low end bikes).
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Old 01-30-23, 01:45 AM
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305is mainly used for low end bikes.
The 305 rim happens to be the only way to run 50mm road tires on a 16-inch bicycle. If not for 50-305 road tires, I wouldn't have an interest in 16-inch bicycles to begin with. Thus the 349 and 355 sizes represent low-end, to me.
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Old 01-30-23, 04:57 AM
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There are 50x355 tires too.
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