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Mike Garcia, the local guy or do it myself?

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Mike Garcia, the local guy or do it myself?

Old 11-04-06, 08:31 PM
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Mike Garcia, the local guy or do it myself?

Ok so my rear wheel is out of true AGAIN. My LBS did a crappy build, it has lost tension a number of times...the rim now has a hop in it...the wheel is screwed. So I have 4 new rims sitting here and the hub will be fine. Should I:

1) Send the hub and a rim to Mike Garcia who I know will do a great job and send me a good new wheel
2) Give the local guy known as the best wheel builder in town the parts and let him do his thing
3) Buy a Park dishing tool and tension meter and do it myself

Part of me just wants to send it to Mike...I think this is obviously the safest route. But I have heard a lot of good things about this local guy...if it isn't all BS he should be able to build me a good wheel. But then even another part of me says hey stupid just learn to do it for yourself.

Option 3 will be the most expensive in the short term as I will be spending $75 on the tools plus the cost of spokes and nipples (I assume I shouldn't re use the stuff that is there even though it is less than a year old). Option 1 is the safest and probably nearly as expensive, you have shipping both ways plus the labor and the parts...but again this will be the safest. Option 2 is pretty much unknown but should be cheaper than the other two...no shipping just labor and the cost of the spokes. Really option 3 could be really expensive because I might just go whole hog and replace my Spin Doctor truing stand with the good Park unit...got to have the right tools for the job right?
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Old 11-04-06, 08:43 PM
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send 2 rims to Mike and 2 to local guy. I'm middle of the road politically too.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:01 PM
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They all sound like good options.

With option 3 it is possible to build a solid wheel without a truing stand, dishing tool, or spoke tensiometer, but it is more difficult and time consuming. You can use the brakes on the bike to get the left/right truing and you can use a pipe cleaner or tape a popsicle stick to the seat stays to get the out-of-round truing. Even and proper tension can be felt by "calibrated fingers", but a tensiometer is a really good idea. At the very least it will give you confidence that the wheel will hold up and not need constant tinkering. Also I wouldn't be penny-wise and pound foolish by using the old spokes. If you are going to this much trouble you shouldn't skimp there. (I do have to admit that recently I built a "new" wheel for my commuter bike by buying two trashed wheels from a LBS - one with a bad rim and with a one bad hub - and used the old spokes. The rest of the bike is just about ready for the trash heap, so I only want to get a year or two (3000 miles) out of this wheel.) And don't forget spoke prep.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:10 PM
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Old 11-04-06, 09:12 PM
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Send front and rear to Mike and have done. You know full well it'll be done right the first time...
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Old 11-04-06, 09:34 PM
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Will Mike do builds on parts sent to him? Isn't that like buying parts online and then taking them to your LBS to build your bike? They lose out on the margin so the "cost" to build with your parts could be significant.

I just built my first wheel last week but so far I don't know if I did a crappy job or not. I just rode it today for the first and performed great. Time will tell if it goes out of true or not. I don't have a truing stand or tension meter. I true it on the bike and plucked some spokes on a built wheel to see what this one should sound like.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:34 PM
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do you really wanna spend all the time and money to learn how to build these wheels? if so, diy. if not, go one of the other two routes. i don't think you're gonna do this a lot in your life, so let someone else that does it for a living do it. i sent a powercrap hub to mike garcia and he built two custom wheels for me, and i haven't had a problem with them for almost a year. and every single part on the wheels was discussed then decided by me. i recommend him highly. but don't blow off the local guy. if a lot of people say he's good, consider giving him a try. bottom line - i'll do a lot of maintenance by myself, but building wheels i just don't have the time for. and i don't need it a lot. so it's not worth my time or investment to do it. let a pro do it

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Old 11-04-06, 09:38 PM
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Send it to the local guy. Practice your wheel building skills on your commuter wheel or something similar.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dstrong
Will Mike do builds on parts sent to him? Isn't that like buying parts online and then taking them to your LBS to build your bike? They lose out on the margin so the "cost" to build with your parts could be significant.

Labor is labor, you can charge as much per hour or job as the market will bear. Plenty of margin to be had there.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:25 AM
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send it to the local guy

getting the tension correct shouldn't require shipping it out to a wheelbuilder who already has a backlog
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Old 11-05-06, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Ok so my rear wheel is out of true AGAIN. My LBS did a crappy build, it has lost tension a number of times...the rim now has a hop in it...the wheel is screwed. So I have 4 new rims sitting here and the hub will be fine. Should I:

1) Send the hub and a rim to Mike Garcia who I know will do a great job and send me a good new wheel
2) Give the local guy known as the best wheel builder in town the parts and let him do his thing
3) Buy a Park dishing tool and tension meter and do it myself

Part of me just wants to send it to Mike...I think this is obviously the safest route. But I have heard a lot of good things about this local guy...if it isn't all BS he should be able to build me a good wheel. But then even another part of me says hey stupid just learn to do it for yourself.

Option 3 will be the most expensive in the short term as I will be spending $75 on the tools plus the cost of spokes and nipples (I assume I shouldn't re use the stuff that is there even though it is less than a year old). Option 1 is the safest and probably nearly as expensive, you have shipping both ways plus the labor and the parts...but again this will be the safest. Option 2 is pretty much unknown but should be cheaper than the other two...no shipping just labor and the cost of the spokes. Really option 3 could be really expensive because I might just go whole hog and replace my Spin Doctor truing stand with the good Park unit...got to have the right tools for the job right?
Who did the build?

I always trusted Eric Scott or Sparky (I assume they both work at the bicycle shop now) to do any work on my bike. Have one of them do the build.
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Old 11-05-06, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by badkarma
Who did the build?

I always trusted Eric Scott or Sparky (I assume they both work at the bicycle shop now) to do any work on my bike. Have one of them do the build.
Sparky works at Freeze Thaw. Who is Eric Scott? I am not sure who built them but it was TBS and I am now convinced they can't build a properly tensioned and stress relieved wheel to save their ass.

Eric Roman no longer works for Wheel Works and is now with RBR due to a no compete he had signed with Wheel Works but he will do it. From everything I have heard he is the best wheel builder in town.

dstrong - Mike will build wheels with the components I send, he doesn't carry any of what I am sending anyway.

Well time to be off to the Early Riser's ride. MMM 28° F this should be fun.
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Old 11-05-06, 06:23 AM
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Send it to the local guy. I've had great luck with a wheelbuilder here in Indiana.
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Old 11-05-06, 06:40 AM
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Hi John,
With respect to all the wheel builders on this forum...either optons #1 or 2. I wouldn't fiddle fart with building wheels. That's right guys...I don't have any real desire to build wheels and I build my own bikes and heavily mod cars and motorcycles. I do true my own wheels however...but only touch up. If a wheel has a tendency to go out of true and you haven't abused it, then it was likely built wrong. All said, I have had great luck with Campy machine built wheels. I am a pretty heavy guy and they simple don't go out of true. I therefore don't mess with custom wheels or hand built wheels...no need. No resale value and a good machine built wheel is fine for most of us...in fact the better ones maybe more consistent on a whole then hand built wheels. I will leave you with something I read in the mechanics forum from a fellow member that stuck with me. I laughed pretty hard when I read this because it is so true. Building wheels...again sorry to those that do it....is like knitting for men.
Have it done by a pro John and spend your time elsewhere....either building another bike or riding :-)
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Old 11-05-06, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Sparky works at Freeze Thaw. Who is Eric Scott? I am not sure who built them but it was TBS and I am now convinced they can't build a properly tensioned and stress relieved wheel to save their ass.

Eric Roman no longer works for Wheel Works and is now with RBR due to a no compete he had signed with Wheel Works but he will do it. From everything I have heard he is the best wheel builder in town.

dstrong - Mike will build wheels with the components I send, he doesn't carry any of what I am sending anyway.

Well time to be off to the Early Riser's ride. MMM 28° F this should be fun.
Erik Scott owned B&E cycles, then he bought TBS. When he was up at B&E, he did a decent amount of work for me, and it was always well done. I've had TBS do work for me in the past, and I was not impressed with their mechanics at all (except for Grant).

Enjoy the Early Risers ride, I'll be off to mine in a few, althought it's a little bit warmer down here at 34 deg.
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Old 11-05-06, 08:53 AM
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Man, you live in Pennsylvania? The first time that I went there it snowed so much that the governor closed down the whole state! So, if you don't learn rebuild that wheelset yourself, what else are you going to do all winter?

Doing it yourself you get:
1. More education because you will have learned a new skill.
2. Greater satisfaction because you will have done it yourself.
3. More confidence because you will know how much care went into building the wheels.
4. A rebuilt wheelset.

The other ways only net you one or, at most, two of those benefits.
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Old 11-05-06, 11:07 AM
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You wanna buy a Velomax? Brand spanking new Shimano 10sp 12/25 cassette! No skewer, but I'll leave the GP3000 on it from last year.

Just kidding really, I'll still use it with my old steelies like I've been doing. Did Shimano change the chains when they went to 10 speed? Otherwise I'll have to put the 9speed back on.
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Old 12-27-06, 02:07 PM
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Anyone knows how much Mike Garcia charge per wheel if you supply the components? How does that compare to a local wheelbuilder?
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Old 12-27-06, 02:44 PM
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If the local guy is good, then use the local guy. Build quailty issues, if any, are easier to resolve with the local guy then someone far off. Also, you don't have to worry about gorillas bashing your wheels in transit.
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Old 12-27-06, 03:03 PM
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No specific advice here - but the concept of DIY or have someone do it is totally individual. No one can tell you what is better for you.
Some people like to do everything themselves
Some people like to hire everything out
Most people kind of fall in the middle. They hire out things they do not like to do, or things that might just be cheap to hire. They DIY things that they enjoy or are very expensive to hire.

I fall on the hire out most on most things, but I want to be more DIY on my bike. I am a total n00b but I love working on it. I have replaces cables, setup derailers, adjusted brakes, etc. I will soon get a wheel stand to be able to true and work on rims.
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Old 12-27-06, 03:16 PM
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Well this thread is a while old and I did a couple of things in the mean time. #1 was that I had the local guy build the wheel in question...which leaves me with 3 new rims. I also bought a Park TM-1 and went over all of my wheels and found most of them to be low and uneven. I brought the tension up to where I was told by the mfgs that it should be and trued from there. Haven't been on the new wheel more than 2x since it got built...but for now it is round, I guess we will find out more in the spring.

I am going to learn to build my own and I think I am going to start by lacing up a set of track hubs to a pair of these tubular rims as I am getting a Specialized Langster here in a couple of months (buying a house is killing my bike buying ).
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Old 12-27-06, 03:47 PM
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I recently rebuild my first wheel, so far its been holding up well. I also sourced some parts from MG to build up a spankin new set for climbing. I've decided on aluminum nipples over brass for non-drive and front so I need to get some new ones.
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