Frequently Asked Questions
Some of our most common questions about having custom wheels built. If you still have questions, please reach out at the contact form below.
Why are hand built wheels better?
A good wheel builder is able to put a lot more care in the final finishing steps to building wheels that machine built wheels fall short on. The biggest being properly stress relieving the wheel. If you have ever ridden a new wheel and it quickly lost spoke tension or went out of true, chances are that wheel was not stress relieved properly. Other than stress relieving, most factory wheels are under tensioned which can lead to issues breaking spokes after you get some good miles on the wheels. A properly built wheel should almost never break spokes under normal riding conditions which is why we offer a lifetime guarantee against spoke breakage on all our builds.
Beyond putting more care into the actual building of your wheels, we are also able to help better select parts that match your riding style, tastes and budget better than something off the shelf ever could. Unlike machine built or mass produced wheels, we always build with quality parts, even in places you can’t see. It is not uncommon for companies to spec a cheap second or third tier brand for their spokes to cut costs knowing that most riders will never notice until it is too late.
Are hand built wheels always expensive?
While rarely the cheapest option initially, hand built wheels can be more affordable than you would think. The real value comes from the amount of use you will get from your wheels. Many people take the wheels we build them and move them from bike to bike over the years making the cost per mile surprisingly nice. Hand building also gives you more options to keep costs down if you are trying to get back to riding after damaging your existing rim or hub. We can typically replace just the bad rim or hub saving you money by not having to throw away otherwise good parts.
How long does it take for new wheels?
This can vary quite a bit but we will always do our best to get your wheels built as quickly as possible. We try to keep the best inventory we can so if the parts you are interested in are in stock, we can typically get them built in around a week or two depending on the season. If the parts you would like to build with are on backorder at the supplier or you want custom decals / paint / anodizing that can definitely push the timeline out a few months.
What kind of wheels can you build?
We have a lot of experience in building wheels for nearly every type of bike. We probably build more mountain bike wheels than anything but we also have built a ton of gravel, road, track, touring, tandem and BMX wheels. We even get into far less common builds quite often such as cargo bikes, pedicabs, wheel chair, hand cycle, SurRon and pretty much anything else that is a wire spoked wheel. If you have something you are interested in, shoot us a message and we are happy to talk options!
How do I order wheels from you?
The easiest way to get your build started is to send us an email via the contact forms on our website or to give the shop a call at (719) 428 – 5861 and we can go over options. We will occasionally have some wheels that we pre-build under our Ready to Ship Wheels section on our website but more often than not, wheels are built to order.
Do hand built wheels need to be re-tensioned after the first few rides?
In our opinion this is a myth that is perpetuated by people who do not do a good job stress relieving their builds or who do not tension the spoke properly in the first place. A big part of why we stress relieve our builds so many times is to make sure the spoke tensions remain stable when you start to ride your new wheels. We have shipped new wheels to touring riders that immediately put them on their bike and rode them for thousands of loaded miles without issue. The mark of a great wheel is one you put on your bike and never have to worry about again.
What kind of custom colors and styles are available?
We can build nearly any wheel for your bike you could imagine as long as you have the patience and budget. Some things are quick and easy like colored spoke nipples, hubs, etc. If you want to go really custom we can get rims custom painted here locally by Dark Matter Finishing who does some amazing work on many of the bikes seen at the North American Handmade Bike Show. We can also get custom decals added to carbon rims to show off your team, charity, business or anything else you want to promote. The options are only limited by your imagination so if you have some ideas, reach out and we will see what we can do for you!
Can you teach me how to build my own wheels?
Sure! We are always happy to give one on one or even group wheel building lessons! Sometimes it can be a bit more difficult if it is in the middle of our busy season but we will always do our best to accommodate you. Reach out via the contact form, email or give the shop a call and we will make something happen!