30 Jun 2020

SpokeService on COVID-19


Parts needed to continue wheelbuilding did not become available in June so the situation is much the same. Hopefully supply will improve but as of this moment there’s nothing to do but remain closed for July. SpokeService may resume in late July if supply arrives and the closure may be extended if it doesn’t. A real bummer with no obvious, immediate solutions. Watch this space for updates.

Past updates

May 30: COVID-19 has stoked demand for bicycle parts and, at the same time, disrupted upstream supply and international logistics. With such limited inventories available, it’s hard to keep working. SpokeService will close for the month of June, 2020. The last shipment from the online shop will be dispatched June 1 and then the site will cease accepting orders for the rest of the month. If you want anything, get your order in by June 1 at noon Pacific Time (15h00 Eastern Time).

May 15: I’m pleased with Canada Post delivery performance. Outbound shipments seem to be moving well. The supply side isn’t as rosy. After a busy few weeks stock counts in the shop are low. Sapim Leader, Sapim Laser and Sapim Force are available but most other spoke choices are out of stock. Due to shortages the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon. With the consequent reduction in orders shipments will be dispatched Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. Shop hours will adjust as needed so, for the best service, please opt for email support over telephone calls.

March 15: SpokeService operations will continue during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. So far inbound and outbound shipping has been smooth but it’s reasonable to assume there will be hiccups — I’m monitoring the situation and asking for your patience. At the moment stock counts in the shop are good however some items are getting low. I’m not sure how the situation will unfold but re-stocking lead times are expected to worsen as fallout hits the supply chain.

07 Jun 2020

Truing stand beta


Development hasn’t stopped on my truing stand. The software has been stable for more than a year but recent changes make it the tool I really wanted. After a few hardware revisions, that part is working well too. For a peek at both check out the video below.

I designed and built this tool for my own purposes as a professional wheelbuilder but it’s generated a surprising amount of interest. Whether that’s curiosity or commercial demand is hazy so, below the video, find a short survey to shed light on the matter. If you can, please contribute! All questions are optional and the survey can be submitted anonymously if you prefer.

On the tech front I have a handful of units I’d like to distribute for outside testing and feedback. If you’d like to be a tester, please use the survey to express your interest. Read more →

29 Feb 2020

Listen to your rims


I never know what rims will walk through my door, the freshness of the tooling on the day they were made, the chain of custody from the factory, etc. So I have a prebuild ritual that involves quite a lot of inspection. I don’t want to call it a checklist — I’m just creating opportunities to notice what’s in hand. If attention is given to each facet, anything awry stands out.

On alloy rims I like to visit every spoke hole with a chamfer tool or a handheld drill bit. This puts a subtle profile in the hole where the head of the nipple rests. Sometimes there can be a coil of drilling chaff attached to a spoke hole — a chamfering pass breaks them off and smooths any burrs. When I visit the joint I look at the internal sleeve, if any. Does it interfere with nipple fit? And so on.

Measuring is inspecting

Measuring your own ERD can indicate a lot. Use the measuring step to test fit washers if using them. Do the washers sit nicely in the rim? Measuring will tell you if your rim round or oval. All else being equal the rounder the rim, the better the expected result in terms of alignment and tension balance. If your rim is oval, take a deep breath and expect to spend a little longer at the bench if chasing numbers is your thing. Have you ever found a job difficult and doubted your skills? It could be the rim but more comforting to know than to guess.

24 Dec 2019

See you next year


SpokeService is now closed for 2019. I’ll be taking the remainder of the year to clean the workshop, overhaul tools, count inventory and close the books. The online shop will remain open but orders won’t ship until operations resume in January. The site will have a little downtime for server upgrades, which means my free software utilities may be unavailable for short periods.

Looking forward

Growth in 2019 was positive but below expectations. The upside of available hours was time to work on my digital truing stand, now reaching maturity. I’ve manufactured a few units that I hope to share with beta testers in early 2020. More information coming to this blog in the near future.

Happy holidays and tailwinds in 2020.

20 Dec 2019

Morizumi mounting


Ric from Wheel Fanatyk visited recently and wrote about it on his blog. He was interested in my Morizumi setup and maybe others will be too. I’ll leave a few notes and build photos here. Read more →