04 Jul 2019

Paul track build

Webmaster

For singlespeed wheels I like hubs from Paul Component Engineering and Phil Wood. I can suggest which are best for you and offer competitive pricing — please email.

This wheelset uses Paul Component track hubs laced to Stan’s Alpha 400 tubeless rims with Sapim Laser spokes and alloy nipples. Total weight is 1545g. Additionally this wheelset is getting tamper-proof torx bolts for a little extra lockup security. The bolts are a Paul upgrade option.

Easy rim, hard rim

This wheelset was an interesting study in the difference a rim makes. My runout target with machined rims is 0.25mm (with the expectation they’ll settle in to 0.33mm over the long haul). This wasn’t achievable on the rear rim, which finished at 0.26mm. I spent quite a lot of time getting it this good and the rim made it clear I could go no further. After improving the most extreme misalignment the rim would fold some other way for no net improvement. The distortion didn’t seem related to the weld area nor expressed in locations 180 degrees apart. Even so by industry quality thresholds of 0.50mm runout and ±20% tension variation, this is still a very good wheel. The penalty associated with less-than-perfect rims is mostly wheelbuilding benchtime. Indeed the front wheel was completed in half the time with better alignment and lower tension variance.

18 Jun 2019

Spoke rulers

Webmaster

I own a few spoke rulers. You’d think they’re all the same and mostly they are.

My daily driver is the Sapim ruler (pictured far left) because I’m a Sapim dealer and that keeps everything in the family. It does its job very well. It also tries to be a spoke diameter gauge but isn’t as successful. The purple Pi ruler, next in line, is pretty novel with its center channel for aligning the spoke. This helps measuring used spokes, which are never straight. I like that it’s marked in half millimetre increments although the bright finish detracts from legibility. The Phil Wood ruler is heavy in a good way and pleasing to use. It has the best spoke diameter gauge although 2.2mm is conspicuously missing. The Cyclus and Park Tool rulers are similar, however Cyclus gets extra marks for putting its graduations on the spoke path. The VAR ruler is similar but adds nipple measurement, which is clever and useful. The DT Swiss ruler doesn’t feel like a real tool. The Unior ruler is on the same level as Park, which means good enough. The Filzer tool on the end is conspicuously similar to the Unior tool — since Filzer is a marketing company we can probably guess who made their tool.

Check my Instagram before Friday afternoon if you’d like to win a Pi spoke ruler!

09 Jun 2019

Recent DT Swiss builds

Webmaster

In the last little while I’ve done a couple wheelsets using DT Swiss hubs and rims. In both cases the hubs and rims were ordered from www.bike24.com with delivery to SpokeService HQ, where I put them together using spokes from my inventory. The result is great wheels with global parts pricing. Both sets use DT 350 hubs; one rider selected R470db rims while the other chose RR521db rims. If you’re thinking about building a set of wheels yourself, I can testify these rims make the work painless.

19 May 2019

Recommended parts

Webmaster

If you’re after new wheels but need advice on parts selection, these brands have become popular thanks to good customer outcomes and low failure rates. In my terminology the difference between mid-range and high-end is not a difference of precision but of materials and machining time. And cost. With good options at difference price levels, I avoid economy parts.

Except those brands marked with an asterisk, most are not sold here.

Mid-range hubs

Mid-range rims

High-end hubs

High-end rims

  • HED
  • Light-Bicycle
  • Nextie

For pricing on products marked with an asterisk, please email.

03 May 2019

Silver revival

Webmaster

Pictured below are two wheelsets built with 650b Pacenti Brevet rims, one built in March and another more recently. I was happy with the steadiness of the rims and would recommend them if they meet your needs. The first set uses Campagnolo hubs; SON and Shimano hubs on the second. The hubs were supplied by their owners except for the SON dynamo, which I provided. The Rene Herse (formerly Compass) tires were provided as well, an option for wheelbuilding customers.