Blog: 2014

Velocity rims have been popular forever. They have a rim for every application and offer the widest selection of colors — all available here. I did a couple Velocity builds last week.

The first wheelset is destined for a vintage mountain bike restoration project. Velocity Aeroheat rims offer a good strength-to-weight ratio and Shimano Ultegra hubs help manage the budget. It’s not easy finding sweet 26″ wheels for rim brakes and a 130mm rear end.

The next set is loaded touring wheels designed for journeys without limitation. They are based on White Industries MI5 hubs equipped with a titanium freehub body, Velocity Dyad rims and butted spokes. With 40 spokes each, these wheels are capable of carrying the kitchen sink.

21 Mar 2014

Pads with your wheels

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I recently became a SwissStop dealer and just listed brake pads for sale. Often overlooked, good pads make a material difference to stopping power, wet weather performance and feel at the lever. Add SwissStop pads to your wheel order and pay no extra shipping.

The driver behind this decision is upcoming carbon projects (stay tuned). If pads matter in general, that goes double for carbon rims. Braking generates heat — too much heat can melt carbon. SwissStop put a lot of work into their Black Prince compound, which, in tests, produced significantly lower temperatures. Dry braking power isn’t compromised and stopping distance in wet conditions is getting better. No matter which pad you prefer, reserve a set for use on carbon alone; alloy rims contaminate pads with abrasives that will damage carbon. I say don’t pinch pennies on pads.

Let me know if these or any other SwissStop pad interests you.

15 Mar 2014

Substance behind looks

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There was a great tweet from @SCVelo that OEM wheels say “check out our bikes but don’t look too close.” Don’t ask about wheel weight, stiffness, how reliable the hubs are, what kind of spokes are on there, replacement parts availability, don’t ask about the build standards and so on.

You might not like the answers.

Identical to a previous wheelset, these have more to offer than most OEM wheels. Their stiffness is excellent, the star-ratchet hubs are high quality at an affordable price, and spokes are butted. Butted spokes decrease weight and increase fatigue life. This set is 28h with alloy nipples — a recipe for durability with a nod to weight. These are nice parts and I like to think they’re put together as well as a wheel can be, which is an important determiner of maintenance requirements and lifespan.

07 Mar 2014

White Industries red

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I mentioned before that White Industries was introducing color finishes, starting with T11 and CLD hubs. This set of red T11 hubs arrived at the shop today so I took a couple snapshots.

This is my favorite road hubset at the moment. Not the cheapest option but far from the most expensive; good weight; and terrific hubs for the DIY mechanic since illustrated guides for bearing replacement and adjustment are posted online. (Get your bearings from me.)

28 Feb 2014

Rim tape options

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Do you stock Velox rim tape?

No — it may be heresy but I don’t recommend cloth tape like Velox. As a dealer I know customers are concerned about tire mounting difficulty. A thin tape not only weighs less but its lower profile leaves more room in the rim well for tire beads. The result: easier tire mounting. I use Stan’s because they were the first and their tape works tubeless too.