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Thread: Wheel Builder

  1. #1
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    Wheel Builder

    Can anyone reccomend a reputable/bomber wheel builder in the Fort collins area??

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    Larry @ Mtn High Cyclery, need I say more. Do a search, you'll find of good info about him, he's a good guy who knows what he's doing.

    In Loveland, but pretty much the same thing.

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    Definitely Larry...just give him time to build them and you will have a solid wheelset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle

    +1 For Doug. Have a pair of Mavic GP4 road rims he and I built together back in 1985... bombproof.
    Signature? I don't need no stinking signature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by insect_o_man
    +1 For Doug. Have a pair of Mavic GP4 road rims he and I built together back in 1985... bombproof.
    Here here! Just built me a Mavic tubeless setup, tweaked it after the spokes broke in, and did it all with good turn-around time and great service.
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  7. #7
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    I do them myself. I haven't found a wheel builder in the front range that will 'spec' a wheel properly yet... but then again, there's a difference between getting them out the door and doing it right. I've built Trials wheels which take some of the worst abuse.

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    I hear great things about Larry...but the Fix in Boulder built me the best wheel I've had to date. Marzocchi 20mm on Mavic 729... Granted it's a front wheel but it's true and tight after almost a year of DH/FR

    Edit: As for OP's question there's no one in the Fort I would go to for a wheel. Singletrack Mind is the only shop worth going to (Like Larry he matches internet prices and orders for you...) but I don't think he builds wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by andykrow
    Edit: As for OP's question there's no one in the Fort I would go to for a wheel.
    I would have to disagree with this assessment. There are a lot of good bike shops in Northern Colorado. I know these guys can all build a great set of wheels.

    Rick Woy (Fort Collins)
    http://www.phoenixcyclery.com/

    Steve Opp (Greeley)
    http://theroubaixbicyclecompany.com/

    Larry Mettler (Loveland)
    http://mtnhighcyclery.com/

    As I said, I know there are others in NoCo that can also build a good set of wheels, I just don't have any personal experience with them.
    Ride On!

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    I am not familiar with Rick but I said the Fort as in Fort Collins. As I said I hear great things about Larry's wheelbuilding, but he isn't in Fort Collins. As the OP said "bomber" I would have to stick with my recommendation of the Fix. They're a great crew that builds tons of wheels pretty much exclusively for gravity applications. There aren't any other shops farther north of them that deal pretty much only with DH/FR/DJ like they do, and hence, personally I wouldn't trust a wheel to anyone else up here. Surely there are others in the area that can build awesome wheels, but I've had my share of crappy ones too so I don't take chances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    I do them myself. I haven't found a wheel builder in the front range that will 'spec' a wheel properly yet... but then again, there's a difference between getting them out the door and doing it right. I've built Trials wheels which take some of the worst abuse.
    What do you mean "spec"? What do you look for? I'd like to get into building them myself soon...

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    Another vote for Larry!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andykrow
    What do you mean "spec"? What do you look for? I'd like to get into building them myself soon...
    He may mean spec the spokes, nipples, the lacing and rims for the intended purpose. When I do my wheels, DH wheels get straight 14Gs and brass. Rear gets 4x lacing for nutty strong and 3X for front and not as strong of a rear. For light AM wheels, both get 3X, but DB in front w/ the possibility of brass/alloy for disc/non-disc and the rear gets straight w/ brass. XCs get DB frt and rr, but straight on drive side w/ alloys all the way around.
    My roadie builds are DB front & non-drive rear and straight on drive side. Radial or upto 2x up front w/ alloys, 3X on drive side w/ brass; radial, 1X or 2X on non-drive rear w/ alloys. Accounting for weight (when I'm not building for myself) bladed and DB can be used for front/non-drive rear, and drive side rear respectively, and alloys all the way around.
    Spec the parts and build for the intended use... I've never had my build fail on me yet.
    If you're going to get into building your own wheels, get a good stand - $180 for the good Park one, a collection of those nice Park spoke wrenches (I mainly use green and black), a dish tool ($40-ish), and a tension meter (prob the most expensive part at upwards of $280 for the DT one).

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    Wouldn't anyone building wheels allow you to specify this? I know the last two at least that I bought I specified everything - nipples, spokes, and lacing - and they didn't have a problem with that. They didn't assume anything in fact and asked about all that stuff.

    As for tools - I have the Park stand already...is the tension meter really necessary? I've heard you can get tension by feel..though that seems like it could be some sort of black art.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by andykrow
    Wouldn't anyone building wheels allow you to specify this? I know the last two at least that I bought I specified everything - nipples, spokes, and lacing - and they didn't have a problem with that. They didn't assume anything in fact and asked about all that stuff.

    As for tools - I have the Park stand already...is the tension meter really necessary? I've heard you can get tension by feel..though that seems like it could be some sort of black art.
    Before I got my tension meter, I used to use tone (C-flat for mtn wheels). But it's not so exact and I ended up retensioning my wheels.
    As for spec'ing parts at a shop, I wouldn't know. I've been doing it my self for too long to have any shop encounters to relate to.

  16. #16
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    What I mean by Spec to to ensure that all Spokes are tensioned to their specified force within 5% of each other. Anyone building a wheel without a tenionometer may get it straight, but one spoke may be doing the work for 2 or 3; thus creating potential weak spots in the wheel. I learned this at the Wheelsmith wheel building school... and I have since applied my engineering skillz to this art. Most shops (99%) of them i would guess, don't use a tensionometer applied in this fashion. It takes a bit longer to do, and most shops are looking to generic tensions and a straight wheel.

    With proper tensioning techniques, you actually don't need a truing stand 95% of the time. Once you get the hop (a perfect radial) out, the spokes, properly tensioned will true the wheel for you.

    But hey, I'm not a shop, and I'm not in the business of getting things done quickly and getting them out the door... I've witnessed the aforementioned lost art occur at every shop I've been to. I even have my neighborhood guys brind their wheels over for final checking, and we find flaw's all the time.

    But, its an art, and I love building wheels.

  17. #17
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    I build while I watch TV. It takes me about 2 - 4 hours for a front disc wheel and 3-5 for a rear disc wheel. Rims make all the difference. Mavic and DTs are sooooo nice to build! But, I seldom have to go back to them again for maintenance truing. BTW, my tension meter sucks...it's that cheap Park one! I REALLY want the DT one!

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