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  1. #1
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    Wheel Builder

    Need some recommendations for a wheel builder in San Jose area. I got my hand on some WTB i23 TCS rims and want to build them up. Thanks for the help
    Get out there and ride!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpete61 View Post
    Need some recommendations for a wheel builder in San Jose area. I got my hand on some WTB i23 TCS rims and want to build them up. Thanks for the help
    Kenny Ellis at the Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos. He's ex-Wheelsmith and a fantastic mechanic. I pretty much recommend him every time to anyone in the Bay Area.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
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  3. #3
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Iíve had a few wheels built by Tahn von Rehmer of Willow Glen Bicycles and have been very pleased with the results. I am about to have him re-lace two existing wheels I have (he didnít build these ones, they were off-the-shelf ones with problematic XT hubs with the slipping pawl problem).
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

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    Peter at Sun bikes in Milpitas....wheels are one thing he does very well. He's built several wheelsets for me- including 2 sets of Industry 9's

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    Kenny Ellis at the Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos. He's ex-Wheelsmith and a fantastic mechanic. I pretty much recommend him every time to anyone in the Bay Area.
    I like kenny too. He used to be the king of Cannondale Leftys in this area when he was at Mike's Bikes.

    I can also recommend Ray over at Sports Basement. He's built me a wheel that never seems to have any issues 4 yrs rolling. I don't think I've every even had it trued once.

    Then there is Ford over at Tread in Campbell.

    I'm looking at those rims for my new Lefty wheel build. I would love a report when you get some time on them
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    I used Tread Bikes in Campbell about 2 months ago to build me a set of Stan's Crests with Hope2 hubs on it. Amazing quality and the price was solid too. Most of the guys that work there ride quite a bit too.

    Welcome to Tread Bikes

  7. #7
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    Ford at tread is a wheelbuilding genius. Period.


    Trailhead also has some guys with insane amounts of spoke wrench skill.
    The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!

  8. #8
    Mattegory
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    A second for Ray at Sports Basement in Sunnyvale. Built me up an awesomely sweet set of Kings laced to Mavics.

  9. #9
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    Have a set of wheels built by Ford at Treads-worth every penny-Ford has a great reputation-

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    Ford at Tread in Campbell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Iíve had a few wheels built by Tahn von Rehmer of Willow Glen Bicycles and have been very pleased with the results. I am about to have him re-lace two existing wheels I have (he didnít build these ones, they were off-the-shelf ones with problematic XT hubs with the slipping pawl problem).
    +1 for Tahn. He taught me everything I know about building wheels. He is a true master.

  12. #12
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    wheelbuilders

    Check out Tahn VonRehmer at WillowGlen Bicycles, Best wheelbuilder around.

  13. #13
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    You are the wheel builder of choice (if you so choose). It's easier than you might think.
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt."
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  14. #14
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    What's the going rate for a wheel build? What do these guys charge?

    bigpete61,

    Where'd you finally get your wheels built? How are you liking those WTB rims?
    We Ride In God's Country!

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    Kenny is top notch for sure. Another guy from Sunnyvale sports basement is really great too, Cory, but he went to the Bicycle Outfitter as well. They might not be as cool of a MTB shop to visit as Trailhead, but those are two guys I have taken my bike to for precision work or custom tune for over 10 years.
    Bicycles D'opinion/ COMMENCAL /Principat D'Andorra

  16. #16
    A God Without A Name
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelinTim View Post
    You are the wheel builder of choice (if you so choose). It's easier than you might think.
    I am strongly considering buying those 3 tools that make all the difference... I just worry I won't use them enough.

    Amazon.com: Park Tool Professional Wheel Truing Stand - TS-2.2: Sports & Outdoors


    Amazon.com: Park Tool WAG-4 Professional Wheel Alignment Gauge: Sports & Outdoors

    Amazon.com: Hozan C-700 14 and 15 Gauge Spoke Threader: Sports & Outdoors

    All the other tools I would have no reserve about buying, seeing as I would use those more than twice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSM View Post
    Kenny is top notch for sure. Another guy from Sunnyvale sports basement is really great too, Cory, but he went to the Bicycle Outfitter as well. They might not be as cool of a MTB shop to visit as Trailhead, but those are two guys I have taken my bike to for precision work or custom tune for over 10 years.
    Was Cory leaving like in the last day or so? Just saw him at SB two days ago. He's a cool dude based off the few interactions we've had.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I am strongly considering buying those 3 tools that make all the difference... I just worry I won't use them enough.

    Amazon.com: Park Tool Professional Wheel Truing Stand - TS-2.2: Sports & Outdoors
    It's nice, but if you've got a bike and a good workstand, you really don't need a wheel truing stand. It's very easy to use the bike itself as a truing guide, a few zip ties and
    some imagination. The best part about the truing stand is that it allows you to set everything up and work on in brief stretches. Especially the first couple wheels, you need
    to walk away when you're getting frustrated.

    Next to completely useless for the home wheelbuilder IMHO. Just flip the wheel in the stand to get the centering correct. And you certainly don't need the high end pricy one.
    I'd say either this or the dedicated truing stand, but not both.

    Why would you ever need that? Just buy the right size spokes to start with....

    Building wheels isn't for everybody, but it's no where near as difficult to build a good solid wheel as people often make out. There is a learning curve with the first couple, but once over that you should be able to make solid strong wheels in about an hour or two at most.

    Sheldon Brown's wheelbuilding page is a great place to start.

    - Booker C. Bense

  19. #19
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    Read Sheldon's entire database(EDIT: on WHEEL BUILDING! not... not the whole thing!). watched probably near a dozen hours of HOW TO video's on this.

    Why the spoke threader? main reason is twofold. One is I'd like to re-use a random old spoke in a pinch. and second is Soma colored spokes can't be ordered in custom lengths and DTswiss charges a ton for their colored spokes.

    Also I just like the idea of having a mountain of spokes that I can tailor to whatever I want for odd offsets and projects.

    I'd like to ask if the Park stand has what I need to measure offsets precisely? for bikes that are not present. To build wheelsets for others... (One day)

    It seems like you're saying the stand, more than the rest, is a worthwhile investment?
    Last edited by Agwan; 03-01-2012 at 12:36 PM. Reason: clarity

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Read Sheldon's entire database(EDIT: on WHEEL BUILDING! not... not the whole thing!). watched probably near a dozen hours of HOW TO video's on this.


    I'd like to ask if the Park stand has what I need to measure offsets precisely? for bikes that are not present. To build wheelsets for others... (One day)

    It seems like you're saying the stand, more than the rest, is a worthwhile investment?
    Unless you need to build a really weird wheel where the rim is not centered between the dropouts, every thing you can do with the dishing tool, you can do with a good stand. Just take the wheel out and flip it around.

    I haven't used the pro model, just this one. The TS-7



    It's handy, but I misplaced it in a move and have built my last 3 wheels just on the bike. I only build wheels for my self and my bikes. I can certainly see having the stand if you want to build wheels for others. If you like nice tools, the pro model certainly looks like it has some nice features, but it isn't needed to build a solid wheel.

    The spoke tensiometer would be the second tool to buy IMHO, if you're going to buy tools.
    It takes some practice to use effectively, but can really help getting the tension high and even enough for a solid wheel.

    - Booker C. Bense

  21. #21
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    I thought of wheel building myself too. But that learning curve discouraged me. I'm not patient enough and the thought of a "learning curve" wheel coming apart or loose on me while on a long ride stopped my endeavors. Especially since wheels last me at least 5 yrs or more.

    Whats a fair wheel build price from any of the guys mentioned above?
    We Ride In God's Country!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch View Post
    I thought of wheel building myself too. But that learning curve discouraged me.
    The "learning curve" is not in building a solid wheel, but in building one in a short amount of time. You have to know when it's "right" and avoid the temptation to stop and just ride it, before you've gotten it "right". Sheldon does a great job of teaching what "right" should be.

    But IMHO, there's no reason the first wheel can't be a solid wheel that lasts a long time. My first wheel is on a bike I don't ride much these days, but I'd have no qualms about taking it out for a long ride right now.

    - Booker C. Bense

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    I can also recommend Ray over at Sports Basement. He's built me a wheel that never seems to have any issues 4 yrs rolling. I don't think I've every even had it trued once.
    i like this guy. i would recommend him for mechanical stuff in general. he wrote me some wheel building tips on a scrap piece of paper when i was building my first wheel. i've never ridden one of his, but i've spent plenty of time at the shop and he's a wealth of information.

    i also second the notion of rolling your own. it's not for everybody, but really isn't that difficult if you're mechanically inclined. and it's just nice to be able to do it yourself.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    The "learning curve" is not in building a solid wheel, but in building one in a short amount of time. You have to know when it's "right" and avoid the temptation to stop and just ride it, before you've gotten it "right". Sheldon does a great job of teaching what "right" should be.

    But IMHO, there's no reason the first wheel can't be a solid wheel that lasts a long time. My first wheel is on a bike I don't ride much these days, but I'd have no qualms about taking it out for a long ride right now.

    - Booker C. Bense
    It does sound tempting to do. It's truly an art and to have those bragging rights is cool while you're riding on it. I might do if I were starting with a common hub with common spoke lengths, like maybe an XT or something. But something like a Hadley might be difficult/tricky. I've had friends go through several spoke lengths and a few wasted spokes before getting it just right. I only need new wheels maybe once every 4-6 yrs, so it's not worth it for me. I'll just pay someone to do and I can take it back to them if something happens.

    But for those friends that stuck it out, they have a nice payoff of new skills attained.
    We Ride In God's Country!

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