Cost of building your own wheels is way way up!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cost of building your own wheels is way way up!

    Is it just me or has the cost of wheelbuilding at home gone through the moon?

    I am definitely an amateur wheelbuilder. I have probably built about 10-12 pairs of road and mountain bike wheels over the last 15 years or so. I have the right tools and take pride in making my wheels as perfect as they can be.

    I remember buying up bunches of NOS Mavic rims for 5-10 dollars a piece not all that long ago. Odds and endos used to give me great prices on wheelsmith spokes.

    Well my NOS rims have run out or been sold to others who needed them. Odds and Endos is gone as far as I can tell. And I find myself wanting to build another set of wheels for an upcoming road bike project. It's a campy build. I found the record hubs at a decent (for Campy) price. But apparently $50-100 each is the going rate for a decent rim these days and spokes for a pair can easily be another $50-75 on top of that.

    So for other non pro builders out there I could use your help with suggestions as to what you are using and where you are getting it from these days. I imagine a lot of the problem is simply the dollars weakness versus say every currency in every rim building country.... Or maybe it's lack of demand as everyone seems to run factory built wheels these days.

    I admit I bought a couple pairs of factory built shimanos for builds recently but only because they were deeply discounted, and literally cheaper than I could build anything comparable for.

    Rant off.

  2. #2
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Very true ... I am not able to beat the price of the same wheel from Chain Reaction Cycles ... not unless I get the hubs and rims at a discounted price off ebay ... but the wait is quite long, when you are waiting for the right person to come along, who have decided not to build their own wheels and decides to sell the components. Took me about 6 months to get my hubs and longer for the rims ... but the build has been very satisfying ...

  3. #3
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    Reputation: brankulo's Avatar
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    not sure if i saved or not but i wanted to try building myself. i kept watching the prices for a while to get the best deals i could. i payed roughly $450 for pro 2 evos, flow rims , spokes, nipples, conv. kit. not sure if its good or bad price but making my own wheels is quite satisfying

  4. #4
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    Reputation: misunderestimated's Avatar
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    Bike Tools Etc. is pretty good on Sapim prices.
    Rims on eBay always works for me, especially NOS...

  5. #5
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    I enjoy it too and part of my motivation is that I prefer a more traditional wheel, especially on road bikes.

  6. #6
    Ow!
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    I agree. Seems some pro wheelbuilders do it less expensively than what we amateurs pay for the parts. But I have picked up some parts very inexpensively over time. They are usually used parts through ebay (biggest score was a True Precison rear hub for about $110). I have purchased used and new hubs, and new rims, off ebay and some internet sales over the years, but that requires to plan ahead, and not need the wheels right now. As a result, I have some rims and even a couple of hubs stashed (gotta build a wheelset this weekend).

    I also only build with high quality hubs (TP, King, Hadley, Hope (fronts)), so if a wheel goes bonkers, it would be just a rim and spokes to purchase.

    Oh, and I get my spokes from Dans Comp, which carries Sapims for very cheap.

  7. #7
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Quote Originally Posted by clydecrash View Post
    ... Seems some pro wheelbuilders do it less expensively than what we amateurs pay for the parts...
    It is because they get the components direct from the manufacturers and in larger quantities and so the cost is lower. Then you get to large/online bike stores who makes wheels on top of selling the components and they are cheaper still, but their wheels are usually machine assembled.

  8. #8
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    I used to pay $30 for new Mavic517s and OpenPros. Then find some good used XTR or DuraAce hubs and build a set cheaper and lighter than the big companies.

    Now they want $100? It pisses me of.
    Then when I'd go to sell my built wheels, I could only get 140 for XTR on Mavics.

    Now.... I'll buy a used bike with a wheel system on them. Mavic CrossMax SLs or SLRs.
    The wheels work out to be about 250-300. I can ride them for a year and still sell them for 300+.
    The wheels systems are lighter and stronger than sets I can build anymore.

    Wheel systems is the only way now to retain any value in the wheel.
    I do, however, have a small inventory of rims and spokes so when I find a broken wheelset, I can make a complete set. That's the rewarding part anymore.

  9. #9
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
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    I built up a pair of road wheels using NOS Wolber Profil 18s, DT Swiss Revolution spokes, and a pair of NOS Dura Ace 7600 (with 7700 freehub...and axle? I don't remember) hubs.

    With 25mm Vittoria EVO CG tubs on them, I think I paid less than $350 for the parts. That's probably around a $1000 wheelset on today's market.

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