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  1. #1
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    Hand built wheel failure

    So I have a fairly new set of carbon wheels that I had built up at my local bike shop. They have a good track record of building quality wheels for me and I expected the same with these. To my dismay, upon picking up the wheels many of the spokes looked more bent than usual. I chalked it up to early spoke tension that still needed ride time to break in and be re-tensioned and hoped that would be it. Well after riding these wheels - 29 plus boost using an i39 carbon rim, alloy nipples and DT swiss comp spokes, some nipples began to break in half. I also thought it was due to pushing the wheels too hard early on. Now I have both the front and rear doing it again - and this wheelset has under 500 miles! Most of my riding is normal XC, no DH at all.

    Is this common for a new hand-built wheelset or should I ask my bike shop to re-build? Upon further inspection, I did notice that about half of the spoke threads were not even inside the nipples fully. Seems to me that this would add undo stress to the nipples and possibly cause the breaking? Let me know if anyone has seen this on wheels where the spokes were ordered too short and causing this to happen. I really want this wheelset to work out but not if things keep going wrong. Thnx!
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    Last edited by NH Mtbiker; 04-15-2020 at 04:21 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Lol wow, they didn't even try. They phoned in a shit build and sent you on your way!

    Those spokes are way too short. All the threads need to be inside the nipple, or the head busts off just like yours. Thats a total shit build, they either screwed up measuring the rim (or likely didnt bother measuring at all), or they just tossed in whatever spokes were hanging around and hoped for the best.

    You need a full rebuild, including all new spokes and all new nipples. Those are completely ruined and not usable.

  3. #3
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    Also, there is no break in period for wheels, and well built wheels do not need to be retensioned. If thats been the case they havent been building you good wheels in the past either.

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    That's shockingly bad. No bike shop on Earth should have let those wheels out the door. The builder should not have even finished building them and identified early on that it wasn't going to work out.

    Take them back and tell them to fix it or get your money back.
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  5. #5
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    The Ones (Pivot and Speed) are correct. Spokes *way* too short. This build should never have been finished -- builder should have known within the first few minutes that the calc was off and the spokes needed to be ~4mm longer, at least.

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    And I'd ask for brass nipples.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    And I'd ask for brass nipples.
    Right after asking for$back.

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  8. #8
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    Spoke choice was too short. Aluminum nipples should have held up fine if the spokes were long enough.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I should have known. The twisted up spokes early on was the red flag. I really didn't even notice the exposed threads until recently. I had these built last fall and now the wheels are not true and breaking more nipples...holy sh*t show! Back to the shop with these and will follow up...
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  10. #10
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    I don't know if I would trust that shop to build up that wheel again. it looks like they didn't use any sort of treatment on the spoke threads—mild thread locker, grease, anti-seize, etc. there is no consensus on the best way to treat spokes before a wheel build, but threading them on dry is never good. I have to wonder if they oriented the spokes the correct way for braking and if they de-stressed and properly tensioned the spokes by the manufacturer's specs. ask them to have a different mechanic do the work or get a partial refund and take it elsewhere.

    rant—there are no objective, professional standards to which bike mechanics are held in the US. any jerk can work in a bike shop and it takes many mistakes like this before the mechanic is corrected, fired, or drives business away. I know because I used to be one of those jerks and I had to actively seek mentorship from the other mechanics to make sure I was not making big mistakes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't know if I would trust that shop to build up that wheel again. it looks like they didn't use any sort of treatment on the spoke threads—mild thread locker, grease, anti-seize, etc. there is no consensus on the best way to treat spokes before a wheel build, but threading them on dry is never good. I have to wonder if they oriented the spokes the correct way for braking and if they de-stressed and properly tensioned the spokes by the manufacturer's specs. ask them to have a different mechanic do the work or get a partial refund and take it elsewhere.

    They could have used oil which is fine IME, or maybe grease or whatever and just cleaned up after the build. The spoke orientation thing has been debated to death and I'm not sure there's a consensus as far as the right answer there but I haven't revisited it for quite awhile.

    I agree about the trust factor though, I'd be real skeptical after that experience. They do owe him a free wheel build though and maybe they have another tech that's good there that could do a quality job.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    They could have used oil which is fine IME, or maybe grease or whatever and just cleaned up after the build. The spoke orientation thing has been debated to death and I'm not sure there's a consensus as far as the right answer there but I haven't revisited it for quite awhile.
    yeah, i can't tell from the photos, but they appear dry. I have zero trust in this mechanic based on everything else.

    brake-side spoke orientation is debatable, but I'll bet if you ask the wheelbuilder why they chose one orientation over another, it didn't even cross their mind. if so, that's also telling.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't know if I would trust that shop to build up that wheel again.
    NOPE... I would stay far away
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  14. #14
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    I build my wheels but consider myself and amateur at best. First few wheels needed some trueing before I got the hang of it. Two most recent builds have been bullet proof. As for your wheels, I personally would not have let my worst enemy ride wheels built that badly. I can't imagine a shop letting them go to a customer.

    As other have said, spokes are way to short and it should have been obvious very early in the build. Hollow nipples don't have much integrity on their own. They need the spoke threaded pretty much all the way to the end which will be few millimeters deep into the rim.

  15. #15
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    Maybe the guy who normally does wheels was off that day or had a very bad day.
    Not sure how your relationship with that lbs is or how many other trustworthy lbs are around you but I would talk to the builder first and see if he/she makes it right and go from there.
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    yeah, spokes were too short, i'd check to see if spokes on another side were too long and wrong spokes were threaded in.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by acer66 View Post
    Maybe the guy who normally does wheels was off that day or had a very bad day.
    absolutely not an excuse. if your car mechanic was having a bad day and forgot the tighten the lug nuts on your car, so your wheel flew off your car at 70 mph on a highway, there's no excuse. the wheel builder spent at least an hour calculating spoke length, sourcing the spokes and blue nipples, twisting away at them to get the wheel true and all that time, never noticed that the spokes were several millimeters too short to bring the spokes to tension? that's not a "bad day," that's negligence, ignorance, or both.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    absolutely not an excuse. if your car mechanic was having a bad day and forgot the tighten the lug nuts on your car, so your wheel flew off your car at 70 mph on a highway, there's no excuse. the wheel builder spent at least an hour calculating spoke length, sourcing the spokes and blue nipples, twisting away at them to get the wheel true and all that time, never noticed that the spokes were several millimeters too short to bring the spokes to tension? that's not a "bad day," that's negligence, ignorance, or both.
    Sorry, I should have been clearer, I was not arguing that or trying to make excuses for them.
    So to be clear whoever “build” that wheel screwed up majorly.

    All I was trying to get to was that my approach would have been to save the shouting match for after the problem has been resolved.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ... there's no excuse.
    Maybe a new guy built them. If so someone should have checked them and caught the problem but since the op has had positive experiences with the shop before I'd give them a chance to make it right.



    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    ....They have a good track record of building quality wheels for me and I expected the same with these.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Maybe a new guy built them. If so someone should have checked them and caught the problem but since the op has had positive experiences with the shop before I'd give them a chance to make it right.
    Personally I’m not so conciliatory, especially in the case of an expensive, intricate, workmanship-essential product like bicycle wheels. This isn’t like installing a handlebar bell. Our lives depend on the structural integrity of our wheels. I’m with Mack Turtle — it’s either negligence or ignorance. In this case one is as bad as the other. That shop would lose my business permanently.
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    ok, I am in NH also. what shop is this? I want to avoid them.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    the wheel builder spent at least an hour

    Right. Running the calc takes less than 5 minutes, including measuring the ERD.

    Lacing takes ~12 minutes for an average wheel.

    So, even accounting for a distracted check of Insta or Twitter, there's maybe 20 minutes invested at this point.

    Very quickly once you screw the nips down -- and way before you start to true, or round, or check tension -- you know whether you've gotten the lengths right.

    Put simply, any competent wheelbuilder would know ~25 minutes into this process that an error had been made in the spoke calc, and that there was/is no point in proceeding before re-running the calc and re-lacing with the proper lengths.

    In order for this wheelset to end up the way it did, the builder was either completely ignorant or willfully negligent while spending the next ~30 minutes "finishing" these wheels.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    ok, I am in NH also. what shop is this? I want to avoid them.
    Here's the deal. The mechanic that built these sorry wheels is no longer at the shop. It is also under new ownership by a mechanic I do trust and did NOT have anything to do with this build. I am planning on bringing them in to the new owner, but at the time of the build, he was not the owner and not involved. I want to make him aware of the issue, but I am not expecting him to fully credit me the labor/material cost, nor should he be responsible. My best course of action is to make him aware, as to not re-hire this guy when things get better (post-virus) and to inspect every job that is not his own, if he brings in someone else. I would like to think that some kind of courtesy service credit could be issued though. Going in to see him tomorrow with the wheels and to show him the sh*tty workmanship up close. Stay tuned....
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    oh boy.... best of luck to you
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Here's the deal. The mechanic that built these sorry wheels is no longer at the shop. It is also under new ownership by a mechanic I do trust and did NOT have anything to do with this build. I am planning on bringing them in to the new owner, but at the time of the build, he was not the owner and not involved. I want to make him aware of the issue, but I am not expecting him to fully credit me the labor/material cost, nor should he be responsible. My best course of action is to make him aware, as to not re-hire this guy when things get better (post-virus) and to inspect every job that is not his own, if he brings in someone else. I would like to think that some kind of courtesy service credit could be issued though. Going in to see him tomorrow with the wheels and to show him the sh*tty workmanship up close. Stay tuned....
    .....very good way of handling this and good luck.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    willfully negligent
    It’s hard to imagine anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    It’s hard to imagine anything else.
    High as a kite comes to mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
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  28. #28
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    TLDR, that is a common failure of alloy nipples with carbon rims. correct spoke length or not, alloy nipples are a bad idea with carbon rims, it's called galvanic corrosion...


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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    TLDR, that is a common failure of alloy nipples with carbon rims. correct spoke length or not, alloy nipples are a bad idea with carbon rims, it's called galvanic corrosion...
    This thread isn't about corrosion. Its a super shitty wheel build. You didn't even skim the OP?? Worse than DJ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    TLDR, that is a common failure of alloy nipples with carbon rims. correct spoke length or not, alloy nipples are a bad idea with carbon rims, it's called galvanic corrosion...
    Pretty much all carbon road bike rims use aluminum nipples with no problem what so ever. Using nipple washers would be a good precaution if concerns about galvanic corrosion.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    This thread isn't about corrosion. Its a super shitty wheel build. You didn't even skim the OP?? Worse than DJ...
    how do you know i'm not one of DJ's socks?


  32. #32
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    Just for some clarification on some details that often come up.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I don't know if I would trust that shop to build up that wheel again. it looks like they didn't use any sort of treatment on the spoke threads—mild thread locker, grease, anti-seize, etc. there is no consensus on the best way to treat spokes before a wheel build, but threading them on dry is never good.
    Right. Just use something. I personally like a thicker oil that lasts, but Spoke Prep, or even chain lube like Finish Line Wet works great. I'm not a fan of Thread Locker unless you're an experienced wheel builder and you're confident the wheels won't need to be trued, ever. For most amateurs and 99% of MTB wheels in existence you want to be able to turn nipples and adjust wheels for years to come. Use a lubricant.

    I have to wonder if they oriented the spokes the correct way for braking and if they de-stressed and properly tensioned the spokes by the manufacturer's specs.
    De-stressing the spokes wasn't the cause of the problem here, but It's a huge factor in a new wheel build. Seating the spokes in the flanges, angling the spokes, the crosses (when necessary), and unwinding any wind-up are all crucial for a long lasting build.

    Inner/outer spoke orientation has been discussed for years. In a 3x MTB wheel (the most common) it doesn't seem to make a big difference. I've compared wheels from major manufacturers (wheel specific manufacturers), and custom wheel builders, and they don't all seem to agree on what is the best way to lace a wheel. Some lace the front wheel differently than the rear, others lace them both the same. Weird.

    I've personally accidentally built my own wheels "the wrong way" and never had an issue. I did this early in my wheel building days but as many of you know I'm not gentle and if there was a functional problem with any of my wheels I would have found it quickly. All still going strong, I've never had one of my wheels come out of true or need any kind of major adjustment.

    **This commentary only pertains to a properly built wheel with correct spoke lengths, tension, and spoke count for the application. **

    rant—there are no objective, professional standards to which bike mechanics are held in the US. any jerk can work in a bike shop and it takes many mistakes like this before the mechanic is corrected, fired, or drives business away. I know because I used to be one of those jerks and I had to actively seek mentorship from the other mechanics to make sure I was not making big mistakes.
    Agreed. This was no professional bike mechanic that built the OPs wheelset. Like Mikesee pointed out any experienced builder would know it was wrong well before finishing the wheel. Let alone taking the time to dial it in and deliver it to a customer. It's crazy and completely unacceptable.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    how do you know i'm not one of DJ's socks?
    DJ skims, but he usually gets called out for it.

    I don't do his laundry so I can't comment on his footwear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Pretty much all carbon road bike rims use aluminum nipples with no problem what so ever. Using nipple washers would be a good precaution if concerns about galvanic corrosion.
    "most" carbon road bike rims aren't tubeless, cause tubeless sucks at 110 psi. Without Ammonia, galvanic corrosion is not likely.

    Your point is irrelevant and inaccurate.

    Nipple washers are a good idea if you have concerns about the nipples pulling through the rim but won't prevent galvanic corrosion when you have carbon rims, ammonia, and aluminum nipples in contact with each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    TLDR, that is a common failure of alloy nipples with carbon rims. correct spoke length or not, alloy nipples are a bad idea with carbon rims, it's called galvanic corrosion...
    Is this type of corrosion common with new builds months old and under 500 miles? I have not seen evidence of this anywhere. I really think its about too much stress inside the nipples because of lack of spoke threads inserted making for a much weaker interface. Nuff said!
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Is this type of corrosion common with new builds months old and under 500 miles? I have not seen evidence of this anywhere. I really think its about too much stress inside the nipples because of lack of spoke threads inserted making for a much weaker interface. Nuff said!
    Denying galvanic corrosion is just sad. Miles doesnt matter. Spoke length being longer so it's to top of nipple instead of to top of notch should be standard knowledge as its stronger and in this case will last longer as the alloy has to corrode through further before failing.

    I can tell you I run alloy nipples on my fat bike. But corrosion forms at spokes, not rims since rims are alloy.


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  37. #37
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    The only build I've had corrosion issues on was an aluminum rim with aluminum nipples. If your tape fails and dumps crappy sealant all over, you're going to have problems.

    My carbon wheel with aluminum nipples is still perfect. Its not galvanic corrosion, its just plain old corrosion from a corrosive sealant.

    This is a massive liability thing. If carbon corroded aluminum nipples from immanent galvanic corrosion, then why do all the aluminum nipple manufacturers approve their use with carbon?

    The rim makers handled this with epoxy blends, and the nipple manufacturers coat their nipples anyway.

    I prefer brass nipples for anything tubeless because people often mess up their tape job. Brass holds up to mistakes better, but its not to avoid a fundamental issue with carbon and aluminum.

  38. #38
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    I used to have wheels built with aluminum nipples. Long time ago. Like back in the days of 26” wheels. Throughout the past 15+ years all my wheels have employed brass nipples.

    And so it shall remain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    "most" carbon road bike rims aren't tubeless, cause tubeless sucks at 110 psi. Without Ammonia, galvanic corrosion is not likely.

    Mine are tubeless and I know lots of people who use tubeless for road, they're awesome! Pretty much nobody runs 110 psi anymore unless they're on a velodrome, ~70-80 max is where it's at.

    Also my carbon road wheels and pretty much every other wheelset I've ever built for myself has used aluminum nipples, I don't care much either way but until I have a problem with them I'm not going to worry about it and so far I've never had any problems.
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    Well, that can only be Dover Cyclery. That's fine, I don't shop there anymore, though we did get my son's first bike there (overpaid probably, but he enjoyed it).

    Also, to be pedantic, galvanic corrosion only occurs in dissimilar metals, eg. aluminum and steel for example. It happens due to one metal "wanting" electrons from the other. Titanium and aluminum are another combo that will do this. Aluminum and carbon? Not likely since carbon/epoxy != metal. Preventing it (in metals) usually involves a sacrificial barrier, either another metal (zinc sometimes) or a coating. Aluminum nipples corroding in carbon? If so, it would be due to something in the sealant, not the carbon. IMNSHO.


    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Here's the deal. The mechanic that built these sorry wheels is no longer at the shop. It is also under new ownership by a mechanic I do trust and did NOT have anything to do with this build. I am planning on bringing them in to the new owner, but at the time of the build, he was not the owner and not involved. I want to make him aware of the issue, but I am not expecting him to fully credit me the labor/material cost, nor should he be responsible. My best course of action is to make him aware, as to not re-hire this guy when things get better (post-virus) and to inspect every job that is not his own, if he brings in someone else. I would like to think that some kind of courtesy service credit could be issued though. Going in to see him tomorrow with the wheels and to show him the sh*tty workmanship up close. Stay tuned....

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    The only build I've had corrosion issues on was an aluminum rim with aluminum nipples. If your tape fails and dumps crappy sealant all over, you're going to have problems.

    My carbon wheel with aluminum nipples is still perfect. Its not galvanic corrosion, its just plain old corrosion from a corrosive sealant.

    This is a massive liability thing. If carbon corroded aluminum nipples from immanent galvanic corrosion, then why do all the aluminum nipple manufacturers approve their use with carbon?

    The rim makers handled this with epoxy blends, and the nipple manufacturers coat their nipples anyway.

    I prefer brass nipples for anything tubeless because people often mess up their tape job. Brass holds up to mistakes better, but its not to avoid a fundamental issue with carbon and aluminum.
    Depends because I have seen rims that are drilled and the holes not sealed for crap, almost like it was drilled after final epoxy was put on.

    Any name brand nipple manufacturers can avoid most problems with good anodizing.

    Galvanic corrosion will happen anytime 2 different metals are in contact with each other and moisture/enviroment is present. But to what degree, what's coatings in place to stop it etc.

    There is a lot of factors. Aluminum doesnt just corrode to crap in part of a season without another issue. And is a common them on CF rims as I have seen the threads over the years.

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    I’ve had to replace old aluminium nips because they starting crumbling and falling apart as soon as they were touched with a spoke key. They were old however, so it depends how long you want your wheels to last... Brass for me - I will take the 22g per wheel hit for a longer lasting wheel every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    "most" carbon road bike rims aren't tubeless, cause tubeless sucks at 110 psi. Without Ammonia, galvanic corrosion is not likely.

    Your point is irrelevant and inaccurate.

    Nipple washers are a good idea if you have concerns about the nipples pulling through the rim but won't prevent galvanic corrosion when you have carbon rims, ammonia, and aluminum nipples in contact with each other.
    My carbon road bike rims are tubeless and they have aluminum nipples. Most road bike rims are now tubeless ready. This is completely irrelevant to aluminum nipples corroding just because a wheel is being used tubeless.

    Galvanic corrosion happens when an electrolyte is present with water between carbon and aluminum. Nipple washers will be a barrier between the carbon rim and the aluminum nipple preventing galvanic corrosion from happening. You need more or less direct contact between the carbon and aluminum for galvanic corrosion to happen.

    Ammonia is mostly corrosive for copper, brass, zinc. Ammonia is not an electrolyte, it does not cause galvanic corrosion

    Your point is irrelevant and inaccurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    Well, that can only be Dover Cyclery. That's fine, I don't shop there anymore, though we did get my son's first bike there (overpaid probably, but he enjoyed it).

    Also, to be pedantic, galvanic corrosion only occurs in dissimilar metals, eg. aluminum and steel for example. It happens due to one metal "wanting" electrons from the other. Titanium and aluminum are another combo that will do this. Aluminum and carbon? Not likely since carbon/epoxy != metal. Preventing it (in metals) usually involves a sacrificial barrier, either another metal (zinc sometimes) or a coating. Aluminum nipples corroding in carbon? If so, it would be due to something in the sealant, not the carbon. IMNSHO.
    It also happens between carbon and various metals but aluminum is most susceptible when paired with carbon. Quite a few aluminum water bottle bosses have had corrosion issues from sweat dripping into them on carbon road bike frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    It also happens between carbon and various metals but aluminum is most susceptible when paired with carbon. Quite a few aluminum water bottle bosses have had corrosion issues from sweat dripping into them on carbon road bike frames.
    If a road rider with a carbon frame employs an aluminum water bottle cage and suffers corrosion, (s)he is getting exactly what (s)he deserves.

    Aluminum bottle cage indeed... heresy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    It also happens between carbon and various metals but aluminum is most susceptible when paired with carbon. Quite a few aluminum water bottle bosses have had corrosion issues from sweat dripping into them on carbon road bike frames.
    This is really key. I try to minimize it by avoiding salt deposits in the winter, carry my bike when I know the area has been "salted", same with my shoes, rinse off the SPDs to minimize rust, get the bike inside where it's warm and dry to evaporate any remaining moisture. I haven't been completely free of corrosion issues, but also not overwhelming. If I have to relace every few seasons, that's not a big-deal to me. If I'm lucky and doing it right, I can. In the worst conditions I've had to replace the nipples after a couple seasons, due to corrosion. I use anti-seize to help inhibit corrosion, it seems to help.
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    This thread is NOT about a poor tubeless set-up causing the nipples to break. It IS absolutely about very poor workmanship on a wheelset. I have another wheel that was built with the same config and have had no issues with broken nips....because it WAS built properly. Also, I am very anal about having a really tight tape job on my wheels and there is no sign of leakage. Plus these particular wheels were run using tubes all winter long. They were only tubeless for 2 months in the fall...that's it.
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    I'm an amateur wheel builder, I've probably built fifty wheels in the past decade, enough to know how to do a good job. I worked in bike shops for years, so even though I'm nowhere near as skilled as a professional builder like Mike, I can tell from the OP's pics that the build was entirely wrong and without doubt the builder knew it.

    I've screwed up spoke calcs and had spokes that were too short as well as too long, you know this pretty early in the build, as Mike suggested. So yeah, I'd ask for a full refund and next time get your wheels built by a professional builder.

    To be totally honest, few bike shops have a competent wheel builder on staff, that's just not a common skill set these days. Mike Curiak at Lacemine29 builds a bomber wheel!

    PS, there's nothing inherently wrong with aluminum nips, but brass is better for a few reasons (strength, resistance to stripping/rounding), so I use brass. I honestly can't remember the last time I broke a spoke or nip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by acer66 View Post
    Maybe the guy who normally does wheels was off that day or had a very bad day.
    I would hope that a self-respecting mechanic would admit his mistake, or better yet not finish the build. I have built quite a few wheels, to realize my mistake at some point in the build, and I've un-done what I started, put it aside, and came back a day or two later to evaluate my mistake.

    OP - absolutely ask for your money back, and if you give them another shot at building the wheel, lay out your expectations clearly and firmly. They messed up, and this is a shot for them to right the wrong (hopefully).
    Silly bike things happening.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Here's the deal. The mechanic that built these sorry wheels is no longer at the shop. It is also under new ownership by a mechanic I do trust and did NOT have anything to do with this build. I am planning on bringing them in to the new owner, but at the time of the build, he was not the owner and not involved. I want to make him aware of the issue, but I am not expecting him to fully credit me the labor/material cost, nor should he be responsible. My best course of action is to make him aware, as to not re-hire this guy when things get better (post-virus) and to inspect every job that is not his own, if he brings in someone else. I would like to think that some kind of courtesy service credit could be issued though. Going in to see him tomorrow with the wheels and to show him the sh*tty workmanship up close. Stay tuned....
    If it is the same legal entity (the shop under new ownership) warranties for work ill-done under previous ownership will still need to be met.
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  51. #51
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    Brass nipples wouldnt have helped these wheels. Whoever built them was a hack.

    I know everyone here knows this. I was just adding my two cents.
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  52. #52
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    That looks exactly like my first wheel I ever built where I put in the hub flange diameter into the spoke calc by measuring the actual diameter of the flange (not hole to hole). All spokes too short. But I ordered new spokes and didn't show it to anyone. I didn't SELL it, omg! so bad.

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    This is exactly why I would never have any wheel work done in a bike shop. It's unfortunate, but they will let any high school kid build or maintain wheels in most shops. I worked part time in shop for a few seasons and saw some of the scariest shit you can imagine when it comes to wheels. I saw one high school kid build up a set of wheels and didn't have a single clue what radial true and dishing was... and they sold those wheels to a customer

    I build all of my own wheels, am very confident in my wheel building abilities and I would scroll right past wheel building tickets in the system when I worked there. Building wheels for another person is a big responsibility, and not one I was willing to take on for $8/hr + $1.75 commission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rapsac View Post
    If it is the same legal entity (the shop under new ownership) warranties for work ill-done under previous ownership will still need to be met.
    Agreed, if its legally the same entity - new owner besides existing customers gets also all the warranty claims and shitty jobs that previous owner managed to do. You shouldn't give any money as this is clearly warranty. Otherwise shops would just change their ownership every month and avoid any warranty claims at all... (and unfortunately even these things are happening...)

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Denying galvanic corrosion is just sad. Miles doesnt matter. Spoke length being longer so it's to top of nipple instead of to top of notch should be standard knowledge as its stronger and in this case will last longer as the alloy has to corrode through further before failing.

    I can tell you I run alloy nipples on my fat bike. But corrosion forms at spokes, not rims since rims are alloy.


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    Time is more important than the number of miles when it comes to galvanic corrosion. NH Mtbiker is correct in saying a new wheel build months old with <500 miles on it is more than suspect in other ways.

    The few first-hand instances I've observed of corrosion between carbon rims and aluminum nipples (on wheel builds of others) presented issues nearly a year or more after they had tires and tubeless sealant running around in them. I live in a four-season environment where we ride in temperatures ranging from ~10 F up to 100+ F.

    Some aluminum nipples are less susceptible than others. One friend who ended up with a mess of a wheel set due to galvanic corrosion continues to use aluminum nipples on wheel builds and hasn't had any other occurrences. I always use brass nipples as I find they turn easier when approaching full tension and also for reduced corrosion properties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    This is exactly why I would never have any wheel work done in a bike shop. It's unfortunate, but they will let any high school kid build or maintain wheels in most shops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    To be totally honest, few bike shops have a competent wheel builder on staff, that's just not a common skill set these days.

    I'm sure there's some truth to these statements but also some fiction. The last 4 shops I've worked in have all had very qualified wheel builders on staff who take real pride in their work. Only a select few employees were allowed to build wheels for customers and no way would we let a part time high school kid touch one. I'm just a lowly bike shop tech and I'd put my wheels up against anyone's, including those built by the pros mentioned here on this thread.
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    So I took the front wheel back to the bike shop where the new owner (and the mechanic I trust now owns the shop was there alone) I explained and went over the wheel issues with him as it was his 1st time seeing it (it was built by another mechanic no longer there) and he ageed. Total lack of time and attention was put into this. Without hesitation he offered to rebuild this wheel and the rear at no charge. I had the rear at home already disassembled and he said to drop it by. He also confirmed that the spokes were way short and its really not that hard to measure properly and build the wheel as it should be built. I feel confident in him taking the new build on as this is the guy who has done all my major wrenching over the past few years. I told him to go with brass this time around, so here's hoping!
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  58. #58
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    Brass avoids possible corrosion development that has required aluminum nipple replacement for some carbon wheels after a couple years.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm sure there's some truth to these statements but also some fiction. The last 4 shops I've worked in have all had very qualified wheel builders on staff who take real pride in their work. Only a select few employees were allowed to build wheels for customers and no way would we let a part time high school kid touch one. I'm just a lowly bike shop tech and I'd put my wheels up against anyone's, including those built by the pros mentioned here on this thread.
    In my area, by law, you must be under 18 to build wheels in a bike shop. It's also required to have at least 8 bong rips before work starts.

    These rules are strictly enforced!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I'm an amateur wheel builder, I've probably built fifty wheels in the past decade, enough to know how to do a good job. I worked in bike shops for years, so even though I'm nowhere near as skilled as a professional builder like Mike, I can tell from the OP's pics that the build was entirely wrong and without doubt the builder knew it.

    I've screwed up spoke calcs and had spokes that were too short as well as too long, you know this pretty early in the build, as Mike suggested. So yeah, I'd ask for a full refund and next time get your wheels built by a professional builder.

    To be totally honest, few bike shops have a competent wheel builder on staff, that's just not a common skill set these days. Mike Curiak at Lacemine29 builds a bomber wheel!

    PS, there's nothing inherently wrong with aluminum nips, but brass is better for a few reasons (strength, resistance to stripping/rounding), so I use brass. I honestly can't remember the last time I broke a spoke or nip.
    I built wheels in a shop too. It's not to be taken lightly. We also had a spoke cutter, for re-sizing spokes. That machine alone is several thousand dollars. Not an absolute necessity, but if your shop is going to be building wheels, probably a good indicator...
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  61. #61
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    Awesome.

    Post a photo when they are done and have fun riding on them!
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    So I took the front wheel back to the bike shop where the new owner (and the mechanic I trust now owns the shop was there alone) I explained and went over the wheel issues with him as it was his 1st time seeing it (it was built by another mechanic no longer there) and he ageed. Total lack of time and attention was put into this. Without hesitation he offered to rebuild this wheel and the rear at no charge. I had the rear at home already disassembled and he said to drop it by. He also confirmed that the spokes were way short and its really not that hard to measure properly and build the wheel as it should be built. I feel confident in him taking the new build on as this is the guy who has done all my major wrenching over the past few years. I told him to go with brass this time around, so here's hoping!
    Very cool that he is owning it and making it right.

  63. #63
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    This sounds like a good ending to the story. I salute you for seeking the path of harmonious resolution.
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    The wheel forum always has the most epic shop stories.....

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    The problem with bike parts is theyre too light. Many years ago, a machine shop destroyed a friends rare crankshaft so he threw it through their front window.
    Wheel would probably bounce off.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    The problem with bike parts is theyre too light.
    The whole internet would disagree with this statement. Also the whole bike industry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    The whole internet would disagree with this statement. Also the whole bike industry.
    I meant in a destructive, revengeful kind of capacity.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I meant in a destructive, revengeful kind of capacity.
    I believe some of us saw the bump in your cheek made by your tongue but *OneSpeed* may have missed it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I believe some of us saw the bump in your cheek made by your tongue but *OneSpeed* may have missed it.
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    No, I understood the joke. I was just playing along.
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  70. #70
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    The exception being internally geared hubs. Those things could cause some damage.
    I like turtles

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    Well the new owner has now had my wheels for about 10 weeks and still no word on when they will be done! I had requested to get them back almost 2 weeks ago.
    This was his reply on June 13th...
    "No go on the wheel build. Spoke calcuslster was wrong. End of next week I promise. Sorry, tried to get them done today."

    I am really disappointed and will be going down to pick them up finished or not tomorrow. 6 weeks to rebuild a set of wheels - one of which I had already taken apart for him. SORRY, but no excuse is right!
    Last edited by NH Mtbiker; 1 Week Ago at 03:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Well the new owner has now had my wheels for almost 6 weeks and still no word on when they will be done! I had requested to get them back almost 2 weeks ago.
    This was his reply on June 13th...
    "No go on the wheel build. Spoke calcuslster was wrong. End of next week I promise. Sorry, tried to get them done today."

    I am really disappointed and will be going down to pick them up finished or not tomorrow. 6 weeks to rebuild a set of wheels - one of which I had already taken apart for him. SORRY, but no excuse is right!

    Man. Bummer.

    I'd be happy to lace those for you. Ship 'em to me with a return label (you pay shipping both ways) and I'll turn 'em around in a day or so.

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  73. #73
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    ah, the 'ol "spoke calcuslator was wrong" excuse. Seen it a thousand times. Never seen a wrong spoke clivecussler unless the inputs were wrong....

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    I have built wheels once (i.e laced them up while being judged by someone who knew what they were doing). I trusted a spoke calculator when I ordered my spokes. It was wrong. The ERD for a DT swiss rim was off and my spokes were too short.

    That one experience made me realize you cannot trust spoke calculators. I would think a professional shop would have learned that lesson a long long time ago.

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    the calculator should have no problem getting the math right, but if you input the wrong rim ERD or hub dimensions, it will give you the wrong output. this happened to me too—I calculated spokes based on an incorrectly listed ERD and the spokes came up too long. so yes, you can trust the calculator, but you have to double-check your measurements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I have built wheels once (i.e laced them up while being judged by someone who knew what they were doing). I trusted a spoke calculator when I ordered my spokes. It was wrong. The ERD for a DT swiss rim was off and my spokes were too short.

    That one experience made me realize you cannot trust spoke calculators. I would think a professional shop would have learned that lesson a long long time ago.



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  77. #77
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    Some (most?) calculators have rim erd and hub specs listed on their page to plug in. I guess if those are wrong you could fault the calculator you're using even though the math is technically correct . Good practice to always check the manufacturers specs to make sure you're plugging the right #'s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Well the new owner has now had my wheels for about 10 weeks and still no word on when they will be done! I had requested to get them back almost 2 weeks ago.
    This was his reply on June 13th...
    "No go on the wheel build. Spoke calcuslster was wrong. End of next week I promise. Sorry, tried to get them done today."

    I am really disappointed and will be going down to pick them up finished or not tomorrow. 6 weeks to rebuild a set of wheels - one of which I had already taken apart for him. SORRY, but no excuse is right!
    I think you gave him more than enough chance, ask for money back and go elsewhere.
    I think he simply doesn't have the staffing to do it. He should have manned up and told you so. He may have the best intentions, but in the end I think he wanted to avoid giving money back. Time to cut losses and get back what you can.
    If whoever was building figured out spoke calc was off, he would have had the wheel laced up and would have seen how much longer a spoke needed and could have rebuilt it.

    And all this bit about galvanic corrosion with carbon rims. It may be happening, but I think the big issue is liquid sealant in contact with alloy nipple and stainless spokes. Thats where the corrosion issue is. I have a set of carbon rims, alloy nipples that I build up with washers. They got nipple corrosion and broken nipples, but you'll readily see the corrosion on the inside top of heads all crusty. If you wanted to prevent galvnic corrosion between carbon rims and nipples, you'd need a plastic washer, and it would have to go into the hole to isolate. And you'd still have the galvanic corrsion between the spoke and nipple.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    That's not the fault of the calculator, the wrong numbers were imputed.
    Well duh. I learned that. I should have verified the ERD that the calculator has listed for the rims I had. I incorrectly assumed that the rim ERD were inputted into the calculator bank correctly.

    for a newbie, that's the fault of the calculator. After making that mistake once, it's not the fault of the calculator and it's on me to verify the measurements input into the calculator.

    That's really my point - I learned that after trying to build 1 set. A professional bike shop should know.

  80. #80
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    Sent a message over that I would be picking them up tomorrow. He responded 3 hours later with - "Just finished them". The question is now is if I should continue to do business with the shop....probably not after this loooong wait! His intentions were good, just not made a priority. I do know he is the only one working in the shop during an unusually busy season but still poor customer service. Will see tomorrow how the wheelset came out as I will be inspecting it much closer this time around!
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    14 GT Zaskar 100 9r

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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    The question is now is if I should continue to do business with the shop....probably not after this loooong wait! His intentions were good, just not made a priority. I do know he is the only one working in the shop during an unusually busy season but still poor customer service.
    I think it depends. I know all the shops near me are slammed and that's with a full staff. So if this guy is by himself, I might cut him some slack. He probably isn't sleeping much.

    The other question is will you need him to file warranties for you in the future? I do 95% of my own wrenching but I still try to buy parts from my LBS to keep a relationship because they are the only Specialized dealer within 60 miles of me.

  82. #82
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    Ah i see. He could have done a better job of informing you, but i would prob cut him some slack. Maybe continue retail purchass from him, but not take servicing jobs. Not until he gets set up more solidly

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Sent a message over that I would be picking them up tomorrow. He responded 3 hours later with - "Just finished them". The question is now is if I should continue to do business with the shop....probably not after this loooong wait! His intentions were good, just not made a priority. I do know he is the only one working in the shop during an unusually busy season but still poor customer service. Will see tomorrow how the wheelset came out as I will be inspecting it much closer this time around!
    I hope (and forgot if it was mentioned earlier in the thread) that there will be no cost for this. Also hope that he didn't tape them/mount up tires, so that you can check the spoke lengths and the build quality. 3 hours is plenty of time to build up a wheelset (unless using BERD spokes), so there is a chance he rushed it and then email you when done.
    Look forward to hearing update.
    Silly bike things happening.

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