Wheel building went wrong....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    No good Wheel building went wrong....

    I built few wheels myself over the years. I have all the tools including a Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter and even paid Roger Musson for his wheel building guide.

    However, this time I thought that a LBS can do it faster, inexpensively, as good as I can do it or better as they build wheels all the time, and I would feel good about them doing it while I pay them.

    Also after many years of riding 3x9 converted to 2x9 I decided to treat myself and the bike with a new set of 35mm wide wheels, wide tires, and conversion to Shimano 1x12.

    It took several trips to the bike shop for them to order i9 Hydra with micro spline and to take measurements from my front wheel hub. Lots of driving and time wasted but that was still OK, I was supporting the LBS after all.

    So yesterday finally the rear wheel was ready. They had to rebuild it because the asymmetrical rim was oriented incorrectly. The new $100 rim had many scratches on the stickers and aluminum rim itself. All cosmetic but it bothered me. I have never seen a new wheel looking like this. I was told that it came from truing and that these are MTB wheels so they will get scratched anyway. They asked what they can do for me. I really did not know what they can do for me. I did not want any discount, I was just very disappointed. So they offered me $40 off, I only took $20 and even then I feel like stealing from them. I felt even worse.

    I do not trash my bike, and it would take some times for flying rocks to scratch the rim.

    The people from the LBS did not apologize, did not acknowledge that they made a mistake. I paid for the work and parts and left without a receipt. I did not want to ask for yet another thing. I did not want to make them look stupid. No big deal.

    When I got home I took my spoke tension meter and found out that some spokes are tensioned at 9 while others at 17-18 and between. This is a big error in the tensioning!!!

    Oh well, I can fix all that myself. So I removed the original wheel from the bike and mounted the new one into the frame. The rim was centered in the frame. There was a light at the end of the tunnel!

    So excited again, I found a spare rotor and bolts and mounted it on the new wheel. Then I took my sparkling new cassette and I could not slide it on! Then I took the 9 speed one and it went on with no issues. This is not a micro spline!!! Oh no!

    I will call them later today. It is possible that I9 messed up the order. It will be fixed I am sure.

    I know, I will not let them to build me a front wheel. The tension being off is the only thing I cannot excuse.

    Should I tell them about the tension? Should I have them to fix it? Or I should just have them to install the micro spline and walk out without saying anything else at all?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    I would just go to another LBS, someone who knows what they're doing. My city has a dozen bike shops, and among the mechanics in the know, they recommend very few individuals to build wheels. That these individuals work at this or that LBS is immaterial.

  3. #3
    West Chester, PA
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    They are morons and clearly don't know how to build wheels. Scratching the rims with the spokes is not acceptable if someone is paying you to do it. You should bring the wheel back demand a full refund. Nothing less.

  4. #4
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    They built the wheel wrong the first time, they scratch the rim while truing the wheel the second time (can't even imagine how they accomplish this), they got you the wrong freehub body (possible error from i9, but I doubt it), apparently they don't know that even spoke tension is more important than trueness on a wheel... And you think they will get it right on the third attempt?
    Just get them to sort the freehub body, and never return.

  5. #5
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    Personally, with that tension, I'd simply get my money back and move on.

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  6. #6
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    The rims is mine, I did not pay them for the rim. I could disassemble the wheel and bring them back the hub, spokes, nipples, and ask for a refund. Gosh! I hate to do this. What to do, what to do?
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  7. #7
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    I asked for AL nipples. These have high gloss chrome surface. Do AL nipples come like that? I could remove/destroy the tape to find out I guess.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  8. #8
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    I have zero confidence that these are AL nipples. Maybe they are. The wheel was rebuilt as I said, it shows on the hub. They did not pay attention where the spokes where facing the first time the wheel was built so the 2nd time they positioned the spokes the other direction. The hub now has dents from spokes from the 1st build. Not a big issue again, just an observation.

    I am heading to the LBS now with my tension meter and will ask them to disassemble it and give me back my rim and money.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  9. #9
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    Yeah, you need to get your rim back and walk away. Not a chance Iíd pay for that quality and even attempt to ride them.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    I have zero confidence that these are AL nipples. Maybe they are. The wheel was rebuilt as I said, it shows on the hub. They did not pay attention where the spokes where facing the first time the wheel was built so the 2nd time they positioned the spokes the other direction. The hub now has dents from spokes from the 1st build.
    You've got to be kidding me. I suspect whoever built the wheel had never done it before yours. If the spoke impressions aren't the same the leading spokes and trailing spokes may be reversed. I'd have to look at a wheel and think about it to be sure, but nonetheless, it's totally wrong.
    And no, silver alloy nipples aren't chromed. They used brass ones.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    I built few wheels myself over the years. I have all the tools including a Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter and even paid Roger Musson for his wheel building guide.

    However, this time I thought that a LBS can do it
    The "test" is if you can do it, have adequate tools and experience. If you pass this test, NEVER let the bike shop work on it. The chances that they have the tools to work on things like suspension are usually pretty slim and when it comes to wheels it's just better to do it yourself when you know how, OR go with a very well established wheel-builder. I'd say that machine built wheels are better than 95% of "bike shop built" wheels. Modern machine built include stress relief and so on. But the reason you get wheels built is you want a specific combination of spokes, nipples, hubs, etc. It's not like bike shops are AMG certified mercedes technicians, they don't pay enough (and we don't pay enough) to keep significant knowledge and/or skill in the service industry. Lesson learned.
    Last edited by Jayem; 01-11-2020 at 06:57 PM.
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  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=ozvena;14511061]I really did not know what they can do for me. I did not want any discount, I was just very disappointed. So they offered me $40 off, I only took $20 and even then I feel like stealing from them. I felt even worse.

    You accepted $20 compensation...

    I know very little about actual legal rights but had a similar experience. Had an LBS build a rear wheel using my rim & hub. I was quoted $100. When it was completed the cashier rang up $185??? I said "whoa now" I was quoted 100? Owner joins our conversation saying that was just a quote and rattled on about the cost of DB DT spokes. He knocked $25 off the bill which he asked for agreement? Ok whatever better than nothing need to get out of here. Called my CC company because I wanted to dispute the charge. CC company said when I signed the receipt I agreed to their terms of service. They told me I should not have paid - what leave my wheel there nope. i asked a legally savvy friend about the situation and he said I was probably out of luck for any legal action because I accepted the $25 compensation. Lesson learned.

  13. #13
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    Here is how it went:

    me: Are these brass nipples?
    lbs: Yes
    me: But I wanted AL
    lbs: I do not use AL
    me: But I ordered Al
    me: The tension is all over the place
    lbs: I do not care
    me: This is not micro spline
    lbs: I have a micros spline hub...and he walked away looking for it
    me: At this point I want my rim and money back
    lbs: Ok, I will cut the spokes

    Then he was refunding me, his hands where shaking (being upset?).

    me: Do you know that tension is more important than trueing?
    lbs: I do
    me: You do not use a tension meter, right? (they offered me to build CF wheels in the past!)
    lbs: No, I do not.
    me: You can tension it by ear too
    lbs: There are many techniques...we have a good track record
    me: But you told me that there is no warranty on this wheel (build with 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes) and if this wheel fails, it would not be because of the spokes but because of the unequal tensions.
    me: You guys are bread and butter of the community. I really wanted this to work out.
    lbs: Me too

    Then I left.

    I am not going to review the shop. I do not want to cause any more pain. I guess they have many happy average riders riding their overbuild wheels. Wheel building according to them is their core business. They order many I9 hubs, build CF wheels....high end stuff.

    I am sad, but now I feel better. I will do all the measurements myself. Order parts online and will find some time to build me a nice set of wheels.

    With all I do myself, I just needed some break but that is not how it works unfortunately. I need to continue doing all manual work and repairs myself, whether it is for a bike, car, or house. There are just too many "experts". But what do I know?
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  14. #14
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    Glad you got your money back. Don't feel bad for them. They created the problem.

    I don't build with alloy nipples either. But I sure as hell wouldn't take someone's money and just ignore their requests. unreal

  15. #15
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    You made the right decision.
    As Jayem said nobody will put the time and detail in that you yourself can on your own stuff. With that said I'm sure you can find a reputable wheel builder in your area. Check your local FB bike clubs for recommendations. When you go to a bike shop talk personally with the mechanic doing the work and ask them the important questions.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The "test" is if you can do it, have adequate tools and experience. If you past this test, NEVER let the bike shop work on it. The chances that they have the tools to work on things like suspension are usually pretty slim and when it comes to wheels it's just better to do it yourself when you know how, OR go with a very well established wheel-builder. I'd say that machine built wheels are better than 95% of "bike shop built" wheels. Modern machine built include stress relief and so on. But the reason you get wheels built is you want a specific combination of spokes, nipples, hubs, etc. It's not like bike shops are AMG certified mercedes technicians, they don't pay enough (and we don't pay enough) to keep significant knowledge and/or skill in the service industry. Lesson learned.
    This ^. More than a few of us have been down this road at one time or another and it does suck. Your best bet is to ask around when wanting work done. In my area, word seems to get around on who is who and if you show up for one of our local rides and ask, often you will get first names and what shop they work at.

  17. #17
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    since you've built wheels before and you have all the tools you can do it again to your own satisfaction even if it takes a little longer. you could have been riding them by now.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    Here is how it went:

    me: Are these brass nipples?
    lbs: Yes
    me: But I wanted AL
    lbs: I do not use AL
    me: But I ordered Al
    me: The tension is all over the place
    lbs: I do not care
    me: This is not micro spline
    lbs: I have a micros spline hub...and he walked away looking for it
    me: At this point I want my rim and money back
    lbs: Ok, I will cut the spokes

    Then he was refunding me, his hands where shaking (being upset?).

    me: Do you know that tension is more important than trueing?
    lbs: I do
    me: You do not use a tension meter, right? (they offered me to build CF wheels in the past!)
    lbs: No, I do not.
    me: You can tension it by ear too
    lbs: There are many techniques...we have a good track record
    me: But you told me that there is no warranty on this wheel (build with 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes) and if this wheel fails, it would not be because of the spokes but because of the unequal tensions.
    me: You guys are bread and butter of the community. I really wanted this to work out.
    lbs: Me too

    Then I left.

    I am not going to review the shop. I do not want to cause any more pain. I guess they have many happy average riders riding their overbuild wheels. Wheel building according to them is their core business. They order many I9 hubs, build CF wheels....high end stuff.

    I am sad, but now I feel better. I will do all the measurements myself. Order parts online and will find some time to build me a nice set of wheels.

    With all I do myself, I just needed some break but that is not how it works unfortunately. I need to continue doing all manual work and repairs myself, whether it is for a bike, car, or house. There are just too many "experts". But what do I know?
    Industry Nine might want to know about the clown show assembling their hubs for money.

    I mean holy cow. I built my first wheels almost a year ago. I9 Hydra (micro spline) hubs, DT rims and spokes, etc. I took a class locally to learn how to do it. Those wheels are solid after being beat on for a year. I didn't wreck my stuff like this.

  19. #19
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    What is a competent wheel builder? How do you find one?

    A competent builder can build wheels to the https://www.weareonecomposites.com/s...t/rim-only-519 specs. I do not want the LBS to argue with me how a wheel should be built.

    "We always require that you build with a high-end tension gauge. Make sure that the tension meter is calibrated and reading correctly.

    Our high tension target is 115kg/f. Do your best to keep all tension within 2% from one spoke to the next on each side of the hub. If you can achieve better, the better the wheel will be, and the longer it will go without needing maintenance.

    DO NOT build our wheels without a tension meter. It will lead to premature failure and undue stress on the rim."



    Argue with WAO!

    If you can build such wheels, you are a competent builder.

    Sure, there are competent builders who would not take such a job, but I have no way to test this. So my only option, if I do not want to build the wheel myself is to use WAO competency tests.

    Right, wrong? Is that not being honest if I want to build AL wheel but pretend that I want to build WAO wheel and ask how competent they feel about building it?

    Should I have lowered the requirement and ask about building a wheel? Please read further....
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  20. #20
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    One bike shop did not feel competent to build a wheel to WAO spec and suggested two other bike shops. I thank them for being honest with me.

    The other bike shop felt confident but would not tell me their acceptable spoke to spoke tension error. They also have bunch of competent people there building whees I was told. When the call was dropped, I called right back, I could not talk to the same guy I spoke with as he was busy. No thank you. Collective responsibility was proved as a failure.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  21. #21
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    The last bike shop I called sounded the best. The guy said that he feels confident of building CF wheels to the manufacturer's spec and that he uses $300 DT Swiss tensioner.

    So I loaded the bike and both rims to seal the deal.

    The guy told me that I was not honest with him on the call (I pretended that I want to build a CF wheel). I apologized and told him my story with the other bike shop. Heck, I told him all that on the call. I showed him the rim that was scratched up by the other bike shop, told him that they used wrong nipples, hub, and the tension had 100% error spoke to spoke on the same side. He said that the scratches are little bit excessive and the tension error was not acceptable. I said, how can I find out about your competency other than using this tests? I hope you understand me, I said.

    I did not like his attitude but was going along with giving him all the details and he worked on a price quote. I agreed to pay MSRP for i9 hub including the shipping, $80 labor for the rear wheel and $100 for the front. He asked $40 to delace the front wheel (he could simply cut the spokes and slide them out in 60 seconds) which I said that I do it. He asked double MSRP for the spokes, that is how they keep the lights running he said, and I agreed. The final quote was a good chunk of money but I did not mind.

    The front hub is Project 321 lefty. I even gave him an adapter so he could build it as a regular wheel. The only trick, I pointed out is that the wheel is not build symmetrical to the adapter. There is some offset that can be measured by using a dishing tool or by measuring the difference between the lengths of the existing spokes.

    He said, that his hourly rate is 80 and he can barely make a reg wheel in an hour so he will charge me more. I was not even sure whether $100 was the final price or it could go up.

    He told me 1/2 dozen times that he is a confident builder. That the wheel will be built the the manuf. specs. I said this is great, I feel good about it, I know you will not scratch my rims as the other guy did, you build with about 10% tension error spoke to spoke and that is all I need, I can't even measure 10% error with my tool.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  22. #22
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    At the end when I was leaving my bike and rims with him I apologized again. I said that unfortunately we live in a society with so many experts but many aren't. That I have to work on my bike, car, house because I can't find competent people.

    His response was that the front wheel is throwing him off, that he does not want to build the wheels for me. That he is not sure he can build it so I would not bring the wheels back. And once he builds wheels, he will not accept return, period.

    I told him: You are underestimating yourself. You can build wheels better than I can. There is no trick with the front wheel, there is just a small offset that you can easily measure.

    He said that he does not want to offend me but he is not going to do that. I said, that you are offending me if you do not know where I come from but not if you can't build the front wheel.

    Then he said that he does not think he can build a wheel for me and to make me happy. I told him that he wasted my time to which he responded that I wasted his. After that I left the shop, no one form 1/2 dozen people working there opened the door for me so I had to put the rims on the floor, get the bike, and come back for the rims.

    All I wanted was a confident builder that would take the "challenge" and build a solid set of wheels with the lightest spokes and nipples on the market while paying for all their expenses without any price negotiation.

    How hard is it to build a set of wheels with new parts?
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  23. #23
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    Not sure why this build is so hard for them. I've watched my LBS guys string together a set of high end wheels in under an hour, de-stressed and properly tensioned, though I suspect not to 2% which I think is stringent. If you want to know if you have an experience builder, watch how he laces a wheel. If he can drop the spokes in, lace 3x with the logo pointing at the valve in a smooth motion with no hesitation then he probably knows what he is doing.

  24. #24
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    TylerVernon ... My theory is that this guy is not honest about his skills. He is good at bragging about them repeating the world "competent" over and over again during the discussions and bragging about his $300 DT Swiss tool. But he is scared to build a wheel for me despite that I am ok with minor scratches and 10% accuracy he bragged about.

    Instead, he calls me dishonest and uses that and the front wheel offset as something he cannot overcome.

    These people build wheels with heavy spokes for people who have no way of verifying the quality of the build and who do not push them hard enough for bad wheels to pop. (For the record, I do not push my wheels hard either.)

    They lack skills and even soft skills. I have never heard of a case like this when someone who is willing to pay about $1,000 for wheels to be told that is wasting time.

    Wheel building, despite what they pretend is not their core skill or bread and butter despite their claims. Instead, it is a sale of their silly $5k electric bikes that can't move fast down the hill!

    I will never walk into other LBS store ever again. The number of employees (they pay) I see in these stores is mind boggling!
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  25. #25
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    Archery is the same way. I have a bow shop in my garage as I was tired of paying incompetent "techs" to work on my bows. Shoddy work, beyond overpriced. I drive 90 miles to a shop IF I have problem I canít fix myself.

    We had 3 archery shops close this year. The amount of things Iíve fixed from them is unreal. One shop, the owner retired. The other 2 were overpriced hacks.

    I have a LOT to learn about working on my bikes, and like archery the tools and time are expensive. However, if you want it done right do it yourself.

  26. #26
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    Um... Nicest way to say it... They don't want to build wheels for a pain in the ass customer. And I 100% relate.

    I try to build all my wheels to an even tension. Sometimes this is dead on 125 kgf. Sometimes there's some variance. Sometimes a seam is worse than usual and there's a hop. There's no way in hell I can guarantee anyone 2%. Or 5%. Hell, maybe not 10%! I can promise I'll build them as well as they can build up, and I assure you they'll be fine.

    I think the better builders are all online. I also think you have to hand over your parts and trust the builder, you really can't be calling out tolerances, it's not really doable or reasonable.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Um... Nicest way to say it... They don't want to build wheels for a pain in the ass customer. And I 100% relate. It would be fricking awesome is someone could build me such a wheel (they claim to build hundreds of them).

    I try to build all my wheels to an even tension. Sometimes this is dead on 125 kgf. Sometimes there's some variance. Sometimes a seam is worse than usual and there's a hop. There's no way in hell I can guarantee anyone 2%. Or 5%. Hell, maybe not 10%! I can promise I'll build them as well as they can build up, and I assure you they'll be fine.

    I think the better builders are all online. I also think you have to hand over your parts and trust the builder, you really can't be calling out tolerances, it's not really doable or reasonable.
    The 2% tolerance is required by WAO, otherwise they would reject any warranty claims. It is attainable? I do not know. Did I request the 2% tolerance? No. I only used that requirement to see how these competent builders react to it. They claimed that they can build wheels to the manf. specs. They also claimed 10kg/f tolerance which is under 10%.

    There is no need to argue with me. They need to argue with their own claims. They set the bar so high.

    However, there needs to be some boundary, some way to verify the build. Is it 10%, 25% or 100% what the other bike shop calls perfectly acceptable?

    If you can't build it to your typical spec then the problem is with the rim. That is a solvable problem. Accept it or buy a new rim. How hard do we need to make this?

    If you can't commit to any quality control then you should not be in the business of building.

    You would not be happy with 10% misalignment of your car suspension, would you? So how different is this in the case of the wheels?

    No, they are lazy, unskilled people that would rather pick their nose than do such a cool thing as building whees with the best parts on the market.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  28. #28
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    You should build your own wheels if you want your own specifications. Plenty of people bust out dial indicators and true for a week to get point zero zero zero something run-outs, or silly tight spreads.

    You're not fairly representing WAO either. This is what they say about their wheel warranty:
    If you break a rim while riding, we send you a new one. Period. It is that simple.
    They even call it "no questions asked". Well, with a fair exclusion of vehicle related accidents. No one is requiring a ~3kgf tolerance for warranty, because that's insanity.

    A kind of sloppy build or poor rim is over one notch on a park gauge. Which is honestly still perfectly reliable and ridable. That's about 15% for low quality gear, which is still world's better than machine built.

    I can't count how many wheels I've built that are dead on even... For 30 spokes. Those 2 at the seam are high or low, but it's a seam. If I had a customer complain about 10% on a seam, I'd refund their money and send their wheels back. There's no making those people happy, ever.

    Contact someone like mikesee or any of the big builders and have them build you wheels. They do good work that works perfectly, chasing 2% is truly absurd.

  29. #29
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    I don't think shops want to build wheels in general, except for a very small subset that are really good at it. It takes too much time to do right to make money off of for most shop MECHANICS, it's very time intensive and it's exactly where getting it right is far better than getting it done fast. Compare to something like a crank swap where you basically have one bolt to tension correctly. Times that by about 1000x for a wheelbuild. I worked for a shop that accepted a lot of work that didn't "add up" as far as how much time we actually spent on something and what we charged. When you get into wheelbuilds, it goes to the extreme where you really need an extremely knowledgeable and talented person. People like that usually don't stay in the service industry/low positions for long. There are exceptions.

    I think it's similar to suspension. I went to like 5 shops in Seattle the last trip down because I needed someone with a flat wrench to crack open my top-cap so I could inspect it and just make sure a specific o-ring was not busted. The shops acted like there were demons and fire lurking inside of the fork and they wouldn't touch it. It was crazy. Eventually found one that was "just willing enough" to let me do it, but their techs no basically nothing about suspension, and I don't mean specialized stuff specific to makes and models, I mean just basic concepts. So yeah, I never EVER let a shop work on my suspension, unless it's a shop that just does suspension, like Push, Avy, Vorsprung, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  30. #30
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    I do not have my own specification. Maybe my writing is sloppy but the 2% and under 10% come from manuf. and the LBS. I would be very happy with either.

    I apologize to you, let me correct, here is their full statement and I am adding nothing to it:

    "We always require that you build with a high-end tension gauge. Make sure that the tension meter is calibrated and reading correctly.

    Our high tension target is 115kg/f. Do your best to keep all tension within 2% from one spoke to the next on each side of the hub. If you can achieve better, the better the wheel will be, and the longer it will go without needing maintenance.

    DO NOT build our wheels without a tension meter. It will lead to premature failure and undue stress on the rim."


    I would be perfectly happy with 15% you mentioned too. But I want to hear from the builder what they consider acceptable after a known builder in town does not use a tensioner gauge and sold a customer a wheel with the tension on the same side from 100% to 200%.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  31. #31
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    Jayem, they want to build wheels and are happy to charge from $40 to $100 for it. Hack, it is their rate. I did not force them.

    The guys could have been completely honest and tell me that they build wheels with no QC but if you want 10-15-20% tension accuracy, it will cost you X. What is preventing them from charging me a fair price?

    You build wheels with no QC? That is fine. But when a customer asks about QC don't be such a dick about it. Charge him your rate instead.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  32. #32
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    That shop sounds rough. At least you ended up getting a refund. I had a shop build me a set once and I got lucky, nice wheels. I went with their recommendations though and ultimately wasnít happy with the wheel id for what I was riding.

    After doing my research, I had mikesee build me a set and everything was perfect. I have no idea what the tensions were. Never touched them for the 2000ish miles I put on them and sold them with the bike in perfect shape. He is building me a set for my new bike next week and I wonít check them and Iím sure they will be perfect as well. He even answered way too many questions from me!

    Do yourself a favor and have him build you a set. No need to check them, just ride and enjoy!

  33. #33
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    Noticed you're in Missouri. Are you dealing with St Louis area shops?

  34. #34
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    Yes
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

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    I hope one of the shops you dealt with wasn't Ballwin Cycles.

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    How many words would you type if this were an actual emergency?

    Seriously, I understand disappointment and wasted time. It happens. You got your money back and learned something for the future. Move on with life.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    How many words would you type if this were an actual emergency?

    Seriously, I understand disappointment and wasted time. It happens. You got your money back and learned something for the future. Move on with life.
    I already did my friend. There is a conversation taking place here in which I participate. Now you participate too and I responded to you. I hope you are not bother by that.

    What do you mean by "How many words would you type if this were an actual emergency?" ?
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  38. #38
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    Why is there an offset with the Lefty hub? What are you building up? I've built a few Lefty wheels, including fat ones, and the only needed offset was on the fat wheels.

    I'm genuinely curious as I like to know about things to double check myself, my knowledge, and my work.
    Silly bike things happening.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    Yes
    Did you go to St. Louis tonight for the SX show?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Meat View Post
    Did you go to St. Louis tonight for the SX show?
    No, I did not.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    Why is there an offset with the Lefty hub? What are you building up? I've built a few Lefty wheels, including fat ones, and the only needed offset was on the fat wheels.

    I'm genuinely curious as I like to know about things to double check myself, my knowledge, and my work.
    The hub is Project 321 Lefty 1.0. I did not try to pop out the fancy washer on the drive side. It was kind of stuck and as I was not going to build the wheel myself I did not bother with removal.

    This means, that I did not mount the hub on my truing adapter to confirm the offset.

    Instead, I used a dishing tool and determined that the rim is centered between the disk rotor mounting plane and the plane touching the fancy washer on the drive side. From this perspective the rims is not symmetrically mounted.

    When the wheel was mounted on the bike, to the best of my knowledge the tire was centered against the frame.

    Lefty 2.0 hub is different I think.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    Why is there an offset with the Lefty hub? What are you building up? I've built a few Lefty wheels, including fat ones, and the only needed offset was on the fat wheels.

    I'm genuinely curious as I like to know about things to double check myself, my knowledge, and my work.
    My 1st post on the thread has a link to a wheel building PDF that I purchased. I learned from it how to build wheels myself. The PDF is also a great resource to debunk wheel building myths pushed by LBSs. It allows me to build lighter wheels than these LBS can or at least ask for it.

    I would recommend you reading the section called "Rim centering and wheel dish". If the center to left and center to right flange distances of the hub are different then your wheel will be dished. Front wheels that take a disc brake are dished as it is the case of lefty wheels too. A dished wheel can be centered or off-center.

    You can see that all these hubs, including the classic non-lefty hub are build as dished wheels: https://project321.com/hub-dimension-chart/

    When you enter the hub dimensions into a spoke calculator and when you use the spokes calculated, it will dictate the build offset of the rim for any hub and even for the asymmetrical lefty hub.

    A competent builder would work with the spokes, not against them, and build the wheel correctly. In case of Lefty a competent builder would use only one arm of the truing stand to true the wheel normally. The original wheel dish can be measured and compered with the wheel being build. There is no reason to bill customers more for building a lefty wheel especially if the customers supplies the builder with the lefty hub adapter.

    I hope this is helpful to you.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  43. #43
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    At this point, dude, you're just being a pain in the ass. You absolutely cannot put a specific number on the QC for a wheel build. "As good as possible" is the best you're going to get. As mentioned already, the ACTUAL spoke tensions you wind up with are going to depend on the specific rim and whether there are any quirks with it that need to be addressed. The first shop sucked, but you're now overreacting and treating other shops poorly as a result.

    Simply enough, lying to them on the phone is a bad start to your relationship with that shop/mechanic. That right there would convince me that I don't want to work with you if I can avoid it, regardless of anything else about the situation.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    My 1st post on the thread has a link to a wheel building PDF that I purchased. I learned from it how to build wheels myself. The PDF is also a great resource to debunk wheel building myths pushed by LBSs. It allows me to build lighter wheels than these LBS can or at least ask for it.

    I would recommend you reading the section called "Rim centering and wheel dish". If the center to left and center to right flange distances of the hub are different then your wheel will be dished. Front wheels that take a disc brake are dished as it is the case of lefty wheels too. A dished wheel can be centered or off-center.

    You can see that all these hubs, including the classic non-lefty hub are build as dished wheels: https://project321.com/hub-dimension-chart/

    When you enter the hub dimensions into a spoke calculator and when you use the spokes calculated, it will dictate the build offset of the rim for any hub and even for the asymmetrical lefty hub.

    A competent builder would work with the spokes, not against them, and build the wheel correctly. In case of Lefty a competent builder would use only one arm of the truing stand to true the wheel normally. The original wheel dish can be measured and compered with the wheel being build. There is no reason to bill customers more for building a lefty wheel especially if the customers supplies the builder with the lefty hub adapter.

    I hope this is helpful to you.
    Thanks for the input. Very confused now and I've built hundreds of wheels. I know about centering, dish, offset, etc.

    Good luck with your wheel build or search for a wheel builder.
    Silly bike things happening.

  45. #45
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    I feel like there's more to the original story now. Some people are their own worst enemy. Wheel building is not that complicated. Like most things it's a series of steps. Complete each step competently and you end up with a solid wheel, don't overthink it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    At this point, dude, you're just being a pain in the ass. You absolutely cannot put a specific number on the QC for a wheel build. "As good as possible" is the best you're going to get. As mentioned already, the ACTUAL spoke tensions you wind up with are going to depend on the specific rim and whether there are any quirks with it that need to be addressed. The first shop sucked, but you're now overreacting and treating other shops poorly as a result.

    Simply enough, lying to them on the phone is a bad start to your relationship with that shop/mechanic. That right there would convince me that I don't want to work with you if I can avoid it, regardless of anything else about the situation.
    In a perfect world wheels would be built perfectly. This would be attained by having parts manufactured to "EXACT" tolerances. The build would be done meticulously w/ a fine attention to detail and the cost would not be factored.

    So its not a perfect world, parts have variances as well as builders having varying aptitudes. If you read through MTBR wheel building posts you will find a lot of builders don't use tensiometers and will strongly argue that they are not needed to build a serviceable wheel.

    It would be great if they treated wheel builds like airplanes and did multi step QC reports but in the end this is a bicycle wheel. When I had wheels built the LBS would always have me return for "check-up" Most of those wheels would ping & pop on the first ride - later determined to be insufficient prep / de-stressing during the builds.

    So a few wheel building books and years of biking under my belt I needed a wheel built and had a list of questions for the LBS builder. What spoke prep will you use, do you measure the ERD, do you use a spoke tensiometer & if so what brand... I soon realized I had high expectations and should probably build it myself.

    From personal experience I have found a lot of mechanics don't like to be told how to do there job even if the customer is knowledgable. We had a customer come through the shop for a fork rebuild. He had been to another shop previously and he said they did not correctly overhaul the fork. He had print outs of all the oil spec's & procedures to service the fork. I went over the details w/ the guy point by point. I had no problem w/ the pointy details but my boss pulled me aside and said he said we not working on this.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    Thanks for the input. Very confused now and I've built hundreds of wheels. I know about centering, dish, offset, etc.

    Good luck with your wheel build or search for a wheel builder.
    I do not understand why you feel defensive. I went an an extra mile for you because you were interested. I just read the section about wheel dishing and wanted to share it with you. Your reaction is unnecessary. I share information as I learn how to build Lefty wheel (you asked for it). If you do not want to share that then please do not ask. It is just an extra work for me.

    Which part I wrote is confusing?

    BTW the matching lefty hub adapter has a built in offset. My guess is and I did not verify it yet, it does not come with any instructions, that it completely compensates for the asymmetric of the hub.

    I hope this helps. My intention was never to lecture you and I am sorry if this is how it sounded.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    At this point, dude, you're just being a pain in the ass. You absolutely cannot put a specific number on the QC for a wheel build. "As good as possible" is the best you're going to get. As mentioned already, the ACTUAL spoke tensions you wind up with are going to depend on the specific rim and whether there are any quirks with it that need to be addressed. The first shop sucked, but you're now overreacting and treating other shops poorly as a result.

    Simply enough, lying to them on the phone is a bad start to your relationship with that shop/mechanic. That right there would convince me that I don't want to work with you if I can avoid it, regardless of anything else about the situation.
    Any manufacturing process has QC including wheel building. Even if you claim that you do not do that, the moment you use any tool, or you "play" the spoke and tune by ear you use QC and you keep tuning the wheel until you are satisfied, until you hit your QC number.

    Why is it wrong for someone spending close to $1,000 to ask what the QC is? What is wrong with asking to spend more time to hit more consistent numbers than most of their customers asked for?

    You are entitled to your opinion about my morals values and I respect that. Thank you for your feedback!
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redlands R&C View Post
    Thanks for the input. Very confused now and I've built hundreds of wheels. I know about centering, dish, offset, etc.

    Good luck with your wheel build or search for a wheel builder.
    I wish you shared some of your knowledge here. I built only few wheels but never a Lefty wheel so it is all new to me and I share as I learn.

    Instead you tested my knowledge, presented yourself as someone who is learning, just like I did with the other bike shop, and then you said that you are an expert and I provided no value but confusion. Now you feel offended.

    It would be OK if you are trying to hire me for the job but this is a community where we try to help each other.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    I wish you shared some of your knowledge here. I built only few wheels but never a Lefty wheel so it is all new to me and I share as I learn.

    Instead you tested my knowledge, presented yourself as someone who is learning, just like I did with the other bike shop, and then you said that you are an expert and I provided no value but confusion. Now you feel offended.

    It would be OK if you are trying to hire me for the job but this is a community where we try to help each other.
    1 - I never said I was an expert, but I did say that I've built a fair amount of wheels. Some were garbage, some I definitely didn't do correct, some I re-built 2 or 3 times because I made an error. As humans we should ALWAYS be trying to learn.

    2 - I did have a genuine question, which I asked because I've never heard anybody discussing "offset" in regards to the lefty hub. The adaptor has the offset built into it, essentially simplifying (dumbing down) the hub into something "normal" so that it is easier to work with. My first 2-4 lefty hubs confused the crap out of me because I was over thinking it. Once I finally wrapped my head around that it is a "normal" hub with an adaptor it was so much easier.

    3 - I'm not offended, but I am confused. I'm glad you are learning and sometimes we as a community can be a little harsh. You offered lots of bits and pieces of information, but collectively none of it made sense (to me, but we all come from different perspectives).

    4 - I do think that the first shop is not a good shop for wheel building based on what you said. But I also think the above advice that you may be taking some of your frustration out on other shops is accurate. Finding a good shop is hard. And spending $1k on wheels is a tough spot to be in because if you are like me having an "extra $1k" isn't something that comes easily. But, when it comes to a good customer/business relationship the approach really is everything. And I mean that from both sides. If I as a shop don't treat you with respect, then you won't treat me with respect either. I wish that we were in the same area so that we could've had this interaction, I think you'd have a different and better experience with wheel building and wheel builders.
    Silly bike things happening.

  51. #51
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    Thanks! That is much appreciated!
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  52. #52
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    I think you should build your own wheels instead of having someone else do it. Not reviewing that bike shop who obviously butchered your build is not helping the biking community. Someone else will have to deal with the incompetence. Lastly, 2% tolerance is unreasonable.

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  53. #53
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    Some thoughts:

    - LBS is not capable or willing to do quality work
    - only someone who builds wheels regularly can do it well and fast, an LBS likely is not good at that unless you pay them for extra hours.
    - either order a factory wheel, or order from an actual wheelbuilder company (like some forum member here has)
    - If you have the tools and skills, build your own, no LBS will ever make you happy. The time you spent going through various LBS and on this thread could have yielded several good wheels.
    - 2% tension tolerance is not realistic. The park tension meter says to get all spokes within 1 of the indents (which may be over 5% tension). That likely is a more realistic benchmark
    - googling and quoting some 2% numbers out of context and requiring a wheelbuilder to meet that just shows that you yourself don't understand what requirement a wheel has to meet.

    What I learned from this thread is that I never let someone else build wheels for me, and that I never will build one for someone else. That someone else either won't appreciate the work that goes in, or will be a pain in the butt and measuring everything.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    - googling and quoting some 2% numbers out of context and requiring a wheelbuilder to meet that just shows that you yourself don't understand what requirement a wheel has to meet.
    I read the statements from the manufacturers website within the context of using that specific CF rim. How is this out of the context? How is this telling anything about my understanding?

    Actually the one mechanic that told me that he does not feel competent for such a build I would let him to build me a wheel. Why? Because it is much easier to work with someone humble who knows his limits than working with someone who repeatedly talks about his skills, can't get over the test, and a lefty hub.

    I explained the mechanic few times why I tested his skill and also apologized few times. What else could I have done? You guys do not look at my motivation and what I gained from such inexcusable deception. I gained nothing, other than the shaming here. So sad.

    No voice here made any recommendation how to test competency of a builder. Some claim that no tensioner is needed. OK, but then help me/us out and let us know how to get a wheel well built locally? Obviously not every mechanics can do it. So there must be some question, some guarantees for the work, right? Or do we just trust them all?

    People still want to build and fix their wheels locally. People will read this thread. So don't be part of the problem and instead suggest a set of fair questions we should ask. Please! Maybe a better idea would be starting a new thread. Why don't you do it? Wha don't you make it a sticky? Do the work, show your character.

    It is the bike shop that claimed that they can do <10%. I never said that this is not good enough for me. Don't make up the story that is not here. I ride a wheel today build by an out of state LBS with >10% and I am happy with it.

    This overconfident and rude mechanic asked double the rate of what some other shops charge in town, he asked even more because of the lefty, he charged me double the MSRP for the spokes, MSRP for a very expensive i9 hub and I was OK with all that. He should ask more if he though he needs more. He would get it.

    Building a wheel from new high end parts IMO is the most rewarding work they can do there. If he can't meet his <10% claim then he should be honest about it. What is prevented him from telling me that he will guarantee 15% but if the rim is bent or badly drilled I will not be able to do that and I will tell you about it. Since you brought in the rim, and is defective, I still want to be paid. I think that would be perfectly fine.

    He should not let me bring my bike there across the town and spent time inspecting it and figuring out the price.

    You are correct, this was extremely inefficient a time wasted. I learned, you learned, and others will learn too. This is a good thing.

    I am sorry that you are disappointed but there is no need to be judgmental.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  55. #55
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    One could ask an LBS how many wheels they build or what % of the time their "wheelbuilder" actually builds wheels. If a person builds wheels let's say 70% of their time, they likely know how to build them good and quick. If they only build one twice a year, probably not.

    Therefore my suggestion to hire that out to an actual wheelbuilding company.

    That whole "keeping it local" is BS. What do you think the rim, spokes and hub come from?

    Unfortunately LBS become less and less competent. Look at suspension, all they do is take the components off your bike and ship it to the manufacturer for service. I can do that msyelf, no LBS needed.
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  56. #56
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    The text on the rim company website is really weird. They say they warranty is virtually no questions asked, and they encourage people to build their own wheels with them. Then they say they require a tension range that is outrageously tight and, in my opinion, inconsequential. Obviously I'd love to build wheels with a 2% variance but I've always found that something like 10% is perfectly fine as long as you don't have any spoke windup. The carbon wheels I've built have never required any truing. One of my rear wheels was going strong for almost 5 years.

  57. #57
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    If the OPís tone and word choices in person are the same as whatís on display here, Iíd hazard a guess that most of these shops donít want him as a customer.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    If the OPís tone and word choices in person are the same as whatís on display here, Iíd hazard a guess that most of these shops donít want him as a customer.

    Why do you keep provoking? Does this make you happy? You preach one thing, moving on with life, but doing the opposite.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  59. #59
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    Because your incomprehensible posts read like something written by a prepubescent girl. Go build your own wheel. Or hire a professional wheel builder; there are dozens of them. Just stop whining.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Because your incomprehensible posts read like something written by a prepubescent girl. Go build your own wheel. Or hire a professional wheel builder; there are dozens of them. Just stop whining.
    You are disrespectful, keep repeating what others said many times (trust me I get it by now), your posts add no value, sound exactly how you describe how my posts sound, preach one thing but does the complete opposite.

    Dude, it is over, I get it, everyone else gets it too. It is time to put this to rest.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  61. #61
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    There are two shops on Long Island I shop in regularly. One of them is a big busy place with a huge shop with four mechanics. I know three of them build NICE wheels.
    The other place is a tiny family shop run by a father and grown son. Im pretty sure the dad builds wheels. Just sayin.
    I cannot imagine anyone who has a clue being nervous about building a Lefty wheel. And 100 dollars in labor to assemble ONE WHEEL?? Damn... Ill quit my day job and build wheels all day long.
    I used to build wheels for a shop that built custom fat bikes. I cant even tell you how many Lefty wheels I built and some were wider than others and ran fatter tires than others. I had to figure it out for myself how much to offset em so the tire wouldnt BRAAP the fork.
    Another thing... Youre totally right about scratches on the rim. When I build wheels I treat them like jewelry. No customer wants to pay money for a brand new scratched wheel. That BS about its a mountain bike, its gonna get scratched wouldnt fly with me.
    I like turtles

  62. #62
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    Rebuilding a rim that's been poorly built is a total crapshoot too. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes it's so out that it's time to throw away the rim.

    I feel kinda bad when I scuff the ano on a colored nipple. Rim scratches aren't ok.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    I read the statements from the manufacturers website within the context of using that specific CF rim. How is this out of the context? How is this telling anything about my understanding?

    Actually the one mechanic that told me that he does not feel competent for such a build I would let him to build me a wheel. Why? Because it is much easier to work with someone humble who knows his limits than working with someone who repeatedly talks about his skills, can't get over the test, and a lefty hub.

    I explained the mechanic few times why I tested his skill and also apologized few times. What else could I have done? You guys do not look at my motivation and what I gained from such inexcusable deception. I gained nothing, other than the shaming here. So sad.

    No voice here made any recommendation how to test competency of a builder. Some claim that no tensioner is needed. OK, but then help me/us out and let us know how to get a wheel well built locally? Obviously not every mechanics can do it. So there must be some question, some guarantees for the work, right? Or do we just trust them all?

    People still want to build and fix their wheels locally. People will read this thread. So don't be part of the problem and instead suggest a set of fair questions we should ask. Please! Maybe a better idea would be starting a new thread. Why don't you do it? Wha don't you make it a sticky? Do the work, show your character.

    It is the bike shop that claimed that they can do <10%. I never said that this is not good enough for me. Don't make up the story that is not here. I ride a wheel today build by an out of state LBS with >10% and I am happy with it.

    This overconfident and rude mechanic asked double the rate of what some other shops charge in town, he asked even more because of the lefty, he charged me double the MSRP for the spokes, MSRP for a very expensive i9 hub and I was OK with all that. He should ask more if he though he needs more. He would get it.

    Building a wheel from new high end parts IMO is the most rewarding work they can do there. If he can't meet his <10% claim then he should be honest about it. What is prevented him from telling me that he will guarantee 15% but if the rim is bent or badly drilled I will not be able to do that and I will tell you about it. Since you brought in the rim, and is defective, I still want to be paid. I think that would be perfectly fine.

    He should not let me bring my bike there across the town and spent time inspecting it and figuring out the price.

    You are correct, this was extremely inefficient a time wasted. I learned, you learned, and others will learn too. This is a good thing.

    I am sorry that you are disappointed but there is no need to be judgmental.
    Sorry to say but most LBS mechanics don't like to be told how to do their job or even question their methodology. I have found those that specialize in wheel building ,only ,have a greater technical repertoire w/ their customers. Imo you should be able to ask for a detailed build process - Do you check the ERD, what kind of spoke prep use, how much de-stressing is done, do you have a tension variance, what final tension. Again valid questions but most mechanics will take this as questioning their abilities. When you go to a restaurant do you ask their preparation or cooking process? You mentioned the custom wheel build as the most rewarding thing they can do ??? Just wondering how you come to that assumption? I have friends that wrench professionally and I can tell you they get the most enjoyment from fixing a clunker and having a very appreciative customer.

    Again no problem from my end wanting to have a properly built wheel but I think you either need to do it yourself or find a specialist most likely online.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Sorry to say but most LBS mechanics don't like to be told how to do their job or even question their methodology. I have found those that specialize in wheel building ,only ,have a greater technical repertoire w/ their customers. Imo you should be able to ask for a detailed build process - Do you check the ERD, what kind of spoke prep use, how much de-stressing is done, do you have a tension variance, what final tension. Again valid questions but most mechanics will take this as questioning their abilities. When you go to a restaurant do you ask their preparation or cooking process? You mentioned the custom wheel build as the most rewarding thing they can do ??? Just wondering how you come to that assumption? I have friends that wrench professionally and I can tell you they get the most enjoyment from fixing a clunker and having a very appreciative customer.

    Again no problem from my end wanting to have a properly built wheel but I think you either need to do it yourself or find a specialist most likely online.
    Thank you for asking, let me answer them....

    You are absolutely right. No one wants to hear how it should be done. But is that a good thing? Cannot the person show professionalism and walk the customer trough the process? Does it hurt that much to spent few extra minutes and use that to build a relationship with the customer? Why is it only acceptable to work with customers who know very little? There is no need to answer this one.....

    I did not ask any questions the 1st builder. I fully trusted him. The 2nd builder I asked that specific question. His response was 10kg/f. I did not require anything better than what he told me. I did not tell him how to do his job. I only gave him the lefty adapter and told him my observation about how the lefty rim is centered in relationship to the hub and the frame. He was baffled about it and added the extra $20 to the bill which I was totally fine with that, did not say a thing.

    When you go to a restaurant do you ask their preparation or cooking process? Good questions. I see my friends and colleagues missing out work because of restaurant food poisoning. There is so much that goes into food preparation. On top of that, one of our family members has a condition. So for all these reasons we do not go to restaurants.

    You mentioned the custom wheel build as the most rewarding thing they can do ??? Just wondering how you come to that assumption?
    From my own experience. Building a wheel is more challenging than most other things. You get to work with clean parts that are meticulously manufactured costing a good penny, no dripping fluids, or trail dirt. People are motivate by a challenge. If you do not present a challenge, they will loose motivation, will get bored. It is a valuable skill to have. You start with bunch of small parts and end up with that looks like an art. Just look at what NYrr496 wrote here. Here you can show the attention to the details.

    Building a new bike is similar (bikes come in boxes pre-build so not much building is done these days). Frame preparation with the right tools is a beauty. You cut into an existing frame. Bike restoration. All these are jobs I would not mind to do myself especially with customers willing to pay $100 for a job. I am not saying that doing it right is easy or that LBS have it easy. No, that is why I wanted to have my wheels build locally, support LBS. But it was a bad idea.

    Adjusting a dirty derailleur, cleaning up a dirty cassette, or replacing brake pads? Anyone can do that. I do not find that kind of job as rewarding as the others I mentioned.

    Thank you for providing with a good set of questions but then you mentioned that people would feel offended by them. This is really sad.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    You mentioned the custom wheel build as the most rewarding thing they can do ??? Just wondering how you come to that assumption? I have friends that wrench professionally and I can tell you they get the most enjoyment from fixing a clunker and having a very appreciative customer.

    Again no problem from my end wanting to have a properly built wheel but I think you either need to do it yourself or find a specialist most likely online.


    lol, I've worked in several shops and have never seen anyone fight over who gets to fix the old clunker. For whatever reason wheelbuilding is the most coveted job and it might come down to an arm wrestling match to see who gets to do that one.

    There are shops that build great wheels, as good as any, and some shops have no idea how to build a decent wheel and/or don't care about producing quality work. As a potential customer I could see how it would be difficult to tell which shop was which, kind of like throwing darts blindfolded.
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    lol, I've worked in several shops and have never seen anyone fight over who gets to fix the old clunker. For whatever reason wheelbuilding is the most coveted job and it might come down to an arm wrestling match to see who gets to do that one.

    There are shops that build great wheels, as good as any, and some shops have no idea how to build a decent wheel and/or don't care about producing quality work. As a potential customer I could see how it would be difficult to tell which shop was which, kind of like throwing darts blindfolded.
    I didn't mean the clunker that required hours worth of corrective repairs more so the quick repair that yielded a major improvement - quick turn of a barrel adjuster, tighten a loose clamp etc.

    OP mentioned satisfaction from custom wheel builds and complete bike assemblies I guess it depends on the shops work load and if the particular mechanic wants fast and easy or projects.

    DIY's don't mind projects when it comes to wheels and new builds but people have to remember this is their job day in and day out to make a paycheck, excuse them if @ times they don't have as much enthusiasm for projects as you do. Not saying they should be robots but they also probably won't jump up and click their heels.

    Don't want to stray on this matter but seems like once a customer becomes an LBS regular there is greater repertoire for work done.

  67. #67
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    Having learned to true and tension my own wheels not too long ago, the first thing I learned was that you have to be a little OCD if you want to get it right. I'm not sure I'd trust your garden variety LBS mechanic to true and properly tension a wheel let along build a wheel. I would definitely go with a specialist with a long track record of building wheels.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    What is a competent wheel builder? How do you find one?
    I don't build my own wheels, so I rely on the "pros". The ONLY way I've ever found a good wheel builder is by word of mouth from riders that ride like I do that had wheels built. I live in a metropolitan area with probably a couple hundred bike shops within an hour's commute of each other. Naturally, everything from small mom-pops to shops literally the size of small Walmarts. Most shops charge $100-$150 for a single build (labor only), and with one to two week turnarounds. I used to go to these shops because, well, they're big and MUST be good, especially with long turnarounds, right? Hardly. And I've had issues with just about every wheel build in the past! Then, after trying word of mouth, I learned about the best, and only, shop that now gets my wheel builds... some "dude" in a two man shop smaller than a two car garage that charges $40! And he gets 'em done by the next day! I just hope he doesn't change careers.
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    There are shops that build great wheels, as good as any, and some shops have no idea how to build a decent wheel and/or don't care about producing quality work. As a potential customer I could see how it would be difficult to tell which shop was which, kind of like throwing darts blindfolded.
    Well put.

    Our best local shop for all-around service has no real idea how to build long lasting wheels. I chatted (on a road ride) with the owner/lead mechanic a few years ago, and at some point final tension was discussed. I have my opinions on the subject and they vary depending on rim quality, rim material, spoke gauge, age of the wheel components being discussed, etc...

    When I asked him to share his opinion on checking tension he told me that he "checks two spokes on each of side of each wheel and if they're within ~30% of each other" he calls it good.

    Anyone that has spent any time with a tensiometer knows that his "process" is going to tell you precisely nothing about what the overall tension balance is on any given disc brake wheel, or geared rear wheel.

    It's bizarre that they've arrived at this because their work on every other aspect of a bike is so good.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post
    They had to rebuild it because the asymmetrical rim was oriented incorrectly.
    Oh good, I'm not the only one. Knowing that ASYM rims were not that common a few years ago when this happened, I did try to confirm with the LBS that they understood how they should be built, but they said something odd and kind of pooh-poohed me. And sure enough, the front wheel was done backward. Wow.

    Wheels are the only thing on a bike I don't do myself. I did build do a hub-swap wheel build that is a backup and has been ok for occasional use, but my next set will done by a proven builder. Expect that will be Mikesee.
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Is it blue on one side and white on the other or did you buy two of whatever that is?

  71. #71
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    I only read the original post and a few others, suffice to say, GO FIND A BETTER LBS. I would be pissed if this occurred. Their dismissive attitude is BS.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    Oh good, I'm not the only one. Knowing that ASYM rims were not that common a few years ago when this happened, I did try to confirm with the LBS that they understood how they should be built, but they said something odd and kind of pooh-poohed me. And sure enough, the front wheel was done backward. Wow.

    Wheels are the only thing on a bike I don't do myself. I did build do a hub-swap wheel build that is a backup and has been ok for occasional use, but my next set will done by a proven builder. Expect that will be Mikesee.

    Happy to help!

    Re: Asym -- a year or so ago I got a neg rep comment on this forum. The person whom left it made mention that he had bought a used front wheel that I had (purportedly) built some indeterminate time in the past, and then accused me of having laced the asym rim facing the wrong way.

    I'm human -- I make mistakes -- and if given the chance I fix them. I dug deep to find out what this wheel was so that I could make things right if needed. It turned out that in this specific instance the asym rim was laced to an on-center hub, such that *no matter which direction* it was laced it was still going to have unbalanced tension. Put differently, there isn't necessarily a *right* way to lace an asym rim to an on-center (zero dish) hub. The asym rim was creating instead of solving a problem here.

    In the end he wasn't having it -- he'd already gotten himself wound up and seemed like he just wanted to be angry, period. Which is a shame, because his wheel was perfectly fine, it was only his attitude that needed a change of direction...

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozvena View Post

    However, this time I thought that a (name that business) can do it faster, inexpensively, as good as I can do it or better as they(do whatever they do) all the time
    BTDT. The few times I have paid someone to do a job that I could have done but did not were mistakes. Live and learn.

    Also, always have this attitude.
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  74. #74
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    your bicycle is like your penis. don't let anyone touch it unless you implicitly trust them...


  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    your bicycle is like your penis. don't let anyone touch it unless you implicitly trust them...
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to .WestCoastHucker. again.

    Damn it, stop saying such good things!
    Silly bike things happening.

  76. #76
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    Hmmm... There's really only one or two dudes I ever let touch my bikes and I'm not sure I'd let them touch my penis.

    Funny. This thread made me think of something. I go on regular Monday evening rides with the shop I mentioned above that has three good wheel builders. A couple of my regular riding friends come as well. Sometimes people will ask my buddies who built their wheels and they tell them I did, then they come over to me and start asking to have wheels built. Unless it's someone I know, I steer them toward the bike shop guys. It's their ride, after all.
    One thing I've noticed about shops that build wheels frequently and do a good job is that the truing stands are at the ready and look used. Not stuffed in a corner until it's time to use them. The mom and pop place has a Park TS-2.2. The big shop has two TS2.2's and a TS-4. I see those get used a lot. They even have a couple of work benches just for building wheels.
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  77. #77
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    I don't trust my LBS's to build wheels. They're busy enough with regular maintenance, I don't want them rushing out a set of wheels.

    I bought my custom set online. Wheels came properly tensioned and not a single scratch on them.

    If I were the OP, I wouldn't have paid for them if they were all scratched up by the builder. That's some BS.
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  78. #78
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    I'm out in San Gabriel, Ca and I just had mine built up by wheel builder. Com in Azusa. These folks are top notch and their reviews prove it.

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