Your bike deserves wheelie good wheels!!!
Many of us will spend a lot of money on our bikes, if we are buying an off the peg bike, we study the components, what brand and range within the brand of gears will we get? are the gears responsive? How much do the brakes weigh, are the brakes effective and easy to adjust? What saddle do I get with the bike and will it be comfortable? What are the tyres and do they have a nice go faster colour coordinated stripe around the tyre? Can I fit mudguards in the winter? How are the cables routed? etc In fact speaking to different people it would appear that they all consider a host of such things but all appear to accept the wheels that come as standard with the bike.
Even most of those among us who opt for custom build bikes will, when it comes to wheels select an off the peg wheel albeit they will be a bit more selective over those of the entry level style wheels often fitted to off the peg bikes, going possibly for deep section or aero wheels.
Why do people not place as much importance on wheels as they do on the rest of the bike?
Why custom built wheels?
When people mention the word “custom” it immediately leads to the thought “expensive” but it doesn’t have to be and what you do spend on wheels can be one of the best investments to improve your bike.
Like having a custom bike built, with wheels there are numerous options available to the cyclist to enable him/her to gain the best advantages from their bike performance.
A large choice of rims, be-it carbon, steel, alloy, a choice of hubs governing the type and quality of bearings used. Can the hubs be adjusted, serviced or repaired? Lightness of components, number of spokes, spoke types, spoke strengths, softer tensions for comfort, touring and general use, higher tensions for strength, speed, aero and a firmer ride. Spoke patterns. Fixed wheel hubs, Double fixed, flip-flop hubs, hub gears etc Even coloured rims and spokes.
Hand built wheels will always be tension adjustable and spokes replaceable, some off the peg factory built wheels are not.
A hand built wheel, if built well will be correctly tensioned to suit the cyclist and their riding style along with their proposed use be it comfort, speed or other. For example a commuter will probably require a heavier more robust rim while the competitive racer will want lightness, a heavier rider may require more spokes.
Whatever the wheel it should be well trued and very accurately dished.
Considerations should be given not only to cost and weight, but also durability, aerodynamics, rider weight, riders riding style, type of discipline to which the wheel will be used in.
More often than not well built custom wheels will be stronger than general factory stock wheels.
The long and short of it is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth to have custom built wheels to compliment your new bike whether it be a factory specification model or your dream custom built bike, why not finish it off with style and enjoy the most from your ride.
Remember you and your bike deserve the best!!