Are custom built wheels actually ever custom built?

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by indie

I've just had the worst experience with bike bits ever. I phoned Wheelsmith to ask about a pair of custom wheels I was interested in. They proceeded to tell me what I wanted wasn't any good and mocked my scant knowlege of the custom wheel world. Okay...I can take it that he knows more than me about wheels but when he started openly laughing at me...that was just humiliating. I would like DT hubs, apparently they used to use them so I asked why they don't any more.."I don't have to tell you" was the reply... Unbelievable.

Anyway..this experience brings me to my question. Is a custom built wheel actually custom built if you can't specify all the components yourself without being ridiculed? Does it have to be Wheelsmiths or any other wheelbuilders idea of a good wheel, or you're going to be laughed at?

by Weenie

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Location: Canada

by crohnsy

Just find a different builder.... Don't get all buthurt about it.

Hell, I'll build you some wheels for a price... :hello:

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by karmaportrait


except i can't build you wheels.
Last edited by Powerful Pete on Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Deleted quote. PP

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by Echo

Agreed, if the guy was being a douche, get back at him by NOT giving him your business. Simple as that.

I also, can not build you wheels. Sorry...

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by gumgardner

Fairwheelbikes builds a nice wheel. There are many great builders out there. I'd let Wheelsmith know you aren't going with them because they were jerks ;)

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by bricky21

Custom wheels are actually semi custom. You are able to get whatever you want, so long as the builder is willing to build it to the spec that your asking for. Who knows why he was rude. Best to just move on and find someone else.

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by mr_tim

indie wrote: I would like DT hubs, apparently they used to use them so I asked why they don't any more..

The flange sizing on the DS rear of the 240s hub is quite small, which builds into a less strong wheel. A larger flange size & a better outboard placement would improve things. There are a lot of other hubs that do things better - the 240s hub has gone out of favour in the last couple of years, which is why few builders will opt to use them any more unless the client understand the compromises they will be accepting with the build. Shame they didn't give you that explanation though.

Try approaching other builders & discuss what you want from your proposed build & they will give you some suggestions.

If you research your builder, you will know if they are fully independent or if they have particular brands held in stock which might lead them to have a bias to recommend builds based on what they have / what they will turn a better profit upon.

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Powerful Pete
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by Powerful Pete

Well, just go to someone else. Obviously they did not want/need your business.

I prefer local shops for custom wheel builds whenever possible - makes it possible to interact with the builder and go back for regular tune-ups which are often "thrown in" free for a medium to high price wheelset.
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by kregg

+1 on Fairwheelbikes. The guys there really helped me spec what I wanted based on my weight, rides, needs, budget, etc. etc.... great price and great build. LBS option is sometimes good, but I dont trust the ones around here as much as FWB so I'd go back in a second if needed. Gluck.
Tarmac SL3 S-Works 13.75lbs 6.24kg
Jamis Xenith Pro 16.1lbs 7.31kg

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by bonedpwinkle has been awesome to deal with for me. Bought some Enve/Tune wheels from them. Even helped me out with advice on building my first set of wheels on my own, with Taiwan rims! Nice folks.

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by mjduct

e-mail ergott on the forum. He has been the nicest to me via E-mail answered a ton of silly questions and given me good advice.

truly professional, and a truly custom product!

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by fa63

+1, another happy ergott customer here.

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by racermech

A guy building wheels will build what ever you ask for. A true wheel builder will work with you and what you want, will make suggestions and the 2 of you will build a wheel set you the customer are happy with and the builder is happy having his name associated with.

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by Rick

In addition to providing dirt cheap prebuilt training wheels that are actually quite good, Neuvation cycling provides very reasonable custom wheel builds. I know because I have pair. They basicall just said "yes sir" to everything I asked for, even though I changed my mind on them midstream. Then they showed up on my doorstep about 10 days later in perfect condition.

by Weenie

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Location: Australia

by me

Just sounds like bad customer service...

I ordered a rear wheel from excel sports to use as a training wheel and possibly road races on rough roads it is:
DT 340 hub
DT spokes
DT RR585 rim
3 cross both sides
It will be heavy but should give me thousands of km worry free

Haven't had a chance to use it yet and this is the first time i have dealt with excel sports so I dont have an opinion as yet

Just find another wheelbuilder (depending on where you are located this may be easier said than done), if they want your business they will talk you though the build. If they have a legitimate reason for not building a wheel a certain way then they should tell you.

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