Wheel-building FAQ

How many spokes should I choose for my wheelset?

  • I generally recommend that if you are a typically lightweight rider (ie. under 75kg), and plan on using your wheels on smooth tarmac roads, then a lower profile alloy rim build with 20 spokes in the front and 24 in the rear should be fine. If you fall into this description, however and want a bit more peace of mind, then 24 front / 28 rear would make a stronger wheelset that ensures little could go wrong.
  • If you are a heavier rider (ie. over 75kg), then a lower profile alloy rim build with 24 front / 28 rear is the minimum you should be considering, with 28 front / 32 rear being a safer choice. If you are over 90kg, then 32 spokes in both wheels, or even 36 spokes in the rear wheel would be a sensible choice.
  • Carbon rim builds with deeper profiles are stronger and therefore riders up to 90kg can get away with a 20/24 spoke build, perhaps even heavier depending on riding style. Again, my rims are completely custom, so you can choose a higher spoke count for a ‘belt-and-braces’ approach

What colour spokes should I use? What difference is there?

  • You will notice that black spokes are pricier than silver spokes. The reason for ths is due to the anodising treatment black spokes go through to make them black. The strength and weight of black spokes is the same as their silver options. A rider would only choose black spokes for asthetics purposes. If you are concerned with price and don’t mind the spokes colour, then silver is the sensible cost option to go for.

What’s the difference between the spoke options you list?

  • I use Sapim spokes by default, though can use DT Swiss and other manufacturers if you prefer – contact me to discuss options.
  • Sapim Race (5.67g per spoke based on 264mm length) spokes are basic, strong double-butted spokes that you will find in most wheelbuild options. If you want strong, long-lasting wheels and are not overly concerned about weight, this is a cost-effective option.
  • Sapim Laser (4.25g per spoke based on 264mm length) is the lightest spoke available and although strong if built correctly within a wheel, is the weaker of the three spoke options. Asthetically, Laser spokes are skinny and beautiful, though is only recommended for sub-75kg riders.
  • Sapim CX-Ray (4.25g per spoke based on 264mm length) is the best option available for strength, weight and aerodynamics. They are also 2-3 times the price of Race and Laser spokes, however they are as light as Laser and also the strongest spoke available. Highly recommended for any rider weight.

What do I get from a wheel-build?

  • A 23mm wheelset build consists of rims, hubs, spokes and nipples built into strong, long-lasting wheels. I also offer a 1 year guarantee on the workmanship of wheels, so if for any reason they go out of true – such as hitting a small pothole, I’ll get your wheels true and perfect for riding once again. Just send the affected wheels back to me for re-truing.
  • Once your rims wear out, I also offer a re-rimming service which is £60 for a wheelset or £30 per wheel plus the cost of a new set of rims.
  • Your wheelset will also require rim-tape, quick-release skewers, tyres and tubes, and a cassette for gears or a cog for fixed/ single speed options. These extras are available to purchase separately from 23MM. Let us know in advance whether you would like these separately purchased extras fitted to your wheelset. I’ll do this for no additional labour charge.