We moved house about a month ago and bought a larger house with a decent sized garage which was the idea for the wheel-building business. It’s in Borrowash on the outskirts of Derby. No more freezing winter nights and sweaty summer days slaving away at the truing stand. It’s taken a while to get it all set up the way I wanted, and works really well for me.
Ed from Surrey was after a value for money disc-brake audax build with a dynamo hub. He needed thru-axles and 650b rims. I suggested going for an SP Dynamo PD8-X and Bitex MTR12 rear hub and using a 28/28 spoke configuration laced with Sapim Race spokes to DT Swiss R500 650b rims. The build weighed in at just over 2kg.
Simon from Chesterfield wanted a top-end set of alloy rim-brake wheels and I recommended a set of Pacenti Forza rims laced to DT Swiss 240s hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and brass nipples. Laced with a 24-spoke front and 28-spoke rear (2X/3X), the wheels weighed in at 1543g.
Rim brake wheelsets
Chris from Gloucestershire sent me his Shimano CX75 front hub for building into a set of wheels and asked for a Bitex R106 rear hub and DT Swiss R500 650b rims. They were built 28-spoke front 2X and 32-spoke rear 3X using Sapim D-Light spokes and brass nipples and weighed in at 1832g.
Andrew from Bolsover wanted a set of all-round wheels for riding the hills of the Peak District. He went for a set of Pacenti Forza rims laced to DT Swiss 350 ‘Hugi’ Classic hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 24/28 configuration. They weighed in at 1675g.
Greg from London wanted a set of bomb-proof wheels for his gravel bike and I recommended a wheelset which he went for: DT Swiss RR521 rims laced to DT Swiss 350 thru axle hubs in a 28/32 spoke configuration with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and brass nipples. Greg also went for the 54T ratchet upgrade on the rear hub, making these very fast engaging and perfect for racing. They weighed in at 1837g.
Disc brake wheelsets
Karl needed a new rear wheel and asked me to build him a White Industries T11 on Pacenti Forza laced in a 28-spoke 3X pattern with silver Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples. The wheel weighed in 970g.
Rim brake wheelsets
Two years after building his Chris King R45 Gold hub on HED Ardennes rims, he’d finally worn the rims out including on the cobbles of Roubaix, and asked me to rebuild them on Pacenti Forza rims. Laced again with Sapim Laser / Race spokes, the wheels came out to 1560g – a bit lighter than the previous build.
Martyn from Derbyshire asked for a set of fast carbon wheels and wanted a quality hubset to boot. After discussions I built him 50mm front and 60mm rear XCS Carbon tubeless ready rims on DT Swiss 240s straight pull hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. They built up well and weighed in at 1669g.
Custom carbon wheelsets
Nick from London was after a set of wheels that could be used for a number of purposes: audax, light touring and faster club runs, and budget was flexible. After my recommendation we went with best alloy rims available, HED Belgium Plus, laced to DT Swiss 240s rear hub and a SON 28 front hub with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and brass nipples in a 32/32 3X configuration. Total weight was under 2kg – ideal for a dynamo-based wheelset.