Sunday, November 15, 2009
Handbuilt vs Prefabricated Wheelsets
I worked 8 years in the bicycle industry and watched the Prefabricated Wheelset trend start and become a huge sector of the industry. As someone who worked as a warranty manager, I hated them and continue to hate them. Most Prefabricated Wheelsets use proprietary (not standardized) hubs, rims, spokes, and nipples. Repair service beyond the bearings in the hubs often required that the entire wheel be sent to the company (at the owners expense, even for warranty). Some were turned around quickly, some took as much as 6-8 weeks to get returned. Imagine being without your bike for that long! Handbuilt wheels using standard J-bend spokes (DT or Wheelsmith are my recommendations), 28, 32,or 36 hole rims and hubs can be built just as light, strong, and at the same or less price. Bending or breaking a spoke simply results in a quick trip to an LBS to get fixed. Rims are standard and so a damaged rim can be replaced fairly easy. You get your choice of hubs and rims for a truly custom setup.
Posted by Unknown at 5:27 PM