Custom Handbuilt Wheels

This article on custom handbuilt wheels relates to our main Bicycle Wheel Brand & Selection page.

What is the significance of a custom wheel for those looking for a new bicycle wheel? There are several factors that help answer this question, and if you find yourself entertaining the idea of a custom wheel build, please contact us and we’ll assist in identifying what is best for you and your riding goals.

Some of the reasons a custom handbuilt wheel can be beneficial for a rider include the following:

Selecting Custom Handbuilt Wheel Specs Based on Type of Riding

We’ve built wheels for just about every type of riding and every type of rider. Clients seek out custom built wheels for a plethora of reasons: extreme light weight – hill climbs; maximum stiffness – road criterium races; durability – weighted touring and enduro MTB, aerodynamics – triathlon and TT, etc. No matter what type of riding you enjoy, a custom wheel can be built to suit your exact use.

Rider Size and Ride Quality Characteristics

The wheel marketplace offers a lot of options, but that doesn’t mean that they have everyone’s needs covered optimally.  For example, if you are over 220 lbs or under 110 lbs, readily available factory wheel options may prove under or overbuilt for your needs. When we design a custom wheel, your specific ride and durability needs and goals are taken into account. Everything from the rim and hub to the spoke gauge, nipple material, number of spokes and lacing are considered.

Wheel Aesthetics

Some riders have a deeper appreciation for “custom built by hand”; aesthetics is an integral segment in the custom bike and component market. From hubs to rims and logos, having a pair of wheels built for you is an opportunity to match a color pattern or create a certain look. In addition to the differences between carbon and aluminum rims and hub options, spokes, nipples and spoke lacing patterns can all be selected.

Environmental Factors

Geographic and environmental factors also become an integral part of the spoke and nipple selection with a handbuilt wheel. To explain this further, wet coastal areas have a tendency to affect steel spoke and aluminum nipples causing them to seize in a shorter amount of time. The solution is to incorporate brass nipples and to make sure that the spokes are properly “prepped” so that serviceability of the wheel in its lifetime is longer.

Custom Handbuilt Wheel Price & Budget

One would be surprised at the wide range of custom wheel build options and price points. Getting a wheel built to you doesn’t always require deep pockets. This being said, like anything, the possibilities are limitless. Regardless of whether you are looking to maximize value or build up your dream wheels, we work with you to make sure that your budget is maximized.

Wheel Quality, Performance and Durability

Properly done, quality craftsmanship is hard to beat.
We take the time to ensure the end result of the custom wheel build is of highest quality in durability and performance. The approach to building a handbuilt wheel is a well thought-out process. Once rim, hub, spoke and nipple materials are identified we use our time honed experience in combination with industry provided tools that have established benchmarks for standards on appropriate spoke, spoke length, lacing pattern and tension. We utilize both manual and computational tools to achieve these goals.
As the wheel is being assembled we are constantly checking for optimal roundness and true. Once a wheel is close to its optimal tension, it undergoes a variety of torsional stress tests to ensure the roundness and truing of the wheel is stabilized. And lastly, we use an on-line wheel building app calculator that confirms the spoke tensions and even the balance of the wheel. Finally, it’s ready for a tire to be installed and to be put on the road or trail!


As a professional mechanic, it is a creative process to be a part of a custom wheel build for a rider. For the rider, a custom wheel adds an additional element to the appreciation of the experience of riding a bicycle.

Please contact us with any questions that you may have or if this is something that you are interested in pursuing.

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