Bicycle Wheel Building
The Chasing Trails wheel building service gives you a build that allows your hubs, spokes & rims to perform to their potential. A bad build makes good components fairly useless, whereas a quality wheel set gives you confidence in your bike.
Why Chasing Trails for wheel building?
Whilst we aim to keep prices sensible, a quality wheel build requires care and fine tuning to get the best from the wheel. Hopefully you agree that wheel building isn’t a place to cut corners and we want you to know what you’re paying for!
Wheels are built by me – Steve and I built my first set in 1990, partly because I had some shop built wheels that went out of true very quickly and partly because I’ve always had to know how to do things myself..!
Although nothing’s indestructible and it’s hard to know exactly what’s happening when a wheel is tested to it’s limit, in the past I’ve had 2 frames expire in crashes without my wheels needing a re-true and the worst I’ve experienced is a dent in a rather too lightweight rim. Correct spokes go a long way to avoiding dents, but a super-light rim will always be more vulnerable.
Prices below are for builds including spokes (hubs & rims extra).
Hubs and⁄or rims can be supplied or you can supply your own components if you’ve already purchased. MTB & road wheels are the same build prices.
Spokes are standard J-bend types. Straight pull spokes have often been difficult to source in the past, but they’re becoming more readily available. They’re usually special order so you will need to get in touch for a price for straight pull.
Build cost is £40 plus spokes & nipples below plus hubs/rims:
- Sapim Race Silver double butted spokes inc silver brass nipples £25
- Sapim Race Black double butted spokes inc silver brass nipples £35
- Silver CX-Ray spokes inc silver alloy nipples £109
- Black CX-Ray spokes inc silver alloy nipples £119
- Alloy nipples* with any of the above £13
- Black brass nipples £7
- Brass Sils (self locking) nipples in silver £8
- Alloy Sils (self locking) nipples in silver £13
- Alloy Sils (self locking) nipples in black £16
- Re-truing £20 max**
Pair of Wheels:
Build cost is £75 plus spokes & nipples below plus hubs/rims:
- Sapim Race Silver double butted spokes inc silver brass nipples £45
- Sapim Race Black double butted spokes inc silver brass nipples £65
- Silver CX-Ray spokes inc silver alloy nipples £210
- Black CX-Ray spokes inc silver alloy nipples £222
- Alloy nipples* with any of the above £24
- Black brass nipples £12
- Brass Sils nipples in silver £14
- Alloy Sils nipples in silver £24
- Alloy Sils nipples in black £30
- Re-truing £35 max**
* Colours available – Blue, Purple, Red, Black, Gold, Orange, Green, Poison Green or silver
** assuming the wheel(s) can be re-trued. Some are quick to re-true, others may need de-tensioning then re-tensionng. If damaged beyond a re-true, a new rim will be required.
P&P is charged at cost so you can decide how fast or economically you want them delivered. If you’re in the area it’s always fine to collect and it may well be possible to deliver by hand if you’re local.
To arrange your wheel build please contact us – email is fine but a phone call is ideal as we’ll get a better feel for your needs. Being hand built you will usually have your wheels in about a week from ordering. If you need something done by a deadline get in touch & I’ll do my best to help if at all possible.
Spokes & nipples
I’ve not found any spokes better than Sapim for their quality, strength & light weight. The fact that they’re priced well is just a bonus. Their ‘Race’ double-butted spokes are a trusted standard – a balance of lightweight and strong for most kinds of riding.
For the ultimate build their aero CX-ray spokes shave off the grams without sacrificing strength. Many people stick exclusively to brass nipples, but Sapim do some genuinely reliable alloy nipples if you want to shed a few more grams & get a great looking set of wheels. Blue, red & silver are usually in stock & others can usually be ordered. I used to be suspicious of alloy but after using them extensively myself including a couple of ‘Ard Rock Enduros I use them every time I build for myself. Stick to brass though if you ride through lots of winter road salt!
Please phone if you need advice as to what’s suitable for your riding style.
Stans NoTubes are an innovative & quality brand which includes some includes some of the lightest rims available without going too narrow or fragile to achieve it and also some of the toughest without getting too weighty. Correct width for the tyres gives a better tyre profile, better handling and better grip.
Most of their rims can run either tubed or tubeless using suitable tyres. I’ve run their rims for years & they’ve coped with plenty of abuse so far. The latest ZTR Crest, Arch & Flow Mk3 mountain bike rims are wider & stiffer than the previous versions & use a new alloy to keep the weight more or less the same as before.
There are plenty of hub manufacturers out there, but you want quality for your budget, Hope are always the safe bet. Great quality, light weight & awesome customer service in the unlikely event that you need it. If your budget doesn’t stretch to Hope, Miché & Shimano are great value & quality. Again, give us a call if you want advice on what will suit your bike & riding style.