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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There has been a lot of debate on prebuilt vs custom of late so I thought i'd throw my experience out there.

About six months back I decided to get a new light weight everyday clincher. I am 5'8" and weigh between 165-170lb. I ride a couple tough group rides per week plus a few other solo rides a week.

I scanned and searched this forum and settled on a builder. I contacted him and we discussed what I was looking for. He recommended a proven build and also said that there was a lighter weight rim available that we could go with too. He stated that he personally had no experience with the lighter rim but a fellow builder that he trusted thought that it would be fine. I went ahead and ordered the build using the lighter rims.

After payment in full was made I had the wheels in two weeks. Fast forward a couple of months and I broke a non drive side spoke and had my lbs replace it and true the wheel. About a week later another spoke broke. I contacted the builder and left a VM, he promptly returned my call and told me to send the wheels back to him and that he would re lace the rear using a different pattern that would make them stronger. He also sent funds to me via Paypal to cover return shipping, a very nice touch. 10 days later I had the wheels back. Yesterday I was out on a solo ride when a rear drive side spoke broke. I got home and contacted the builder. We both agreed that the weak point of the build had to be the rims. We settled on a replacement rims and I asked how much they would cost me. The wheel builder is not charging me, stating that part of his job is to put me on the right wheels for my application. Even though I was given the choice of 2 builds and went with the lighter unproven choice the builder is standing behind his product 100% and has worked with me to make sure that I am completely happy with my purchase.

I doubt that I would have received this level of service if i'd have bought prebuilts. Anyway I did not name the builder and I am not saying that one is better than the other(prebuilt vs custom) as with everything involving choice it's up to the individual. I do know that due to the way that the builder has handled the issues, instead of being upset about the problems i've had I am impressed with the service provided and will be buying my next wheelset from him.

I packaged and sent the wheels back to him this morning and he'll have them tomorrow. He said that the rims are in stock and that the wheels would be rebuilt and sent back to me by friday. I have no spare wheelset and am borrowing a friends. He needs his wheels back on friday and I'm supposed to be going away for a few days of riding next. I'll post again once I get the wheels back.
 

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nce said:
I doubt that I would have received this level of service if i'd have bought prebuilts. Anyway I did not name the builder and I am not saying that one is better than the other(prebuilt vs custom) as with everything involving choice it's up to the individual. I do know that due to the way that the builder has handled the issues, instead of being upset about the problems i've had I am impressed with the service provided and will be buying my next wheelset from him.
I'll never understand this type of logic. My idea of good customer service is not needing to deal with customer service after the sale. Yeah it's better than cut & run for certain but putting you on wheels that didn't cut it is a far cry from what I consider decent customer service. I bet had your wheels not been fcked up you wouldn't even have though to mention it. Weird thinking. It's kind of like how some people who quit smoking think they are heros but never stop to think about the people who never started to begin with.
 

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this thread is completely pointless

-you don't name the specifics of the wheels

-you don't tell us who the "great builder" was that took care of you, for others to benefit from when shopping for wheels. Its called a forum for a reason, and thats so people know who is working for them and who isn't.

-you didn't tell us the circumstances that the wheel broke both times

-you don't mention the bike and wheels you had before

you suck
 

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ergott said:
Without outing the builder, I would like to know the specifics of the original build (rims, spokes, and pattern) and what lacing pattern was changed to in an effort to try and strengthen them. Also, could you let us know what rim you are switching to?

-Eric
Yes, build details please! And the changes that were made...
 

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spoke breakage

I have broken one spoke in 21 years of riding. Until recently that was mainly using "standard" 32 spoke wheels. If I had that expereince I would question the build spec, the builder, or both
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No need for internet tough guys to insult or call names it achieves nothing.

The original build was

Tune hubs 20f\24r
Sapim CXRay spokes
Nimble spider rims

The rear nds was originally radially laced and when the spokes broke it was laced in a 2x pattern, I believe.

The rims are being changed to Kinlin xr 270's.

Each time the spokes broke when I stood to sprint.

I was not clear in my first post but the builder first offered the proven build with Kinlin rims and only offered up a lighter option once I had asked if there was a lighter option available. He gave me the option and made it clear that he had no experience with the Spider rims. I actually think that it is good of him to change out the rims at no cost even though I chose incorrectly. If you do not think the same then fine, it's your opinion and you are welcome to it.
 

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nce said:
I was not clear in my first post but the builder first offered the proven build with Kinlin rims and only offered up a lighter option once I had asked if there was a lighter option available. He gave me the option and made it clear that he had no experience with the Spider rims. I actually think that it is good of him to change out the rims at no cost even though I chose incorrectly. If you do not think the same then fine, it's your opinion and you are welcome to it.
I see, yes that does change things.
 

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Sounds like you had a great experience. Well, I'm still waiting for my handbuilts (XR-270 rims as well). But they aren't late yet.

I did have an excellent CS experience with the set of Bontrager RaceXLight wheels I'm riding now. A crack formed in the rear rim. Took the wheel to the shop and Bontrager replaced the wheel in less than a week. No questions, no problems, no cost. Just as it should be.
 

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Warranty

Hank Stamper said:
I'll never understand this type of logic. My idea of good customer service is not needing to deal with customer service after the sale...
Gotta agree with you, the best warranty is the one you never have to use.

Great experience and I think the OP's builder went above and beyond what many builders/manufacturers would have done. The service from the big boys can be that good to as JoelS experienced or utter crap service.

The only part of the story that might influence/differentiate a choice of custom over prebuilt was the LBS ability to replace a broken spoke in a timely manner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have had a good experience so far. This thread was not intended as a get this or buy from here kind of thread. It was just to post my experience and as such I intentionally omitted the wheelbuilder's information. If it helped you to form an opinion of your own either for custom or prebuilt then good. If not, sorry.
 

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the problem with the rear rim was that you used one with too few spokes. should have gone to one with 28 or 32 holes and used thicker spokes on the DS. you may experience the same problem with the XR27 rim. if you go to the nimble site there are recommended rider weight limits. I ride AC350 (as light as the xr200) rims 32 spokes,3x and weigh more than you and have never broken a spoke. It's not a rim problem.
 

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nce said:
No need for internet tough guys to insult or call names it achieves nothing.

The original build was

Tune hubs 20f\24r
Sapim CXRay spokes
Nimble spider rims

The rear nds was originally radially laced and when the spokes broke it was laced in a 2x pattern, I believe.

The rims are being changed to Kinlin xr 270's.

Each time the spokes broke when I stood to sprint.

I was not clear in my first post but the builder first offered the proven build with Kinlin rims and only offered up a lighter option once I had asked if there was a lighter option available. He gave me the option and made it clear that he had no experience with the Spider rims. I actually think that it is good of him to change out the rims at no cost even though I chose incorrectly. If you do not think the same then fine, it's your opinion and you are welcome to it.
Thanks for giving the details of the build. I haven't worked with the Spider rims yet either. A Tune/XR-270 build will be excellent and should provide you with a great set of wheels for years to come. I would consider asking the builder to stick with the 2X pattern on both sides and perhaps even a heavier gauge spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel. The weight gain is minimal and I really like stiffer spokes on that side myself.

My personal 24 spoke rear wheel has 12 CX-Rays 2X on the non drive side and 12 Wheelsmith DB 14 spokes 2X on the drive side. The rim I used is a lot lighter than the Kinlin and the wheel is plenty stiff for me and I'm about your size and weight.

Post up your results when you get some miles on the final build.

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
cmg said:
the problem with the rear rim was that you used one with too few spokes. should have gone to one with 28 or 32 holes and used thicker spokes on the DS. you may experience the same problem with the XR27 rim. if you go to the nimble site there are recommended rider weight limits. I ride AC350 rims 32 spokes,3x and weigh more than you and have never broken a spoke. It's not a rim problem.
This where my trusting of the wheel builders experience and knowledge comes in to play. He seems to think that the rim is the weak part of the build and that a beefier rim with 24 spokes on the rear is fine for me. At the time of originally building these wheels the builder admittedly had not used Nimble spider rims before and since building them his opinion is that they are not the best choice for my application. He has however built a large number of wheels using Kinlin rims and thinks that they are the best for my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ergott said:
Thanks for giving the details of the build. I haven't worked with the Spider rims yet either. A Tune/XR-270 build will be excellent and should provide you with a great set of wheels for years to come. I would consider asking the builder to stick with the 2X pattern on both sides and perhaps even a heavier gauge spoke on the drive side of the rear wheel. The weight gain is minimal and I really like stiffer spokes on that side myself.

My personal 24 spoke rear wheel has 12 CX-Rays 2X on the non drive side and 12 Wheelsmith DB 14 spokes 2X on the drive side. The rim I used is a lot lighter than the Kinlin and the wheel is plenty stiff for me and I'm about your size and weight.

Post up your results when you get some miles on the final build.

-Eric
Will do. I have a couple of weeks to myself as my Wife and Son are going to Florida. As soon as I get the wheels back I am planning on a trip to Vermont for a few days to do some road riding and ride the Kingdom Trails on my MTB. Also planning to spend a few days using Manhattan as a base and doing a few day long rides from there. So they should get plenty of miles on them quickly.
 

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If the problem was the light rim then it would be the rim that broke and not the spokes.

please post back when your newly built wheels keep breaking spokes or if it is solved.

I have never broke an spoke in more than a decade of riding and I went from 147lbs on my lighest to 189lbs on my heaviest... and all that on a set of evil prebuilts by a well know French company whose name I wouldn't dare to mention.
 

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rim?

cmg said:
the problem with the rear rim was that you used one with too few spokes. should have gone to one with 28 or 32 holes and used thicker spokes on the DS. you may experience the same problem with the XR27 rim. if you go to the nimble site there are recommended rider weight limits. I ride AC350 (as light as the xr200) rims 32 spokes,3x and weigh more than you and have never broken a spoke. It's not a rim problem.
Yes, how does the rim cause spokes to break?

All I know is that the wheels I have built myself have all been fantastic, never requiring any warranty claim. I build them faster than waiting for someone else to do it, and if I build several sets, the tools pay for themselves.

Nonetheless, my homebuilt wheels do and feel the same as my factory built Zipp and Mavic wheels. The only wheels that ever gave me a problem were a set a local shop built for me, where the rear wheel would never stay true. Got rid of the wheels and learned to do it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My understanding of the spider rims is that they are quite flexy and are causing the spokes to de tension and break. The solution to this is to use the beefier Kinlin rim as the wheel builder originally suggested.

This explanation does not come from the wheelbuilder but from someone I know that is more knowledgeable than I regarding wheels. Perhaps one or more of the wheelbuilder's can chime in on this.
 
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