Handbuilt vs Factory built wheels

Handbuilt vs Factory built wheels

There is a long tradition of pro riders and those in the know having their wheels handbuilt by master wheel builders, generally for classic style races where reliability and strength is paramount. There is substance to this, they have a real reason to want their wheels built for their needs.

The main difference between mass produced and handmade is the level of precision. With handbuilt wheels receiving more care and attention to ensure the trueness and roundness of the wheel, the spoke tension will also be more even.

Machine built wheels generally are what comes on a factory built bike and whilst they are good enough and will perform well they do not necessarily provide the best wheel for an individual especially where the rider requires a more custom built wheel to suit there weight or riding characteristics

Being handbuilt is not necessarily enough the wheels have to also be well designed, this requires the combination of components that go into creating a wheel to work in harmony. Here are a few point to consider:

  • Is the rim the correct depth and profile for your riding?
  • Is it tubeless compatible?
  • Will it accept the desired tyre width?
  • The Hub – is it a reliable engagement system?
  •  Are the bearings of good quality and are they well sealed?

The spokes – are the of sufficient strength and is the spoke count and pattern enough for the rider in question?

The Nipples – are they brass or aluminium? In our opinion brass nipples build into a far superior wheel – they last longer and reduce failures they are also not prone to corrosion. All of our wheels are offered with brass nipples, but these are a little heavier and so mid priced offerings are often specified with aluminium simply to save weight for headline figures! Sure, you can get our lightest offering with aluminium nipples, but we MUCH prefer them to be a touch heavier and work with brass, we think it’s worth it. Unlike with a factory option though, here, you have a choice.

We handbuild our wheels to give the ultimate precise and custom finish – this means not only will your wheels be built for your needs they will also stay truer for longer they will also perform better over the lifespan of the wheel than a factory mass produced wheel.

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