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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long do custom built wheels usually take to build? And what is an exceptable amount of time to wait if you include unexpected situations?

here is my situation. I was refered to a wheel builder from this site. I will not name any names yet as this thread is to see if I am being too impatient as this is my first custom wheels I have ever ordered. I talked to him through e-mail when I was decideing on which components to get (hubs, spokes, wheels, etc). He explained to me it took him about 10 days to build a wheel once the order was placed. Here is what I decided on.

Stans flow rims 29er white
Hope II front hub blue (20mm)
Hope II Single speed rear hub blue (10mm)
blue spoke nipples
white spokes
hardley 10mm thru axle

He wanted half down and half when done.

12/28/10: I paypaled half down as deposit
1/7/11: I e-mailed to check on progress: no answer
1/11/11: I e-mailed to check on progress: no answer
1/13/11: I called and pm'd on this board: no answer
1/14/11: Builder e-mail me, he was out of town for a couple of days, says white spokes are on backorder, says option 2 is to have silver spokes powdered coated locally.
1/15/11: I reply back to him, letting him know option 2 is ok with me
1/26/11: I e-mail him checking up on the spokes and asking him for weights of items.
1/26/11: Builder replied back with weights and says that he dropped off spokes at powder coater.
2/3/11: I e-mailed him checking up on the build. no answer
2/10/11: I e-mailed him checking up on the build. no answer

Now I have never built up custom bike wheels before but I used to build my own motorcycle dirt bike wheels and it would never take me more than a day to build them. But I am guessing that its probably easier than bike wheels as mine came in a kit. It was wheel, hub, spokes, nipples. So there was no custom work, just lace up the wheels and true them.

Now its been over 40 days. Is that a long time considering the delays that he has had with the white spokes? And it wouldn't be as bad if kept me more up to date. I have had all the parts for my bike now for a while and only waiting on the wheels. I don't want to start waves if there is no justification for it, but at the same time I don't want to be taken advantage of either.

What would MTBR do?
 

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Sorry to hear ur troubles with wheels. It difficult for me to say as I'm not at the builders' shop and seeing whar difficulties he may have. If he had to order all the parts...........40 days still seems to me a bit too long, unless he had some difficulties (like the white spokes availability). It does suck bigtime that u've e-mailed him and no reply. THAT would bother me and make me worry about my $$$. Can you call him? That's my little input. Hope it all turns out ok for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ratmonkey said:
Looks like the order changed and you're now 30 days out. Powder coat can take a while if the shop isn't doing that color on a larger order soon. Not worth it to set up for a few spokes.
what do you mean the order changed? I never changed my order, he gave me the option of instead of waiting for the back ordered white spokes from DT or he could have them local powder coated white to save time as he didn't know when DT would have the white spokes in stock (or where ever he gets his spokes from, I just know they are DT spokes, not where he gets them from). He said that he used to powdercoat spokes all the time before DT offered them in white.

And if what you are saying about the powder coater waiting for a larger order, how long do you think that could take? And this is from his last e-mail he sent me on 1/26/11 "No luck getting the normal DT ones so I dropped some off at the powdercoater." Do you think the powder coater would take the spokes and just keep them till they get a larger order in? Or would they wait till they have a big order then have him drop the spokes off? I have never got anything powder coated except a bike frame that a friend had done for me. So I don't know standard pratices for this stuff.

Just trying to see if these are accetable wait times for custom builds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
IRONMAN1518 said:
Sorry to hear ur troubles with wheels. It difficult for me to say as I'm not at the builders' shop and seeing whar difficulties he may have. If he had to order all the parts...........40 days still seems to me a bit too long, unless he had some difficulties (like the white spokes availability). It does suck bigtime that u've e-mailed him and no reply. THAT would bother me and make me worry about my $$$. Can you call him? That's my little input. Hope it all turns out ok for you.
I have tried calling him in the past a couple of times but just got voice mail and no call back. I can try again, but I don't want to seem like I am bugging him if he is really working on my wheels. Was hoping to get some insight from others that either got wheels built and how there experiences were or from wheel builder's them selves and possible set backs and such.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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the industry and particular service doesn't matter. keeping your customers in the loop when things go that far off your estimate is part of doing good business. there's no excuse for not returning communications.
hopefully you paypaled from a credit card. what i would do is set a deadline when you want to hear back from him with an acceptable response. let him know that if he doesn't respond by then that you'll dispute the charge and move on.
 

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Depends upon the size of the shop. None of the locals here will load up a color without at least an hour of spray time. Unless you want to pay a crazy premium. Less than 100 spokes is about 5m of work on the sprayer, probably a good 45m of tape and prep time though.

Your issue is a total lack of communication though, not so much the delay. Though I'd be a bit unhappy on that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just sent the builder this e-mail. Does it sound fair to you guys?

Hi XXXXXX,

I haven't heard from you in 23 days and its been over 40 days since I placed the deposit. I know you have ran into some trouble getting the white spokes but the lack of communication has me concerned. Can you get the wheels done in the next 10 days? That is what you orginally quoted me as your turn around time. If not I will have to ask for a refund so I can find some where else to get the wheels built. I know you probably have time and money invested in the wheels already so I want to give you a fair chance to finish the build.

Thank you,
Brent
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ok alittle update.

After the last e-mail he reponded 2 days later with an explination. Some of it person problems and some of it dealing with the powdercoater. He said he had to re-do the powder coating as they made it too thick and it wouldn't fit through the hub holes. He said he should get them back in a couple of days and hopefully ship out the wheels at the end of the week. Which would have been 2/25.

End of the week came and left with out any word from him. I e-mailed him on the 28th which would have been the end of the 10 day deadline I gave him in the earlier e-mail. Still no word from him. Called today, left a voice mail, e-mailed him again today, and PM'd him on this board (last login for him was 1 hour before I PM'd him). Hopefully he will answer one of them and let me know what is going on. Its been 66 days now and the wheels are the only thing stopping my bike from running.
 

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A wheelist
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I would call the credit card company right now and dispute the charge. He's had more than enough time to communicate properly and hasn't done so. If you have a problem with the wheels, how are you ever going to resolve that? I've disputed two CC charges and the CC company was ruthless with the sellers. I was very impressed.
 

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You're dealing with either a crook or a flake, or both. Dispute the charges immediately with paypal.

When/if you get your money back, please DO name names. This dirtbag deserves it.
 

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greedy
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ncfisherman said:
Another good reason to go local for a custom wheelset. Hope you get that sorted out.
I've had my LBS build 3 sets of wheels for me in the last couple of years. They have never been more that two days.

I think people are getting lazy. When I deal with someone something online, I respect the fact that they don't know me and I keep them in the loop every time I make a move. I wouldn't ever think of just not responding to someone's email.
 

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Nasi0ne
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Sounds like a nightmare, feel for you! nothing worse than waiting for the last remaining part when the whole bikes just sat waiting to be built!! You gonna drop a name so we dont all have to go through the same experience??!
 
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