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Discussion Starter #1
I built few wheels myself over the years. I have all the tools including a Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter and even paid Roger Musson for his wheel building guide.

However, this time I thought that a LBS can do it faster, inexpensively, as good as I can do it or better as they build wheels all the time, and I would feel good about them doing it while I pay them.

Also after many years of riding 3x9 converted to 2x9 I decided to treat myself and the bike with a new set of 35mm wide wheels, wide tires, and conversion to Shimano 1x12.

It took several trips to the bike shop for them to order i9 Hydra with micro spline and to take measurements from my front wheel hub. Lots of driving and time wasted but that was still OK, I was supporting the LBS after all.

So yesterday finally the rear wheel was ready. They had to rebuild it because the asymmetrical rim was oriented incorrectly. The new $100 rim had many scratches on the stickers and aluminum rim itself. All cosmetic but it bothered me. I have never seen a new wheel looking like this. I was told that it came from truing and that these are MTB wheels so they will get scratched anyway. They asked what they can do for me. I really did not know what they can do for me. I did not want any discount, I was just very disappointed. So they offered me $40 off, I only took $20 and even then I feel like stealing from them. I felt even worse.

I do not trash my bike, and it would take some times for flying rocks to scratch the rim.

The people from the LBS did not apologize, did not acknowledge that they made a mistake. I paid for the work and parts and left without a receipt. I did not want to ask for yet another thing. I did not want to make them look stupid. No big deal.

When I got home I took my spoke tension meter and found out that some spokes are tensioned at 9 while others at 17-18 and between. This is a big error in the tensioning!!!

Oh well, I can fix all that myself. So I removed the original wheel from the bike and mounted the new one into the frame. The rim was centered in the frame. There was a light at the end of the tunnel!

So excited again, I found a spare rotor and bolts and mounted it on the new wheel. Then I took my sparkling new cassette and I could not slide it on! Then I took the 9 speed one and it went on with no issues. This is not a micro spline!!! Oh no!

I will call them later today. It is possible that I9 messed up the order. It will be fixed I am sure.

I know, I will not let them to build me a front wheel. The tension being off is the only thing I cannot excuse.

Should I tell them about the tension? Should I have them to fix it? Or I should just have them to install the micro spline and walk out without saying anything else at all?

Thanks!
 

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Thicc Member
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I would just go to another LBS, someone who knows what they're doing. My city has a dozen bike shops, and among the mechanics in the know, they recommend very few individuals to build wheels. That these individuals work at this or that LBS is immaterial.
 

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West Chester, PA
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They are morons and clearly don't know how to build wheels. Scratching the rims with the spokes is not acceptable if someone is paying you to do it. You should bring the wheel back demand a full refund. Nothing less.
 

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damned rocks...
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They built the wheel wrong the first time, they scratch the rim while truing the wheel the second time (can't even imagine how they accomplish this), they got you the wrong freehub body (possible error from i9, but I doubt it), apparently they don't know that even spoke tension is more important than trueness on a wheel... And you think they will get it right on the third attempt?
Just get them to sort the freehub body, and never return.
 

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Personally, with that tension, I'd simply get my money back and move on.

Sent from my moto g(6) forge using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The rims is mine, I did not pay them for the rim. I could disassemble the wheel and bring them back the hub, spokes, nipples, and ask for a refund. Gosh! I hate to do this. What to do, what to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I asked for AL nipples. These have high gloss chrome surface. Do AL nipples come like that? I could remove/destroy the tape to find out I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have zero confidence that these are AL nipples. Maybe they are. The wheel was rebuilt as I said, it shows on the hub. They did not pay attention where the spokes where facing the first time the wheel was built so the 2nd time they positioned the spokes the other direction. The hub now has dents from spokes from the 1st build. Not a big issue again, just an observation.

I am heading to the LBS now with my tension meter and will ask them to disassemble it and give me back my rim and money.
 

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Yeah, you need to get your rim back and walk away. Not a chance I’d pay for that quality and even attempt to ride them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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West Chester, PA
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I have zero confidence that these are AL nipples. Maybe they are. The wheel was rebuilt as I said, it shows on the hub. They did not pay attention where the spokes where facing the first time the wheel was built so the 2nd time they positioned the spokes the other direction. The hub now has dents from spokes from the 1st build.
You've got to be kidding me. I suspect whoever built the wheel had never done it before yours. If the spoke impressions aren't the same the leading spokes and trailing spokes may be reversed. I'd have to look at a wheel and think about it to be sure, but nonetheless, it's totally wrong.
And no, silver alloy nipples aren't chromed. They used brass ones.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I built few wheels myself over the years. I have all the tools including a Park Tool TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter and even paid Roger Musson for his wheel building guide.

However, this time I thought that a LBS can do it
The "test" is if you can do it, have adequate tools and experience. If you pass this test, NEVER let the bike shop work on it. The chances that they have the tools to work on things like suspension are usually pretty slim and when it comes to wheels it's just better to do it yourself when you know how, OR go with a very well established wheel-builder. I'd say that machine built wheels are better than 95% of "bike shop built" wheels. Modern machine built include stress relief and so on. But the reason you get wheels built is you want a specific combination of spokes, nipples, hubs, etc. It's not like bike shops are AMG certified mercedes technicians, they don't pay enough (and we don't pay enough) to keep significant knowledge and/or skill in the service industry. Lesson learned.
 

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I really did not know what they can do for me. I did not want any discount, I was just very disappointed. So they offered me $40 off, I only took $20 and even then I feel like stealing from them. I felt even worse.

You accepted $20 compensation...

I know very little about actual legal rights but had a similar experience. Had an LBS build a rear wheel using my rim & hub. I was quoted $100. When it was completed the cashier rang up $185??? I said "whoa now" I was quoted 100? Owner joins our conversation saying that was just a quote and rattled on about the cost of DB DT spokes. He knocked $25 off the bill which he asked for agreement? Ok whatever better than nothing need to get out of here. Called my CC company because I wanted to dispute the charge. CC company said when I signed the receipt I agreed to their terms of service. They told me I should not have paid - what leave my wheel there nope. i asked a legally savvy friend about the situation and he said I was probably out of luck for any legal action because I accepted the $25 compensation. Lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here is how it went:

me: Are these brass nipples?
lbs: Yes
me: But I wanted AL
lbs: I do not use AL
me: But I ordered Al
me: The tension is all over the place
lbs: I do not care
me: This is not micro spline
lbs: I have a micros spline hub...and he walked away looking for it
me: At this point I want my rim and money back
lbs: Ok, I will cut the spokes

Then he was refunding me, his hands where shaking (being upset?).

me: Do you know that tension is more important than trueing?
lbs: I do
me: You do not use a tension meter, right? (they offered me to build CF wheels in the past!)
lbs: No, I do not.
me: You can tension it by ear too
lbs: There are many techniques...we have a good track record
me: But you told me that there is no warranty on this wheel (build with 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes) and if this wheel fails, it would not be because of the spokes but because of the unequal tensions.
me: You guys are bread and butter of the community. I really wanted this to work out.
lbs: Me too

Then I left.

I am not going to review the shop. I do not want to cause any more pain. I guess they have many happy average riders riding their overbuild wheels. Wheel building according to them is their core business. They order many I9 hubs, build CF wheels....high end stuff.

I am sad, but now I feel better. I will do all the measurements myself. Order parts online and will find some time to build me a nice set of wheels.

With all I do myself, I just needed some break but that is not how it works unfortunately. I need to continue doing all manual work and repairs myself, whether it is for a bike, car, or house. There are just too many "experts". But what do I know?
 

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West Chester, PA
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Glad you got your money back. Don't feel bad for them. They created the problem.

I don't build with alloy nipples either. But I sure as hell wouldn't take someone's money and just ignore their requests. unreal
 

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You made the right decision.
As Jayem said nobody will put the time and detail in that you yourself can on your own stuff. With that said I'm sure you can find a reputable wheel builder in your area. Check your local FB bike clubs for recommendations. When you go to a bike shop talk personally with the mechanic doing the work and ask them the important questions.

Sent from my moto g(6) forge using Tapatalk
 

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Combat Wombat
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1,589 Posts
The "test" is if you can do it, have adequate tools and experience. If you past this test, NEVER let the bike shop work on it. The chances that they have the tools to work on things like suspension are usually pretty slim and when it comes to wheels it's just better to do it yourself when you know how, OR go with a very well established wheel-builder. I'd say that machine built wheels are better than 95% of "bike shop built" wheels. Modern machine built include stress relief and so on. But the reason you get wheels built is you want a specific combination of spokes, nipples, hubs, etc. It's not like bike shops are AMG certified mercedes technicians, they don't pay enough (and we don't pay enough) to keep significant knowledge and/or skill in the service industry. Lesson learned.
This ^. More than a few of us have been down this road at one time or another and it does suck. Your best bet is to ask around when wanting work done. In my area, word seems to get around on who is who and if you show up for one of our local rides and ask, often you will get first names and what shop they work at.
 

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the beat goes on
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284 Posts
since you've built wheels before and you have all the tools you can do it again to your own satisfaction even if it takes a little longer. you could have been riding them by now.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Here is how it went:

me: Are these brass nipples?
lbs: Yes
me: But I wanted AL
lbs: I do not use AL
me: But I ordered Al
me: The tension is all over the place
lbs: I do not care
me: This is not micro spline
lbs: I have a micros spline hub...and he walked away looking for it
me: At this point I want my rim and money back
lbs: Ok, I will cut the spokes

Then he was refunding me, his hands where shaking (being upset?).

me: Do you know that tension is more important than trueing?
lbs: I do
me: You do not use a tension meter, right? (they offered me to build CF wheels in the past!)
lbs: No, I do not.
me: You can tension it by ear too
lbs: There are many techniques...we have a good track record
me: But you told me that there is no warranty on this wheel (build with 2.0/1.5/2.0 spokes) and if this wheel fails, it would not be because of the spokes but because of the unequal tensions.
me: You guys are bread and butter of the community. I really wanted this to work out.
lbs: Me too

Then I left.

I am not going to review the shop. I do not want to cause any more pain. I guess they have many happy average riders riding their overbuild wheels. Wheel building according to them is their core business. They order many I9 hubs, build CF wheels....high end stuff.

I am sad, but now I feel better. I will do all the measurements myself. Order parts online and will find some time to build me a nice set of wheels.

With all I do myself, I just needed some break but that is not how it works unfortunately. I need to continue doing all manual work and repairs myself, whether it is for a bike, car, or house. There are just too many "experts". But what do I know?
Industry Nine might want to know about the clown show assembling their hubs for money.

I mean holy cow. I built my first wheels almost a year ago. I9 Hydra (micro spline) hubs, DT rims and spokes, etc. I took a class locally to learn how to do it. Those wheels are solid after being beat on for a year. I didn't wreck my stuff like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What is a competent wheel builder? How do you find one?

A competent builder can build wheels to the https://www.weareonecomposites.com/shop/product/rim-only-519 specs. I do not want the LBS to argue with me how a wheel should be built.

"We always require that you build with a high-end tension gauge. Make sure that the tension meter is calibrated and reading correctly.

Our high tension target is 115kg/f. Do your best to keep all tension within 2% from one spoke to the next on each side of the hub. If you can achieve better, the better the wheel will be, and the longer it will go without needing maintenance.

DO NOT build our wheels without a tension meter. It will lead to premature failure and undue stress on the rim."



Argue with WAO!

If you can build such wheels, you are a competent builder.

Sure, there are competent builders who would not take such a job, but I have no way to test this. So my only option, if I do not want to build the wheel myself is to use WAO competency tests.

Right, wrong? Is that not being honest if I want to build AL wheel but pretend that I want to build WAO wheel and ask how competent they feel about building it?

Should I have lowered the requirement and ask about building a wheel? Please read further....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One bike shop did not feel competent to build a wheel to WAO spec and suggested two other bike shops. I thank them for being honest with me.

The other bike shop felt confident but would not tell me their acceptable spoke to spoke tension error. They also have bunch of competent people there building whees I was told. When the call was dropped, I called right back, I could not talk to the same guy I spoke with as he was busy. No thank you. Collective responsibility was proved as a failure.
 
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