Hand Built Wheels

Here at Rodriguez Bicycles, we believe in the superiority of hand built wheels. In our repair facility, R+E Cycles repair, want to make the quality and strength of any Rodriguez hand built wheel available to all of our customers, even if you don't think you have the budget for a custom wheel. Our buying power allows us to pass savings from high volume discounts on quality wheel components along to you in the form of our stock wheel sets. If you're looking for something a little more particular, don't hesitate to ask!

All of the wheels we build and install on Rodriguez bicycles are backed by decades of experience, a high standard of personalized service, and the best warranty available. These qualities are what has established R+E Cycles and our Rodriguez Bicycles as a cycling institution.

Construction of a Hand Built Wheel

Our wheel builders employ a slow paced and patient method for building wheels. Before the wheel building actually begins, proper steps are taken to insure that the whole process will go smoothly.

After all the proper parts have been collected, our mechanics measure the precise length of spoke necessary for building your wheel. Guessing the length or "coming close" is not acceptable to our builders; in fact, if it is necessary, our builders will cut a spoke to length if a stock length is not available. Once spoke length is precisely determined, the threaded surfaces of the spokes are lubricated with linseed oil; the oil allows the spoke nipple to move freely along the threads so tensioning and truing are made easier. The linseed oil then hardens to keep the spoke from loosening. Additionally, the nipple seats in the rims are coated with grease to increase the ease in the building process, and to make it easier to true the wheels years in the future.

Next, the spokes are threaded into the hub and rim, then evenly tensioned around its perimeter. The structural integrity of the rim is never compromised for the sake of time; there are no egg shapes created here. After approximately thirty minutes of even tensioning the truing process begins. The truing process begins with the wheel being placed in a truing stand; the stand measures the roundness and the trueness of a wheel to close tolerances. Approximately another thirty minutes of truing is necessary to make sure the wheel is perfectly round. Once the wheel is true, it is ready to ride.

Every wheel we build for resale, or install onto a Rodriguez bicycle comes with our exclusive 3-year warranty. This is the best warranty in the business!

Production of a Machine Built Wheel
Many other manufacturers and shops use machine built wheels
A machine built wheel, like those seen on almost all production bicycles in the world, goes through a very brutal process in order to be created. It is subjected to the will of a sadistic piece of equipment that wreaks havoc on the circular integrity of a perfectly good rim. The wheel building machine requires little human supervision as it conducts its torturous bidding. In truth the only human contact involved in machine wheel building is the loading of the necessary materials. In the process of building, each wheel has the spokes systematically installed around its perimeter at a prescribed tension. The rim, which was once a nearly perfect circle, slowly takes the shape of an egg. When all of the spokes have been installed the wheel is circular again.

The Consequences
The ovalizing that occurs during construction disturbs the metal of the rim in such a way as to cause it to become brittle. Microscopic cracks are created which make the wheel less serviceable down the road. (Pun intended.) A machine built wheel might work well right out of the box, at least after a good truing by a R+E Cycles mechanic, but in time the wheel will begin to wane in performance due to its automated construction. What does this mean to the owner of such a wheel? It generally means that whoever owns such a wheel will end up expending of great deal of time, energy and money to keep the wheel going.

What to do
Well, when the original wheels that came on your bike finally do begin to be more trouble than their worth, consider purchasing a wheel that was born and nurtured to life at R+E Cycles rather than constructed at some other place.

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