For most people, the visual is a strong motivator: we’re attracted to images because they go straight to our emotional receptors. The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is true, and the advertising world lives and dies on this truth. Look at the latest bicycle wheel set from company X, Y, or Z; pictured in the Alps, on the bike of a well known Pro rider; you simply KNOW you’ll be faster with these babies under you!
I take my hat off to these companies and their products; I wish them well, even. In my tiny corner of the cycling universe, however, I find that I deal with cycling enthusiasts who have journeyed through the advertising labyrinth and are looking for the straight story. They are thirsty for technical info; they are seeking evidence; they are looking for an eye witness, a guide who has trod the path. They are looking for a craftsman.
Is it all that important? After all, there are plenty of fine wheel building entities on the Net; check the boxes for hub, spoke and rim, give them your credit card and they’ll appear on your doorstep in a couple days. Let’s say you went for the following:
Hed Belgium Plus rims, 24 front, 28 rear.
Industry 9 road hubs
Sapim CX Ray spokes, radial lace front, 2x rear.
All in all, a nice wheel set. Maybe even an appropriate wheel set for you. Let’s see who else could have checked the same boxes on that day:
A 230 lb male commuter, 62yrs, from San Francisco, Ca
A 105 lb female road racer, 21yrs, from Orlando, Fla
A 165lb male triathlete, 47yrs, from Santa Barbara, Ca
A 120lb male, climbing specialist, 18yrs, from Gunnison, Co.
Did anybody end up with the right wheel set? Possibly. This is hypothetical, obviously, but without the benefit of a wheel builder’s advice, I’ll wager it happens every day.
Next time you need wheels, search out a professional wheel builder; there is no substitute for hands-on experience; no shortcut to the wisdom accumulated from hand-building thousands of wheels. With so many choices on the market for hubs, spokes and rims, an artisan who has sorted the wheat from the chaff is a resource for saving time, money and aggravation; and maybe, even your skin. Trust our skill and personal service. We care.