Last week I received an email from my customer Mike, in San Luis Obispo. I had built for him a pair of Enve 3.4 tubeless rims onto Matte Jet King R45 hubs with DT Aerolite spokes; a classy wheel set. Mike had finally received his new frameset from a reputable, well-known manufacturer. Mike noticed the rear wheel, mounted with a Conti 4000, sat off-center, around 2 or 3 millimeters closer to the drive side;
If he flipped the wheel around the wheel was slap bang in the middle of the chain stays, like so;
Could the wheel be dished incorrectly, he wondered? I asked Mike to return the wheel to me for inspection, with the tire attached.
The wheel arrived and I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat. First, I removed the tire and checked the wheel with the dishing tool. It was spot-on. Hallelujah. I installed the tire with talc and checked the dish with the tool resting against the tire. It was a millimeter, maybe two, out of dish. I took the tire off and re-mounted it. Twice. The results were the same each time; the tire leaned to the drive side every time to the tune of 1 – 2mm; turns out that it’s not unusual for a tire carcass to be a little misshapen. After I called Mike to relay the news, he checked the tires he had at home. After mounting them on another wheel, he discovered that all of them sat to one side. Sad to say, his frame is shy of perfect alignment.
My dad once said to me “The man who never made a mistake never made anything”. On a grand, cosmic scale, we’re all in this together; all human, with the potential to screw up. I’ve done it often (not this time, it turns out). I expect one thing from people I buy things from; stand behind the product. If it isn’t right make it right.
And I’ll do the same.