Wheel Building

 Wheel building is a fascinating skill and art form and I admit that I'm not yet as experienced as I'd like to be - which should be every wheel builder's opinion of themselves!  It takes a few days to learn how to build good bike wheels and a lifetime to master the skills and build the knowledge.

That said, I've had a good teacher and am perfectly able to build wheels to suit all types of riders for all kinds of riding of all types of bikes.  I say this because wheel building is inevitably a compromise of the usual factors - performance, durability, and price.  In addition there are constraints introduced by rider weight (sorry, but I will have to ask!) and riding style, not to mention some personal preferences and the limitations of components.

It's important to note how contentious the area of wheel building can be - different wheel builders will have different opinions as to the 'best' way of doing things with either experience or science (and sometimes both!) to support them.  My view is that what matters is the end result, not the method used.  Each method will have its pros and cons.  As long as it results in a round, true, tensioned, dished bike wheel that is as strong and durable as the design allows then it must be an acceptable method.

That said, I use Gerd Schraner's method.  One reason for this is simply because it was the one I was taught - but I was taught by someone who has tried most of the methods around and has settled on Schraner's way, so it carries some weight. The other reason is that having done some reading about the other methods I could use, I see a number of benefits to Schraner's way, including:

  • It allows me to lace wheels more quickly and reliably, minimising errors and rework thus saving you money
  • It means that even with anodised rims and spokes I am far less likely to damage the finish, making your bike look as good as it should

Component choice is made with the customer, but my 'go-to' brands are Shimano and DT Swiss for hubs, DT Swiss and Sapim for spokes and nipples, and Mavic and DT Swiss for rims.

All my wheels are built using the same basic process:

  • Spoke lengths are calculated using the traditional method - ERD, centre to flange, PCD, spoke count and lacing pattern (don't worry if this sounds complicated - it is, but it simply means every spoke will have all 19 threads engaged in the nipple but not be poking through to puncture your inner tube!)
  • Spokes and nipples lubricated to improve the build and allow for easier maintenance.
  • Wheel laced using Schraner's method and a radial, 2 cross or 3 cross pattern.  Exceptionally I'll use other patterns but they are rarely the right choice.
  • Spokes pre-aligned.
  • Wheel trued radially, laterally and dished (generally in that order, although each input affects all 3 and this is where the real craftsmanship is!)
  • Spoke heads are seated when sufficient (but not excessive) tension is reached
  • Wheel is pre-stressed, spokes tensioned, and wheel re-trued radially and laterally, re-dished a number of times until stability is reached - if it doesn't move after I try to bend it, it won't move when you ride it.


All my wheels come with a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship.

For the life of the original rim, and the original owner, if a spoke breaks I will replace it free of charge and if the wheel goes out of true I will re-true it free of charge.

Excludes damage caused by accident or misuse.  Customer pays any necessary postage.


​I have two offerings, the only difference is the tolerance I get to.

The British Standard (BS EN 14764) for a bike wheel is up to 1mm lateral and/or radial run-out each way (so a 2mm 'wobble' meets the standard!).

My standard wheel builds are trued radially and laterally to a maximum of 0.25mm each way (which is actually quite hard to see) and my 'World Class Wheels' are trued to a maximum of 0.1mm each way (which needs sensitive measuring equipment to detect).

The price difference is simply a reflection of the extra time it takes!

Prices do not include components!

Standard Wheel Build

£50 per wheel

World Class Wheels

£75 per wheel