Hand built wheels are better

There, I said it. But don't take my word for it. Here is a short clip of a set of Powertap DTSwiss R460 wheels. When we sell a set of these, we correct the build before sending it to the customer because, to be brutally frank, the factory builds aren't 100% ready to go. The first part of the clip shows the wheel out of the box - pretty good, huh? Then you see what happens after we do our standard spoke de-stressing - pretty ugly. 

Before it goes back in the box, of course we readjust everything to make as sure as we can that the wheel is true and stays true for a good long time no matter what you throw at it. 

It's probably a bad game to sell a terrible margin product that requires this much work just to get out the door with our name on it, but we're sticking with it for now. What we prefer to do is build our custom hand-built wheels for you from scratch, where we have complete control over the process and outcome. 


Back to blog


Mike – Awesome, thanks.

Chris – Great question. It’s mostly a catch-all semi-misnomer to describe correcting spoke lines (making sure they go from hub to rim in as straight a line as possible), making sure everything is 100% seated, removing any windup in the spokes, and then actual distressing. A metallurgist could describe it or debunk it better, but functionally just think of it as stretching the spokes a bit so that they don’t have any residual stretch left in them.


What is “de-stressing”?


My two current sets of November wheels:
Rail 34s w/ Novatec hubs, close to 10K miles, just had a spoke wrench taken to them for the 1st time
Grails w/ Nimbus CLD hubs on my gravel bike, likely way less miles than the Rails (maybe 3-5K?) but much more abusive riding conditions. Also just had their first fine tuning with a spoke wrench.

Both of the above the shop said if a customer had just brought them in to check for truing needs, they would have said not needed. I had them done anyway since I was doing a ton of other maintenance to the bikes and they weren’t gonna charge for the minor truing.

I’d say you guys put out some solid wheels :)

Mike E

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.