Letter of the Day

We used to occasionally do a thing called "Mailbag Mondays," which was always well-received and productive. Well, we haven't done that for a long while, and it's getting to be a while since we've done a post. Since a big part of why we haven't posted is that 'tis the season to answer a bazillion and nine emails per day, we'll post a recent (really really really recent) email exchange as today's post. Names changed to protect the innocent.

Before we actually get to that, though, here are a couple of things about emails:

1. We do try to be prompt as with our responses. If you haven't heard from us within 24 business hours (M-F) after you did the "Contact Us" bit, please check your spam file and if that doesn't turn up anything, please try again. We don't not respond to emails.

2. We do really try to be complete with responses. We spend as much time answering emails as we do building wheels. You deserve our best thoughts, and we believe it separates us from others. In consideration of that, please understand that we do have a finite amount of time. A quick blog or site search may turn up a bunch of what you're looking for, and please don't be offended if we link to posts that address your question rather than rewriting the info. 

3. It's possible that you'll receive a response way outside of normal business hours. Running your own business means that you grab whatever time you have to get stuff done, because your own business she is a time hungry beast. Please do not let that become the absolute expectation. We have families and friends and lives that deserve some of our time, and we like to ride bikes and take showers and sleep and the other things normal people do. 

On to the deal:

Hi Hal,
It's snowing here right now. Ugh. 
With Novatec hubs, we're limited to 24/28 max lacing (we didn't bring in 28/32 hubs), but we could do a Bitex build at a similar but slightly higher price. I would recommend using White Industries hubs, as I think, based on what you've told me here, that you would destroy Bitex or Novatec hubs and that White Industries hubs would have significantly better performance and durability. In particular, the flange geometry of both Bitex and Novatec is deficient compared to White, so the wheel is not as stiff, spoke for spoke, and the tension imbalance between right and left rear spokes is greater. You will destroy either a Novatec or Bitex cassette body in reasonably short order, and you will also have axle problems down the road with either. White Industries has a much much stronger steel axle for the cost of a few grams, and a titanium cassette body that will outlive both of us.
28/32 would be a logical lacing pattern. In a rim brake build, if your lacing matches front to rear, then either your front is overbuilt or your rear is underbuilt. Front wheels are inherently stronger as they are symmetrical, and they bear a lot less weight than a rear wheel. You also have a tendency to steer your front wheel around stuff, and maybe sometimes the back wheel doesn't quite get around it in time. 
We are at a pretty high order volume right now so we are right at the edge of our normal 2 week turnaround for that build. We might be able to do a few days quicker than that, but inside of a week we can't do right now without really jostling things around and paying accelerated shipping costs.
Dave
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: New customer message on April 1, 2018 at 06:46 PM

Hi Dave.
Thanks for the speed of your reply and sorry for not getting back to you in a similar manner. Area races have all been postponed because of the threat of inclement weather so I have more lead time now than I thought I did.
I'm interested in an AL Force ceramic wheelset with Novatec hubs now I have time, but I have a couple questions: 
  1. I don't need anything urgently, but I am interested in knowing your regular lead times for what I'm guessing is a popular choice.
  2. I'm 6' 5" and around 211lbs give or take, and there isn't a lot of fat in that, so I break stuff that others might not. To that end, I've been riding 32/32 spoke HED Belgians (or Ambrosio Nemesis rims) and want to know whether you'd recommend 32/32 in the AL Force? And with that in mind how much that affects your normal lead time.
I'm unconcerned with the wee aero penalty of more spokes, as I do crack a lot of rims.
Cheers,
Hal

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