I build custom wheels that are optimized for Riding Far, doing bikepacking races, and ultra-distance cycling. Use the form below if you’d like a quote for a wheelset or single wheel that is optimized for a certain riding style or rider.
I’ve been building wheels for myself and friends as a hobby for over 15 years. I also regularly build wheels as part of my job as a bike mechanic (I’ve worked at The Bike in Lausanne, Switzerland for the past 6 years). In total, I’ve built several hundred wheels including many that have been or will be used in the Transcontinetal Race and Trans Am Bike Race:
Jack: “Chris recommended & built the wheels I used in the Transcontinental Race No4. They were perfect: I didn’t even have to think about the wheels while I was racing, which is exactly how it should be.”
Alain: “I needed a front wheel with a dynamo hub for TCR#3. As an ultra endurance racing rookie, I had no idea what to get. Chris helped me choose the right components; they worked perfectly in the challenging terrain and weather conditions I encountered.”
As you can see by reading the Wheels page, I like to analyze the properties of hubs, rims, spokes and spoke lacing patterns, and to understand how these aspects interact to make a strong, reliable, and reasonably fast and light wheel. In addition, I find it very satisfying to take a rim, hub, spokes, and nipples and turn them into a wheel that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Custom Versus Stock Wheels
Wanting to use a dynamo hub is the most common reason why people often use custom wheels in bikepacking races, because most stock dynamo wheels are heavy-duty models made more for touring than racing. Other reasons for having a custom wheel include wanting to have a few more spokes than what come on stock lightweight racing wheels while still having a high-quality rim and hub.
Many people view wheel-building as a dark or magical art that is best done by hand by a skilled wheelbuilder on a small scale rather than in a factory. Knowing that the wheel is well-built by an experienced craftsperson is a confidence-inspiring aspect of having a custom-built wheel, but I don’t believe that any wheelbuilder, including myself, can add any magical properties to a wheel.
Instead, the reason why I prefer to build wheels myself rather than using stock wheels is so that I can customize and optimize the wheels for a certain type of riding or rider by choosing each of the wheels’ components separately. Stock wheelsets are designed to work reasonably well for the greatest number of people and uses, but not for anyone individually.
I therefore encourage people to use the terminology of “custom” versus “stock” wheels rather than “handbuilt” versus “machine-built” or “factory-built”, especially because many higher-value stock wheels are hand-built or at least hand-finished in the factory by skilled wheelbuilders. The added value of custom wheels comes from having something that is optimized for a certain riding style or rider.
Request a Quote for Ride Far Wheels
The form below contains basic questions about the type of wheelset or wheel that you want so that I can give an initial rough estimate of the cost that is reasonably competitive. If you’re interested in my initial offer then I’ll ask many more specific questions to determine exactly what the best combination of parts will be for your wheels.