New wheels ordered

I ordered new wheels for Yellow Bike today.

As you may recall, Yellow Bike came with a set of blue wheels that match its blue decals and trim. Then I lost one.

I replaced it with a cheap one, strictly on an interim basis. Matching wheels are a must for me.

Shopping around I couldn’t find just the right wheels in a price range I could afford. Hearing the story, my parents kicked in $250 (even knowing that it was 2.5 times what I paid for the bike) so I could buy a decent set of wheels. After that it was saving up a couple of hundred more and shopping around.

I had it narrowed down to a set of Neuvation R28 Aero 3, or a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite. Both are fine wheelsets, but I still felt bad that they come only in silver or black. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, who has seen this bike has commented on how much they like the blue wheels. Or wheel. “Why isn’t the front one blue too?” they ask.

Then, on a thread on bikeforums.net, there were discussions about several custom wheelbuilders. These are guys who hand build wheelsets to order. Checking out the sites, what did I find?

Blue. And I could afford them.

Mike Garcia of Odds and Endos, is building me a set of beautiful blue powdercoat wheels based on the Velocity Aerohead (front) and Velocity Aerohead OC (rear) hoops.

I spoke with his wife today and nailed down the specifics of which spokes, how many of them, brass vs. aluminum nipples, then I placed the order. Mine will have silver hubs, but otherwise they’re pretty much what you see in the picture on their site.

On her recommendation for my weight, riding style, terrain and occasional grocery run, I chose 28 spoke count in the front, and 32 in the rear. Silver 14/17/14 spokes on the front and the non-drive side on the rear, and 14/15/14 spokes on the drive side in the rear.

Since I know I’ll push the borders of the salt season on either end, and I occasionally ride in the rain, I went with silver-colored brass nipples instead of aluminium, since they’re less apt to corrode to the hoops. The wheelset should come in at around 1,643 grams, which is excellent for an everyday wheel.

The Garcias were away last week, so work is a little backed-up, but they assured me I’d have my new wheels in time for the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour coming up on June 8–10.

I can’t wait.

Oh, and yesterday I ordered new brake pads, since I don’t want to use the old ones on a brand new $389 set of wheels, and I ordered a digicam, so you can see how Yellow Bike has turned out, and see plenty of snaps from my upcoming trips.