With custom wheelsets Matthew Larsen Wheelbuilding can choose parts specific to each rider, building a wheel that’s lighter, stronger, more aerodynamic, or has particular parts like bladed spokes, colored nipples or a certain hub (dynamo generator, coaster brake, internal gears, power meters…). Contact Matthew Larsen Wheelbuilding for the best prices.
Wheelbuilding Labor: $50/wheel or $80/pair
I hand build custom wheels with a number of different rim profiles in aluminum and carbon. Clincher, tubular, tubeless, 29er, 27.5″, 700c, fat bike… Rim prices vary from $70-100 for aluminum and ~$300 open mold carbon to $800 for name brand carbon. The rim is the outside of the wheel so saving any weight here has the biggest effect on the rotational weight. All other things being equal, a lighter rim will make a faster wheel, and we all want to be faster. In most cases aluminum does a great job. It’s inexpensive and light. The real weight advantage of carbon is in fat bike or deep section rims.
Hubs are the most expensive component of your custom hand built wheels. Solid, reliable gear engagement and smooth spinning bearings are most important. Most hubs spin on cartridge bearings. Most of those bearings are steel, some are ceramic. Then there are good old fashioned ball bearings. For engagement hubs use a spring(s) to engage the cassette body. These points of engagement are what turns the hub when pedaling force is applied. Because this is the center of the rotating mass saving weight here doesn’t mean as much as saving weight at the rim. With proper use and maintenance they will outlast many wheel builds. Costs go from ~$75/pair for loose ball bearing hubs up to +$1000/pair for something with ceramic bearings.
Spokes & Nipples
There are a few key spokes out there to choose from. Butted spokes are great do-it-all spokes: they’re available with factory rolled threads in millimeter lengths, have an excellent strength to weight ratio, are low cost, and work in any application. Bladed spokes, for those looking to gain a few seconds, and more aggressively butted spokes, with weight and disc restrictions, are also available. I also build with alloy nipples on request. Although anodized spokes are popular they do not build as good a wheel because the threads are altered during the anodization process. The extra manufacturing also makes for a more expensive spoke.
- Silver DT Swiss Competition with silver brass nipples $1.10 ea
- Black DT Swiss Competition with silver brass nipples $1.50 ea
- Silver DT Swiss Revolutions with silver brass nipples $1.40 ea
- DT Swiss Aerolite with silver brass nipples $3 ea
- Sliver brass free with all spokes
- Silver alloy nipples .25 ea
- Anodized alloy nipples .55 ea