Building Spoke Wheels
- The 'Old School Way'
Very few shops offer lacing and truing of spoke
wheels. Trying to find someone that knows what they are doing and is
willing to work on your wheels is quite a challenge. Whether you are
restoring an old bike or having some damaged rims repaired, you have an
alternative to just replacing that quality wheel with one out of a catalog
that doesn't come close in quality.
Rebuilding spoke wheels takes years of experience,
lots of patience, the right tools, and the space to do the work without
clutter. If you think about it, the hub is held suspended in a
three-dimensional puzzle of spokes and it MUST be perfect. Any
errors can cause the wheel to fail very quickly when you are on the road
(and nobody wants that).
Michael Proulx, an employee at Aero Cycle in
Medford, MA since 1985 has been handling all wheelwork, tire mounting and
balancing for 20 years at the shop. He is extremely meticulous and can
usually return a job to better than original shape. The shop can have the
customerís tired rims chrome plated as well as powder coated to give the
bike a new look. Aero can supply a variety of spokes in stainless or
chrome. Michael can handle all aspects of motorcycle wheel and tire
maintenance to insure the riderís safety.
Determining the correct spoke lacing pattern, inserting the spokes to
follow that patter, and achieving the correct three-dimensional alignment
are only some parts of the truing process. I think back to my
own days of trying to 'adjust' a couple of loose spokes on my bicycle as a
youngster. I tightened them up (and then 'snugged' up all the
others), spun the wheel, everything looked good so I jumped on the bike
all excited with my accomplishment. I didn't get
far. I hit a small bump and the front wheel quickly twisted
into a pretzel shape. Bruised and scraped, I found out at an early
age that 'wheels and spokes' are better left to professionals.
While some people might want to lead you to believe that rebuilding a
wheel is easy and anyone can do it. This is when people start
getting hurt. The true craftsmen such as Michael at Aero, who
has the decades of experience will deliver you a wheel that is safe to
ride AND is awesome to look at. If there were such a title of
"Wheel Builder Master Craftsman" then Michael would be right
there in the records as one of the few in the country.
Contact Aero Cycle at: 781-395-9966