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I ended up rebuilding an already awesome Lapierre Carbon Cyclocross into a gravel bike... and it came down to the wheels. The super limited clearance of space within the frame forced me to do a deep dive and hunt down the just released WTB Vulpine's back in November.J.R. Reher February 22, 2022
But that left me with the wheels. When I acquired the bike, it had an old system of Mavic Aksiums on it. The bike wheels needed a more robust upgrade. I canvassed the local bike shops to no end and then... discovered the online wheel building sites. I had NEVER done this online. Pretty sad, huh? It's like, wtf? Kind of like purchasing a couch online. How do you know it's going to be comfortable or even work?
First, i was over at Wheelbuilder, ha... mentioning the competition. Their site was similar and had some of the same components and close price points but then I thought hmmmm, maybe I should google another, just to see if there was somewhere else.
Reddit led me here.
Why did I choose this site? Because this form was more specific with data points and asked for body measurements and what you're using this bike to do? I dug that more detailed and custom approach. It felt like being in a tux shop and a tailor was standing right beside you.
Through trial and error of resubmitting and changing my order details over and over and over (because you need to do that! Compare and research EVERYTHING...) I seemed to discover the ideal wheel set.
Then I clicked submit. That's a lot of money you're throwing down, online, to a computer generated form you might think. What happened next surprised me.
Someone called me. Then they talked me through the specs and the build. And then we established an email banter back and forth... Debra was AMAZING to deal with. She's your go-to for questions.
So...if you're on the fence, email them. Talk to them. Tell them your concerns. Ask them all your questions.
If you think this is a fake review... definitely not. Go watch the inspired by a true story film I wrote - THE RIDE on Amazon Prime. It's based on the life of BMX pro John Buultjens and stars Ludacris and Sasha Alexander. You'll see my name at the top of the credits at the end of the film (there are no credits in the beginning of this one...)
I'm a heavy rider and a clyde of sorts at 280lbs. I knew I could depend on the stock wheels for a limited lifespan. So far I've had FOUR sets (3 road, one MTB) of custom wheels built from both the signature and custom programs. Not one has required a spoke wrench yet with seasons of abuse that I've put them through. All are still in service. I put 50-100 miles a week on my bikes, and the wheels have been 100% reliable. A good set of wheels can vastly improve the quality of your biking experience. This is the real deal with a lot of experience and no BS. Trust in this builder - they know their products. Bitex hubs are an awesome value.Jeremy Watts October 28, 2020