I buy most everything online these days. There are a few online stores that 'do it right' - like Amazon, ModernBike - and I have found another one - ProWheelBuilder.com. I am a rather hard core 'recreational' rider - centuries and work commuter (36 miles per day) and have been riding my carbon fiber geared bike now for the past 6 or 7 years. I traded a friend a pair of pedals for an old Raleigh chromoly steel frame and thought I would jump into building up a commuter single speed bike. I also thought while at it, why not build my first set of wheels. I didn't know what I was doing - still learning every day - and have spent more time on Sheldon Brown's website than I have with my wife the past 6 months. With enough knowledge to be dangerous, I started dealing with ProWheelBuilder. I had lots of questions and was and continue to be very impressed with the patience shown me by both Debra and Richard Craig - the owners. They are responsive to email and phone questions and concerns, they are honest and they possess just enough of a sense of humor to get through it all. I made some mistakes in my initial ordering and Richard came through with another solution for me very professionally and to my complete satisfaction. I love this site and have had so much fun putting this bike together - I know I will be building another and another and I will buy all my wheel stuff from ProWheelBuilders. I highly recommend these guys. Thanks Richard and Debra and keep up the excellent work and customer service!!!
December 19, 2012
My build: H Plus Son Archetype Rims, Sapim Race spokes with brass nipples, 2x front and 3x/3x rear, laced to White Industries T11 Hubs.
My thoughts out of the box: Nothing is quite as nice as a new set of wheels to throw onto your ride. Quality of the parts looked very nice, and the quick tone test revealed all spokes were tensioned evenly...now to pop the wheels into the bike and see how true they actually were.
On the Bike (not riding): First impression is the hubs spin very very smoothly. I own fulcrum racing 1 wheels, and supposedly those hubs are very good, but I can feel the ball bearings swirling around in them. The WI hubs spin so smoothly and quietly as to be imperceptible. I felt no vibration, and spun well. The wheels were within 0.5 mm of true by my estimate and after having put a few hundred miles on them over some pothole ridden rodes, that's how they have stayed.
The Ride: The wide rims of the archetype help make the ride be a bit more compliant, but in my opinion I really felt a difference in the wide rims with CORNERING. The wheels have felt absolutely planted no matter how aggressively I take a turn. Very confidence inspiring. Out of the saddle and during sprints there is no perceptible flex. And the braking surface really allows my brakes to have a solid bite.
Final words: The service has been great, the wheels are excellent, and I got every thing I wanted in a wheel set. Would definitely recommend PWB if what you desire is a solidly built wheel set catered to your riding style, body weight, and intended use!