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Why hand built wheels

With hand built wheels, a skilled and experienced wheel builder invests time, care, and—most importantly—good build technique into crafting a quality product which they are proud of, and which you can trust. Good components cannot compensate for bad build technique, but good technique coupled with good components maximises wheel reliability and performance, and enhances your confidence in your wheels. Hand built wheels also permit wider component and customisation choices, and are easier to repair than factory built or 'boutique' wheels.

How we work

At Cambridge Wheel Building, we do not build exotic designs or spoke patterns, or use hard to obtain components in our wheels. We simply build dependable wheels that you can rely on year after year. Our philosophy matches that of wheel building expert Jobst Brandt, who wrote: "In most cases it is best to build standard wheels—standard wheels, but good ones—and not yield to fashion, folklore, or advertising." We are happy to tackle a wide range of wire wheel types: road racing, touring, mountain bike, tandem, BMX or hybrid. If you need wheels for something a little more unusual—like a recumbent, a unicycle or an E-bike—we can build those too.

Our approach begins by listening to you and advising on components that suit your riding style and budget. We’re happy to source components as part of the service, or we can recommend suitable suppliers to you. We strongly recommend carrying out spoke length calculation from physical hubs and rims, rather than from specification sheets or Internet searches. Then we discuss spoke options with you before sourcing them.

When all the components are ready we give you an estimated completion date. We aim to keep turnaround times as short as possible, but we always prioritise build quality over quick turnaround. Your wheels will be hand built by us with a great deal of care and attention. A carefully built wheel is more likely to perform better than a hastily built one, even with the same components. At Cambridge Wheel Building we pay particular attention to stress-relieving (to prevent spoke breakages) and to achieving overall high and uniform spoke tension (to maximise wheel strength).


For more information or for a custom wheel build quotation, please contact us.

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