[CR]speedy wheel builders

(Example: Events)

From: "goodrichbikes" <goodrichbikes@netzero.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 09:29:08 -0500
Subject: [CR]speedy wheel builders

My friend, Paul Vine, was team mechanic for Team 7-11. He taught me how to build wheels. I never timed him building a wheel but he was fast. I did time him building a bike including the wheels. It took him one hour to build the bike and wheels starting with a bare frame and fork. That's rippin' fast in my book. This bike was ridden by a world class cyclist in an off topic race the next day. It was perfect. Paul told me stories of wrenching for 7-11 in Europe. He and the other mechanic would get to the hotel the evening before a race and need to build several sets of wheels for each team member. Some races required more heavy duty wheels while others called for lighter duty wheels. The mechanics weren't paid by the hour so the incentive was speed. Also they were motivated by the desire for sleep. The faster they got the wheels done the more sleep they got. Obviously they couldn't build crappy wheels or they wouldn't have a job or any friends. Good wheels can be built fast but not by lots of people.

There's no magic in making a good wheel but there's a learning curve. Generally the more wheels a builder has under the belt, the better the builder he or she is. At a certain point though you do run into the law of diminishing returns. The person that's build 10,000 wheels isn't 10 times better than the builder that's built 1000 wheels.

My elixir of life i.e. spoke prep of choice if linseed oil. Nasty stuff but works great.

Curt Goodrich
Minneapolis, MN