Re: [CR]Secret Sauce

Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer

Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 08:06:25 -0700
Subject: Re: [CR]Secret Sauce
From: Bill Bryant <>
To: <>, <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hello Gentle CR Folk-- I've been getting a ~lot~ of private requests for information about Spence Wolf's spoke prep;, below is part of note I sent to Brian Bayliss yesterday.

FWIW, Spence did say he used linseed oil in the early years, but subsequently began using a much better material around 1980/81. This is what he was so secretive about. Sorry to not be more forthcoming. With regard to any other of techniques or procedures, I have no problem discussing them as he never asked me to keep them private. Much of it will be told via Mark Petry's presentation on Spence Wolf at the upcoming Velo Rendezvous in October.

Bill Bryant Santa Cruz, CA


Hi Brian-- If I had developed the material, I'd gladly share it with others. I have REALLY appreciated all the info that has come across through the CR list as well as the frame-builders list during the past few years, much of it from you.

However, when I worked with Spence it was a mind-expanding non-stop tutorial on how he worked, and I am forever grateful, and loyal to him. In only one instance that I can recall, he said, "don't ever show this to anyone"-- with a stress on the 'ever'. It was his spoke prep.

So, if he felt it that important, I have to honor it. But of course he and Lillian have passed on, so I struggle with the inner debate. What harm could it do, right? But he was a very private, honor-bound man, and a promise was a promise. While we worked on bikes we talked about all manner of things, and not infrequently he talked at length about his regret about people who didn't live by honor. At this point I haven't resolved the idea that his death would absolve me of a promise made with deepest sincerity. I understand this might be annoying to others but can live with that.

So, for your wheels, I think Wheelsmith makes a very good product. It will work well for many years. Rather pricey for what it is, but it does work better than *nearly* everything else. ;-)

Cheers, Bill


on 7/3/03 5:44 AM, at wrote:
> Ok, I'm not in the secret society, never had the pleasure
> of meeting/speaking with Spence or any other legendary wheelbuilders.
> But I did recently start lacing my own wheels.
> Since Spence is no longer with us, would it too much to
> ask what his "secret sauce" for spoke prep was?
> I've heard Linseed oil, Castor oil and any number of formulas
> for this miracle sauce, but I'd really like to know what Spence
> really used.
> Marty Eison
> In the dark
> dallas, Texas