FAQ

1. How do I order?

  • Place your order with a card payment or PayPal on the website

 

2. How long will they take?

  • Usually 7-10 days.

  • If a component is not in stock, an ETA will be given. Very rarely does anything take longer than 3 weeks.

3. Which countries do you send to?

  • EU VAT regions only.

  • We don't send to Switzerland, Gibraltar etc. 

  • We do not send outwith the EU.

4. What should I consider?

  • It's entirely up to you, your bike and your budget.

  • If you want something which is to last all year round, remember that there is no such thing as a "maintenance free" pair of wheels.

  • If you intend training on "Race" wheels, they will deteriorate rapidly. Buy training wheels.

  • If one pair of wheels is intended as a "do it all" set, consider the most demanding usage (such as training or commuting) and start there.

  • If you are riding a low profile rim and average 17mph+, you will benefit from an aerodynamically efficient rim. 30mm+ will improve your speed.

  • Remember the lighter an alloy rim is or the fewer spokes in the wheel, the less durable the wheels will be - generally speaking.

  • All the hubs we use are well tested designs - and it is difficult to say which is "better". See HERE for further details:

  • Whether you are a weekend fitness rider or a high mileage racer, consider something which is robust enough to do the job. Invest in better hubs and you can change worn out rims over the years.

5. I know very little about wheels, can I send you my inside leg measurement, nude bodyweight and 5yr Strava history and you make the choice for me?

  • Please don't because we have scheduled wheel builds to attend to and it all becomes a bit much! The choices are on the website for each individual case. 

  • Rake the forums and YouTube for info - speak to club mates  - try not to get caught in marketing spiel - please place your order when you have made your mind up.

  • Have a look here for all info on individual components.

 

6. What rims should I go for?

  • Ascent rims are for climbing or light weight duties. Not particularly low drag but better than a Ksyrium rim.

  • A Race30 rim will reduce drag a little bit, faster than a Ksyrium rim for example.

  • A deeper carbon rim will allow you to enter a different dynamic entirely.

  • A 45mm+ rim will "take off" at 20mph+, hold speed better and reduce the power required to hold that speed than a shallow rim.

  • One thing to note is that a good 50mm carbon rim will be lighter than almost all shallow alloy rims, making them better "climbing" rims too!

  • They are also stiffer, reinforcing their climbing abilities also.

 

7. I have £500+, what makes Wheelsmith wheels better than a typical pair from Shimano or Mavic?

  • They will be better built.

  • They will be nicer to ride.

  • You will be able to choose better hubs and spokes.

  • Race30 for example is a better wheelset than anything else on the market at the price point. EVERYONE loves them.

  • We carry spares for just about everything we have ever made. It is usually not cost effective to replace a rim on a factory built wheel set - even if a rim is available.

  • You may not realise that your 1300g factory wheels are too light for you until they break. A custom made pair will be stiffer, last longer and make you ride harder.

  • Above all, we have found factory wheels to be a bit uninspiring and "dead" feeling - they are usually compromised in some way to suit a very wide range of rider weights, or underbuilt to save money.

 

8. Whats your best recommendation for a £500ish clincher wheelset to upgrade my £1000 road bike? I'm 75kg.​

  • Race30 rims // Wheelsmith 295g sealed hubs // Sapim CX-Ray spokes // Sapim nips. 1540g depending on spoke count.

  • Heavier riders (>85kg): more spokes in the Race30 

9. What about £700-£1000?

  • Same as above but you can afford the next level of hubs or you could enter the carbon market.

10. What's your recommendation if I have £1000+ to spend on a fabulous set of race-wheels?

  • 45mm dimpled, 50mm or 60mm Tubular or Clincher rims // Chris King R45 hubs // Sapim CX-Ray spokes. 1300-1550g depending on rim.

  • These will outperform just about anything on the market at the price. And, a replacement rim will cost much less than typical factory built counterparts, should you damage a rim in a race.

11. What's the difference between the 45mm dimpled rims and non-dimpled carbon rims?

  • The dimples have proven aerodynamic performance, courtesy of Zipp since they share a very similar profile to the Firecrest.

  • The non-dimpled rims are made from a higher quality pre-preg carbon fibre.

  • Braking is similar. However, the Aero50 rims have never been known to melt - nearly every other carbon rim we have seen has.

  • They will all take a 23mm to 35mm tyre.

 

12. What about those ENVE rims then?

  • If you can afford them, go for it. They are superbly made and are the best there is. They feel like weird hoops of plastic until built up and ridden - then they feel like £2000+ wheels!

  • They are expensive. Consider the cost of rim replacement when you are considering a purchase.

  • They do offer a 5yr warranty but you need to read the limitations on this before ordering. There is a limited crash replacement discount warranty.

  • All said however, treat yourself - they will be the finest wheels you ever buy.

13. What hubs should I choose?

 

14. What warranty do you offer?

15. Can I collect the wheels?

  • Yes - it would be good to meet you. Give us a call. You'll save the carton and postage charge too. It's not always possible due to time schedules so please email first.

 

16. Can you fit tyres?

  • No. Our boxes won't take a fitted tyre or tubular now.

17. If I need to change the order - what do I do?

  • Please tell us straight away if there is a change of order. You have 14days to change your mind with no financial burden.

 

18. Do you have "test wheels"?

  • No. We did have but they got abused and came back filthy on occasion and then the final set never got returned at all!

19. What are your decals like and can I remove them?

  • See the pics on the website they are black background with a wire-frame Wheelsmith logo. They are all removable vinyl graphics. After removal, wipe clean with a touch of meths.

  • If you don't want decals, just tell us when ordering.

20. Can I have custom graphics?

  • We can fit decals if you send them to us. We no longer design or print custom graphics.

 

21. Do you do discounts for multiple purchases or clubs?

  • We can offer a discount on shipping costs for multiple purchases to the same address.

  • We no longer offer a club discount.

 

22. Can I send you my rims and/or hubs and you build them up?

  • No - only if they are previously built by us as problems have arisen before with 2nd hand hubs and rims and it can become a real liability.

  • We don't touch Chinese eBay rims or Zipp rims at all.

  • We don't try to replace rims on Mavic, Campagnolo or Shimano factory built wheel sets. Proprietary spares are usually very difficult to obtain and 3rd part replacements incompatible.

23. Do you sell parts?

24. Where should I get my wheels delivered to?

  • Any address where someone is around 09:00-17:30 weekdays and can sign for the parcel.

25. Who delivers the wheels?

  • We now use UPS for UK and European shipping. They have a system for noting damages on receipt.

  • Note any damages on the courier receipt - if you don't, insurance is voided and you are liable for damages.

  • Open the box and check everything is there.

  • Read the Maintenance Instructions.

  • Pairs of wheels are usually held together with a spoke and end caps.

 

26. What maintenance do I have to do?

  • See Maintenance pages navigable from home page.

  • Treat the wheels with respect. Clean them after every ride, just like you do with yourself, all the little nooks and crannies.

  • Read the manufacturers recommendations on specific component maintenance.

  • Start with a dry cloth, and if there is a build up of gritty grime, hose or sponge with clean water. Do not use a power washer around bearings.

  • If there is further contamination, concentrate on these areas using a non-aggressive, salt-free detergent.

  • Do not use aggressive penetrating degreasers - even the citrus cleaners can eat bearing seals.

  • Pay particular attention to around the freehub body where it meets the hub shell - and also the rim breaking surface.

  • Dry properly.

  • Do not use "Wonder Wipes" or similar impregnated cleaning cloths. They will remove decals and can even damage anodising.

  • They also leave a silicone residue on the braking surface, which is DEADLY.

 

27. My wheels have gone out of true, what do I do.

  • You can retrue them yourself if you feel confident, or take them to a decent local shop who know how to rectify tension across all spokes. If they are badly out of true, check for damage and if you find any, call us.

  • If you encounter a loose spoke, contact us - we would like to find out why this may have happened.

 

28. What do I do if they get damaged?

  • If you whack a pothole or a baggage handler drops them and damage is noted, don't ride the wheels.

  • Email us and we will quote for any remedial work. 

  • If you experience one of these rare "just riding along when..." incidents: again, email us and we can assess the damage.

 

29. I have noticed a broken/damaged or bent spoke. What do I do?

  • Stop riding check length of spoke and order from website, we keep thousands in stock. 

  • Available HERE

30. Why have my wheels failed?

  • You will know better than us probably.

  • Some ideas:

  • You are heavier than you said you were and the wheels are underbuilt.

  • You have hit something without realising.

  • Something has damaged or been leaning on the wheel in the car and stretched a spoke without obvious damage (very common).

  • Your chain has slipped down behind the cassette and damaged or stretched spokes.

  • Spoke tension has diminished through use and not been checked.

  • Your clincher tyre pressure is too high and it has deformed the rim.

  • You've applied the brakes for such a long period of time that you have melted the rim;

  • Sabotage. Rare but club racing is getting cut-throat these days.

  • There is a similarly rare occurrence that a component fails without prior knowledge. email - we need to know about it.

 

31. My bearings have developed play. What do I do?

  • Check everything is tightened properly and if it definitely is the hubs, see Maintenance Page on website.

32. My stickers are damaged / do you have stickers?

  • We produce our own graphics. Replacements are available for the current range HERE.

33. Where should I position my brake pads?

  • On alloy rims, position them so they contact perfectly in the centre of the braking surface. Do not allow them to run on the thin wall of the rim, damage will undoubtedly occur.

  • On carbon rims, the same applies but pay particular attention to position the pads where the internal bridge is, where the rimtape sits, ie., the strongest area.

  • Do not position the pads near the lip of a carbon clincher rim. This could lead to deformation of the rim and possible overheating problems.

  • We would advise against using Tektro rear "direct-mount" brakes - they have insufficient stopping power and can lead to rim overheating issues.

  • Use the pads that came with the rims. Do not use SwissStop pads on our carbon rims - they melt at too low a temperature and leave streaks on the rim - producing unpredictable braking.

34. My brakes have stopped working as well as they did. What’s wrong?

  • Check they are positioned properly.

  • They may be worn or contaminated. If in doubt, clean everything thoroughly. If this does not help, discard and replace pads.

 

35. My Shimano cassette has created grooves in the freehub body. Is this normal?

  • It is with most light alloy freehub bodies - they have to accommodate 9 to 11sp Shimano and SRAM, and 10sp Shimano was redesigned for a deeper splined body. This was discontinued in favour of a shallower splined body to suit all manufacturers.

  • Now, 11sp sprockets are even thinner, potentially causing more damage/wear!

  • You can file down the burrs and refit cassette or contact us for a replacement body.

  • SRAM cassettes generally do not dig in like this.

  • Make an "anti-bite-guard" with a straightened-out paper clip, box staple or hair-clip.

 

36. My pads are leaving a residue, what should I do?

  • Stop riding and clean it off with your nail or a scourer pad. It comes from overheated / melted pads and can lead to unpredictable braking and further overheating.

  • SwissStop Yellow, Black Prince or EVO pads can leave streaks but can also lead to higher rim temperatures and are best avoided.

  • ENVE pads will leave a dusty residue. Replace if worn.

 

37. How should I store my wheels over the winter?

  • Make sure they are clean and dry and store them in a dry place with a stable temperature. They should be ready to go in the new season but before you go, do the usual checks!

  • Leaving hubs and rim internals damp for a length of time WILL lead to corrosion and bearing seizure - even with full stainless components, brass nipples and carbon rims.