Looking After Your Wheelsmith Wheels - PLEASE READ BEFORE RIDING
Thank you for choosing Wheelsmith to build your wheels and we hope you enjoy them for years to come.
The key to enjoyment is regular inspection and maintenance. If you neglect them, they’ll let you down.
There is no such thing as a maintenance-free component on a bike, sealed bearings etc do require care and attention.
Recommended maintenance before each ride:
Check for damage and excessive rim wear
Check for loose or under-tensioned spokes. Tighten where necessary or get a bike shop to do it properly
Make sure the wheels turn true and freely. Any resistance, check where it’s coming from
Change cartridge bearings if any excessive play develops. Lubricate free ball bearings if required
On Chris King hubs, if there is any play, check instruction manual for adjustment
Make sure all bladed spokes (typically Sapim CX-Ray) are sitting properly
Check skewers are clamped properly
Make sure tyre pressures are appropriate to the tyre/rim combination
Ensure brake pads are positioned and tightened correctly
Remember an out-of-true-wheel won't fix itself, it will only get worse without attention.
Recommended maintenance after each ride:
If wheels are wet, wash gently with cold water
Oil and grime will need a gentle salt-free detergent
It is best to degrease a cassette and chain off the bike
If heavily contaminated with salty water or mud, remove tyre and rimtape and flush out rim
If water or contamination has entered freehub body, remove, clean & regrease
Clean brake track and pads or discs with a silicone-free cleaner
Allow to dry! (Leaving bearings damp can lead to corrosion & premature bearing failure)
Clean around bearing seals and hub end caps
Re-fit wheel to bike, ensure skewers and brake pads are positioned and tightened properly
If you don’t feel confident about carrying out the work, speak to someone who is.
No two pairs of wheels or rims are identical so if you are swapping between wheels, always check the angle and depth your brake pads are adjusted to.
Remember that pads used on your alloy rims cannot be used on your carbon wheels. Note that carbon clinchers require lower pad placement to reduce risk of overheating at the leading edge.
With new wheels, always check your rear derailleur max/min settings to make sure there is clearance between rear cage and spokes. Also, ensure that the chain doesn’t drop down behind the largest sprocket, damaging spokes.
Note: Carbon fibre rims have been used to great success in professional & amateur racing worldwide but like any component, they are not immune to misuse. If you do not have expert training in braking techniques in the mountains, consider performance coaching or avoid demanding roads altogether.
The same applies to alloy rims where heat build-up can melt glue, brake pads and in some extreme cases, deteriorate tyres and inner tubes. Above all, please ride with caution to preserve the integrity of the components and your own life.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What pressure should I pump my tyres up to?
A: It depends on the size of tyre and your body weight. Wider tyres require lower pressure to maintain the same size road contact area. This also applies to wider rims where tyres are spread out more. Most 23c clinchers perform well at 85psi front and 95psi rear. 25c: 75-85psi. More than that with modern wider lightweight rims such as Ascent will reduce spoke tension and affect dish and cause premature failure.
Q: My wheels have gone out of true, what do I do.
A: 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 damaged you can call us if they need repair work carried out.
Q: My carbon clinchers have a lower braking area, where do the pads contact?
A: Position the pads to contact where the internal bridge is, where the rimtape sits. Higher up can cause damage.
Q: I have noticed a broken/damaged or bent spoke. What do I do?
A: Stop riding and tighten nipple. Replace spoke if necessary, call us we keep thousands in stock!
Q: I can’t seem to get my clincher tyres on. What do I do?
A: Some tyres are tricky. Check Youtube for help tips or lever them onto an old pair of wheels to stretch so they are easier to get on your good wheels without tools.
Q: My Shimano cassette has created grooves in the freehub body. Is this normal?
A: It is with some light alloy freehub bodies - they have to accommodate 9&10sp Shimano and SRAM, and 10sp Shimano was designed for deeper splines. You can file down the burrs and refit cassette or contact us for replacement body. Top-end SRAM cassettes generally do not dig in like this since the sprockets are on a single carrier.
Q: How should I store my wheels over the winter?
A: 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!
We hope you have a lot of fun with your wheels. Please take care!