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Custom Wheel Builds

Looking for the ultimate in customization and quality? Higher Gear offers custom wheel builds, which are wheels hand-built by our expert mechanics to meet your exacting specifications.


Why Hand-Built Wheels?

Gearheads know that it’s the craftsmanship on a hand-built wheel that sets it apart. Each custom wheel is hand-built by an expert wheel-builder to match your body and riding style.

Chris King hubs Custom Wheel Build Builds Higher GearWith hand-built custom wheels, you’re not limited in the way you are with a “system” wheel. You can choose any combination of hub, spokes and rim. In this way, you can have the exact hub you want – whether it’s a Chris King or PowerTap – in the rim depth and shape that fits your style of riding.

Customization opens up the world of rim options: standard clincher, tubeless and tubular. If you’re tired of getting flats and ready to make the switch to tubeless wheels, yours can be built up with the hub of your choice. If you’re looking for the soft ride that only a sew-up tire can give you, your tubular rim has endless possibilities.

With custom wheels, you are not limited to the manufacturers’ options. Instead, you and our expert wheel-builders come up with the right combination for you.


Benefits of Hand-Built Wheels

There are many advantages to hand-built wheels beyond their customization and personalization.

In general, a hand-built wheel tends to be a “truer” wheel. With a human being checking the tension on each spoke as the wheel is being built, custom built wheels stay truer longer than a system wheel or an off-the-shelf wheel. With a custom wheel, the builder also makes sure that your hub is properly adjusted.

Phil Wood Spoke Roller Custom Wheel Build Builds Higher GearHave you experienced broken spokes? How about a rear wheel that is flexing too much and perhaps rubbing against the brakes no matter how many times it has been trued? Larger riders (riders over 6′ tall or 180 pounds) or more demanding riders, like any who have a high sustained wattage, benefit greatly from a custom-built wheel.

Most wheelsets come with a low spoke count. With custom wheels, our wheel-builders have the option to use a wider rim and/or a higher spoke count, enabling the wheel to withstand greater lateral pressure to handle the power that riders are putting out. Larger and more demanding riders, or anyone who puts out a lot of watts, will appreciate a wheel that is built to be laterally stiffer.

Part of a custom wheel build includes selecting the perfect combination of parts that make up your wheel. You may have in mind the rims and hubs you want; our expert wheel-builders can help with the selection of less obvious items – spokes, spoke washers, spoke head washers and nipple washers – to ensure that your wheel performs the best for you and your style of riding.


What We Do

If you’re considering custom wheels, come in to chat with our mechanics. The first thing they’ll do is ask you about your preferences and riding style. They will guide you through your options and their recommendations so that you can find the best possible combination of parts to match you, your riding style and your budget.

Phil Wood Spoke Roller Custom Wheel Build Builds Higher GearDuring the build process, our wheel-builders will make use of our Phil Wood Spoke Roller. When replacing broken spokes, most bike shops thread new spokes into your wheel, which involves removing material (and weakens the spoke). With our Phil Wood Spoke Roller, each individual spoke is trimmed the the appropriate length and then the threads are rolled into the spoke. No materials is actually removed to create the threads, which makes for better engagement at the nipple and a stronger spoke.

The Phil Wood Spoke Roller is an important tool in our wheel-building arsenal. It allows us to create the prefect spoke for your rim and hub combination.



Let’s Get Started on Your Wheels

Higher Gear Wilmette Custom Wheel Build Builds Building Reynolds Assault Chris King mechanicWith a custom wheel build from Higher Gear, you can have the ultimate in quality and customization with all the benefits of shopping local. Our expert wheel-builders are available to you in person. They will guide you through the process from the beginning, helping you select the best parts to suit you, your riding style and budget.


Come on in to Higher Gear – or call us to schedule an appointment to meet with our expert mechanics – to get going on your new wheels, your custom wheels.




Need Help? Have Questions?

Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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