From the Truing Stand

She Starts, But She Doesn't Run Great February 09 2017, 0 Comments

Website is back up and the cart is working, but there's some major housecleaning that needs to be done to some product pages, and there are new 650B rims that I need to list. As always, if you want a wheel or wheelset and don't see the components you'd like on the site, email or call me ( or 603.499.0267) and let me know what you're looking for. In almost all cases I source the component for your build.

Ice, But Soon the Thaw February 02 2017, 0 Comments

After not taking a vacation for almost ten years, I believe I've caught up.

The shopping cart is disabled right now. It will become active in the next week. 

Until then, email or call me to talk about custom wheel orders. 

When the store gets all the way back online there will be a few changes. I can't keep up with loose rim orders anymore, and shipping costs make selling rims a la carte tough. I'll stick to custom wheels, dynamos and dynamo lighting, selected hubs and (maybe) loose spokes.

Starting in March I will also be offering one-on-one wheelbuilding classes. 

I'm Taking an Extended Vacation September 20 2016, 0 Comments

I blinked and it has been ten years. Thousands of a wheels and two children later, I'm overdue for a break. I'm taking a long vacation to visit friends and family back in Texas. Unsure when or if I'll return to wheelbuilding, but it would be mid-to-late October at the earliest.

Since I'm the only employee, Longleaf will be shut down in the meantime. You can add products to your cart, but checkout is disabled.

Many thanks to all my wheel customers. The most rewarding experience of this job is repeat business from customers that I've built several wheelsets for during the past decade. 

Happy riding. 


New Busch & Müller IQ Premium Lights Have Arrived November 16 2013, 1 Comment

I have two new lights with the IQ Premium optics from Busch and Müller. The new beam is much wider than the regular IQ beam, and each respective model is also brighter the the standard IQ version.

Here's a heat map of the standard IQ beam:

And the IQ Premium beam:

There are two models in the US right now. The Cyo T Senso Plus and the Fly RT Senso Plus. Stock is limited on both, and I hope Busch & Müller will ship more soon. 

New Website November 14 2013, 0 Comments

After many days of bleary eyes and what is likely a healthy down payment on carpal tunnel syndrome the website has been rebuilt. If you visited the old site I hope you'll find improvement. If this is your first visit, welcome.

Since the shop is now in the proverbial middle of nowhere (Troy, NH pop. 2,000) wheelbuilding has become an even larger part of the business. So I've tried to make ordering custom wheels on the new site easy. You'll find that every hub page has an option at the bottom to "Add Hub to Custom Wheel". Ticking the checkbox next to this option will reveal prompts to select your spokes and nipples. After that you'll just need to select your rim to complete the wheel. Repeat as necessary.

I think the shipping options are straight. I try to keep shipping simple but shipping calculators have a hard time with bicycles parts, especially wheels that ship in big boxes but weigh relatively little. If something looks funny at checkout please drop me a line and I'll tweak the shipping options.

The new site scales to play nice with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, so don't be afraid to visit on small screens.

With an increased focus on custom wheelbuidling I'll be adding more wheel component options to the site as time allows. Not because I want everyone to order online or don't want to talk to people on the phone or in person--I actually miss that part of having the shop in a big city. But online is how many-to-most people prefer to shop these days, and if they can't see the component they want on the site they mosey off somewhere else. So I'll keep adding components for handbuilt wheels when I can. But in the meantime, if you don't see the component you'd like on your wheel, call or email me. In almost all cases I source the component and build the wheel.

As always, thank you for visiting. Tell your friends.


Schmidt Edelux Headlights Also on Sale October 08 2013, 0 Comments

edeluxLike Busch & Müller, Schmidt is releasing a new version of their top-end light soon. The Edelux II should arrive sometime before the end of the year. I haven't seen the light year but am told the beam is slightly brighter but much wider than the current Edelux. In the meantime, polished silver and black anodized Edelux are $34 off the regular price, down to $160.

Big Discounts on IQ Cyo and Fly Lights; New Models Coming Soon October 04 2013, 0 Comments

Busch & Muller will be releasing updated versions of their Cyo and Fly models soon, with beams that are slightly brighter but significantly wider. While the current models are still around they'll be discounted significantly.

If you'd like any of the other IQ models that aren't listed on the website (black senso versions &LICHT 24/RT versions) call or email-- all are discounted .


Michael's Long Haul Trucker June 18 2013, 2 Comments

I was able to take a short break from wheelbuilding to put together this bike for a local customer who wanted an capable errand runner/tourer for pavement and gravel. There's a good rails to trails system in Cheshire county, with a few lines running into Keene, the "big city" (pop. ~20,000) in the county. This bike will see a lot of gravel-surfaced rail-trail as well as pavement.


2" tires. Dynohub in front (owner plans to add a light later). Civia Market rear rack. Brooks B67. Sugino triple. Stainless 60mm fenders. As equipped, $1700.


Busch & Muller Luxos B Headlights March 27 2013, 0 Comments

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 6.10.19 PMWhen Inoled introduced their LED lights in 2006 dynamo headlights took a leap forward. The LED lights were more durable than halogen, and they quickly became brighter than the very best halogen dynamo headlight (the Schmidt E6). To top it off, LED's didn't have bulbs that needed to be changed. Since 2006 LED headlights have improved, but the improvement has been incremental. The IQ2 optics* of Busch & Muller's Luxos headlights are a significant improvement over existing LED dynamo headlights. The beam is brighter, muuuuch wider, and the light is more evenly distributed throughout the beam. Read more on the Luxos page here.

*What's different about IQ2 vs. IQ? I looked at a webpage on the subject, but it was in German. From the diagrams it looks like the reflectors have been designed to make better use of the available LED output.

Pacenti 650B Rims and Tires February 22 2013, 0 Comments

PL23_resized_4I've added some new 650B rims and tires from Kirk Pacenti. Both are well-suited for brevets or any other pacey riding. The PL23 rim, like the Velocity A23, is 23mm wide, but the PL23 is slightly lighter (about an ounce), box section rather than v-section, and has a polished finish rather than the anodized silver of the A23. Those who prefer a more traditional looking rim will appreciate the PL23.


650b-parimoto-black-2The Pari-Moto tire is a 650B iteration of a classic road racing tire with a file tread pattern and a very supple casing.

Velocity A23 in 650B (700C, too) April 13 2012, 13 Comments

[wca_list|{name:Velocity A23 Silver 650B 36H|stockname:}{name:Velocity A23 Silver 700C 32H MSW|stockname:|price:80}{name:Velocity A23 Silver 700C 36H MSW|stockname:|price:80}|price:75|shipping:12|shipping2:0|flags:s]

The A23 road rim Velocity started making in 2010 is slightly wider than normal road rims. For the "road" market the 23mm width of the A23 has purported benefits when used with narrow tires. When I started using the 700C A23 for wheelbuilds I was impressed with the strength to weight ratio of the rim, the uniformity of the rim joint, and thought it would make a great 650B rim. 650B riders need wider rims for the 38mm+ tires typically used on 650B bikes.

I expect a shipment of 650B A23's from Velocity by the end of the month. The rims, like all Velocity rims made since January, are manufactured in Florida.

The 650B A23 rims will will come in silver only. Drillings on the first batch are 28,32,and 36H. The sidewalls will be non-machined, just like the 650B Synergy rims.* Available a la carte and for wheelbuilds.

Rims will be $75. If you pre-order 650B A23's you'll get 10% off your rims. To get the A23's rolled into 650B I had to order a substantially larger number of rims than my usual rim order, so pre-orders will help me and I hope the discount helps you.

If you are having your wheels built at a local shop they can order the rims from us. Local bike shops and framebuilders can email the shop for dealer pricing.

*Why non-machined sidewalls? Mostly because machined sidewalls on anodized rims aren't necessary, remove a little sidewall material and potentially decrease the lifespan of a rim. A well-built wheel's weakest link (in normal usage) is the thickness of the rim sidewall. In normal usage the wheel will last until the sidewall has been worn too thin by the brake pads.

Machining rim sidewalls became "standard" in the industry in the last couple of decades, but their main benefit for manufacturers was to make rims feel better on bicycle test rides by masking rim joint irregularities, not improve braking performance. The inevitable dirt on brake pads and brake usage will "machine" the sidewall of bicycle rims in use. Powdercoated rims need machined sidewalls to be used with rim brakes. Non-machined powdercoated rims will often squeal loudly and always brake poorly when used with rim brakes until the brake pads wear through the powdercoat. I do not know if the ubiquity of machined sidewall rims or the recent popularity of powdercoated rims has fostered the misunderstanding that all rims must be machined to work with rim brakes, but that misunderstanding is out there. Most of my customers know better, but I get the question from time to time with other rims.

New SON28 hubs November 03 2011, 0 Comments

Hub page with a small sample of complete wheel prices is now up.

Schmidt has redesigned the SON28 to take advantage of the lighter hubshell and efficiency of the SONdelux hubs. The estimated drag reduction versus the SON28 Classic hub is 15%, and the weight is reduced by 140g. Unlike the SONdelux hub, the new SON28 hub is suitable for use with "ride and charge" devices used to charge batteries, cell phones, GPS's, etc. while riding.

I still have 32H and 36H black SON28 classic hubs, so I'm only stocking silver 32 and 36H 2012 SON28 hubs for now. As stock of the other hubs runs out the hubs will be replaced with the 2012 SON28. Prices are the same as SONdelux hubs--$285 silver and $301 black.  Disc hubs cost a little more.

New SON 28 hubs coming, old SON 28's on sale August 19 2011, 2 Comments

Schmidt has designed the SON 28 hub to take advantage of the lower drag and lighter weight design of the SONdelux. The new SON 28, however, will work better than the SONdelux when used with "ride and charge" devices for charging batteries and electronic gizmos while riding. No pictures of the new hub yet. Prices will be slightly higher than the current SON 28, which is now known as the SON 28 Classic. The new SON 28 will be shaped much like the SONdelux but have wider flange spacing. Since the hub flanges will be relatively small, the new SON 28 will not come in 40 and 48 hole drillings (no room for all those holes). The SON 28 Classic will continue to be produced in these drillings. If your bicycle has disc brakes, the new SON 28 will be available in both six bolt and center lock versions.

Current production 32 and 36 hole SON 28's are being significantly discounted to make room for the new hubs. Prices for hubs below. Go here to purchase hubs or complete wheels. Complete wheel prices have now been update to reflect discounted hub prices.

  • SON 28 polished silver 32 and 36 hole $200 (24 and 28 hole $225)
  • SON 28 black 32 and 36 hole $230
  • SON 28S (six bolt disc) polished silver 32 and 36 hole $260
  • SON 28S (six bolt disc) black 32 and 36 hole $300

SONdelux hubs back in stock April 06 2011, 0 Comments

A few people have been waiting on SONdelux hubs to arrive from Germany. If you have a wheel on backorder with these hubs your wheel will be built soon.

The Moving Truck is Here, Our Schedule for the Next Three Days, and What You Should Know Before Ordering In that Time March 30 2011, 0 Comments

The moving truck is here and we will be on the road soon. Here's the skinny on ordering--all the inventory is boxed so I won't personally ship anything until at least Friday. However, if you need Velocity rims, dynohub lighting, or spokes I have partners who can ship your order pretty much immediately. If you just-gotta-have one of those things shipped the same day you order, you might want to call ahead or email to be 100% certain it can ship immediately.

On Wednesday night I'll be unplugging the phone in Wilmington, but during the move and thereafter I can be reached at 603.242.3622.

By Monday everything will be back to normal as far as ordering goes (for you). For us moving chaos will still reign, but everything has been planned so that we will be fulfilling orders normally by then.

We're excited about the new digs, but moving isn't fun. The anxiety of moving has been lessened, however, by a good March. We appreciate the patronage and support very, very much.

That's 603.242.3622. The phone number at the top of this page will work for a little bit but I'll cut it off very soon. Don't be afraid to call--it will be a welcome break to the monotony of taping up yet another box.

Wheelbuilding Moving Deal March 16 2011, 0 Comments

Yesterday was the cutoff day for ordering wheels that could reasonably be expected to ship before we move on the 31st. For at least the next three weeks wheelbuilding orders will be delayed. Wheelbuilding keeps the lights on around here and I know how hard it is to wait, so I'm offering an incentive to order wheels during our relocation.

If you can stand to wait a little longer (probably about week longer than normal) for you wheels and order between now and April 6th I will waive the labor charge. This offer only applies if you're buying all your wheel components from us. If you are ordering online you can put your parts in the cart and leave a note in the supplied field at checkout about the wheelbuilding offer. And of course you can always call to order.

All Colors of 650B Hetre in Stock March 09 2011, 0 Comments

Red and White Gran Bois Hetres have been out of stock for a long time. If you've been waiting for them, they're back in stock now, along with the black tires.

Pullin' Up Stakes February 28 2011, 8 Comments

At the end of March we will be moving to Troy, New Hampshire, a small town outside of Keene. The vast majority of our customers are out of town, so our move won't affect you too much, but there will be some downtime while we move the shop.

We'll be moving beginning March 30th and hope to be fully functional by the end of the next week.  On the 30th I'll start putting the inventory in a moving truck. Fortunately a couple of partners can ship Velocity rims and Busch & Muller lights, so if you order those online during the move they should still ship out the same or the next day depending on what time of the day you order.

Wheelbuilds--the wheelbuilding backlog has been hovering around one and a half to two weeks since the beginning of February. Any wheelbuilds ordered after March 16 may be delayed since they might not ship before the move. When we arrive in Troy resuming wheelbuilding will be first priority so that people with wheels on order won't have extended delays, but there will be some delays until I get caught up and settle in.

I am having an Everything (That I Don't Want to Move) Must Go Sale through March. I'll post items in the near future. If you are local you might stop by to see what odds and ends I need to sale before the move. I promise prices will be very good.

Christmas and New Year's Hours December 20 2010, 0 Comments

I'm wrapping up Christmas gift wheelbuilds and preparing a sizable haul for the UPS man. I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas and appreciate being kept busy in December. I will be out of town and we will be closed from the 23rd to the 27th. I will be checking email if you have questions during that time and any orders submitted online will ship when I return. After tomorrow I won't have any walk-in hours until January 3rd. However, I will be in the shop working most of the time and will be available on the phone and via email for ordering questions.

Update: Because of the snowstorm on the East Coast I didn't make my flight on Monday. The next available flight was on the 30th, so I won't be back in town until then. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Soma B-Line Tires (650B Panaracer Pasela) September 01 2010, 0 Comments

As long as I've been dealing with 650B bicycles customers have been asking for a 650B version of the Panaracer Pasela. Courtesy of Soma, here it is. The casing is the same as the standard Pasela. Soma is also making two versions of this tire. The other has the "Hypertex" casing of Soma's New Express tires. I am not stocking this version. The Hypertex casing is less supple than the B-Side casing (bad), which prevents the Hypertex casing from expanding to a full 38mm (bad) and a slower ride (bad).




Busch & Muller Lyt N Plus August 19 2010, 2 Comments

I've added a new dynamo powered headlight to my stock, the Busch & Muller Lyt.  The Lyt represents a trickle down of the significant advances in LED emitters and optics found in higher priced dynamo lighting. At $47 the Lyt outperforms similarly priced dynamo lights by a wide margin. I am stocking the N Plus model, which features a standlight and an on/off switch.

Dynohub and Lighting Prices Drop June 17 2010, 0 Comments

Prices for Schmidt dynohubs and lights as well as all Bush & Muller lighting have gone down. From what I read, a weakening Euro doesn't bode well for the long-term health of the world economy, but in the short term it means I pay less for European made products, which means you pay less. Prices for individual items and complete wheels have been changed in the webstore. For instance--

  • SON 28 polished 32H hub was $262, now $245
  • SON 20R/SONdelux polished 32H hub was $286, now $265
  • Son Edelux Headlight was $200, now $185
  • B&M IQ Cyo's were $113, now $104

Harassed by a Motorist in Wilmington? June 10 2010, 0 Comments

Getting harassed or even threatened by motorists happens far too often to everyday cyclists. In my line of work I hear these stories often. Its sad and frustrating that people will harass and use heavy machinery to intimidate people who are--like them--just trying to get around. More frustrating is that it seems these louts can bully with impunity. I wrote to Joshua Mello, who works hard at the Wilmington Planning Department to make the city bike friendly, about this today and found some info local cyclists might be interested in. Unfortunately, their is no law in NC on the books about harassing cyclists, though evidently there was one recently proposed (anyone have more info on that?) Fortunately, Wilmington cyclists have a friend at the police department in Lt. Perkins, who has taken it upon himself to follow up on cases of cyclist harassment by sending the driver a letter reminding them of applicable bicycle road law. The cynic might say, so what? Well, people don't like to get letters from the police. I would think it might make them think twice about doing it again, and it is heartening to know someone in the department is willing to do this work and has the institutional support of the chief and city attorney, who have both approved the program.

I don't think many cyclists are aware of this effort to make riding a bike in the city enjoyable and jerk-free. If you're harassed by a motorist, send an e-mail to Lt. Perkins with the date and time of incident, plate number, vehicle description, location and a summary of the event. A log of these incidents is kept and letters are sent to the owners of the vehicles if the incident occurred withing the city limits.

**A note for those thinking of visiting or moving to Wilmington (or to anyone who might get the wrong impression). I have only experienced one such incident in the two and half years I've lived here. I rarely get too far out of downtown, where pedestrians and cyclists are common and traffic slower, so I likely get less stick than someone who travels on the outer edges of the city (big surprise: drivers are more idiotic as the infrastructure become more car-centric).

21st Annual River to Sea Ride April 27 2010, 0 Comments

Every year the city organizes a ride that follows the River to Sea Bikeway from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach. Its a fun social ride for people of all ages and riding abilitsie. The River to Sea bike route needs improvement near the beach, but for this ride its deficiencies are remedied with traffic cones that provide a bike lane on the nasty sections of the main arterial roads. Ride starts at the Bailey Theatre Park downtown (across the street from Port City Java on Front between Market and Princess) and heads 11 miles to Wrightsville Beach, where everyone regroups, food is served, and the local bike shops give away schwag. After about a half hour groups start riding back downtown. On the way back, the police don't cork the intersections (which the do on the way out) but the groups are large enough that the dicey bits on roads with fast traffic (confined to the three miles in between Greenville Ave. and the beach) won't be scary, even for families with children.

If you don't feel up to riding back downtown, there are shuttle buses that will bring riders back, but you'll have to lock up your bike at the beach and get it another time. Doesn't sound like a good time to me (not the bus ride, but having to pick up my bike later), but I think the good intention is to help out those who hardly every ride and will certainly be gassed after 11 miles. I've assisted as a pre-ride mechanic every year since we moved to Wilmington and the ride is always a good time. There are groups going at different speeds leaving between 8:30 and 9am (leave earlier the slower you ride) and the whole thing is like big city-sponsored Critical Mass with the cops controlling the intersections. Its always fun to see so many people on bikes, and plenty of people who rarely ride on the roads participate.

I'll be at the ride starting point at 8am with a workstand and basic repair items for last minute mechanical fixes. Usually I end up repairing a couple of flat tires and mostly stand around, drink coffee, and talk. Come out if you can. Riders are asked to register, but registration is free.