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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

UCI Approved

1. Who are you and where are you from?

My name is Andy and I build and assemble my wheels in Singapore.

2. What makes your wheels special?

We choose the best components we think that attributes to a pair of performance wheels. At the same time, we want to continue to make them affordable without bursting your wallet.

Customisation, serviceability, workmanship, high stiffness, ultra-smooth rolling and affordability - these are some of the demands our wheels has to meet. A mediocre bicycle frame can still perform fairly well with a good set of wheels while an expensive frame will perform poorly with inferior wheels. So in our opinion, the wheelset is one of the most or otherwise the most crucial component in a bicycle.

Rims: We offer three series of rims, namely the Enves, the UCI approved SL28 and the innovative Venn rims with unique construction methods. They meet our high expectations as a wheel builder that demands competitive weight, lateral trueness, radial roundness and the ability to accept high spoke tensions without buckling. We can attest to the rims’ qualities when we keep the tolerances of our wheels within 0.2mm laterally and 0.4mm radially under the load of high spoke tensions.

Hubs: What we prefer in a pair of hubs are stiffness, durability, rolling smoothness, serviceability and of course bling.  While many light-weight hubs use very small bearings to achieve their paper weight goal, the hubs we offer uses adequate size bearings and patented drive systems with a series of different colour finishes to achieve the big 5 we mentioned above.  It annoy us very much when many hub companies continue to tout consumers with the idea that being lighter is better. No it's won’t help you in your quest for better wheels.

Spokes: Spokes are the linkages between the rims and the hubs and part of it acts like a suspension system between them. They come in varying cross section diameters and different profiles like bladed or round. Choosing the right spokes for the application is very important. For instance, we do not need spokes that are meant for tandem wheels to be used on road bikes and vice versa. We use the popular Sapim CX Ray for most of our road wheels as they are light, aero and easy to work with. Most importantly, they create a stiff and responsive wheel set as the outcome.

Workmanship:  Even with all the right components the crucial step is proper workmanship when assembling and building the components. We begin by preparing the parts for the building process. Part of this is also ensure that the nipples doesn't seize with the rim and spokes during the stage when the spokes are under high tension load. Once the wheel is built completely, we stressed the spokes for them to be properly bedded into the rims and the hubs. And repeat the entire trueing and tension process. So when you begin to ride the wheels, you won’t face problems of the wheels going out of true shortly. That being said, we true our wheels to tolerances of 0.2mm laterally and 0.4mm radially with a 95% consistent spoke tension. A good and solid workmanship will ensure that the wheels’ integrity remains virtually intact even when it undergoes a high impact such as an event of an accident, thus assuring your safety further.

3. Do you ship to my country?

Yes, in a few months' time as we are busy preparing to do that at the moment.

4. What are your payment methods?

You may choose to check out via Paypal or Credit Cards.

Or also contact us directly for a wire transfer option for Singapore buyers. There will be some discount as bank transfer service do not impose a surcharge rate unlike credit cards and Paypal.

5. After ordering and paying in your website, how long do I have to wait before I receive my wheels?

Even as a very small business, we try our very best to keep as much inventories as we can although it can be really challenging. If the parts are in stock, we will build your wheels fairly quickly. Otherwise the lead time would depend on what components are lacking. You may drop us a message to find out more.

6. I want to order from you but I can't seem to find the specs I need.

As we can't list a full range of our services at the moment, please contact us directly to see what we can do for you. Should you feel that the wheels do not meet your requirements because you are a heavy weighted or you think you want certain colours to match your bike or your mood, do let us know. We will do our best to help you.

7. Why are custom builds better than off-the-shelf wheels?

We tailor wheels to your needs be it in accordance to your riding preferences, your choice of colour or your weight. We meticulously tune every spoke and nipple to perfection. Usually, off-the-shelf wheels are mass produced with lesser attention given to such details.

Wheel Angel High End Branded Factory Wheels
Est. Cost (SGD) 1850 - 2400  2800 & above?
Rims Modern wide rims with aero designs and ability to take high spoke tensions above 1300N  Not every brands have modern wide & aero designs. Spoke tensions on factory rims are usually lower. 
Hubs Made in USA hubs with proper bearing sizes and engineering with an abundance selection of colours.  Usually outsource to ODM hub making factories like China or Taiwan or they were just re-badge hubs bought off the shelf.
Spokes Sapim CX Rays or Sapim CX Sprints Sapim CX Rays or Sapim CX Sprints
Workmanship Meticulously done by the owner of the company Usually outsourced to OEM / ODM factories. Seldom done in house by the brand company. 
Customisation Multiple options that includes colours, rim profiles, hub types and more None
Serviceability & Warranty Always available with a message, email or phone call away. Damaged or broken parts are replaceable easily. Call the dealer who will in turn call the distributor. Parts are subjected to availability and usually expensive to replace. Finally, may not have the expertise locally to service. 

 

Most importantly we want to assure you that you will be getting more for what you pay - in terms of service and quality.

8. I am stuck between a deeper rim profile vs a lighter pair of rims, can you help me with my choice?

This is a question that has no definite answer because every rider is different.

Deeper profiles offer significant aerodynamic benefits that would save you precious watts at higher speeds while shallower profiles and lighter rims allow for easier climbing and handle better in crosswinds.

9. I weigh over 100kg (220lbs), can you suggest a pair of wheels for me?

Please contact us directly, we will advise and build something suitable for you.

10. How do I take care of my wheels? 

The proper method to clean your bike and its components is to wipe rather than wash. Get yourself a cassette opener and soak the cogs in a degreaser instead of spraying degreaser while the cassette is on the freebody. To know more, email us at askme@wheelangel.com.

11. To prevent the wheels from going out of true, do you use strong loctite or adhesive on your spoke threads against the nipples?

No, that is a very low-handed method in our opinion. To maintain the trueness of the wheel, we build our wheels to proper tensions and use special compounds to prevent seizing of the spokes and nipples. In addition, we "break-in" the spokes & nipples' seating on the hubs and rims to ensure that they are properly bedded in.

Eventually, every good wheel will go a little out of true after extensive usage. Using strong adhesive will impede the mechanic's ease in carrying out maintenance. Spokes and nipples of some brands seize so badly that the spokes get twisted as we wind the nipples.

12. Ceramic bearings; what is your opinion?

Ceramic bearings in bicycles are expensive and highly overrated. If you can (can or can't?) find cheaper ceramic bearings, you are better off saving that money. There are many articles online to explain the redundancy of using ceramic bearings and we shall not go into details here.

Ceramic bearings play a minuscule role in contributing to smooth-rolling hubs and wheels (we doubt it's even 5%).

The better solution is proper engineering. The use of bigger and adequately-sized bearings with a proper position in the hub shell, among other factors, contributes more to smoothness of rolling. This may come with a slight weight penalty, but the difference is only about 50 to 100 odd grams (Think of carrying 1 or 2 chocolate bars can slow you down). Many brands use inadequately sized bearings so they can tout the lightness of their wheels. This is highly misleading. Durability depends heavily on thickness of material, and what you get for the tiny 100 grams of extra weight is more than made up for by the increased life of the product.  With the inadequately bearing sizes found commonly in many popular wheels, you may find that they may not last as long as they should.

13. Are some of your rims from the Far East? C'mon, I can get them at better rates online!

We are aware of many OEM carbon rims sellers in the market. We also believe that some of you may have bought a pair or two online. However, not all wheels you've seen online are as safe, durable and of high quality as ours. At Wheel Angel we have bought, sold and tested hundreds of pairs of rims from the same carbon manufacturer (not any individual re-seller) to ensure the safety of our wheel users, each wheel is then hand-built by us to ensure the highest quality and durability afforded. Additionally, the SL28 rims have also been certified with the UCI for greater assurance. We have also established great communications and contact with our carbon rim maker. Therefore, we are confident that our wheels are reasonably priced for quality and that we will be able to provide adequate after-sales services should there be a cause for warranty claims. Lastly, being a bespoke wheel builder, we will definitely be able to give you the attention required to build you the perfect wheel. 

14. I have a pair of used rims / hubs, can I send them to you to be re-laced with some of your components?

It depends on several factors. We won't do it if your parts are too worn.
As some parts may be proprietary we might not be able to source the replacements easily.
Other than that, we will do our best but we cannot guarantee anything that is built with used parts. Please contact me so that we may discuss this in greater details.

15. Do I have to use the specific brake pads that come with your carbon rims?

Yes and please do that at least for the warranty period for the rims.

The brake pads are specifically designed to be used with the rims. Should other brake pads be used, it will void the warranty.

16. How to keep the hub bearings from going more miles? 

Our hubs use high quality US-made bearings and with proper care they will last for many years. We recommend maintenance of your equipment by wiping rather than hosing with water. 

Do not use degreaser over the cogset while it's still mounted on the freehub. Get yourself a cassette opener and soak the cogs in a degreaser instead. To know more, askme@wheelangel.com.

17. Are proper spoke tensions important? Why?

Of course they are important. A wheel can be fairly true radially and laterally even without consistent spoke tensions, which means one or more spokes could be subjected to more load than others. This often results in breakages in the lower-tension spokes as they tend to vibrate and move more leading to material fatigue. A wheel with consistent spoke tensions has all the load and stiffness equally distributed throughout the wheel. Lastly, one can imagine riding a wheel with varying stiffness without proper and equal spoke tensions.

18. Some say no to alloy nipples and recommend brass nipples. Tell me more.

Unlike brass, aluminium alloys will oxidise, corrode and break with prolonged usage. This is why we do not use non-finished (silver surface) alloy nipples. The alloy nipples we use are anodised with colour so the surface has a layer of protection against oxidation. For silver nipples, we recommend brass. We also recommend you clean and maintain the nipples of your wheels (or rather the whole wheel) from time to time regardless of the materials you have chosen. 

The weight difference between a set of brass nipples vs a set of alloy nipples on a 20/24 build is less than 30g.

19. What are the Min / Max Tire pressures allowed on your carbon clinchers rims? 

The minimum tire pressure is 90 psi and the maximum pressure is 125 psi for road tyre width of 23 c to 28 c. We would say that this is however relative to your own body weight, tyre width and road roughness and conditions (dry or wet road). 

(Please be advised not to use tires that are below 23c for rims of 25 mm in width.)

To offset inaccuracies and air leaks during ride, we recommend a slightly higher air pressure like 95 psi if you are aiming for a psi of 90.

20. The more expensive hubs and rims perform better? 

Not true. The varying prices of different hubs & wheels are due to its cost when we bought them. Some brands / components are priced higher perhaps due to their manufacturing cost, brands and popularity. 

21.  Among the hubs you are selling, is one better than the rest? 

In the current series of hubs we offer, there isn't a single brand that absolutely stood out over the other. The White Industries, Industry Nine, Chris King and Onyx has their own merits and features.

White Industries - being our most popular hubs and best value for money, it's not entirely due to its affordability. To date, these hubs are still the podium winners in terms of buttery smoothness with extremely high strength and stiffness. These attributes are largely achieved by their in-house engineering and the use of adequate bearing sizes to provide the highest static load capacity. This directly translate to the bearings' ability to perform and function under heavy load and stresses. In contrast many brands that use much smaller bearings to achieve a light weight totally miss this point. 

White Industries hubs are designed with a Titanium freehub body and a steel axle at its rear hub; something that only a very small handful of hub manufacturers do. To sweeten this offer, all White Industries hubs purchase from Wheel Angel are upgraded to 48 points engagement from its original 24.

www.whiteind.com

Industry Nine Torch Classic hubs are a beauty to behold. One will notice the 2 high flanges at its rear and the beefy looking hub shells designs with a smooth coloured anodised surface. These hubs speaks of quick reactivity, stiffness, strength and aggression. Designed with 60 points engagement for the rear, it has one of the highest points engagement among any hubs. You will be forgiven to think that the Industry Nine Torch Classic Road hubs will be unable to hold speed while coasting. On the contrary, these cleverly design hubs with the right-sized bearings and its placement ensures smooth buttery sailing hubs. Get these if you feel like rocking on your bike! 

www.industrynine.com


Chris King R45 
's commitment to quality and design can be seen from many perspectives. Firstly, they do not replicate any current hub designs or technology out there in the market. Not even its bearings. Chris King chooses to design and manufacture their own bearings with a unique seal system with unique sizes and dimensions. This enormous effort and investment pays off which result in the long life span, great smoothness as well as ease of serviceability for their bearings.

Many of us are familiar with the sound of Chris King hubs while free wheeling; known as the Chris King Buzz. It may sound silly but yet it attracts many riders to want them. This unique buzz comes as a result from their patent RingDrive™ system with 45 engagement points yet its reactivity is almost instantaneous. Aesthetically the anodised chrome finish on their hub shells are one of their greatest attraction which again sets them apart from their competitors. Every once in a while, Chris King favour new and limited edition colours. 

www.chrisking.com 

Onyx Road Hubs hits the market like a storm when they introduce the SPRAG CLUTCH system found in their hubs. With the Onyx, they gives you a whole new perspective of riding a bicycle. This system favours the Ironmans, epic distances riders or anyone who wants to ride as quiet as a mouse. The sprag clutch systems are originally designed for machines like large mining conveyors belts & roller coasters because it allows smooth travel in one direction whereas it locks instantly in the opposite. By incorporating this concept and technology for a hub design, the Onyx hubs enables smooth and silence travel when the bike is coasting and gives 100% instant engagement as soon as you crank down. It gives meaning to the phrase, "Riding like a dream" .

They are available in numerous colours; both anodised and powder coated. To give you a better bang for your buck, all Onyx hubs are featured with Ceramic hybrid bearings & Titanium bolts! 

www.onyxrp.com

22. What are the major differences between the SL28 & Venn rims? 

The major differences are in the construction methods between the two. 

SL28

SL28 are Wheel Angel's in-house rims and they were introduced into the list of UCI Approved Wheels 2016. Made from unbroken continuous layers of T800 Toray Carbon Fibre, it boosts of higher tensile strength and tensile modulus yet achieving an overall lighter weight. Comparatively, most carbon rims are made by overlaying cut-pieces of T700 carbon fibres with around 6 segments in a single hoop. The segmented lines can clearly be seen on some of these rims.

The SL28 also featured clean interiors without any bladder or resin residues from the molding process – showing very clearly the detailed workmanship that goes into every rim. This important aspect not only omit unwanted weight, it also improves the quality of the build as any residues remaining on the nipple bed can affect the build quality.

Finally the (rim) braking feature in SL28 use high TG resin with its own unique technology. The enhanced strength in the braking walls of the rim ensures that no clincher tyre will dislodge from the bead hook under the worst braking circumstances; like severe overheating leading to sudden punctures on a continuous descent. This is paramount for safety.

The SL28 still tops as our favourite rims as they have seen podiums & PBs by many elite triathletes and ironmans.  

Toray Carbon Fibre

Source: http://www.toray-intl.co.uk/products/carbon-fibre/fibre.aspx

VENN

Venn is the component arm of Velocite. The rims are made from innovative construction methods using Continuous Tangent Layup (CTL) & Filament Winding Technology (FWT). The two methods overcomes errors arising from conventional carbon rims construction that involves a labourer laying cut-patches of the carbon fibres sheet. 

Continuous Tangent Layup

The CTL layup consists of single pieces of UD fabric with no overlaps, no misalignment and no breaks or cuts in the carbon fiber. The benefits of this are better uniformity, decreased weight and increased strength of the rims. 

Filament Winding Technology

The FWT is a machine managed process there are no random layup errors. Uncontrolled layup errors are one of the biggest drawbacks of the manual layup process. This leads to higher accuracy and precision. As such, the controlled orientation of the carbon fibre layup allows for very high lateral stiffness but lower radial stiffness; which means more vertical compliance (less harshness) during the ride. As a result, the unique & beautiful carbon fibre orientation can be clearly seem on the aesthetic part of the rim. 

So the question of - which should I choose then? 

We do not have a definite answer to this as the SL28 & Venn are high quality rims that are competitive even with some of the most expensive rims. On a wheel builder's perspective, they are very well made rims that achieve high and consistent spoke tensions (130kgf DS) with accuracy of 0.2mm laterally & 0.4mm radially. *Hey we won't risk selling them if they are bad rims as we don't want too many rectifications later right?*