Handbuilt Wheels


Wheels are the most significant and immediately noticeable upgrade you can make to your bicycle. This is because they have the greatest impact on how the bike rides, as well as how fast it can roll safely. Your wheels directly affect vertical and horizontal flex, balance of weight and rider output, and aerodynamics.

At Urbane we believe that how a wheel is built, is as important as the components with which it is built. We build all of our wheels to exacting standards including spoke length, spoke tension, spoke-count and stress relieving.

Your custom wheel is unique to you because your wheel build begins with selection of the optimal hub, rim, spoke, nipple and lacing pattern to best suit your individual needs. This process is a consideration of your riding style, physique and your unique aesthetic taste. Even our signature road/cross wheels will be designed to suit several ranges of individual needs, and as much as possible, provide precisely what you are looking for. If the signature wheel-line doesn’t have exactly what you need, you are probably a great candidate for custom wheels.

On the technical side of things, our build process includes repetitive spoke stress relief, meticulous tension measurement/balancing, and truing tolerances of less than .5mm.

We stand behind every wheel we build and offer complimentary truing for 5 years on any wheel we build. If a spoke ever breaks that has not been obviously damaged by impact we will replace it free of charge.

DT Swiss - Certified Wheel Builder


Spoke Length is an important detail that is overlooked by too many wheel builders. The problem with imprecise spoke length is that if the spoke thread is not entirely engaged into the nipple, the load that should be distributed evenly across the length of the nipple is carried only by a small section of thread which is designed only to handle a portion of the load. In every case this will lead to premature failure of the nipple or the rim. All spokes used in Urbane Cyclist wheels are cut and rolled to length to insure exact spoke length, unless we already have the exact length in our inventory.


High spoke tension is the first defence against premature metal fatigue in spokes andnipples. But high tension on its own is not enough. A wheel built to high spoke tension that is not balanced is more likely to fail, and it will do so much sooner than one that is optimally balanced. As we repair and service many wheels made by other builders and manufacturers, we see large imbalances in spoke tension, as much as 60-70% and those wheels still spin true! A deceiving visual indeed. Making sure that spoke tension is balanced takes a bit more time but results in a wheel that will outlast and outperform most others.


  • We have a huge selection of components to choose from. Our site will soon provide a sampling of our best-selling products, but many more options exist, and we can special order just about anything that we don't immediately have on hand.
  • Spoke brands we carry and order semi-regularly include: Sapim, Pillar, DT, and Wheelsmith.
  • So whether you know what you want or need some guidance, our Professional DT Certified Wheel Builders will be happy to help you find exactly what will fit your needs.


  • If you know exactly what you want, simply email wheels@ucycle.com, and list the component specifics in the comments field and we'll review and confirm compatibility of the build and then contact you with a price quote and estimated delivery time.
  • If you need some help selecting the right things, email wheels@ucycle.com , and give us a clear idea of your physique/, and riding style. For instance: “highly-controlled high-output racer with Olympic ambitions”, or “avg. output with smooth and controlled pedal cadence”, or “pedal stomper/pothole smasher/has little regard for bike and components”. If possible, provide us with your body weight, rim choice and spoke count/pattern will be directly affected by this number. We will give you some options that best suit your individual needs or requirements, and you then choose the option that appeals to you the most.


Wheel build labour for a single wheel is $60, and $110 for a pair. Non-standard build rates apply for wheels with internally-geared hubs, drum/coaster brake hubs, electric-assist/Bionx hubs, and surcharges sometimes apply for things such as bladed spokes, disassembly of an old wheel to re-use your hub(that has been inspected and approved by us), and for installing brass spoke washers or nipple washers when needed.

When all of the individual wheel components are purchased from Urbane Cyclist, it is our policy to include a 10% discount on all of the components in the build.