Individual parts cheaper than the whole?

If I build the Kris Holm 2010 Freeride wheel from its individual parts I pay

$45.00 WTB 29 X 2.3 Stout Tire
$ 7.00 Generic Tire Tubes 700c x 52/47
$35.00 Wheel Build Labor
$95.00 Kris Holm ISIS Moment Hub 2009
$10.00 Rox SuperDutE Rim Strip
$52.20 Kris Holm 14 Gauge Black Spokes with nipples (quantity: 36)
$95.00 Kris Holm 29 inch Freeride Rim 2010

Total $339.20

On the other hand, if I buy the pre-built wheel I pay $372.00

It appears that it cost less to build it from parts. Am I missing something?

Note: I realize the list above use the 2009 hub instead of the 2010 Hub (because the 2010 hub is not available
on UDC yet) but I don’t imagine the price for the 2010 hub will be significantly different.

I walked into the sony store the other day, looking at some bluetooth headphones. (well, roommate actually) anyway, I noticed that the MP3 player with the headphones was 100 bucks . . . . but the headphones alone were . . . 100 bucks, they looked like the same headphones.

I asked the dealer about it, and if there are any differences. He gave me a grin and said “I wasn’t supposed to notice that.”

O:-) things that look that funny, often are that funny.


It’s all depends on if you can put the pieces together and not have left over dohickies :wink:

I recently did the same thing, but it came out to a lot more.

Have I forgotten any parts? It appears that the bearings are sold with the hub so I cannot think of any additional parts that I may have overlooked.

There is going to be shipping, I imagine the shipping of the parts will cost more than the shipping of the complete wheel. Actually looking at your location your pretty close to where the parts come from so it may be a wash… There is time to build, some people would associate a cost to that.

I’ve built several bikes from the ground up and it has always cost me much more. It all comes down to if you want to futz around with it or not. I always liked it and it gave me something to tinker with. Now I just don’t have the time anymore.

To me a 10% difference in price isn’t much of a difference, even if I was strapped for cash I would buy the whole wheel. My time has become to valuable and I’d rather spend it riding.

your missing cranks :wink:

Cranks are an add on for the built wheel.

$35.00 Wheel Build Labor
$52.20 Kris Holm 14 Gauge Black Spokes with nipples (quantity: 36)

You could save yourself another $60.

If you built the wheel yourself it will save you another $35, and you can get DT 14 gauge spokes for $18. They aren’t pretty black ones, but they are probably just as strong and much cheaper.

Also, for the freeride rim I think you might want the KH rim strip (6.00). It’s made to cover the large holes in the rim.

I don’t have any experience will wheel building so $35 seems cheap to let UDC build it for me. Hopefully someday I’ll learn how to do it myself but I’m not ready to tackle that challenge just yet.

Thanks for the advice about the spokes and the rim strip. I agree that black paint is not worth the extra cost.

That doesn’t seem very cheap. $35 is close to what I pay to get a wheel built here at a bike shop and our dollar is not worth as much as a US dollar. Local bike stores should be able to do wheel builds as good as UDC maybe for $25- it would not be much harder to build a unicycle wheel than a bike wheel.

A KH Schlumpf hub! (gears)
You are also missing the other wheel, the brakes and handlebars. You are also missing out on all the problems associated with those things!

We have someone in the area that is known for wheel building but he refused to true my unicycle wheel because it does not fit standard truing stands and therefore he said he could not meet his own high standards of excellence. I had my wheel trued at another shop and they charged me $20 for the effort and I was unimpressed with the results. So my faith in my local bike shops is somewhat shaky.

That’s too bad about the wheel builder. As much as I know you can do it without a stand, I also know that it is much faster and easier to build on a stand. If he is building a lot of wheels it may not have been worth the extra hassle and time to build off the stand.

As for the $20 truing job, what did they do, and how bad was your wheel? If your rim is bent, or has flat spots it is quite a bit more work to get it straight, and in many cases the best solution is a new rim. Did they take the tire off? We used to do something called a “mini-true” that was on the bike with the tire on. It was never as good as when we took the tire off and did it on the stand. Granted your LBS probably doesn’t have a uni wheel truing stand, but there are ways to get the same level of care without it. Unless your rim is damaged, for 20 bucks your wheel should be straight, dished, and round. If it’s anything less I’d take it back. Also, when I trued wheels for people I always had them bring it back after a week of riding to be fine tuned. Even with stress relieving the wheel during building/truing it continues to move a little under riding conditions. I hardly ever had anyone take me up on the re-true, but it’s the thought that counts.

The fast easy way to build a wheel

I have done this a few times with motorcycle wheels. I assume uni wheels will work this way as well.

If you have a new, round rim, new unbent spokes, new unbent hub, this should work for you.

Start out by putting each spoke in the right place. Screw the nipple of each on exactly one turn. Then start at the valve and go around, tighten each spoke exactly one turn. Do this a few go arounds, and the wheel will end up tight and true. You see, the spokes are the same, if they are all tightened the same, and no parts are bent, the wheel will naturally end up true.:slight_smile:

You could tell him about the new 2010 KH bearing mount for truing stand and he could uphold his high standards of excellence in future unicycle wheelbuilds too.

Not sure where you get them from yet- probably I’ve had several wheels built by local bikeshops and they tend to be more inventive here, not struggling too much to come up with a solution of using the unicycle frame as a makeshift truing stand. They have clamps for holding frames, so then to use the frame as a truing stand they just add a cable tie to the side of the frame to true the rim.

The wheel builder did indeed say that demand for unicycles wheels was so small that it was not worth his time.

With regards to the truing the wheel was somewhat dished, not damaged in any way. I actually took it back after their first try because they did such a poor job. Their second attempt was better but still disappointment. When I took it in the first time I just gave them the wheel - I thought I was helping them out. Turns out they cannot true it without the unicycle frame (this message was passed along to someone who was supposed to call me and ask me for the frame but they never called). When I got home and mounted it on the frame I saw that it was clearly much closer to one side of the frame than the other. When I called they asked me to bring in the frame and they did a slightly better job.

Yeah, I saw that in Kris Holm’s post but I don’t see it on his website nor is it offered on Perhaps sometime soon. In any case that would be an excellent option one it becomes available.

Well, I talked to two more local bike shops about wheel builds and they quoted me $60+ and $50. At least in my area, UDC’s price is looking more attractive.

The wheel build may be a better price, but when you add over $50 for spokes it will still be cheaper to have it done locally with $18 spokes. Even if the price was the same I would still suggest having it done locally.

When you have a wheel built locally you also know who built it, and you can bring it back to them for touch ups, sometimes for free. You will be building ties with your LBS, and that relationship will pay off in many ways in the future. You will be helping to keep a local bike shop in business, which in these times is enough of a reason in itself. In the last year half of our bike shops in town closed. One of them had been open for over 20 years.

I’ll get off of my soap box now. Any way you go I’m sure you’ll have a great wheel, and a super fast freeride machine.

You could always take a stab at lacing it, and bring it to the LBS for a final dish/tension. That would be a bit cheaper than a build. You can get instructions on Sheldon Brown’s wheel building page.

You make some good points about using a local bike shop. I think youv’e convinced me to give it a try. I like the idea of being able to take it back for tune ups if there are any issues with the build - something that obviously would not be feasible with UDC. In addition, I have been thinking about using double butted spokes which according to Sheldon Brown results in a better wheel build. I would not have this option with UDC. Thanks for the info.