Author Topic: Peter White Cycles  (Read 5533 times)

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Offline fiveonomo

Peter White Cycles
« on: January 07, 2016, 04:19:45 pm »
Anyone ever had a set of wheels built by Peter?  I am curious to hear any feedback.  I sent in a quote for some touring wheels and got it back pretty quick.  They are pretty pricey but you get what you pay for I guess.  I also asked for a power generating hub and he worked in the SON28 front hub.  I am leaning on going this route just thought I would like to hear from anyone who has had some built by him before.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 05:39:01 pm »
I got a rear wheel from him some years back, after I'd been having some problems with (mostly commuting) wheels going out of true.  Turns out he uses a lower spoke tension than I normally do.  I'm heavy (and told him so), meaning hitting a bump can de-tension a spoke more than a lightweight rider would, and commuting means I hit bumps in the dark, so after about a year and a half I touched up 4-5 spots that had bumped loose, and increased tension on the whole thing.  Since then the wheel has been trouble-free.

I'd give him about a seven out of ten.  Excellent materials (rim, spokes, and hub), the initial build was very true, but not really built for my weight.  Note that your rear wheel load while touring might approach (or even exceed) my commuting load.

Offline fiveonomo

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 05:54:42 pm »
Thanks Pat.  I am a heavier guy as well so I am concerned about the weight.  I filled out a form and gave him my true weight plus what I thought I may be carrying.  He will build the wheels to my specs so hopefully they would serve me well.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 10:52:19 pm »
Had never heard of this idea of tensioning the wheel differently depending on the weight of the rider.  Seems bizarre to me.  I just make the wheels as strong as possible.  Which is strong enough to carry any load weight.  Thicker spokes are generally better on the drive side.  14/15 double butted.  Brass nipples over aluminum nipples on the drive side at least.  Aluminum nipples are more than fine everywhere else.  Tension the drive side spokes to the maximum the rim and hub and nipples can handle.  Maximum tension equals strongest.  Then tension the non drive side as much as possible to center the rim between the hub nuts.  I prefer three cross over any other pattern.

What you people are talking about implies you would intentionally make the wheel less strong if you knew the weight was going to be less.  Why would you intentionally build a wheel weaker than as strong as possible?  Its no more difficult to make the wheel maximum strong as opposed to weaker.

Now if you are concerned with getting the strongest wheel possible.  Then big, thick, heavy, deep aluminum rims are best.  Offset rim if possible.  Offset rim helps to even the tension between the drive and non drive sides.  Usually the non drive side spokes are lightly tensioned compared to the drive side.  And thus will detension and break if you hit enough bumps.  MOST spokes possible.  14/15 double butted spokes.  High quality hub of course.  3 or maybe 4 cross if its a tandem wheel with 48 spokes.  And tension it as I described above.  This wheel will be much stronger overall than a 28 spoke wheel with 1 or 2 cross on the drive side and radial on the non drive side.  And using aluminum nipples and 14/17 light weight spokes.  And a carbon fiber hub.

Offline DaveB

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 09:07:36 am »
Had never heard of this idea of tensioning the wheel differently depending on the weight of the rider.  Seems bizarre to me.  I just make the wheels as strong as possible.
+1  I too have never heard of intentionally making a wheel less strong than it can be.  Perhaps the thinking is that less tension will make the wheel more "shock absorbing" but that's only going to break the spokes sooner.  If you want a softer ride, fit larger, lower pressure tires.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 09:56:44 am »
I can't speak as to why.  I can only report that when I laid the tensiometer on the wheel as received, the drive side was tensioned to 85-90 kgf.  As noted, some of the spokes were going slack after a year, so I brought the DS spokes up to 105+/-5 kgf, and it's been trouble-free since then.

FWIW, I prefer to go with brass nipples all around.  It's one less thing to keep straight during the build, and if a wheel ever needs to be re-trued (as sometimes happens after hitting potholes), the brass hasn't corroded to lock the nipple as sometimes happens with aluminum.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 10:49:20 am »
I can't speak as to why.  I can only report that when I laid the tensiometer on the wheel as received, the drive side was tensioned to 85-90 kgf.  As noted, some of the spokes were going slack after a year, so I brought the DS spokes up to 105+/-5 kgf, and it's been trouble-free since then.

Your tensiometer reading just means the wheel was not built to the proper tension, maximum, when it was built.  Does not imply it was right or wrong.  I think it was wrong, but others may think otherwise.  The fact you had loose spokes so quickly and had to tension it higher kind of supports my idea that it was wrong and not tensioned properly.  But...

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 11:44:53 am »
Your tensiometer reading just means the wheel was not built to the proper tension, maximum, when it was built.  Does not imply it was right or wrong.  I think it was wrong, but others may think otherwise.  The fact you had loose spokes so quickly and had to tension it higher kind of supports my idea that it was wrong and not tensioned properly.

I've read some posts from people who build a lot of wheels, and other people who claim those people are very good at it, who prefer somewhat lower tension.  And when I had to get a replacement bike from REI on the first day of a planned transcontinental ride, they replaced my wheels with new wheels that were looser than I wanted, but they've lasted well over 15,000 miles with only minor tweaks.  So I have experience that says the highest possible tension isn't really required.

That said, I'm with you, Russ, in preferring wheels as tight as possible -- at least to a point.  I built one wheel that was very tight (125 kgf, IIRC); the rim was fine, but the Shimano hub cracked after a few months.  (Shortly after that the air around me was blue!)

The experience with the PW rear wheel gave me the confidence to build and ride my own wheels, and hang what anybody else says.  Peter White is a widely respected wheel builder.  The fact that I touched up a wheel he built, and it's continued to work well since that fix -- well, I'm not shy about tuning a wheel to my preferences any more.

Offline Mongoeric

Re: Peter White Cycles
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 09:14:03 pm »
Peter White has build 2 sets of wheels for me and I am completely satisfied.

I am a big boy, 250# and ride loaded touring on rough roads. The first set of wheels had 36/32 spokes with Shimano hubs and Velocity Deep V rims. These failed due to thinning of the braking surface after many miles. This was after I hit a water covered pot hole in NYC and flew over the handlebars. The tube and tire were ruined but the rim was true as the day it arrived.

The 2nd set is the one I'm using now. It has the same Shimano hubs but now Velocity Chukker rims. Not the lightest weight rims but I'm hard on them. Like I said I'm a big guy and do loaded self contained touring on rough roads in places where you don't want to have to worry about wheel problems. With Peter White speced and built rims I don't worry.

Peter will tell you that if you want light weight wheels go somewhere else, if you want quality wheels that will last, he's your man.

Just my experience.