wheelbuilders - go local or go expert!

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wheelbuilders - go local or go expert!

Postby stuart » 23 Apr 2009 21:17

Have now received back both my borrani rim wheels from restoration and the experience was interesting.

I purchased a complete, but old, front wheel, which had a bend on the flange of the borrani rim. I purchased a rear hub from ebay italy...

Took front wheel and rear hub to Brickwood wheel builders near Salisbury to ask them to build me a pair of wheels. This was a strange experience. They told me the front rim was damaged beyond repair and that there was virtually no chance of me ever finding a Borrani rim to suit the rear hub. They told me I was better off buying a pair of new Morad rims. Whilst I appreciate that Morad are as good as (old) Borrani's in nearly every way, they're NOT original fitment; so I said I was going to review my options. I took the front wheel away but asked them to keep the rear hub to have it vapour blasted / polished whilst I 'considered'.

I phoned up Hagon, described the front rim to them, and they said they thought it was repairable... so I sent it off to them.

Within a week, I found a rear Borrani rim on Ebay (from a Suzuki T500) which seemed to suit, so I bought it and had it sent direct to brickwood. I asked both companies to build new wheels with butted/polished stainless spokes. Hagon quoted 2-3 weeks turnaround, Brickwood was 4.

Hagon delivered back a perfectly repaired rim (they said it was extremely straightforward) with a beatufully polished hub and rim plus butted/polished spokes in 4 weeks.

Brickwood took 8 weeks. I received back a well built wheel, with a poorly polished hub and rim, and stainless spokes (NOT butted). The brickwood job cost about 2/3rds of the Hagon job.

My personal view is 'go to the acknowledged specialists and pay a good price for a good job'. In hindsight, I regret going to Brickwood. They didn't do a bad job, however they didn't do a great job (and polishing a hub once the wheel has been built is impossible) and their attitude was 'why on earth would you want that / those' rather than ' you're the customer, tell us what you want' which is how Hagon behaved.

The moral of the story, ' you get what you pay for' and perhaps the specialist is better than the company that's close!
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Joined: 10 Jun 2008 13:17
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