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Home » Cycling » Why I Love Velocity Wheels for My Bikes (the 5200 and the Tandem).

Why I Love Velocity Wheels for My Bikes (the 5200 and the Tandem).

September 2019
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I’ve ridden Velocity wheels for years now.  I’ve got Velocity Fusion rims laced to Vuelta hubs and aero spokes on the Trek and I run a full Velocity set of disc brake Dyad’s on our tandem.

After I found out my Vuelta Corsa SLR wheels were made for a 150 pound lightweight (I’m closer to 175 – 180 after the winter months) because I kept breaking spoke nipples, I sought the advice of our local shop owner who suggested I contact Velocity about getting some decent rims.  I checked the measurements out on the Vuelta rims and compared them to everything Velocity had and came up with the Fusion being the closest match.  I did the front wheel first, with fantastic results.  After breaking several spoke nipples just from stepping too hard on the pedals, the problem stopped immediately.  Then I had the rear wheel done after hitting a pothole that went clear to Australia on DALMAC.  With two Velocity hoops, I had zero problems for years.

A short while ago, I hit a few MAJOR potholes and managed to nail a pretty bad train track at better than 25-mph.  One of those put a small, hairline crack in the back rim, causing a spoke nipple to come lose every now and again.  The crack was so small, I missed it (so did the shop, it was a tiny crack).  Well, a few days before DALMAC I was cleaning the rim and the towel I was using just barely snagged on the crack as I ran over it.  On closer inspection, I could see the problem… with my reading glasses on (dammit).  Now, these were to be my backup wheels in case one of my carbon wheels developed a problem, or in the event we’d be riding in a day-long rain.  In that case, I’d switch to the better braking of the alloy wheels.

I spoke to the shop owner about the wheel because it was still holding its true.  His advice was unmistakable; “I never ride compromised equipment”.  Applied to how I ride, this makes even more sense.  I love to blast the descents when they’re wide open.  A failure of the rear wheel could be catastrophic.

I emailed Velocity and explained my problem – this was on Friday, six days before we shoved off.  I explained that I’d be in Grand Rapids (their manufacturing facility just happens to be located there) on Monday and asked if there was any way they could prepare a 28 hole Fusion rim for me so I could pick it up.  They had me contact a local bike shop, which I did, and the shop contacted Velocity and got the order set.

I picked up my hoop Monday afternoon, zero business days later, took it to my local shop and picked my new wheel up on Wednesday, the day before DALMAC.  Now, I can’t say enough about the service at Assenmacher’s Cycling Center (our local shop), but Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Velocity went out of their way so I could have my wheels for DALMAC.

My friends, service just doesn’t get better than that.  I had to do some running around to save some time, but that doesn’t take away from the amazing service I was given.  If you’re looking for tandem, alloy, or Clydesdale wheels, you can’t go wrong with Velocity Wheels.  They’re fantastic and the service is outstanding.

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5 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Good service is invaluable. Always amazed when businesses fail on this simple concept.

  2. Good service wins out almost every time. You never forget!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Indeed! The crazy thing is, it’s got to be a part of the Velocity company culture or something. I get great service every time from Velocity and I only have to deal with them sparsely.

  3. joliesattic says:

    Good service! I agree about not using compromised equipment, so wise choice. What kind of spoke nipples are on your bike? DT Swiss used to make one of the best, (also more expensive) but not sure what the quality is anymore, since it’s been over 20 years since we handled their product.

    • bgddyjim says:

      The spoke nipples were a source of contention. The original set came on the wheels, so I’d imagine they were cheap low-grade aluminum. On the other hand, when I had them laced to the new rim, the shop provided the aluminum spoke nipples (and I doubt they were much of an upgrade). We kicked around going with brass but I wanted the nipple to fail before the rim did.

      Finally, the problem, why they popped so often, had to do with how I accelerate. I push down on the lead pedal and pull up on the handlebar for max leverage. That created a torque/twist that transferred all the way down to the rim… it would bend and the spoke nipples popped under the pressure. The answer was to get a stronger rim that I couldn’t deform when I got out of the saddle to sprint.

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