The Saddleback Wheel Room
By Stan Portus – 7 January 2021
Even the best machine-built wheel can never match the quality and lasting performance of a hand-built wheel. This is why at Saddleback we build every wheel in-house by hand here in the UK. Built with Chris King hubs and ENVE rims, every wheel that leaves our bespoke facilities has had the undivided attention of our master wheel builders. Take a look here.
As the wheel building side of our business has grown, our team has now increased to three master wheel builders – Rob, Charles and Wayne.
Having built well over 1,000 wheels each, the team has a wealth of experience with a shared sense pride in the quality of every single wheel they produce.
“I take care of ENVE and Chris King customer service and warranty, dealing with the whole process from your first contact through to carrying out the work on hubs and wheels and getting them delivered to your door.”
– Rob Borek
“I build all the new wheels for our customers. So, if you’ve got a new set of ENVE wheels on your bike, they were probably built by me.”
– Wayne Osmond
“I keep the wheel department flowing as smoothly as possible! I've been juggling spanners and spoke wrenches for over 10 years and love anything fine-tuned, custom or out of the ordinary.”
– Charles Coleman
Our Bespoke Facility
Saddleback’s state-of-the-art in-house wheel-building facility has been constructed according to specifications determined by our master wheel builders. Our facility provides a dust-free, dedicated environment needed for the construction of top-tier wheels, as well as servicing.
“We use specialist equipment to help with efficiency, consistent quality and to help with our wellbeing,” says Charles. “These include custom ENVE spoke wrenches specific to individual rim depths and nipples is being used; Nobles Wheels Lacing Jigs; and Sapim Tension Gauges made by P&K Lie to ensure each spoke is correctly tensioned and every wheel is perfectly balanced.
“We also use a wheel stress-relieving machine which puts the wheel under tension to alleviate any stress that might be wound-up in the spokes. It also beds the components into each other to ensure that everything is as it should be, meaning every wheel is consistent and built to last.”
A Growing Operation
Our wheel building has gone from strength to strength and we are ever expanding to match demand. We continue to build ENVE SES and M-Series wheels, but we are now also building ENVE Foundation wheels.
Along with ENVE SES, M-Series and Foundation wheels, we can build most hubs into ENVE SES and M-Series rims. We have also previously built Mavic Open Pro wheelsets for stock and Stans NoTubes mountain bike and gravel wheelsets, both with Chris King hubs.
Whilst ENVE and Chris King are our go-to choices for truly lasting performance, we understand that you or your customers might have a particular build in mind. If you are interested in a custom-built wheelset you can browse our custom wheel collection or you can reach out to our team for something extra-extra special.