Your wheels in expert hands
As the UK home of ENVE and Chris King, Saddleback builds roughly 2,000 premium wheels a year, typically using ENVE or Chris King rims with Chris King hubs, laced with Sapim spokes.
We have a team of Master Wheel Builders in-house, who work in a bespoke facility stocked with essential equipment for crafting high end wheels, such as a wheel de-stressing machine, a custom spoke cutter, a wheel lacing jig each and wheel truing jigs.
Why hand built is best
Every wheel we sell is hand-built at our UK headquarters, so there are none of the set parameters you’ll find when a machine does this work, nor is there the same margin of error. Instead, our craftsmen look at every fine detail, going through the same process in a different way with each individual wheel build and dialling it in to make sure the trueness, balance, spoke tension and hop are all perfect.
Once they’re built, our wheels are so good that they won’t need further tuning, beyond annual servicing and occasional hub pre-load adjustment, to keep the bearings running as fast as possible.
The same team handles ENVE after care, so that every job covered by ENVE’s Factory Limited Warranty or Incidental Damage Protection policy is handled promptly. In fact, we have a dedicated member of staff just for managing wheel after sales. We also complete approximately 170 Chris King hub, headset and bottom bracket services each year.
Our skilled Master Builders
Between them, the team in our wheel room has 40 years of wheel building experience. They aim to work efficiently, with each member having a clearly defined role.
The operations are run by Charles, who coordinates the builds, plans all custom wheel building, spoke measuring and cutting, organises the components to be built and allocates work to each builder. He’s also our resident guru on all things ENVE and Chris King!
Wayne builds wheels of the highest quality, one after the other. If a big order comes in, he will work through it quickly and deftly, building almost as fast as a machine (but with more accuracy).
Joe Clifford has great attention to detail and is often the first person to work on new wheelsets, to discover how they build and determine their perfect spoke length.
ENVE after care is handled by Joe Griffiths, who sorts anything from a broken spoke to a crashed wheel for our customers.
Last but not least, Ollie looks after all Chris King servicing, and takes care of the assembly and aftercare of Pivot bikes/PUSH products too.
You can find out more about our talented team, as well as the bikes, components and riding destinations that they personally rate, below.
Master Builder Profile
Name: Charles Coleman
Role at Saddleback: I started in the industry as a Saturday boy, aged 16, and carried on from there. As Wheel Room Supervisor, I organise all builds and wheel stock.
You’ll find me building wheels or hubs, or doing admin to get wheelsets out the door. I also answer technical queries and organise the production schedule.
Favourite part of the job: I enjoy working with likeminded people and keeping the wheel room running smoothly.
My all-time favourite task was working on the wheels for Children In Need’s rickshaw. One is a standard ENVE 3.4 Disc wheel, the others I built using rickshaw hubs and ENVE 3.4 Disc rear rims. It’s lovely watching them enabling incredible people to complete the Rickshaw Relay each year!
Customer equipment you've lusted after: I really like the SON Dynamo for the ultimate winter bike setup.
Current favourite bike and wheel: I own a Cannondale Topstone Alloy with a custom build, it goes fast anywhere! My favourite wheel is anything with a Chris King hub.
Part you'd like to see on your bike: The ENVE Aero stem with the -12 degree option, it looks great on any bike.
Dream cycling destination: I could live in Girona – sun, mountains and good food!
Master Builder Profile
Name: Wayne Osmond
Role at Saddleback: Since joining Saddleback, 7 years ago, I’ve had an interest in wheel building, and I’ve been in the wheel room for 5.
You’ll find me building wheels with a cup of tea, while putting up with Joe’s (Griffiths) singing. Or else on a lunchtime ride, or out on my mountain bike in the evening.
Favourite part of the job: I love working closely with great colleagues.
It’s especially fun when I get to build wheelsets for professional cyclists and see them used on TV, or for Fat Creations show bicycles, with full custom painted hubs and rims.
Customer equipment you’ve lusted after: Chris King’s Cielo bicycles – they’re so nice I bought one for myself!
Current favourite bike and wheel: The new Trek Madone bike is super sleek and a bit different.
Wheel-wise, I love anything ENVE with a Chris King hub in the middle of it.
Part you’d like to see on your bike: I’ve basically got our whole range already.
Dream cycling destination: Mallorca.
Master Builder Profile
Name: Ollie Malek
Role at Saddleback: I’ve worked for 5 ½ years here as the Service and Warranty Technician, which is the next step up from being a shop mechanic.
Walking in the room, you’re most likely to find me servicing a King hub, though a typical day can involve anything from admin to building a custom Melee.
Favourite part of the job: I love working with the best brands, making super high quality parts.
My favourite task is servicing PUSH shocks, while my biggest strength is being able to embrace and deal with new things.
Customer equipment you’ve lusted after: ENVE M7/M9 rims, before I got a pair of my own.
Current favourite bike and wheel: My Nicolai G1 has the best geometry and suits me well. I like to ride with an ENVE M9 on the rear, it’s bombproof, you can’t break it!
Part you’d like to see on your bike: Chris King Midnight hubs.
Dream cycling destination: The French Alps for MTB, Gran Canaria for road.
Master Builder Profile
Name: Joe Griffiths
Role at Saddleback: I’ve been cycling my whole life, so when an opportunity arose to work at Saddleback I jumped at the chance. I quickly progressed to work with my favourite brand, ENVE, in Warranty and Service.
I ride into work for 8, inspect and complete any service work and answer queries that arise with ENVE products, then ride home again.
Favourite part of the job: Spending time with decent products and people. Everything I see is interesting and has a lot of variety. Customers can crash and damage wheels in different ways, and it's always surprising how much you can put an ENVE wheel through and still rebuild it absolutely fine!
Customer equipment you’ve lusted after: Violet Chris King hubs.
Current favourite bike and wheel: My ENVE MOG is my favourite bike, it’s so fast and smooth over the rough stuff, and I find the new ENVE 3.4 Disc wheel really versatile!
Part you’d like to see on your bike: Anything ENVE.
Dream cycling destination: Calpe or Girona.
Master Builder Profile
Name: Joe Clifford
Role at Saddleback: I worked in the warehouse, then, having proven I was capable of building to our extremely high standard, I got the job of Master Wheel Builder 2 years ago.
I aim to build 5 wheels each day and recently completed Chris King training, so I service hubs now and again, which I love.
Favourite part of the job: Knowing people will be getting enjoyment out of the wheels I build.
I also enjoy meeting other wheel builders during the House Show, it’s nice to see the passion behind the craft.
Customer equipment you’ve lusted after: A 7.8 SES, built onto a Classified Power shift rear hub. I like how engineers circumvent problems with beautifully machined parts and push the boundaries.
Current favourite bike and wheel: I would love to get a Standert Triebwerk in green – what a beautiful, timeless bike! A set of 3.4s on Mango hubs would be the best all-rounders to go with it.
Part you’d like to see on your bike: As above - fingers crossed someone will get me some.
Dream cycling destination: Iceland.
Our product offering
Since Saddleback is the UK home of ENVE and Chris King, our wheel builders are equally comfortable working with both brands, covering a spread of disciplines, from road to gravel and mountain.
Most commonly, we build disc road wheels, especially within the ENVE SES range, but the team can work with a wide range of wheelsets.
Our stock wheel builds include:
- ENVE 2.3, 3.4, 4.5, 6.7, G23 and G27, with both ENVE and Chris King hub options
- ENVE Foundation Wheels – 45, 65, AG25, AG27, AM30
- Chris King GRD23 gravel wheels
- Chris King MTN30 mountain bike wheels
We use Industry Nine, Hope, DT Swiss, ENVE and of course Chris King's legendary hubs that get faster with age, so you can be sure that your hubs will be every bit as high spec and well-made as your rims.
Our full range of wheel care services includes:
- Custom wheel builds using ENVE rims – we can build almost any hub into ENVE rims
- Wheel truing
- Spoke replacement
- Rim replacement
- Hub servicing
- All ENVE and Chris King Warranty
Our Chris King service includes:
- Complete strip down and degrease
- All parts cleaned in the heated parts washer
- Every component inspected for wear and condition
- Bearings reassembled, regreased and fitted with new seals and snaprings
- Hub/BB/headset reassembled, with fresh oil/grease (if required)
- Hub/BB/headset tested and preload adjusted (if required)
A quality build in good time
You might guess that buying high end wheels will mean a difficult build and long waiting times, but that’s not the case. A well-made rim or wheel will go together easily, with just a bit of fine tuning needed to perfect it.
Mountain bike wheels, of course, take longer than road ones, since more spokes means going round more times, but on average, our builds will be out the door within the week. If you need a wheelset urgently for a big race, just let us know, and it may be possible to get it out the door the same day the order comes through.
Backing your investment
We keep records of every single wheel we build, including the rim and hub serial numbers, so we’ve got your back. Not only do we do ENVE and Chris King warranty, but all parts of a brand-new wheelset, bought directly from Saddleback, are covered. So, if your hub is DT Swiss, that will come under our care too.
There are, of course, things that you can do to keep your wheelset in order, such as avoiding the temptation to jet wash your bike and getting it serviced at least once a year, but as previously mentioned, our wheels are built to last.
In the rare event that something goes wrong or you have an accident on your ENVE wheelset, or anytime your Chris King components require servicing, you can relax, knowing that our skilled team is there to help.