By way of a balance to my previous post, I thought it appropriate to mention that there are some truly amazing retailers online. Yes, I should have done my homework before attempting the ‘Hindegate‘ debacle and having learnt my lesson (and now being in possession of my money) I duly began the search for a decent, respectable supplier of handbuilt wheels.
I’d always had pretty good experiences dealing with Merlin Cycles but was completely unaware that they offered a custom wheel building services until I read a few reviews and did a bit of digging around their website (it’s not immediately obvious). These guys have a great reputation, the wheels were a competitive price, and I was informed that it was likely to take around 8 days for such a service (hell I’d waited three months for the other guys and seriously considered contacting Matt Allwright at Rogue Traders).
I duly paid with Paypal (a bit of extra protection) and held my breath. For just five days. I picked up my fabulous new hoops from the posty on Thursday and have to say that they’re just what I was after – Ultegra hubs, 32 spokes and Mavic Open Pro hubs. Easy to service, reliable and perfect for winter cycling.
A huge thanks to Merlin for restoring my faith. Highly, highly recommended.