Handbuilt wheels come at a premium, though you are paying for a custom product and the expertise of a wheel builder plying an increasingly rare craft.
“The wheels that leave our workshop are very unlikely to go out of true,” says Sharp. “A lot of people buy factory wheelsets and they go out of true quickly because they’ve been put together by machine. The time spent here in the workshop does roughly equate to a longer lasting wheel.”
Strada’s ‘standard’ winter wheel uses the H Plus Son Archetype rim, Shimano 105 hubs, Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples for £295. “I’ve got a pair and I’ve put 10,000 miles into them this year,” says Sharp.
That dependability comes at a weight penalty – approximately 1,900g for the pair – but it’s a “true training wheel”, according to Sharp. A lot of the weight comes from the mid-range 105 hub, he says, and the wheels could be put on a diet with a lighter hub and upgraded spokes.
“But then you’re into £500 territory and you’re moving away from the winter training wheel to something a bit more special than that.”
Sharp says training wheels are a big part of Strada’s business year-round, not just in winter, and especially for larger riders. He and Jonathan Day, Strada’s founder, also build carbon fibre wheels and mountain bike hoops.
The wheels built in the Look Mum No Hands workshop start at around £200, according to Massey. At the upper end of that scale the world is your oyster.
“The great thing about a custom wheel build is that you can really customise it to the bike and rider,” he says. “We’ve got some regular customers here, who race on both the track and road, and we’re continuously building them different wheels, with different options.”