The idea for these wheels didn’t come from some deep desire or any search for marginal performance gains. It wasn’t even a well-planned process. The idea for the wheels came from a drive to build something I hadn’t built before
I had only been working at Shifter bikes with Dan for a few weeks when he suggested I use an old 20 hole Miche rear track hub on a spare carbon rim he had lying around. I didn’t have much time to work on any of my own projects but a few weeks later I was about to start building it with a conventional pattern and I started asking Dan about a spoke pattern I had seen online, the ‘Snowflake’ pattern, and what the benefits and risks of building such a wheel were. Dan decided that instead of simply telling me, he would show me, so that evening after re-calculating the spoke length we started building the rear Snowflake wheel.
Initially the lacing of the wheel was quite awkward, but it definitely got easier as I went on. We also ran into some problems we didn’t anticipate, such as the nipples being on far more severe angles which added difficulty to the trueing process.
As I started to true the wheel this issue became immediately evident due to the additional tension required to ensure it wouldn’t stretch and loosen once finished. Eventually Dan took over, using a multitude of different objects to manoeuvre the spokes into place. But after quite some time, the first wheel was finished
Once we built the rear, we realised any bike would look stupid with just one Snowflake wheel so a few weeks later, still unable to get a 20 hole Miche front track hub in, we took apart one of Dan’s track wheels lying around to use that hub. Unfortunately we didn’t realise until after it was built, that it was 24 hole…
So from there we removed a speedway 20 hole front hub from a trashed wheel, stripped the black anodized finish, opting instead, for the polished bare metal. Building the front wheel was a lot easier, now knowing the proper way to twist and position the spokes the lacing was done fairly quickly. By this time I had to get going from work, leaving Dan to finish off the wheel. Although it is a road hub the wheel worked fine with an anti-theft skewer, allowing the wheel to be torqued sufficiently.
My first ride with them was this week at Tuesday-night track and although I didn’t win any races (I usually don’t) the wheels felt stiff, and best of all, looked mean.
Thanks Dan, and enjoy.