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September 25, 2017
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  • Dave

    Thanks for learning from the last wheelset review and including the information in the article that it is not an open mould, rather than leaving it up to speculation in the comments. More of this please.

  • Wheelhaus

    There’s a good step by step on the building process over at the Wheelhaus Instagram @wheelhausbb.

    • Albert

      I really enjoyed those posts the other day – so much precision in your wheel-building process!

  • pedr09

    Public humiliation from riding high profile carbon wheels outside races? I guess that makes me blissfully ignorant.

    • Dale Smith

      Me too!! I just bought a Propel with 55mm carbon wheels. I DID think it looks cool but now I realise people are laughing at me behind my back. It’s a load of fun to ride though, so I’m not so much concerned about the smirk on the faces on others as I am about the grin all over mine.

    • Strictly B Grade

      The scorn attached to it is directly proportional to a) the size of your paunch and b) the hairiness of your legs.

    • Agreed. I’m so far out of the loop these days, I didn’t even know we had to humiliate people on nice wheels.

      • Sean

        Move on and ride yeah!

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    • philipmcvey

      Public humiliation translates as ‘strangers applying their neuroses and inferiority/superiority complexes to you’. I agree – ignorance is definitely bliss where this is concerned.

    • Chris

      Agreed – there’s no social stigma. Perhaps it’s just in Matt’s social circle.

    • Sean

      Considering the lame nuts i’ve seen around here, deep wheels are the least of their worries. Fake tans, shit form, big fat guts, and the silly metro pricks still can’t expand enough energy to give me a wave when I pass them.

      • scottmanning

        I know what you mean;

    • Tawny Frogmouth

      Back in the day… When cycling was less mainstream in the Anglo west…
      Some people scrimped and dreamed and saved to afford a decent race bike… And kept a ‘best set’ of wheels just for racing cos the rubber wasn’t worth shredding on training miles… ‘Wasteful!’
      Some of those people get super jealous and will slag off podgy sausage legged bankers and designers who can’t reach the drops (or know what they’re for!) when they train on specialist race equipment (deep sections)
      If you were unaware of this you started cycling after Lance started winning TDFs.
      Yes… Jealousy is petty.
      Very petty

  • Hamish Moffatt

    These cost quite a bit more than for example the Dura Ace 9000 C35, but don’t weigh very much less. So what are the advantages of the carbon wheelset?

    • scottmanning

      Something I learned about the Dura-ace wheels (C24, 35, 60’s) after a year or two of ownership; The brake track is thin and will wear out fast especially when used in the wet. The hubs cannot be re-used and rebuilt into another set of rims due to propriety spoke designs. You would have to buy new C35 rims and rebuild but cost is prohibitive. They are cup and cone bearings – which, whilst a set of balls are cheap, the drive side cup is bonded to the axle so to renew you have to replace the axle – $150 and I’m into my fourth month (part was ordered in July) waiting for the part. The clear coat flakes of – very common I have found. So, they are fine wheels, but they have their downside. A set of makers (or something similar) has a hub that can be rebuilt through many rims, and uses modern sealed bearings which are easily and cheaply replaced and (probably) does not have a propriety spoke design that costs the earth to repair after waiting months for parts.

      As to carbon advantages – it’s only weight and stiffness, well, that and bling. Wet braking performance can be reduced but isn’t on all rims/pad combinations. I have found Markers to be excellent under brakes.

  • Kiwicyclist

    Tristian, what is the max heating point for the rims to give us an idea of how they might hold up on long descents where a descent amount of braking is required? Does this compare favourably with Enve, Zipp etc?

    • There isn’t a straight-forward answer for this question Kiwicyclist, and it might sound like I’m dodging the question but tests which simulate brake force / brake heat can be skewed by each company which runs such a test can change the test protocol to show their product as coming out in front. The company we work with to produce the Maker rims has their own tests and their own thresholds for what is acceptable and what isn’t and obviously the Maker performs very well in these tests.

      I’m sure it would be possible to heat-damage a rim if you went out of your way to do so but our real-world testing backs up what the test show – the braking on the Maker is very good in both the wet and the dry, and heat-damage isn’t a factor. I was lucky enough to test prototype rims in the Italian Alps as well as our shorter but steeper hills in Wellington and we have not seen any issues.

      Regarding a comparison with Enve, Zipp, or any other high-end rim I’ll back the Maker to be as good or better than any of them. We also build wheels with rims from these and other companies so we have a good understanding of their pros and cons.

      • Kiwicyclist

        Many thanks for the reply. I’ve managed to damage on more than one occasion (non-branded OEM) carbon rims in the not too distant past on longer and pretty steep descents – the second time riding with a friend who was on Enve 3/4s who had no issues – the descent in question would be comparable to bombing down the saddle on the Crown Range from Cardrona towards Arrowtown which would be a similar real world test for you over there. The friend in question is about 10kg lighter than me so that might partly explain it as may a different approach to braking, but no question the relative quality of the two carbon wheelsets was likely (in my opinion) to be a factor. I opt for alloys on that type of terrain nowadays.

        • The Maker isn’t our only product and we build with a great range of aluminium and carbon rims. If you wanted to talk about what your options are I’m on 04 37 3592 or tristan@wheelworks.co.nz

  • Mick

    How do these compare (in your mind) with the Curve 38 wheels you reviewed a little while ago? They seem similar in terms of being a smaller brand with a focus on quality rather than marketing.

    • Curve’s rims offer a stiffer, more rigid ride and are UCI-legal.

  • Sam

    One thing I’ve always wondered are the proprietary brake pads really necessary? I’ve got Reynolds 32s and Giant 55s and would love to swap them as condition required but are sufficiently discouraged by the pad swapping to not bother. Warranty aside, would that really break the wheels? And is there a universal carbon brake pad out there? Would appreciate an article on that!

  • A risk of disqualification because they were using an “illegal” wheelset at a Gran Fondo!? Technically possible…. but…. really…. at a Gran Fondo? I died a little on the inside when I read that line.

    • max

      Taking one’s participation in a Gran Fondo too seriously eh. Who would do that?

      Oh…hang on :

      • I was questioning the strict enforcement of UCI equipment rules at Gran Fondos…. Has anyone ever had a road bike checked or weighed before a mass start race anywhere in Australia, at any level?

        • Sean Doyle

          Yep. State Titles all bikes get weighed. Bikes have been checked for wheels at local club races too.

          • Chris

            Are they “mass start”? I honestly don’t know, but I guess Shane’s talking gran fondo style “races” like Amy’s or 3 Peaks.

            • Sean Doyle

              Most racing is mass start, unless you are doing a time trial. Grand Fondos as far as I know operate under UCI sanctioning, Wade?, so would have to abide by equipment rules if that’s the case. Amy’s Ride is not the same. Yes, a mass ride but not a race or sportive. Can someone correct me if I’m wrong please.

              • Robert Merkel

                Amy’s Gran Fondo is a UCI sanctioned race. Equipment rules, drug testing, you name it – they apply.

                3 Peaks isn’t UCI sanctioned and is not a race for anything other than bragging rights.

                That said, I have seen riders show up to the Baw Baw Classic (a sanctioned amateur race finishing on Australia’s toughest sealed climb) on illegally light bikes. TT positions, by contrast, have attracted periodic scrutiny.

  • Peter Osborne

    I picked up my 50mm Makers with WI hubs last week, and can’t speak highly enough about them on first impressions. I’ve been riding 30 years – settle down, I started young ;) – am an ex bike mechanic and state champ whose been on God knows how many wheels sets over the years and these are just plain sweet. I’m selling my Zipp 404 Firecrests because they swiftly fell into the redundant pile. Sorry Zipp, and well done Wheelworks.

  • hornk

    So these are about the same price as a set of Zipp 303s. Only Zipp does all their own engineering in house, has reasonably well verified testing protocols and lots of wind tunnel results to back up their design. Why would I buy wheelworks wheels instead?

    • Sean Doyle

      Because they aren’t Zipps and you are not paying a major part of that price to run a very big company with a huge payroll and big marketing and sponsorship and I know Tristian and he is one of the best wheel builders in the world. You also missed the point about these are not supposed to be the most aero design out there. No one is making you buy anything you don’t want but it’s great to have options other than the mainstream big boys.

    • Hi hornk. We also build with Enve and Zipp rims, along with Hed, Reynolds and many others. The reason the Maker came along is that we’ve learned a lot from building with these rims, both good and bad.

      The Maker isn’t for everyone, but that’s why we’re a custom wheelbuilding company and we’ve got plenty of other options.

      Oh, and the Maker is the only one with a lifetime guarantee.


    I purchased a set of Makers (35mm with DT Swiss 240 hubs) last summer and found them to be fast and fun. I wanted a wheelset that I could ride through New York City streets to club races in Central Park and then have the flexibility of continuing to ride afterwards, all without the worry of flatting on a tubular tire. The Makers have been great. Fast, responsive and smooth – with a good open tubular tire and latex tubes they feel every bit as supple as my fancy tubular race wheels. So much so that I wound up using them, in lieu of the tubulars, in hilly road races a couple of times and was quite pleased to have done so. The braking is first rate, not the same feeling as an aluminum rim but consistent and more than sufficient bite. No crosswind impact but I guess that isn’t surprising given the relatively low profile. I have hit some nasty potholes without any consequences to the wheels (rider wasn’t quite as nonplussed). I must admit I put them away for the winter, figuring that it would be smarter to train on low profile, aluminum wheels with winterized rubber. Now, I miss not riding these wheels and definitely will pull them out as soon as the race season restarts.

  • Andrew

    Hi, is there a weight limit on these puppies as I am a sausage legged cro magnun bloke who has hearing issues and cannot hear the sniggers and wants to look uber cool

    • Hi Andrew. We’re being conservative and have put a 90kg weight limit on the Maker. If you’re over this we have other options which we can discuss. I’m on +64 4 3873592 or Sydney 028 007 3592, or tristan@wheelworks.co.nz

      • Gary Ward

        Bugger (re the 90kg)! Presuming that’s rider weight Tristian? I’m a tick over a hundy and through diet and biking aiming to get down to mid 90’s during the year and eyeing up (nay salivating over) a pair of Makers. So the Maker’s wouldn’t do then?

  • Philip

    “Indeed, when I swapped to a low profile alloy wheelset that was actually a little lighter, I was surprised by the extra inertia I experienced. At the very least, the difference indicates the 50mm Maker rims were lighter than the low profile alloy rims, but I can’t dismiss the influence of aerodynamics either.”

    Sorry, I’m confused. Was the alloy wheelset lighter or heavier?

    • Sean Doyle

      Overall weight is a bit misleading. Two wheels sets could weigh the same but have different weights in the rim. or you could have two wheel sets with the same rims but different hubs etc. and weighed differently They are going to behave pretty much identical. Matts comment is a little confusing admittedly but I am sure he is indicating the alloy wheel set carried a touch more speed as the rim itself was heavier that the Maker rim.

    • According to my scales, the alloy wheelset I compared the Makers with was lighter, but they felt heavier (ie. slower) from a standing start than the Makers. The simplest explanation is that the carbon 50mm Maker rims were lighter than the low profile alloy rims.

  • takethattakethat

    doubt these are any better than something from far sports or light-bicycle

    • Sean Doyle

      Go buy the Far Sports wheels then.

  • david__g

    Disqualification, humiliation. These sound like pretty mean-spirited wheels.

  • Peter_Piper_25

    Love that these guys get some more exposure for their excellent craftmanship! I purchased a set of Wheelworks Pacenti SL23 rims a few months ago (I’m based in Melbourne). Tristan and the team at Wheelworks are completely professional and seamless with communication throughout the whole process. Quick delivery. Excellent product! Keep up the good work!

  • BHJ979

    I bought a set of Rail’s from Tristan @ wheelworks late last year which I found fantastic. However, the braking surface on the rims deteriorated significantly and I sent them back to Tristan to check out. Within 3 weeks I’ve got back a new set of his Maker rims as a replacement which run even better. Fantastic customer service and attention to detail. I cant speak highly enough of the service Tristan and Jesse provide and I would recommend them to anyone looking to buy wheels.

  • Cameron Harris

    Great to see a set of Wheelworks wheels make their WorldTour debut at the 2016 TDU this week!

  • Just an update for people wondering about UCI approval: I’m stoked to say that the whole family of Maker 35, Maker 50, Maker 80, Maker Disc, and Maker AR have all exceeded the UCI impact tests and the paperwork has been filed with the UCI for approval. There is more on this, including some videos of the testing, on our website: http://wheelworks.co.nz/uci-impact-testing-of-the-maker-wheels/

  • owenthomson

    This new Maker rim is a very similar format to the November Rail 52 in
    that it’s a 50mm deep, carbon clincher rim with a wide rim bed, running
    external nipples. Why have Wheelworks gone to the extent of designing
    their own rim? To begin with, they decided solid braking performance
    trumps marginal aero benefit so angled brake surfaces used by other
    brands to enhance the aero benefit of their wheels were shelved in
    favour of parallel brake tracks.


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