Wheel building is a fascinating skill and art form and I admit that I'm not yet as experienced as I'd like to be - which should be every wheel builder's opinion of themselves! It takes a few days to learn how to build good bike wheels and a lifetime to master the skills and build the knowledge.
That said, I've had a good teacher and am perfectly able to build wheels to suit all types of riders for all kinds of riding of all types of bikes. I say this because wheel building is inevitably a compromise of the usual factors - performance, durability, and price. In addition there are constraints introduced by rider weight (sorry, but I will have to ask!) and riding style, not to mention some personal preferences and the limitations of components.
It's important to note how contentious the area of wheel building can be - different wheel builders will have different opinions as to the 'best' way of doing things with either experience or science (and sometimes both!) to support them. My view is that what matters is the end result, not the method used. Each method will have its pros and cons. As long as it results in a round, true, tensioned, dished bike wheel that is as strong and durable as the design allows then it must be an acceptable method.
That said, I use Gerd Schraner's method. One reason for this is simply because it was the one I was taught - but I was taught by someone who has tried most of the methods around and has settled on Schraner's way, so it carries some weight. The other reason is that having done some reading about the other methods I could use, I see a number of benefits to Schraner's way, including:
Component choice is made with the customer, but my 'go-to' brands are Shimano and DT Swiss for hubs, DT Swiss and Sapim for spokes and nipples, and Mavic and DT Swiss for rims.
All my wheels are built using the same basic process:
All my wheels come with a limited lifetime warranty on workmanship.
For the life of the original rim, and the original owner, if a spoke breaks I will replace it free of charge and if the wheel goes out of true I will re-true it free of charge.
Excludes damage caused by accident or misuse. Customer pays any necessary postage.
I have two offerings, the only difference is the tolerance I get to.
The British Standard (BS EN 14764) for a bike wheel is up to 1mm lateral and/or radial run-out each way (so a 2mm 'wobble' meets the standard!).
My standard wheel builds are trued radially and laterally to a maximum of 0.25mm each way (which is actually quite hard to see) and my 'World Class Wheels' are trued to a maximum of 0.1mm each way (which needs sensitive measuring equipment to detect).
The price difference is simply a reflection of the extra time it takes!
Prices do not include components!
£50 per wheel
£75 per wheel
And if you start with quality components, you get this
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Out of the box, cheap (£15) wheel - run-out approx. ±0.5mm, about half the British Standard tolerance
Red Jersey Standard Wheel build - lateral/radial run-out ±0.25mm max
Red Jersey 'World Class Wheel' - lateral/radial run-out ±0.1mm max