People rarely just stumble upon cycling as a sport. Which is odd, because so much of the sport is about time spent alone. There are those lonely solo training rides, or times when you are suffering in your basement on the trainer, or seemingly endless intervals where you’re only staring at your powermeter and all you can do is count down the seconds until you’re done. But for the most part, someone who is already deeply embedded in the sport brings you in to the fold. And they are often times the ones who teach you how to become an actual cyclist. Because cycling is a sport of intricacies, perhaps even marginal gains. Small things, that all add up to make something amazing. I remember riding with a group of masters when I was first learning who took it upon themselves to point out every mistake that I made. They made fun of me for my super short ankle socks—and I learned. They made fun of me for leaning my bike on the drive side when we stopped to pee—and I learned. They made fun of me for pulling off the pace line and leaving too much room to the guy next to me—and I learned. They also gave me the things that a young, fresh out of college student could never afford. Tires that still had some life in them when I was running on just threads, a bag of old team clothes so that I could stop wearing the same two pairs of $40 bibs over and over. They also gave me new skills. When I took too long changing a flat somebody pulled it out of my hands and did it themselves, I learned to be faster next time. I think about these little things every time I ride with a new cyclist. Every time a young kid is full of so much unbridled enthusiasm for racing and training that I want to strangle him, I think about that time that I was there, and how without amazing people to teach me it would have been that much harder for me to learn.

I feel like we’re in that same sort of spot now. While we know wheels, and we know attention to detail, and we know about the bike industry, starting a business is a new experience. And it’s really hard. Obviously we knew that it was going to be difficult, but there is a world of difference between theoretically knowing something and actually being knee deep in it. Luckily for us, this is where our friends have stepped in to help us. They’ve been like the hand on your butt from an older, more experienced cyclist as you’re about to get spit out the back of your first hard group ride. And we couldn’t be more thankful for those friends. Because we’ve been having our fair share of hurdles going through these beginning stages, but our friends are the ones that gave us the encouragement, the resources, and the motivation to keep moving forward. We’re still at the bottom of this super steep learning curve, but we’re starting to get there and we’re excited about it. We have some really great stuff coming up soon; like some pretty amazing builds, and we’re finally bringing in some stock too, to cut down on lead times. The buzz is growing and things are happening.

So thanks to all of the people that have helped us get this far. We’re incredibly thankful, and it is because of you that this is moving forward.

-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.

Winter is back.  Or more accurately, cycling winter is back.  All of us that don’t race elite have hung up the cross bike until September, and spring crits are still six weeks away.  So we do base miles.  Lots and lots of long, steady, slow base miles.  We do this to prepare our bodies for the torture that they will endure throughout the racing season.  And even though these are the lowest intensity miles, they are also the hardest miles. Something about those solitary five hour rides, or the decision of whether to ride the trainer after dinner or in the rain at six in the morning. Trying out endless combinations of clothing in an attempt to stay warm on the the most brutally cold days. But we all man up and get through winter because being fast is important, and a base is important to being fast.

Erik Zabel famously had one of the strongest work ethics in the peloton.  He reputedly would ride 15,000 kilometers through the winter as training.  Tom Boonen does nine hour rides so attacking after only five in Paris-Roubaix isn’t a big deal.  Johnny Hoogerland wanted to build on his success from 2010 so badly that he overtrained on base miles alone and was fried by March of 2011.  These guys are the embodiment of the hardman, and do what it takes to be the best.  Pain and suffering open the door to greater pain, greater suffering, and eventually greater glory.  That is what it means to be truly pro.

Equipment takes a beating throughout the winter.  A wheelset that is reliable and comfortable is the preferred weapon for those long, dark days.  If you ever see candid photos of pros in the offseason, they certainly are not riding sponsor correct wheelsets.  Long miles and overly stiff low spoke count wheels don’t mix.  Deep section carbon rims provide none of their benefits when you’re spinning along at 200 watts.  No, the right wheel is something with plenty of steel spokes that are crossed liberally, a nice shallow profile for comfort, and great braking performance thanks to an alloy brake track.  We love the H+Son TB14 rim for its wide 23mm width which gives the tire a great high volume shape, and awesome handling. White Industries makes the fantastic T11 hub right here in the USA with five sealed bearings in the Shimano splined version to keep you rolling smooth, and a titanium freehub body for unmatched durability.  DT Competition spokes, and brass nipples provide wonderful ride quality, and build in to a bombproof package. Combine this with a few nice finishing touches and you have a wheelset that will provide a buttery smooth ride for many seasons to come. 

So, get out there, get those miles in, and get ready to tear it up this season.

-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.

So - Lets talk about Velocity rims for a moment. First off, they’re some of the nicest guys that we’ve had the pleasure of dealing with in the bike industry. That’s always a plus, but what’s more important is that they make a stellar bunch of products. Recently released was their A23 O/C rim. The A23 has been a favorite of ours for a while, but this new version is awesome. It allows us to build a rear wheel (or a disc wheel, for those that may want a killer set of CX clinchers…) with much more even tension on the non-drive side of the wheel. What this means to you is a much stiffer, much stronger wheel. We just built up our first set for a client and they were awesome. Light, smooth, strong, and really reasonably priced. Let us know if you’re looking for a killer training or racing wheelset, these might just make the perfect rims!

-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.

www.ablocwheelworks.com

It’s far from being finished, but it’s a start. Check it out. 


-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.

Before anything else, we want to thank everyone for all of the positive support we have received over the past few days. We can’t express how much it means to us.

We also just wanted to clear up a few questions

First, the best way to contact us is ablocwheelworks@gmail.com. We welcome any and all questions, comments, or criticisms. We’re excited to hear what people are thinking, whatever that may be. 

Second, head over to our Facebook and Like our page! We’re going to be adding a lot of stuff over there in the next few weeks as things get settled in. We would appreciate it so much if everyone would tell their friends and share the page as well. 

Finally, regarding pricing. Because we do not have a “stock” set of builds, pricing is not as simple as it would be from some other brands. However, we will have carbon tubular wheels starting at $800 and carbon clincher wheels starting at $900. We can adjust from there based on your needs.

Thanks so much.

-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.

For those people looking for an inexpensive pair of amazing CX wheels. 32H Velocity Major Tom rims, Ultegra Hubs (and skewers), DT Competition spokes, Brass nipples. So smooth. So bombproof.

Our test set of clinchers. 20/24H build. 50mm à bloc rims, Bitex hubs, DT Competition spokes. A go-to build for those who aren’t looking for a tubular wheelset. At around 1450g they’re light, fast, and strong. If anyone wants to try a set of these out, let us know! 

Side note - These decals will not be available going forward. The silver ones shown below will be the standard. 

Patrick’s Primus Mootry. He’s riding 28H Velocity Escape Rims laced to DT Swiss 240s. Sapim CX Ray spokes. Ridiculously classy.

50mm tubular CX wheels. à bloc rims, Bitex hubs, Competition spokes. This will be our go-to build for people who just want something simple, strong, and light. These wheels were bottomed out, run over, had an entire foot go through the spokes, and just generally put through hell this season. They never had a single issue. And at 1375g they would be equally at home on the road. 

Welcome to our Tumblr. It will serve as a bookmark until our website goes live, and as a place for us to update everyone on projects that we have ongoing and things that we are excited about.

First, a little bit about us. We love racing. We love training. We love those day long rides on the loneliest of roads. By ourselves or with our friends. Or with just our thoughts, or with music in our ears the entire time. We love the toughest climbs, on the gnarliest pavement. We love dirt. We really love dirt. We love the woods. We love the mud. We love the twisty, scary descents, and we love the feeling of leaning in to a corner and wanting to grab our brakes, but refusing to do it. We love attacking, getting caught, and going again. Harder this time. We love the guys that are faster than us, they give us something to strive for, and put us back in our place. We love the history. And the lore. And the truth about the lore. We love the equipment, all of it. Every last piece, and every detail about every last piece. We love our bikes, and we love everything about this sport. 

We are a custom wheelbuilding operation out of Stamford CT. We are founded in the knowledge that every cyclist has individual demands that deserve specifically intentioned equipment to match. We come together as two people who love the sport of cycling, and want to share that with every person that we meet. We want to take the typical wheel buying experience and change it from a sterile interaction to a builder/rider relationship. We’re sick of the generic offerings of every wheel company out there. We understand why they have to be that way, they have to fit a huge variety of people, with a huge variety of riding styles, under every imaginable condition. That is fine. But you deserve better. You deserve a wheelset built specifically with you in mind, one that will be as painstakingly thought through as everything else in your cycling life. We want to be there to figure out what that wheelset is, and we want to be the ones to build it for you. With a vast knowledge and love for the industry, we want to talk with you about your needs and your wants. We know the feeling of frustration that comes when a wheel doesn’t stand up to the stresses you put on it over the thousands, and tens of thousands of miles of training that you do. We have answers for that. We know that when you’re diving in to that last corner in a crit, the last thing you want to be worried about is the money you spent on those carbon wheels and what will happen if you go down. We know the feelings of worry that come with wondering if a particular wheelset will hold up to the 100 miles of the gnarliest dirt roads that you have been carefully mapping out for the past few months and plan on riding this weekend. We get it and we want to make the wheelsets that will match up with your desires, whatever those might be. 

-Dan and Greg

à bloc wheelworks
As hard as you can.