Ask anyone in the wider Essendon cycling community what “Alpha King Wheels” are, and they will soon send you straight to see Gareth Huth, owner of Essendon Cyclery. La Velocita's Kirra McDonald caught up with Gareth to find out what he is all about.
Photography - Andrew Clifforth
Gareth has been involved in bike shops and wheel building for close to ten years. His store, Essendon Cyclery stocks BMC, Giant and Salsa. He's also got a great choice of wheels available. This is where the true passion is for Gareth, mention wheels to him and he struggles to contain his excitement and enthusiasm!
Gareth go on to tell us that he had a first go at building a wheel set almost ten years ago... the first try did not go so well but he's work hard, learning from some of the best in the trade and is now producing some high quality wheels to order.
Gareth's mission is to produce sets of custom built wheels for cyclists, that match their specific needs. He tells us 'there are few poor wheels out there these days, just some riders end up on wheels that don't match the intended use, that's where problems start'.
His custom range is large, whether you are after a bomb proof commuter or super lightweight climbing wheel... or if you are 110kg or 60kgs he'll help you out.
We took a look at a few of his wheels ranging from the 1,300g 'Alpha Kings' and 1,440g 'HED Kings' to the heavier 'Super Commuters'. Build quality is impressive and all the wheels look the business.
We were most interested in the Alpha Kings and HED Kings. They look great, Why 'Kings'? Well, Gareth's choice of hubs for these wheels are the legendary manufacturer, Chris King. Number and type of spokes is up to you. Most people going for a titanium or DT Swiss Aerolite option.
On the road the wheels spin up to speed easily and feel like they would roll forever and a day. Stiffness is good, we found the HEDs the stiffer option, so would likely be a better option for heavier or powerful riders. The Alpha's excelled in the hills and if you're a weight weeny they are well worth considering.
For those who want to ‘bling’ up their bike you can do so with these super wheelsets! The rims come in black, but the rest of the wheel is your rainbow. There are almost endless combinations of coloured hubs and spokes to make your machine sparkle as you zoom past other cyclists or roll into any café…
You can reap the rewards of a custom wheel builds starting at only $500. Contact Essendon Cyclery at www.essendoncyclery.com.au
Rims - Various available but we had a try of the Stans Alpha 340 and HED Cycling Belgium rims.
Chris King Hubs (Ceramic or stainless steel bearings) - Black Red, Orange (Mango for those who are very specific about colour charts), Blue, Pewter, Silver, Gold, Green or Pink.
Spokes - Aerolite - Black, Silver or Titanium - Rainbow, Gold, Geen, Grey, Purple ,Blue.
- 2:1 lacing on the rear to improve stiffness
- Road/CX/MTB builds also available.
- Other rim options for road/cx/MTB area available, just ask in store for all the details.