April 14, 2017 1 Comment
On the eve of this very non-commercial weekend (Easter 2017) let's reflect on a personal aspect of wheel building. Much time is spent on performance, component options, tension strategy, and rider relations but building wheels is more a lifestyle than economic choice.
For many, the atelier (workshop of an artisan) is home. Wheel building succeeds in no space at all (think, back seat of a support vehicle) but for most their atelier is a spiritual place. So much time spent deep in the maize of tension and trueness, work space is an integral part of the process.
Here you share aesthetics and design priorities with visitors. There is no one way to do it, each of us is different, but every thoughtful wheel building space meets needs we all share: simplicity, tools at hand, tranquility. While building is a straightforward engineering process, the work is largely cerebral. The atelier is both a stage and a tool.
I'll never tire of other wheel builders' spaces and can't help but fantasize what work there might feel like. One such belongs to Olivier Lambert whose "Roues d'Olive" is deep in the Swiss Alps in the picturesque town of Fully.
Just imagine the challenging and spectacular scenery he enjoys year around! And when it's time to work, the atelier provides a serene, almost film set-like tranquility that must help calm one down after a lively dirt session!
Rim decals are clever, initials with topographic lines.
Lacing often involves ingenuity as there's precious little available on which many builders agree. Olivier has a nice desktop cutout to support the rim. A camera tripod provides a steady, adjustable hub support. Good idea!
For some, an ideal atelier includes a dog bed or headphones to block out industrial noise. Lucky to live in a riding paradise. May customers find you (but not to the point there's no time to ride)!
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November 02, 2021
Ric – I enjoyed this article. It spurs imagination and wonder and the pictures really compliment your point. Thank you. Tom