We've recently partnered up with RideCo bike shop here in Colorado Springs to bring you plenty of goodness in the way of wheel reviews, bike reviews, weekly classes at RideCo, and everything in between.
First up we are doing a highlight on RideCo's very own wheel building master: Chris Murray
Often times in the bike industry there are people who do not get the notoriety they truly deserve. In an effort to help turn this trend around, and to bring some of the more incredible talents and exploits of the staff here at RideCo to light, we’ve decided to put together a series to spotlighting them.
First up is Chris Murray.
What would you think is a large number of wheels to build? 100? 300? 500? In a recent interview, Chris was quoted saying “I stopped keeping count at 1000 pairs of wheels.”
Chris has been building wheels for 8 years, since he was at Harpers Bike Shop in Knoxville, Tennessee. Forty mile commutes plus long training rides during the weekend on rough eastern Tennessee roads can wreak havoc on wheels. Chris began building his own wheels after one too many broken spokes on those long rides. There’s no better impetus to find a solution than having self preservation on the line everyday. Three years ago Chris began specializing in wheel building and hasn’t looked back. The exploits done on Chris’ wheels are fairly lengthy, so we’ve just included a short list of some really cool projects he has been involved in. To learn more about Chris and the projects he has been worked with, visit his personal blog at www.chrismurraywheelworks.com
-Fixie Dave (Dave Nice)- Dave is currently pedaling his way across the country riding a pair of wheels built by Chris. Dave is aiming to complete Route 66 on a fixed gear Bombtrack Arise bike. Dave’s wheels were build with a White Industries fixed rear hub, SON 28 dynamo front hub to allow the charging of devices and an endless supply of power for lights laced to Velocity A23 tubeless road rims with Wheelsmith DB14 spokes.
-Daniel Burton pedaled a wheel of Chris’ across the South Pole.
-Ray Middleton is a vision impaired Paralympic athlete, and is a stoker on the back of a tandem. Chris built Ray a set of 88mm deep dish carbon wheels for time trialing. This was an interesting build as the rear axle on his Powertap hub was specially machined by Jeff Tessier to be spaced from the usual 130mm to 145mm tandem spacing allowing him to track total power output from both the stoker and captain.
-The shop owner, Bubba Hayes, and two of his daughters, Emily and Ashley, run Chris’ custom wheels on all of their BMX race rigs.
Attention to detail is creates the magic in Chris’ work. Chris hand cuts most of his spokes. By doing this he can ensure correct size, and he only has to order a handful of different length spokes that will cover 90% of wheels he builds. For those who are curious, Chris also uses a Morizumi Spoke Machine to custom cut and roll threads onto his spokes.
Chris was once the lead wheel builder at Borealis Fatbikes where he built an average of 8-12 wheels per day and helped develop products that shaped the fatbike industry before deciding it was time to move on after a change in ownership at the company. Chris’ passion shines through in every set of wheels he stamps with his personalized stickers as he sends them out the doors with their new owners. Chris builds wheels for every day recreational riders, top tier ultra endurance riders, elite BMX racers, professional mountain bikers, and everyone in between.
Quality doesn’t always equate to expense. Chris is able to build at a price point to match your needs. Chris also offers a guarantee against spoke breakage and free touch up work for as long as you own the wheels.
Not sure what route you should go? Are you just curious about why you should pick up a set of custom wheels? Chris has extensive experience in wheel building for all cycling disciplines and would love to talk about how he can help you in building a set of wheels like you’re guaranteed to love.
As we go forward, we will also be including some exciting product reviews that will include several different wheel sets built by Chris. Stay tuned for more!
Until next time,
Geoff and Steph
P.S. All Fryer Performance athletes get 10% when you visit RideCo bike shop or 10% off a wheel order from Chris!