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Bill’s Wheelbuilding School

Build Your Dream Wheelset

I teach a one-on-one class for just one student at a time. The class usually lasts for two full days and provides complete instruction on how to build a set of custom bicycle wheels that are planned and designed beforehand through discussions with each student.

A surprising number of people want to learn how to build a bicycle wheel. The reasons are many, from just wanting to become better at using a truing stand to wanting an in-depth understanding of the structure and strength of a wheel. There are many good books about wheel building. I think I have read them all, and I highly value their contribution. But, a book cannot possibly anticipate the questions that will pop up during a wheelbuilding attempt. As a personal instructor, I can fill that need.

By teaching only one student at a time, I've found that I can delve deeply into the specific needs of my students and adjust my approach, as required, depending on their individual backgrounds, interests, and experience. This formula has worked very well, and my students are getting great results. (See the testimonials below)

I like my students to put some effort into learning about wheels before the class begins, and I will provide to them some recommended pre-class material to study. This prepares them for the class and deepens the depth of understanding they will take from the school. I will give them as thorough an education as they reasonably want during the class itself.


Spokes Etc., 1545 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria VA 22302.


This is the easy part. Once we have all the component parts on hand, we find a date that is mutually convenient. I prefer weekdays, especially during the really busy season, but it's possible to hold a class over a weekend if weekdays are impossible. The class can also be broken down into multiple shorter sessions when required to accommodate the student's schedule.


Tuition is $399.99 with all supplies purchased from Spokes Etc. -OR- $499.99 with any parts purchased elsewhere. Additionally, students must visit my website,, and purchase the digital downloadable versions of Master Wheel Building and Master Wheel Building II and prepare for the class by reviewing them beforehand. The cost for both videos together is $49.95, and they are filled with lots of useful information.

Contact Me

Phone: Shop 703-820-2200 or Cell 703-946-3806


Designing the Wheels

In preparation for the school, I work individually with my students to plan out their projects. A face-to-face meeting is helpful, but the same results can be obtained by a combination of emails and phone calls for students who live out of town. Students can build just about any type of wheel they want, consistent with sound engineering principles. Most students buy needed parts from me, but they can acquire some or all of the parts themselves, if they want to.

Component choices Include:

  • Hubs: White Industries, Chris King, Velocity, Shimano, Campagnolo, Phil Wood, Paul, Alchemy, Powertap, DT Swiss, Hope, Miche, Salsa, Surly, Industry Nine, Boyd Cycling, and more.
  • Rims: Velocity, Kinlin, HED, Mavic, H Plus Son, ENVE, Salsa, Stan's, Sun Ringle, DT Swiss, Surly, Industry Nine, Boyd Cycling, Ryde and more.
  • Spokes: DT Swiss and Sapim
  • Nipples: DT Swiss and Sapim


All tools are provided, but students may of course elect to purchase their own wheelbuilding tools.

Depending on what components are used, special tools are sometimes required, and it is often critical to use the correct tools. An example would be when building with bladed spokes such as the high-end Sapim CX-Ray spoke. CX-Ray spokes are extraordinarily strong and light. Their airfoil shape also gives them a very low drag coefficient. To avoid inadvertent damage to a spoke when building or servicing a wheel made from Sapim CX-Ray spokes, it is important to use the correct tools. In my school, I teach students the proper techniques to employ with Sapim spokes and also offer the proper tools for sale. I have a Sapim digital tensiometer that is specifically calibrated for use with Sapim spokes, and I have received training on two occasions from Sapim's technical experts at the Antwerp, Belgium factory and headquarters.


Former students are welcome to return at any time for any “tweaking” their wheels may need.

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