About November Wheels
Making great wheels is equal parts product and process. We start with excellent products from established suppliers with excellent track records and credentials, who supply some of the biggest brand names in cycling. Hubs and carbon rims are manufactured in Taiwan; spokes are from Belgium; alloy rims are made in the U.S.A. Every part that goes into your wheels has been EN tested.
Selecting the best suppliers and products is vital, but for us it's only the beginning. We build all of our wheelsets by hand in the U.S.A., to draconian quality standards. There is not a wheel we have shipped to customers that we would not have happily kept to race ourselves.
November Carbon Rims
A lot of people assume that because other rims that they see on eBay or in other places look like the ones we use, that they must be the same or similar. Looks can be deceiving. Our carbon rim supplier provides OEM rims to some of the leading brands in cycling. The same rims that we use have been used extensively by pro teams and have been used to win major international races. These rims aren’t available without a major purchase commitment placed well in advance. You simply don’t order a pair of their rims off the internet and have them delivered to your door in five days.
Rim and Wheel Testing
All of November’s carbon rims undergo a battery of tests to ensure safety and durability. Each has passed strict EN Testing and is rated for heat buildup up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. We also extensively road (and off-road) test all rim models for 3-12 months before making them available in any of our wheelsets.
Since we are rabid racing cyclists ourselves, the testing never stops. Whether we’re racing a cross race or a crit, suffering through a stage race or riding dirty in a mountain bike race, we are constantly ensuring that our wheels live up to the expectations we set for them, and searching for ways to keep improving them.
Handbuilt to Order in the U.S.A.
Each of our wheels is hand built to order, right here in the nation’s capital. Some companies bring in containers of built and pre-boxed wheels from overseas and ship them straight out to customers. Others build standard models and offer little to no selection on component choices. There’s nothing wrong with either approach; most of the things you’ll buy in life are delivered like that. Because we build everything to order, we are able to offer customization in hub selection and spoke options, depending on the customer’s preference. This also allows us to perform first hand Quality Control over every build of every one of our wheelsets, something that most brands that import fully built wheels do not do.
Our build process begins with inbound inspection of each component, with rims undergoing particular scrutiny. Rims are weighed and checked for straightness. Brake tracks are checked for any roughness or irregularity. Spoke holes are inspected for burrs, chips, or other damage. Spoke threads are cleaned and prepped prior to lacing, and rim/nipple joints are oiled to minimize friction and windup in the assembly process. Highly tensioned drive side and front spoke threads are oiled to prevent nipple damage during the build process and to prevent the nipple and spoke from seizing together. Care is taken during the build to ensure that no spokes or rims are scratched or otherwise worn by the building process.
During the build, particular attention is paid to balancing spoke tension releasing any windup in the spokes. Spoke lines are corrected and spokes are destressed at every phase of the build. Wheels are built to within .6mm of radial true (far more exactingly round than any tire you’d ever put on the wheel), and .3mm of lateral true. Spoke tensions are meticulously balanced, and non-drive side spoke/nipple joints are treated with a thread lock and corrosion preventer. Finally, the joint seam in alloy wheels is lightly sanded to ensure smooth braking performance.
Once the wheel is “built,” it is thoroughly cleaned and undergoes an overall quality check before getting decaled and ready for shipment. Accessory bags are checked for accuracy and partnered with the wheels, and finally the wheels make it into a specially designed wheelset box to get on their way to their new owner.
The application of the November logo is merely a final step in a long process of testing, selection, building and quality control that ensures that your wheels surpass every expectation you have for them. To us, it’s the end of a long journey we have taken with your wheels. We hope it’s only the beginning of yours.