• This topic has 34 replies, 29 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by IHN.
Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • British bike brand Sonder brings wheel-building to the UK
  • singletrackross
    Full Member

    UK brand Sonder – the bike arm of AlpKit – have announced that they have brought their wheelbuilding in-house.

    By singletrackross

    Get the full story on our front page at:

    British bike brand Sonder brings wheel-building to the UK

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    mashr
    Full Member

    Quick, add in something about being “hand finished” before everyone gets upset about machine built wheels!

    colin9
    Full Member

    Are most wheels actually hand finished? I’m thinking of the biggish more premium MTB brands such as Hope, Hunt, Stans, I would imagine they’ll all just be machine trued and sold out the door.

    mashr
    Full Member

    colin9
    Full Member

    Are most wheels actually hand finished? I’m thinking of the biggish more premium MTB brands such as Hope, Hunt, Stans, I would imagine they’ll all just be machine trued and sold out the door.

    This is Hunt:

    “Hand-built | All of our road bike rim brake wheels are built and finished by hand, inclusive of a full quality control inspection.”

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    hopefully QC will be upped as my Sonder wheels lasted 2 rides before they need re-tensioning , re-dishing and truing. all of teh rear wheel spokes became very very loose very fast.

    asbrooks
    Full Member

    Hand finished means.. Remove from machine and put it in a box. No?

    rhayter
    Full Member

    I didn’t know Sonder are a B-Corp. That’s really impressive.

    IHN
    Full Member

    hopefully QC will be upped as my Sonder wheels lasted 2 rides before they need re-tensioning , re-dishing and truing. all of teh rear wheel spokes became very very loose very fast.

    Yeah, I’m currently waiting to hear back from them after I got a cracked rim after a fairly innocuous ding.

    finbar
    Free Member

    Wheel building doesn’t need a hyphen.

    If it had a noun afterwards e.g. “wheel-building tool” then it would become a compound adjective and a hyphen should be used.

    pmurden
    Full Member

    This is cool but that’s my sodding mechanic they’ve nicked to build them! Good luck in you new venture Jim Byatt.

    mashr
    Full Member

    asbrooks
    Full Member

    Hand finished means.. Remove from machine and put it in a box. No?

    It means whatever the marketing people want it to mean

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Why are all the pictures showing hand lacing and building but all the blurb is about machine built?

    tthew
    Full Member

    This is Hunt:

    “Hand-built | All of our road bike rim brake wheels are built and finished by hand, inclusive of a full quality control inspection…”

    … the other 99% of our output is lashed together by a robot and sent out without any kind of checks.

    (not true I’m sure, but their sentence did seen to leave something hanging 😁).

    edit – as mick_r says, there’s some confusing images and text here – what does this mean?

    Sonder’s new wheel-building machine can lace a wheel in just 1-3 minutes! The skilled hands that lace and finish the wheels can put 30 pairs of wheels through the machine in a day.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    When Sonder Product Manager Neil Sutton designs a bike, he conceptualises both the frame and the wheels together.

    This is one of the more ridiculous examples of marketing speak.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I assume it’s something like this:

    Hub is pre-spoked and the ‘Hooman’ feeds the spoke in to the rim for the machine to do it’s stuff.

    devash
    Free Member

    Not the best PR copy. Let me rewrite it;

    “Hey you, mountain biker! You know that crappy stock wheelset that comes with every low to mid-range bike you’ve ever bought? The one that weighs as much as a baby elephant, with rims made of soft cheese, built around generic Novatec hubs forged from the finest porcelain? The one that you can’t wait to upgrade to something worthwhile from DT Swiss the second your work bonus or tax refund comes in? Yeah, that’s the one! Well good news! They’re now hand-made* in the UK!”

    (*disclaimer – not actually made by human hands)

    TrailriderJim
    Full Member

    What is a B-corp? Think their awful outsourced build quality has forced their hand on this. A couple of mates ride Sonders and I’ve had to help keep keep their wheels running while they sort out warranty replacements.

    paton
    Free Member

    Raleigh

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    You know that crappy stock wheelset that comes with every low to mid-range bike you’ve ever bought? The one that weighs as much as a baby elephant, with rims made of soft cheese, built around generic Novatec hubs forged from the finest porcelain?

    Hunt’s mission statement surely?

    stumason10
    Full Member

    Hope machine lace and hand finish in UK. Final tension true and inspection. Superstar lace in UK too for themselves and many others.
    So not big news. But great to see more insourcing and reduced shipping. The price of shipping right now probably more than justified the salary.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    Yeah. Poor headline. Lots of UK wheel builders. Needed a qualifying “their”.

    pnik
    Full Member

    My Sonder wheels have been fine for 2 years on my gravel bike. And my dealings with the company have also been good. I applaud their environmental stance but mourn plain English that marketing has butchered.

    bowglie
    Full Member

    My experience of their early wheelsets was not good, but I gather they’ve improved in the last 12 months. Although the marketing blurb is a bit cringe, it’s good to hear of another company bringing manufacturing (or at least assembly) back to the UK.

    hatter
    Full Member

    I didn’t know Sonder are a B-Corp. That’s really impressive.

    It’d be a lot more impressive if they actually fabricated anything in house. It’s a lot harder to be a B-corp when you’re not just assembling warehousing and shipping stuff made elsewhere.

    If someone like Continental, Hope or DT Swiss, who all have serious in house manufacturing capacity goes for B-corp status that would be seriously hard to do and require massive investment.

    Still, it’s better they did it than didn’t do it so it’s still a positive move on Sonders part.

    whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    i can rate the alpha 650b wheels they do. sound good run smooth, no complaints.
    and if you’ve bought a sonder recently check your alpkit account, nice 10% dividend of vouchers on my account.. wasnt expecting that

    cheers_drive
    Full Member

    Superstar lace in UK too for themselves and many others.

    I believe Superstar has sold their wheel building machines. Perhaps Sonder purchased the machines?

    liam1974
    Full Member

    I have on good knowledge they have bought the wheel building machine from Superstar, but looking at the photos it looks like they have just employed some mechanics to build the wheels. Why not show some photos of the actual machine ?

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    “When Sonder Product Manager Neil Sutton designs a bike, he conceptualises both the frame and the wheels together.”

    Give over.

    finbar
    Free Member

    Are Superstar stopping doing wheels then? I hope not.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It’d be a lot more impressive if they actually fabricated anything in house.

    My Alpkit luggage was hand made in the UK….

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    “When Sonder Product Manager Neil Sutton designs a bike, he conceptualises both the frame and the wheels together.”

    Revolutionary, have any other bike designers ever considered the wheels as part of the bike?

    Does at @Brant just imagine people bouncing their frames allong the ground?

    hatter
    Full Member

    My Alpkit luggage was hand made in the UK….
    Posted 2 hours

    Sewing bags is hardly an energy intensive industrial process, I doubt Alpkit make the fabric, zips and webbing themselves, that will be where most of the environmental impact is.

    unovolo
    Free Member

    “I think it needs just a little something else”

    IHN
    Full Member

    I think they must be too busy setting up their new machine to respond to my email about the cracked rim such is currently rather curtailing my riding.

    IHN
    Full Member

    Just to follow this up in case anyone stumbles across it in future – I got a call from Alpkit/Sonder yesterday, and they’ve sorted me out with a replacement wheel at a very fair cost. Fair play to them (although I did need to chase them a bit)

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