It’s taken me longer than expected to get settled and set back up in Vancouver. I’m going to blame the ocean, mountains and mild winter for my slow progress, which is not far from the truth. It’s amazing how much you can get done during a Montreal winter when it’s -20C outside with 3 feet of snow on the ground.

For the last 4 years, I’ve offered a range of wheel configuration/component choices aimed at various price points which means I had a lot of stock.  In Montreal, I had a very large space to store shipping boxes, packing materials, a vinyl cutter/table, many dozen rims, hubs, 100’s of  spokes, a work stand, wheel building stand, etc, etc, etc…it was bliss. I loved my wheel room; all it was missing was a large TV and beer on tap. My wheel room in Vancouver is much more humble, maybe a fifth of the sq footage. If I attempted to carry the same amount of stock now, I would take up half of our home and the Wife Of Mass Destruction would blow up. ;)

I also have less time to spend on wheels this year. I love my new job but it’s very busy, plus I find myself getting out and about much more in Vancouver (hiking, biking, camping, etc…). Each year over the last 4 years, my humble wheel business grew larger and larger, which was awesome, but it also started taking up 100% of my spare time (literally).

So, for 2016 I’m going to change up how I offer wheels. Instead of having a range of options for many different wheel builds, I’m going to bring in enough stock to pre-build 3 or 4 wheel sets and offer them for sale. If it’s listed on my site, they’re sitting in a box ready to go. This will be great for customers wanting something asap (which is usually the case) but the lack of choice might put others off. I will be happy to take customer orders from people that contact me and are willing to possibly wait 4 weeks or more for a wheel set (that time could be longer or much shorter depending on when I am ordering in more stock).

I’ll be building with HED Belgium (C2 and Plus) and Pacenti rims, Chris King and White Industries hubs, and Sapim CX-Ray spokes. The wheels will be covered by my usual warranty and crash replacement policy.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be updating the WMD website and will hopefully have the first few wheels ready to sell by early February.

Long Overdue Update!

Yes I am still alive (I’ve received emails asking) and building wheels, but the start to the 2015 season has been a little rough in the WMD bunker.

Last year I started testing tubeless compatible carbon rims. I brought in many sample sets to be evaluated and tested from a few different suppliers. My evaluation/test process takes months, I don’t have big fancy machines to measure heat build up and impacts etc…, so I rely on more simple yet effective methods. The first evaluation is simply a visual inspection of multiple rims. I want to see consistency in the finish, the drilled nipple holes and carbon layout. I’ll usually have 6 to 8 rims from one supplier that I’ll compare to make sure there isn’t ant inconsistency’s.

The second test is how well they build, is the nipple bed a consistent thickness? are the clincher walls even etc…? Once the wheel is built to tension have any cracks appeared at the nipple hole? is the finish still smooth? is there any bulging etc…? If all that gets an A+ I then raise the tension about 30% higher than manufacture recommended and squeeze the living shit out of the spokes until I crack the rim. I’m looking to see how much the rim can take and how it fails. I do this to at least 3 rims,  I then dissemble the wheels and cut the rims into 4 sections using a miter box. I want to see the carbon layout on the inside of the rim. Are the walls a consistent thickness? are there any hollow spots…etc?

If all looks good the remaining intact rims get built into wheel sets and are ridden for many km’s by various people. I might not have an impact  machine but I do have Montreal roads :)

So, long story short, I did all that testing and picked a tubeless compatible rim to use for 2015. I placed my spring orders and the rims arrived in February for my spring pre-sale. Unfortunately the rims I received were not the same quality as the ones used when testing. I decided to not use them which left a rather large void in my line up and little time to find an alternative. That was an expensive month.

That’s the reason carbon road rims (temporarily) no longer appear on my site. I was hoping to have that all sorted by now but a second issue has slowed me down.

WMD is moving to Vancouver. Actually, the Wife of Mass Destruction and I are moving to Vancouver and WMD is coming along. I’ve been interviewing at several game studios ( I work in the video game industry during the day, just shipped Assassin’s Creed Unity) on the West Coast over the last 4 months (from LA to Vancouver). Last week I accepted an offer in Vancouver and will be moving in about 3 weeks. I will very much miss Montreal and all it has to offer but am very excited about having the opportunity to live/ride in Vancouver.

We also lost our 13 year old dog (Jesse) to cancer early in the new year. I don’t think a single wheel set has left WMD that didn’t have some dog hair sticking to it (he hung with me a lot when building wheels). We miss him tremendously.

Once settled I’ll turn on the ability once again to buy wheels from the site. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



Are carbon road wheels right for you?

There are many benefits to carbon wheels, but you need to
consider the drawbacks before you make your decision to purchase. This list should be considered when buying any brand of carbon wheel as they all share varying levels of these points.

The following 2 points are for carbon rims that are used with cantilever style brakes, if using a disc brake set up give yourself a high five and skip past the next couple paragraphs.

- All manufacturers have worked hard to improve braking performance of carbon rims, however, overheating of clinchers still threatens to cause a tire blowout after long periods of heavy braking (ie long, steep descents). Carbon wheel brake pads and resin technology has advanced and this has helped reduce heat build up issues, but it can still happen.
Weight limits on most carbon wheels are in place for this reason. The amount of heat generated from a 140 pound rider braking on a steep technical decent is much less than a 250 pound rider on the same road over the same distance. Always use a carbon specific brake pad on a carbon rim if the manufactor recommends it (these must be used on WMD carbon wheels).

If you’re 200+ pounds, the type of terrain you ride needs to be a factor when considering full carbon wheels.

- wet weather breaking power and effectiveness will be diminished in rainy conditions. Breaking performance has improved over the years but carbon rims still come in second place when compared to alloy.

The below points need to be considered for both cantilever and disc brake set ups on carbon rims

- Deeper rims provide aerodynamic advantage in favorable conditions, but can also hinder a riders confidence and energy in strong cross winds. Lighter riders and riders with less riding confidence will need to consider there ability and needs when purchasing 50mm and deeper wheels.

- As far as strength and durability are concerned, carbon wheels are absolutely safe and strong. Carbon rims are typically very durable, however they do not generally respond well to extremely sharp impacts (such as potholes). While carbon rims can handle relatively harsh environments very well, the cost of replacement rim(s) can be high.
(I do offer a Crash Replacement program to help make this less painful)

As a package, carbon wheels are hard to beat. Alloy wheels cannot offer the same combination of weight, stiffness and aerodynamics. When purchasing carbon wheels, or any wheels, both the pros and cons have to be evaluated and always decide what your needs are and then find a wheel set that completely satisfies them.








Everything is changing at WMD for 2015.  It’s been a very busy few months trying to get everything lined up and ready to go, especially rebuilding the website.

The biggest change will be the new carbon rims that I’ll be using for the road/triathlon wheels. They’ll be tubeless compatible with a wider profile and will be sourced from a Taiwanese supplier. I decided to stay with a 23mm wide rim as its a good balance between rim weight and wide rim benefits. Rim profiles will be posted shortly.

I’ll be adding a 50mm option to my line up. The WMD-c50 is in response to many inquiries for something deeper then the WMD-c38 but not as deep as the WMD-c60. It will be a very versatile road bike wheel set. The 50mm depth will be available with a normal brake track and will also have a disc brake option. The disc rim will have no brake track, will also be tubeless compatible but will not share the same rim profile as the normal rims.  Over the next few years more and more bike manufactures will add disc brakes to their road and cyclocross line ups and like their mountain bike cousins the traditional rim brake will disappear. For carbon rims this is awesome as its biggest enemy is heat build up, with disc brakes this issue will disappear.  There will also be a disc option in 38mm (WMD-c38Disc) and Chris King R45Disc hubs will be the only hub option (for now).

Tubular wheel options will be removed from the site. Unfortunately they don’t sell…. at all.

I’ll be adding carbon and alloy mountain bike wheels to the the line up. I’m very excited about this and have been working since August to make it happen. The alloy option will be available in 26, 27.5 and 29inch, while the carbon version will be available in 27.5 and 29 inch. The wheels will be built with Sapim D-Light spokes, which are double butted (2mm – 1.65 – 2mm), and will have 2 hub options, WMD stickered MTB hubs or Chris King ISO. Both hub options will support a standard 9mm q/r or a 15mm thru axle on the front wheel and the choice of 135mm standard 9mm q/r and 135 or 142mm thru axles on the rear. Shimano and SRAM X11 freehubs will also be available with both hub options. When did mountain bike wheels become so complicated!mtb_carbon-alloy_profile

Lastly, prices will increase in 2015.  The Canadian dollar continues to decrease in value against the US dollar. This hits me hard as 95% of the components I purchase are in USD. Also the new carbon rims in the line up are more expensive than the previous generation which has contributed to the cost.

Taxes will no longer be included in the prices listed on the website (this will take affect when I upload the new site later this month).  I wanted to keep it but got out voted by my book keeper wife and every cyclist living in Alberta. Shipping is still included in the price, I was allowed to still offer that.

For the first time I’ll be offering a pre-order discount starting Jan 1st and lasting until March 1st. On March 15th the pre-ordered orders will start shipping to customers who ordered in Jan and I’m aiming to have the last wheels out the door that were part of the pre-order by April 15th.

I’ll be posting far more details about this pre-order sale in the next week or so as I get the last details figured out.







Mountain bike wheels

I’ll be selling the mountain bike wheels I’m using for photographs at a discount. These wheels have never been ridden and come with my warranty and crash replacement.

I have 2 sets that are ready to go. The price does not include tax but shipping (in Canada) is included.

Contact me at info@ridewmd.com if interested.

WMD-c27.5 – Carbon UD rim, 27.5 inch, 30mm wide,  tubeless compatible, Sapim Race spokes and built with a set of Mango Chris King ISO hubs (axles can be changed to front 15mm thru axle and rear thru axles). Decal color can also be changed. This is a solid XC or all-mountain wheel set.

Weight – 1740g

Price – $1300 (retail will be around $1650)


WMD-a29′eh – Alloy rim, 29 inch, 26mm wide,  tubeless compatible, Sapim Race spokes and built with a set of WMD hubs (front hub has 3 changeable axle options and rear can be switched to a thru axle in 142 or 135)This is a solid XC or all-mountain wheel set.

Weight – 1780g

Price – $575 (retail will be around $750)


Morizumi spoke threading machine

A new toy arrived at WMD this week. A Morizumi spoke threading machine. Since I deal with thousands of spokes in dozens of lengths this bad boy was purchased to help reduce my inventory but still have any length of spoke needed on hand. These machines are hand make in Japan by one dude name Mr. Morizumi. It makes the old Phil Wood threader I used to use look so tiny….


Final mountain bike decal design

It seems so simple to design, cut and layout decals. It’s not. It took me an absurd amount of time to get to this point.

Below is the final design for the new mountain bike wheels I’ll be adding to the lineup. This is the 27.5 carbon version, the 29′eh and 26 alloy and carbon will follow a similar design.

2014-11-09 19.00.06(1)(1)

I’ve also started taking pictures of the components I’ll be building the mountain bike wheels with. These will be used on varies pages on my website. Geeking out on lighting,  camera and photo editing techniques has been both tough and a welcome change of pace.

I had to add the “Wheels of Mass Destruction” to the picture as I’ve had a rash of photo thieves using my images on their own web sites. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


End of season wrap.

Nov 1st in the WMD bunker is considered the end of the cycling season.  That might be different next year if I start building fat bike or CX  wheels but until then it’s time to sit back, with a beer and a Halloween candy hangover, and reflect on the past season.

It’s been very busy in the bunker this year. Sales were up 15% over last year which I’m very happy with considering I reduced the amount I spend on advertising. Word of mouth and repeat customers have been a big part of this years sales.

Quebec wins for the most sales, out pacing Ontario for the first time, followed by Ontario, Alberta and BC. I had three warranty’s this year, one more then last year, and 4 crash replacements.

The WMD-c38 was again my best selling wheel set followed by the WMD-c60. One big surprise this year was the popularity of the R45 hub set made by Chris King. It stomped White Industries and my WMD hubs. This hub has always been popular but many shy away because of it’s higher price, not this year.  I’ll be stocking the R45 Disc next season along with their MTB ISO hub set.

Cheers to all  that support me this season, I very much appreciate your business. Dec 1st I’ll be announcing my full 2015 line up with pricing and a few other tidbits.



The WMD-c29′eh.

Next year, I’ll be adding MTB wheels to my line up; it’s an exciting addition that I’ve spent a lot of time sorting out this season.

At the beginning of the summer, I had my sights on providing the lightest XC wheels possible. I brought in light weight alloy and carbon rims that I laced  to Chris King and WMD MTB hubs with CX-Ray spokes. I was able to achieve a 1520g, 29′er carbon wheel set which didn’t put me in the ultra light category, but would still be considered a very light wheel set (especially for the price).

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that building ultra light XC  wheels wasn’t really the product I wanted to offer. I don’t built ultra light road wheels, they’re light but more importantly, they’re built for people that actually want to ride the wheels they buy and not just use them on race day.

With that in mind, I set out to build wheel sets for everyday mountain biking that are strong, still light in weight, and well priced. The WMD-c29(‘eh), which is pictured below, is built onto a set of Chris King ISO hubs, laced together with Sapim Race spokes, Sapim secure lock nipples, and uses a 30mm wide, tubeless compatible, UD carbon rim. Total weight is 1800g and will be priced at $1800 with Chris King hubs (price includes shipping, but not tax). The alloy version will weigh in around 1760g and be priced at $1150 (again, price includes shipping, but not tax).



This set was built with mango Chris King ISO hubs and orange decals to match the test rider’s bike.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Richard’s bike (WMD MTB wheel tester/beater). 29_1

My 26 inch bike next to Richard’s 29′er looks so tiny. Incidentally, I’m riding a set of WMD-a26′s (26inch alloy rims) built on WMD MTB hubs. The stock wheels that came with my Avanti mountain bike weigh in at 2110g,  the WMD-c26 are 1600g. Over a pound shaved off the bike. The WMD-a26 will be priced around $725.bikes


Everyone has different ways of judging the end of summer. It could be the official date we find in the calendar, maybe the first snowfall of the year or by the changing leaves and crisp nights. At the WMD bunker I know the sunny season has ended because the summer wreath has been taken off the front door and replaced by the fall wreath. The Wife of Mass Destruction has a full collection of wreaths for every season and holiday you can imagine. No matter how you determine the end of summer it still sucks, unless you like to ski, which I don’t.

Fall is still a week away and there’s still plenty of good riding time left, but I’m already starting to think about and prepare for next season. This winter I’ll be busy adding a full line of Mountain Bike and dedicated Cyclo-cross wheels to my line up. It takes me months to photograph and edit photos, build the pages for the site, and get the first component orders together. I’ll have 29′er, 27.5 and 26 inch MTB wheels with the option of Chris king or WMD hubs and carbon or alloy rims. I’ll post more info in a few weeks with pictures, specs and prices.

Below are Chris King MTB ISO Mango hubs. These will be laced to a set of 30mm wide, tubeless compatible, carbon rims.10615361_10152231536716105_7297327531482507680_nMy carbon Cycle-cross wheels will be built on a wide tubular, disc only rim laced to a set of R45 Disc hubs (135mm rear spacing).  This will be a dedicated CX wheel set, built to withstand rough riders and rougher terrain. I’ll also have a wide alloy clincher version.


Full view of the CX front wheel (weighs in at 710g).