About Me & Wheel Building

Dave's Bike Shed is a bicycle repair and maintenance workshop; cyclist training and mentoring service and bicycle consultancy practice.

I work on all bikes: road race, mountain, tandem, folders, recumbent, hybrids, supermarket bought runabouts. I can service vintage racing bikes with classic Italian components, the latest titanium and carbon lightweights with 10 and 11 speed hubs, hard tail and fully suspended down hill and cross country trail mountain bikes.

My shed workshop is fully equipped with the tools to undertake all repair and maintenance tasks. Cyclus, VAR, Kestrel, Park, Hozan, as a bit of a tool addict my tool board or box is never complete!

My City and Guilds qualifications are the highest in the industry. I am skilled in the specialist jobs such as wheel building and frame truing and do so at a competitive price that I consider the best value in Fife, Edinburgh and the Lothians.

My background

I have cycled since the age of 3 and maintained my own, family and friends' bikes for years. Before starting up Dave's Bike Shed, I was employed in local and central government, where I spent a significant part of that career working in transport and cycling policy.

I don't see bikes just as toys or leisure sports equipment, I see cycling as a way ahead from where we are now with expensive transport costs, chaos and congestion.

I used to cycle many miles a year - when I get the chance! This is less and less now; but I have tales to tell of cycling exploits aplenty.

You can be sure that I will give the same care and attention to your bicycle as I do to my own and my family's.


I have a fully equipped workshop (the shed) complete with the specialist tools required to service and maintain any bicycle. Bicycles are highly complex and well engineered machines, without the correct tools to engage with the component, it is impossible to replace or repair.

Hand built wheels

Wheelbuilding is one of my special skills. I firmly believe you can't call yourself a bike mechanic unless you can build high quality wheels to a consistent standard. I can build standard cross pattern "tangent" wheels, radial wheels and tangent radials; small or large flange hubs; straight, single or double butted spokes, even flat blade and aero profile spokes. 29er and 27.5 in assymmetric rims for max strength and minimum dish on your MTB - not a problem.

Contact me to discuss and preferably visit - a set of handbuilt wheels are something every cyclist should own, whether touring, time trialling, road race, BMX or MTB, everyone knows the standard factory rim and hub combinations. Be a bit more distinctive and experience handbuilts from Dave's Bike Shed!

Please note: as I wish to provide a personal and personable experience to all my customers I do not provide a mail order service.

Hope hubs are now the most popular by far. RS4 is a great road hub in all the colours and spoke counts. Bitex a default for me.

Canondale Ai, Asymmetric Integration: read all about this frame here I have no opinion on the veracity of the claims as I don't have access to a testing laboratory! I do know that owners of these machines purchased with the stock wheelset are disappointed in them and have difficulty or find it impossible to source a better quality and more robust rear wheel, no bother, I have done 3 in recent years, usually with Bitex 106 centre lock hub and an offset Kinlin rim. Get in touch if this is you and you want a wheelset way better than the standard.


I am now building the second and third sets of wheels for many customers. Not because they are worn out, simply due to them wanting more quality handbuilt wheel goodness! Mat T is one such customer, who has graduated from a commuter bike, running my wheels, to a C'dale road bike that came with ...MvicKys...throwaway disposables! In his initial inquiry to discuss his options he said "Still have my trusty Giant as a commuter bike and the wheels you built have been the best thing I've ever bought for a bike. "

Old hubs!

I am sometimes asked for classic hubs, Campagnolo, Pelissier, Maxi Car, Milremo. Sorry, but I no longer keep stocks of these. A pair of Campagnolo Gran Sport steel/alloy 1950-60's hubs, polished up nicely, a P3003 rear and a Milremo flip flop 115oln high flange, ready to built into a rim you have, leave it to my customers to source, here are some nice pics of hubs I did have.


Pelessier great condition QR

Gran Sport - straight QR - rare

Campagnolo winged logo

Milremo flip flop 115oln

Milremo super shiny finish

Silver hubs as shown here are 28 spoke front and rear so good if you are 12 stone or under. Black are 32 spoke so greater than 12 stone these are for you. I can mix and match with 28 front and 32 rear and am more than happy to chat over your requirements. I am putting these up on Facebook and Twitter pages so they may not hang about. See the text below as a starter!

Handbuilt 700c race, training or fast commuter wheelset. A stylish and more robust alternative to the more common Mavic Open Pro or the lower quality Shim**o R500/1 things that came on your half decent road bike. Also not the disposable Mavic Ksyrium with their frozen nipples and spokes that cost 30% of a new wheel.

Rims are the superb Ambrosio Excellight SSC, made in Italy. Rim brake, anodised black finish and suitable for tyres 19mm to 28mm, valve hole for Presta; light and durable, fitted with a rim tape ready for you to fit tubes/tyres; or let me supply these as well. Max rider weight 95ishkg. Also using more Ryde rims, especially assymetric for disc brake bikes.

Hubs are now Miche as default, made in Italy, were Ambrosio (novatech cartridge bearings) a great hub but getting expensive for this level of finish and quality. Road bike standard widths 100mm front and 130mm rear. Suitable for 8,9, 10 and 11 speed Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo cassettes. They use quality sealed bearings which are easily replaced when worn.

The 32 spokes are high quality Italian made ACI 2.0/1.7/2.0 double butted stainless steel in silver. Lighter and stronger for their diameter than standard plain gauge spokes. Made from 100% stainless steel and fastened with solid brass nipples. My black spokes are now Sapim.

The wheels are built using a 3x (3 cross) pattern which is the best compromise for strength without excess weight. A pair weigh around 1.7kg If you need 11 speed add £40 for a suitable freehub. If you need a campag freehub spline add £10. If you are light enough 60ishkg you can go 28 spoke. I am doing these as a special to make way for revised Ambrosio offerings and my switch over to Miche (made in Italy) hubs. This set up has been my default quality wheelset since I started trading, I typically have been selling 5-6 pairs/year with no complaints or major issues. They really will transform your bike if it has factory fitted, unbranded or plain gauge spoked wheels with lesser quality bearings.

The most FAQ on wheels is low spoke counts. Heavier than around 80kg or 12st is the range of weight where you need sturdier and 32 spokes at least. Its all about compliance and interaction between the road, the bike and you.

Your wheel may have a wobble or a buckle but it can be rebuilt, within reason - this is too far gone and I dont look very happy! Its a 48hole tandem rim, I wasn't riding it at the time.

I am often asked the same questions when customers are thinking about a wheelset: Rims are most often Ambrosio, they are great quality and made in Italy; Mavic and DT Swiss also used; spokes are nearly always double butted stainless steel A.C.I. or Sapim and in black have a very durable finish; nipples are always brass and very seldom aluminium; hubs (since Campagnolo dropped all but Record) are again often Ambrosio, but can be Hope, Shimano, Novatech or whatever you wish to supply even new old stock; time is dependant upon stock components but wheels are usually built in a day, cost is one wheel build from £35 + components.

Sturmey Archer Dynohubs old and interesting - large flange with the magnets, small flange with the "slip through" holes for the spoke heads. Often these confuse lesser wheel builders! However with a bit of thought and turning the usual wheel build method around I calculate the sequence of spokes, then lace up the large flange, 2 cross in light tension; then lace the smaller flange in 3 cross pattern, tensioning enough to keep them in place. Sometimes a wee bit masking tape is necessary! Radial and lateral true as usual, but making sure the wheel is dished as the 2 cross/3 cross can skew the centralisation of the rim. There is also a handy way of calculating spoke lengths manually for these - but thats for me to know!

Tern 20" Wheel Disc Brake Rohloff

Swapped out the Shimano hub to fit the Rohloff into the brand new unused rim. Area at left hand sied rear drop out, very busy with brake caliper (mounted on a new Rohloff monkey bone). Rohloff EX box and prop stand.

rim, hub, spokes (dt swiss!)
complete wheel, 1 cross, correct spoking!

Left hand side drop out area

The complete machine, off round Europe