eMTB and MTB Custom Wheel Builder

Shop the best in hand-built eMTB and MTB Wheels here at BikeCo.com.
Learn More about our Custom Wheel Builder options in the tabs below!


eMTB & MTB Custom Wheel Builder Details

Learn more about the variety of products that go into BikeCo’s Custom Wheel Builder in the tabs below!
Want to get in touch with questions? Use the Contact Me Form, Chat, Email or Call 949-470-1099!

BikeCo MTB Custom Wheel Builder Hub Options

BikeCo eMTB and MTB Custom Wheel Builder

Hub Options

We offer hubs from leading manufacturers with a range of designs, colors and options.

Chris King

RingDrive system with 72 simultaneously interfaced points of contact.
Chris King Hubs are American made and have long been the benchmark by which hand built wheels are judged.

Brake Mount(s): CenterLock
Drilling(s): 32h, 28h
F Hub(s): 15x110mm
R Hub(s): 12x148mm, 12x157mm
Colors: Black, 2-Tone Black/Gold, Gold, Matte Turquoise, Red, Silver, Midnight, Matte Black

15×110 F Weight: 150g
12×148 R Weight: 298g

Industry 9 Hydra

0.52 degree engagement, Made in the U.S.A.
American made with a wide range of axles, drilling and brake configurations (not to mention 11 great colors)
i9 Hydra is an easy choice!

Brake Mount(s): CenterLock, 6-Bolt
Drilling(s): 32h, 28h
F Hub(s): 15x110mm, 20x110mm
R Hub(s): 12x148mm, 12x157mm
Colors: Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Lime, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Silver, Turquoise

15×110 F Weight: 166g
12×148 R Weight: 288g

Onyx Vesper

Instant power transfer with silent engagement!
Known for building amazing, and quiet, hubs you’ll see Onyx Vespers on more and more Trail and Enduro bikes.

Brake Mount(s): CenterLock, 6-Bolt
Drilling(s): 32h
F Hub(s): 15x110mm, 20x110mm
R Hub(s): 12x148mm, 12x157mm
Colors: Black, Black Aura (powdercoat), Blue, Clear, Green, Gold, Matte Black, Purple, Turquoise, Red, Pink

15×110 F Weight: 172g
12×148 R Weight: 405g


6 Pawl Freehub Body, 60t Ratchet Ring
Incredible performance balanced on a cost conscious platform.
Factor are notable upgrades from house brand hubs & available in a variety of colors to highlight your build: What’s not to love?

Brake Mount(s): 6-Bolt
Drilling(s): 32h, 28h
F Hub(s): 15x110mm, 20x110mm
R Hub(s): 12x148mm, 12x157mm
Colors: Black, Blue, Gold, Grey, Purple, Red, Silver, Pink

15×110 F Weight: 194g
12×148 R Weight: 344g

Questions on Hubs?

Chat with our team about which hubs are going to fit your riding needs, or have just the right look to highlight your build!

BikeCo Custom Wheel Builder Carbon and Aluminum Rims

Wheel Builder Rim Options

There are a handful of areas to review when spec’ing that perfect rim for your eMTB or MTB Custom Wheel Build.
Two of the more important are:

Carbon or Aluminum?
Internal Rim Width?

Carbon vs Aluminum Rim Options

Carbon Rims:

Like your handlebars or frame there is a difference in how carbon and aluminum transfer load, particularly spike impacts.

Looking at solely the material: Carbon, being a weave, is able to absorb and dampen more of a shock load than Aluminum.

However when it comes to rims the Carbon Rims tend to be built quite robust in order to provide a good performance margin as well as to create structures that transfer as much power as possible in a singular (ideally forward!) direction.

In fact, many manufacturers go so overboard that their Carbon Rims are actually too stiff creating traction issues and increasing chatter through the bike and rider!

The Carbon Rims we offer from Factor, Ibis and NOX Composites all balance power transfer, tracking while not being so stiff that your hands and feet are going to take a beating.

We offer Carbon Rims from 29mm-36mm internal rim width (more on that below).

Aluminum Rims:

Aluminum Rims tend to be a touch heavier than comparable Carbon Rims. They also give up a bit of tracking and power transfer compared to a similar Carbon Rim.

For instance I ride Aluminum Rims on my bikes, but when I mount Carbon Rims I note that where the bike “is” compared to where I want it to be will slightly tighten up. So, if on my wheels I can see the line I want to hold at about 2 tires wide on carbon it feels more like 1 or 1 1/2 tire widths.

Let’s look a little deeper to compare (and I’ll tell you why I still build Aluminum wheels… although everyone else at the shop I think rides Carbon these days!)

Carbon vs Aluminum Rim Damage

We carry quality brands. With great quality control. So, I rarely come across a manufacturing error – but – we work with some aggressive riders so I do see what happens when you ride hard… (sometimes on my own wheels too)

Aluminum will deform prior to full failure. This might give you a chance at banging a rim straight if you’re way out in the weeds. If your rim has a notable stress riser, ie bend, big ding, etc, etc its time to replace the rim as it will eventually stress the material at that point.

Carbon doesn’t change shape like Aluminum. So when it fails it cracks or breaks.

Frankly neither of these is ideal so I generally don’t find riders choosing a rim based on these. Especially with the availability of modern rim protection like the CushCore Pro and CushCore XC. In fact, as more riders go to EXO+ and DD tires I see far fewer rims with substantial impacts (including mine).

For a while I was turning rear wheels into stop signs fairly often, which was one of the reasons I stayed in Aluminum Rims. They tended to take the occasional big “ping” hit off a rock and continue to hold air.

As I write this, after a couple years on EXO+ tires both with and without CushCore XC inserts, I’m staring at a rear wheel on my bike that really doesn’t have any tell-tale marks of abuse.

Inner Rim Width, Tire Volume & Tire Shape

We offer rims with internal rim widths from 29mm to 36mm. This provides a wide range of options for tire selection and setup.

Wider internal rims will provide more volume per tire size allowing lower PSI for more traction. However, the wider rim also changes the shape of the tread pattern.

(Below is from a previous post located here – opens in new tab)

It is important to pair the right tire with the right rim width for your riding. Modern MTB rims have settled into the 27mm to 35mm range for most riders. Manipulating the rim / tire interface sizing produces different volume capacity as well as overall tire profile shape.

Riding on the narrower end of the spectrum it is important to ensure cornering lugs are not rolled too far over as they require higher lean angles to engage.

Wider rims sizes have been accommodated with technologies such as WT from Maxxis. WT tires feature cornering tread is specific to wider rims with higher volume setups. Some tires may suffer cornering lugs which are too vertical that don’t grip at high lean angles when installed on wider rims.

Most 2.25-2.6” tires are rideable on the 27-35mm rim standards, however if you’ve noted cornering problems on a tire with appropriate cornering lugs it’s worth a look at how they mount.

Image 1 illustrates the shape expected when a tire is mounted on too wide of a rim for the tread shape. Comparing the outer edge of the tire to the cornering lugs note little or no overlap. Expect a tire that will not like to corner at aggressive lean angles.

Image 2 is a good shape for most riders. The lug overlap is clear, however the lug isn’t rolled so far over that it will slip in normal cornering.

Image 3 is less common – but if the cornering lug is too far past the sidewall it requires a TON of lean angle when cornering to engage.

Carbon vs Aluminum Rims: The Conclusion-ish

Carbon wheels are lighter. Lighter makes a big difference particularly on rotating weight.

Carbon wheels tend to track slightly more precise.

Carbon wheels tend to transfer more pedaling power.

Aluminum wheels tend to feel more compliant (particularly against some of the other brands of carbon rims…).

Aluminum wheels are less expensive.
(this is frankly why I probably continue to end up on Aluminum Rims: it allows me to focus budget in other areas of my bike builds. As a heavier rider the weight really isn’t a factor for me. Running EXO+ tires and good pressures has kept me from abusing my wheels as much – so the risk of impact really isn’t a factor. Again, with the right tire setup I’m getting a lot of compliance through the sidewall technology and PSI so the added compliance and traction of the wheel aren’t as big of a factor. The added tracking would be nice, especially at higher speeds I suppose. hmmm, maybe I’ll be shopping Carbon Wheels…)

Questions? Chat with our sales team to dial in the right rim for your riding.

Current MTB Custom Wheel Builder Rim Offerings

Carbon Fiber:

Ibis S35

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 35mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 890g
Noted for: nicely compliant, light for a 35mm inner rim width

NOX Farlow Enduro

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 29mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 940g
Noted for: the most popular carbon rim at BikeCo.com. Great power transfer and feel. Robust enough to tackle big terrain.

NOX Farlow XC

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 29mm
Drilling(s): 32h, 28h
Weight for 29″ pair: 860g
Noted for: lighter than the Enduro layup this is a great trail / downcountry offering and popular with lighter riders.

NOX Kitsuma Enduro

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 36mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 1080g
Noted for: NOX’s wide rim offering in a layup ready for Enduro, All-Mountain and Park days.

NOX Kitsuma XC

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 36mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 980g
Noted for: NOX’s wide rim offering in a layup lighter than the Enduro setup for lighter riders or smaller terrain.

Factor Talledega Carbon

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 30mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 900g
Noted for: A great rim width for a wide range of tires. Light weight and responsive. Front & Rear Specific


Factor Talledega Aluminum

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 30mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 1040g
Noted for: popular aluminum rim at the perfect rim width for a wide range of tires

RideFast LocoMoto

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 30mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 1240g
Noted for: ready for aggressive terrain and heavier riders with a 30mm internal for maximum tire selection.

WTB KOM i30 Tough

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 30mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 1100g
Noted for: the most popular custom built rim. WTB balances compliance and strength in this 30mm internal width rim.

WTB KOM i35 Tough

Wheel Size(s): 29″ and 27.5″
Internal Rim Width: 35mm
Drilling(s): 32h
Weight for 29″ pair: 1208g
Noted for: balances compliance and strength for a great on trail feel. 35mm internal width provides tires maximum volume for lower PSI.

BikeCo Custom Wheel Builder Spokes and Nipples Details

Building with the Best: DT Swiss Spokes & Nipples

Spokes are a great example of how BikeCo.com curates our product selection for the ultimate performance.

What makes DT Swiss Spokes the best? There are a handful of reasons that stand out to artisan builders – but one of the biggest factors is DT Swiss has the best quality control batch after batch after batch.

Other spokes might list at a higher price – but since 1999 we haven’t found spokes and nipples that outperform DT Swiss on a day in, day out basis.

We offer DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0 spokes as well as DT Competition Race 2.0/1.6/2.0 options in black.

Why black? The black coating provides a slightly more robust protective coating on the spoke than bare silver without a real weight penalty.

No bladed spokes? No, not really. eMTB and MTB riders typically don’t have the ultra long rides that might actually create any sort of aerodynamic benefit (that you might hear about on a road bike). Also, the when flattening a spoke to create the blade there is a manufactured stress riser along the length of the spoke. While this might not be very detrimental to road bikes on gravel or MTB riding where rocks, sticks, etc can be flung into your wheels round spokes better transfer that strike energy and are less likely to fail.

If you’re really interested in a specific spoke / nipple combination let us know and we will look into it with you!

BikeCo Custom Wheel Builder Help Me Decide 2 cross vs 3 cross

Spoke Patterns

2 Cross Spoke Lacing

Called 2 Cross as each spoke crosses two others.
2 cross lacing produces a bit more of a rigid, responsive to power build.

3 Cross Spoke Lacing

Each spoke crosses three others. 3 Cross lacing adds a bit more compliance to the wheel build.
That compliance will generally increase your bike’s traction.
The added compliance also helps reduce stresses on the spokes increasing the wheel build’s service window.

Most riders will prefer the 3 cross’ advantage of better traction and longer service life.

3 Cross vs 2 Cross

Some of the other considerations in 3 cross vs 2 cross spoke patterns are the actual spoke length.

2 cross patterns use shorter spokes overall, but how much weight savings does that really equate to?

2x vs 3x spoke weight examples

The image above shows 10 284mm spokes compared to 10 of the 3 cross’ 294mm spokes. You can see the weight saving isn’t as much as you might think.

If there is a 4g difference in 10 spokes you come out to just under 13g across 32 spokes on a wheel. In pounds? about 0.0287.

So, if the weight isn’t a factor it really comes down compliance and longevity.

Still have questions? Chat with our team about the details. (truth told, I really never did the research for myself – the guys asked my weight, knew what I rode and I’ve ridden 3 cross ever since!)

Valve Stem Options:

The most popular Valve Stems on our Custom Wheel Builder are the CushCore and Muc-Off V2 options.

This is because both CushCore and Muc-Off have designed their valve stems to work with modern rim protection.

Instead of releasing the airflow only in a straight line to the valve body (which can be hard to fill with rim protection as the hole may be blocked by the CushCore PRO or even CushCore XC) CushCore and Muc-Off valves have side releases allowing the air to flow through channels into the tire.

Illustration of Valve Stems for use with Rim Protection

As the illustration shows the air releases from the side of the valve body through machined gaps.

Other reasons we love CushCore and Muc-Off Valves?

A great selection of colors and tremendous quality control during production.

CushCore Valves

CushCore Valve Stems Color Examples

CushCore Valves shown in Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Red & Turquoise.

Available in 44mm and 55mm options.

Muc-Off V2 Valves

Muc-Off Valve Stems Color Examples

Muc-Off V2 Valves shown in Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Iridescent, Orange, Purple, Red & Silver.

Available in 44mm and 60mm options.

Back to the Builder!
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Any other questions on our eMTB and MTB Custom Wheel Builder? Let us know! We build the best handbuilt wheels for all riding styles from XC, DownCountry, Trail, Enduro to Big Mountain, Park and DH Racing.

Our experienced team knows that your wheels need to stand up to your riding so we’ll take a riding bio from you prior to building your custom wheels.

Contact Me: Custom Wheel Builder

Looking for a specific wheel? Need some questions answered?
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Click through our available bits or let us know in below what we can do to dial in your next set of eMTB or MTB Custom Wheels!


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