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Purpose Built Wheels by

Purpose Built Wheels by BikeCo Joe Binatena

Purpose Built Wheels by

Improve trail tracking and performance with Purpose Built Wheels by

It’s possible to calculate the performance of your mountain bike wheels. To start look at the sum of the major parts. Hubs, Spokes, Rims. Then factor in the builder’s skill in assembly as well as tuning. Yes, wheel tuning is a thing – more on that later.

Purpose Built Wheels: YOUR Spec

There are a variety of factors that help define your ideal spec. Riding style, rider weight, terrain, ideal service life as well as budget are considered.

At our team has the best products for any rider or style.


Do you prefer the additional traction of the wide rim / tire combo? Perhaps you prefer a bit quicker handling setup with narrower rims. No problem. We have both of these – and everything in the middle covered.

Not 100% sure what you need? Our staff is available to help you answer any performance questions you have along the way.

A common conversation with our sales team involves how hard you are on wheels and what type of terrain you commonly ride.

Do you run progressively low tire pressure and find yourself constantly bashing wheels through your favorite rock gardens? Well, might be best to stay on aluminum options.

Running more standard air pressures with only the occasional rim strike? The advantages of a lighter overall weight as well as improved trail tracking steer more and more riders towards carbon offerings. Add a Huck Norris or Cushcore option for even more protection.

Carbon out of the budget? We have awesome aluminum offerings from WTB, Novatec, Race Face and more. BikeCo is able to provide our clients with the best performing wheels in either material.

After dialing in the right rim it’s time to spec the hubs. At BikeCo we work with the very best hubs in a variety of price points.


Chris King Closeup of XD driver in truing stand with blurred background from long exposure photo.


Typical considerations on hubs are service life and strength.

Products like Chris King hubs have near infinite lifespan when serviced. Other hubs may utilize bearings that can be serviced a time or two and then need to be replaced. Typical quality hubs can have a set or two of bearings driven into them before the hub body will lose it’s press fit.

Hub strength is more and more important as we transition into larger cassettes. The added leverage from a 50t cassette means even lighter riders are able to input large torque numbers onto a freehub. Riders with choppy pedaling (I am in your numbers!) will add even more stress to a freehub. This helps make the case for higher engagement options as they lessen the “hammer” effect of the system building up power and smashing the next engagement point.

Take a look around then reach out to our sales team to help you get the best hub for your needs.

Spokes & Nipples

We use DT Swiss spokes & nipples nearly exclusively. DT Swiss has unmatched quality as well as consistency in batch production.

Looking for maximum strength? Check out their double butted options. By tapering the spoke the flow of stress is improved making double butted spokes stronger than single gauge options.

Want to shave a bit of rotating weight? Let’s look at triple butted spoke options.

Need the best of both worlds? We commonly mix spokes for the ultimate balance of weight and performance.

At BikeCo we use black spokes. The reasoning? The hard black ano is a technical coating providing a touch of additional stiffness to the spoke in addition protecting the base material. Most colored spokes, particularly the bright colors, are powder coated which decreases strength and creates other issues.

Want some customization on your custom wheels? A wide range of alloy nipple colors are available as well as custom color spacing options.


Joe Binatena builds a custom wheelset. black and white photo soft focus.


BikeCo Purpose Built Wheels: Our Builders

BikeCo’s wheel builders have unmatched experience, material expertise and techniques. In fact our team has trained wheel builders all over the world: from pro race mechanics to basic assemblers.

I use the word assembler quite on purpose, having watched Joe train a group of inexperienced mechanics to be able to lace and bring wheels up to basic tension – in less than an hour. In that case it was as a consultant for a company that then had a more experienced member put the final true and tension on the wheels – but believe me the phrase “certified wheel builder” doesn’t hold a lot of water in the performance MTB world.

BikeCo owner Joe Binatena has been building wheels since the 1980’s. Joe’s experience working with the fastest MTB racers in the world has allowed him to continue developing skills that the average builder simply cannot obtain.

Top tier racers actually utilize specific tunes depending on course, traction and rim material. While few of us are going to push as hard, fast or into as big of terrain as an EWS racer the understanding of what works, when and for whom is critical.

Joe brings this information back and trains BikeCo staff on how to spec, setup and tune wheels for a variety of riders. Factoring in ground speed, aggression, weight and terrain our team will eliminate builds on the too soft or too stiff spectrum and dial you in. Like Goldilocks. Without the bears, most the time!


Purpose Built Wheels by BikeCo: DT Swiss on WTB KOM rims

Purpose Built & Factory Build Wheels

The last few stages of a wheel build really maximize performance and service life. Over the years the BikeCo team has developed a system to tension, pre-stress, and final tension wheels that gives the best performance for the most miles.

Did your BikeCo complete come with factory wheels? Well no worries – we use these techniques on our Purpose Built Wheels as well as every complete wheel set that we sell.

Have questions? We have answers. Reach out by chat, email or call 949-470-1099 to discuss the best wheels for your riding.

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