November 06, 2019 3 min read
If you've ever replaced the derailleur hanger on your bike, there's a pretty good chance that you're familiar with Wheels Manufacturing, but you might not even realize it! That's because while Wheels Manufacturing has been machining precision parts in Colorado since 1988, they haven't ever been very flashy. In almost all cases, they make parts that simply make our lives as bike riders easier and better–even if we don't know it!
Now if you started reading this without much familiarity with the brand, you might think that sounds like a big claim, but if you already do know about the brand, you'll probably already agree with it. But in any case, here's why we make that claim: Wheels Manufacturing makes some of the widest selection and best quality replacement derailleur hangers around, as well as a wide range of bearing pressoptions. And this is why we say you may have used their products without actually knowing it. Most bike shops will go to Wheels to get derailleur hangers–especially if the bike they're working on is from a brand that they don't carry. Wheels makes hangers that are almost always higher-quality than those that come stock, and makes getting your hanger easy because of how many bike shops sell their parts.
But you may be asking yourself why AVT.bike is starting to carry their products, because after all, we haven't exactly been positioning ourselves as your derailleur hanger supply store. Well it turns out that derailleur hangers aren't the only type of 'standard' that the industry can't seem to decide on: bottom brackets also come in a mind-boggling array of sizes, and finding one of decent quality can be a nightmare. This is an area where Wheels Manufacturing stands out again because they have done the seemingly-impossible by somehow keeping up with bottom bracket standards, and offering a variety of bearing choices across the bulk of them in a timely manner.
And now that Chris King has stopped offering pressfit bottom bracket options, we wanted to have something to offer riders whose bikes use one of those standards. Now we have it because while most manufacturers will offer a few bottom bracketstandards–none of which will be some of the less-used ones like Cannondale's PF30A–Wheels Manufacturing offers almost every bottom bracket standard. There are a couple of exceptions, but in general, if you're having a hard time getting a good bottom bracket for your bike, there's a very good chance that Wheels Manufacturing has you covered not only with a bottom bracket that will fit, but with a wide selection of bearing options to go in it.
And here we should make a note about the bearings that Wheels Manufacturing uses in their bottom brackets. All bottom brackets from Wheels Manufacturing use Enduro bearings, and in most you have the option of selecting from a range of bearings from ABEC3, 5, angular contact, hybrid ceramic, all the way up to Enduro's top-tier ZERO ceramic bearings. In our experience, Enduro bearings aren't built up to the durability standards of Chris King's superb bearings, but they're arguably the best off-the-shelf sealed cartridge bearings on the market. They are designed to be serviced, but can also easily be replaced. They're smooth, durably (especially if you get the angular contact versions), and are made in the US. These are the same bearings that White Industries uses in their hubs, bottom brackets, and headsets, and we have nothing but praise for them.
September 11, 2023 13 min read