So I was on the lookout for a set of carbon wheels and going through the motions. You know the drill, checking out the best wheel reviews in the price bracket desired then transposing that info into a multitude of search engines. Wiggle, Facebook, eBay, Gumtree you name it. All in the vain hope you’ll find that shining pebble in the discounted price stream. I was even narrowed down to two of the leading brands Zipp V Mavic. Yet every time I hovered my finger over a ‘Bid Now’, ‘Buy It Now’ or a ‘Complete Your Order’ button. I would stall, something wasn’t squaring up.
Then through friendly discourse, I received not one but numerous glowing recommendations to look no more. Why buy generic big brand mass produced, when you can have bespoke, customised wheels made by ‘The Wheelsmith’. So I did. I visited his workshop in Larbert. I was fascinated by this menagerie of wheels and the spinning world into which I stepped. My eyes bounced and floated around like the sound waves of the eclectic tunes wafting out of the sound system. Tracing and darting all over the stunning variations of rims, hubs, spokes and nipples available for customisation.
After blethering, questioning and perusal I decided upon a pair of carbon 40mm rims running Dtswiss 240s. But not only that I was now fascinated and had to learn a little more about this art and the master craftsmen behind it. This is a brilliant example of what happens when passion, knowledge and skill collide. A barometer of this is a client list that spans the spectrum from Russian Oligarchs, Record Breakers, Race champions to Braes City (weekend) Rouleurs.
I asked if he would do a Q&A with us. Reluctant at first (due to previous bad experience) he gladly warmed to the idea.
Without further ado, Let me introduce you to Derek McLay- The Wheelsmith. Grab a glass and enjoy. Continue reading “Derek Mclay – The Wheelsmith”