Wheels are one of those romantic parts of cycling to me. Something that can make your bike 100% better, or 200% worse. Truing wheels is the first memory I have of working in a bike shop 12 years ago. It was the first “bike mechanic” skill really taught to me. Before that it was installing kick stands and cleaning off bikes.
Wheel systems like Fulcrum, Mavic and Industry9 hold a spot in my mind, strong, reliable and a thought out system. If those hold a spot in my mind, hand built wheels with your standard j-bend spoke hold a place in my heart.
There is some feeling inside of you when you pick out the perfect hub, the right rim, spoke lacing pattern to make it stiff and strong while light weight, and final touches such as the nipples that hold it all together.
I’ve always been drawn to things like Phil Wood hubs, Campagnola C-Record Sheriff Badge hubs and reliable rims like Mavic Open Pro. Then someone goes and post something like this, Enve rims laced to Chris King road hubs and I am left searching the internet planning my next wheel build.