Sugar Wheel Works is proud to source rims and hubs of the highest quality made or designed right here in our home state of Oregon. We’re celebrating our awesome partners by hosting a special Oregon Made event where you get to save big on a new set of wheels!
Save Big on Custom Wheels!
Dream up your favorite wheel set using at least one Oregon brand rim or hub and receive up to 15% off the complete wheel set. Yeah… that’s a pretty sweet deal!
For an even sweeter ride, go ALL IN with an ALL-OREGON build.
Knight makes premiere carbon hoops that redefine comfort regardless of surface: road, gravel or singletrack. Some of our favorite rims from Knight are the Knight 35 TLA, Knight 50 TLA, and the Knight Mountain Enduro series.
Knight rims are built with three goals in mind: Compliance, speed and durability. They hit the mark every time. We’ve been working with Knight since the beginning and we believe they are the next set of hoops you want to ride. Knight rims are designed in Oregon and manufactured overseas.
Project 321 carefully manufactures their hubs to your taste at their Bend, Oregon facility. Want a loud hub with low drag? No problem. Want a quiet hub with even less drag? No problem.
With flanges machined for building the perfect wheel and a magnetically actuated 6-pawl system, your ride just got better. Did we also tell you they come in 10 beautifully anodized colors? Dream. Build. Ride… and ride… and ride.
Astral’s alloy hoops are made in the Eugene and some of their carbon hoops are made overseas or in the Pacific Northwest. Some of our favorite rims from Astral are the Wanderlust Carbon, Wanderlust Alloy, Veil, Hollywood, and Jester. We think they nailed those hoops both in design and in manufacturing. They are such a delight to build and ride!
Chris King (the man and the company) obsesses about every detail right down to the bearings, which they carefully manufacture in house. Made 100% in Portland, Oregon using USA made metals, these hubs offer quality through and through.
Known for their “Angry Bee” sound, these hubs provide firm engagement and minimal drag. They are offered in nine delicious colors (go for the Matte Punch!).
Our goal is to build you the best wheels possible, and we couldn’t do that without the support of our incredible vendors. One of the newest on the scene is Project 321 out of Bend, Oregon. We thought we’d take a quick minute to introduce you to this fun-loving, hard-working crew.
A “Have it All” Approach
Project 321 manufactures quality bike components. They believe that you can have it all – if you’re willing to work hard enough to make it happen. Case in point: their magnetically actuated drive system, which functions exactly opposite of a traditional mechanical push spring. “This is definitely the most unique aspect of our product line,” says co-owner Sam Ottemoeller. “By using magnets instead of springs we are able to offer sound level options and exceptionally low drag.”
Bike Rumor summed it up well when they said, “If you could design the perfect drive mechanism, what would it be? High engagement? Low drag? Quiet? Those were the answers Project 321 were looking for when they set out to design a new drive system. While the new drive system allows the rider to choose the volume of their pawls, it also creates a system that claims to have far less drag while keeping the high degree of engagement, all with fewer moving parts.”
This is How We Do Business in Oregon
When Project 321 moved their headquarters from Fresno, California to Bend, Oregon they quickly fell in love with the region. The natural world around them, with trails out their back door, inspires everything they do.
“Oregon is such a welcoming, and beautiful, state!” Sam says. “We have made wonderful connections since we moved to Bend. Many local bicycle related companies have reached out to us and we have made awesome personal connections as well. There is a general sense of productivity and excitement – which definitely makes it fun to do business here!
Though they’ve been busy getting the company up and running in Bend, Sam says they are certainly trying to get out and ride a bit, too. “We love Phil’s Trail Complex and McKenzie River is happening this summer for sure!”
We Love Our Vendors
We enjoy getting to know our vendors and forming relationships that allow us to truly know the people behind the quality components we’re adding to your wheels. With Project 321, it turns out the feeling is mutual.
“We had heard great things about Sugar Wheel Works even before connecting and they were all true!” Sam says. “They’re super friendly, very easy to work with. We truly appreciate that Sugar thought of us and reached out for the Ride OREGON Made project. We are so happy to be in such a friendly community.”
At Sugar Wheel Works, we build custom dream wheels because we believe in tailoring the wheel to your ride. We’re fortunate to have partners like Knight Composites in Bend, Oregon who understand this obsessive attention to specificity.
“We are a company that is built on innovation,” says Scott Wolfe. “We are constantly looking at who the end user is and how our products are going to improve the experience for that customer, whether it’s how a builder like Sugar is able to build our wheels or helping a professional triathlete.”
Complimenting Your Ride with Technology
Knight builds rims that compliment your ride style, instead of potentially working against it.
“Our manufacturing process allows us to custom tune the layup on our carbon for the intended type of riding, and do so without compromising durability or performance,” Scott explains. “We can balance compliance and stiffness while considering the bike setup that each wheel will be used on. For example, the layup we use on an enduro wheel for a bike with 5 inches of suspension travel will be different than the layup schedule for an aero road wheel used on a triathlete’s TT bike.
Scott says the wide demographic of cycling in Oregon and a culture/lifestyle centered around being outdoors is inspiring.
“I love being at Cross Crusade races connecting with local teams as much as I love going to shows all over the world and seeing Oregon based cycling brands like Chris King, Rolf, Co-Motion among others with a global reach. Plus, I love the balance of the creativity that comes from Oregon’s strong custom bike brand presence like Breadwinner, Stoemper, Argonaut, etc. We are a global brand, but our Oregon roots have a strong presence on our culture.”
“Central Oregon offers a wide range of great road riding,” Scott says. It’s hard not to love riding in this region, and those very same roads also become important testing grounds for Knight. “A lot of the testing we do on new products begins on these roads,” Scott says. “The McKenzie Pass YoYo between Sisters and Belknap, Painted Hills Loop and Cascade Lakes Hwy from our shop up to Mt. Bachelor are some of the highlights. Come visit and explore and discover some of the great loops we have!”
Knight’s new system designed with tubless road in mind. Photos by James Huang for Cycling Tips.
We are thrilled that expert wheel wheel manufacturer Rolf Prima is bringing their handbuilt rim designs to the masses with the Astral brand. Owner and mechanical engineer Brian Roddy to joined us at our 2018 No Dirty Hands free clinic series, for which we conducted this interview.
Brian puts a lot of thought into his designs and we’re excited for fellow wheel geeks to have the opportunity to learn from him. Rolf Prima’s designs have always been about aerodynamics and in the clinic Brian will share a little bit about what makes these rims so special.
NO STRANGER TO WHEELS
Brian is no stranger to wheels. He got his start in the industry as an engineer at Trek working on Bontragger components and their wheel project. At the time, Rolf, the actual person Rolf, had licensed patents to Trek.
Brian later moved out to Oregon to work at Burley Designs in Eugene back when it was a co-op. From there he eventually talked Rolf into moving to Eugene to start Rolf Prima wheels.
Rolf retired in 2009 and Brian bought the company. Though he is the owner, he describes his role as often being the Glue Applicator, Toilet Paper Procurement Officer and a person who wears many hats (helmets?).
A FOCUS ON THOUGHTFUL QUALITY
Rolf is focused on expert quality and for Brian that means managing as much of the wheel building process in house as possible.
“It’s nice to be a company that actually makes its parts, as opposed to a company that simply markets products,” Brian says.
To make this dedication to quality possible, Rolf Prima bought a building and configured it in exactly the right layout for their process. They build the machines to make the rims and they inspect every rim by hand. The Rolf Prima team is comprised of a hard working staff who all ride bikes. That final touch is important, Brian says, because cyclists understand how much you can feel the difference of a well built wheel.
“When we came out with paired spokes, we were on the sharp end at the beginning. From the start we’ve been different. Visibly we are different, also in our engineering we are very different. Our technology sets us apart. And the fact that we actually make what we use.”
The difference also shines through in many other ways. Make a call about your wheels, and you’ll reach a real person. Rolf Prima/Astral is dedicated to excellent customer service and hiring people who actually care about what they’re making.
EXPANDING THEIR OPTIONS
The launch of Astral allows Rolf Prima to do more with their rims, and with their knowledge. They specialize in custom builds and they can easily change a rim to be what a customer wants. A lot of their rims are built to order with detailed specifications
With rim color names like Crater Lake Blue and Rogue River Red, it’s evident a love of this region factors heavily into everything Rolf Prima/Astral does. They source locally as much as possible, including anodizing, drilling and powder coating. And Brian says the riding around Eugene is their secret sauce. “We have world-class riding with barely anyone else on the road, and great mt. biking nearby.”
So much of what Rolf Prima/Astra believes in correlates with our values at Sugar Wheel Works. That’s why we’re proud of our partnership with the brand. And, it turns out, the feeling is mutual.
“I like that Sugar Wheel Works actually builds its own wheels. There’s something to be said for that,” Brian says. “There is a big difference in a wheel when someone is paying attention.”
When you work with Sugar Wheel Works to build a new set of wheels, you’ve got plenty of options for the different components of the wheel. We sit down with our customers to talk about how they want to use the wheels, what their goals are and what sort of a budget they have to work with.
But we’re not building just any ole’ set of wheels here – we’re building your new dream wheels and they simply have to be the best.
That’s why we work closely with all of our suppliers to ensure we’re sourcing the industry’s finest, most durable components. And that’s why we love working with the experts at Chris King Components.
Chris King’s headquarters and manufacturing facility is based right here in Portland, so we decided to stop by for a visit to see their operation and talk shop. And, let’s be honest, caress some shiny hubs. Oooo la la!
Chris King is renown for extreme precision and dedication to quality and we select Chris King hubs for many of the wheels we build. Marketing Manager Bob Scales says those hubs had better be good, “The company is owned by one person and his name is on it – he is a cyclist who stands behind what the company builds.”
Chris King owns its factory. The company manufactures just about every aspect of the parts that it can, they fix their own machines and they’ve even re-jiggered machinery to create the specialized beasts they need to turn out their precise products. Their products are fully engineered, manufactured and assembled in the USA and even their bearings are made-in-house, a unique form of dedication that has made them legendary in the bike industry and beyond.
Every step of the process is an obsession. The end result is a beautiful product – and most often a shiny one, too. At our visit we got to see how components are polished using hazelnut shells resulting in blinged-out eye candy even prior to anodization.
So we love working with Chris King, but why does Chris King love working with Sugar Wheel Works?
“From a cultural standpoint, we like to support other businesses who are doing this all for the right reason. We believe in investing in the morality of a company,” says Bob.
Chris King is a company comprised of an abundance of heart, and a massive investment of time. We are impressed with their thoughtfulness and the environmental care with which they approach their production. Their hubs are fully serviceable, which fits in nicely with our Re:Build Re:Ride Re:Love program of rebuilding wheels. They also compress all the tiniest bits and flints from shaved metal into a puck shape pellet that leaches out the oil used in manufacturing and creates an easy-to-recycle dense brick of metal.
There is a special feeling you have when you ride your bike, and Chris King’s components are at the heart of that feeling. Combine that with their quality, and you’ve got a Sugar match made in wheel heaven.