A few months ago while trolling the web for some new bike stuff, I stumbled upon a company called Wheeltags, who make replacement decals for deeper, aero-profile wheels. I was running a set of Shimano Dura-Ace 50mm tubular wheels, so the idea of something one-off, rather than the stock set-up really intrigued me. After a little deliberation, I messaged Matt from Wheeltags, and he got me a set on the way.
I looked on their website and found that they had several patterns (21 patterns between the two series), but because of my moniker on my website (skull and crossed wrenches), I decided to go with their “Skullz” from Series One. I told them what rim depth I had (Wheeltags come in several depths and they even have one for a full disc), and we were in business. The Wheeltags were on the way!
A couple of days later, the Wheeltags showed up in the mail. The packaging was great! I opened up the small metal cylinder, which included enough tags for two wheels, a couple of extra panels (in case you screw up or you apply them wrong), an applicator for the decals, and detailed instructions on how to apply them, step by step.
I was a little apprehensive at first about changing up the look of my wheels, but probably more worried that I wouldn’t apply the tags properly. The instructions were easy to understand, and after the first side of the first wheel, I was a Wheeltags pro. If you did have any worries about the application, and needed a visual example, Wheeltags has provided an instructional video on their site for a little extra help.
Just sitting the bike at the shop got more attention than I had imagined! People were asking, “What kind of wheels are those?” and saying, “Dude! Those wheels are sick!” I hadn’t even taken them out to a ride yet! When I did, all the guys were commenting on the wheels and how “different” they were… which is what I was going for.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I rode the bike a bit more than usual. You know that feeling you get when you have a new bike? You seem to just go faster for no apparent reason. This wasn’t “technically” an upgrade… it just made me look a little more “edgy.” The bike was different, and there wasn’t another one like it.
I raced the bike during the Faster Mustache 24 Hour Urban Relay Race (FM24) in Atlanta in September. It was kind of silly to race an expensive set of carbon tubular wheels through the streets of Atlanta, but I wanted to show these things off some more and get reactions from other riders. During the night, riders would take a break at our checkpoint and see the WheelTags. I got several comments throughout the race, and even afterwards, about how awesome the wheels looked. Mission accomplished.
The final compliment I got before writing this review was from a member of our shop’s road racing team. She saw my wheels and asked, “Are those Wheeltags?” I was proud. I explained to her that they do custom tags, too, and that I was thinking about going back to Wheeltags and having them make up some shop logo tags for the race team guys. She said, “What about for my disc wheel?” I smiled.
Bottom line: Wheeltags are a sweet-looking add on to any bike. They come in lots of patterns and rim depths, and also do custom jobs, so nearly anyone can use these to customze their ride. At around $150 for most stock sets, it’s one of the least expensive ways to make your bike a custom bike. Forget the carbon stem or seatpost… get some Wheeltags and get some heads turning.
See their website at http://www.wheeltags.com.
(cross-posted at http://www.probikewrench.com)