Reporting for duty

Wheel Analytics 1.3.1 is now available. This release enhances printable reports — Target Plot and Live Tensio now have a print button, which collects optional metadata for wheel traceability. Add details like the date, the name of the technician and a reference number. Use the reference number to tie the report to a build sheet, invoice or customer. It’s possible to use a barcode scanner to populate the reference field if you have one.

Reports automatically scale to any paper size configured on your computer. Reports are clear and legible even when printed on small stock, such as 100mm (4″) shipping labels. Labels have fun applications — for example paste them into a “wheel birth certificate” that documents how a wheel leaves your workshop. Your work differentiates your service so it’s helpful to show people what that means.

Check out example PDF reports for alignment and tension balance.

Bestest workstation

Photo courtesy of Wheelworks

Many people ask about the best setup for running Wheel Analytics or think we prefer a particular setup because of a demonstration. The tablet configuration seen at trade shows is a good example.

The ideal setup is a personal matter. The Islandix recommendation is to build a workstation using parts you have already. If you have a tablet, for example one used for Di2 programming, try that. If you have a computer or laptop, try that. See what you like and what you don’t. These options are pretty different in terms of workbench layout.

Some people find this advice too generic and ask a followup question: what would the ideal workstation look like if it was purpose-built from scratch? Arguments can be made both ways but I like computers better than tablets for a few reasons. First, screen size with a computer is unlimited, which means you can mount it further back. At the expense of space behind the truing stand you get less clutter in your near field with no loss of visibility. Second, computers have better browsers and better browser choice. We find desktop browsers have the best printing support, especially if you want to do advanced things like send reports to a label printer. Third, computers have USB support. The WA-1 controller can plug into a computer directly, receiving power and data over USB. It creates a tiny single-purpose network consisting of your computer and the controller, totally isolated from the rest of your network. A private USB connection does not suffer from interference compared to Wifi and seems to generate fewer support requests for this reason. Finally, for all these advantages a computer setup can be less expensive than a modern tablet. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a toy computer like the Raspberry Pi 400 to drive the big screen.

New for 2024

Islandix is gearing up for 2024. The production schedule for the next twelve months has been set down — with more parts on hand we can plan for evenly spaced deliveries through the year. Dates and pricing in the online shop. Here’s what’s new and notable.


Islandix products have proven robust in the field with a failure rate approaching zero. From 2024 the warranty term on Islandix-manufactured products will be upgraded to three years! This change is retroactive, applying to past purchases. The warranty on accessories, including Mitutoyo, remains one year.

The Islandix warranty is (and has always been) a return-for-repair service. Parts, labor and one-way airmail with tracking are included. If Islandix is mission-critical in your workshop, consider owning an expansion kit since that will keep you going even if a controller is sent for repair.

Premium support

When you have multiple wheelbuilders at multiple workstations, time is money. Islandix strives to keep prices affordable so little is built into the price for service luxuries.

2024 introduces IslandixCare, a premium support plan for manufacturing environments. It adds telephone and videoconference options on top of standard email support. Premium includes warranty service upgrades including expedited cross-shipment of replacement parts. It upgrades the guarantee on all Islandix tools in your workshop to lifetime warranty for the duration of your subscription. IslandixCare is $69 CAD per month (approx. $49 USD, €49 EUR).

Tablet mounting

There have been a few questions about the tablet setup shown at MADE and on Instagram. If you have a tablet in your shop, as many do for Di2 setup, dock it at your truing stand and have it work double duty.

How to make one? Browse photography accessories to find a holder that fits your tablet. The Islandix tablet is an older iPad mounted with an AliExpress tablet holder. The holder is fixed to the truing stand using an AliExpress clamp with articulating arm. The install required no modification to the Park Tool truing stand and doesn’t rely on pre-drilled holes.

In stand dishing

Video courtesy of PSIMet Custom Wheels

Islandix customer Toby sent this video saying it helped him understand in stand dishing (centering). Thanks to PSIMet for posting it.

The first part of the video talks about inserting the wheel in the truing stand the same way each time taking special note of the axle orientation. The second part of the video demonstrates a deliberate way of using the truing stand — how the wheel is removed, flipped and re-inserted. It’s notable he doesn’t loosen the truing stand uprights at all, preferring to spread them against the builtin spring. Altogether the message is consistent measurement is important for maximum accuracy.

Islandix dishing with the Target Plot works the same way except there’s no need to adjust the indicator to zero since software takes care of it. The software is simple. It records two measurements and computes two facts: the difference between the measurements and the direction (for example the rim is dished 0.3mm to the left).

MADE it out alive

Photo courtesy of MADE

It was energizing to meet so many enthusiastic folks at MADE 2023 — a special thank you to everyone who visited the Islandix booth! A double dose of appreciation to existing Islandix customers who visited (including other show vendors who use Islandix tools internally). And finally thanks to Wheel Fanatyk for sharing a booth filled with essential tools.

Many things were learned from these conversations. Visitors who got the full demo always asked about cost and the most common response was they expected to pay more. We see so many tools with less R&D — yet higher prices than Wheel Analytics — that we feel good about our accessibility. Prices will remain at current levels for the rest of 2023.

Economical indicators

MADE visitors were shown digital sensor options beyond the premium choices in the online shop. We’ve tested dozens in the Islandix lab and settled on two budget recommendations: iGaging 35-705 and Terma IDA910. The key difference between them is the threading for indicator tips. iGaging uses #4-48 threading, which is best if you want to transfer the tips from Park Tool indicators. Terma uses M2.5 threading, which is best if you want to buy tips from Islandix.


Meet Islandix in Portland

Islandix Instruments will be at the MADE show in Portland, OR held August 25-27. Find Ryan in the Wheel Fanatyk booth. If it’s helpful to setup a meeting or demo at a specific time, please email.

Islandix + Abbey

If you subscribe to the Islandix newsletter, you’ve seen this already. It’s the Abbey Bike Tools truing stand. Major wow factor! Machined in Bend, Oregon this stand is designed to hold center so you can track dish continuously. It’s a limited batch release and you can get yours bundled with Islandix tools for quantitative truing. Read more at Bike Rumor.

Truing and tensioning

Wheel Analytics expansion kits were announced in March. The main use case is truing and tensioning at the same time.

Software version 1.2.4 offers improvements for these workflows. A default tensio port can now be configured, which is helpful when a dedicated port is available. And extra logic has been added to manage foot pedal input. Now foot pedal signals will be directed only to the window with focus.

Usage is straightforward. On any windowing system simply open two windows and position them as you like. Mac OS has a feature called Split View, that makes it easy to tile windows and run them full screen. It’s similar on iOS. On Windows there’s a comparable feature called Snap.

Top workshop

Photo courtesy of Wheelworks

Top wheelbuilders are picky about their tools — their tools need to work as hard as they do. That describes Islandix customers generally but Wheelworks of New Zealand takes it a step further with in-house customization. This look at the Wheelworks workstation is an inspiring read.