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What's it like having a wheel?

Discussion in 'Accessories [DB]' started by SteveFreides, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    I know this is a silly question, but I have no clue how one deals with a bass with a wheel - but I'm considering it, having tried a Bass Buggy but found it more trouble than it was worth, so I just carry the bass as needed.

    Does the wheel come off the endpin, or do you take out one endpin and put in another?

    A basic "this is how it works," and particularly any reasons why I might not want to do this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    -S-
  2. tcl

    tcl

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    I imagine that there are different types of wheels. The one I had replaced the end-pin, so remove the end-pin, store it in the bag and slide in the wheel. I found that a bit of a hassle, and when I discovered that it's not uncommon for basses to be damaged by too much pressure from the wheel on the bottom of the bass, I switched to the bass buggy. I prefer the buggy over the wheel by quite a lot because I think it's safer for the bass and more convenient to use. YMMV.
  3. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

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    I use the Onyx wheel that replaces a 10mm end pin. Since the tire is made from foam it offers the bass a pretty smooth ride.
  4. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    Most bass wheels, IME, are as described as above. They replace your endpin when you're moving the bass. They come in a variety of different grades; for instance, we carry two (one has a solid rubber tire, the other has a pneumatic one so it provides more "bounce" for a more fragile instrument.) There are plenty of variants from a handful of manufacturers.

    There are pros and cons to using a wheel; the pros are pretty obvious, I'd think - so here are a few common cons:
    • You need to get exactly the same size shaft on the wheel as you have in the bass. If you get one that is slightly smaller, it will sit unevenly in the collar for the endpin and likely damage both the inner sleeve and the wheel's pin over time.
    • You need to remove and stow your endpin to use it. I can tell you that calls are common from customers who say, "I took out my endpin to put in my wheel, and accidentally left my endpin shaft at the gig. Do you sell a replacement?"
    • For an older or more refined carved bass, I'd be a little worried about the stress of the sideways pressure on the endblock, coupled with the bumps and jolts of, say, the seams of a sidewalk. On a laminated bass, it's less of a concern.
    • Some endpin collars aren't very compatible with a wheel - the wheel shaft has a "flat spot" where the thumbscrew will tighten against it. If your endpin uses a more complex "wrap around" collar to tighten the endpin (like my carbon fiber endpin does) it won't align against the flat spot. So what? That flat spot keeps the wheel from rotating in the collar while you're walking - without that, it could suddenly spin and cause the bass to bottom out on the sidewalk, or at least start wandering left or right. Not good.
    All of that said, LOTS of players successfully use a wheel. I personally prefer (and have to use, because of that CF endpin) the Bass Buggie. It's not THAT much larger than a wheel - it just tucks into my padded gig bag, wherever I stow that - and I don't have to worry about losing my endpin.
  5. misterbadger

    misterbadger

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    Not meaning to hijack, so apologies in advance. My bass has an ULSA endpin that tightens with a collar, so an endpin wheel is out. I'm thinking of trying an inexpensive Harbor Freight folding handtruck, extending the plate and providing a divot for the endpin to sit in, with the bass being held by bungees, ribs (not back) against the upright section. I know it's another thing to carry to a gig, but we're usually in situations where a handtruck would be an asset for schlepping PA, etc. Has anyone had experience with this kind of rig?
  6. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    In my next life, I'm going to play the piccolo...

    Thanks, folks.

    -S-
  7. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

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    Use this: http://www.kcstrings.com/bass-buggie

    Better yet, get a nicer endpin installed. I have no love for the ULSA pins.
  8. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    I have a Bass Buggie - it's just more than I want to bother with so I think I'm going to try a wheel next.

    -S-
  9. dperrott

    dperrott

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    I use the kolstein stroller. It works for me. I find it simpler than the buggy. You may have to glue on the velcro to your bag. I had velcro sewn on when I had my new bag made.
  10. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    I looked at the web page for them - exactly how do these things attach/detach from your bag, e.g., do you glue velco onto the outside of your bag and these velcro onto that? And do you keep the "stroller" attached to your bag or do you take it on and off regularly?

    Something that was essentially my padded Mooradian bag but with wheels, if that's what this is, sounds good to me.

    -S-
  11. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

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    Developer: iGigBook Sheet Music Manager
    A wheel is you can use one i.e. you can remove your end pin is the most convenient way to go. Personally I don't use a wheel much because I usually transport my bass by car.
  12. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    I do transport my bass by car, but there are places where the car doesn't get close enough.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    You glue the velcro strips to the bag. I have them sewn on also, as the glue will eventually fail. I leave the stroller on the bag 99.9% of the time. A good product, I've been using it for 35 years. Prefer it to a single wheel.
  14. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

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    I used a wheel and now use the Bass Buggy. I find the Bass Buggy to 1) be far less hassle than a wheel in terms of installation; 2) provide for much easier to control when rolling; 3) delivers a smoother ride for the bass.

    Steve-- if you don't like the Buggy, then seems like the Kolstein stroller would be next for you.
  16. SteveFreides

    SteveFreides

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    Yes, I agree.

    -S-
  17. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

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    Been using an endpin replacement wheel since '75; first was hard rubber wheel with spring in the shaft, then Gaines. No endpin or block damage in that time, which includes NY subway travel since '79.
  18. tcl

    tcl

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    I tried a cart after the wheel and before the buggy. The cart is too jerry-rigged. Too many loose parts to coordinate and not as stable as the buggy. I found the buggy to be much better than a cobbed together cart solution.
  19. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

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    I have a Gaines wheel, and it works great for me. For those times when the parking lot is farther than you want to be from your destination, especially in the big "Cultural Centres" that community orchestras like to play in now, it makes transport a whole lot easier. If you find yourself on a particularly rough sidewalk or have to go over a big curb or whatever, you can lift it up and put it back down when you find better terrain.

    Finding the right shaft size for your bass isn't that difficult. You can either measure your existing endpin, or take your bass into a shop that sells wheels, and they should have a shaft that fits. Unless you have a really weird endpin, they typically come in just a handful of different sizes. I have had a wheel for the 10 years I've had my bass, and never had a problem with it or damage to the bass. I keep my bow in a separate bow case, so the endpin goes in the bow slot before I let go of it, and I make sure the wheel goes in/on the bag when it comes out, so I never lose either one. The whole "pin out-wheel in" process takes less time than setting my bass down and picking it up again. As for the flat spot/thumb screw, I have an N-pin. It squeezes the pin instead of the thumb screw in a slot method. Since the wheel shaft is the same size as my pin, the same force that keeps the pin in place keeps the wheel from wandering.

    I don't have any experience with the buggy or stroller, but I've been more than happy with my wheel.
  20. brandau

    brandau Supporting Member

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    I've probably put close to 100 miles on my buggy in NYC... It takes about half a second to put it on and take off. I added an extra piece of dense foam and can practically hop a curb. I highly recommend it. Another bonus is the bass balances really well even when your not pushing it. With the end pin style wheels your constantly holding the weight of the bass...and it gets heavy. Especially if your standing still.

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