At The Woolery, we get asked all the time, “which travel wheel is the best?” The answer is the same whether you are buying a wheel that folds, travels, or will stay in your living room. The wheel that suits your needs, is the wheel for you. The best way to find your wheel among the many, is to come on in and give them a spin. We encourage you to try as many wheels as you can—seek out wheels at guilds and other local spinning groups. Heck, try Ravelry to see if someone nearby has a brand want to try.
To get you started, we have updated our handy chart for you to compare folding double treadle spinning wheels side by side. Here are also a few things to think about when selecting a folding wheel.
Comfort Counts! Being comfortable at the wheel should be your primary consideration. It doesn’t matter how cute or how many options a wheel has if you can’t spin at it comfortably then it is not the wheel for you.
How Compact Does the Wheel Need to Be? Really ask yourself how you plan to use this wheel vs. how you think you are going to use it. (I’m going to go to the Bahamas and spin on the beach vs. I take my wheel to my local spin-in.) For some, being able to carry a wheel on a plane is the number one consideration when looking for a travel wheel. For others that have physical limitations, weight is primary consideration. Generally speaking, to gain one thing you have to lose another, e.g. light vs stable.
Will the treadles fit my feet comfortably? This is where trying out a wheel will make a difference. It is sort of like trying on a pair of shoes. They may look cute, but are they comfy? Make sure that the treadle configuration allows you enough room to sit at your wheel comfortably. Torquing your feet too much can be bad for your body.
Does the Orifice Height Matter? Many authorities will tell you no. Your hands is where the action is happening not near the orifice. (Check out this video from Tim, one of the founders of The Woolery. This bit is about four minutes in.) That said some folks have personal preferences or ergonomic needs that make a perfectly valid reason to want your orifice at a certain height. Remember where we started. Comfort counts!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post or give us a call (800) 441-9665. Better yet, if you are ever in the area, stop by and check out our new location. We have more space, more classrooms, and more fluff and stuff for you to buy!
Chris, Nancy and the entire Woolery team