It used to be that every "serious" rider was on a set of handbuilt wheels. You'd go to your local shop and have a talk with the wheel builder or a knowledgeable sales person and tell them what you were looking for in a wheel and they'd come up with a set of handbuilt hoops designed just for you.
Now it's much more common to see riders on "system" wheels from companies such as Bontrager, Stans, Mavic, and others.
Many of these are GREAT wheels, for sure--we sell lots of them. But they were engineered for the "averages": they must appeal to and hold up to many different kinds of riders under many different kinds of riding.
A custom, hand-made wheelset, on the other hand, is built with your particular needs in mind. You'll end up with wheels that are lighter, more durable, and easier to repair every time.
One of the problems with many of the newer, low spoke count wheels is that rim must actually be heavier since it has fewer spokes to support the structure. If the wheel is supposed to be a ‘high performance' part, adding weight to the rim is counter productive, right?
We tailor parts choices for custom wheels based on an interview process with each rider. From this interview our builders can outline some options likely to provide the characteristics you’d like from your custom wheelset. Every component of the wheel can be personalized; it’s not just a collection of parts. While the hubs, rims, and spokes are important tangible components, the spoke tension, lacing pattern, and pre-stressing processes are equally important to individualizing the wheelset to suit your needs.