BYO hubs, a $550 PowerTap wheel set, and the DT Swiss PR1400 OXiC wheel set

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An in-process shot of a classic hub getting new life in a modern classic wheel. We have a few BYO hub builds in the queue right now, and there's a thread on the Slowtwitch forum which inspired me to give our take here instead of there. The thread asks if it's bad form to bring parts bought elsewhere to your LBS to have them installed. To save you some time, the answers run the gamut from "save the LBS at any cost!" to "the LBS should be happy I throw them the scraps I do and throw roses at my feet when I enter." In some respects, we're an actual LBS (actually LBP&SS - Local Bike Parts & Service Shop since we don't actually sell bikes), and in more respects we're sort of a virtual LBS, so we've got some skin in this. 

If a bike shop's service department is set up to be profitable, and why the heck wouldn't it be, then whether they charge shop rate to install a derailleur you've bought elsewhere or at their shop shouldn't matter. As one poster points out, there is the risk that incompatible parts are brought in (I believe we've mentioned once or twice how complicated the bike industry likes to make things?) and the time needed to sort that out has to fall on the customer's tab, but what's the general difference? Unpaid consultancy doesn't work, so if you wanted to borrow a half hour of the shop's time to sort out your online purchase planning, I'd say that that's expecting too much, but paying for work is paying for work. If you want to call us up and pay shop rate to help you plan a wheel or other purchase, the phone lines are open and operators are accepting calls. 

More to the point, as the photo above shows (aside from the fact that I should clean wheels before shooting them) is that we're happy to build wheels with your legitimate parts (no Alibaba special rims, please), used or new. When we sell a normal all new build, the margin on the parts subsidizes the labor cost of the build, and the less parts we supply the less that can happen. Also, please realize that we can't subtract the retail price of the component we don't supply to get the price, that doesn't work. There are plenty of builds we do where you could say "Hi! I'd like X build but without the hubs, rims, spokes, nipples, or build - please forward me the $30 you owe me for not buying these from you, thanks!" But we're happy to do it, at a price that should work for both of us.

Switching topics, you can now buy a PowerTap wheel set for $549. As you can see in our PowerTap wheels section, PowerTap has gotten REALLY aggressive with their pricing. It's barely even a price premium to get your wheels with a PowerTap these days, which means you can get one in each of your wheel sets and there goes the argument about not being able to switch wheels and still have power. But the $549 wheel set, as you may guess, is something that our labor cost makes it impossible to match. So we're just being a dealer for it, only instead of being just a normal dealer we do the whole premise of being a "value added" dealer by opening the box, throwing the wheels in the stand, checking and correcting them completely, and then sending them on to you. 

You can also find the DT Swiss PR1400 OXiC wheel set in the store. This is a really nice wheel set, and a great value for a factory set compared to a ton of what's out there. If the rims were available as component rims, we'd do our best to put a compelling build out there using them, but they aren't so we can't. Our next best option is to offer them, with the assurance that we'll go over them with a fine toothed comb and correct any jankiness in the build before sending them on their way. 


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  • dave on

    Hi Jeff -

    Great question. The DT coating is the same as the Boyd coating, and covers the whole rim just like on Boyd rims. The AForce process is slightly different, and covers just the brake track. Both are very very durable.

    Dave

  • Jeff on

    How would you compare the ceramic coating on the OXiC v. the AForce?


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