Faster Rail shipping and Custom Rail builds

As soon as White Industries made their hubs available in colors, we immediately began offering them to our Rail and FSW customers. We learned some stuff:

  • Red hubs were the most popular, outselling even black.
  • Red and black comprised about 80% of all orders. Blue was a distant third with about 10%. All other colors combined (gold, green, pink, purple, silver) made up the other 10%.
  • Most customers who wanted black had zero interest in other colors. Customers who wanted red would sometimes switch to black if it meant faster delivery. Customers who wanted any other color were adamant that it had to be that color - almost as if the availability of a pink or purple or blue hub is what drove the demand in the first place. 
  • Choosing a hub color doesn't feel like a custom wheel build, even though it since we have been building most of our wheels to spec (ie, after a customer has purchased them and selected hub color). Because it doesn't feel like custom, why the hell do I have to wait 3-4 weeks for it? It only takes a few hours to build my Rail 34s with blue hubs so they'll ship tomorrow, right?
  • The uncertainty of what color hubs in which rims would sell this week had a mildly paralyzing effect on production, as we were unwilling to build much ahead of time and risk tying up rim inventory and build resources for stuff that might languish in inventory.

Good lessons, all. We've spent a few months learning and digesting and have made two changes that improve our service levels and offerings pretty considerably. They are:

  1. Standard Rail 34 and Rail 52 builds: Because most of the Rails we sell are with black and red hubs, we're offering those as standard builds that we build up ahead of time. This means we'll be able to ship them out within 2-5 days of orders most of the time. Visibility into color demand makes it a lot easier to commit resources to building for stock. For now, we are still offering a choice of decal color (silver/red or all silver), though we do see a time where a standard build comes with a standard decal color (since 90% of people choose what would be the standard anyway).
  2. Rail Custom builds: This is the good stuff. Since we're building a lot of wheels to customer spec anyway, why not let the customer fully spec the wheel and make it feel as custom as it is? Rail Custom allows you to choose rim depth (get your mullet if you really want to), drillings for each rim (20/28? no problem), hub color, spoke color, nipple color, decal color and decal quantity. Some of these options carry an extra cost and anything through the custom process can take up to 4 weeks, but you're getting precisely the wheelset you want and we are building it just for you. 

All our PowerTap and disc hub builds are now in the Rail Custom option. In advance of the 8 people about to ask in the comments if we plan on adding other hub options to Rail Custom I can say with certainty that we don't know yet. We're small and want to stay that way so are exceptionally wary of adding complexity that isn't warranted. We're going to see how custom affects demand before looking into other hub options. So a definite possibly. In the meantime, there are plenty of talented wheelbuilders who are building Rails with other hubs, so hit them up.

And before the next bunch of you ask, no you cannot get 7 white spokes laced against black in a pattern that roughly resembles your initials, alternating nipple colors, 3x drive side and radial nds, or other modifications not presented in the store page. That's full custom. We offer November Custom which, like most of what we do, is a little different but thoughtfully so. Again, for the full custom stuff talk to these folks here

The main reason for these changes is that we realized our product philosophy had become a little watered down. By offering a "standard" build with a lot of options that took a long time to deliver because we were building to spec, we were neither a productized brand nor a custom builder, but were straddling between both. You could argue that we offered the benefits of both but I think the reality is that by not being able to ship wheels out ASAP and by not offering a more complete custom offering, we lacked the advantages of either. With these changes we are both a productized brand AND a custom builder, able to more fully satisfy a couple of different use cases. Provided you like Rails that is. 


Back to blog


Rico, mullet if you must but we don't recommend it. Put a 34 up front and you give up the aero advantage of the 52. Put a 52 in the back and you've added weight without much aero advantage from the dirty air back there. A better pairing would be the reverse mullet, or Flock of Seaguls, where you're aero in the front where it counts, and light in the back. But aesthetic has to count for something so we don't recommend that either.Mike yeah we do single wheels but we can't in the configurator. There's no way to only charge you half the upcharge for colored nipples or white spokes if you're just getting a single wheel. To do single wheels, send us an email with what you want and we'll handle payment with an invoice or a brown paper bag of cash.


No single wheel option?


Rail34 F + Rail52 R—very, very, tasty and tempting.Just stating the obvious.


the mullets only discussed from an aero and weight perspective…..would that setup add any stiffness factor for someone? for instance I'm 180ish and sprint ok….can go from upper 20s to upper 30s with no lead out. would that be worth doin the mullet from a stiffness standpoint???


OK, you got me, damn it…one of each, please


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.