It's a different world indeed when Chris King reposts a Light Bicycle Instagram post, showing off the world famous Chris King mountain bike hub noise (their road hubs are darn near silent). Probably the world's most premium broad-market hub willfully aligning themselves with a still relatively upstart Chinese carbon rim brand? Strange days indeed.
With the increased presence of consumer direct, and specifically Chinese brands, a lot of companies can either get on board with the changes or get smoked by them. And even the more established Chinese brands are having to put up significant rear guard plays, as evidenced by the email we got this morning (so many vendors are glad to know we're in the market for Chinese carbon rims, we just don't have the heart to tell them...) that FarSports is having a 20% off sale tomorrow.
Are we insane to promote that here? No. Let's face it, if that moves your needle, one of a few things is going on. One you might still be sold on a carbon "race set" being a necessary appendage to your wheel wardrobe, in which case we've helped you become aware of something to consider (though this doesn't constitute purchase advice from us, at all). Two, you might read here to confirm that we're still humorless fun-sponging (best put down ever was being called a fun sponge - I loved that) wet blanket jerks and we've now tipped you off to something that's more in your wheelhouse. Three, perhaps most likely, if you are reading this, that doesn't move your needle at all.
It shows that even the guys who were once the bottom of the market in terms of price have a tough time breaking out of the "you buy them because they're cheap" category, with "cheap" and "good value" still being separate things which sometimes overlap. Our Kinlin/I9 special was such an instance, but it got sold out. A lot of astute people got just an insane deal there. At regular price it's still a crazy good value, but the special was downright cheap, too. We got a special price deal, we passed it along, it was a win/win. We like those.
We've always gotten a lot of "the wheels are great, thanks!" feedback, but we wouldn't have thought that would accelerate so much this year. Yes, some of the new builds we started in 2017 like the Al33 and Boyd builds are really really good new products, and Industry Nine-based builds have taken off more and people love those. And at long last new Mavic Open Pro builds, which we expect will elicit a similar response. It's rewarding to see that you don't need hyperbolic concepts or language or "game changer!!!!!" products to land hits, that the stick to your knitting boring "try to do stuff right every time out" game plan works.
Sorry if this sounds a little smug, but we're killing it lately thanks to you, and we're feeling a little smug. So thanks.