Lead times explained

For the most part, people understand that it takes a bit of time for a set of wheels to go from "order placed" to "order shipped," but sometimes it takes a bit of explanation. 

First, as our journey toward becoming a custom wheel shop has solidified, we don't keep anything built in stock. Every single wheel, even "standard" ones like FSW3 and RFSW3, is built to order. While the FSW3 and RFSW3 are prominent in any sales report we might run for ourselves, they don't dominate or anything close to it. So while we have a pile of rims and a ton of spokes and several sets of hubs in stock, the variety of combos we offer means that we need to maintain adaptability. The more standard things are usually fairly quick to turn around, but they aren't built and hanging on a peg, waiting for their forever home. 

Margins in this business are tight (this business being November, not the industry as a whole), which means that you can't have a ton of working capital tied up in potentially very long term inventory, and you have to be efficient with both time (the most limited and valuable of all resources) and "sneaky costs." Shipping is the ultimate sneaky cost, as we pay nearly the same shipping cost for a single set of rims as we do for a box of 10, and we do intact try to minimize physical waste as well. We have enough stuff going through the shop that we're ordering multiple times a week, but it's not "get customer order and immediately place corresponding supplier order for any needed stuff."

The hubs we use are expensive. And they have a HUGE number of variants (color, front and rear axle diameter and width, drilling, drive type, and rotor attachment type). We have 5 "primary" hub supplier brands, regularly sell two beyond that, and several others on occasion. Each of these has at least three model types that we use. This is so demanding of inventory that even the hub brands don't keep everything built and ready to go. King and I9 almost always build hubs to order from adaptable components, and White often does this at least with some of their colors. That's super smart and very necessary, but it adds some days to the process.

With so many variants in what wheels you could buy from us, there is obviously a fair degree of overlap in what some of our wheels do. Even a super keen observer wouldn't notice a marked ride or performance difference between each and every of our wheels - I sure can't (a topic for another day). But buying a set of custom wheels is about opening the garage door to get your bike for a ride and saying "oh yeah, that's the one" as much as anything else. 

With compelling new products cropping up all the time, our mission will continue to be vetting them and making them available in builds as they merit, it's probably just going to take a few days for us to get them to you.

 

 


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  • Dave on

    Anthony – Don’t look at retail price, because we more or less don’t (full blog on this coming soon) – our price is much more dictated by our cost. And our cost on a set of 350s isn’t that different from a set of CLDs. So therefore your price from us on them won’t be that different.

  • Anthony on

    @Dave – for sure if comparing the 240 to a CLD, but the 350 is a value in the bike world IMO. Although all the DT hubs would be much more compelling if they would include the higher POE ratchet in the stock builds.

  • Dave on

    Thanks, Sean!

  • Sean on

    I have to say – this was a great glimpse into what no one outside the Made-to-order or custom industry sees. Not everything is Amazon Prime ready, not everything is rfid chipped and trackable with down to the minute precision. I sell heritage level shoes, and do a lot of MTO, MTM stuff, and people don’t understand our lead times…and that I can’t get them an exact explanation of where/how/when things are in production. I mean…like a hand-built wheel, it’s both art and science, and some blood sweat and tears. Patience is a virtue everyone…and the anticipation only makes the delivery all that more exciting and fun. Can’t wait to order in the spring from you guys; I love and appreciate what you guys are doing. Oh, and the site looks great!!

  • Dave on

    Good question. They cost us as much (or within a few pennies) of WI CLD, and given the two at the same price, you’d pick CLD 105 times out of 100, right?



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