The Nimbus Ti program has, by any metric, been a big success for us. We’ve sold more wheels, have increased our presence in the market place, have improved our processes and increased our efficiency, and most importantly there are now a whole lot of people riding better wheels than were previously available to them for their price.
The wheel market moves quickly. Component products come and go, supplier relationships change, competitive choices change, and usages change. It wasn’t two years ago that people were just starting to move beyond 23mm tires en masse, and now 25s are scoffed at as anemic.
Among all those changes, there are several factors that make the Nimbus Ti program more challenging than it had been. First, it’s basically impossible to efficiently convince people that the Nimbus Ti hubs are as good as they are. Which they are. But, perhaps owing in large part to our aggressive pricing on them, people view them skeptically and assume that they’re a downgrade to their T11 or CLD equivalents. We simply can’t afford to spend the amount of time that we do making people feel comfortable with saving the amount of money that Nimbus Ti allowed them to.
The second challenge is that people want black hubs. The overall aesthetics of T11s have a bit more pop with the engraved graphics, but in general people just really want black. We suppose we could do Nimbus Ti just in black, but that’s unappealing to us – if it’s going to be black anyhow, we’d just do T11/CLD.
The third challenge is that the economics of the Nimbus Ti program demand that we’re able to build with something approaching 100% efficiency, but people want choices. Culling the spoke count options down to one or two would have introduced much much more efficiency into the product, but it also would have necessitated compromises that contradict our core wheelbuilding beliefs, so we didn’t do it. The economics of committing to a run of Nimbus Ti hubs gets very shaky when people prefer a wide choice set. But people do want choices, and we want to provide them.
To that end, we’re expanding choices and making it (hopefully) easier to interact with our site to configure exactly what you want. As ever, we are very available to help you decide what setup best fits you and your intended use, usually in real time or something close to it.
The care and craftsmanship that goes into each and every build are daunting. Yes, we can build wheels relatively quickly, but that speed is comparable to how a fast rowing team works: the ones that go fastest look like they aren’t working hard at all, but that appearance hides the mountainous work that went into achieving the level where that can happen, and the real time effort that’s going into it. Literally every build is treated as though it was headed to the world championships. We can never stress that enough.
The most complex challenge is service, by which we mean everything we do from blogs and testing to pre-sales consults, to communication through the order process, to after sales follow ups, to subsidized crash replacements (you people fall over a lot) and soft (basically post-sale communication about use cases) and hard (problems that need to be fixed) post sale service. Fortunately the last one has been rare. We enjoy that whole cycle, think that we’re possibly the best around – certainly near the very top – at it, and we still want to improve at it. The Nimbus Ti pricing was set at more or less “vending machine” service cost level. As I described to a vendor just a few days ago, our DNA is to be a “high touch” experience provider, and we love it. But when your A1 resource is time, it’s not free.
All of our pricing continues to be profoundly consumer-friendly. If we don’t offer the best price on any particular option, we’ll be close. And like any service business – which is what we are – we’ll bet our success that being our customer is a more satisfying experience from tip to tail than you can find elsewhere.
In the meantime, we are making last call on current Nimbus Ti Select and Open product and pricing, and I will say one more time that if the Nimbus Ti fits what you’re looking for, it is the best value around by so much, it’s a little ridiculous.
Last, for anyone concerned about "what if something happens to my Nimbus Ti hubs," absolutely every part and piece is and has been replaceable with a T11 or CLD equivalent part. No Nimbus Ti hub will ever become an orphan in its lifetime.