Nimbus Ti: The Final Chapter

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.

Stay Nimbus, Pony Boy

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.  

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I have a WI T11 and a Nimbus Ti wheel set with Pacenti SL23. Both are great wheel sets and I'm sorry to see the demise of the Nimbus Ti. I can't believe that customers will squander hard earned dollars for an equivalent or even inferior product from other builders or companies. A quote by Adlai Stevenson is a fitting analogy to the bike market. When a campaign supporter said he was sure Stevenson would "get the vote of every thinking man," Stevenson replied, "Thank you, but I need a majority to win."

Paul R

Just got a set of Nimbus Ti wheels this past winter and so far they have been fantastic. So good, in fact, that I have been contemplating getting another set for the sport-touring bike. Well, now I guess it's time to stop contemplating. I appreciate and understand the challenges regarding the economics and efficiency. However, I just don't get the issue with the aesthetics. It ain't like the Nimbus hubs are "mauve" or "burnt umber" or something equally hideous. Also, the skeptics who think the Nimbus hubs are inferior to the WI black hubs are probably the same folks who think their carbon fiber wonder-frames are made in Italy instead of Asia. Nothing wrong with that, of course…but c'mon. Anyway, thanks for offering such wonderful, superbly-built and reasonably affordable wheels like the Nimbus Ti for as long as you have.

BY Cycles

Are corima builds still available for these? They don't show up in the store that I can see!


Every time I get an email I get mad again. Amazing that some people can't figure out that a hub made by WI with WI internals at a better price needs paralysis by analysis. And now we'll pay more, because – label whores..

Joe C

I have a set of the Nimbus Ti/Rail 52 wheels and think the set is awesome. I have nothing but praise for those hubs and they are the equal of the WI hubs that I have on my other wheelset…but those are purple. I really like the grey color too as it really matches my bike.


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