Opening Things Up

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A good friend mentioned last month that it's easy to see the rhythm of the business by the frequency and type of blog posts, and he's right. Even though posting high quality, content-rich blogs is a high priority for us, there are a lot of times when there's just no time. More than a few people reading this will have gotten a return email from us at 10pm or 6am, or on a Sunday, and that's just the way things go. Sometimes, though, there's just a ton that we need to say, and this is one of those times.

This business doesn't scale like some others. Traders spend the same amount of time executing a trade whether it's 100 or 10,000 shares. Building 10,000 wheels takes nearly exactly 100 times longer than building 100 does. We'll get back to that thought in a bit.

Astute Instagram watchers will have noticed our post from yesterday, showing some Corima rims built with Nimbus Ti hubs. For the less astute among you, I include the picture here, and a link to our Instagram here

Sorry, no montage. When we launched the Nimbus hub project a year ago (nearly exactly, in fact), there were a few directions we thought it could go. Our mission was to be able to offer wheels built with world class hubs and other components for prices at or below what others were charging for inferior product. We've done that, and we've done it in spades. Since the Nimbus hubs are every gram the equivalent of their T11/CLD cousins, you might guess that they're just about as expensive for us to buy as T11s and CLDs, and you'd be right. The entirety of the cost savings is in efficiency. Until you try to run a production business with as many choice permutations as our alloys have had, you simply can not begin to imagine the complexity of it. Normalizing around ultra high quality builds allowed us to do something that we don't see anyone else doing.

What we didn't expect was the volume of alloys we'd sell. With Nimbus-based Rails selling in 2015 for just about the same as what they'd sold for two years prior, but with much better hubs, we expected an increase in Rail business, which we got. We also expected an increase in our alloy wheel business, which we GOT. To put it in perspective, nine weeks ago, we took delivery of a volume of Pacenti SL23 rims in that was a significant percentage of our total 2014 alloy wheel sales. Those rims are nearly gone, I'm putting in the reorder this morning. And while SL23s are the rim we sell the most, our alloy disc brake business has exploded, and we sell a significant volume of other alloy rims. 

While the growth that the Nimbus project afforded us has been awesome, the divergence from what we'd thought would happen makes us take another look at things. For one thing, 2016 pricing will be somewhat higher than 2015. All of our builds will still be fantastic values, way better components than anything at the price point and way lower than anything of equivalent spec, but they'll be a bit more than they are now. New prices take effect on January 17th.

In concert with that, we're standardizing alloy builds a bit more, and yet offering a broader range of alloy and carbon rims. The standardization allows us to squeeze all of the efficiency we can out of buying, shipping, and building of our most popular (and favorite) builds, but the opening allows us to give you the greatest latitude in getting exactly what's right and best for your particular application with the best available build and cost.

Since I've somehow managed to exceed our word count target already, I'll stop there and get into some specifics in the next post. 


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