If you've been paying attention, we've been teasing a new set of hubs. For as long as we can remember, we've recognized that there's a large and multi-faceted gulf between Asian-produced OEM hubs and premium hubs like Chris King, Tune, DT Swiss, and - let's just say it - our favorite, the White Industries T11. For some further insight into those particulars, you can read this blog from last week. The long and the short of it is that there's a big jump in product (performance, durability, reliability) and price between the two groups, and we've wracked our brains trying to figure out how to address it.
So let's get right to it. The new hubs are called Nimbus Ti. They are made by White Industries. Their most important features are shared directly with the T11: bearings, axles, cassette body, geometry, weight - all the same. Nimbus Ti hubs are available in front 20, 24, and 28 front drillings, and 24, 28, and 32 rear drillings. They come in the titanium grey/silver color as pictured here.
As excited as we are about being able to offer Nimbus Ti Rails for $1385, hand built with a hub that's every bit the equal of anything on the market, we're perhaps even more so about the alloy builds. Take your pick of the rims we offer (including the new Pacenti SL23 Mk2), have us hand build them with black Sapim Lasers and Nimbus Ti hubs, and you're at $585. $585. There's quite simply no better deal in an alloy build anywhere on the market.
This being cycling, and people being right to exercise skepticism when something like this comes out, let's talk about what compromises were made to bring the pricepoint to where it is:
1. Nimbus Ti are only available in one color
2. Nimbus Ti have a hub shell that is a simpler shape that's easier to manufacture
3. Nimbus Ti forego the machined logos of the T11 in favor of laser etching
4. November takes a lower margin on Nimbus Ti. We are able to do this through the efficiency of operations that standardized builds afford us. Purchasing and stocking is simpler. Build planning is way more efficient. The "oh crap he wanted blue nipples" scenario never happens. One decal color allows us to batch apply them. Marginal gains galore.
5. Since this is our own hub in our own builds, all superfluous distribution costs are minimized or outright eliminated. Farm to table hubs, if you will.
Plenty of wheels have been promoted as having "DT Swiss inners" in the hubs, so people ought to at least be a bit familiar with that concept. Nimbus Ti is a similar thing, only they have T11 inners. What do we mean by T11 inners?
In the interest of full disclosure, the Nimbus Ti rear does weigh 3 grams more than a T11 rear, and the front is 4 grams heavier than a T11 front. We know weight is a big concern, but those 7 grams are the equal, weight wise, of 2 pennies. A bigger concern might be what to do with the weight of the tens of thousands of pennies you'll save.
You can order your own set of hand built Nimbus wheels right here, right now. We get the first shipment of Nimbus Ti toward the end of the week and will build for received orders and for stock beginning immediately.
The disc version is already well in the works, and will be ready in plenty of time for cross season.
November remains resolutely committed to putting customers - riders - first. Yes, we think that the Nimbus Ti project will improve our business, absolutely. But at a time when too much of cycling is asking you to pay more and more for the same and same, Nimbus Ti is so much more, for less.