It's time to introduce our newest wheel, which we've decided to call... THE ROUBAIX!!! No, no, no, I'm just pulling your leg. It's the Rail 34. Why Rail 34? Because it's a Rail that's 34mm deep, is why.
We decided to make a 34mm deep Rail because you asked for it. The Rail 52 has done very well for us and for you since the day we announced it, and it does everything we intended for it to do. I would say that it's better in cross winds than I'd hoped it would be, and that it handles better than I'd imagined it could. People have used them to win an armful of races, they've done gran fondos on them, they've taken them on all sorts of surfaces, etc.
Still, people wanted something shallower (which must be why I'm such a hit at parties), so here we are with something shallower. Why 34? The 52 is at a magic spot, right where it can be really really fast without getting really heavy, and still be manageable enough to use most-to-perhaps-all of the time. We wanted to get into territory where the new wheel would be different enough that you wouldn't be splitting hairs between the two. It's still possible to draw a great shape at 34, one that gives the same magnificent ride that 52s give (a function of width and stiffness), should prove nearly invisible to cross winds, and be quite rapid to boot.
We also know that people want more from their wheels than to be just a hair gel and a desert topping. They want to race on them and train on them and take them on unpaved roads and get them with disc hubs and race cross on them and all that kind of stuff. For that mandate, a shallow-ish rim works just a treat. They're also lighter than 52s. They're not flyweight wheels, once again we didn't chase every last nanogram out of them, because in this real world where you don't have a team car following you with a brace of spare wheels, leaving a few nanograms in offers far more benefit than detriment. You don't have to baby them. They'll be very comparable to Zipps and Enves of similar depths.
You're probably wondering whether we've tunnel tested them, and the answer is that we haven't. Not yet at least. With the 52, a huge part of the point was being able to prove that it was as fast as very fast wheels of similar to slightly greater depth. It is, and if you are looking for a wheel to go fast like that, the 52 is that wheel. We are sure that the 34 will be fast. How fast? Fast enough for us to be able to put it up against some meaninglessly slow wheel and tell you that it will save a bunch of time in an artificial construct (a construct whose artifice doesn't obviate its credibility - it's still the best tool we've got to do the near-impossible task of rating how fast different wheels are). We're sure we've caught the beat on the critical points of the mandate, and we know they'll be quick.
Pre-order price will be $1145 with standard hubs, and $1445 with White Industries hubs. In stock price will be $1285 with standard hubs and $1545 with White Industries (which will match the 2014 Rail 52 pricing).
We'll be opening up the pre-order shortly after New Years, so ordinarily talking about this now would be jumping the gun, but we're going to be doing the dojo pre-order much sooner than that, and you can order your dojo with 34s. Delivery is planned for mid-April, and our history with delivering per dates is great so far.
Any plans on making just a front wheel available? I'd love to be able to just stick the front on with my existing 52 rear for windy days…
Cool that you guys have another of your own wheels, but I'm bummed-out that the new wheel wasn't a tubular Rail 52. Oh well. I still really like what you're doing.
Well—yeah. Did you give blood today?
Chad – Sorry, they just don't sell very well. The 34 is a more likely candidate since its a great cross depth, but that's far from a promise. The demand just isn't there. Erik – Yes, absolutely. Rico – You got me. A riff on Roubaix?
Project name submission: the Rudeboy. Get it? I slay myself….In for a pint glass if you use it.