What's Cookin', August 2011

Dave and I don't really have staff meetings, but we do go through a list of current projects each week. I figured the easiest way to keep our customers in the loop is to just publish the list here, along with some explanation of what we're doing and what the status is. I've also broken them into categories based on immediacy.

So here's What's Cookin', the August 2011 edition:

Rolling Boil:

  • New FSW Wheelsets: We just launched the new FSW 23 and FSW CX wheelsets. The latter is a tubular whose name telegraphs its principal application. But don't discount the FSW 23 for cross also. It's built on a 23mm wide rim and Dave is currently figuring out the tubeless configuration for it. He's also running the same rim on his 29er as a proof of its durability. 
  • Cyclocross Framesets: We owe you a more detailed update here, but the one pictured on this here page is actually not the cyclocross frame we'll be demo'ing and showing off this year. We like our Wheelhouse road frame so much that we're testing two different carbon cross frames from the same supplier - one with cantis and one with disc brakes. You'll see them this fall.
  • Cyclocross Factory Team: You'll see them this fall too, riding said carbon fiber cyclocross frames, and also our alloy and carbon tubulars. Ask them questions, including "Hey, can I try your bike?" and "Would you like an Ommegang Abbey Ale?" They're contractually obligated to say yes to both. 
  • Premium Hubs: We're now offering Chris King, C-4 and White Industries hubs in all of our wheelsets. Pricing is already programmed into the "Add to Cart" functionality of the FSW 23 and FSW CX wheelsets, and will soon be added to our other wheels. If you can't wait, we have this handy little doodad here. Read more about our Premium Hubs here
  • Bonus Wheel Pre-Order: We ran out of just about everything again so are putting in another rim order with our supplier next week. That means you get another chance to pre-order any of our carbon wheelsets, by Monday August 15. Save $140 on our carbon clinchers and $100 on our carbon tubulars. We're anticipating that wheels from this order will be in customer's hands in early November. 

Simmer:

  • 2012 Wheelhouse Pre-Order Pricing: We're working on this now, both for the Wheelhouse frameset and the complete Max Perkins configuration. We are waiting on costs from our suppliers and to finish some internal analysis on what, exactly, is the best possible deal on the Wheelhouse we can afford to give, since that is what our pricing will be. We're also looking at selling the Max Perkins without wheels, for our wheel customers who want to add on the rest of the bike (and of course for other people who are happy with their wheels, even if they're not ours).
  • TT Frame: We just received the geometry charts for a carbon fiber TT frame that's pretty appealing. We're looking into some additional suppliers as well and will order demos from at least one of them before too long. Shortly afterwards, I'll be traveling to races with prologues, as I'm pretty good at anything under 5 minutes. Ask me to motor along for anything longer than that and I fold like a Dahon.
  • Custom Wheels: Now that we've got all these Premium Hubs, we're close to launching a custom wheel program. It's different from premium hubs in our standard wheels because you can choose any drillings you want (through the magic of rim pre-order), go for colored or alternating nipples or spokes, configure your build any way you like, and otherwise make the wheelset unequivocally yours. 

Back Burner:

  • 29er Frame: We've mapped out the ride to there on the Garmin but haven't technically clipped in yet. Also Dave forgot to fill his bottles and I promised my wife I'd help her move some bags of mulch before we leave. But the ride is still scheduled and we're leaving soon.
  • Coaching: What does coaching have in common with wheels and framesets? Two things: Racers want it, and if there's a better way to deliver it we'll figure it out. 

We'll give you another update next month. If you have any questions until then, use the comments here.

 

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3 comments

That covered it. Thanks.

Mike

With an alloy frameset, it's easy to specify disc brake tabs and canti posts – it's just a quick change to the jig. But with carbon the changes are to the mold. It's certainly technically possible but it's also much more expensive – very likely prohibitively so. If our supplier introduces a carbon cross frame that switch hits, we will be very interested in it. If they don't, we'll have to make a choice between discs and cantis. For component prices, do you mean the price we expect to pay for gruppos and cockpits and the like, or do you mean prices for the components that comprise our wheelsets? For the former, we haven't heard anything specific yet from the major suppliers, but there's always upwards price pressure. At the same time, we're looking for ways to source components less expensively – through greater volume and some new partnerships that might lower costs a bit. For example, it may be possible to have the 2012 version of the Max Perkins sources and even assembled in Taiwan, using the same components that were on this year's. That would make it less expensive. But it might also mean giving up some of the customizability, like the option to choose a specific cockpit or compact cranks or a white saddle instead of black. We don't have it quite figured out yet, and also aren't sure how much that flexibility in spec is worth in dollar terms. By the end of this month, this will no doubt be a Rolling Boil item.

Mike May

1: I take it a switch-hitting carbon cross frameset would be too unrealistic to hope for?2: What are your expectations with regards to component prices as compared to last year for your builds?

Mike

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