April 27, 2013
Ever since NAHBS in Denver this year (2013), we're deluged with orders for custom spokes, thousands of spokes. Why now and why so many?
The custom building scene is growing. More and more individual riders are building and re-building their own wheels. And wheel builders at unappreciative shops are are opening up on their own. Meanwhile, the spoke supply is worse than ever:
(1) High prices (understandable considering where spokes are made).
(2) Awkward minimum quantities (50 or 100 minimums), which is awkward because, considering gauges, colors, and lengths, there are over 300 common spoke sku's.
(3) Requirements to have a "store front."
There's obviously a market for custom length spokes in precise quantities. Only lately we hear Morizumi buyers saying "I was buying spokes from Harry who has a cutter but I decided to get my own." Or "I want to be the first Morizumi owner in the front range." People can tell there is no spoke cutting oversupply.
So great news, Morizumi's at $3200USD are worth every cent, a profit center for any wheel building or repair operation.
Here is incentive to move your building act forward. We'll hold the price as long as the exchange rate maintains. Hopefully all year and more.
Just this year we've sold four machines to Mountain Equipment Coop (an REI of Canada). Here's the setup in Calgary:
Speaking of red tool boxes, here's Power's Bike Shop in VA. They're a BMX center, so plenty of wheels needed for them:
This phenomenon is definitely worldwide. China, SA, Germany, Netherlands, Ecuador, Israel, all suffer from poor spoke supply and a burgeoning wheel scene. One recent prospect wrote that the strong trend for them is Rohloff hubs and 650B rims. Great transportation but you'll never get that wheel readymade from a built wheel brand.
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