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  1. #1
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    Value of us based carbon fiber products....

    Just thought I would throw this question out there.......

    Purchasing directly from China will always be the least expensive option. However, there is a cost ....such as high shipping costs, long warranty procedure, one year warranty, no crash replacement program, no support.

    If you buy the the same product, but through a US based distributor and it included a two year warranty, crash replacement program, replacement within a week.....how much would you pay for that service??.

    I remember the first time I went to Moab and at the time was using the old formula brakes. I crashed and lost the ridiculous dog bone in the levers. There was no where I could get that part replaced locally and had to purchase and change out my brakes so I could continue riding. Never again have I purchased any products that is not easy to get replaced, repaired to get a part for. Buying from china means you may not have use of your bike for several weeks. If that happens when I am going on a trip, it would kill me.

  2. #2
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    Not the additional 300 or 400% markup on most things.
    The prices are so much cheaper on the China direct things it never hurts to have spares of things you think you might break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    Not the additional 300 or 400% markup on most things.
    The prices are so much cheaper on the China direct things it never hurts to have spares of things you think you might break.
    Soooo......100 percent?. 50 percent?? $300, $400 ??

    Just trying to quantify that value .......

    Derby is charging $279 special and Knox is at $450...they are both located in the good ole USA. They have better warranties, crash replacement program and get get your product to you faster.

    I know for me, that two year warranty alone is worth the peace of mind. Being able to get my warranty taken care of in one week is also worth a lot.
    Last edited by Atomik Carbon; 08-20-2013 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Add

  4. #4
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    Your wasting your sound logic on an audience that simply only cares about one thing, where can it be gotten the cheapest. Good luck. To answer the question, 125/150% give or take seems about right for carbon but I fear that I'm the odd man out.

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    Well thank you for that answer....It would seem to me to be less however, judging from Derby's introductory price of $279 per rim. Although a lot has to be said for what he if offering 35mm, 29" rim that weights close to 450 grams. We are not comparing apples to apples.

    I also say this because it costs $200 for each LB rim after all is said and done. $165 rim + $25 Shipping +9 Paypal fee...

    At your 125%, that would mean you are willing to pay $450....no way.

    All things being equal, I would say $300 is the right mark ( 50%) and if you can throw in a 2 year warranty, crash replacement program, demo program.....it would be more than worth it in my mind......any supporters ????

  6. #6
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    200 x 1.25 /= 450
    Santa Cruz TBc
    Pivot 429c

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    Quote Originally Posted by icsloppl View Post
    200 x 1.25 /= 450

    In business when you say mark "up", it means how much above your cost. Sometimes the term "keystone" is used and that means 100% markup or double your cost...

    But thanks, I get the gist.....

    Now here is where this discussion is going to turn into a lot of fun......

    Based on 25% (or 125% ) markup.....

    1 year additional warranty
    2 year crash replacement program
    demo program
    quick delivery

    is only worth $50 to you ?? The cost to warranty a broken rim will probably cost a lot more than the $50 and the time that your bike will be down...

    I guess we should not be wondering why no one has decided to distribute these rims.....among other reasons that I have clearly documented over the past few months.
    Last edited by Atomik Carbon; 08-20-2013 at 02:12 PM. Reason: add

  8. #8
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    I am excited that people are producing carbon stuff for reasonable prices. Hopefully, that will push the market price of all this stuff down.

    I am not willing to spend $800-$950 on a rim. I have seen people destroy 2 Zipps in a single fall. I have little interest in the incremental weight savings compared to the high cost.

    As you said, the cost (in terms of actual re-build time/money and lost riding time) is too great for me to risk on unproven design/materials. I don't have cheap chinese carbon rims either. So, I am probably the wrong voice. I would say my answer would be different if I still worked in a shop, got employee purchase, or purchases at cost.

    All the technology is very interesting. But, I'd rather spend my money on both a nice pair of hubs in a conventional rim and save for another bike instead of spending it on a cool carbon wheelset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    I am excited that people are producing carbon stuff for reasonable prices. Hopefully, that will push the market price of all this stuff down.

    I am not willing to spend $800-$950 on a rim. I have seen people destroy 2 Zipps in a single fall. I have little interest in the incremental weight savings compared to the high cost.

    As you said, the cost (in terms of actual re-build time/money and lost riding time) is too great for me to risk on unproven design/materials. I don't have cheap chinese carbon rims either. So, I am probably the wrong voice. I would say my answer would be different if I still worked in a shop, got employee purchase, or purchases at cost.

    All the technology is very interesting. But, I'd rather spend my money on both a nice pair of hubs in a conventional rim and save for another bike instead of spending it on a cool carbon wheelset.
    Well you are certainly the odd man in this forum....seems like everyone on here is focusing only on price like what Sanchez says...but there is so much more to consider. There is a certain price where people that are only focused on getting cheap will change their minds and purchase in the USA. That being said, the people on these forums that purchase cheap Chinese carbon fiber may be a very small segment of the market and it may not matter one hoot what they think. ENVE just expanded their facilities recently into a 32,000 sq/ft factory, you don't do that unless your sales are strong. I understand that they also have a back log......so someone is buying all those expensive carbon fiber.

    And btw....you need to get ahold of a pair of carbon hoops and see what the excitements is all about. It does make for a much stiffer and smoother ride.....like floating on a cloud.
    Last edited by Atomik Carbon; 08-20-2013 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Add

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaMon View Post

    And btw....you need to get ahold of a pair of carbon hoops and see what the excitements is all about. It does make for a much stiffer and smoother ride.....like floating on a cloud.
    Its stiffer AND smoother? Thats contrary to what many people on this board suggest. Its suggested if youre doing short rides, CF rims are great.. but if you do longer events like endurance racing, aluminum rims like Stans seem to be a better choice because of how flexible they are, creating a smoother ride..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaMon View Post
    Well you are certainly the odd man in this forum....seems like everyone on here is focusing only on price like what Sanchez says...but there is so much more to consider.
    Price is the major consideration . If it wasn't then everyone would be rolling on XX1, XTR, etc.

    But, a carbon frame is what 30-50% more than a similar bike in an alloy frame (e.g rip 9 rdo v rip 9; tallboy vs tallboy carbon). However, rims are 300% to 1000% more than alloy rims (derby @279 and enve @ 900 versus stans flow @90). When and if carbon rims get closer to carbon frames maybe your questions about how much people are willing to spend will be answered.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    Price is the major consideration . If it wasn't then everyone would be rolling on XX1, XTR, etc.

    But, a carbon frame is what 30-50% more than a similar bike in an alloy frame (e.g rip 9 rdo v rip 9; tallboy vs tallboy carbon). However, rims are 300% to 1000% more than alloy rims (derby @279 and enve @ 900 versus stans flow @90). When and if carbon rims get closer to carbon frames maybe your questions about how much people are willing to spend will be answered.

    Not sure you can make the same anology....I actually think the carbon fiber frame is less expensive to manufacturer than the aluminum and they price it at what the market will bear. The biggest cost is the making of the mold. Same cheap labor to lay the resin and carbon mats. Clean up is much easier when it comes out of the mold and there is no painting.

    I figure they roll the rim extrusion and weld it at the seam, all automated with machines. The carbon fiber rims are more labor intesive and the bladder is a pain in the ass to remove because it is so small.

    So what I am saying is that the aluminum rim is very easy to make compared to the carbon fiber version. With frames, the aluminum is more labor intensive and difficult because of the welding and finishing.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Its stiffer AND smoother? Thats contrary to what many people on this board suggest. Its suggested if youre doing short rides, CF rims are great.. but if you do longer events like endurance racing, aluminum rims like Stans seem to be a better choice because of how flexible they are, creating a smoother ride..
    All I can tell ya is what my ass feels....They dampen the bumps and smooth out the ride and when you turn and go through technical areas, they are very stiff. You should ride a set....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by YaMon View Post
    Not sure you can make the same anology....I actually think the carbon fiber frame is less expensive to manufacturer than the aluminum and they price it at what the market will bear.
    It is a similar analogy. I am drawing an analogy to the recent past. The bike industry has recently made a transition from all metal to some metal and some CF. CF as a material is less expensive than metal alloys. The molds are the big expense. Same in frames/same in rims. Expertise in CF frames is widespread enough to make the retail price low enough for people to adopt it. However, the price of CF rims is not yet low enough for widespread adoption.

    Presently, CF frames are becoming more and more common. The price of CF frames is 30-50% more than a metal frame. At that price difference, people demonstrate a willingness to pay for the advantages of CF - while accepting the potential problems. However, the cost of a CF rim is 300-1000% of a metal rim. I am not sure widespread adoption of the technology will occur at that price difference.

    Your original post was concerning margin and cost of CF. That is my take.

    For what it is worth, I had a custom steel road frame and am now waiting for a CF road frame. I also currently have a CF mountain frame. However, I do not currently have any CF wheels. Not saying I never will, just not yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    It is a similar analogy. I am drawing an analogy to the recent past. The bike industry has recently made a transition from all metal to some metal and some CF. CF as a material is less expensive than metal alloys. The molds are the big expense. Same in frames/same in rims. Expertise in CF frames is widespread enough to make the retail price low enough for people to adopt it. However, the price of CF rims is not yet low enough for widespread adoption.

    Presently, CF frames are becoming more and more common. The price of CF frames is 30-50% more than a metal frame. At that price difference, people demonstrate a willingness to pay for the advantages of CF - while accepting the potential problems. However, the cost of a CF rim is 300-1000% of a metal rim. I am not sure widespread adoption of the technology will occur at that price difference.

    Your original post was concerning margin and cost of CF. That is my take.

    For what it is worth, I had a custom steel road frame and am now waiting for a CF road frame. I also currently have a CF mountain frame. However, I do not currently have any CF wheels. Not saying I never will, just not yet.
    My knowledge of rim manufacturing is limited, but I do know a lot about metal fabrication.....I owned a company that manufactured metal products. We had a machine called a three wheel bender that would bend straight extrusions into a perfect circle. That machine could bend aluminum the size of a rim in less than a minute. I trained a new employee in half an hour to feed the machine and in one hour she made more curved chair legs in one hour than a person that was experienced in bending could make in one week. Aluminum sells for about a dollar a pound....add some exotic metals and you are still well below five dollars.

    Carbon fiber mold In China will cost you around ten thousand dollars and it takes approx. one hour to lay the resin, carbon fibers , close the five hundred pound mold, pump it full of air and stick it in the oven....this is the "labor" component of carbon fiber manufacturing and why it is so expensive. Oh, it takes at least two persons to lift that solid steel mold. I know what the price of a carbon fiber rim is from the factory in China and it is still not cheap........when you start multiplying by percent, the price rises real fast. You can't just look at the cost of the materials, there is a lot more at play. Each mold can make twelve rims in a twelve hour period vs. hundreds of aluminum rims. Aluminum rims don't have the expensive mold cost either.

    All in all the markup on carbon fiber products is a lot more than aluminum because it is new and exotic and the market can bear it....I suppose..

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    You hit the nail on the head. Your technology (three wheel bender) could do more work in one hour than "a person that was experienced in bending could make in one week".

    Current technology (10K mold, Labor, etc.), does not allow CF production at low enough prices. However, some day the "three wheel bender"* of CF rims will come around. Then someone with very little knowledge and training will be able to make more CF rims (curved chair legs) in one hour than a person (10K mold, Labor, etc.) that was experienced in bending could make in one week.

    It is the normal desire of scientists or artisans to improve upon what is already generally known.

    *This is a metaphorical "three wheel bender". I know you cannot actually bend CF rims. Although, maybe you could do some form of extrusion or pultrusion with differential feed/extrusion rates to form a circular shape. Maybe you could form a flexible CF tube, form it into a rim shape, and then cross-link or activate the resin - like electron bombardment to make PEX.
    Last edited by crit_boy; 08-20-2013 at 10:38 PM.

  17. #17
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    Value of us based carbon fiber products....

    Quote Originally Posted by YaMon View Post
    I guess we should not be wondering why no one has decided to distribute these rims.....
    What about Carver? Certainly seems like their rims are US distributed "generic" carbon rims from China. Or were you referring to the Derby rims?
    Last edited by AOK; 08-21-2013 at 08:38 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    What about Carver? Certainly seems like their rims are US distributed "generic" carbon rims from China. Or were you referring to the Derby rims?
    Very good point AOK... $69+ shipping more than it would cost from China. Faster delivery for sure. I don't know if they would take their inventory and warranty your broken rim with that. I doubt it. They also offer no additional warranty...same as LB. They are resellers and not a USA distributor. A distributors responsibility is a lot more, thay have to handle all warranty situations and stock a lot of inventory.

  19. #19
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    I worked a lot with carbon fiber - produced ocean kayaks (20+ feet that came in at 22 pounds). Either way, we also did paddles, wings as they are called - difficult shapes to work with.

    Point well taken: Carbon bike parts are outrageously expansive.
    My carbon seat post (MSRP $450) - come ON!
    It's just a shaft and couple of bolts. I could produce the same for about $15 worth of epoxy and carbon (heck, for another $8 I would throw in a mixture of kevlar to ensure a bit of flexibility on my broke ass point of contact.

    MOLD
    Sure, you need a mold. The mold is super easy to build. It took us 7 days to build one, with a lot of wood and lots of resin. The labor (polishing it to perfection) took some time. Selling that mold at a profit would be $4000 - not 10K.

    INFLATED PRICES
    It's a war on carbon, but let's remember that you are also fighting for YOUR job. Keep the job in the US (if you live in the US), keep them in France (if you live there). Come up with a nice mold, start producing - artisan style - but please: let's not overly inflate prices (remember, I can make 4 seat posts out of one paddle shaft) - my paddles were expansive, but they weren't $2200 each.

    ANSWER
    To answer your original question, a fair price on carbon wheels would be $1400 - and include customer service, AND a $150 option for damage protection. Take that and double it and I will continue to ride my Mavic SLR - super stiff, same weight as Crest (NoTubes).

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