There are a lot of wheel companies and boutique builders out there these days. It is a great time to be a consumer, you have a lot of options. Given that it is such a crowded space, I thought it was worth doing a blog post that spoke to what makes NEXT unique, and why we think you will have a great experience working with us on your next wheelset purchase.
Customer Service and Engagement:
We are engineers and as such we understand you have questions about fitment or other tech support, especially on new technology. Bikes are not as simple as they used to be with a proliferation of axle and wheel standards and we get that. We pioneered the Specialized SCS axle standard conversion wheels, providing a non-OEM option to Specialized Diverge, Tarmac, and Crux owners, something not well understood by the retail marketplace. We know you want a value added sales experience, not just to click a button in a webstore and hope for the best. We reply to hundreds of customer emails every month, providing technical support prior to most every sale.
Custom Factory Wheels:
We are a "custom factory", combining fully customized builds to suit your specific profile with our in house carbon rims. This eliminates the intrinsically higher price of a traditional wheel builder or shop who has to buy rims wholesale and mark them up. That model works well with alloy wheels, but the price of individual carbon rims can make an affordable custom carbon wheelset more difficult to produce. Factory built wheels can drop the price point, but you limited to what any particular brand can manufacture in high quantities.
Emerging Technology and Trends:
As mentioned above, OEM and big aftermarket company models have to be targeted at the biggest market sectors, and the technology usually lags behind the latest trends by a season or two until the market has proven its popularity. We like to live on the leading edge of the industry. We are engineers and we like to tinker and test and figure stuff out. We started out with through axle disc cyclocross wheels when most bikes were still quick release. Through axles are now becoming mainstream, but we developed a customer base of early adopters and we love their repeat business. This approach really defines our business mode, and we continue to developed products for niche and emerging trends like SCS, 27.5+, 29r to 27.5+ conversions, and road disc, all while offering customized colors that reflect your own personality.
If you read our blog that went into who we are, what makes us tick, and tries to answer the question "why they heck are we even doing this?" then you know that we are a company with a social mission. All the proceeds from this gig goes right back to worthy causes in cycling like athlete development, grassroots clubs, and trail advocacy. We don't have share holders. We want to positively impact the sport and community that is such a big part of our lives and who we are. That is what gets us out of bed in the morning. So if for no other reason, consider buying NEXT because you know that your dollars are going right back into your community.
OK, I joke about black on black on black EVERYTHING in cycling being pretty tired, and how I am over it. But really what I am so inelegantly saying is that EVERYONE ELSE is riding around on a murdered out bike with stealth logos and peeled stickers and all that, so it has sort of lost what once made it different in the first place. Hey, that was cool, until everyone started doing it! Why not do what you like? Why not dial in your wheels to match your team kit? Or to pull the accent color off your frame and really make it pop? Let your freak flag fly, take the road less traveled, blaze your own trail, set tracks. Whatever you call it, do what moves you. We got your back on this one.