Contact Us

Have a question? We'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

76 Bear Mountain Road
Bolton, VT 05675
United States

802-233-3503

Founded in 2015 by longtime cycling supporter, Jerry Chabot, NEXT Cycling builds high quality wheels designed for cyclocross, mountain and road performance. NEXT has a clear social mission to contribute to the growth and health of the cycling community via advocacy and athlete development.  

Blog

Jerry's thoughts

 

Let's talk about the Rim Replacement Plan

Jerry Chabot

Wow, it has been a long time since I have had time to blog. It has been a BUSY year here at NEXT. So much happening on so many fronts, I don't even have time to write about SCS anymore... gosh I miss that! We've been busy launching our road wheels, followed by road disc wheels, testing prototype MTB product for 2018, and even producing one of the lightest disc time trial wheels on the market! Oh, we also put our considerable financial weight behind the fantastic CCB UCI road team and providing them with road racing and training wheels. Phew! 

All of that has delayed my writing about our Rim Replacement Plan. I think this is really one of the most unique things about NEXT. We are a wheel company bred from racing. We participate in and love all forms of bike racing, and starting the club was really based upon supporting the growth of RACING. Riding bikes is great, and popular, and we love riding bikes, but racing bikes is special and unique and something we want to help to promote. 

What does that have to do with the Rim Replacement Plan, you ask? Well, racing breaks stuff. Racing is expensive. Race bikes and entries and gear is expensive. Our wheels are racing wheels and are admittedly a pretty serious investment, as is any quality carbon wheelset. But then you take these beautiful precision built wheels and run them recklessly over bombed out roads and trails and cyclocross races while seeing starts and tunnel vision from oxygen debt, all while grimly clinging to the wheel in front of you irresponsibly closely. 

BOOM. You have just run over a landmine. You scrape yourself and your uber expensive bike off the ground. Oh man, your boutique custom racing kit is shredded ($$$). Your bars are bent and the shift levers are roached ($$$). Saddle torn ($$$). Looks like you cracked your carbon fork as well ($$$). Oh dear, someone's foot went right through your front wheel, and then you slid into a curb. Your rim is smickled. That's not gonna buff out. $$$.... BUT WAIT! We feel your pain. Racing is hard on equipment and equipment is expensive to replace. We don't want to make that burden worse. 

Enter the Rim Replacement Policy: for $250 dollars, we will replace a broken rim and send it back to you in a sweet NEXT Cycling heirloom quality box (we really love our custom wheel boxes, that happened this summer as well). Is this an insurance plan you buy when you purchase the wheels, you ask? Nope. You just buy the Rim Replacement item AFTER YOU BREAK YOUR WHEEL. Does the damage need to be proven to be a defect in workmanship or manufacturing? Nope. Any breakage, for any reason. But what if the rim broke in a crash, clearly not the intended use of the wheels? Then it doesn't apply, right? Nope.  Any breakage, for any reason. Certainly though this is only valid for the original owner of wheels, right? Nope. Any breakage, for any reason, for anybody. 

"So wait, let me get this straight - any breakage, for any reason, at any time, by any owner, and I don't have to make up a plausible sob story of how I was JRA and the wheel broke, even though I was being super careful and not doing anything irresponsible like, say, racing thru trails on my road bike, at night?" Hmmm, let me think.... nope, no problem. Any breakage, for any reason, for anybody. 

How does it work? You break it, you buy it. Simple. Break your wheel, buy the Rim Replacement item in the store. Shoot us an email to let us know it's coming. We may ask the context because we like to improve our product and this is great data. You get the wheel boxed up (hopefully you kept your slick NEXT custom box that the wheels came in) and ship it to us however you like. That shipping cost is on you and not included in the price we charge. We get the wheel and replace the rim with the same rim, or the current version of that rim (logos change, models get updated, so on and so forth). Then, and this is the best part, WE SHIP IT BACK TO YOU FOR FREE (in a slick NEXT custom wheel box). 

How the heck can we do that? That makes no financial sense? Well, we can do it because we subsidize it (big word, google it). Consider it like sponsoring your rims. We eat part of the cost of every rim replacement because we want to support the racing community and we understand that racing breaks stuff and you don't want to have to worry about it. It is as simple as that. In a small way, we are sponsoring every rider on NEXT wheels. It's cool, we are happy to do it. Really, it makes us happy to make your bad day better. You're very welcome.

-J

Hubs and Lefty and Slate and Gravel and Boxes and Raffles!

Jerry Chabot

 It has been a struggle recently with so darn much going on at once. New products, several new team sponsorships, a huge uptick in sales volume, new ROAD DISC wheels, blizzards and subsequent shipping delays, and other supply chain wrangling, and UCI wheel certification (stay tuned!). We also designed new wheel shipping boxes (logistics are the untold story behind every business) which took A WHILE to prototype and dial in, glad that is behind me. Now I have a mountain of boxes to store. More exciting is our new hub option, Project 321. They are the best J bend hub on the market, in my opinion. I like them better that Chris King for a variety of technical as well as business reasons. Key points for me - brilliant machining, 10 year guarantee, ALL the colors, strongly angled hub flanges (very hard to do), angular contact bearings with adjustable preload, and.... wait for it... MAGNETS. 

F*&%ING MAGNETS! How do they work?

F*&%ING MAGNETS! How do they work?

Yes, they have a new driver mechanism with 206 points of engagement using a pull spring magnet that both pulls into the driver ring harder under load and creates much less drag while free wheeling (up to 60% less). They can be set up almost silent or which a buzz similar to Industry 9 hubs. Check it out here

Holes drilled for additional oil volume for noise and service

Holes drilled for additional oil volume for noise and service

We don't think this is a gimmick, we think this is the future. Shimano are rumored to be working on a similar deal, as are a couple other brands. The only real failure point in a pawl drive hub is the spring pushing the pawl into the driver ring. As the pawl moves farther into the ring (pedalling) the push force reduces as the spring is less compressed. While coasting the pawls are riding over the top of the driver teeth, and the spring force is the highest (drag). As the springs get old and weak or gunked up with old greased and dirt, they can fail to push the pawls in and then your hub can fail. That is about the only way your freehub can fail, honestly, and is what DT and King are meant to prevent with their no pawl design. 

On top of those great technical features and best in class machining and anodizing (very deep colors), Project 321 offer a Lefty and Lefty Supermax hub, something we have lacked. I do not like the quality of the available Cannondale branded Lefty hubs. They are affordable but are just a Formula OEM grade hub. The other options are quite limited. 

Why do we care about Lefty all of the sudden? Well, because SLATE! The Cannondale Slate is a very unique bike and was in the forefront of the emerging Road Plus market (yes, you read that right). Road Plus is 650b high volume road tires, just like 27.5+ is to 29r bikes. We like to be out in front on the new tech and provide a solution to early adopters, and on top of that, we just really like the Slate. Hey, we live in Vermont! Dirt and trails are regular parts of our road rides and commutes. We decided to partner up with our buddies over at Short Handled Shovel, who promote THE MOST EPIC GRAVEL RIDE IN AMERICA. End. Bar none. They are raffling off a Slate to support Little Bellas, another organization we love (and also here in Vermont). 

Win this bike! 

Win this bike! 

Little known fact, we offer the only commercially available wheelset upgrade for the Slate. True story. Our carbon wheelset is based on our asymmetrical 28Mx hookless rim paired to Project 321 Lefty 1.0 hubs in black or purple, Shimano 11 or XD driver. The wheelset weight is about 1400 grams, a very very significant weight savings over the stock wheels and not something you can get anywhere else, even at your Cannondale dealer! 

Speaking of Cannondale, we also build wheels for their asymmetric chainstay bikes, Cannondale Asymmetric Integration (Ai), which is Cannondale-speak for SCS. And we know a thing or two about SCS, so we may as well help out those of you with Cannondales as well, right? If you need Lefty or Ai wheels, just let us know. I don't have the Ai option built into the website yet, best to just email us and we will incorporate that into your build. 

Phew. We've been busy the last 3 months. That was a lot to knock down all while turning up production to 11. Thanks for reading, please take a minute to sign up for our newsletter, since you made it this far. You will get access to special deals and discounts and we won't spam you.

Real Talk With Jerry: Wind Tunnel Testing

Jerry Chabot

I like wind tunnel data. As an engineer I loves me some data. But, I also question methods and error percentage and above all, the context and scale of the results being presented. Numbers with no context are meaningless, or at best very misleading. 20! That is a big number that sounds meaningful! A difference of 20 in the context of an absolute measurement of 1,000, however, is only 2%. Similarly, comparative data should be taken in the same tunnel and set up, as the difference in drag results from tunnel to tunnel is going to be meaningful in proportion to the differences in rim to rim results, at least in my engineering opinion. I could go into a discussion between the mindset of an engineer verses that of a scientist, but suffice to say, engineers care about “meaningful” variances whereas a scientist is looking for anything “measurable”.

What is the context of the drag differential in various rims in a bike/rider system? Total drag for a rider in a crouched, racing position is something like 3,600 grams. Of that total, the wheels are around 750 grams and of that 750 grams the frontal area of the wheel is in the range of 60-70 percent. The difference in drag in wheels from one aero wheel to another of the same depth is single digit percentages of 750 grams. My point is that the rider and position are by far the biggest component of drag and easily outpace the difference in one wheel to another, though marginal gains are available. Full disclosure, this is taken from readily available data taken the many published test results available, and is not data that I have collected.

It is generally accepted, again from many well vetted tests and calculations, that saving 100 grams of drag saves 1 second per kilometer at 30mph, the oft quoted “40 seconds over a 40km TT”. That sounds like a lot if you do many 40km TTs. I don’t, gosh that sounds terrible. Triathletes, though, do this regularly.

It is also generally accepted that a “deep” aero wheel is about 100gr less drag than a traditional (aka old fashioned) box section wheel. Everyone’s marketing literature quotes the wheel drag savings off of this baseline, which is sort of crap right out of the gates because no one rides a box section rim when they are trying to go fast, and it is unlikely to be the wheel you are considering upgrading from.

Wind tunnel testing shows that even a 30mm deep “semi aero” rim achieves most of the 100gr savings. From the various published drag data that I have found, going from a 30mm to a 60mm to a 90mm and so on saves about 10 seconds over 40km per step in depth - in general in “significant digits” not just “digits” (think like an engineer here not a scientist). A full, maximum depth commercially available, 90mm rim therefore saves about 90 seconds over 40km vs the box section when riding at 30mph. The tiny little 30mm semi aero saves about 70 seconds. Only a 20 second difference! So, for scale (engineering) a 30mm deep rim, which barely qualifies as aero, gets you the bulk of the savings in drag!

The smallest commercially available carbon rim is 25mm deep and would be considered a fragile, special use only, uphill TT wheel. A 30mm rim is only 5mm deeper than a special use only uphill TT rim. Take a second to go look at a ruler, please, as I want you to fully grasp the scale we are talking about here.

Going from a "climbing" wheel at 30mm deep to a huge, heavy, deep 90mm flywheel saves you only about 20 seconds over 40km at 30mph. 30 miles per hour, braining yourself for 50 DAMN MINUTES! 30mph is FAST! And you save just 20 seconds, and that assumes you are out front riding in clean air, like a time trial or triathlon, in TT mode. Get into a pack, like a road race or a crit, and the difference in drag is meaningless. There, I said it. In the context of road racing, the difference in drag between the climbing wheels and the ridiculous 90mm deep wheels is meaningless while you are in the pack. Note to Reader: Opinions found here, I’ve got a few.

Let’s bring this down to the differences in drag between NEXT wheels and all the other wheels out there at various price points and with various dimples, dips, waves, ridges, bulges, razorbacks (??) and so on. We are all within the “noise” (that is a measurement term) of that 10-20 second window of clean air savings potential between the 30mm and 90mm rims. A 55mm deep NEXT wheel is going to perform similarly, aerodynamically, to a 55mm deep wheel from anyone else. There are percentage point differences at various yaw angles, and every manufacturer’s test cherry picks the best yaw angle for their rims, which is valid, and I have no problem with that. But realistically, unless you do triathlon or are a TT specialist, buying carbon wheels based upon the aerodynamic performance between brands is a red herring. Sorry, not sorry.

RAZORS! PEW PEW PEW!

RAZORS! PEW PEW PEW!

Here is some comparative data showing about a 9 gram spread between several major brands:

Grams of Total Drag:
Enve SES 6.7:                         766 grams
Hed Jet 6/9:                           766 grams
Bontrager Aeolus D3 7:         757 grams
Zipp 404/808:                       757 grams

If you want a really good “sciencey” deep dive, verses my “engineeringy” point of view, I would suggest you check out the great blog of Tom Anhalt. You should start with this awesome wheel comparison he did at arguably best available wind tunnel, the new Specialized tunnel in California. 

Be aware that he is measuring drag in terms of Drag Area (CdA, or Cd*Area) not grams of drag. To give CdA some scale, the Cd of a rider on the hoods is around 1.0, in a racing crouched position 0.88, and on aero bars is 0.7 (from Bicycling Science, Wilson 2004). Their area is maybe around 0.36m^2, and therefore a CdA of 0.88x0.36=0.32m^2 in a racing position. Tom’s great test results show a range of CdA from about 0.0175 for the best tested wheel/tire combo to 0.0195 for a Zipp 101 (a 30mm deep alloy rim), both with the same tire, at 0 degrees yaw (full headwind). On a chart that looks like a very measurable difference, and in fact it is! But what percentage difference is that in terms of total bike/rider system (recall that to be about 3,600 grams total)? It is (0.0195-0.0175)/0.32x100 = 0.064%. Note that is zero point zero zero six four percent. Converting that into grams of drag: 3,600gr x 0.00064 = 2.3 grams of drag difference between the two, riding straight ahead in clean air.

At 10 degrees of yaw, which is becoming a pretty well accepted real world yaw angle comparison point for a rider traveling fast (the faster you go, the lower your average yaw angle experienced), the spread between the 30mm rim (which is a much better baseline that a 14mm box section!) and the best performer is 0.019 vs. 0.0105, or 101 grams of drag, or about 40 seconds over 40km at 30mph, between an alloy 30mm all arounder (with really pretty poor performance at increasing yaw) wheel and the very best aero stuff out there. Sound familiar? But wait! Look at the spread between similar wheels at that same yaw! They range from about 0.012 to 0.0105 CdA, or 17 grams of drag difference. Recall that 100 grams of drag reduction can save you about 40 seconds over 40km at 30mph riding solo. So 17 grams is about 7 seconds difference in a 40km TT. And some of that is certainly due to the different tires being tested. The point I am trying to make here is that in real world “does this make a meaningful difference to me athletically” terms, any good quality carbon wheel is going to perform pretty much the same. Measurably the same? No. Meaningfully the same? Yes! So in real world terms, I am going to argue that a very well built wheel with great after sales support but with very average aero performance is going to be a better wheel (probably at a lower price) for the typical road rider/racer than a production built wheel with a lot of sunk costs in aero optimization and testing. My 2 cents.

TLDR? Maybe, but if you did read this far I am proud of you which should make you feel all warm and fuzzy, like a hug but not a hug because I don't hug. But honestly why did I make you go through that? I wanted set the stage for my answers to the frequently asked questions “Why should I buy carbon wheels?” and “Which model wheels should I buy?”.

Why carbon? Because carbon wheels are lighter than the minimum comparable alloy wheel that gets you meaningful aero savings. If you go to a 30 deep alloy, you are talking a pretty heavy rim and it goes up from there. Another great reason is that a deep wheel is way STIFFER. That is why they feel fast and responsive. That is why sprinters like really deep wheels. Also, sprinters are going FAST, 40mph plus in clean air if they are doing it right at the end, all while at their maximum watts. 10 more watts matters in that racing moment. They also look cool, tubeless up really nicely, look cool, are actually tougher than an alloy rim, and they look really cool.

Merp

Merp

Which model? If you want to go fast but worry about side winds pushing you around, get the 45R or the 55R. If you do hilly road racing or live in a hilly area, don’t ride the 70R for that. If you are a smaller guy or a bit more weight focused or love the wrapped logo style and want an all-around wheel, go with the 45R over the 55R. If you prefer more stiffness and are not a gram counter and want an all-around wheel, get the 55R over the 45R. If you like hilly road racing more than crits, or do a lot of hilly riding, the 35R should get you 80% of the aero benefits of the deeper wheels and feel livelier on climbs. If you want max performance for TT or if you are a sprinter, get the 70R. If you are a time trialist or triathlete, I think the aero gains of the deeper 70R are obvious and from a pure performance standpoint, which is what those events are all about, the 70R will be the fastest.

Thanks for hanging in there, now go check out the wheel store!