Wow, you guys are ANXIOUS!
We have been getting quite a few inquiries looking for our CX Tubulars. I had not planned to roll dollars into built stock on those until July, assuming a late July / early August sales bump. However, it seems you people don't want to wait that long, so I am going to make this happen sooner.
The details: We have a new rim construction process that was rolled out this winter and early spring. I had hoped to utilize this on all our road product line, but as with most new things, production output was pretty slow at first. As a result, we have been building on wheels with them on a "special order" basis only through our dealer/LBS network. We also wanted to wait until the new process was producing tubeless specific rims, as we still feel that is the future even for road, and heck it works with tubes so why not. And, in the interest of being true to ourselves, we wanted a tubeless ready product.
Full disclosure, and I have said it before, we don't yet have our own proprietary molds (and we don't own a rim factory). Until you have something really special in your profile or carbon materials (not just layup), I don't think custom molds are worth the investment for a small business. Your time and money is better spent researching the available open mold factories, building samples, testing, and developing a relationship with your supplier.
Spend the time and money and energy you would have invested in tooling development on executing a great, high quality build, answering your email immediately with detailed, thoughtful responses, and supporting the products you have already sold. That is the approach we have taken. To be fair to us here, while the molds are "open" in that other brands can buy the same rims we do, they are not true open molds in that our factory only provides the product to OEM manufacturers. You can't get these yourself, you need a business to business relationship. The new process is pretty slick and they want to pass that value on to their B2B customers, which, in return, keeps the value (read sales price we pay) high, which benefits them. Symbiosys. Google it. The good new is, our approach paid off, and when we asked the engineers at the factory to consider a tubeless specific mold they listened to our feedback, and we received and built the very first production rims out of that mold! #Jerrynomics in action.
What is the new process? It is a multi-axis weaving process much like you see on carbon frames made from hand joined tube and lug construction vs fully molded in one shot. A carbon tube or sock is wound, very precisely, and that is fitted into the rim mold and cured, as opposed to flat cut sheets of carbon.
This does a couple things: it eliminates the rough edges that need to be cut off the rim after curing, where the sheets come together, it reduces the amount of resin needed, thus reducing weight, and it eliminates voids. It also improves the toughness of the rim at the leading edge, where we see failures most often from hard impacts. Often, you hit a rock and the sidewall at the brake track delaminates and cracks. With the winding process, it is akin to the carbon forks where the fibers are continuous from fork legs, through the crown, and up the steerer tube. There are no delamination points.
Now that we have a tubeless version of the road rim in a 45mm depth with pretty good availability (B2B relationships again, folks), we are adding that product to the store. Similarly, this will be the basis of our Cyclocross model(s). We will be offering a 35mm deep tubular first, with some other neat stuff up our sleeve. The workhorse product is going to be the 35CX, though, which is a great combination of depth for strength and stiffness while keeping the weight low (aero is almost irrelevant in CX, sorry).
We are getting an initial stock order in ASAP and will put these in the store, with photos to follow. They will look just like the 45R shown above, only... 35CX! By late June there should be pre-built stock available to ship, but if you really want a jump on availability, you can order now for late June delivery and be first in line. More details to come in another post as this is already long!
Onward to CYCLOCROSS!