Why I haven't bought Tokyo wheels

Dear James

Having received an invite from you to join the Forum I have decided to come along and give you a bit of feedback. I first came across Tokyo Wheel on the Roadbikereview forum and I followed a couple of discussions with some interest. however they descended into a bit of a trolling session which I felt was unjust and ultimately negative. This was despite your attempts to be open and as transparent as possible. From there I looked into your site at Tokyowheel and I have to say I was impressed.

I honestly believe that there are a lot of things “right” about your venture.
For a start the website looks good and works well on a variety of devices. It has a premium and professional feel, is easy to navigate and shows off the product very well. I have on a couple occasions specced up some wheels and hovered over the purchase button but not yet made the leap to parting with my cash. I should say that I am not averse to buying from abroad and currently run a set of Soul S3.0 and a Dengfu FM029 frame for my 2nd bike.

As the business owner I thought you might be interested as to why I haven’t purchased as it may help you in further development of the site and venture. Let me however state again that I like your approach and think the business is on the right tracks.

Reasons to deliberate.

  1. The wheels in the stock build spec are heavier than the competition offerings from the likes of Farsports, Dengfu (who I have purchased a frame from), etc. This might be a good sign as no risks are taken with engineering and everyone needs durability. It also isn’t as transparent as it might be that the standard hub and spoke builds are the ones with weight quoted. As you know - must rider are secretly weight weenies and every 50g is important.

  2. The cost. I think this is a smaller issue as you have a unique offer int eh market place and are standing behind your product and the distribution. I value this. the question is - do I value it 2* more than a similar offering from say Farsports? It’s a thought.

  3. Carbon Clincher braking. This is still a major issue for me. Its an issue for all OEM of carbon wheels.I think your product is marketed well. I am not sure exactly what Duraheat does but perhaps some clinic field testing in a variety of weather conditions would support the claims. I am less concerned about wheels deforming as in my part of the UK we don’t have the sort of conditions that really stress rims ie long,fast, steep descents. However safety is a huge issue and I am nervous of taking risks at 70km/h.

  4. Reviews - I think this could be better ordered on the site. I also wouldn’t mind the opportunity to be able to contact a customer / advocate to ask their opinion on the product. The reviews are ok but seem a little biased to the positive which could mean you have a wonderful product or that people haven’f been rigorous in their assessments.

  5. I don’t need 50mm wheels. I want 50mm wheels because they look so cool, might make me a bit faster and will make me feel a little closer to the pro’s but realistically they aren’t whats going to make me a better rider. Only hard work can do that.

I hope you consider that my feedback is genuine and of some use. Basically I like what you have done. The product seems decent and you seem like a genuine guy. In the meantime I will keep Tokyowheel on my shortlist for when the time comes to scratch the itch.

All the best

Al

1 Like

Hi Al,

Great post and very well thought out which I see this forum as being the place for. I have to admit I am an advocate and probably one of the more positive ones due to the time I spent riding the wheels before reviewing was also fairly low.

I’d be happy to chat about my experiences if you are interested, I now have a second set that I train on, but as my riding style revolves primarily around triathlon long course racing my feedback may be different to your needs/specific enquiries.

I guess the main thing I would stress about my feedback of my experience with wheels is that I am a pretty competitive age group athlete, have been to Kona, ridden Zipps, HED and Reynolds wheels. I cannot afford to hire carbon wheels for each season and cannot fork out thousands for a set. My attraction to the brand initially was value, looking for something relatively light and durable that would hopefully save me some time by meeting the the requirement of an aerodynamic race wheel. I took a chance with Tokyowheel as James was very honest about the product when I enquired and for me it was a step up to my usual race day equipment.

Now I am 1 season in and looking forward to using them in my next race hopefully with some more feedback.

Owain

If you don’t need 50mm, try 38mm. I have 38mm and it’s the perfect all around wheel for me. By the way, what size/depth wheel are you currently using?

1 Like

Hi Al @Calpol ,

Thanks very much for your great feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to help us out by giving your point of view. I love negative feedback (not that your comments were negative), but its the best way we know what changes to make and how to allocate resources.

As for the specifics of your feedback, I agree with you on all points, I think you are exactly right. These are things that we consider internally and for the most part have a roadmap to take action on the points you mentioned. Actually I have to give you a lot of respect for mentioning the points you did, because these are some of the main things that we are aware need action.

Those items do take time to change, so we’ll just keep working hard and gradually improving the products and also the brand perception.

Let me know if you have any questions or need anything in the meantime. Thanks again!

Thanks to all for the replies.

James - I am glad my comments were taken in the spirit they were offered. You can be assured that I will be keeping a close eye on Tokyo Wheel for when the time is right for me to take the plunge.

@Rob - currently riding some Soul s3.0 32mm clincher wheels. I imported them from Singapore and they are similar to zipp 101 at a fraction the cost. My next set will be 50-60mm as I want an aero set and a climbing set. 38s sit in the middle and are good do it all.

@owain - thanks for the feedback.it sounds like you are very happy with your tokyo wheels. Have you had cause to brake in the wet? In the uk that’s a bit of an inevitability!

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@Calpol All races were in the dry, but we have had our fair share of rain when training over the last year in Oz, notably during some hill training blocks, doing some over gear work in the rain up a 4km, 5% steady hill that I had to descend too each time. I did change my brake pads to swissstop yellow king black (and gave James this feedback).
I found the Tokyowheel brake rim surface no problem in the wet with either pad, but I found that the Tokyowheel pad degraded quicker than I expected so changed pads.

Owain

Well, I’ll be quite honest here…I’m a clyde class rider (<200#…over 100 kg actually) living and riding in a location that some folks would kill for. I live in a river valley community with 20+% grades and ride in the foothills and Rocky Mountains themselves.

I wouldn’t mind a set of carbon wheels to match my Cervelo S-series frame as I do long (100+ km) solo efforts an d big charity rides on a regular basis…but I’d be worried about my weight and how extreme the forces (i.e. load, heat and such) that I would put on a pure carbon wheelset. Not being able to handle and test ride a set is also a hiccup for me.

I’d also need a Campy freehub, which in general are harder to get one’s mitts on.

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Thanks for posting this. I have just been through the purchase process myself and thought I’d add my experience. I ride ~200km per week and climb about 2500-4500m per week. I love cycling.

I was after a set of 40-50mm carbon rims, and Tokyowheel was certainly part of the mix. I liked them because the profile looked good, the brand seemed new and well-supported, and I contacted James directly and his responses were nothing short of exceptional (i.e. timely, informative etc).

The choices I was faced with was ~$1,450 AU for a set of Tokyowheels, or up to ~$2,000 AU on ‘brand name’ wheels such as Mavic, Reynolds, etc. I was also looking at potentially second hand wheels (i.e. demo’s) and added to that list (for the pice of ~$2,000 AU) was Bontrager, ZIPP and Roval. With a young family cost was certainly a major factor.

In the end, I bought current model, near new ZIPP 303’s for $1,800 AU. Why? I am stoked with them, and I am not sure why Im still wondering why I bought them. I love riding them. They are amazing. But there is some regret in me that I didn’t give Tokyowheel a go. Why didn’t I? I guess it came down to the fact I know if I by ZIPP I’ll be stoked, whereas I can only suspect I’ll be happy with the Tokyowheel. ZIPP’s have been around for so long with such good reviews and very little recorded failures etc I felt comfortable. And they were only $400 more than the Tokyo’s.

What would have made me buy Tokyowheel? More people using them… Someone I know having a positive experience… Being able to ride them before I buy them… I know James has a money back guarantee but with the company in Japan and me in Australia it all seems like too much hassle.

I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the company and do intend to buy a set of wheels in the future. I believe in what these guys are trying to so. I hope this constructively adds to the mix of posts.

Anthony.

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Thanks @Woody_AU, I really appreciate you taking the time to to write this. Tokyowheel has always been very fortunate to have a great dialogue with customers, and your post is really an awesome example of this. From a business owner’s point of view, a comment like yours (were you actually purchased a competing product and gave reasons why), is pure gold. We learn from this type of thing and later down the road your comment will have made a very positive difference.

Onto the specifics, one point that we are working on actively now is, returns and local support.

  • It’s not publicly stated on our website the way that our ‘Local Support Warranty’ works (we need to get that info on there). Essentially if anything happens to your wheels while they are under warranty we send you parts at no cost and pay for servicing at your local bike shop (we pay 110% of the bill, which you show us via a photo of the receipt). This is something like a broken spoke, truing, whatever. If that can’t fix the problem, then we send you a new wheel (We don’t even make you send back the warranty wheel).

  • There is one thing that is a pain. If someone wants to take advantage of our 365 Day 110% Moneyback returns, then they have to send their wheels back to us. We reimburse the return shipping fees, but it can be a hassle to pay upfront for international shipping fees, also the whole process is very cost inefficient for us.
    So… we are working on a solution, which currently is planned as: If you return your wheels, we have you return them to a local address in your country, and those wheels become demo or sponsorship wheels for community use. It solves a lot of issues on our side of things, and makes a more positive situation for everyone in the end. (BTW, we get very few returns, but as we scale up there would logically be more). Let me know your thoughts on that. Thanks again for your feedback.

P.S. I know you brought up many points and I didn’t specifically address all of them, but I have certainly noted them and we will make action on every point.

2 Likes

Hi @k200mtbman, thanks for your post. We are very luck to have the ability to learn about your situation.

3 Points

  • We usually recommend the Epic 50-60 wheelset to match your criteria, with the Sapim CX-Ray spoke upgrade. Here is why:
  • The Cervelo S series matches best with the Epic 50-60 (whereas the R series would match more to the Epic 38 or Epic 38-50, and the P series the Epic 60-88 or Epic 88).
  • The deeper 60mm rear wheel is our strongest all around rim, rated at 105kg rider limit), and you can add 10kg more onto that limit by upgrading to Sapim CX-Ray spokes . When we talk about weight limit we arent really concerned about our Duraheat Braking surface, but more so rim flex. That’s why its better to have a deeper rear wheel.

I understand your desire to try a set before you buy, we are figuring out how we can best accomodate this. Where do you live, CO?

Hi James, good to hear about the CXRay Epic 50-60 set.

I’m actually in central Alberta, Canada…a wee bit further north than CO :wink:

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Hey James,

If you do get going with the local address thing, please let me know…I would love to try a set of the Epics (50/60 or deeper) if you end up having a set with a Campy freehub in Canada.

Sure, you can follow along on that project here Brand Building, Demo Booth, Service Center

And once we get things going in Canada you’ll be able to enjoy a demo. But in all honesty it will be months, not weeks or years before we have that in Canada, just to let you know.

I’m in the same boat. I’ve been looking around and as much as I’m tempted with Tokyowheels I just feel more comfortable when the time comes to buy a pair of wheels people I know have tested and ride or that I myself can test before purchasing.

@manitobacanada great comment. As you all probably know we have a lot of things in the works to improve your experience with Tokyowheel. One of the things on our roadmap to test is ‘Demo Anywhere’. I’d like to give you an opportunity to be an early tester.

The program is designed as follows:

  1. You want to demo some Tokyowheel
  2. There isn’t a Tokyowheel dealer near you
  3. You Click ‘Demo Anywhere’
  4. Let us know the name and contact information of the bike shop that you would like to demo at, and what model of wheels you want to demo.
  5. We will interface with the shop and arrange with them to receive a demo wheelset for you to test.

Pros:
P1. You get to do a demo at zero risk.
P2. We get a great recommendation of a bike shop that would be a good new dealer.
P3. We can come to the dealer saying that we already have someone interested in the product, so it makes a lot of sense for them to evaluate becoming a Tokyowheel dealer.

Win-Win-Win

Let me know your thoughts on this, and if you like it let me know what shop you want to demo at and what model. Thanks!

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Thanks James. I will set this up with the bike shop where I bought my bicycle

Where is the link for “Demo Anywhere”?

Thanks James

Hi @manitobacanada, Thanks for your interest, let me clarify a few things because I sense that we are ahving a small miscommunication.

We don’t have the Demo Anywhere program live on our website yet. It’s still pretty much an idea, but a simple and great one. We have plans to integrate the system with our website so that we can offer the opportunity to everyone. But we’d like to do a test with you and your bike shop so that we can manually organize the whole thing and learn from the experience.

So, in summary, there is no link, but just send me the website of your favorite bike shop and the model that you want to test and your name and email, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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If anyone else is also interested in doing a demo in their local bike shop. Send us the bike shop info to questions@tokyowheel.com and we’ll arrange it for you! Thanks!

Hi James,
I still don’t know why I haven’t bought tokyo wheel yet.
I have a question though:
With the chinese money devaluation are tokyo wheel’s price going to drop?
If yes this could be a great boost on me to buy a pair of wheels even if I don’t need it now.
Ilike the Elite 50 with dt swiss hubs

Luca