The most recent onshoring transfer sees wheel model Boyd Biking including rim rolling and sleeving gear into their Greenville, South Carolina headquarters, and so they’re utilizing it to introduce new mountain bike and highway bike wheels.
The transfer places a part of the manufacturing underneath their roof whereas nonetheless counting on suppliers to supply the rim-shaped extrusions to them, however all ending work is completed on web site.
Boyd instructed us they convey in lengthy strips of aluminum which can be pre-extruded into the rim profiles they need, from each home and worldwide manufacturing companions, after which their new equipment rolls them into form.
As soon as lower, their budget-friendly Prologue wheels’ rim blanks are batch anodized earlier than they’re rolled into form. The Prologue’s rim profile didn’t change, however the course of is a little more environment friendly and eco-friendly. The flat extrusion saves delivery area, so extra materials can match on the identical truck, boat, or practice. They usually’re anodizing the extrusion previous to rolling them, which lets them do roughly 100 at a time, versus 16 when attempting to suit spherical, completed rims right into a vat of anodizing chemical compounds.
The upper finish wheels are the revamped Altamonte highway wheels and all-new Bracken MTB wheels are rolled first, then anodized. This leads to the next high quality end because the ano isn’t “stretched” because the rim is rolled, however means they will’t do as many at a time.
Sitting alongside their wheelbuilding gear, the rim rolling machines arrived in Fall 2022. Working with the machine’s producer, they introduced in sufficient extruded alloy sections to make 500 of their Prologue GVL gravel rims and set to work. From that batch, they obtained 390 production-quality rims, having labored by means of the rolling course of, reducing and drilling, sleeving and bonding, and different remaining ending.
A part of the method was studying find out how to “not” make rims, find out how to correctly warmth them so the anodization doesn’t crack, and find out how to design the sleeves so that they match the completed rim as soon as it’s been curved, which stretches and adjustments the form of the clean extrusion.
Boyd sleeves them collectively, with an adhesive bonding all of it collectively with out pins. They are saying the good thing about sleeving over welding is that you just don’t need to clean the weld afterward, which may go away a little bit of a flat spot that’s nearly unimaginable to get completely matched to shapely trendy rims.
Lastly, they’re doing water switch decals in home, too, which they are saying isn’t carried out wherever else within the US.
Bringing the method in home provides them extra management, and due to the efficiencies gained in delivery and manufacturing, they’re in a position to preserve the US-made wheels the identical worth as earlier than. The true profit is that they’ve extra management over their provide chain, which COVID proved could possibly be a essential consider a model’s potential to thrive versus survive when issues go sideways.
Boyd’s new US-made alloy wheels
The Prologue is their present budget-friendly alloy wheelset, accessible in rim and disc brake variations, that are available at simply $425 now for a US-made rim that’s constructed right into a wheel in home in Greenville, SC.
The brand new Bracken mountain bike rim is a brand new large, shallow rim with thick hookless sidewalls aimed on the enduro crowd. Optimized for two.4″ and bigger tires, it has a 5mm offset spoke mattress to assist even out spoke pressure. Rim weight is 485g, and 29er wheelsets are available at a claimed 1,850g for the set constructed on their Tripel MTB hubs with Pillar Wing 21 spokes (laced 32 spokes entrance and rear).
Boyd’s Altamonte Rim Brake wheels present a high quality possibility for the holdouts, and now these rims are made in home, too. They function front- and rear-specific profiles can might be constructed with 24, 28, or 32 spokes. Claimed weight for a 24/28 combo construct is 1,620g.
Boyd says they’ll open up the rim manufacturing for third events, too. They’ll take a shopper’s rim design and handle the extrusion, manufacturing, and rim rolling and ending for them. This opens up extra choices for home manufacturers who need to on-shore manufacturing and sourcing to higher cope with provide chain points and rising transportation prices.