Something doesn't seem right here. Is labor for building a wheel really that expensive, especially when you factor in mark-up on parts? Okay, let's do the math on this.
uscswimming wrote: Discoverspeed wrote:
If $3K includes the DT-190C hubs, then it becomes very interesting!
Here is retail with the different hubs:
190 - $3,475
240 - $2,900
King - $3,050
So the wheels are $2,900 with DT 240's and $3,050 with Chis King hubs.
bomber wrote:Yes they are offering rims only at a retail price of $975 per rim.
Excel Sports sells the DT 240 hubs for $329.95 for the rear hub and $164.95 for the front hub, which comes out to $494.90 for the set. Excel Sports sells the Chris King hubs (either the original or the new R45) for $369.00 for the rear hub and $169.00 for the front hub, which comes out to $538.00 for the set.
For the sake of comparison, Fairwheel Bikes sells the DT 240 hubs for $395 for the rear hub and $195 for the front hub, which comes out to $590 for the set. Fairwheel Bikes sells the Chris King hubs (the new R45) for $369.00 for the rear hub and $169.00 for the front hub, which comes out to $538.00 for the set.
Fairwheel Bikes lists the CX-Ray spokes at $3 per spoke or a black, J-bend spoke. If we assume 20 spokes for the front wheel and 24 spokes for the rear wheel, this comes out to $132 in spoke costs for the wheelset.
I am going to go way out on a limb here and assume that there is a mark-up over wholesale on the prices that Excel and Fairwheel charge for the parts. I doubt they sell them at cost, or as a loss-leader, and they are in business to make money, so they are making a profit on the parts, right? I would guess at least 20%? (($494.90 + $132 = 626.90) * 20% = $125.38 for the hubs and spokes?) And on the rims Enve would be getting profit at both the wholesale and retail level, so for the sake of argument let's say profit is 50% of the retail price? ($975 * 0.50 = $487.50 for each
Anyway, the cost on parts would break down as follows:
Rims: -----------------------------2 x $975 = $1,950
Hubs (DT Swiss 240 @ Excel price): --- $495 = $495
Spokes (C-Rays @ Fairwheel price): --- $132 = $132
Total for parts: ---------------------------- = $2,577
So this means they are charging $323 (i.e. $2,900 - $2,577) in labor to build a set of wheels with DT Swiss 240 hubs? And the labor price gets worse if you look at the King hubs. In that case the labor would be $430 (i.e. $3,050-$2,620). That strikes me as absurd! Keep in mind that they are already making a hefty profit on the parts; more than the standard wheelbuilder as Enve gets both retail and wholesale portions on the rims. A good wheelbuilder will charge something like $50 to $100 per wheel for labor. An operation like Enve should charge less, not more, for labor due to economies of scale. Take your pick:
Just had to rant... These prices, especially the portions that can be attributed to the labor on the build, seem crazy when you consider the cost of the inputs. At the very least, buy the components separately and get them built locally or go to one of the builders (e.g. fairwheel, ergottWheels, Zen Cyclery, Troy Watson) that frequent this site. You'd be supporting an individual and saving money in the process.