2019 is fast becoming the ‘year of hoops’ for this cycling scribe. The way the planets have aligned, it’s seen me reviewing a lot of wheels lately, over 12 different wheelsets at last count. Which, on top of greatly improving my ability to change tyres, brake pads and disc rotors, has got me thinking. I reckon carbon wheelsets are a lot like…beer.
Not that long ago, the wheel market was dominated by the mass international brands. Big names. Big on muscle. Big on volume. Big on marketing clout. But often far less impressive when it comes to things like attention to detail, quality and after-sales support.
However, not dissimilar to the beer market, in recent times there’s been a noticeable shift, with a veritable explosion of local ‘craft’ wheel makers. These brands are big on detail and personal service, often with quirky backstories to boot. Not to mention offering refreshingly good value for money.
It’s still beer. But, dare I say, it somehow tastes better. Which is just fine by me.