I get a few emails a month from Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers/dealers (usually it’s unclear of which they are) I’ve never heard of trying to sell me carbon rims.  I could buy these Mystery Carbon rims for cheap, mark them up 100%, and sell you wheels are a very competitive price.

I do NOT do this, and here’s why.


I simply do not trust these random people e-mailing me. I don’t know their real name (Cherry? Really?), or the company they work for. Their signature will often have one company name, but the e-mail address will be a different company name. I don’t know if they are a manufacturer, or just a reseller/dealer/distributor. Heck, for all I know it’s really some kid in Nebraska trying to scam me. If they are the manufacturer, I know nothing about their capabilities, facilities, how much R&D went into the products, how well made they are, etc.

I’ve had one person tell me, and I quote, including the all-caps: “We have the SAME Derby rims on your website.

I replied:

Re: the Derby rims, I assume that you are either the actual manufacturer of Derby’s rims and you’re trying to sell them yourself, or, you’ve ripped off the design of the Derby’s and are selling counterfeit products.

Either way, I’m not interested, I only buy from companies I can trust. Please remove me from your e-mail list. Also please have “Cherry” take me off his/her list as well, I got an e-mail from him/her about the same time yours came in. Thank you.

And then “JP” replied:

I do not sell Derby rims, i think they have their own mold of carbon rims for sales, but our carbon rims are made from the same manufacturer as Derby’s. The same quality but lower prices. Cheers.

Well I guess they’re not the SAME then now, are they?

U shape cut


This really goes back to the whole trust thing – I do not trust these Mystery Carbon rims. I have seen how you guys are riding the wheels I’ve built you – fast, hard, big jumps, etc. When you’re at the edge of a big drop, or bombing some road at 40+mph in traffic the last thing you should worry about is if your wheels are up to the task.

Lets be very clear: when you ride your bike you are trusting your life with it and it’s components. I am not going to take the risk and liability of selling something that is potentially dangerous just to make a little higher margin. A wheel coming apart at the wrong time could change you and your family’s lives forever. Accidents happen, we’ve all crashed before and will again – I just had some stitches removed from a simple little fall two weeks ago on my commute home, in my neighborhood! Sh*t happens. But, I don’t want anyone getting hurt as result of something I did.


The carbon brands I sell, I trust. They designed the rims themselves, and choose the manufacturers after making sure they can deliver a quality product. They have done testing to verify the rims will hold up to their intended use. And I mean real testing, in a lab, R&D style. Not just building a few sets and letting their buddies ride them. The brands I sell stand behind their products. In the off chance you have an issue, I will work with them to take care of you.

There are also brands I don’t sell but will happily build if you buy them yourself. These brands usually sell direct to consumer, but are not US-based companies, so there are some drawbacks like longer wait time and much slower warranty processing. But, they do make quality products.

Bottom line: I only build what I know will be fun to ride, durable, and most of all, safe.

Thanks for reading.