NO LONGER IN THE FLO

The FLO30 wheelset sold by FLO Cycling is one I’ve recommended in two different reviews.  I rated it as the Best Value in my review of road wheels for climbing and descending and recommended it in a review of under $1000, £700, €900 alloy upgrade wheelsets as a good option for the non-competitive rider focused on using cycling to get and stay in shape and enjoy riding with friends.

The wheelset has a lot to offer.  It has a more modern design than most alloy wheels under $1000, notably a full toroid profile on its 30mm deep rim which makes it more aerodynamic than most wheels in the 20-30mm depth range.  It’s also wider than many in this price range, good for sure handling.  And it’s price… well at $498 it really makes a good wheelset great.

It’s not without its faults.  The FLO 30 is on the heavier side of the alloy upgrade and climbing wheel class, has a black anodized coating on its brake track which rubs off with a little bit of moisture, and has an unremarkable set of hubs.  But remember, it’s only $498.

I rode a demo set last year and really enjoyed them.  I wrote them up in the reviews noted above and provided links to the FLO web store – the only place you can buy them – for those who wanted to buy a pair.  The links have been some of the most frequently clicked of any on the site, which either speaks to their popularity or is a sad statement of what else I’ve been reviewing.

I received a very positive reaction from one of the FLO owners when I recommended their wheels the first time and a very negative one when I recommended it the second time.  Apparently, I didn’t recommend it to the racers he thought it best suited for and he didn’t like that I judged its acceleration based on how it felt to me on-the-road rather than by running a detailed lab test.  No matter.  That comes with the territory.

As I do with all products sent to me to test, I returned the demo set to FLO when I was done with my thanks.  As I do with only a few that I test, I made a note to buy a set of FLO 30s, specifically to have as a back-up wheelset when I wasn’t testing other wheels.

Well, it’s time to retire the FLO from both my personal wheelset plans and the list of wheels I recommend to you. It’s not that I’ve changed my opinion about them – I still think they are a good value to have for the purposes I recommended them – but I have concluded I will never be able to get a pair for myself and shouldn’t recommend that you try either.

FLO Cycling has a distinct business model.  They designed four wheelsets (a 30mm, 60mm, 90mm and disc), have them made by an Asian contractor, and have them shipped to a US distribution center to be sorted and sent to customers who buy through a direct order model.

That part of their model is not terribly different than others.

What is unique however is FLO’s uncanny ability to get customers to do the online version of lining up at an Apple store the day a new iPhone or iPad or Apple Watch starts selling.  But in a feat that even Apple can’t pull off, FLO does this once every 4 to 6 weeks, selling its entire stock of the same models of wheels it has been selling for several years now.  And only about a third of the customers who have signed up to be notified well ahead of FLO’s next sale actually are able to buy a set of wheels.

The most popular wheels, from my experience trying to buy a pair of FLO 30s on two occasions, sell out within minutes.  Something like 2-5 minutes to be exact.  To their credit, FLO warns you of this and tells you how to prepare to be one of the lucky ones in a couple of e-mails they send you in the days ahead of the sale.  They even provide a countdown clock on their web site for the 20 minutes leading up to the commencement of the sale. (Apple, are you taking notes?)

The idea of scheduling one’s life weeks in advance to queue up for a 2-5 minute window for the chance to buy a set of relatively inexpensive and good (but not great) pair of bicycle wheels is ludicrous on its face.  The fact that this company has been doing this time and time again – they held their 20th sale this week – suggests something’s not right.

I’ve been a business consultant to senior executives in Fortune 100 companies, advised privately funded tech start-up companies and started up a few services businesses on my own and never seen a company mishandle such a simple growth opportunity as badly as FLO.  Maybe they are happy to not meet the demand of their customers and not realize the potential they have as a company.  That’s their choice.

Anyway, I can’t in good conscience continue to recommend you try to buy these wheels.  No one should have to go through what FLOs customers and those that never quite become customers must do to buy a product, any product.

Near the time I first recommended these wheels, FLO was trying to build inventory so that you could simply go online and order them.  Since then, the number of people signed up for each sale has steadily increased while the number of wheelsets they bring in for each sale and the time between sales has stayed about the same.  So, it looks like that hope for inventory has faded to black.

I try hard to recommend products that are distinctly better or provide more value than others in their product category and recommend stores that sell those products at a good price, with inventory and great customer service. Unfortunately, while the FLO 30 product delivers, the FLO store misses the mark.

I have edited the FLO wheelsets out of my reviews. I will look for other climbing and alloy upgrade wheels, and stores where you can actually get them, to recommend in their place.  I apologize to all of you who I encouraged to get a pair of these wheels but have been frustrated in trying to do so.

Update: I sent a copy of this post to Jon Thornham, one of the owners of FLO.  His response appears below.

13 comments

  • If you’ve taken the time to read Steve’s post I hope you’ll take the time to read my response. I am the co-founder of FLO Cycling, and while Steve brings up a point, many of the things he’s mentioned here, are simply false.

    If you know anything about FLO Cycling, our business model is unique. From the outside it may appear as if our sales model is some elaborate scheme to convince people to buy our wheels and spread the word of our company. The reality is, we are the first to admit that it’s not perfect. I absolutely hate not being able to ship a set of wheels to someone when they want them. We’ve discussed inventory for several hundreds of hours and it’s always evolving. If you are reading this and you have not been able to get product from us I am truly sorry. If you want to talk to me (Jon) personally about it, you can call me at 702-529-4799. Onto my thoughts about the article.

    Last year in September, I received an email from Steve stating that he had published a review of our FLO 30’s. I read the review, wrote him, and set up a time to talk. He said a number of positive things about the wheels. When I spoke with Steve, he mentioned that he wanted to include the FLO 30’s in an upcoming review, but in order to do so it would be best if he had ridden the wheels. While I am not saying you can’t give an opinion on a product without using it, writing a review on a product and publishing without using it is a different story.

    While I didn’t agree with the fact that Steve had posted the original review without riding our products, I agreed to send him a set of FLO 30’s for his next article.

    In November Steve published the second review. In his review he made claims that our wheels did not accelerate well. I discussed this with Steve and I asked him how he measured acceleration? He told me it was his “feel”. While I disagree with the idea of making a statement you can’t back up, it was his to make. I did tell Steve that I disagreed with what he did, but to say I was negative would be an emotional response in my opinion. Without getting into all the details here, I wrote a blog article that discusses reviews and reviewers after Steve released the review. I did not call him out and say I wrote it because of what he said about our wheels. I simply wrote a blog article that I hoped would help others make better decisions when buying wheels, even if those wheels are not ours. If you would like to read that blog post you can find it in the link at the bottom of this post.

    Steve’s Comment
    I’ve been a business consultant to senior executives in Fortune 100 companies, advised privately funded tech start-up companies and started up a few services businesses on my own

    FLO’ Comment
    I am always amazed when people list a number of ‘achievements” using words such as “Fortune 100”, privately funded tech start-up to try and convince the reader that they are a person “In the Know”, pardon the pun.

    As a comparison, I’ve got into the hobby of training dogs for obedience over the last 18 months. I’ve had the privilege of working with some very qualified trainers. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that while I’ve gotten pretty good at training dogs, it’s the next dog you work with that makes you rethink everything you know. From the outside, getting a dog to perform a Novice Obedience trial seems like it would be repeatable once you did it once. However, when you work with each dog you will quickly realize that each bring it’s own unique challenges and skills to the table. This is no different than a business. While Steve may actually have the credentials he’s claiming, I can assure you our business is unique just like all of the others he’s worked with.

    I’ve also had the privilege of consulting with businesses. Nothing fancy, just businesses like ours. What I’ve realized is that my advice often changes once we discuss what happens on the inside, that’s not apparent from the outside. As I mentioned above, our business is far from perfect and I am sure there are plenty of people who could offer great advice. However, blanket statements with big words are nothing but blanket statements.

    Steve’s Comment
    [I’ve] never seen a company mishandle such a simple growth opportunity as badly as FLO.

    FLO’ Comment
    How can you know this if you do not know what our orders and production schedules are? You’d also have to know our growth rate to be qualified to address this. What makes you think it’s simple? If you can provide more insight as to how you know so much about our operations and what simple things we are missing, then maybe I can comment on why we are mishandling them.

    Steve’s Comment
    The idea of scheduling one’s life weeks in advance to queue up for a 2-5 minute window for the chance to buy a set of relatively inexpensive and good (but not great) pair of bicycle wheels is ludicrous on its face.  The fact that this company has been doing this time and time again – they held their 20th sale this week – suggests something’s not right.

    FLO’s Response
    In October and December of this year, we had FLO 30’s and other products available the entire month. The problem is, Steve did not know this because Steve was not shopping for our wheels at that time. The reality is, most people are not shopping for wheels at Christmas time. Order 20 sold out quickly because right now it’s peak season and people are shopping for wheels.

    Steve’s Comment
    Maybe they are happy to not meet the demand of their customers and not realize the potential they have as a company.  That’s their choice.

    FLO’s Response
    I’d like to know why Steve believes we do not realize the potential of our company. Steve can you elaborate on why you feel we do not understand the potential of a company that has shipped 13,000 wheels to 58 countries in four years? Also, what makes you so sure we are happy not meeting the demand of our customer?

    Steve’s Comment
    Near the time I first recommended these wheels, FLO was trying to build inventory so that you could simply go online and order them.  Since then, the number of people signed up for each sale has steadily increased while the number of wheel sets they bring in for each sale and the time between sales has stayed about the same.  So, it looks like that hope for inventory has faded to black.

    FLO’s Comment
    This unfortunately is false. It is true our demand has gone up but so has our supply. As mentioned above, this holiday season we were able to hold stock for about two months. With increasing demand, how would this be possible if we had not increased supply? Steve, how can you comment on the number of wheels we’ve produced when you’ve never seen the orders we’ve placed? If you were to read our annual “Year in Review” posts you would see that we are in fact growing each year. Inventory has not faded to black, it’s a white hot topic that as mentioned above is continually discussed and adjusted.

    Steve’s Comment
    I try hard to recommend products that are distinctly better or provide more value than others in their product category and recommend stores that sell those products at a good price, with inventory and great customer service. Unfortunately, while the FLO 30 product delivers, the FLO store misses the mark.

    FLO’s Comment
    It’s Steve’s choice to publish what he wants on his site. However, if you are going to make the claim that you cannot recommend products to people if they are not able to buy them, then I suggest that you look at all of your reviews. There are several products that are discussed here that are, or have been on back order or out of stock. I’m not sure why this post singles us out as as a business who doesn’t care about it’s customer or it’s inventory, because we are out of inventory when Steve could not get what he wanted. Like I said above, we could have shipped FLO 30’s to Steve for the entire month of December. The reality is Steve does not know when the products he reviews are in or out of stock unless when he wants it, he can’t get it. Maybe Steve can comment on this.

    To finish this off, Steve’s sudden desire to post this article surprises me. Last year when we met we had the same ordering process as we do now. Since then, we’ve been able to hold stock, and have grown production. Back when we met our sales process did not appear to bother Steve. Today, it seems that since Steve was not able to buy wheels in peak season during Order 20, his opinion has changed. However, this is simply my opinion and it’s something that I cannot back up since I do not ultimately know why Steve decided to post this article. If I was “In the Know” of Steve’s thoughts then it would be easy for me to explain why this post was written, but I’m not. What I can tell you with certainty is that Steve is not “In the Know” about what happens inside FLO Cycling. Since I am, I can tell you that we honestly do care about our existing and potential customers. As mentioned above, I welcome each and everyone of you to contact me on my cell at 702-529-4799 if you’d like to discuss anything about products or this post.

    Take care,

    Jon Thornham
    FLO Cycling

    • Jon,

      Thanks for reading and responding to my post. While I’m not looking to go back and forth with you on this, you asked some questions of me directly so I’ll answer them here for you and anyone who read your response.

      Boiled down, my message to readers was: I can no longer recommend you buy the FLO 30 wheels; they are worth recommending but the difficulty buying them prevents me from doing so anymore.

      It would have been good had your response been something along the lines of “We’re working hard to improve on our model so that anyone who wants to buy a FLO 30 wheelset can do so at most any time. The confidence our customers have shown us and our financial partners through their consistent stream of orders has allowed us to secure the investment/credit line to bring in enough product to meet demand. We have worked/are working with our supply chain partners to expand production and distribution. We expect that by such and such a date, we will be able to have a reliable supply of wheelsets so that anyone who wants one will be able to buy one. I appreciate the patience cyclists who have been unable to buy a wheelset from us have shown with their continued interest and we hope to soon reward it with more product.”

      Instead of that kind of response or any response pointed directly at the message of my post, your response is largely pointed at shooting the messenger. This further suggests to me that I made the right choice in pulling back my recommendation, not because you are shooting at me (the messenger) but because you either don’t have or can’t share a solution or plan that responds to the message of my post.

      Since you’ve asked, let me respond to the questions you posed to me. Since I’d like to keep the focus on the message and not the messenger, I’ll try to keep each response short but I’ll likely fail – brevity isn’t my strong suit.

      First, I am very clear and transparent about how I do my reviews. A detailed version can be found on my about page, which I link to here and in every review. The key line is this: “I spend countless hours researching products for each review, talking with product experts and experienced cyclists, pulling the nuggets out of myriad expert reviews and user comments, and trying different products myself to figure this all out.”

      I don’t just ride a set of wheels and write up my own experience before recommending something (or not) to my fellow cycling enthusiasts. I’m not that full of myself and that model, when practiced by others, has never worked for me as a road enthusiast trying to decide on a product. It’s the primary reason why I started this site – to take a comprehensive, multiple input, enthusiast’s view to put me and other enthusiast in the know about what to buy rather than take one or two, potentially conflicted writers’ views of their post-ride reports interspersed with a lot of meaningless design specs and regurgitated supplier marketing talking points.

      And I don’t always need to use a product to reach an evaluation. I had a lot of positive input from sources I trust to recommend the FLO 30 in my first review on climbing and descending wheels. I told you that when we talked. I asked you for a demo pair to ride as part of my review of upgrade wheels to add to my research. Riding them confirmed what I had concluded previously about taking them up and down mountain climbs and allowed me to say more about how they performed as an alloy upgrade, including my impressions of their acceleration.

      By the way, the lab tests I’ve studied on acceleration show a close correlation at lower speeds to wheel weight. I’d suspect the rim weight correlation would be even stronger but most wheel manufacturers don’t disclose this (you do). So I’m not surprised that the FLO 30 wheels didn’t feel to me like they accelerated as well as some of the lighter alloy upgrade wheels, for example the recommended Shimano DA C24 which is both a good deal lighter and has a very good hub.

      No matter, I’m guessing you haven’t designed any of the FLO wheels for acceleration from low speeds. Acceleration at higher speeds is likely better because of the more aero profile of the rims. But most enthusiasts buying alloy upgrade or <$1000 wheels aren’t accelerating at higher speeds out of a pack or on a TT or triathlon route, the later being the primary customer base that you appear to market to and attract.

      Regarding your other questions:
      – As a consultant, and perhaps as a dog obedience trainer (where do you find the time?), I think of it this way: I’ve climbed a lot of mountains with clients. Every climb is different, but after a while you start to see common patterns that help you know how to guide the next client up his or her unique mountain. If you aren’t assimilating and can’t use those patterns to help your next client, find another line of work.

      – The fact that I could have bought FLO 30s in October or December last year doesn’t make me feel any better about recommending wheels for people who want to buy them the other 10 months of the year

      – I used the word and phrase “realize their potential” as in “execute on or take advantage of their potential.” I have no doubt that you realize as in understand your company’s potential. Unclear choice of words on my part.

      – You’ve obviously got better knowledge of your supply and demand than I do. I was merely recalling the numbers I’ve seen in your e-mails about upcoming orders telling me how many wheelsets you expect in and how many have signed up for the next order. It seemed like the gap was growing. Perhaps not. I know from my own experience, and you have confirmed it that demand is exceeding supply to the point where there is about 2-5 minutes a month (except for October and December) that I or any of my readers can hope to buy a set of FLO 30 wheels.

      – I’m pretty certain that all the products I recommend and nearly all that I evaluate in my posts can be bought from multi-product, multi-brand online cycling stores or consumer-to-direct stores that I’ve researched, recommended and linked to for each product evaluation. The others where I don’t provide a link can be bought at local bike shops and in those situations I mention that. I update where and at what price you can buy the recommended products 3x per week and the others I’ve evaluated 2x per month. If there are any that you say are on back order or out of stock, please let me know so I can take them down.

      – To be consistent, I should have taken down the FLO 30 recommendation months ago. It’s not that your sales model has changed, it’s that my requirements have. I’m always trying to improve what I’m doing and I have become much more diligent in checking for stock of products I evaluate and the customer satisfaction reports of the online suppliers I list. I’ve set up some criteria for which stores I will link to and took about 30 off the list because their published customer satisfaction ratings did not exceed the standard that I as a road cycling enthusiast would like to see and so would not recommend to others. I detailed this in my Best Online Bike Stores post this past March. I haven’t heard or seen any customer satisfaction reports about the FLO store other than from readers who have commented they can’t or don’t want to wait for the product. I should have acted sooner. My bad.

      – I posted the article above because I thought I owed it to readers to whom I’d been recommending the FLO30 since last year that I tell them why I was no longer doing that, rather than just editing my FLO 30 recommendation out of the reviews without mention.

      – Actually, while we’ve exchanged several e-mails and had a phone conversation when I first asked to demo your wheels, we’ve never met. I don’t attend industry conferences or company demo retreats because I see them as marketing and sales events. I don’t think this has been an issue for us since you’ve been very professional, helpful and prompt in response to my questions about your products and never tried to sell or sway or influence me. I appreciate that.

      – Because I’ve already gotten a couple cynical comments that I haven’t published in the “snark-free comment zone” that I’m trying to maintain below these posts, I’d like readers to know that you, nor any product supplier, have ever offered or paid me to review or recommend your product. I also have received no compensation of any sort for the sales of FLO 30 wheels that may have come as a result of readers seeing my recommendations for your wheels and following the links I’ve provide to your site. My gain is that the good gear wins out and is available to me and others to buy and ride. You also conduct excellent research and publish a thoughtful blog (here) that I have cited in a couple of my posts.

      Finally, I can tell you are passionate about your business and I hold you in high regard as a dedicated, professional wheelset innovator. I just wish you had a partner or would be open to getting help from others who could help you with what appears to me and others to be the deficits within your business model that prevent so many potential customers from having the opportunity to ride your wheels.

      Meanwhile, I’m all in for the October sale.

      Best,
      Steve

      • Steve,

        If I were to “shoot the messenger” I would be disagreeing with the main point of our post which you claim is boiled down to the following.

        “I can no longer recommend you buy the FLO 30 wheels; they are worth recommending but the difficulty buying them prevents me from doing so anymore.”

        I never once mentioned that I disagreed with this point. In actuality I apologize saying that

        “I absolutely hate not being able to ship a set of wheels to someone when they want them.”

        The trouble with what you wrote is that there was a lot more than what you stated the post boiled down to. You made several false claims about our business, eluded that we do not care about our customers and that we are pretty much clueless when it comes to running FLO Cycling. All of my responses address these claims not your boiled down version.

        If your blog post had stated my quote below then I would have told you that I understood and we are honestly working our hardest to right side our inventory issues. While you elude to the simplicity of this, I ensure you there’s more than meets the eye.

        “Dear Readers,

        I had the opportunity to review FLO Cycling’s FLO 30’s. While I enjoyed the wheels and have been recommending them for some time, In the Know Cycling has the requirement that products recommended are available for purchase. For this reason I have decided to remove them from my site and will stop recommending them.

        It’s nothing personal against FLO and I wish them the best with their business. I apologize to any of my readers who have been frustrated with their buying process as a result of my recommendation.

        Take care,

        Steve”

        There are a number of points I could make to your response to my response but I’m not sure it’s the best for either of us.

        You mentioned that brevity was not your strong suit and your post comes across as an attack when you read it in it’s entirety. In the future I would recommend that you summarize the your post into a boiled down version and consider posting that instead. It’s great content, makes a point and supports your sites goal while not insulting those who’ve given you product to review.

        Take care,

        Jon Thornham
        FLO Cycling

  • Note to johns response, as a consumer and triathlete i would love to have a set of these wheels but I refuse to wait for my 2 minute window instead of just purchasing set of wheels, I will probably just spend a little extra and get proven Zipps, I really wish I could just buy a set of flo 30’s but I guess that would just be too complicated 😡

    • Brad,

      I am sorry that we do not have stock for you. I understand your choice to buy wheels that you can get when the time is right for you, not us.

      Take care,

      Jon

  • I was in search for new wheels and got to know about FLO 30s from intheknowcycling. I would not, however, learn about FLO otherwise. In a sense, FLO should appreciate intheknowcycling’s author and takes his constructive criticism seriously (as in, improve the buying experience). Steve emphasized a really good point when comparing FLO to Apple and pointed out that unlike APPLE, making customers wait in line only for new products, FLO continues the practice for the SAME product line. Look at ONEPLUS, their invitation system has now gone because they grew enough. But FLO, their ordering system remains the same. Something fishy is going on here…

    Also like Brad, I was tired waiting for an email notification from FLO and didn’t like the slim chance of getting a pair. So, I went and bought a set of ROLF prima ELAN alpha, a wheelset that’s actually put together and serviced in the good old USA. Steve, maybe ROLF would be a good candidate for your next review: they are light and reasonably priced.

    If Jon’s responses represent FLO cycling then I am rather disappointed to see such a promising company gets defensive so quickly over a few criticism. Sadly, I would never consider FLO cycling simply based on this senseless back and forth.

    • I am completely open to criticism. We always have been. We started our company with crowdsourcing and a number of other elements involving the community.

      I invite you to take a look at our growth history that has been published openly on our blog. The truth is our ordering system has changed based on the requests of the majority of our customer base. With all of the open communication we have about our orders and our growth I am not sure why you believe what we are doing is fishy.

      I respect your decision to shop elsewhere if you do not like that our wheels are not in stock at all times. I do believe that the back and forth here addressed statements that simply were not true. Personally I believe standing up for something that I believe in especially when something false is being claimed. I do not consider that senseless back and forth.

      Oneplus had their time when product was not available. Using them as an example works because they now have stock. However, it would not worked a short time ago. They had to work to get there and so do we.

      Take care,

      Jon

  • I only ever heard of Flo cycling from Intheknow cycling. I would have already purchased a set of 30’s if the ordering system was a normal one. I believe that the wheels are probably the best value climbing wheels on the market and would have loved a pair.

    However I live in Australia and getting up at 2am to maybe miss out on the ordering window makes the whole process a lot more difficult than it could be. Regardless, I planned on purchasing in the July order.

    I don’t think I will do so now that I have seen Jon’s comments. On the whole, Intheknow cycling has been more positive than not towards Flo cycling. Jon’s assertion that Steve cannot provide any advice or valid criticism of Flo’s business model comes across as a bit arrogant. Young companies early in their growth phase can ill afford to go after would be consumers, EVEN if they think they are wrong.

    (For the record I think Steve’s criticism is valid. Jon has not really provided the reasons why a traditional order system is currently impossible, so consumers can and will speculate).

    • Patrick,

      Thanks for your input. I am not certain why you believe I think Steve cannot provide any advice or that I am unwilling to accept criticism. My original post started by saying that I knew what we were doing was not ideal and that I apologized to anyone who was not able to get the wheels they wanted. A lot of what Steve wrote was simple false information about our company. That was something I felt needed to be addressed. We have written at length on our blog about why a traditional order system is not possible. Have you read these posts?

      Take care,

      Jon

  • My two cents...

    I just got my FLO 30’s and I bought them in large part due to the review on this site. Thank you Steve, and Jon, you should thank Steve for the positive review and probably other buyers like myself. I am not a fan of having to be on the clock to try to get something that I want, but I think it is up to each consumer to make that decision on their own. To Steve, if you can recommend another wheelset under $600 that has a wider profile and some aero benefits that are a better deal than the FLO 30’s, you should post that up as a replacement or another recommendation, but I don’t think you should remove the recommendation on the FLO’s simply because they are not always available for everyone. In my opinion, that would be like C-net refusing to review the iPhone 6 or Apple Watch because the normal consumer cannot get one for the first 3 months. Your opinion obviously matters to all of your readers, including me, and if something is a good option but very difficult to get, just say so. Some people will be willing to wait and others who can afford $900 HED’s or other similar wheels will buy them instead of waiting. To Jon, I think a brief explanation of why you’ve chosen your consumer fulfillment model would help people understand where you are coming from. Is it a supplier issue, cost consideration, “fairness” concept, possibly speed-to-market with changes? Bottom line, I like the reviews and information here, I like my FLO 30’s, “can’t we all just get along?”

    • I would also love another recommendation, if you could put that in the hopper, for another wheelset that falls into this category. “To Steve, if you can recommend another wheelset under $600 that has a wider profile and some aero benefits”

      Steve – Love the site, and detailed analysis. As an IT Research Analyst I’m forced to comb through data 40-50 hours a week, and I usually don’t have the time to do the same for my favorite hobby. I love that you pull from many sources and summarize with a well bundled message. Your review of the FLO 30’s had me leaning towards a set. Then came the whole FLO pre-order process.. First, I figured out the process shortly after the pre-order for that month, which meant I had to wait another month. Second attempt, they were sold out before I could purchase. The third month/attempt, I was actually traveling for work and couldn’t make the pre-order window, so after almost 3 months of trying to buy, I gave up. I’m not the type that wants to stand in line for anything, so their current business model is a complete turn-off. I’m sure they want to fix this, but I’m not interested in waiting until 2018 to buy a set of wheels. So I thank you for adjusting your recommendation, and preventing future-me’s from a similar scenario. Now, if you have another suggestion that falls into this category, I’d love to hear about it.

    • I’m happy to give more information. The link below covers a number of your questions. Additionally, we have continued to grow each year. The biggest limiting factor is lead time and factory restrictions. Since all of our components are custom made there is a four month lead time from initial order to delivery at our warehouse. While we are constantly adjusting and growing we have continually been behind with the demand. I’d like to be able to add more products to an order but we do not have this luxury.

      Originally we had a pre-order process. People did not like this option at all. They asked that we ship sooner. We listened to this and now ship within a week of the sale date. We’ve been asked for a hybrid model where you can pre-order or buy during an order but in practice this is not possible.

      Our company is not cash restricted. I can also tell you that in the early days of FLO, there we large scale manufacturing issues. Any time you make a new product there is a potential for things to go wrong with production when you move to large quantities. We are now smoothing things out and production is steady and growing.

      We offer the first come first serve model to be was fair as possible to those who have been waiting. Again, I completely understand that this is not perfect and that some people leave because we do not have stock when they are ready to buy. Waiting in line isn’t fun for anyone. For that we are sorry and I always will be.

      As I understand it this post will no longer be available for comment. If anyone reading this wants to talk with me directly please call me at 702-529-4799 and ask any questions you may have.

      http://flocycling.blogspot.com/2013/06/flo-cycling-adjusting-to-growth.html

      Take care,

      Jon

  • Readers, I e-mailed Jon this morning and suggested he take a look at the recent comments from readers and respond if he wished to. He has now done that and I have closed this comments section. I appreciate all of you that have shared your perspectives and Jon coming to this forum to give his as well. I think we’ve aired this topic pretty thoroughly with the key points being voiced and responded to. It’s time to move on; hopefully we’ll see progress in being able to get FLO wheels more easily at some point in the not to distant future. I think we can agree this is something we’d all like to see. Thanks everyone. Steve