I am going to be real honest here, there is a lot of personal bias in my thoughts on this bike. I worked with Adam, one of the Why Cycles owners years ago and he has turned into a great friend along with being a former co-worker. With that being said, having worked with him during the start up at his first bike company, I was able to witness first hand how he designs bikes and I was able to see what drives him which is what had me intrigued by his newest company making all ti bikes. Adam simply builds the bikes he wants to ride personally and because he truly loves this sport like many of us, he is able to get other people stoked on his bikes pretty easily. I personally have never been a carbon guy and always had a soft spot for both ti, and even more so, hardtails that lean more toward the "send it" category than the XC racer category which is where I really feel this bike delivers. Despite my personal bias, I did pay for this frame, it was not a freebie to try and butter me up for a good review.
New name eh?
I have been asked a lot why the name change, what are the new goals that will follow and are you crazy trying to take this wheel build thing full time...
So I will start with the why. I will admit, some of it is I feel the name Elevation Wheel Company is far more marketable and learning to market myself is a skill I still need to develop if I want to actually support myself. Another big part of the why, which I only recently realized is it helps me turn the page. When I was operating as Chris Murray Wheel Works, it was always treated more as a hobby than a real business and this change will help me transition mentally which I need to do if this will succeed and if I do not want to end up homeless. Now it's real, now it is my only way to feed myself and my family so choose which ever cliche' catch phrase of sink or swim, jump into the deep end, trial by fire, etc you prefer. This is my wake up call to know it is real.
Let's be totally honest here too, I have always had my share of problems with authority and issues with control so now if things are not going the way that I would like, I only have myself to blame.
Bigger, faster, stronger:
The new goals are simple, do a lot of the things I was doing well previously, just even better. I have always been proud of the quality of the wheels I build and you guys seem to love them as well and that enthusiasm from you, my friends and customers, are a big part of what made me feel this could work. Now I just want to take it to the next step, more wheel builds while maintaining super strict quality standards, I also want to expand into doing more wholesale level builds. Despite how it played out, I really loved my time building production volumes of wheels at Borealis with our original crew. As cheesy as it sounds, you reach an almost zen like state when building 10+ wheels in a day. So I will be reaching out to shops, frame builders, anyone who may need a bunch of wheels built and see if they would like to use my services.
I will also be offering mobile service as well. I was thrilled to have a bunch of you ask "but who will work on my bike" after leaving the shop. I am still here and more than happy to keep your machine running smooth! Now I will just have a little time to breathe while doing it since I won't be juggling 15 things in the middle of your repair. Back to that "better" part. I will have the time to really obsess over the details like I love.
There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart. Hunter S. Thompson
Starting a business is part gambling, and part educated guess for sure, and I do not have too much of a safety net but I really feel this is ready to work. I have received far more support from family and friends than I ever thought possible in this adventure that is #startuplife that I felt it has to work. Only time will really tell but I do not give up easy and the previous 3 businesses I worked at were all new enough to be considered a start up so lots of lessons learned. I have seen what works, what does not work and learned more than I ever thought possible from friends who are WAY smarter than I am so hopefully I can bring all that knowledge together and keep this thing rolling for a long time.
Thanks for reading and all the support you have sent my way over the years. I truly could not have done it without you.
Obsession, or passion? Who am I to judge? Either way I simply love building wheels for those who appreciate quality!