New Carbon Fibre Wheel Manufacturer Launches
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 24 April 2009
Press Release: In announcing the launch of his new carbon fibre wheel manufacturing company, 3 Sixty?, Peter Hinds acknowledged that his decision to walk away from X-treme, the brand he built up over the last 15 years wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one.
"X-treme has become a victim of its own success," said Mr Hinds. "Our unique wheel designs receive great reviews, are ridden by world champions and more than a few market leading brands have either wanted to use X-treme wheels on their bikes or re-badge them as their own, but supply has always been a problem."
Like most carbon fibre component manufacturers, Mr Hinds said that he hoped this problem would be solved by moving production off shore to Taiwan.
"As you know just about every carbon fibre wheel, frame or component comes out of only a few factories in Taiwan and China," said Mr Hinds. "Most are identical components re-badged and marketed under different brand names by marketing companies, rather than manufacturers."
Mr Hinds said that he had rejected this business model and continued to design his own wheels. The wheels were subsequently built and marketed under the X-treme brand by a separate business entity, which had a majority Taiwanese ownership. However, the relationship with the Taiwanese partner became problematic.
"There’s no doubt that it’s far cheaper to manufacture a wheel in Taiwan or China," said Mr Hinds. "But when you discover that R&D, quality, meeting deadlines and customer focus are not part of your new partner’s business model and that you have no control over the outcomes, then you have to take some tough decisions and unfortunately for me that meant walking away from the X-treme brand."
Mr Hinds said that naming his new company "3 Sixty?", represented more than just a clever marketing ploy with its obvious synergy with the product.
"The name 3 Sixty? is very appropriate," an enthusiastic Peter Hinds remarked. "Yes it’s clever, but just as importantly, it marks the fact that this new company brings me full circle, back to doing what I’ve always done best and that’s hand crafting Australian made, high performance bicycle wheels for a discerning niche market."
Mr Hinds commented that in a market flooded with product clones, the new models from 3 Sixty? also represent a complete ‘revolution’ and according to him, a ‘quantum leap’ in the application of aerodynamics to carbon fibre race wheels. He said that this was the inspiration behind the choice of the company’s new tagline: "Enjoy the revolution!"
3 Sixty? will release four models in its new range, beginning with a disc wheel appropriately called "Quantum".
3 Sixty? now have a website www.3sixtydeg.com. It is under construction however worthwhile bookmarking to see the new wheels, Vortex 45, Vortex 73, Quantum and Vector 90 when the new website goes online.