For the Cervélo owner who has – or has to have – everything, there's one more thing you might want to add to the list: Wheels Manufacturing now offer machined titanium rear derailleur hangers to replace the stock aluminum bits.
According to general manager Dan DePaemelaere, the titanium hangers were originally intended as a chi-chi novelty item – they're a little too strong to serve a sacrificial role in a crash and their US$95 retail cost is beyond most everyday riders. Despite that, he says sales have been surprisingly brisk and one local retailer said he'd buy every one on hand to satisfy his demanding high-end clientele.
As it turns out, though, "every one on hand" doesn't add up to a huge order – when we stopped by the company office on Monday, there were only 11 titanium hangers on hand, and all of them were being saved for display at the upcoming Eurobike trade show.
The titanium material might be a little too strong to actually save the dropout in a bad crash but for the Cervélo owner who has everything, this could be another item to add to the list.
Wheels Manufacturing have used the trial as a learning experience, however, experimenting with alternative materials such as stainless steel in response to customer requests for hangers that are better able to deal with minor crashes and daily abuse (a trend we've also noticed in the pro peloton).
DePaemelaere says he receives two or three inquiries per week for such items and the company will make a final decision on putting something into production after gauging interest at the trade shows. Either way, Wheels Manufacturing have earned a reputation as the source for replacement rear derailleur hangers, with over 160 different fitments in the current catalog – plus a clever universal hanger for emergency use.
Wheels Manufacturing also have these clever universal hangers for use in emergencies. They won't work with through-axle rear dropouts, though
All of the small Colorado company's hangers are machined from US-sourced 6061 aluminum for a noticeable jump in strength and stiffness relative to stock hangers, which DePaemelaere says are typically gravity cast – a notoriously low-cost and low-quality production method – and whose material is often sourced from scrap recycled aluminum. Retail cost for Wheels Manufacturing's standard aluminum hangers ranges from $25-45 depending on the model.
New mountain bike hubs
Wheels Manufacturing will also show off a new mountain bike hubset at Eurobike whose weight, performance and pricing is intended to mirror DT Swiss's venerable 240s range. DePaemelaeare was coy on details but he did mention that the oversized aluminum shell, alloy axles, freehub body, pawls and axle end caps – essentially everything except the bearings – will be machined in-house.
We unfortunately don't have images to share – Wheels Manufacturing wouldn't allow shots of the unfinished parts – but the bits we did see looked intriguing. The bearings will have adjustable preload and we expect a broad range of axle fitments. Look for more information when we hit the Eurobike show next week.