July 24, 2015
Now that we have been selling wheels for more than three years, we've started getting request for replacement parts. Someone loses a skewer, dings a hub end cap while traveling, or wants new bearings. To make things easy, we've added a number of new items to the accessories section of our store. If you ever find yourself in need of replacement parts, this article may come in handy.
A bad crash, significant impact, or improper Allen key usage can crack an axle. The picture below shows a cracked axle.
|Cracked Axle from Improper Allen Key Usage|
While this looks terrible it's nothing a little work can't fix. You can find replacement hub axles in our store.
|FLO Hub Axle|
I'm not sure if bending quick release skewers from crashing or loosing one is more common. Regardless, it's one of the most sought after replacement parts for a FLO wheel. You can find replacement quick release skewers in our store.
|FLO Quick Release Skewer|
Springs and Pawls
Springs and pawls can break if the free hub is installed improperly after cleaning, can fall on your garage floor and never be found again, or can simply wear out. The picture below shows a broken spring caused by improper free hub installation. If you have questions about springs and pawls, please be sure to let us know. You can find replacement springs and pawls in our shop.
|Broken Spring from Improper Freehub Installation|
|FLO Springs and Pawls|
Hub End Caps
Hub end caps can be damaged during shipping if they are not packed correctly. The end cap is normally the first point of contact and if hit hard enough can be deformed into a mushroom shape. If it's bad enough the skewer will not fit through. Luckily the end caps are replaceable and it's an easy job. If you are ever shipping a wheel make sure you use the plastic end cap protectors. They are actually very helpful when shipping wheels. You can find replacement hub end caps in our shop.
|Mushroomed End Cap from Improper Packing|
|FLO Hub End Cap|
10 Speed Spacers
We ship 10 speed spacers with all of our FLO Wheels. This allows for easy conversion from 10 to 11 speed or vice versa. If you misplace yours or find yourself wanting to go back to 10 speed you can find replacement 10 speed spacers in our shop.
|FLO 10 Speed Spacer|
All good things come to an end, and bearings are no exception. Over time bearing will wear out. They can also fail prematurely if the seals are removed for greasing and water gets inside the bearing. Please note you should not remove the seals of your FLO bearings to add grease. These bearings are meant stay sealed for their lifetime. If you find yourself in need of new bearings, you can find replacement bearings in our shop.
Replacement parts are for parts that are lost, damaged or worn out. Please know that if you have a warranty issue we will take care of it. If you are questioning if something is covered under warranty, please reach out to us and we can discuss it. If you want to check out our warranty policy please do so.
If you need help installing your replacement parts you can always visit our How To page, read our Owner's Manual, or as always, just ask us. We will be happy to walk you through the process.
July 21, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, July 21, 2015
5 Entrepreneurial Lessons I Learned From Failing Fast In My First Venture". Feel free to check it out here or read the full article below.
You have a brilliant idea for a new business. You love it, and you think other people will, too. So you take the plunge headfirst, right? Not so fast.
My brother Jon and I started our first company with a similar mind-set, and it failed in a matter of months. We created Painting With Purpose, a charitable organization that sold digital copies of paintings created by children with special needs. Unfortunately, not many people came to our site or bought our prints, and our business fell flat.
I gleaned a few valuable lessons from the experience, and we used those to grow our next business, FLO Cycling, into a success. Here’s the advice I’d give any starry-eyed entrepreneur:
1. Find Where Your Passion and Consumer Demand Intersect.
Jon and I were extremely passionate about Painting with Purpose, but that didn’t mean our audience felt the same enthusiasm. We should have settled on a product or service that aligned with our passions and appealed to consumers.
If you’re passionate about your work, it won’t feel like work. FLO Cycling has allowed me to use my passions and outlook on life in my career, and I’m happier for it.
2. Gather as Much Feedback as Possible.
Because Painting with Purpose was a completely new product and market, potential customers had no idea what we were selling. Trying to teach every prospect about a new market was extremely challenging, and many people didn’t take the time to figure it out. We didn’t gauge market demand from the start, and that set us up for failure.
Before launching your product, you need to involve your audience. When Jon and I started FLO Cycling, we let potential customers play a part in the product development process to build demand and loyalty from the beginning.
You should also talk about your product or service. Join a few online forums, and seek out opinions from potential users. Do everything possible to feel out customer interest before investing your life savings in a venture.
3. Do Every Job Before You Hire.
Many entrepreneurs hire too early. As a business owner, you need to fully understand the ins and outs of each position before bringing on new team members. You’ll learn about challenges, work to improve efficiency, and gain a better understanding of how your business operates. And that knowledge is priceless.
Obviously, you’ll need to hire experts when necessary. Invest in attorneys for legal advice and other crucial technical roles. But always read up on the position or industry to ensure you understand the role and hire the right person for the job.
4. Invest Time and Money In Marketing.
Jon and I thought our first business idea was so ingenious that it would spread like wildfire. But anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy.
Before we started FLO Cycling, we spent countless hours researching marketing because, as engineers, we really know nothing about it. We’ve dedicated most of our time to marketing, and though it’s been difficult, the effort has paid off tremendously.
No matter how revolutionary your idea, potential customers won’t know about your company unless you tell them. Make marketing a priority so you can gain traction and start forging relationships.
5. Stay Humble and Motivated.
Just because you own the business doesn’t mean you need a $5,000 cherry desk and a luxury car. Reinvest money into your business in the early years to spur grow.
Jon and I hit so many unexpected roadblocks in the beginning. Building desks out of two-by-fours and having a little extra cash in the bank has saved us more than once. The money won’t expire. If you’re still successful in a few years, you can spend it or, better yet, invest it.
Many of my friends started businesses and thought they could work four hours a week from a beach because they delegated or outsourced most tasks. But every business needs a highly driven, passionate person at the helm, especially in the beginning. You might be able to step back from the day-to-day operations eventually, but you need to first invest in building the business right.
There’s no perfect startup formula; every business has its hiccups. But by aligning your passion with consumer demand, communicating with your audience from the get-go, building out an extensive marketing strategy, and working relentlessly to manage and lead your business, you’ll stand a fighting chance to achieve entrepreneurial bliss.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments and questions below.
July 14, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, July 14, 2015
4 Reasons To Take A Day Off During Business Travels". Feel free to check it out here or read the full article below.
Think of your day like Newton’s first law of motion. Your body will stay at rest if there aren’t any outside forces acting upon it (your alarm clock, your kids, your job, etc.). But it’s important to remember that the opposite is also true.
You’ll never get a moment of rest and relaxation unless you act. Business trips have especially full schedules and rarely provide time to unwind. Add jet lag to the equation, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
But giving yourself a day off has benefits to your mental and physical health, and it could even improve the way you do business because:
1.It clears your mind. Stepping away from a busy schedule lets you think without looming deadlines clouding your thought process.
2.It’s beneficial to your health. Without the requirement to rush out of bed, you won’t feel that jet lag burnout, and you’ll be able think on your feet more often.
3.It allows you to be thankful. If you run your own business, it’s easy to lose sight of why you work for yourself. When you create a day for yourself, you’ll quickly remember why you started your own business instead of driving a desk for someone else.
4.It gives you leads. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people who are potential customers, partners, or friends.
Traveling for business is rarely synonymous with “vacation.” However, if you put a little extra effort into planning your trip, you can enjoy all the benefits of a mini-vacation. The best way to do this is by giving your employees or yourself a day to explore the area.
Claim Your Free Day
When planning a day of R & R during a business trip, I take into account who I know in the area or if the locale has an attraction I can mark off my bucket list.
If you do know a client in the area, this is a perfect opportunity to get to know him or her outside of a business setting. Business relationships are more fruitful when there’s strong rapport, and enjoying a city together is a great start.
Otherwise, exploring on your own is never a bad idea, and taking time to see something new will make a difference in how you perceive your business.
Taking a break and allowing your employees to do the same shows your human side, and it will set a good example for your company culture.
Set the Standard
R & R doesn’t have to happen on the road. It can be as simple as taking an extra hour at lunch to reset, having your next company meeting in a fun setting, or peeling out of the office an hour early once a week so employees can spend extra time with family.
Today, the well-oiled office archetype doesn’t have to be a strict 9-to-5 schedule. Responsible employees will get the job done when it needs to be done and understand that some days require 15 hours while others only require two.
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Relaxation is as vital to productivity as a can-do attitude. By ensuring you have a company culture that embraces a healthy balance between work and R & R, your employees will go above and beyond — and explore the world while they’re at it.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments and questions below.
July 9, 2015
Order 21 - All of the Details!
There's good news. Our shipment is ahead of schedule. Order 21 will begin Thursday, July 16th at 10:00am PDT. We will be selling FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS and FLO 30 rims. There are currently 1,159 people signed up for the 700 wheels available during Order 21. Please know popular wheels may sell our very quickly during Order 21. Popular wheels can sell out in less than 2 minutes. We are not trying to be pushy we just want to be honest.
Every wheel purchased within the first hour will receive a FREE Silca Valve Extender (FLO 60's and 90's) or a free Continental tube (FLO 30's and DISCS). The best way to get ready for Order 21 is to read the "General Information" and FAQ below. We can't thank you enough for your support and patience. If you have any questions about Order 21 please let us know.
- Order 21 begins July 16, 2015 at 10:00am PDT. Access the store here. You will need a store account to checkout. We recommend creating your account here before the order starts to save time.
- On July 16, 2015 the "Store" page will feature a countdown timer. When it hits 00:00:00:00 refresh your page to begin shopping.
- 700 wheels will be available during Order 21.
- We will have FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS and FLO 30 rims available.
- Wheels are estimated to ship by July 30th.
- There are currently 1,159 people signed up for Order 21.
- All sales are on a first-come-first-serve basis. We are working hard to eventually have stock. For more information, please read this blog article.
- Orders tend to sell out quickly. Popular wheels can sell out in less than five minutes. We suggest being online at 9:55am PDT if you are interested in buying wheels.
- Order 22 is scheduled to take place in late mid August 2015 and is estimated to have approximately 700 wheels.
- You are not guaranteed a wheel when adding it to the cart. You must check out to confirm your order.
Questions About Order 21
Q1. How and where do I place my order?
A1. The store opens at 10:00am PDT. On the morning of the order, the store page will have a count down timer on it. When the count down timer hits 00:00:00:00, refresh your page to access the store and begin shopping!
Note* You will need to create an account to shop in our online store. We highly recommend creating an account before next Thursday to save time during Order 21. You can create your account here.
Q2. Do we have live up to date inventory on our site?
A2. That’s sort of a yes and no question. When you select the product you will see how many are available under the “Bearings or Bearing/Build” pull down menus (The “Sticker Color” pull down does not show how many wheels are in stock.). If there is one left and you add it to your cart it does not mean you have secured the wheel. You must make it all the way through the cart before the wheel is yours. If someone else has bought the wheel in that amount of time, you will receive an out of stock warning when you hit the confirm order button.
Q3. My page is really slow. What should I do? (We hope this doesn’t happen!)
A3. We have done all we can to beef up the server to prevent crashing. That said there are no guarantees. When you click to add a wheel to your cart it may take a second or two to load. Please do NOT hit the "Add to Cart" button multiple times. If you do you will add more then one wheel to your shopping cart. If there are any technical difficulties during the sale, please be patient, we will be working to correct them as soon as humanly possible. If you page is slow after hitting “confirm order” PLEASE DO NOT HIT REFRESH or your card may be charged twice. If you do hit refresh by mistake and are double charged, please let us know and we will be sure to refund your second order.
Q4. About the Silca Valve Extenders and Continental Tubes?
A4. A FREE Silca Valve extender will be given for each FLO 60 and 90 and a free tube will be given for each FLO 30 and FLO DISC. Please see the pictures below.
Q5. When will the wheels ship to me?
A5. Wheels are estimated to ship by July 30th.
Q6. How much are ceramic bearings?
A6. Ceramic wheels are an additional $100 per wheel. Ceramic bearings support our Bike for a Kid Program and have excellent durability. Learn more about our Bike for a Kid Program.
Q7. Do you offer Shimano 11 speed hub bodies?
A7. All of our wheels ship with 9/10/11 speed compatible hub bodies. The wheels also ship with 10 speed spacers for people running 9 or 10 speed cassettes.
Q8. What payment methods do you accept?
A8. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We do not accept PayPal.
We hope that this answers your questions about the upcoming pre-order. If we have left anything out please let us know.
Thanks again for your patience and support.
Jon and Chris
July 8, 2015
If you've ever found yourself with something in your wheel, the rattle you get has likely driven you close to insanity. After four years of dealing with wheels, I've retrieved countless things from the mysterious internal structure of a cycling wheel. In the video below, I show the inside of a wheel and walk you through the best approach to getting a valve extender out of wheel. The total time to remove the extender that I dropped into the wheel in the video below was less that five minutes. I hope you find the steps in this video useful if you ever find yourself with something stuck in your wheel.
If you get frustrated during the process please give me a call and I will do what I can to help you out. Patience is the number one thing you need when getting something out of a wheel.
July 1, 2015
If you've been caught in a downpour, ridden through deep puddles or have left your bike out in the rain overnight, you may have a water logged wheel. This is definitely something that you want to get out. The video below explains the process and walks you through all of the steps. I hope you enjoy it.
June 26, 2015
It's been two year since we first released our iPhone app to the Apple AppStore. Since that time we've picked up a couple of bugs that made the app pretty useless. I am sorry for the trouble any of you have been experiencing with the app. While there are not any new features the app has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. and I've also zapped all of those bugs.
If anyone reading this is an iPhone developer they will know that there have been a number of changes for iOS developers in the last two years. The biggest is the introduction of Apple's new programming language Swift. I am happy to say that the new app has been programmed entirely in Swift. While a quick update was possible I decided to learn the new language and start from scratch. It wasn't easy finding the time but I am happy I made the choice to learn the language. It's clean, efficient and pretty friendly to a developer who's decent at best. I think there are great things to come with this new language.
|Swift Code from the FLO Cycling App|
Storyboards and All of the New iPhones
The last time I built the app there were two screen sizes for iPhones. This time around there are four and I wouldn't count on that number going down. To take care of this Apple has introduced Storyboards and Size Classes. The first generation of the app used a lot of custom programming to test for the screen size and then programmatically set up the user interface. With Storyboards and Size Classes you set a number of constraints that allow the screen to adjust to any screen size. While this definitely had a learning curve associated with it, it strips out a ton of code and works really well. You can now comfortable use the FLO Cycling app on an iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
|Storyboard Overview for the FLO Cycling App|
Favorites Article and Core Data
I have to admit an error on my behalf. When I redesigned the app I started from scratch. When you do this you make it really challenging on yourself when you try and submit an update to an existing app. The way it works is that if you can't submit an update then you have to add a new app to the AppStore and your current users do not get the update. You also have two apps in the store under two different names.
I was able to figure out how to release the new app as an update but I am afraid that any of the "Favorites" articles you have will likely be deleted. I am really sorry about this and I hope it doesn't cause too many issues for our users.
I took a few screen shots of the number of sessions over the last couple of year and photoshopped them together. You can see the last few months have not been the best since the app hasn't been working. Pretty novel idea. It is cool to see that we were getting over 8,000 session a month. A session for those that do not know is when someone opens the app. That's about 270 users a day. Top Ten Free App list here I come! Haha, yeah right. Regardless, I am happy people are using the app.
The New App
As a part time developer and someone who's main focus is getting wheels to customers, the FLO Cycling app is not always the first thing on my mind. I invite you to let me know if you notice anything about the app that isn't right. If you find a bug please write me with the app on the Contact Us link on the home view or contact us via our website with the link above. I am happy to fix things when I know about them. I've had a few interesting/angry comments about the app because of the recent bugs. I invite your comments but please let me know what your problem is if you find one.
I want to thank everyone who has used the app and has provided their feedback. In time I will add more featured and cool stuff to the app. Keeping sending your idea my way and I hope you enjoy the new version of the FLO Cycling app. Maybe you'll read this blog post in the app! I know, I know. I just had to. If you are not currently using the FLO Cycling App and want to learn more about it, you can check out this webpage and you can download the app in by clicking on the image below.