Monday, March 30, 2009

Who Likes Data? Part 2 - Value Quotient

Alright, those charts in the last post were pretty cool and all but I I felt like I was missing something. If a wheelset is the same weight or less for the same price or less, that is obviously a good thing. But I wanted a number that could summarize the data into one value that would allow me to easily rank the wheels and let me know exactly how much better one is versus another from a value standpoint.

Enter the Value Quotient. Actually, since it's a statistic I'm making up myself, let's give it a cooler name. How about the Awesomeness indicator? Maybe not - I'll keep thinking on that one. Suggestions are welcome.

Anyhow, here's how it works:

Value quotient = (weight of fictional "base wheelset" minus weight of actual wheelset) divided by price of actual wheelset.

The weight we use of for the fictional base wheelset is 2000g. This basically centers the data so we don't have to worry about negative numbers throwing things off. You can think of this wheelset as the crappy set of wheels that came on your stock bike that you'd desparately like to upgrade.

The value quotient is the weight savings of the upgrade divided by the cost of the upgrade. Put simply, grams saved per dollar. Or, more simply, bang for your buck.

Again, weight and price are not the only reasons to buy wheels. Aerodynamics, build quality, strength, bearings, coolness of logo, etc. should be factored in as well. Price and weight, however, are the only two objective points so it's a good place to start.


noslo said...

Looks like you guys definitely have the edge when it comes to value!

The only other thing as a consumer that I would take into consideration is longevity. How long will the wheel last? I know this isn't really a quantitative measurement (not unless you have reams of data from past wheel users) but it definitely weighs heavily when I make a purchasing decision.

-JK said...

Agreed - very important, along with a host of other factors that can't really be displayed in a quantitative manner.

The biggest determinant in longevity will be the quality of the build. If spoke tension isn't even, spokes will break, rims will be stressed, etc.

Component choice is also a factor and this is why we design the wheels to be as serviceable as possible. All hub parts can easily be replaced and since sealed bearings are used, there are no bearing races on the hub shell itself to get damaged.

Under normal usage, the first part to be irreparably damaged will be the rims braking surface. This takes a whole lot of miles but after a while any aluminum rim will be worn down enough by the pads to warrant replacement. This is partly why we offer our rim replacement program (details on site).