MOBI > Velocity “Cliffhanger” rims

Here is a really bad idea: Velocity “Cliffhanger” rims.

No, not the rim, the name. What's wrong with the name? Answer: Velocity has two rims with the same name, and they are different rims. One is the Cliffhanger up to 2014, the other is the Cliffhanger from 2015 and on.

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Okay, but who cares if two rims have the same name? Well, everybody shopping for a replacement rim, for starters. The 2014-and-earlier model is 25 mm tall, while the 2015 model is 20 mm tall, so they use different spoke lengths.

Thus, you can replace a 2014 with a 2014 and use the same spokes, or you can replace a 2015 with a 2015 and use the same spokes. But if you switch years, you have to buy new spokes. Which is a big hassle. And, often, new spokes cost about the same as a new rim. Assuming you can even get the spokes you want.

Oh, and everybody shopping for a new rim, could care, too — you could buy spokes with length sized for the new rim... only to find the great rim deal you just got was on an old-model old-size rim. D'oh!

Now: go shopping for a Velocity “Cliffhanger” rim. Which one do you want? Which one does the store have? Well, they're both Cliffhangers. What could possibly go wrong?

To add insult to injury, many online stores report the 26” rims they have for sale have an ERD of 531, which is the 2014 rim. But the rims they actually have for sale are the 2015 rims. As of 2015/04/01, Velocity's web site does not appear to list the ERD of the new rims in any size.

It seems “obvious” that using the same name for diffferent rims is bad for everybody. Steve Russell relates this lesson he learned in the 1960's (paraphrased):

Frank Fortin supervised Special Systems Manufacturing at Digitial Equipment Corporation in the middle 1960's. He drilled it in to me: “When you change something, if the new version has the same form, fit, and function, then it can have the same part number. If it doesn't, then it must not have the same number. If the new version is faster or works in some situations that the old part did not, the function is not the same, because using the old part in the new situation will not work.” Sometimes, changing the color is changing the form — think about the color of a car door.

What's so hard about calling it something like “Cliffhanger2”?