On 01/11/14, Saturday, Togoparts Editorial Team has the privilege of meeting and interviewing the Head of Sales for Xentis Mr Fritz Sackl at one of Singapore Local Bike Shop distributor: Bikes n Bites.
Mr Fritz Sackl visited Singapore as part of his Business Asia Tour. He will also be visiting countries such as South Korea, China and Thailand.
Glad that we were given the opportunities to have a quick chit chat with Mr Fritz Sackl about Xentis Wheels and their future plans.
Read on for our exclusive interview and short write up about Xentis Wheels:
>Togoparts Team: Hi Mr Fritz Sackl, thank you for giving us time and opportunity to meet and interview you in person.
Bikes n Bikes have been a loyal distributor for Xentis Wheels over these years. Tell us more about your Asia tour and partnership visits.
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes, Bikes n Bites is Xentis distributor here in Singapore and so far, they are doing a very good job and I am really happy with how Paul is selling our products here, but as you know, it is not so easy to sell Xentis products as it is a very high performance brand and it is hard to find a distributor who can market such a product to the masses but Paul is doing a very good job. Thank you Paul and team!
>Togoparts Team: You mentioned that Xentis belongs to the higher-end market segment, can you elaborate why?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes, because all of our wheels are hand-made in Austria and we have very strict quality control over how the wheels are made and tested. While for the Asia market, we also have a specific price range for the wheels to cater to the rider’s needs, but Xentis also focus on the lower price segment, so we do make wheels for different level of consumers.
>Togoparts Team: For the lower price segment wheels, are they also hand made in Austria? Or are they outsource to another country for production?
Mr Fritz Sackl: No, even for the lower price segment wheels, they are also handmade in Austria; the only difference is the finishing of the products.
>Togoparts Team: So for this lower price segment wheels, when will we be able to see it in the market?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes they are already available and we are working with the distributors to bring them out to the market as soon as possible.
>Togoparts Team: We heard a lot about this special braking surface that Xentis uses on their wheelsets, mind telling us more about this special braking surface? And what’s so special about it?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes, this is a special braking technology that Xentis currently has a patent for. All the riders can use their standard brake pads on our braking surface, so they do not need any special parts and that is very important for the complete range. So when the rider uses an aluminium rim or the Xentis carbon rims, they can use 1 standard brake pad, there is no need for them to change from aluminium to carbon or vice versa. Thus, this is our important unique selling point for our wheels.
>Togoparts Team: Does it worry you if the riders use aluminium brake pads? As what we know, it will release metal particles which may affect Xentis Carbon rims?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes that’s a good question, but it will not be a problem as our carbon surface wheels are very strong and very resistance to these particles.
>Togoparts Team: As constant braking generates heat which can affect the carbon material, Can you tell us more about how the wheels are being tested in Austria?
Mr Fritz Sackl: We test all our wheels in Austria and we have really big mountains there to fully test the braking tolerates. We start the temperature testing at about 200’ and the next stage is 220 and lastly 260, therefore we are very safe in terms of the carbon material tolerating high temperature due to braking.
>Togoparts Team: It seems that Xentis emphasis is on a good braking surface compared to other major wheel manufacturers
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes, for the outer side of our rims, it is not made of resin, instead it is build with carbon fibre and we have special machine to cut into the resin and expose a minimum of 10% of carbon fibre to make the rim resistance to the constant braking. Most of our wheels have about 70 – 80% of exposed carbon as the braking surface.
>Togoparts Team: How about the Xentis hubs, can you tell me more about it?
Mr Fritz Sackl: We work with special hubs that we produce in our Austria factory, but the next step is a carbon hub and we are going to have a presentation at next year’s Taipei Bike show (around February or March 2015). The hub weights around 890g for both front and rear and available in 4 sizes (2.5m 4.2m 5.8m and 7.5m) in 55mm rims for both tubular and clincher system.
>Togoparts Team: What about the spokes, do your produce your own spokes for the Xentis wheels?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Not at the moment. We work with standard spokes and nipples produce from Spain, they are the premium producer for spokes and we use the CX-ray model for our wheels.
>Togoparts Team: How about the trend between clincher and Tubular, do you see any changes to this?
Mr Fritz Sackl: Yes, currently in the wheelset market, it’s mostly 90% clincher and 10% tubular, but for some countries it is tubular a little more or vice versa, but generally its heading more towards clincher.
>Togoparts Team: So it seems that for some of the countries they have a little more preference for the tubular system, why is that so?
Mr Fritz Sackl: The tubular system is a little lighter and it feels better on the road but the problem is you can’t change the tyre.
>Togoparts Team: What do you think about the disc-braking trend for the road biking industry? Will it grow onto the riders?
Mr Fritz Sackl: That’s a good question. I have talk about this with the riders, but the problem with disc brake system is the noise and the squeaking of the bike, so I think that is the major obstacle preventing road cyclist from using disc brakes. I feel that the next season, maybe 5% of the road cyclist will be on disc brakes and the other 95% on rim brakes.
>Togoparts Team: What are your thoughts on the future trend for wheel building?
Mr Fritz Sackl: I feel that the market will move towards wheels that are compatible with standard brake pads and also the tubeless system.
>Togoparts Team: So how about the mountain bike segment?
Mr Fritz Sackl: We do have wheelsets built for the mountain bikers; however for the price range we have, it is hard to reach out to them. The impact is due to our road wheels, the whole piece can be made of carbon fibre while for mountain bike, the wheels consist of a carbon rim and aluminium hubs, so when they have a problem with the wheel, they must change it part by part and it is not worth the money for them to do so. As such, they usually stick with aluminium wheels. But we do have a very high volume of sales for the mountain bike wheels in Korea, so we making good progress in that area too.
>Togoparts Team: Thank you Mr Sackl, we appreciate your time. Before we end our interview, is there anything you would like to say to all the Xentis fans in Singapore?
Mr Fritz Sackl: You are very welcome. And thank you for having me as one of your guest. And to all Xentis fans and users in Singapore, thank you for the continuous support. Xentis will try our best to bring you more better and innovative products in the near future.
With the ability to oversee the entire research and development process in-house using the latest CAD and FE calculation programs to construct and analyse new wheels that are being developed, these new prototype wheels are also tested with computer aided aerodynamic tests in the wind tunnel to ensure that what comes out of their factory are only high quality handmade high performance carbon wheels. Constructed as a monocoque, these 100% carbon fibre wheels are painstakingly hand crafted using strict webbing and laminating process and a specific amount of resin only, this ensures that every wheel created has the optimal amount of torsional stiffness with the minimum weight possible.
Xentis carbon wheels have a very unique and patented braking surface which guarantees excellent braking performance in both dry and wet riding conditions, and other than using Xentis’s very own brake pads, standard brake pads from other manufacturers can be used as well, this feature is very useful when swapping with aluminium wheels. This surface is the result of a special cutting and finishing process which removes the outer resin layer of the wheel, leaving behind a very high percentage ratio of pure carbon fibre over the resin used, this creates a special braking area with an extremely strong, hard wearing and resistant surface, even aluminium deposits left behind on your original brake pads will not scratch and affect the braking surface of the wheel. Using high temperature carbon and resins, braking temperatures of over 200 degrees have been tested and achieved for their wheels, so that we can all be assured that these wheels will not fail on us while descending a big mountain.
Xentis wheels are also finished with a clear coat which makes the wheels UV resistant and look good for many years, they also have a tachometer magnet integrally moulded into the wheel itself, clearly marked by a “U” symbol, this removes the need for a separate magnet that needs to be mounted on the spokes which keeps the wheel looking ‘clean’, and since the magnet is already built-in and pre-installed during production, this ensures that every wheel is optimized and compensated for perfect wheel balance. All Xentis wheels have also got an RFID tag moulded inside which allows them to be able to trace every single wheel that they’ve manufactured back to its origin. The wheel hubs are also manufactured in Austria and Xentis is now also looking at developing and manufacturing their own carbon hubs for their wheelsets.
Xentis has a very wide range of wheels to suit many cycling disciplines, from the very beautiful Mark 1 and 2 time trial wheels for the ultimate combination of aerodynamics and light weight, to strong and light mountain bike wheels, they have even covered all three of the off road wheel sizes, 26″, 29″ and the latest 27.5″. Starting with their Mark 1 and 2 time trial wheels, these wheels are built to be used for both your daily training rides as well as for use during competitions. The record breaking aerodynamics of the Mark wheels are due to the direction-sensitive-aero-profile as well as the high performance carbon material that’s used to manufacture these beautiful wheels, giving you an extremely aerodynamic, smooth running and very light set of wheels. The widest range of wheels belong to the road section where you can find both tubular and clincher type wheels in various rim height profiles, with the lightest set of road wheels weighing in at a hair over one kilogram! They have very stiff and stable low profile wheels that are great for climbing and sprinting, as well as slightly higher profile wheels for slightly better aerodynamics. Xentis’s off road mountain bike wheels are built to withstand very big impacts, they even have a beautiful 26″ carbon monocoque wheel that is nearly indestructible and weighs a lightweight 1,330 grams only, setting a new standard for performance and design of mountain bike wheels.
Xentis Wheels are available at :
Bikes n Bites Pte Ltd
3791 Jalan Bukit Merah #01-08
Te : 6469 9964
Opening hours : Monday to Saturday (11am – 7pm) / Sun & PH (Close)
Website : http://www.bikesnbites.com