April 23, 2014
Order #12 - All of the Details!
It's official! Order #12 will begin Thursday, May 1 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. We will be selling FLO 60s, 90s, and DISCS. We unfortunately will not have any FLO 30s for sale during Order #12. We plan to have more in June during Order #13.
Every wheel purchased within the first hour will receive a FREE 26 oz FLO Cycling Specialized Purist Water Bottle (see picture below). Please read the details below for general information and FAQs about Order #12. We can't thank you enough for your support and patience.
- Order 12 begins May 1, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Access the store here. You will need a store account to check out. We recommend creating your account here before the order starts, in order to save time.
- On May 1, 2014 the "Store" page will feature a countdown timer. When it hits 00:00:00:00 refresh your page to begin shopping.
- 450 wheels will be available during Order #12.
- We will have FLO 60s, 90s, and DISCS available during Order #12. There will be 75 FLO DISCS available during Order #12 and they will have an upgrade option for 11 speed that will cost $30.
- Wheels are estimated to ship by May 10.
- There are currently 836 people signed up for Order #12.
- All sales are on a first-come-first-served basis. We are working hard to eventually have stock. For more information, please read this blog article.
- Orders tend to sell out quickly. All 2013 and 2014 Orders have sold out in less then one hour and popular wheels can go in under five minutes. We suggest being online at 9:55 a.m. PDT if you are interested in buying wheels. Please know there is no pressure to buy, we just want to be honest.
- Order #13 is scheduled to take place in mid-June 2014 and is estimated to have approximately 650 wheels.
- You are not guaranteed a wheel when adding it to the cart. You must check out to confirm your order.
- International shipping rates to some countries are quoted very high in our shopping cart. This is because a bug exists in the USPS.com API. We are not able to change this. We recommend checking out and we will issue a refund after we process the order. Shipping rates never exceed $115 for two wheels though you may see rates as high as $700. We are sorry for the trouble. If we could fix it, we would.
Questions About Order #12
Q1. How and where do I place my order?
A1. The store opens at 10:00 a.m. PDT. On the morning of the order, the store page will have a countdown 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 #12. 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” pulldown 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. What water bottle is going to be available?
A4. A FREE 26oz FLO Cycling Specialized Purist Water Bottle will be given for each wheel purchased during the first hour of Order #12.
Q5. When will the wheels ship to me?
A5. Wheels are estimated to ship the first by May 10.
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 except the FLO DISC now ship with 11 speed hub bodies. The FLO DISC is 11 speed compatible but requires an upgrade during checkout. The upgrade is $30 and you will receive both the 11 speed and 10 speed hub bodies.
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 Order. If we have left anything out, please let us know.
Thanks again for your patience and support.
Jon and Chris
April 22, 2014
Cash is king when starting a business. On paper it seems very logical that one would get a warehouse when starting a business like ours. It is logical but it's not always practical. Much of what we do at FLO is done in the comfort of our own homes. Until recently our warehouse has been no exception. Even our new warehouse is a work in progress. Here is a little history of the warehouse journey while we've started FLO.
Yes, I know it's kind of cliche to talk about the garage start-up. Often it's used even when a company did not start in their garage. The truth for FLO is that we did start in a garage. Chris and I were living together at the time and we had a one-car garage that was the workshop for our first prototypes. We learned to build wheels, bond fairings, solve the problem of drilling spoke holes in carbon by hand, and countless other things. After several months we had our first prototype that we completed by working many late nights after our day jobs ended. I'll never forget these days. We were ambitious and totally naive about what we were getting into. I wouldn't change a thing.
|Lining up a fairing to drill spokes holes for the first FLO 60.|
|Early prototype jigs.|
|First prototypes before we figured out the spoke hole locations. The holes were huge!|
|The first FLO wheel ever built. Chris still had his work clothes on.|
The Spare Bedroom, Kitchen, and Living Room
By the time our first production run of wheels arrived, Chris had moved out. I was living in a 1,200 square foot, two bedroom condo that was on the second floor. It was the obvious choice for our warehouse, lol. Needless to say, every room became useful space and we both got a good workout carrying 400 boxes up and down the stairs. We learned more in these early shipping days than we had ever imagined. We struggled to process 80 wheels in one day. We now can process over 300 on a good day. Henry Ford was onto something with his assembly line idea.
|Command central, sticker table and all.|
|The living room.|
|The dining room and kitchen.|
|The spare bedroom.|
After our first couple of containers, Chris moved into a house. Fortunately for us there were 15 ft ceilings and there was an unusually large spare room. We converted this room into our warehouse and order processing area. During processing and shipping days the rest of the house was taken over as we sorted and organized the orders. We were pretty comfortable here and we learned how to become efficient. We used this space for about 15 months and it gave us the opportunity to keep more cash in the bank. Here are a number of shots of our "the house warehouse" with wheels stacked by type.
|The new command central.|
|Orders processed and ready for UPS pick up|
The New Warehouse... Well, Sort Of
At the end of last year, Chris was moving out of the house he was renting and we were too big for my 1,200 square foot condo. We officially needed to rent space. The question was where. We have a good friend in town that owns a building, and the basement of the building had a 5,000 square foot space that needed a floor poured and heat/AC. The heat was not big deal but the AC was a serious issue for two Canadians living in the Las Vegas heat. We took a look at the space and it was perfect. We agreed to have a floor poured and we would move in. Well, last minute it was decided the floor would not be poured. The space is in a medical office building, and the space will likely be used for a surgical center. Surgical centers need pipes in floors, which is why we had to hold off on the floor. With no time to spare and Order #10 wheels on their way from LA, we made the decision to move in. We used what we had and built a temporary space to process wheels. For now, it's perfect. It's rough around the edges, but it's perfect. Soon enough we will move into a new place, but to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way.
|The new warehouse before we moved in. Not too bad!|
|Wheels after we unloaded a container. Sorted but type and build.|
|Setting up the new order processing area. Construction scraps rock!|
|Set up and ready to go.|
|We added lights for late night processing.|
I've always been amazed by businesses that start day one in a brick and mortar location. There is a lot to be said for people who are willing to take that risk. Maybe we are a product of the internet age but ironically for us, we felt right at home starting our business this way.