Home »Biking» No assembly required: Ventum delivers custom carbon bikes to your door
The Salt Lake City upstart wants to transform the bike buying experience.
At the beginning of 2014, Diaa Nour, a successful telecom entrepreneur and amateur triathlete, was approached by a group of engineers with a passionate project. After looking at her designs for a faster triathlon bike, Nour saw an opportunity for something much bigger.
Later that year the A wind, a patented Z-shaped carbon bicycle frame, hit the market and immediately won high-profile races, including the IRONMAN in Kona.
In the following 4 years, Ventum rolled a gravel bike (GS1), and a racing bike (NS1). The aero designs of all three Ventum bikes are nice to look at, but do not make the brand unique. Many top manufacturers have their own version of ultra-light racing machines made of full carbon with minimal wind resistance.
So instead of trying to completely differentiate itself through the virtues of bicycle design, Ventum leaned on a new business model. And thus contradicts the industry standard of selling exclusively through bicycle shops.
Ventum isn’t the only bike brand that sells direct online. In the last decade Fezzari, YouTube, alchemy, and Angry have spearheaded a movement that challenges the B2B bike shop model, allowing customers to order online and receive bikes directly in the mail.
However, wind the idea goes two steps further than other brands – it gives buyers the option of customizing their superstructure and having it fully assembled by hand and delivered to their door.
Ventum Bikes: Buy from the couch
Even before the COVID-fueled bicycle boom emptied warehouses around the world, buying a bicycle was a complicated process. Bike shops, the power brokers in the industry, can be a hit or miss. Some bike technicians offer a wealth of knowledge and great attention to detail; others are 20 year olds having their first job.
A good shop will train and streamline the buying process for you, but that’s not always the case.
Nour saw an advantage in eliminating the middleman and delivering orders directly and efficiently. From the comfort of your home, you can compare options, ask questions, and buy your next bike. Most orders will take a week or less to be delivered to you.
By keeping the point of purchase on their website, wind builds a direct relationship with the customer rather than relying on stores that offer the same level of care and personal experience.
Delivered fully assembled
Realizing that assembling a bicycle without all of the tools and knowledge is a serious burden, Ventum created a model that delivers fully assembled bicycles. This also allows owners to ask questions in person when testing their bike for the first time.
The goal of the entire purchase process, from online purchase to ongoing service and maintenance, is service on an equal footing, a first in the bicycle industry.
Since Ventum acts as both a bicycle dealer and a manufacturer, Ventum is able to resolve issues quickly after the sale. If a customer has a problem with the warranty of a component or part, they can work directly with Ventum Customer Service to resolve it.
In this way, customers avoid the dispute that often takes place between shops and manufacturers: who is to blame and who has to pay for the repair?
Ventum: All bikes custom
Bicycle technology has exploded in the last decade, from revolutionary drivetrains to new suspensions, disc brakes, telescopic supports, and wheel sets. Most brands offer tiers for each of their bike models, usually divided according to the quality of the components.
Ventum offers customers the opportunity to individualize a bike with a lot more details and to cover the range of frame color, handlebar width, crank length, etc. Customers can visualize, refine and order their dream bike using a 10-step online tool.
wind offers over 60,000 different equipment combinations, creating some of the most customized bikes on the market. In fact, no two Ventum bikes are the same. Mechanics are on hand during delivery to make final adjustments so the bike is perfect and ready to ride.
Ventum Bike: First look
The bike we tested, the NS1, weighs 15 pounds – as light as a racing bike can be. It’s fast and fun, on par with some of the best road bikes we’ve ever ridden. It’s also currently in stock, with either SHAME or Shimano Components what makes it a rare breed in the bicycle industry these days.
If you jump on the NS1, it quickly becomes clear that the bike was built as a racing machine. With a streamlined geometry and a tight grip, the NS1 feels as aerodynamic as it looks.
The full carbon bike we tested (frame, stem, handlebars, wheels and fork) is light and incredibly responsive. As with any carbon construction, the downside of speed is stiffness. In return, you will feel every bump on the road.
This base-level NS1 costs $ 3,699 (almost twice as much with some high-end builds), well above an entry-level price for new cyclists. Because of this factor alone, it is difficult to imagine that the NS1 will be used by many newcomers.
That said, when money is not an issue, the unique customization and high level of customer service make this bike an ideal bike for riders looking for a truly personalized fit. Ventum also offers a program called Trade Up, which allows you to sell your current bike (through the Pro’s Closet) to Ventum and get credit towards an NS1.
What made the whole experience different, however, was the fun of working with the Favorite team to make sure we get the right bike. The brand seems to really care about its customers, loves to drive and wants others to have the best experience possible. This shows up in almost every step of the process, from quick online help chats to face-to-face meetings.
Check the price at Ventum Racing