We’ve all seen the late night infomercials where some kooky pitch man promises to eliminate the ‘middlemen’ standing between you and a good deal on high quality merch, right?

Dubious As Seen On TV products aside, the bike industry has seen a recent rise in direct-to-consumer brands promising to sell “bike shop quality” goods, just without the bike shop taking a cut. But now, it seems that Nex-Gen Sports is hoping to take that direct to consumer concept to the next level.

A new twist on “factory direct”

Calling themselves the “world’s first and only factory/designer to consumer (F/D-2-C) internet brand platform,” Nex-Gen claims to completely eliminate the middlemen with the ability to purchase directly from the designer and factory that created the product.

To to this, they enlisted a team of veteran industry product designers and engineers as part of their Mutually Beneficial Cooperation (MBC). The current team includes big names like:

  • CEO and Founder Paul Farrel (Velo Innovations)
  • Paul Lew (Reynolds, Faster Wind Tunnel)
  • Andrea Invernizzi (Deda Elementi, Dedacciai)
  • Adam Gans (Nike, adidas, Bauer, Reebok)
  • Dimitris Katsanis (Team Sky, UCI)
  • Bill Shook (American Classic)
  • Kevan Fryer
  • Performance Engineered Solutions LTD

But it’s not just those with hefty industry experience that are able to join…

You can design for them, too

That’s right. They say anyone with an idea that “significantly improves on currently available sporting products” can apply to become part of the Nex-Gen team. If you’ve got design, materials or CAD skills and been wondering “how can a designer get a job making bike components”, you can stop pushing those resumes around.

Nex-Gen Sports V3 Enduro wheel

While their launch video signals a Summer 2020 release, we all know how this year has gone. But, it seems like Nex-Gen is very close to launching their first products. Plural. According to the company, they have something like 20 different products ready to ship and sitting in their Salt Lake City, Utah warehouse – their just waiting on paperwork from the IRS to officially launch.

But if you check out their launch video (at link below, not embeddable…skip to 0:55, trust us), you’ll get a glimpse of two potential products – the V3 Enduro wheelset and an Aero Cageless Water bottle. Looking closely at the V3 Enduro, the unique carbon fiber certainly looks like it could be TeXtreme Innegra similar to that used on Sector wheels.

Nex-Gen Sports aero bottle cageless

The aero bottle will likely improve your frame’s aerodynamics while also offering a way to hydrate. How the bottle connects to the frame without a cage remains to be seen.

As for pricing, we’re told that all of the pricing for Nex-Gen products will be “significantly below High Street Brand products, but demonstrably better performing over a range of criteria.”

Update: The Nex-Gen Enduro V3 mountain bike wheelset with a 29mm internal width & updated 1665g wheelset claim retails for $1600. That aero cage-free water bottle sells for $45 including its proprietary hidden mounting fin.

Hint: Head to Nex-Gen’s barren Instagram or Facebook social media posts to call out the cage mount & win an aero bottle yourself!

And it’s not just the bike industry that stands to benefit from Nex-Gen’s F/D-2-C model. The bike industry will be first, but Nex-Gen also has their sights on motocross, rock climbing, underwater sports, and kayaking among others.

To stay up to date on the Nex-Gen launch, head over to the link below and sign up.

nex-gensports.com

7 comments

  1. Alex V on

    Um, how is Nex-Gen not the middleman in this relationship….? Are they a non-profit or a charity? Unless they’re taking a cut, what is their purpose for existing? Or is this strictly cooperative sales & marketing, with all parties pooling resources to centralize these functions? Who’s taking the investment risk here, the factories, the designers, the customers?

    Reply
  2. Robin on

    So many questions:
    1. Will they be offering rims or just wheel sets?
    2. What is Next-Gen doing with aero bottles that others failed to do before?
    3. Where was the disruptive innovation or technology in the video?

    Reply
  3. Greg on

    I’m gonna wager that if you are given the opportunity to design your own peoduct, they own the rights to said product. Sounds like a win/lose to me. I’d be happy to find out I’m wrong.
    Also, as above, it seems to me like they are the middleman. I have to imagine that any worthwhile factory has their own in house engineers and designers.
    … And Paul Lew? Hasn’t he been bounced around enough companies by now?

    Reply
  4. Bryin on

    When does the high end bike industry finally end up with direct ordering from Chinese manufacturers? that would eliminate ALL the “middlemen”… How does Next-Gen add value for the consumer over that of the direct to market Chinese wheel makers? My bet is, they don’t.

    Reply

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