Handbuilt Bicycle News


Boyd Cycling

Matt Butterman

Monday 22 February 2016

Boyd Cycling: Power to the Design

Self-taught component designer Boyd Johnson studied at the institute of speed and pain known as pro cycling while others were in the classroom and lab. Now he taps an expert engineer friend to help translate his ideas into working prototypes.

Boyd Cycling: Power to the Design
Boyd Cycling

Boyd Johnson is showing us his new Eternity Hubset, brilliantly engineered with the widest possible bearing stance and flange width, and his trademarked Dual Axle Design that reduces bearing drag by 50%. These are such good design characteristics, pragmatic and efficient to such a high degree, it's hard to believe someone hadn't thought of them before.

You wonder how many letters must he have after his name? Which top-notch engineering school did he graduate top of his class at? M.I.T., Stanford, CalTech?

Yet Boyd Johnson is a self-taught component designer. While he admits to having a good friend and consultant with degrees from Purdue help him translate his ideas into working prototypes, Johnson studied at the institute of speed and pain known as pro cycling while others were in the classroom and lab.

It's this racer's ethos that makes Boyd Cycling stand apart from the other more storied wheel makers, the ones whose products are used by ProTour teams.

"All of our energy goes into the design of our products,” says Johnson. "Where other brands sign the latest big pro teams to a contract or hire expensive ad agencies to promote their products, we put our resources into providing the best product for the lowest possible cost to the consumer."

As a journeyman pro racer for ten years, Johnson was sponsored by a lot of different wheel manufacturers, and he learned first hand what worked and what didn't. In 2009, when he retired from racing, he started up Boyd Cycling.

The company is based in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, and wheel components are sourced multi-nationally from China, Taiwan, Belgium and Pennsylvania.

Boyd Cycling has gone all tubeless for both their carbon and aluminum wheelsets, and they all also have wide rim profiles of between 24 and 27 milimeters. The Pennsylvania-made Eternity Hubs can be sourced on any of Boyd's wheelsets for an additional $350, or they may be purchased alone and built up as wheels by the consumer or their wheelbuilder of choice. Find out more about Boyd Cycling and their full line-up of products at www.boydcycling.com.