Finish Update: Rhonda goes Dullbright

A principle consideration when manufacturing goods is making decisions regarding aesthetics. SimWorks prides itself on producing products that aren’t chasing trends, and that we hope look as great on your bike in 10 or 20 years as they do the day you buy them. Occasionally we revise finish specifications for our products to try and better achieve a look that we are after, and sometimes it’s to tidy up a product line offering or to eliminate SKUs.

When SimWorks first got it’s start over 10 years ago in Japan – the brand had just a couple of Chromoly handlebars that Nitto produced for us. These original bars were nickel plated, had decals applied, and then were clear coated. This method ultimately wound up presenting some quality and finish problems that we consistently were confronted with- yellowing and scuffing of the clear coat, in addition to adding a material thickness to the handlebars that in some cases – brought those products outside of their stated dimensional specifications. A few years ago, due to ongoing concerns that Nitto had with clamp force security with our black Chromoly handlebars, we discontinued the production of Black handlebars, and instead brought on a nickel plated satin “Dullbright” finish in addition to a chrome plated version of all of our chromoly handlebars. However for our chromoly stems, we continued to offer just a chrome option, and a black option- with no Dullbright available. We are pivoting away from this arrangement with the addition of an updated Dullbright finish to our best-selling stem- “Rhonda” that will take the place of our Chrome finish going forward; and this will slowly be the case with all of our Nitto produced chromoly products- with the hopes of running single small batches of Chrome plated products annually.

It was around the same time that we sunsetted our black chromoly bars that we started to bring online heat-treated aluminum versions of our best selling “flat” handlebars – Getaround, MowMow, Little Nick, Fun3 ; and then the line grew to include CowCow and our collaborative handlebar with Golden Pliers- the Ramble Bar. We still sell a good amount of chromoly handlebars- and they are a part of our brand’s DNA and products that we are committed to continuing to produce. But the Dullbright finish in these bars consistently outpaces our sales of Chrome plated bars, and Alloy bars now consistently outsell our chromoly offerings.

The Dullbright finish more closely matches the appearance of polished aluminum- which has distinguished itself as the de facto finish spec in “Silver” aluminum bars, and seat posts, and will continue to be our standard specification. And thus it only made sense to try and more closely match our chromoly products to our aluminum products – to tidy the aesthetic of our line while hopefully creating some efficiencies in production.

Rhonda was the clear choice for the product to introduce this new finish to our Chromoly stems – as it pairs beautifully with all of our Alloy 31.8mm bars. But Tomboy will be brought on next in this same finish, and eventually all of our chromoly stem products will be available in Dullbright as well as Black finish options.

The difference in the Chrome vs Dullbright finish is subtle, but noticeable to a discerning eye. Its a more satiny luster as opposed to the near mirror finish of chrome. We hope that you’re fond of it and that you’ll consider selecting it for your next well thought out build.