Carbon wheels have more and more turn out to be the usual in all disciplines of biking. Lighter and stiffer than aluminum, carbon fiber wheels optimize energy switch for faster acceleration that’s particularly noticeable in sprints and sudden bursts of pace.
Vibration damping properties additionally end in higher general bike dealing with; a smoother journey and a extra nimble really feel makes it straightforward to maneuver the bike. The one draw back? Value.
When you’re going to make any improve to your bike, a carbon wheelset is often one of many first issues a mechanic will advocate. Conveniently, it’s additionally the second priciest piece of your bike, after the body (generally extra). It’s not unparalleled to spend nicely over $1,000 per wheel for a top quality set of carbon wheels.
However what if carbon wheels didn’t have to interrupt the financial institution? Xiamen-based Elitewheels is proving that you simply don’t need to sacrifice efficiency for a cheaper price on carbon wheels.
Ten years in the past, carbon wheel manufacturing was nonetheless pretty new to China. Different nations in Asia had largely cornered the market on carbon wheel manufacturing, and it wasn’t till the late 2000s that Chinese language factories began operations.
Driving that wave, Tony Tong and Jack Chen based Elitewheels in 2015, initially manufacturing wheels for different manufacturers. Two years later, they realized they might design and manufacture their very own wheels, constructing a better high quality product at a extra accessible worth level. Many North American manufacturers manufacture their wheels in China, however only a few manufacturers are literally based mostly there.
Elitewheels is likely one of the few manufacturers on this planet that heart all the manufacturing course of in-house, from design to manufacturing. This enables them to implement an exhaustive R&D course of in-house, which leads to a better high quality product by a extra environment friendly course of. Reducing out the intermediary and promoting wheels direct to the patron means the shopper will get a better worth at a cheaper price. A win-win for everybody.
The Drive Collection
However affordability doesn’t imply a drop in efficiency. The Drive collection is a superb instance of that, raced by 5 UCI Continental groups.
Drive wheelsets, obtainable in three completely different gravel fashions and eight completely different highway wheelsets, make the most of the model’s in-house UNI carbon fiber in addition to aero bladed carbon spokes, leading to a stiff, mild, and robust wheelset. Drive collection wheels are a few of the lightest of their class, and what stands out to most individuals first is the burden; the Drive 50D weighs solely 1300 grams for the pair, whereas the 40V rim brake and 40D disc brake wheelsets weigh 1255 grams and 1260 grams respectively.
“To be able to reduce prices, most [manufacturers] use carbon fiber from mainland China relatively than from Japan,” says Elitwheels Model Supervisor, Patrick Clark. “We use real Japanese T700 and T800 carbon fiber, which offers a better energy to weight ratio.”
Clark provides that Drive collection wheels handle to be stiffer than related depth wheels due to the in-house manufactured carbon fiber prepreg, carbon spokes, and excessive hub flanges. “It’s particularly noticeable when sprinting,” he continues. “Whereas no wheel might be the perfect in each facet, our intention is to create one thing that has the perfect stability for not solely our sponsored professional riders, but in addition amateurs.”
Clark, who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, now lives in Xiamen, China the place Elitewheels is predicated. As a passionate bicycle owner and native English speaker working immediately with the group in China, Clark has been capable of assist carry Elitewheels’ expertise to the worldwide market.
“Our objective is to have the wheels raced on the highest degree in WorldTour races — to not simply match, however to drive innovation in wheel tech — and to supply wonderful service to these using the wheels around the globe,” he says.
Constructing wheels for the professionals, however offering entry to the lots, is not any straightforward feat — nevertheless it’s one which Elitewheels is devoted to proving attainable.
Store Black Friday Sale
When you’re interested by carbon wheels however have but to drag the set off, Black Friday gross sales this fall may very well be an excellent time to check the waters. From November twentieth by the thirtieth, they’ll offer a major low cost, at 16-18% off. Every wheelset comes with free transport, a 3-year guarantee, and crash alternative.