These days carbon rims are ubiquitous in the Pro peloton, and steadily growing in popularity among serious amateurs. Its got to the point that if you aren't riding them you're probably starting to feel you should be exploiting their advantages. The best quality ones are normally quite pricey and the technology needed to produce them usually involves extensive hand work, skill and many man hours. That all may be changing soon if people like FSE have their way. This American company has thrown out the rule book in favour of their newly patented process that has literally rewritten the book on how to make carbon fibre rims.
Instead of a complicated and tedious process of hand laying up of carefully cut carbon fibre sheets, FSE uses a completely different method to build a carbon rim. Their approach uses computer controlled machines to guide resin impregnated carbon fibre onto an electronically charged mandrel. This method is highly accurate, devoid of human error and highly repeatable for ultimate accuracy and quality control.
The claimed advantages are several. FSE says their rims are about 40% stronger , with 40% increased lateral stiffness, and up to 200 grams lighter than a conventionally made carbon rim. It all sounds very impressive and it caught my attention when I first looked into their work.
I recently enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Dan Kellerby from FSE. He explained to me how their new patented process came about. Several years of prototypes later and extensive in house testing brought their current rims into being. They apparently caused quite a stir at Interbike this year.
Cognoscenti Cycles will be offering these rims in 2017 for many of our custom carbon wheel builds. If you are thinking of upgrading your wheels to ones with carbon rims, these may be worthy of serious consideration. If you require more information please call me or send me an email and we'll talk carbon!