Thursday, November 08, 2018

It's About Materials Technology

The things that come down the pike never cease to amaze me.
The shop where I work at, now going on past 16 years, is a wealth of old knowledge. I've heard, seen, and done, so many things I never would have dreamed about, that it makes my head spin to think on it all. One thing I've learned is to never think you've seen it all. 

Many times this can be applied to something new. My boss and I always shake our heads and say, "It's all about the materials technology". Many ideas have existed in cycling for years, decades even, just waiting for technology to catch up so it can become a viable product for you and I.

Take these wheels, as a for instance. They are from Enve Composites. Ten years ago now I got to test some 700c hoops from them, back when they were still called "Edge Composites". This was for the old "Twenty Nine Inches" gig I once was involved in. Well, you know, ten years ago, anything carbon meant for 29"ers was rare. Like super rare. So, rims for 29"ers in carbon? I mean, we were barely seeing mountain bike rims of any sort made from carbon fiber in 2008. It was an amazing thing.

Those ended up being sub-1500 gram wheels. At that time it was considered super-light for a 29" wheel set with disc hubs. Now days? Pffft! That's average. Why? Materials technologies. Plain and simple.

These Enve wheels pictured here? Sub-1300 gram wheels. Not only that, but they have a wider internal rim width, wider rim edges, (for anti-pinch flat characteristics), and through axle compatibility. They are tested to mountain bike standards, and are tubeless compatible. Those old Edge wheels were narrower, had clincher hook beads, and weren't tubeless. Crazy how far things have come in ten years. Heck, Tour de France riders weren't on wheels this light ten, fifteen years ago. Now anyone can have wheels like this. Well...........if you can afford them.

Remember- never think you've seen it all.

1 comment:

DT said...

Very true. I'm a newcomer to carbon hoops, but I have heard 0 complaints about Enve products!