Netherlands based FFWD (Fast Forward) is a relatively new company which specialises in producing carbon wheels, with the aim of building the lightest and fastest wheels possible.
And light they certainly are, and indeed fast looking, given first impressions on the pair that have just landed in the RCUK office. A look around their website reveals a quite wide range of choice, with road, cyclo-cross and track (triathlon too if anyone is interested) riders catered for.
The last couple of years have spawned a growth in availability of carbon wheelsets, so there’s now plenty of choice. And FFWD wheel’s certainly have a lot going for them, if we take the F5R-190 Ceramic wheels as anything to go by.
At their centres rotate DT Swiss 190 Ceramic hubs, with ceramic cartridge bearings – they’re the lightest DT hubs available. DT Aerolite spokes (20 front/24 rear) slot into the 50mm deep TC35 carbon rims. If we take Shimano’s 7801 Carbon 50 wheels as a benchmark, the F5R-190 Ceramic’s claimed 1422g weight makes them 103g lighter.
So their weight impresses, as does the fact they’re hand built by the company’s ‘master wheel-smith’ Zoran Kabala at their HQ in Assen. Each wheel even comes stickered with its own serial number and a birth certificate stating the production date. A nice touch.
Much of the range, from discs, four- and three-spokes, and rim depths of 20mm, 38mm and 50mm are tubular only. Prefer to use clincher tyres? There’s a choice of 38mm or 58mm wheels. Shimano and Campagnolo versions are available.
These F5R-190 Ceramic wheels retail for about £1,200. The price includes posh (and strangely nice smelling) wheel bags, brake blocks and skewers. Full test soon…