FFWD sticking with hooked rims on its new RAW collection

The brand will continue to use hooked rim profiles in its latest launch, citing greater compatibility with more tyres

Clock10:00, Friday 1st March 2024
The new wheels from FFWD use a completely new hub and carbon spokes to reduce weight

© FFWD

The new wheels from FFWD use a completely new hub and carbon spokes to reduce weight

Wheel manufacturer FFWD has announced its new range of RAW premium carbon wheels, featuring carbon spokes and hooked rims. The new models look to use a fresh approach to the design and manufacture process to make them both lighter and stronger than the previous model.

Utilising a new carbon layup, FFWD says: “The rims are shaped by our LAW Tech aerodynamic profile. Yet what you don’t see is the time and effort of precise layup techniques that make these rims lighter by 10%.”

A new feature of the RAW collection is the use of carbon fibre spokes. The carbon spokes save weight over traditional steel spokes and have the effect of moving a greater proportion of the overall mass towards the centre of the wheel. This aims to create a more responsive wheelset. It also results in a wheel stiffness increase of 17%, according to FFWD.

The use of carbon spokes meant that the hubs needed to be designed to accommodate them. This was done in collaboration with Ceramic Speed with all wheels in the RAW collection rolling on Ceramic Speed bearings with an internal ratcheting freehub body.

Interestingly for a premium wheelset launching in 2024, FFWD has decided to stick with the tried and tested hooked rim design. This bucks the industry trend of moving to a hookless design that is seen as both cheaper to manufacture and lighter. The safety around hookless systems has been called into question recently after Thomas De Gendt suffered a crash at the UAE Tour that saw his tyre blow off the rim of the wheel.

On the topic of hooked versus hookless, FFWD has said: “We want our road wheels to be compatible with the majority of available tyres and tyre sizes. With hooked rims you can pick any tyre set-up: tubeless, a traditional tube/tyre combination or a smooth cotton skinwall tyre with a latex inner tube.”

Pricing and weights

The RAW collection is available in three depths – 33, 44 and 55mm – and in two finishes, either a matte black finish or gloss that is exclusive to the RAW range.

  • RAW 33 - 1,350g
  • RAW 44 - 1,395g
  • RAW 55 - 1,460g

All wheels will be released with a retail price of €2,499.

What do you make of these new wheels and FFWD’s decision to stick with hooked rims? Let us know in the comments below.

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