Tuesday, July 27, 2010 9.00am
By Guy Kesteven, Triathlon Plus
Fast Forward wheels have proved so popular that we couldn't get hold of any the last time we tried to test them. But we’ve got some now, and they’re proving top tubs for the money.
The 50mm depth, skinny front hub and 20/24 bladed spokes give useful aerodynamic gain. At only 1,356g (582/774g plus 88g skewers), the F5Rs are impressively light for their price. Hand-built quality using DT brass nipples and DT Aerolite Bladed spokes keeps them tight on acceleration and turn-in too.
You get a predictable tyre smear rather than twang if you push hard through corners, and there’s no brake rub when you're honking out of the saddle. Braking is very good for carbon wheels too, staying consistent even on long descents.
Power is also maintained, even when its cold. Our wheels develop some play in the front hub after a few rides, but it’s easily adjusted out.
The F5Rs can be bought with DT Swiss 240s (£1,198), 190c ceramic bearings (£1,598) or even PowerTap SL+ hubs (£2,043). The F5Rs are also one of the few rims available separately, so you can lace them on to your existing hubs.
Considering you get a fat, padded double wheel bag, valve extenders, good-looking secure skewers and carbon pads for under a grand, though, these ‘basic’ F5Rs are a bargain.
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