Is this the world's most aerodynamic disc wheel?
By BikeRadar | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7.00am
A new carbon fibre wheel company has been set up by Australian Peter Hinds, founder of X-treme wheels.
The new firm is called 3 Sixty° (pronounced "360 degrees"), and its first product is a disc wheel called Quantum.
With Quantum, Hinds set out to produce the most aerodynamic disc wheel available. It has a ‘triple curvature’ design which is supposed to mimic the airflow over an aircraft wing.
A curved leading edge directs airflow onto a marginally thinner concave profile before rising again to another pressure bulge at the hub. When combined with a 'vortex generator' near the leading edge, Hinds says this results in a wheel that not only reduces drag but actually produces 'lift' which can be converted into forward momentum.
The wheel is made with two multi-modulus carbon skins, which are said to provide natural anti-vibration dampening. It has a removable hub and easy-to-fit carbon valve hole cover, and is available in seven colours.
Quantum is currently only available as a tubular model in Shimano, Campagnolo and track. Claimed weight is 1.045kg (2.3lb). A carbon clincher will be available in July.
Hinds said his decision to walk away from X-treme after 15 years wasn’t easy, but he insisted it was necessary. He said supply had always been a problem, and when he tried to fix this by outsourcing production to Taiwan this created its own difficulties.
"When you discover that R&D, quality, meeting deadlines and customer focus are not part of your new partner’s business model and that you have no control over the outcomes, then you have to take some tough decisions and unfortunately for me that meant walking away from the X-treme brand," he said.
“The name 3 Sixty° is very appropriate. It marks the fact that this new company brings me full circle, back to doing what I’ve always done best, and that’s hand crafting Australian-made, high-performance bicycle wheels for a discerning niche market.”
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