The road wheel market is already enormously saturated with countless choices all claiming to offer some combination of improved performance, better durability, lower cost or any number of other metrics.
So why would Deda decide to jump into the lion’s den? According to the company’s Fulvio Acquati, it was merely to show the world the brand’s interpretation for what a road wheel should be – in other words, just because.
Deda will offer five road wheel models for 2013, all of which share a common design methodology – spoke nipples located at the hub, not the rim. According to Deda, this produces a lower rotational inertia for a comparable wheel with traditional rim-mounted nipples, which supposedly yields improved acceleration, quicker handling and a generally snappier feel.
Additional features include specially shaped internal spoke head washers at the rim to distribute stress more evenly, the use of lighter weight spokes at the valve to help keep the wheels in balance, and high-temperature resins and basalt-infused brake tracks on the carbon wheels to resist failure under particularly demanding conditions.
Carbon clincher rims also feature unique brake tracks that are positioned further down on the rim than usual – an area Deda says will produce less heat at the critical bead hook for improved safety.
Deda uses lighter spokes around the valve stem to help keep the wheels balanced: deda uses lighter spokes around the valve stem to help keep the wheels balanced James Huang/Future Publishing
Lighter spokes around the valve stem should keep the wheels balanced
Sitting at the top of the range are the 30mm-deep WD30CTU and 45mm-deep WD45CTU tubular wheels, built with carbon fiber tubular rims, bladed straight-pull stainless steel spokes, brass nipples and aluminum hubs rotating on sealed cartridge bearings. Claimed weights are 1,140g and 1,290g for the respective pairs (without quick-release skewers).
Save for the carbon clincher rims, the 30mm-deep WD30CCL and 45mm-deep WD45CCL wheels are otherwise identical. Claimed weight is 1,380g and 1,460g per pair, respectively.
Deda will also offer its Reverse Inertia design on a new 30mm-deep WD30ALCL aluminum clincher wheelset with a claimed weight of 1,450g.
Final retail prices are still to be determined but Acquati estimates them to be around €2,000 for the 45mm-deep wheels, €1,700 for the 30mm-deep models and €800-900 for the alloy version.
Cockpit options for road and mountain
Leading the charge on the road side is the latest incarnation of Deda’s 35mm-diameter Trentacinque concept, the Superleggera 35. Using the same extra-stiff, extra-oversized clamp diameter and versatile Rapid Hand Movement bend as the original but now with a nano-type resin, claimed weight drops to just 180g for a 42cm-wide bar, compared to 210g for the standard M35.
Deda extends the super-light concept to the new Superleggero stem and bar – both use the more conventional 31.7mm clamp diameter. Shaved and trimmed to the utmost, the Superleggero forged aluminum stem weighs just 99g for a 110mm length, and the matching carbon fiber bar is supposedly just 180g for a 42cm width.
Deda’s rapid hand movement bend uses a variable radius for multiple hand positions: deda’s rapid hand movement bend uses a variable radius for multiple hand positions James Huang/Future Publishing
Deda’s Rapid Hand Movement bend uses a variable radius for multiple hand positions
Other new road components include the mid-range Zero2, with its Zero100-like shape and nominally heavier 135g claimed weight. Plus new track bars, and ultra-short Carbon Blast clip-on aero bars aimed at the short-course triathlon crowd.
Deda’s off-road catalogue continues to grow as well, with new options including the Condor carbon fiber low-rise handlebar (740mm, 187g), the more all-mountain oriented aluminum XDR (750mm, 264g) and the Nine stem with a -20-degree angle aimed at shorter 29er riders looking to decrease their grip height.