FFWD enters gravel market with Drift hookless carbon wheelset

24mm internal width and DT Swiss components make for appealing spec

FFWD Drift gravel wheels

Hot on the heels of its RYOT 44 and RAW road wheelsets, FFWD has announced a new carbon model for gravel riders called the Drift.

Advertisement MPU article

Where the new road wheels promised “light gravel” abilities, the Drift is a dedicated gravel design with beefed-up specs to suit the demands of the discipline. 

The Drifts feature 36mm-deep carbon rims with a reasonably wide 24mm internal width that FFWD says is aimed at tyres from 30mm to 60mm wide. 

While the rims feature an aero profile, FFWD doesn’t make any particular claims about drag reduction, stating that the focus for this wheelset was primarily on durability and strength. 

According to the brand, a “special carbon lay-up” was chosen to protect against the impacts suffered when riding at low tyre pressures on rough gravel. 

The Drifts’ rims are hookless, which means you must fit tubeless-ready tyres, even if you’re not actually running without tubes. (Tubeless tyre beads typically stretch less, reducing the risk of blow-off.)

Like other hookless wheelsets, the Drifts have a 5-bar (72.5psi) pressure limit, a figure that comes from the current ETRTO standards relating to rims.

As these wheels are aimed at gravel, it’s unlikely you’d want to exceed that figure in any case.

The Drifts make heavy use of DT Swiss components in their construction, including the brand’s latest 240 Ratchet EXP hubs

Where the road-focused wheelsets get DT Aerolight spokes, the Drifts use the heavier-duty Aerocomps, and they’re threaded into brass nipples rather than alloy ones to reduce the risk of corrosion and make long-term maintenance easier. 

FFWD has opted for 24 spokes front and rear, with both wheels using a triplet (2:1) style lacing with 16 spokes on one side and eight on the other. 

This is in the interests of more even left/right tensions, which can improve long-term durability. 

Claimed weight for the Drifts is a respectable 1,515g and they ship with tubeless tape, valves and a protective bag. 

Advertisement MPU article

The Drifts are priced at £1,499.95 / €1,699 for the set and are expected to be available from mid-August onwards.