Dutch wheelmaker FFWD have lifted the lid on their new high-end Ghost tubular wheelset.
With a 32mm rim depth at front and rear, and an all-carbon hub, the wheels have an exceptionally light claimed weight of 1,090g per set. No scales were to hand but we can testify that the Ghost more than lives up to its name. Each wheel has 12 spokes (bladed carbon fibre shell with an alloy core), with six on each side in pairs of two.
A key design feature is that with a tension-adjustable nut on each spoke just above the hub, the Ghost offers a degree of serviceability that other wheelsets of this ilk lack.
The tension-adjustable nuts up close
Since our first look at the wheelset at the Taipei Cycle Show this spring, the 950g combined weight has increased. This has brought increased strength and a higher rider weight limit of 85kg. FFWD deemed it counterproductive and unrealistic to have a limit of anything less given the Ghost's target market. While 1,090g is hardly heavyweight, stiffness is comparable with the heftier 60mm F6R tubular.
The all-carbon Ghost continues FFWD's preference for the material, which they say has been a major factor in their reluctance to design mountain bike hoops (it's not strong enough to deal with the punishment of day-to-day riding). As with the entire fleet of FFWD's wheels, the Ghost is manufactured in Asia and fully assembled in their factory in Zwolle, Holland.
The hub features an alloy body inside a carbon shell
Despite its radical look, the Ghost is UCI legal, so expect to see the FFWD-sponsored Vacansoleil-DCM team rocking the wheels at races in the near future. As to when the masses can get their hands on them, they'll begin shipping to distributors (Paligap in the UK) soon. Expect them to be available in approximately six weeks, costing £2,500 (€2,800).