Back at Eurobike we teased about an upcoming tubeless carbon clincher wheelset from Vittoria. They had just introduced a new race-specific tubeless tire – the 23mm Corsa Speed – claiming to be the fastest tire they had ever tested. They had it mounted at the show on an unmarked carbon rim, and without a carbon clincher in their existing line-up. We’ve since had a chance to get a bit of a closer look at the forthcoming tubeless-ready Qurano 46 wheels, and to confirm some details. Join us after the break for more…
The new tubeless-ready full carbon clinchers (FCC) keep the same Qurano name as Vittoria’s existing tubular offering that we test rode last week with the new Corsa tubulars. They actually share a lot of tech with the tubular wheelset, and are almost indistinguishable from first glance except for that FCC label, instead of the FCT for the tubulars. What that also means is that they share the same pairing of a 46mm deep rear rim with a 42mm front, which helps keep the dramatically asymmetric (AS) rear wheel stiff. They also stick with the same aluminum house brand hubs with 16/21 spoking front/rear, and use aero bladed spokes with external alloy nipples.
With a carbon clincher you do get some different braking forces vs. tubulars (tubular brake surfaces are supported at both the top and bottom as part of the rim profile, while clincher brake surfaces are partially cantilevered on the bead hook). We noticed this sticker on a front wheel to aid brake setup, keeping braking force off the tip of the bead hook. But maybe just as important, on a wheelset that no one would commit to when it was going to be available, this looks like a product ready for market.
We took a closer look at the shape of the new tubeless-ready rim. It includes a prominent bead hook that appears to be machined after molding, but also has a high shoulder/seat for a tubeless tire’s bead to snap onto for a secure fit. At the same time, the center channel is quite wide and deep, so it should be realitvely easy to install tubeless tires by hand.
The tubeless Qurano is built on the same Graphene Plus technology as the tubular wheel and their new tires. We’ll get more into the detailed tech about the graphene that Vittoria is using later in the week, especially with regards to performance improvements in their tires, but it really seems to benefit the carbon rims, as well. Probably the biggest boost in performance for this type of wheel with the addition of graphene, is that by mixing the material with a standard style resin, it makes the resin thermally conductive. In most carbon wheels heat dissipation from braking is a serious issue, because even though the carbon fiber itself tries to conduct heat away from the braking surface, the resin acts as an insulator preventing efficient removal of heat. The addition of graphene to the resin however, seems to allow the carbon fibers and thermally conductive resin to work together, resulting in much better movement of heat away from the braking surface and significantly lower heat build-up, even under sustained braking.
The graphene tech also claims to improve the strength and stiffness of the resin matrix, which Vittoria say allows them to use less carbon fiber overall, resulting in a lighter wheelset with the same stiffness. As we saw with the tubulars, the 46mm deep rear rim also uses an asymmetric design with offset spoke holes (that will need to be taped for a tubeless setup) and an almost flat non-driveside rim wall. We didn’t get a chance to accurately measure the new rims, but side-to-side comparison puts them about the same as the 23mm wide tubular version.
We didn’t get a firm answer from Vittoria about when they will be available, but summer 2016 seems reasonable from what we gathered. Our next question will be, since Vittoria is pairing these with their super fast rolling, time-trial ready Corsa Speed tubeless tires, how long until we see carbon Quranos in 60 and 84mm depths like with their tubulars?