Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear-rim-label

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…

Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear-rim-detail Vittoria_Quarano-42-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_front-rim-brake-line-detail

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.

Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear-rim_shoulder-detail Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear-rim_shoulder-bead-hook-detail

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.

Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear_asymmetric-rim-profile Vittoria_Quarano-46-Full-Carbon-Clincher_Tubeless_Graphene-Plus_rear_asymmetric-rim-detail

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?

Vittoria.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. Really Graphene? I call Bull Sh*t on that (maybe Graphite translates to Graphite in Italian).

    Graphene isn’t really used outside of the semi-conductors industry. It’s not really large scale manufacture-able yet; ESPECIALLY for structurally applications, ESPECIALLY for bike wheels. There’s no way the bike industry is ahead of something like the Aerospace industry on structural stuff.

    Eds: Well @Chris, we’ll show you the details later in the week. It is Graphene, and the tech is pretty solid, and advanced. Vittoria invested as a partner in the company Directa Plus, which is a world leader in the field. We toured their clean-room production in Italy a week ago, and will report on what we learned. Suffice it to say that their new resin and rubber tech is going to be a pretty big deal.

  2. It may be Graphene, but is it also graphene? I have a hard time believing this as well.
    Although my disbelief mostly comes from dealing with companies like Head telling me about their tech (in addition to “Graphene” they claim to use KERS tech from F1 in the form of a super fake pcb in their ski (where the claims basically describe any other ski being sprung and unsprung as normal, magic fake chip notwithstanding)).
    Everything that I’m being led to believe about graphene is that it’s a sensationalized super-science material that isn’t available to anyone but the darkest most dankest laboratories and the few science blogs that report on it, or that it’s a sensationalized new material just now being made available to every sports manufacturer’s r&d department alongside promises of huge gains in strength, stiffness, etc.
    My sneaking suspicion is that Graphene, or graphene, is only really available to every manufacturing company’s marketing department, and that these products still work as well as about every other carbon product out there, but come with brand new marketing that somehow sounds like halfhearted pandering to tech junkies. Forgive me for withholding absolute belief (and therfore purchasing power) until something outperforms the entire field by a wide margin. Until then, graphene means nothing to me. Tell me more, sports brands, about the resin matrix, and how it affects temperature, but be aware that just saying the word Graphene is going to increase my initial skepticism by a few orders of magnitude.

  3. Actually i’m in composite structural studies and i’ve read some papers on “graphene mixed epoxies” and they neither super expensive or complicated to make but lead to rather small benefit. If well done you could boost matrix properties by about 20% (if done wrong you would loose about the same…) which would translate on a composite in maybe a 5% increase in overall characteristics. Which is fine but nothing special.

  4. To add, Noble 3D printers claimed a 30-50% increase in compression and elongation strength from a 0.03% addition of graphene to their ‘Graphenite’ material. That number seems very high but even a 5% increase in strength with the added high thermal management properties would be interesting to the cycling world.

  5. I just got to look at the new tires and heard the graphene story from my Vittoria rep and supposedly this facility they built is a huge deal. The machine that does the graphene is several blocks long and the building had to be built around it after it was constructed. Sounds pretty legit. I look forward to seeing the tires perform and hope that a 25mm is coming soon.

  6. @Antoine, @Loki – Those are the juicy real-world details that I’m after! Just had a brisk read through “Graphene: Fundamentals and Emergent Applications” (Jamie H. Warner, Franziska Schaffel, Mark Rummeli, Alicja Bachmatiuk) and I’m into it. But maybe not as into it as reps or adverts might hope.

  7. @Antoine: boost which matrix properties about 20%? A 5% increase in which overall characteristics? Those values have to be associated with specific properties.

  8. Small amounts of powder graphene just for the marketing effect
    We’ll get real graphene fiber one day, this is not this or next year though 😉

  9. I’m skeptical of the marketing terminlogy per several comments above… but if it is anything like the epoxy I just recently started using, it does feature a sort of muddy, sedimentary content to its otherwise thin viscosity. The resulting neat epoxy comes out kinda brown, and noticeably stronger than its unfilled epoxy version.

    I’m not sure what the filler *is*, I’m guessing it is very very finely chopped and ground carbon fiber tailings. It appears to be beneficial and at least harmless, I just don’t believe it to be true graphene.

  10. The use of graphene in these epoxies is mostly marketing at this point, as were Easton’s carbon nanotubes and whatever else I’ve missed. While embedding graphene or other nanostructured materials into an epoxy matrix may ultimately provide structural strength (not my field), the real science behind graphene’s remarkable structural attributes isn’t scalable in this way.

    There is a large difference between, for example, a report of a tensile strength of 100 gigapascals in a single layer of supported graphene making a ~1 micron membrane (which as I recall were approximately the highly publicized results from a paper in Science a few years back) and a ‘graphene’ powder dumped into jar of epoxy. Media is good at taking isolated laboratory measurements and projecting these results to the real world (maybe a good thing for me with a Phd focused on ‘2D’ materials…).

  11. “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.”

    Q1: What is the thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity compared to Al?

    Q2: THIS SPACE (POSSIBBLY) RESERVED.

    High-structured carbon blacks/graphites/nanotubes/graphene yield impressive impovements to thermal and electrical conductivity in inherently insulative polymeric materials. Generally, this results in a significant increase in viscosity (i.e. poor processibility – when trying to wet-out a fabric preform or a spread fiber bundle during pre-pregging or fill an injection mold in the case of widely-available “conductive” thermoplastic matrix composites) and a decline in end-use impact strength (i.e. embrittlement). It will be interesting to read if Vittoria has truly and significantly improved heat removal whithout too great of a negative trade-off(s).

    PS> Give the past the slip…

  12. They use pure pristine graphene according to their PR. The manufacturer is known as first european source for industrial scale manufacturing. Heard from many testers very positive feedback. Seems to be no fake claim like others.

  13. Could a Graphene electroplating solution be useful for strengthening materials? Noble 3D Printers of Las Vegas sells the solution, but not sure if it can be used to increase strength by electroplating. Anyone have any information regarding graphene electroplating?

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