Peregrine falcons are the fastest moving animals on earth, having been recorded diving at speeds of 240+ miles per hour. So it’s no surprise where the FFWD Falcon Project aero road bike wheel concept gets its name.
FFWD says their Falcon Project is aimed at creating the fastest bicycle wheel on the planet. To do that, they use just two spokes, each with a full NACA airfoil shape. These are attached to a variable height rim height that arcs from 90mm deep to 48mm deep as it approaches the next spoke. They say that graduating rim depth is just as important a feature in reducing drag and turbulence as the spoke pattern.
Compared to tri-spoke wheels and full discs, their wind tunnel tests show that it creates drastically less turbulence.
They’ll be available in rim and disc brake models, for both front and rear.
It’s made of Toray 800 / 1000 UD carbon and is perfectly balanced. Target weight is TBD, but it won’t be a lightweight wheel. It’s meant more for TT and triathlon where speeds are kept constant, as opposed to typical road riding where you’re sprinting, climbing or accelerating more frequently. In such cases, aerodynamics matter more than weight.
They expect the wheel to start shipping by end of year, and it is already UCI approved, but it is still in testing. Right now, it’s a standard tube-type clincher, but they’re working on tubular and tubeless-ready versions, too. Pricing is TBA.