Back this summer we got a look at the unique double arc DARC aerodynamic rim profiles that Dutch wheelmaker FFWD introduced for 2019 on their top aero carbon road wheels. Now as 2019 approaches we have the full details on the twenty-eight different wheel options that take advantage of the uniquely aero shaping, including alloy & carbon options, all tubeless or tubular, rim brake & disc brake wheels, rims depths from 45-90mm, and prices from $1700-$2600.

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels

2019 FFWD F-series DARC aero carbon fiber road bike wheels with indented profile to minimize drag

The heart of the new FFWD aero road wheelset family is the DARC profile concept that gets an indentation midway through the rim to create a double arc, hourglass profile when combined with the tire. The thinking is that in the 0-10° real world effective wind yaw angles we spend most time riding in, this shape helps divert airflow over the spokes for less drag.

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels

FFWD says that works not only on their deep profile rims, but also down to more everyday mid section wheels as well. So DARC profiles are available in their three aero wheel lines – F4 with 45mm deep profiles, F6 with 60mm sections & the 90mm deep F9 wheels.

FFWD DARC aero wheel – Tech Details, Materials & Options

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels

The overarching theme of the FFWD aero DARC road wheel lineup seems to be options, lots of options. Not only limited to the highest end full carbon wheels, FFWD is offering the DARC aero shaping in five distinct rim constructions: 1. Rim brake aluminum+carbon tubeless clincher wheels with a machined alloy braking surface and carbon fairing; 2. Rim brake full carbon tubeless clincher wheels with a carbon nano fiber reinforced braking surface (19mm internal); 3. Rim brake full carbon tubular wheels with a carbon nano fiber reinforced braking surface; 4. Disc brake full carbon tubeless clincher wheels without a braking surface (19mm internal); and 5. Disc brake full carbon tubular wheels without a braking surface.

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels

Add on top of that the three rim depths available – 45, 60 & 90mm – and the choice of affordability with DT 350 hubs or light, premium performance with DT 240 hubs. All new 2019 wheels feature subtle matte black UV stable graphics, UD carbon finishes, straight pull spokes, and 2:1 balanced spoke lacing (still radial for rim brake front wheels.)

FFWD DARC aero wheel Options, Pricing & Availability

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels
2019 FFWD F4R-C TLR

FFWD F4 mid-depth 45mm wheels, 19mm internal tubeless clinchers

  • F4R-C TLR rim brake, carbon+alloy clincher, DT350, 1825g – $1700 (1775g with DT240 – $2000)
  • F4R FCC TLR rim brake, full carbon clincher, DT350, 1525g – $1900 (1475g with DT240 – $2300)
  • F4D FCC TLR disc brake, full carbon clincher, DT350, 1540g – $1900 (1490g with DT240 – $2300)

FFWD F4 mid-depth 45mm wheels, 26mm external tubulars

  • F4R rim brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1315g – $1900 (1265g with DT240 – $2300)
  • F4D disc brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1430g – $1900 (1380g with DT240 – $2300)
FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels
2019 FFWD F6R-C TLR

FFWD F6 deep 60mm wheels, 19mm internal tubeless clincher

  • F6R-C TLR rim brake, carbon+alloy clincher, DT3550, 1945g – $1700 (1845g with DT240 – $2000)
  • F6R FCC TLR rim brake, full carbon clincher, DT3550, 1635g – $2000 (1585g with DT240 – $2400)
  • F6D FCC TLR disc brake, full carbon clincher, DT3550, 1650g – $2000 (1600g with DT240 – $2400)

FFWD F6 deep 60mm wheels, 26mm external tubulars

  • F6R rim brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1420g – $2000 (1370g with DT240 – $2400)
  • F6D disc brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1470g – $2000 (1420g with DT240 – $2400)
FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels
2019 FFWD F9R FCC TLR

FFWD F9 ultra-deep 90mm TT/tri wheels, 19mm internal tubeless clincher

  • F9R FCC TLR rim brake, full carbon clincher, DT3550, 1870g – $2200 (1820g with DT240 – $2600)
  • F49D FCC TLR disc brake, full carbon clincher, DT3550, 1895g – $2200 (1845g with DT240 – $2600)

FFWD F9 ultra-deep 90mm TT/tri wheels, 26.6 mm external tubulars

  • F9R rim brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1760g – $2200 (1710g with DT240 – $2600)
  • F9D disc brake, full carbon tubular, DT350, 1860g – $2200 (1810g with DT240 – $2600)

FFWD aerodynamic DARC profile aero road wheels

All FFWD wheels are built by hand in The Netherlands with DT Swiss hubs & spokes, and are available with SHImano/SRAM or Campagnolo freehub bodies. All clinchers are tubeless-ready including tubeless rim tape & tubeless valves. Wheels are anticipated to be available through dealers from mid-November, and US buyers can reserve their wheelsets now from FFWD USA.

FfwdUSA.com

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m looking for a deep wheelset with a wider profile. I’ve been riding 22C inner rims with 28mm tyres for a couple of years now., and don’t want to go back to 19C. I understand rim brakes have limited clearance, and 25mm tyres on 19C is about right, but it seems a bit narrow for a late 2018 Disc spec wheelset.

    • I personally use 23mm internal width and 30mm external width (Light-bicycle) wheelset set myself (with 25c front and 28c rear tires). I understand where you are coming from.
      Wish more people consider width over weight, and having good tire-rim width matching to get most aero out of their deep rims.

      However, from my previous wheelset with 21mm internal width and 28mm external width to the current one. The 2mm increased in width are very marginal. It’s not as big of a deal as moving from 15mm to 17mm or 17mm to 19mm. Other than i no longer feel safe using 23c in the front anymore. Which i do put 23c on 21mm internal width without hesitation. I’d say 19mm internal width is there to keep support for 23c tires like Continental Attack III for people who consider aero over anything else.

  2. The DARC airflow diagram is faulty for two reasons: 1) The streamlined shape helps retain laminar flow toward the trailing surface to further impinge the spokes, exactly the opposite of the claimed justification. and 2) The approach adheres to the faulty industry design approach that overall vehicle drag contributed by the wheels is centered at the elevation of the axle. It is not! It is centered instead near the top of the wheel, where surfaces move forward against headwinds at twice the vehicle speed. Further, mechanical leveraging effects cause upper wheel drag forces to be actually magnified against propulsive counterforces at the axle. Lower wheel drag forces are then de-magnified.

    Our recent side-by-side downhill coasting tests prove these effects. And our wheels have tested in these tests faster than Zipp Firecrest 404, every time. And our wheels are legal for Ironman, and more stable in crosswinds than ANY wheel. The question becomes, do you want to be faster and more stable, or not.

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