FFWD’s current line up of wheels aren’t scared of a little dirt. But when it comes to a ‘gravel specific’ wheelset, that’s something they’ve yet to dive into. Until now. Built specifically for the demands of aggressive riding off (and on) road, the new Drift wheels are built for big tires and big adventures.
FFWD Drift light & wide carbon tubeless gravel wheels
Starting at the top, the FFWD Drift features a hookless carbon clincher rim design that is tubeless ready. Measuring 24mm internally, these are designed for 700c tires from 30-60mm wide.
With a nod to durability over weight, the wheels are built with thicker DT Aerocomp spokes and Pro Lock brass nipples. Both front and rear run 24 spokes in a 2:1 lacing pattern.
Official rider weight limit is set at 120kg/265lb, which sounds decently high until some bigger riders start to think about loaded bikepacking. But FFWD confirms that the weight limit for bike, rider & gear does include a decent safety margin as they are a super strong build with the wider rim and stronger spokes compared to their road wheels, so they should be a strong enough build for most gravel riders.
Built to DT Swiss DT240 EXP 2:1 hubs, the wheels ship with 12 x 100 and 12 x 142mm thru axle end caps. They also come pre-taped with a pair of aluminum tubeless valves and a padded wheel bag.
While FFWD says that the wheels do have a 36mm deep aerodynamic profile, aerodynamics were not the focus. Instead, they focused on the carbon layup for impact strength and overall durability. They say their current wheels like the RAW and RYOT are certainly fine for light gravel use, but the Drift is built to handle rock strikes, small drops, and even bikepacking with wide tires and low pressures.
Note that these wheels are perfectly fine to run with tubes, if that’s your jam. Just make sure that you are still running a tubeless ready tire – just without sealant and with a tube. FFWD says that this is due to the stiffer bead of the tubeless ready tires which is required to hold the tire in place on a hookless rim.
FFWD Drift – Pricing & availability
As a set, the FFWD Drift wheels weigh in at a claimed 1515g. Complete wheelset pricing is 1699€, with FFWD telling us the first consumer deliveries are expected “towards the end of August”.