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Filament Spin Evolution winds up lighter, stiffer and stronger carbon rims

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FSE Filament Spin Evolution wound carbon fiber bicycle wheels

Imagine a set of carbon wheels that claims to have 40% better impact strength, be 40% stiffer laterally, and about 20% lighter with a rider weight limit that’s about 30% higher than normal. Think that wheelset would weigh in at 1,035g? That’s what Filament Spin Evolution has done with their 25mm deep tubulars thanks to a non-standard construction method.

FSE isn’t the first brand to do filament wound carbon rim construction, that honor goes to Venn Composites and their REV wheels. FSE’s process brings the process in house using the same process used to create F1 driveshafts and by BMW. It was originally developed by DuPont decades ago, but hasn’t seen widespread use other than limited use by Wound Up forks and tubes for Calfee and a couple other small builders. Dan Kellerbee, FSE’s managing partner, says the process loves the cylindrical shape, which is why it worked so well for those products. They were already making rims for other brands using the traditional cut and layup process, but for their own brand they found a way to do filament spinning on the rim shape…

FSE Filament Spin Evolution wound carbon fiber bicycle wheels

FSE Filament Spin Evolution wound carbon fiber bicycle wheels manufacturing process

The filament winding process is wound around a mandrel to create the fairing (body) for the rim. Then, the bed of the rim (where the tube sits) is also mostly wound, more so on the tubular than the clincher, with a little bit of molding and machining required to get the hook for clinchers.

Those strength and stiffness claims come from testing these FSE rims compared to the standard rims they were making for other brands. They’ve done those tests in house, but they’re working on getting third party, independent tests done soon. The weight savings come from reduced resin needs and reduced carbon since they don’t need nearly as much overlap as you do with traditional sheets of carbon fiber being wrapped around a mold. There’s also no air bubbles because excess resin is essentially wiped from the filament before its wound into the thread that creates the fibers…and that excess is recaptured, too, so it’s not wasted. All told, it results in a rim with thinner walls but is stronger.

FSE Filament Spin Evolution wound carbon fiber bicycle wheels
All photos c. FSE

The rims come in UD and 3K finishes, which is a cosmetic layer added at the very end of the filament wind.

It’s not just their rims they’re excited about. They’re premium private label hubs made with stainless steel bearings paired with a set of three three-notched pawls and 48-tooth ratchet ring for quick, solid engagement. By the end of 2016, they’ll also offer them with White Industries hubs as an upgrade option.

Rim depths come in 25mm, 35,mm, 45mm, 55mm, 69mm and 79mm depths. All are 26.65mm wide for both clincher and tubular, with the clincher’s internal width being about 17.9mm. The clinchers can be set up tubeless with the Effeto Mariposa tubeless conversion kit. Prices range from $1,549 to $2,500, with Extralite rims pushing that top end pricing. Rims are $600 each on their own, with weights starting at 280g (25mm tubular) and go up to 590g (79mm clincher). The clincher adds about 80g over the tubular weights.

FSE.bike

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14 Comments
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Tim Christian
Tim Christian
6 years ago

Where do I sign!!?? These look amazing

John
John
6 years ago

So these are simply manufactured and built by far sports and drop ship directly from China?

Brad Comis (@BradComis)
Reply to  John

As far as I can tell Far Sports East is a totally different company that just happens to have the same acronym as Filament Spin Evolution.

myke2241
myke2241
6 years ago

Cool to see other brands doing FW rims. But I would consider the pricing to be a bit high considering the process is supposed to be cost efficient and Venn rims are sub $200. What I’m not saying is the quality is the same. These could indeed be way above par if the number are right in real world

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

Sadly, their website says nothing at all about the clincher rim’s tolerance for heat from braking or about any efforts to improve braking.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Hey Robin. We mention on each product page that our heat tolerance is the highest available at 280ºC. If you will check out the reviews and video you will see our braking performance is rated very high. Thank you! Dan of FSE.bike

Robin
Robin
6 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Thanks.

Peter
Peter
6 years ago

And how about the aerodynamics? I’m currently deciding between these EVO 45Cs and Boyd 44s and while I’ve got some idea about the Boyds, no clue about these (drag at >10deg yaw angles in comparison to some known comparable wheels such as Zipp 404s would be nice to know).

Peter
Peter
6 years ago

Correction: Zipp 303s of course

Echtogammut
Echtogammut
6 years ago

Well, I have a better idea about what is going to be in my next wheel build.

Clint
Clint
6 years ago

Send me a quote there when you can sir Dan!

Paul Malone
Paul Malone
6 years ago

I bought wheels from farsport during the year and they came with the same fse graphics!!

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
6 years ago

Why do Far Sports USA and FSE share the same phone number? Same stuff, different label?

Victor Major
6 years ago

Dan, we have not spoken for a while, but congratulations on your launch and the attention you gave to our process. Just one thing, the rims you are using in the promotional materials are not filament wound, but use a woven fabric. Weaving is not the same as filament winding.

Weaving creates a fabric where fibers are bent around each other, causing crimp. Examples of automated weaving of tubular shapes: Time bikes, Munich Composites rims, firehoses, socks, etc.

Winding does not create a fabric but lays up fibers on top of one another. There is no crimp so the part is structurally stiffer and stronger than a woven part, all other things being equal. This is also the reason why UD (unidirectional fabric) is used as the main material for construction of bike frames. There is no crimp. Examples of winding: Venn rims, pressure vessels, rocket fuselages, various aerospace components of uniform geometry.

History wise, weaving of fiber reinforced hoses was invented in 1920s (from memory). The first application was the manufacture of reinforced fireman’s hoses. The current automated weaving technologies using carbon fibers are derivatives of this.

Winding of composite parts was first deployed in 1940s when S-Glass fiber became available (long fibers) and was used for rocket engine parts.

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