We may not want to admit it, but color and graphics play a huge part in upgrade-itus. That seems to be especially true when it comes to high dollar carbon wheels. We’ve asked a number of bike brands that sell carbon wheels as upgrades, and the answer is almost always the same – they sell more high end upgrades if they match the bike. Matching may not make you any faster, but if you’re throwing down big money for high end upgrades, they might as well look the part, no?
That seems to be the motivation behind a number of wheel brands like Knight as they delve into the world of custom decals. Soon, Knight composites will be available in a number of vibrant colors including custom stock colors, and even full custom…
According to the team at Knight Composites, they possess the ability to do vector file graphics which presents the opportunity for completely custom wheel graphics. If you don’t want to be that fancy, they’ll also have a number of stock colors that will help you match your wheels to say, your Turner bike. Turner is another brand getting into the custom graphic game with limited edition decal kits for most of their models. Granted, your bike probably won’t end up looking like the wild Cyclosys they built for Zap, but matching your frame to your wheels shouldn’t be a problem.
Irwin is likely a name that isn’t that well known in the states, but the company is looking to build on their 25 year history with one of their newest product lines – carbon wheels. Three years in the making, we’re told that the founder of the company has a Masters of Materials Engineering and aerospace background and that Irwin owns their own testing facility. Completely designed and developed in house and built using their own molds, Irwin has options for both road and MTB. New to the line is the Aon TLR 38mm deep/18mm internally wide road disc wheel with stealth or silver graphics, which includes 24/24 Sapim spokes, external nipples, and 6 bolt hubs with 6 pawl/3.75° engagement for $1650. Rims come pre-taped and include tubeless valves, and the hubs have convertible end caps for different axles plus the ability to run Campy freehub bodies.
The big news over at American Classic is that all of their road wheels are now available in disc brake versions as well. That should provide some indication of where the industry is headed, but don’t worry rim brakers – they’ll still have plenty of rim brake options as well.
American Classic also had a fascinating collection on hand from their early days as a component manufacturer. From the original suspension hub (built with bigger end caps for a stiffer interface with suspension forks), to their original seat post (also a bottle opener), American Classic has always been ahead of the game for the past 35 years.
Finally, you can’t have nice things without some maintenance, and Enduro is making it easier for pro mechanics with their new Pro Bearing Installation and Removal kit. Packed full of all the bearing drifts, expanding collet removal tools, and the tools to install and remove bearings from delicate parts, the Pro kit is protected in a heavy duty case for $1,000 retail.