You can’t re-invent the wheel, but with this rim, the Revel Wheels RW30 has revolutionized it. Constructed with Fusion-Fiber, and manufactured by CSS Composites in Utah, this new carbon composite replaces the epoxy that is used in normal pre-impregnated (pre-preg) carbon with a nylon polymer.
What does this do for a bike rim?
Normal carbon fiber, saturated with epoxy, is extremely brittle. It is not good at dissipating the energy from point impacts, like a rock strike to a rim bead flange. With nylon fibers replacing that epoxy, Fusion-Fiber is more flexible and better able to handle the types of forces and impacts that a bike rim experiences.
The increased strength achieved with Fusion-Fiber technology allows Revel to make the entire rim lighter, which, as a rotating mass, is arguably the most significant place to remove weight from on a bicycle. A 29” RW30 rim weighs 470 grams, whereas a comparable Enve rim, the M730, weighs 580 grams - over three ounces. This decreased brittleness compared to regular carbon also gives the rims a desirable ride feel. Described as being “quiet” by our employees, they have something of a damped sensation compared to much of the competition. It’s not that they are noodly or don’t track well, but that they don’t transmit as many vibrations through to you. This results in less pain in your hands and increased awareness of the trail beneath you.
Okay, but “revolutionized”?
It’s lighter, it’s stronger, it feels better… okay, but that’s what they all say. Where this rim, and the material it is made of, really changes the game is in how it’s made and what happens to the rim after it is no longer a wheel. Firstly, Fusion-Fiber does not have to be refrigerated. Huh? Yup, pre-preg fiber has to be kept in the fridge before its use, and has a limited shelf life. That is a ton of energy spent in refrigeration, and the possibility of a lot of waste should manufacturing timelines go wrong. Second, Fusion-Fiber is flash cooked. 20 seconds in the oven and it’s done. Traditional carbon, on the other hand, sits in the oven for an hour. That’s a whole bunch more energy consumed. Lastly, the RW30 rims come out of the mold in their final form (except for drilling the holes). Because there isn’t a bunch of epoxy all over, they no sanding or paint. That eliminates a number of potential health hazards for employees, as well as potential inconsistencies in the final product.
Speaking of inconsistencies, because the carbon strips that these rims are made of get laid by robots (in Utah), the possibility of missing an important piece of the construction is far lower. Fewer mess-ups, less waste, and a better final product. What more can you ask for? I’ll tell you. Tradition carbon fiber goes in the landfill when it is no longer in use. You can’t melt it down, you can’t re-use it.. nothing. Fusion-Fiber, on the other hand, can be recycled! That sounds too good to be true. I thought so too. But no. When there is scrap material from manufacturing, or when you back over your wheel in your car and use your lifetime warranty to get a new one, Revel takes the old material, put it in their chipper, and cut it down into little chunks. The makers of Fusion-Fiber take those chunks, melts them, and presses them into blocks that can then be stamped or carved into a new airplane, bicycle, or car component. Think bottle cages, chain-guide back-plates, tool holders, and more.
The RW30 comes in both 29” and 27.5” sizes, has a 30mm inner width (perfect for 2.4-2.6” tires), has a lifetime warranty, and best of all, has customizable graphics. The rims are designed for all-mountain/enduro riding, and were designed by guys who call Carbondale, Colorado their home. It looks good, it feels good, and it’s good (i.e. not as bad) for the planet. What more could you ask for?
|Intended Use:||AM / Enduro|
|Warranty:||Lifetime with crash replacement options|
Specs subject to change without notice. Please check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date information.
- Lighter, stronger, made in America and 100% recyclable
- No environmentally harmful or brittle epoxy use in the high performance composite polymer.
- Fusion-FiberTM - raw material is a blend of unidirectional long fiber German and Japanese carbon impregnated with advanced polymers. Multiple patents pending.
- Rims are laid-up and cross-plied robotically, leaving no space for human error or inconsistencies.
- No clear coating - raw material only
- The likelihood of a Fusion-Fiber rim to contain a failure in a small area on the rim and not permeate a larger crack is high, and you have a better chance of keeping your tire on the rim and inflated if something does go wrong.
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