We’ve got a big update to our rims and hubs for you today. Let's get right into it and look at what's new.
New Epic Clincher Rims
The previous generation Epic rims were awesome. They were very well received, and they were great all-around performers. We’ve built upon that design and we’ve made a few improvements.
We’re keeping the rim depths the same, so you’ll have the same Epic 38, 50, 60, and 88. But we’ve modified a variety of the specifications of the rim.
First, let’s take a look at the outside rim profile, by comparing the old design to the new design.
Let’s look at the Epic 50.
If you look at the new design, the first thing that you’ll notice is that the inside edge (spoke-side) of the rim had been changed. We’ve blunted that side of the rim into more of a U shape, increasing the symmetry of the rim profile. Our CFD analyses have validated that this more rounded profile reduces drag over the primary yaw angles between 0 and 20 degrees.
The second major change that you’ll notice is that the braking surfaces are no longer parallel.
It’s now angled in at 3 degrees with respect to the vertical.
Traditionally, braking surfaces on wheels have been parallel surfaces. It does not make sense for it to be that way (aside from legacy manufacturing limitations). If we are optimizing the rest of the wheel for aerodynamics, we should then also optimize that section of the rim. Every other part of the rim follows an essentially elliptical shape, we want the braking surface to not be discontinuous and flat, but also follow that aerodynamic shape. This slight change creates the airfoil profile that is preferred in a high-performance wheel and reduces drag. It makes the transition from the tire to the widest point on the rim more symmetric to the inside edge of the rim.
The angled braking surface also improves braking performance. When you use rim brakes, they don’t actually press in exactly perpendicular to the centerline of the rim. Standard caliper rim brakes have a pivot point up above the wheel, and press with more force at the top of the brake pad than the bottom. That continues even as the pad wears down. The pad will tend to wear more rapidly on the top verses the bottom of the pad. That can create additional pressure and hot spots on the area of the rim that is contacted by the top of the brake pad. You can clearly see this in the normal wear patterns of parallel braking surface rims. Moreover, this angled braking surface will reduce the surface temperature of the brake track on long, brake-heavy descents.
Improved Braking Surface Resin
The previous Duraheat-R™ carbon braking surface was temperature resistance up to 240 degrees Celsius. Its temperature is now resistant up to 260 degrees Celsius. With this updated material, you’ll get more stopping power and better durability.
Epic 2-Way Tubeless Clincher Rims.
You can use either classic clincher tires with tubes, or tubeless tires and no-tubes.
What does this mean?
If you have a look at the render you'll see the new Epic 60 rim. Normally a clincher wheel requires a tire (Green) and a tube (Red). The updated shape of the new Epic rim (Blue) creates a seal with the tire directly (If you use a tubeless tire and tubeless sealant). Because of this, you don't need to use a tube at all.
There are a few distinct advantages to this:
1. Normally if you run a moderately low tire pressure (Under 100psi), you'll experience noticeably increased rolling resistance. A lot of this rolling resistance comes from friction between the tire and the tube. The lower the pressure, the more the tube is stretching and moving in the tire as it rolls, creating friction and rolling resistance. By using a tubeless tire, you can eliminate the increase in rolling resistance associated with lower tire pressures.
2. With traditional clincher tires and tubes, If you want to run a low tire pressure (under 80psi), for cyclocross, grave grinding, or other situations needing increased traction, you increase the risk of pinch flats. With a tubeless setup, not having a tube, and having tubeless sealant, your tire can self-heal small punctures without significant air loss. This means you can run low tire pressures, with a tubeless tire, at a decreased risk of pinch flats.
3. You can use either tubeless or clincher tires, the choice is yours. The new Epic rims are compatible with both. There is no disadvantage to a normal clincher tire and tube setup with this rim, only the advantage of the option to use tubeless tires.
Tubes or No-Tubes, You Choose!
This was one of the most requested features from our customers over the past year, and we're very excited to bring it to you! Thanks for the feedback!
P.S. The Schwalbe Pro One is a great tire, probably the best road tubeless tire available. It's our current road tubeless tire recommendation.
Carbon Valve Balance
We’re always listing to our riders feedback, and one thing we heard a lot was that the long valve stems necessary for deep rims cause the wheels to be unbalanced. The weight of the valve makes one side of the rim heavier and causes vibration and instability at high speeds.
To fix this we’ve added Carbon Valve Balance into every rim.
When we are initially laying up the carbon for the rim, we include two additional pieces of carbon on the opposite side of the rim from the valve (See the Red in the Image). We add a different mass of valve balance for each rim to balance out the length of valve you’ll need for that model.
|Rim Depth||Carbon Valve Balance Mass|
This is included on all our upcoming Epic and Elite rims.
4 New Hubsets
We've got 4 new hubset options for you. Let's take a look at each one.
Tokyowheel Vapor Disc™
The all new Vapor disc is a major update. The super light weight hub shell is specifically designed for road disc bikes, and much lighter then a MTB designed hub set. It has a minimalist ISO 6 bolt disc mount and quick releases. We've paired it with Sapim Cx-Ray straight pull spokes and SILS nipples laced 2x on the front and 2x on both the Drive and Non-Drive side of the rear. The free-hub is a 6 pawl design, with 2-Teams of 3 pawls working independently. This gives very quick engagement, and redundancy for durability. The Vapor disc is a great choice for a lightweight high performance road disc bike.
DT Swiss 240s Straight Pull Disc Brake Center-Lock Thru-Axel
Our riders have loved the DT Swiss 240s hubset on our rim brake wheels, and now we're bringing that to our disc offering. This hubset is compatible with center lock brake rotors, and mounts with 15mm front and 12mm rear Thru-Axels. Laced 2x all round to Straight Pull Sapim Cx-ray spokes, this is a great choice for a super strong cyclocross, disc road wheelset.
Disc Brake Specific Rims
All our disc brake models are now coming with disc specific rims. We've removed the braking surface from the rims and drilled the rims specifically to handle the stopping forces of disc wheels.
Tokyowheel Vapor AeroCeramic™
The all new Vapor AeroCeramic™ hub is our recommendation for Triathletes. The heads of the Sapim Cx-Ray Straight Pull spokes are hidden inside the front hub and the non-drive side of the rear hub for better aerodynamics. The rear hub is laced 2x on the drive side and radially on the Non-Drive side for reduced turbulence. It features the same 6 pawl freehub ratchet as our Vapor Ceramic™ Hub, with TPI ceramic ball bearings. Its the best choice for shaving seconds off your next Triathlon.
Tokyowheel Vapor Track™
Track hubs have been one of the most requested additions or our lineup. We're very happy to offer the new Vapor Track hubset. This high-flange, bolt on track hubset, is threaded for fixed cogs and lock rings on both sides of the rear. It uses J-Bend spokes for stiffness, and is perfect for track or road fixed gear use.
Specific track versions of our rims come with every Track Fixed Gear Upgraded Wheelset. The spoke hole angles of the rims have been optimized to accomodate for the narrower rear hubs and higher flanges. A braking surface is included on both the front and rear wheel, so that you can still use brakes for road fixed gear riding.
The existing Vapor™, Vapor Ceramic™, and DT Swiss 240s™ upgrades are all remaining unchanged. The only modification is that we will now optimize the Vapor™ and Vapor Ceramic™ for all purpose road riding and lace the rear hubs 2x on the drive and non-drive side.
There you go! We've had a lot of great feedback and requests for these updates and are very excited to be able to support even more riders with the new update Tokyowheels. These new wheels begin shipping immediately!