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Frequently asked questions
A lot of questions are asked before, we try to answer these questions as much as possible on the product pages of the wheels. Do you have a question and you didn't find the answer? Below we have listed the most frequently asked questions including the answers.
Isn't your question (and answer) listed? Please use the contact form over here and you will receive an answer from us quickly.
Which wheels you can choose for your bike depends on the model/type and technical specifications of your bike. Please note following details:
- Do you have a road bike, gravel bike, mountainbike or track bike?
- What type of brakes your bike use? (rim or disc brakes)
- Which gear system does your bike use? (Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo)
- How many gears your bike has? FFWD wheels are suitable from 11 and 12-speed by default. Do you have 9 or 10-speed? Please mention this when your order your new wheels and a spacer for mounting the cassette will be delivered free of charge.
When choosing your tyres, you will also need to consider the maximum width that can fit in your bike frame and forks so there will be enough space left to spin properly.
Yes, all FFWD wheels are compatible with 11- and 12-speed gear systems by default. This depends to both Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM XDR. The Campagnolo N3W cassette body is also suitable for 13-speed.
Do you have a 9- or 10-speed gear system on your bike? Please mention this when ordering your new wheels and a spacer for mounting your cassette will be included free of charge.
Each model of wheels has its own characteristics and the rims play a major role in this. Besides the differences in technical specifications, the rim design, braking system, compatibility with tyres or tubes and the weight of the rims are the main differences.
The latest FFWD models for road bikes: the RYOT, RAW and TYRO have the most modern rim design which ensures both the best aerodynamics and handling. All these three models are tubeless ready. The difference between these three models are mainly the type of carbon construction and finish which affects performance and weight.
The rims of the older models such as the F4R, F6R and the TYRO-1 are slightly narrower on both the outside and inside. The rims on these models have the DARC rim design with the charateristic wavy profile.
For graveling, the DRIFT is a specific wheelset and has a modified rim design making it suitable for fitting extra-wide tyres up to 60mm.
In our wheels we offer our own branded FFWD hubs or the hubs from DT Swiss. All hubs have the same high quality internals but are different in choice of material and therefore the weight and price.
All hubs have a star ratchet system internal to drive the body with quick engagement and low maintenance. High-presicion spring-loaded ratchets guarantee performance, durability and reliability for many years.
All our wheels are easy (without special tools) to convert to all branch standards. Both Campagnolo, Shimano or SRAM XD freehubs are available with all different frame fixing options: quick-release and 12 or 15mm thru axle.
FFWD and DT350 hubs use steel cartridge bearings where the DT240 and DT180 use stainless steel cartridge bearings. Compared to the DT350 the DT240 brings a weight saving of 60 grams in the disc brake version and 40 grams in rim brake version.
The longevity of brake pads depends mostly on use, maintenance and what weather conditions you ride in. In wet conditions and when braking a lot (e.g. during descents in hills and mountains), brake pads will wear faster than in dry conditions with less braking.
Check your brake pads regularly and carry out maintenance when necessary. This will prolong the longevity of your brake pads and ensure optimum performance of your brakes.
The valve should be about 1.5 cm longer than the rim height. This is the length you need for inflating your tyre.
Check the Tubeless Valve page for an overview of the valve length per model of wheels in our collection.
Installation of the tubeless system with the use of tubeless sealant is mandatory!
In order to make the best use of your tubeless wheels please follow our instructions and recommendations.
If it is your first tubeless wheelset and you want to ride tubeless with it, we recommend doing the tubeless setup assembly together with your dealer or mechanic.
Why? We have noticed a diversity of occurring issues which can subvert the process and cause serious problems to you and your wheelset.
The process step by step:
- Clean the rim bed with degreaser before applying the tubeless tape.
- Apply the tubeless rim tape twice to the complete rim and make sure the beginning and end of the tape overlap 10cm to 15cm.
- Make sure the tubeless tape is pressed to the rim bed firmly
- Make a small hole in the tubeless tape at the valve hole (preferably with the tip of a sharp pair of scissors).
- Place the tubeless valve in the rim and make sure the o-ring covers the valve hole on the outside of the rim.
- Mount the tubeless tyre(s) as per instructions of the tire manufacturer (do not use metal tools to mount the tire in order not to damage the rim).
- Fill the tubeless tyre(s) with tubeless sealant (this step is mandatory) as per instructions of the sealant manufacturer.
- Make sure the sealant is evenly divided within the tubeless tire.
- Inflate the tire taking the maximum inflation of 8.5 bar (123 psi) for the rims in consideration (if the tire has a lower maximum tire pressure please take this in consideration).
- Check if the tire is placed correctly and follows the rim profile.
- Reduce tire pressure to your preferred riding pressure
Not following these instructions can cause serious injury to the user of damage to the product and will void the FFWD warranty!
The correct tyre size we recommend will always have to match the size of the wheels. In almost all cases this is 28 inches or also referred to as 700c which refers to the circumference of the wheel and tyre.
The second tyre size that is good to consider is the width of the tyre. Here we do not have a direct recommendation because the choice in tyre width depends heavily on the user's preferences. However, we do want to mention that modern tyres are used wider and wider compared to the past, this has a positive effect on both comfort and aerodynamics.
Proper tyre pressure depends on several factors. Therefore, it is very important to consider all of them when determining the tyre pressure you need for your wheels.
To determine the correct inflation pressure for you, consider the following:
- Tyre brand and type: Different types of tires require different pressure levels. Check the manufacturer's recommendations on the sidewall of your tyre.
- Rider weight: The heavier you are, the higher the tyre pressure need. This is because more weight puts more pressure on the tyres.
- The width of your rims: Carbon rims are often wider than traditional aluminum rims. A wider rim may require a lower volume tyre, which may mean you need a lower tyre pressure.
No, you should not use brake pads for carbon rims on alloy rims. Nor vice versa, so don't use brake pads for alloy rims on your carbon rims either.
The FFWD brake pads from SwissStop (Black Prince) are designed and intended for use on carbon rims. If you use these brake pads on alloy rims you will get small pieces of alloy in the brake pads compound which will cause damage if you use them again with your carbon rims.
Using brake pads on FFWD carbon rims that were previously used on alloy brake surfaces will void the warranty.
Unfortunately there are fake FFWD wheels being offered. We are aware of this and do our best to stop this.
You can check a few things to determine if it concern official FFWD wheels:
- FFWD wheels have a serial number beside the valve hole on the outside of the rim
- FFWD wheels are build with hubs with FFWD label or with DT Swiss hubs (DT350, DT240 or DT180)
Wheels without serial number at the valve hole, with other brand of hubs are most likely not an original FFWD Wheels product. If you have any doubts please contact us to be sure!
Remember that in most cases when something seems too good to be true, it usually is!
Buying fake products is not only dangerous but illegal as well.
The higher the carbon rim of a wheel, the more impact you will experience from crosswinds. This makes sense because the larger surface area of the rim catches the wind and can reduce the stability of your bike.
Dealing with crosswinds requires experience and extra riding skills, especially when using wheels with a very high profile (70/80 mm). If you often ride in high wind conditions, consider choosing wheels with a slightly lower rim profile to minimize the impact of crosswinds. Remember: safety first!
FFWD Crash Replacement Policy, abbreviated as CRP, is a service that helps unlucky cyclists by offering replacement wheels at a reduced price. This is in addition to the 3-year warranty for first owners who registered their wheels.
You can send the damaged wheel(s) to our service department in the Netherlands, together with the completed form found on our website.
When we receive your damaged wheel(s), we will rebuild them with the old hub, a new rim and new spokes. To request the latest CRP price of your wheel(s), please send an e-mail to email@example.com
Yes you can!
We have a special check-up service available for loyal FFWD riders. Simply order online and your wheels will be delivered as new to your home address super fast.
Just like your wheels, your brake pads also need maintenance. This includes both cleaning frequently and replacing them once they are worn out.
Brake pads for rim brakes have grooves in the surface, which take away dirt and moisture so that braking power remains optimal. Check the grooves regularly for excessive wear and also clean them. As soon as the depth of the grooves in the brake pads disappears, they need to be replaced.
For Full Carbon rims for rim brakes, we recommend the Swissstop Black Prince. These are the brake pads that come standard with our new wheels.
For rims with an aluminium brake surface, we recommend using the brake pads supplied by the brand of brakes or the wheelset in question.
For wheels with rim brakes, you can easily check the wheels mounted in your bike by rotating the wheel and looking next to your brake pads to see if the wheel is true. If you notice a discrepancy in the wheel then it should be repaired.
Wheels with disc brakes are slightly more difficult to check. The best way to do this is to look along the fork (front or rear) to identify any irregularities. If this is the case, have a bike shop check and repair the alignment as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that irregularities in a wheel can also be caused by the tyre not being mounted correctly. There may also be a construction fault in the tyre. Therefore, always look at the movement of the rim and not the complete wheel.
You can use a solvent like benzene (white spirit) to get the glue off. But if there’s not a lot of glue left on the rim much then you can glue the new tire on top of the ‘old’ glue. This will soften up when it comes in contact with the new glue.
NEVER use a sharp or hard tool to scrape off the glue. You could damage the carbon rim and endanger the structural integrity.
If you want to clean your carbon or alloy brake surface without harming the material of the rim or influence the braking performance we recommend to clean your rims with acetone.
Its is recommended to clean every once in a while when you are riding with rim brake. When you are riding disc brakes this is of course not necessary.
A clincher wheel uses a rim made for wire and folding tyres including an inner tube. Modern clincher rims are also suitable for riding with tubeless tyres (without an inner tube). A special tubeless tape is required, directly fitted into the rim.
There are clincher wheel rims made of aluminium or carbon. With carbon rims, there is a variant with an aluminium rim flange or a full carbon construction. Full carbon clinchers can also be suitable for disc brakes and then have no rim brake surface.
One of the most frequently asked questions, and despite looking pretty much the same the difference is quite significant. So good to explain this.
Clincher means the wheel rim is only suitable for tyres with inner tubes. A standard clincher wheel can NOT be used with tubeless tyres.
The rim flange of a clincher wheel is higher to keep the tyre in place. A rim tape is mostly fitted in a clincher rim to ensure the spoke holes are covered which protect the inner tube.
Tubular means the wheel is only suitable for tubular tyres also called tubes. They look almost the same as a normal tyre once they are mounted, except that a tubular is closed all the way around and is glued to the rim with a special glue (tubekit).
The advantage of tubulars is that they are very strong, have very low rolling resistance and offer great comfort. A disadvantage is that in case of a puncture, repairing is quite difficult and the tubular can hardly be used again.
Tubeless ready clincher
A tubeless ready wheel has a special rim on which a tubeless ready tyre can be mounted, without an inner tube but filled with a small amount of liquid latex (sealant). A normal tyre including a inner tube can also be fitted to a tubeless rim.
Mounting a TLR tyre (this stands for 'tubeless ready') is not very easy and requires some practice and experience. It is also important to use the right tools and pump.
The advantage of riding with tubeless tyres is that you can ride with less tyre pressure, which provides better grip and more comfort. In case of a puncture, the hole (up to a certain size) is sealed for the sealant (liquid latex) in the tyre. If the puncture is too big, you can still fit an inner tube.
Nowadays, almost all wheels by default use TLR rims.
We use brass nipples on all our laced wheels as part of our ‘no-headache’ approach. It is such a small weight difference (around 28g per set) that we rather lace an easy serviceable wheel.
Alloy nipples don’t offer the serviceability like brass nipples do.
Only DT Swiss Aerolite & Competition and Sapim CX-Ray spokes are used to build FFWD wheels.
All of these spokes are pretty much identical with the same high end quality and performance results. Aero, Strong, durable and very lightweight.
Front wheel is pre-tensioned with 90/100kgF in each spoke.
Rear wheel is pre-tensioned with 110/120kgF Drive side.
Rear wheel (NDS) and Front disc wheel (DS) tension will vary based on hub selection and necessary tension to bring the wheel into dish.
(The old F2R wheels are set up with 10kgF less for both the front and rear wheel)
Important note: each spoke should have the same tension.