As the Wheels Turn
The story of Fast Forward Wheels - how the wheel got reinvented and which values keep us busy to provide you the best ride!
It’s been 15 years already!
15 years of daily reinventing the wheel. A team of cycling enthusiasts that all share the same drive to help other cyclists. Who all feel the love for cycling. Infected by the famous cycling virus 😉
How it began
Like most cool and successful companies, the story begins with one man who has an idea, a vision, but (perhaps) most of all a passion! The founder of FFWD, Henk Schipper, got this idea after a long history and track record in the cycling industry and saw the opportunity to create something that the market could use! So in 2006 Fast Forward Wheels and in short FFWD were registered, a logo was created and the official start was a fact. With the first intention of bringing disc wheels for triathlon and time trial it soon expanded with the 50mm high carbon road wheels. At that time an answer for the more and more upcoming demand for cool high carbon wheels. The time between 2006 and 2008 has been utilised for extensive product testing before starting the sales properly.
FFWD founder Henk Schipper
From the start of 2008 there was a product offering with different road models, track and triathlon wheels. In several European country’s distributors were found who would sell the FFWD wheels to their dealers. In the years after also Asian and US partners were added and the distribution network grew rapidly.
The big leap
In 2010 FFWD had a huge breakthrough in global visibility with the sponsoring of Team Quickstep with heroes like Tom Boonen, Wouter Weylandt and Silvain Chavanel. The years following were marked with World Tour Team Vacansoleil-DCM.
Sponsoring has always been an important aspect to get visibility and make your brand known to your audience. It also brings a lot of feedback which is used to develop the products to even higher levels.
Not only for the road, but as well for the track and triathlon categories partnerships with teams and individual athletes have always been part of the FFWD strategy. Another important part of this strategy has been to HELP TALENTS reach the top and collaborating with teams who focus on this. You see this in the partnership we have with Dutch Continental Team Metec-TKH (in 2021 the 10th consecutive year of our partnership), as well as Belgian Team Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise or the Dutch Team4Talent triathlon team and many more over the years. We’re very proud to say riders like Jolien d’Hoore, Jeffrey Hoogland, Kirsten Wild, Pascal Ackermann and Nils Politt have been on FFWD in their youth.
Masters of wheelbuilding
From the early days a continuous process has been followed to improve products, launch models that riders were looking for and playing with trends on colors for example. Not only for riders on the road, since the beginning we have a broad range of wheels also for track riders and triathletes. Since the last few years off road like MTB and gravel wheels are also added.
With a full focus on building wheels only we don’t call them Master Wheel Builder without a valid reason. The combined experience of building more than 150.000 wheels should not make you doubt the craftsmanship we have in house.
In all the years the technical performance of the wheels made huge leaps without compromising the basics. From the early start of FFWD the wheels have been built with the best and well-known components, for example through the hubs of DT Swiss. The rims have seen many ongoing updates by improvements on carbon structures or developments of rim brake surfaces. Through a close look at the market developments FFWD has always been quick to react to trends like wider tires, disc brakes or upcoming Gravel segment.
The basics are simple, yet it requires focus and dedication to make the best outcome. To build wheels you always balance between weight, stiffness and aerodynamics. It is easy to excel in one of those aspects by compromising another. The trick of a good wheel is to go for the right balance. In our philosophy it is not always about the weight. Many recreational cyclists will not benefit from a few grams less on the wheels. They want to be able to rely on their material, they want to have the confidence their wheels are good. That’s what we deliver. By the excessive time spent on building wheels we make sure the customers get this confidence.
Focus on Service
Like everything you use there comes a point where service is needed. As true cyclists ourselves we understand that you want your stuff back as soon as possible to get back on the road (or off-roads) again! That’s why we work hard delivering the best and quickest service possible to return wheels as new back to you.
It’s also why we want to be easy to approach through a variety of channels. You can easily connect to one of our colleagues who is there to help with your questions, whether that’s to look for the best possible set or help you get the spare part for an older set. From the start and through all 15 years there has been a strong focus on offering the best possible service and we will continue to do so towards the future.
Google review score on FFWD Service department
Details make the Design
From the start of FFWD the logo on the wheels was one that stood out, with a bold design in popular colors. Over the years there have been a variety of special designs.
Already in 2012 FFWD launched a set of black wheels with black logo’s. Which started as a limited edition of 500 sets has turned into the basis of the product offering of today. Due to the partnership with Team Vacansoleil-DCM and their bike partner Bianchi a team edition was created featuring the well-known ‘Celeste’ color scheme to match the bike. Given the immense popularity of this combination and the ongoing demand for this model it remained an option even long after the team stopped.
After more than a decade with the first design we made a big logo change on all wheels for 2019, bringing it more towards the current style. It was the beginning to the current design which has taken the looks of our wheels to an even higher level and was introduced for all new models from 2020. It was the perfect moment with the introduction of the new aero rim shape and model names that came with that change.
Despite the many recent changes it won’t be the last as we feel design is important and will continue to be one of the focus points in the future.
Although the wheel has been invented a long time ago we still enjoy working on improvements daily and make sure many cyclist can enjoy the beautiful sport of cycling. Our focus on wheels has not changed in the past 15 years and we doubt it will in the years to come. As the world turns we’ll make sure our wheels do too!
But what’s really next we hear you think…
Having just updated our complete range doesn’t mean we’re putting our feet on the desk now. We’re exploring more off-road options and taking the best of the best to an even higher level... Would like to return to the WorldTour peloton... Still have blank spots on the world map... And grow our community… To name a few!
TeamFFWD is ready for the future!