What is it about making carbon wheels that’s so enticing? Why does it seem like every single company in the cycling business is getting into the wheel game? Is there something I don’t know? Are carbon rims the secret cash cow of the bike industry? Perhaps we should ask Mavic, the 125-year-old French rim and wheel company that recently went into receivership, if they’d recommend getting a foot in the door. It’s as if you can’t be a legitimate bike company until you can add the word “wheelworks” to the catalog. When did this become the rule? Why? Do we really need more bike companies making rims? Nope, we’re good. All set, thanks.
But what if they could be manufactured more sustainably than other carbon rims? What if the raw material could be safer to work with, didn’t need to be stored in massive energy-sucking fridges, had an infinite shelf life (regular raw carbon comes with an expiration date), and what if that material could be recycled? What if that material could build rims with higher impact resistance at lower weights, and could be made much closer to home?
These are the questions that infant bike brand Revel Bikes are asking. And the answer to all of them is a resounding ‘yes.’ That’s the magic behind these things. Sure, the Revel RW30 wheels ride well. They have to. If they didn’t, this whole thing wouldn’t be newsworthy. If they’re not any good, none of it is worth a damn.
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