Some of mountain biking’s higher-end wheelsets over the past few years have shared a common denominator: they use a thermoplastic carbon fiber called Fusion Fiber. This material creaks less than traditional carbon, has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, and is significantly more environmentally friendly than epoxy-set carbon. The man behind the curtain for Fusion Fiber is a company called CSS Composites, and they’re launching their own direct brand for wheels this April. Enter Forge+Bond – high end wheelsets utilizing their own in-house, cutting-edge carbon tech.
Off the bat, Forge+Bond is launching two wheelsets. There will be a 29” enduro and aggressive trail focused mountain biking wheel set and a 700c gravel focused wheelset. A 27.5” mountain bike wheelset is on the horizon, but won’t be available for the April launch.
I’m really more of a mountain biker myself, so let’s look at Forge+Bond’s 29er option, the F+B 30 EM 29” (though we will likely try to review both the MTB and gravel wheelsets in the near future). Fusion Fiber is the big, up-in-lights feature, and that’s going to lend the weight-savings, bump-dampening, and high-strength that we see in other Fusion Fiber wheels today. It’ll also get Industry 9 Hydra hubs, which will give the wheelset nearly instant engagement.
The F+B 30 EM 29” will have an inner rim width of 30mm and will be compatible with tires from 2.3” to 2.6” inches and will support up to 40 psi. That’ll cover the standard fare, but folks who ride in the plus sizes will have to either wait or make a minor life decision to drop off the rolling donuts.
The products themselves are exciting, but Forge+Bond as a company is worth some attention too. Their wheelsets follow the CSS Composites norm of producing here in the US. In fact, every component of their wheelsets are produced nationally except the spokes and valves. National production is a part of Forge+Bond’s emphasis on sustainability. The more efficient and less toxic process of Fusion Fiber production over standard carbon is another. Fusion Fiber is also recyclable, and Forge+Bond encourages recycling by offering a lifetime warranty against production defects.
Key Features of the new F+B 30 EM 29”:
- Enduro and aggressive Trail focus
- 1884g per wheelset for 28 hole model; 1982g per wheelset for 32 hole model (not for the XC crowd)
- Powder-coated Fusion Fiber rims
- Industry 9 Hydra hubs bring 690 points of engagement to the table
- Sapim D-Light double-butted spokes
- 30mm inner diameter, 38mm outer diameter, 22mm rim depth
- Tire compatibility: 2.3” to 2.6”
- MSRP: $2,599
More Info: Forge+Bond