We see tons of wheel sets every year and, aside from the Zipp 454, they are all looking very similar. Yeah, they each have their nuances, but rim designs aren’t that drastically different. There is something that plagues carbon layups (not just wheels) and it’s the fact that every frame and wheel is assembled by hand. That means that the assembly worker follows what’s called a “layup schedule” that tells him or her where each sheet of pre-preg carbon sits. While they are pretty good, there’s always a bit of excess material to compensate for slight variations in the layup.

Because of that, all frame and wheel manufacturers aim to compact the carbon better or optimize the layup, but what if you didn’t have a layup schedule but instead used a machine to weave the carbon with no excess material or overlaps? Well, that’s just what Ridley has done with their forthcoming Forza R45 and R30 carbon clincher wheels.

As you can see in the photos below, the wheels most certainly aren’t built using unidirectional pre-preg carbon, but instead feature a tight carbon weave that results in ultralight and stiff wheels. The machine achieves a consistent fiber angle for what might be the most predictably-consistent performance of any carbon wheels to date.

They are 100% made in Europe and will feature DT Swiss hubs with bladed Sapim CX spokes. They do feature internal nipples, which is a little bit of a bummer as far as serviceability is concerned. Ridley is hoping to step up the Forza brand as not only a “house brand” but a viable aftermarket and private-label component manufacturer. They are getting a great start with these wheels.

Ridley Forza R45 Carbon Wheelset

With 19mm internal width, these give a fuller tire for road, gravel and CX.

Ridley Forza R45 Carbon Wheelset

You can see the details of the carbon weave on the R45.

Forza R45/30 Wheelsets Specs:

  • Machine-woven carbon fiber eliminates excess material and produces a consistent rim
  • Will utilize DT Swiss hubs and Sapim CX bladed spokes
  • Disc and rim brake
  • Stated wheelset weight: 1412 grams (R45 disc) and 1380 grams (R45 rim)
  • Available in 45 or 30mm depths
  • 19mm internal width, 26mm external
  • Price: 1699 Euros (US pricing TBA)

More Info: Visit 4ZA.com (likely after Eurobike 2017)

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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