FFWD Wheels FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

We hope this section will help to answer many of your questions.  However, if you still need more information please contact us.

Are your wheels tubeless compatible??

Yes from model year 2019+, the complete FFWD clincher wheel line-up is tubeless ready designed and manufactured to strict ETRTO/ISO tolerances.  This includes the F3, F4, F6, F9 and DISC series wheels and the RYOT44, RAW and DRIFT.  In addition Tubeless Ready (TLR) road models are available in both rim brake and disc brake.  Tubeless ready models are delivered with tubeless rim tape and valves.  Read the Tubeless Setup instructions here.

Are your tubeless rims hooked or hookless??

Current tubeless ready rims are designed and manufactured to strict ETRTO/ISO standards.  FFWD employs a hooked bead seat rim design on all tubeless ready clincher wheels EXCEPT the gravel specific DRIFT model which utilizes a hookless rim design for tubeless only use.

Read the recommended Tubeless Setup instructions here.

What does FCC, R or D mean on your wheel models??

FCC means full carbon clincher rims.  These are tubeless compatible full carbon rims with hooked rim bead suitable for all clincher hooked tires both tubeless and standard tube/tire.

Models that are denoted with an R such as F4R are rim brake compatible wheels, models denoted with a D such as F3D or F6D are disc brake compatible wheels.

As an example a model such as the F4R FCC is a F4 45mm deep full carbon clincher for rim brake bikes.  The F6D FCC model is a F6 60mm deep full carbon clincher for disc brake bikes.

Furthermore each model wheel is available with 2 hub options by DT Swiss.

What's the difference between DT350 and DT240??

Our current FCC (carbon clincher) wheel models are available with 2 hub options, DT350 or DT240 straight-pull, manufactured by industry leader DT Swiss.

The DT350 is a very reliable hub at a great price point, the DT240 is a higher-end hub approximately 50g lighter and is made in Switzerland.  Each hub offers DT Swiss’ patented 18T rear star ratchet system for precise cassette engagement which can be upgraded to 36T or 54T ratchet system aftermarket.

Our latest models such as the RYOT44, RAW and DRIFT utilize DT Swiss’ newest DT240 EXP and DT180 EXP hubs.

What accessories come with FFWD Wheels??

Rim brake model wheels come with standard accessories that include: QR skewers, padded wheel bag, SwissStop Black Prince carbon brake pads and tubeless rim tape and valves (clincher models).

Disc brake model wheels come with standard accessories that include: Padded wheel bag and tubeless rim tape and valves (clincher models).

What tire widths can I use on my FFWD Wheels??

FFWD’s proprietary DARC aerodynamic rim profile is designed and optimized for a 25mm tire width.  However a broad range of tire widths can be used on all models.  For clincher wheels tire widths of 21-40mm can be used to accommodate a wide range of disciplines.

The RYOT44 and RAW employ FFWD’s latest LAW Tech aerodynamic profile designed for wider tires and are compatible with 25mm-42mm tire widths.

FFWD’s DRIFT gravel specific wheel model is compatible with tubeless only tires from 30mm to 60mm.

Tubular models are compatible with 19mm-45mm wide tires.  For a complete listing of models and compatible tire widths you can view the Wheel Specification Chart listed on the Downloads page.

What brake pads are recommended??

We work closely with SwissStop for research and testing of FFWD rims and brake surfaces.

For carbon clincher and tubular wheels, SwissStop Black Prince pads ship with each wheel and are recommended.  SwissStop Yellow King pads may also be used.  We do not recommend using alternate pads with our rims, this will void the warranty.

For FFWD aluminum clinchers, we recommend SwissStop BXP or Original Black or an appropriate brake pad for aluminum rims.

Can I use carbon specific pads for my alloy rims??

No, it is not recommended and will void the warranty.

There are two very important reasons:
1) The brake pads we supply with our wheels are for carbon rims only, because of the special compound of which the pads are made.  This compound mix is not suitable for optimum brake performance on alloy surfaces.

2) It is also very important to keep the brake pads that are used for alloy rims separate from the ones used on carbon rims.  Alloy splinters can accumulate on the pad when braking.  When you use these pads on carbon rims, the splinters will scratch the carbon and possibly damage the fibers.  This is an important safety issue which must be avoided.

How can I find the hub model used in my wheels??

To determine what FFWD hub model has been used on your wheels, you can view our Hub Identification page here.

Are FFWD Wheels 11-12spd or SRAM XDR compatible??

Yes, FFWD wheels are compatible with the latest Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo drivetrains including SRAM XD and XDR.

Are FFWD wheels tandem rated??

Yes, due to our rim technology, components and artisan hand building techniques select FFWD wheels are rated for tandem use and are widely used around the globe with elite and national teams in time-trials, road racing and on the track.

If you have specific questions or would like help selecting the best option for your intended use, feel free to contact us.

Is there a weight limit for FFWD FCC wheels??

The FFWD full carbon clincher wheels have been thoroughly tested in all areas of road cycling.  With field-testing on different terrains and lab tests for brake performance, the FFWD rim brake carbon clinchers and 3K Nano Brake Technology have proven to be strong and durable.

The F3R, F4R, F6R, F9R and DISC FCC models are strong wheels that are technically able to handle riders up to 265lbs (120kg).

However, not all terrain and riding style suits the use of full carbon clincher rim brake wheels.  Depending on the combination of factors like rider weight, riding style, and typical terrain (flats, rollers, mountains) the best suitable wheel set can be selected from our range.

We are happy to help you with that choice, feel free to contact us.

How Competitive are FFWD wheels with regard to weight??

Actually, FFWD wheels are very competitive with regard to weight.

We demand more from our rims then we would if we designed for lower spoke tensions or if we imposed rider weight limits.  Our wheels are built with DT Swiss components and brass nipples offering the best quality, performance and durability.

Furthermore, we feel that a small weight increase for a superior wheelset that will offer better performance and reliability is of much greater importance than being the lightest on the market.

What is FFWD's philosophy on weight vs aerodynamics??

FFWD’s focus is on fast durable wheels. We don’t consider weight to be of equal importance although we of course try to make the wheels as light as possible within our strict quality and performance standards.

You can learn more about our proprietary DARC ‘Double Arc’ aerodynamic rim profile and testing here.

I see FFWD Wheels online, are these real??

Purchases made via 3rd party auction sites or from overseas parties do not carry a valid US warranty and may be counterfeit.  Websites such as alibaba.com, aliexpress.com and other websites offer counterfeit products and these sellers are not authorized.  In these instances buyer beware!

Authenticity and service can only be guaranteed by purchasing FFWD wheels through this website or our network of authorized dealers.

If your local dealer does not currently carry FFWD Wheels, please have them visit this link!

How Should I Mount Tires on FFWD Tubeless Ready Wheels??

You can find our recommended tubeless wheel setup instructions at this link or a short setup video at this link.

Can I convert my DT Swiss Hubs to TA or QR??

Yes, DT Swiss offers a wide selection of end cap solutions to convert your DT350 or DT240 hub from QR, 12mm thru-axle or 15mm thru-axle.  Please visit the DT Swiss compatibility charts here to find the correct end cap solutions.

What hubs are used in FFWD Wheels??

For hub selection, we have chosen to partner with the global leader in high-performance hub technology, DT Swiss.  This close partnership allows us to focus exclusively on building superior performance rims and wheels, while DT Swiss focuses on R&D, testing and manufacturing of hubs.

An additional benefit of using DT Swiss hubs is the availability of replacement parts for dealers and consumers along with a worldwide service network should a wheel ever need repair.

Rim brake models are offered with DT Swiss 350 and 240 20/24 straight pull hubs, disc brake models are offered with DT 350 and 240 24/24 straight pull center lock hubs.

For a complete list of hubs used in FFWD Wheels and related parts information you can visit this link.

How do I clean my FFWD Wheels??

Carbon wheels require routine maintenance to ensure a long lifetime of performance.  You can view our maintenance video here or download our carbon wheel cleaning instructions under our Downloads page.

Is the Five-T wheel directional??

Yes, the Five-T is directional and should be installed on the bike with the widest part of the bladed spokes as the leading edge facing forward similar to an airfoil or airplane wing.

Do you offer ceramic bearings??

Ceramic bearings are not standard for our wheelsets but can be installed by your local dealer.  FFWD wheels use DT Swiss hubs offering easy serviceability and standard bearing sizes that are widely available on the aftermarket.

How can I find spoke lengths used on my wheels??

FFWD builds all spoked wheels with Sapim CX-Ray or DT Aerolite bladed spokes and DT brass nipples which are widely available and easily replaceable if necessary.  To determine the spoke lengths used in your wheels, visit the Tech Specs section on the Downloads page under Support.

What makes FFWD rims unique??

We use a combination of very high-quality Toray carbon fiber sheets for the majority of the lay-up.  This gives the rim a very high strength with sufficient stiffness to cope with hard application of the wheels.  So, rather than use a stiffer, but more brittle carbon type, we chose durability over ultimate stiffness.  In some lay-ups we add some higher modulus sheets to increase stiffness locally.  Additionally, each rim shape is proprietary with intensive R&D and testing leading to the final product.

Read more about our wheel technologies here.