LAW Tech - Laminar Airflow Wing Technology
Reinventing and Setting the New 'LAW' in Road Wheel Aerodynamics
The DARC™ ‘Double Arc’ rim profile was developed to be faster than the competition by reducing the drag and creating an optimal airflow around the rim. DARC continues to be one of the fastest rim profiles on the market but was originally designed around a setup with 23mm tires, the longtime standard for many cyclists.
As a result of new technology, knowledge and materials riding tubeless has been a key evolution in performance wheels in the last few years. With these developments also came a need for wider tires and the necessity to make wider rims perform better aerodynamically.
Simply transferring an existing technology and adjusting it to the current standard does not lead to the best results. In the development of a new aerodynamic rim profile we started completely from scratch.
Rims Designed to Cheat the Wind for You
An ideal rim profile has a shape that will enable the airflow around the tire and rim to maintain a laminar flow which will attach to the surface and easily pass the leading edge and trailing edge of the tire. This has been our goal to develop the new aerodynamic rim profile.
The study, development and testing resulted in the FFWD LAW Tech rim profile. Specifically developed to maintain this laminar flow over a larger percentage of the rim – like an airfoil – in a variety of wind angles.
The shape of the LAW Tech rim profile creates a condition that avoids disruption of the airflow with wider tires which results in less generation of turbulence thus drag or resistance behind the wheel.
The Continuous Circle of Development, Testing and Refinement
A thorough test procedure was conducted based on most common wind conditions, the difference in tire widths and the effect of lift and drag on different rim shapes. All to see how the best results can be reached when looking at the conditions that are encountered in the real world.
From these tests the results of the FFWD DARC technology proved to be perfect with tires up to 25mm when looking at the lift and drag individually. The LAW profile takes aerodynamics to the next level. When measuring the lift versus drag ratio – which creates a forward thrust – the LAW Tech profile offers more benefits with 28mm and wider tires across the spectrum.
With the LAW Tech profile airflow is optimized around the rim and tire combination where it follows the surface completely. The DARC profile shows slightly more disturbance in airflow when combined with a 25mm tire, however performance is still incredibly good.
As the ultimate test we put the F4 and RYOT44 head to head in a wind tunnel setup. Testing both wheels with 25mm tires in most common wind angles between 0 to 10 degrees at a speed of 31 mph (50 km/h).
While the DARC profile performs incredibly well, the LAW profile delivers 7.6% more efficiency and aerodynamic advantage in comparison. A significant result for an all-round wheel set.
More aerodynamic gains are possible with deeper profile rims for which the LAW Tech profile has been developed to address and will show in future introductions.
The new “LAW” in aerodynamics is here but you haven’t seen it all, yet.