FFWD Wheels Carbon Cycling Wheels Aerodynamics

LAW Tech - Laminar Airflow Wing Technology

FFWD’s proprietary 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.

FFWD Wheels LAW Tech Aerodynamics 1
FFWD Wheels LAW Tech Aerodynamics 2

Reinventing and Setting the New 'LAW' in Road Wheel Aerodynamics

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.

The process started with in-depth CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis and five different prototype rim shapes to arrive at the fastest combination resulting in the FFWD LAW Tech profile. Specifically developed to maintain this laminar flow over a larger percentage of the rim – like an airfoil – in a variety of real world 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.

FFWD Wheels LAW Tech Aero Profile vs DARC CFD Analysis

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.

The Results

The LAW Tech profile sets the new standard in aerodynamics within the road wheel category. Saving up to 5 watts at some yaw angles and on average 3.6 watts the RYOT55 beats its F6 predecessor in all real world conditions.


Against the Competition

As the ultimate test we put the RYOT55 head to head in the wind tunnel against the competition.

Across all real world wind angles the RYOT55 provides the best aerodynamic performance. On average the RYOT55 saves the rider between 1.5 and 2.7 watts in direct comparison with comparable models from Zipp, Roval and Fulcrum.


Shop the LAW Tech Equipped Models

  1. The wind tunnel testing was conducted based on fixed values for each run testing three different speed levels. The graphs show the results at 46.6km/h (13.5m/s). Wheels have been in the same bike for each run with the same tire and tire pressure (Schwalbe Pro One 25mm). Due to the 21mm internal width of the RYOT55 the effective width of the 25mm test tire becomes 28.2mm. Following the most common yaw angles of the real world the test has been focused on yaw angles between 0 and 10°.
  2. Based on the Catalyst Cycling LLC’s white paper ‘The Mathematical Model of Yaw Angle Distributions for Bicycle Wheels’ (Zach McCormick, Nick McCormick, Justin Clarck). Catalyst notes that yaw angles between 0-10° will always be more prevalent than 10°-20° or between 20-30°. “Even at the IronMan™ World Championships in Kona HI, a rider spends 72.1% of the bike leg experiencing yaw angles below 10°, according to Catalyst.