How fast are your wheels?

 

Have you ever wondered how other wheels fair against each other in the wind tunnel? Is it only the big brands that can afford to wind tunnel test their designs? Does having a lower price mean your wheelset is going to be slower or lower quality?

3 big branded wheels put in the wind tunnel against new Boyd 44mm Carbon Clincher. The Boyd 44mm carbon clincher showed a lot less drag at 15º-20º compared to the 3 other wheels tested. 

The Comparison

Bontrager Aeolus 5, Zipp 303 Firecrest, Reynolds Aero 58 and Boyd 44c

What does it really mean?

Most bike riders have felt this - say you are riding into a fairly heavy head wind and there is a sudden direction change, the road kicks to the left or you find yourself back on the outside of a rolling echelon. You'll get a quick thrust of wind that will take you off the line and sometimes freak you out if the wind is strong enough. If the wind is consistent your brain will naturally adjust your body to balance leaning against the wind - which uses more energy, if it's gusty you will keep being bumped around and taken off line.

The less drag a wheel produces means wheelset will be less affected by cross winds where you can focus your energy in driving the pedals. A wheel that handles better in cross winds obviously makes you faster over the course of the race or ride but more importantly your ride is safer - whether you are training or racing. As bike riders we are constantly looking out for insane motorists and road junk - do we really need more obstacles to deal with?

The refined shape of the Boyd 44c which is 27mm wide and a blunt trailing edge for really slick and slippery wind management really does save you energy. It's width helps straighten the tyre sidewall and adds volume which makes it work really well with 25mm or 28mm tyres.

How is it possible?

Massive CPU burning Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), years of on-the-road experience and Boyd's own fanaticism for wheels and quest for perfection has led to the latest 2016 line of wheels that are simply proven faster than wheels that cost twice as much.

Compared to the Bontrager Aeolus 5, Reynolds 58 Aero and Zipp 303 Firecrest the Boyd 44c is lighter than all except for the Bontrager Aeolus 5, at least half the price of competitors and proven better in the wind tunnel. They are handbuilt in the USA with the Sapim CX-Ray and Nipples and Boyd's own proprietary hubs which maximise bracing angles and bearing longevity. 

Why are you even considering another brand of wheels?

New for 2016

The whole line of carbon clinchers get a revised brake track which now features a textured track that really brings the level of wet braking to an all new level - set them up as training wheels and ride them every single day. Wet or dry you can be sure that your wheels are going to come to a stop. Boyd's own carbon pads are well priced and can pretty much handle any descent and you get a free set with every wheel purchase. Clear coat stealth decals for durability and the availability of hi-vis and loud decals available as an option.

Too good to be true?

Unfortunately we won't be seeing Boyd wheels under those big bang'n Pro-Tour teams but at least as a rider when you spend your OWN money you can feel satisfied that you are riding one of the fastest wheelsets on the market.

Being a smaller company located in South Carolina - Boyd really focuses on product development and build quality. Where the other brands spend huge amounts of marketing dollars on full page glossy ads and huge pro-tour sponsorship - you don't have to be a bean counter to know there won't be much left over for hardcore engineering and wheel testing.

Where to get them?

Right here. We are excited to be a Boyd stockist and we'll work with you in helping you decide which shape is best suited to your riding and terrain.