FSA Releases Wider Gradient Wheels

Sep 13, 2018
by FSA-MTB  
Views: 1,381    Faves: 5    Comments: 0


PRESS RELEASE: FSA

We're proud to release our new Gradient WideR wheelsets. If you think 24 spokes aren't enough for Enduro, its time to reconsider something asymmetrical. Our pro team riders are always impressed by how little maintenance our wheels require, even after multiple appearances in the Enduro World Series (Sunn Enduro Team, Dan Wolfe, Alex Kangas, Josh Gibb).

Details:
• Robust carbon rim
• Asymmetrical rim profile with hookless bead
• 35mm wide with 29mm inner rim width
• Available in 27.5” and 29”
• Boost axle spacing
• 2-cross double butted spokes with brass nipples
• SRAM XD or Shimano freehub drivers
• 6 pawl signature FSA hubs with preload reduction assembly
• 54 engagement points
• Tubeless compatible, includes tubeless valves and tubeless tape
• 2 year warranty

Price: $1350 USD


Gradient WideR 29 Inner Rim Width
Weston Potter rides for the PNW GIANT / FSA team, based in Washington.

Leavenworth WA
Weston is from Leavenworth, Washington just over the pass from FSA's North American Head Quarters in Mukilteo.

Leavenworth WA
At home on any bike, Weston was loving the lateral stiffness of the Gradient Wheelset.

Gradient WideR 29 Inner Rim Width

The new GRADIENT WideR wheelsets use robust carbon rim for improved durability. Hookless bead Tubeless compatible rims Asymmetric 30mm depth x 35mm wide carbon rim with 29mm ID Available in 650B 27.5 and 700C 29 Alloy P. R. A. hubs with DP spokes ISO 6-Bolts rotor mount Front hub with TA-15 x 110mm axle compatibility Rear hub with TA-12 x 148mm axle compatibility 6 Cartridge bearings 2-cross double butted spokes with brass nipples 6-pawl aluminum for SMN 9-11 sp or SRAM XD 10-12 speed freehub Includes tubeless valves 1 pair FSA tubeless tape and spoke protector



87 Comments

  • + 41
 Help me here with the purpose of an asymmetric profile. Is this like NASCAR, where it's only good for turning left?
  • + 3
 Allows a faster (for beginners, doesn't matter much for professionals) build and (debatably) stronger wheel since the spoke angles should end up more balanced
  • + 35
 Yes. Also, freeriders run opposing asymmetric rims between the front and rear wheels to make 360s easier...
  • + 6
 @MTBrent: not sure if that is a joke or not, lol. But asym rims are always opposing...
  • + 1
 @ZappBrannigan: how do you figure they are faster? To me, they are the same. What makes a wheel faster to build on most cases is properly cut spokes and good preparation. Asym vs non-asym to me, just helps even out tensions on high/low side, and definitely builds a stiffer wheel.
  • + 3
 @FLATLlNE: I think for beginners both sides tensioned the same, I've never noticed a difference in speed myself. But it's generally parroted in the marketing for them so I repeated it myself.
  • + 2
 @ZappBrannigan: If you are even slightly aware of tension, its usually the high side that you are paying attention too no? Otherwise, you just want to get the wheel centered between the calipers (dished properly), round and true - then bring up to desired tension. I'm not sure how the low side really matters. It can be 60% of the high side, or 90% as with an asym...it just does what it does and follows the high side tension. I call it marketing BS perhaps. If anything, I have seen more wheels messed up by a beginner because they got the orientation wrong Razz
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: True, definitely true. But, it's early in the morning and repeating marketing BS is easy. Razz
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: ...and if you mean running them in reverse...I suspect that would just mean wheel tacos for breakfast right after you are done your morning 360 =)
  • + 8
 Don't know wtf is going on in the replies to your question, or if you were looking for a legit reply, but the answer is: Asymmetric rims allow building a wheel with equal (or closer to equal, depending on the eccentricity) LHS and RHS spoke tension and length by dishing the rim toward the side of the wheel that would otherwise have spokes with higher tension. Nox has a good graphical explanation: forums.mtbr.com/attachments/29er-components/1078013d1466715012-wheel-buiding-offset-rims-asymmetric-nox-composites-carbon-wheels-offset-asymmetric.jpg
  • + 2
 @FLATLlNE: I wouldn't consider a new wheel that wasn't asym. The better equalized tension makes for a much more durable wheel. As you say, one side is at max tension, which is strongest, the other side... isn't. At 60-70% of max the spokes will fatigue much quickly. Imagine a perfectly symmetrical tensioned wheel at 60% of correct tension, with a stiff rim, the spokes will be cycling to slack and wheel will fail early.
  • + 1
 @captaingrumpy: 100%, all great points. Stiffer, stronger, longer lasting wheels, typically. I am a fan as well.
  • + 3
 @FLATLlNE: not sure if it is faster to build but I built my first ever wheel with a WTB Asym rim (rear wheel) last year as I read that it was meant to be easier with an asymmetrical rim.
Well with equal tension on both sides it is still running true after a season of hammering so would defo buy another one. Used my frame as a jig to fine tune it as I'm only a hobby mechanic.
  • + 0
 @FLATLlNE: I would argue fewer spokes/fewer crosses reduces build time much more than rim profile. Ha!
  • + 2
 @sngltrkmnd: we might as well add lower tension to the list to then Wink
  • + 1
 What i've heard in the past suggests: Keeping good spoke tension is a big deal for carbon wheels, lose spokes means broken rims as asymmetric rim are less likely to get lose they make more sense with carbon. You can get away with a rattly spoke on a alloy rim if your lucky but not a carbon one.
  • + 1
 @Bungalow-bikes: Is spoke tension mentioned in the vid? (I'm at work and cannot watch) I wonder if FSA is doing anything clever/different re spoke tensions.
  • + 26
 Loic Bruni thinks "f*ck that" and wins the Worldchamps on these so called outdated 25mm rims with 2.3 inch tires
  • + 1
 Bruni and many other pros are running tried and true setups. With that being said, asymmetric rims can be built up just as stiff and durable with less spokes, meaning a few grams less rotational mass.
  • + 22
 I wonder how the crash was in the 3rd pic
  • + 1
 I'm sure he popped out of that - his g out will lean back in - he's a solid rider by the video that's just a gnarly angle he's lookin like there...
  • + 1
 The camera tilt makes it look he won't make it, tilt your head to make the trees vertical and you realise he's got a good amount of berm for support there to pop off, the tilted shot makes you think he's on an off camber berm trying to transition to a off camber exit.
  • + 9
 @pinkbike_editors

FSA Releases Wider Gradient Wheels
FSA's new wheels have a 29mm internal diameter and an asymmetrical carbon rim profile.

Internal width!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 5
 That mistake gets made all over the place and I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by it. Haha.
  • + 9
 All these new carbon rims with similar specs and features and price points. There's probably only one or two factories cranking out more or less the same rims and dozens of companies are slapping their decals on them. Not that I still wouldn't like a set
  • + 5
 Partially True!! That's why you should buy hand-laid CANADIAN carbon hoops from www.weareone.bike Made in Kamloops, BC with US ( I believe ) aerospace Carbon. Cheaper than these wheels to boot and lifetime warranty, no questions!
  • + 15
 @icdesign: I hope you were paid for this ad?
  • + 6
 @bashhard: From what I can tell they must be paying all their Canadian Homies ad money. Most ridiculously spammed brand in these comment sections, pretty much bankable under a rim article.
  • + 1
 @icdesign yeah if I wanted DT350’s or I could save some money and build an alloy wheel set with damn near any hi set I want for ~half price
  • + 3
 With carbon hoops I think Santa Cruz has set the bar pretty high. I've had other carbon rims where they offered a discount on crash replacement etc. Only to have them replace the rim and then tell me to go back to aluminum rims. However, Santa Cruz has a no questions asked policy. I don't know why people would pay prices close to the Santa Cruz wheelset without a guaranteed warranty if they break.
  • + 6
 @ninjatarian: or Canadians just like to support the few brands that actually make good stuff up here
  • + 3
 @digitalsoul: I would mention a Canadian brand that also does the same but people on here hate that so here's a joke instead...
Have you heard the joke about the pizza?

Actually nevermind it's really cheesy
  • + 4
 @ninjatarian: re We Are One - from what I can remember there used to be cult followings for many niche brands with fanatical followers that loved the Customer Service - ie Turnerholics, Knolly Nation etc.

I don't see why there wouldn't similarly be a cult re WeareOne if they really do deliver on the CS.

NOTE - not a WeAreOne owner. Second NOTE - not paid to make this observation or to post
  • + 11
 It’s funny that their pro team riders are surprised with the ease of maintenance when they have mechanics
  • + 11
 I'm not buying your 24 spoke wheels.
  • + 6
 The weights from the website for 650b & 29er 1676; 1736. Whats the point of 24 spokes if they weigh that much and are therefore more unreliable if a spoke does break out on the trail or a multi day riding trip?
  • + 9
 Only normal boost? No thank you, I'll wait for a super boost 158.99 model.
  • + 7
 With SC and We are One, I don't consider any carbon wheel/rim review that doesn't have "lifetime warranty."
  • + 7
 Great to see another option available and the price isn’t to bad either
  • + 1
 Agreed. I think there needs to be some course correction on the trajectory of carbon wheels. I've been demo'ing a few sets recently and think they ride really well, and can be built to be very durable, but some companies seem to have a fanciful idea of their value. cough ENVE cough cough
  • + 5
 how do you write a press release without including wheelset weight? Hello FSA/Vision/TH whatever you call yourselves
  • + 4
 I'm guessing because the weights are probably up in 1600-1700 range. But weight I didn't want to sound like an uniformed PB commenter and so I took a look. From FSA website for 27.5 & 29er: 1676; 1736. Now I have already sworn off anymore 28 hole wheels because when a spoke breaks they go out too quickly. 24 forget about it. But the only real advantage to running less spokes is less weight. But if the rim/hub weighs more than standard aluminum, whats the point?
  • + 1
 Yeah, where's the weight mentionend?
  • + 3
 Taken from there website. 650b-1676g; 29er- 1736g

Still no rim weight which is the most important piece of info.
  • + 3
 I've had 2 FSA Afterburner rear wheels and the hubs blew out within 1 year on both. Their warranty process was easy and quick, but still, I'd rather just have a wheel that lasts.
  • + 1
 That's the main problem. You drop a grand but are still rolling in FSA hubs. nah.
  • + 1
 Price is nice, and I trust they're durable enough, but please help us understand the logical connection in this statement: "If you think 24 spokes aren't enough for Enduro, its [sic] time to reconsider something asymmetrical." [Serious]
  • + 2
 Yeah, that was poorly written and had me scratching my head. I think what they mean is that an asymmetrical rim gives a stronger wheel, so with an asym rim 24-spoke wheels can have adequate strength.
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: Right, that's how I understand it too, but it's just not pieced together well. I have a good friend on 24 spoke FSA Gradient wheels who's had flawless performance from them for DH and aggro trail riding. I have faith in these wheels - like me, he's over 230# on the bike and rides hard.
  • + 3
 all that info and no weights? Well at least carbon hoops are falling price wise.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike: are there requirements for basic product details for press releases? If not, why not?
  • + 4
 @sngltrkmnd: All the key details are there: robust, asymmetrical, boost, Enduro, $1350. What more could you possibly need??
  • + 1
 @VtVolk: weights!
  • + 3
 Rather buy one of the many options in a similar price point with a lifetime warranty
  • + 2
 Pretty cool rims and nice price point. However I'm not loving the deep profile. Not sure if this is necessary for strength when using 24 spokes? They look sooo 2015 :-)
  • + 2
 Yeh I agree, the LB rims have a super deep profile and in my opinion (after cracking multiple) the profile would be stronger if it was shallower and thicker. The deep rounded profiles crack outwards upon big hits. Id also never run carbon rims again though, there a expensive gimmick that break easy just to save 100g's.
  • + 1
 Deeper for lateral stiffness, which is good for fewer spokes.
  • + 2
 Why do manufacturers and bike writers insist on referring to the internal width of a rim as its diameter? Sorry, just a pet peeve.
  • + 1
 2 year warranty is not gonna get it done. Ibis and Santa Cruz are sitting at 7 and lifetime for similar price point. FSA??? Good luck with that.
  • + 1
 Lifetime is ballsy but it'll earn my $$$. I eventually break every-f**king-thing.
  • + 2
 Definitely adding this to my Rocky Mountain Thunerbolt C50 - Gonna look piamp!
  • + 1
 Mhhh 24 spokes with brass nipples. I would prefer 32 Spokes with alu nippels. Don't get why it is common nowadays not to use only 32 Spokes.
  • + 2
 I'm more interested in if the spoke holes were reinforced and they used nipple washers. For enduro use with no weight limit, spoke tension for this wheelset must be through the roof. Brass tensions more easily and doesn't round off, but that'll be small comfort if the nipple starts pulling through the carbon a few months in.
  • + 2
 Well, I only own/build 32 spoke wheels but 24 does have a slight aero advantage.in this case I'm guessing they do it to save money and it isn't a benefit for customer.
  • + 1
 I think 24 makes the straight-pull hubs easier to make too.
  • + 3
 I don't need a $1350 wheelset, but the video was cool.
  • + 3
 Yawn...
  • + 2
 Robust carbon rim - so there are carbon rims that are not robust?
  • + 1
 Releasing new wheels and not offering up the new Shimano microspine setup is crazy. 12spd XT will be here by May next year.
  • + 1
 6 pawls and they didn't offset them for 104 points of engagement? Seems like a lost opportunity!
  • + 1
 why would you buy these when other companies are offering lifetime warranty
  • + 2
 What? No 135mm 26er option? I can't put these on my dh bike...
  • + 3
 Welcome to late 2018...
  • + 1
 @sngltrkmnd: #26aintdead
  • + 2
 am i the only one who wonders what they weigh?
  • + 2
 Add another 1350 for a new TUES AL. Stoke is definitely stoker than this.
  • + 2
 Such a great news you have there! Good photographs and content. Thumbs up!
  • + 1
 At first I thought this was a new standard, and I almost lost my sh!t
  • + 1
 dear FSA, please hire a colorist for your next videos....
  • + 1
 I'll wait till they show up on Pink Bikes Buy/Sell page...
  • + 1
 Asym wheels are like texts in italic...or leftys. ill never like it.
  • + 1
 Newsworthy.
  • + 1
 148? not 157?

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