A while ago FSA produced a second line of products called Gravity
, which was based around Gravity fed aspects of riding.
Slopestyle, Freeride, Downhill, Dirt Jumping, and Street Riding was the application they intended these products for, and they seem to have made a big splash in a little pond.While most companies are twiddling their fingers trying to figure out what to develop next, Gravity components
has been doing its homework, and is still developing quality, budget minded parts for us riders to abuse.Gravity
started right by producing products that were not 100% unique, but were better than previous parts we owned, and were around the same price range. One of their more well known creations, the Gravity Light crankset has been a benchmark for Downhill racers this past year. Weighing in as one of the lightest production crank sets for its price range, Gravity hit the nail on the head with this development, and made a pair of cranks that is a staple for a lot of up and coming Downhill racers.
Shortly after Gravity developed the "over sized" handlebar even further, adding 4 inches on to it. Gravity stepped up the bar with the development of the 800mm(31.5 inches!) handlebar
. This handlebar had no exact direction, but was intended for all around use. I have seen it used by Freeriders, street riders, and downhill riders, so it is definitely a versatile bar.
Gravity has once again stepped it up just a little bit further. In the world of wheels, manufacturers are always trying to figure out how to squeeze that little bit of extra strength, or extra weight savings. They have developed different sizes of spokes, different materials used to make spokes, but you can only squeeze so much strength or weight savings out of any 1 object before it is completely refined, or as much as you would like to refine it. Once that stage is reached, we turn to alternate methods of connecting the 2 items. Although straight pull spokes are not new to the market, they are seeing a resurgence in the past few years.
Straight pull spokes have a number of nice advantages to them. With the spokes sitting inside a machined groove there is no structural loss on the flange of the hub, and seeing as they are placed as horizontal groves it increases the rims ability to resist twisting, which in worst situations could cause your wheel to taco. Also, when a conventional wheel is flexed it is bending on a weak part of the spoke, the 90 degree bend where it enters the hub body. With straight pull spokes the tension on the spoke head when the wheel is bent is transfered into the hub flange which then dissipates it.
So, now that the explaining is out of the way, we will examine the new Gravity Light Wheels
. The hoop is constructed out of 6061 T6 aluminum, with a sleeved and jointed connection. They feature stainless steel eyelets for added strength, and butted straight pull Sapim strong spokes. The hubs use cartridge bearings, straight pull hubs, with a steel freehub body, and ISO rotor bosses. They are 32 spoke front and back, and feature very clean black and yellow graphics. The wheels came as 135mm QR, but Gravity does produce an option for 150mm TA (through axle) which is featured on the Gravity Wheelset.
When we first received the wheels they didn't really make a sound while they were free costing-very subtle whir. After the first ride the grease wore in and the freehub started making some noise. After about ride 3 they had started to produce a very nice unique sound. Another thing I initially noticed is the very little rolling resistance they give off. With sealed cartridge bearings they usually will have slightly more drag than a loose ball system just due to the more parts in contact, however cartridge bearings have a tendency to last a very long time, and when it comes time to replace them, the bearings are cheap and easy to change.
With the straight pull design I haven't experience wheel flex of any sort, or any form of irregular movement from the wheels at all. As well, from the factory the wheels came tensioned correctly, so that saved me the time of tensioning the spokes. With a 32mm wide and 12mm deep rim design, they are not impossibly hard to put on, or take off tires, which is something most "aged" mountain bike riders have came across once or twice. Nothing sucks worse than having to bring your wheel into a bike shop to get the tire changed when you have all the required tools and materials, but you just can't take the tire off. Many a tire lever has been broken over a tight bead, and many more will I am sure.
Gravity kept it simple with the color schemes and graphics. With so many raw bikes nowadays I thought a wheel manufacturer would have to be crazy to not go with a silver, or "raw" finish, and I was correct. Gravity picked up this color scheme for their Gravity Light Wheelset, which matched our test bike quite well. I got a set of Silver with black and yellow logos, however on the Gravity website
they have black with white and yellow logos for the standard Gravity Wheelset. There are 4 logos per wheel, 2 large "Gravity" logos, and 2 smaller logos.
So far I am very pleased with the Gravity wheels, and I am sure they will last me a long time. However, that being said, if you take care of your bikes they will take care of you back. So don't forget to re-grease and clean your parts frequently to save yourself issues in the future.
The MSRP on the Gravity Wheelset
is 860$ for both wheels. As stated before they come in a 135mm QR, but you can get the Gravity Wheelset that are 10$ more expensive, and have the 150mm TA spacing. They can be ordered through your local bike shop. So if you're looking for a nice new set of wheels to start your season off on a good foot, take a look at the Gravity Lite Wheelset.
Thanks for reading.