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January 30, 2015
We're incredibly excited to welcome two new brands to our wheel offerings – Vittoria, familiar to most of us from their excellent tyres, and Knight, a new name but with an incredible wealth of experience behind it.
Brand new to the wheel market, Vittoria have been able to approach their wheel design with fresh eyes whilst benefitting from their extensive experience in the tyre world. With a range covering the sub-£200 Session, the £399-£649 Elusion and Elusion Nero, and the £899 Fraxion Hybrid Aero, we're stocking right across the 'winter training wheels', 'wheel upgrade wheels', and 'extra speed wheels' categories.
All come with Vittoria's WSR wide rim profile which gives improved grip and handling and lower rolling resistance, a sure sign of Vittoria's expertise from years of making tyres and hot on the heels of the wide rim/wide tyre trend.
These days you don't expect to find a 'bad' wheelset (and we certainly wouldn't stock one!) so when it comes to choosing the best option Vittoria's inclusion of QR skewers, valve extenders and wheel bags with their wheels is a nice touch that sets them apart from the competition.
Stealthy Vittoria Elusion Nero due into stock soon.
The aerodynamic Fraxion are up against the longstanding Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLS and the Zipp 60 in the mid-depth rim depth category, sitting between them on price and offering a different take on execution, with a slightly shallower 45 mm front wheel paired with a 50 mm deep rear to best optimise speed and handling. Thanks to this they're a safe bet in all weathers where the Zipp's 58 mm might just be a touch too twitchy in gusty conditions. They're perhaps best thought of as a less expensive version of the Zipps thanks to their integral carbon construction and alloy braking surface, as opposed to the non-integral fairing used on the Mavics.
Vittoria Fraxion Specificity: Ideal for fast, flat riding without loss of braking, but still no slouch uphill.
At only £199 the Vittoria Session is aimed at those wanting a winter training wheel that isn't going to deaden the ride and enjoyment factor. A closer hands-on inspection reveals their quality and their not-too-winter-training-wheel-like weight (1,763g) meaning they wouldn't look out of place through the summer either, or with a set of road tyres for use on a 'cross or commuter bike.
Knight are probably best introduced not through their wheel offerings but via their founders. Comprised of the former founder and owner of Reynolds Composites, the designer of the legendary Cervelo P3C and SLC, and the person responsible for bringing Formula One aerodynamics into cycling through the SMART Enve Series (and before that, Felt), there is no shortage of experience and cutting-edge thinking. Their goal is not only to make the fastest wheels on the planet, but also the safest, with a heavy focus on the quality of carbon and the manufacturing process.
As they put it:
"we like to think we’ve created the F35 Lightning II of bicycle wheels…a new generation of super-fast, stealth wheel designs that take construction and safety standards to a whole new level, underwritten by a truly global team effort, enlisting brains, engineering, technology, and personality from all over the world."
We're expecting the Knight 65 and 95 to arrive soon and to offer a fantastic alternative to the already established options in those depth categories. The wind tunnel test results put the 65 well below its competitors' levels of drag at all yaw angles, and the deeper 95 has been designed to thrash the competition by over half a minute over 25 miles.
Knight 65 vs. Competitors
Knight are clearly carbon-people and focused exclusively on the aerodynamics of their rims, so both options are available built up with high-quality DT Swiss hubs and spokes.
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