There aren't that many venues where something born 6 years ago could be reborn as a classic, but bike wheels sure is one of them. Then, the carbon craze had barely yet begun, 23mm tires were "wide," HED was about the only company effectively talking about using wider internal rim widths (and "only" 18mm at that), a handful of races had small gravel sections, there simply was no tubeless road, 120psi was a thing, and disc brakes were solely for mountain bikes. Heck, we didn't even have Garmins yet. And November had just launched with the FSW as a centerpiece product. With a 27mm deep and 19mm (external) wide rim, and your choice of the latest in 10 speed hubs (11 if you were on Shimano), the original FSW was a perfect fit for racers and general performance/enthusiast riders.
Screeching into the present tense, rims are wider than ever, disc wheels no longer mean "time trial bike wheels" but "disc brake wheels," everyone's on 11 speed, front derailleurs are on the endangered list, 23mm tires are so 6 years ago, electronic shifting is all the rage... and still no Jetsons flying cars. Dissapointment.
BUT, the FSW is back! Still the best value in everything you really want for your paved to "not-quite-singletrack-yet, really" riding, they're strong, stiff, wide, light, fast, pretty, and tubeless ready. Based, as the original FSW was, on Kinlin rims, Sapim spokes, and Novatec hubs, they're the same handbuilt value they were then, only we're six years better at doing this. 1515g for 20/24 in rim brake, and 1675g for 24/28 in disc brake.
The rim specs are similar for both rim and disc builds. 31mm deep, 24mm wide (19 inside), and tubeless ready (though of course easy to use with tubes if that's your thing). The disc rims are offset in order to equalize spoke tension between one side of the wheel and the other. And they're finished in a lust inducing satin sandblast finish.
The hubs use the very effective Anti-Bite Guard to keep cassette body chewing to a minimum, use upgraded Japanese made (EZO) bearings, and the disc hubs are available in all appropriate axle formats.For those of you wishing to upgrade to the ever lovely and popular White Industries T11 or CLD hubs, that's also an option. All hubs are 11 speed compatible, and Shimano/SRAM drive hubs include spacers for use with 8/9/10 speed.
The spokes are black (always a primary concern for a lot of people) Sapim CX Rays, with the very slightly heavier gauge CX Sprint on the disc side of the disc front, and the drive side of both rears. Nipples are black Wheelsmith brass, the best nipples we've ever found. Lacing is 24/28 2x everywhere for disc, and your choice of 20/24 or 24/8 radial front and 2x/2x rear. Appropriate rider weight max for disc is 215. For 20/24 it's 185, and for 24/28 it's 220 (as always, those are just guidelines based on one important factor).
Tubeless tape is included and installed, and skewers are included in rim brake builds.
FSW3 and FSW3 Disc wheelsets are now available and shipping. Pricing starts at $575 for November by Novatec rim brake builds, $735 for WI rim brake builds. Disc builds start at $595 with November by Novatec hubs, $780 for WI CLD builds.
And yes, the whole wide wide world of everything else is still available as custom builds, at our always customer-friendly pricing.
Just curious – do the insurance issues with your own rims not arise with hubs branded hubs?
Dave, Understand and thanks.
True story, Dave. I had a pair of the Shimano 7801 tubeless wheels. Used Hutchinson Fusion 2 tubeless tires. Pretty sure I ran them without sealant for the first year, too. They were reeeeeeally tight.
Hi Sandy -Approximately, yes. I've swapped between a CLD and the new hubs without any adjustment on my townie bike, which has mechanical BB7s (VERY slim pad clearance). That said, there are inconsistencies beyond the hub even which can screw things up – different types of rotors, and even that same type of rotor can have small differences. I've yet to see a rotor that was as true out of the box as our normal wheel builds! Shimming is quite easy if needed, and will last at least the life of the rotors. That makes it EXACT. These 35mm x .1mm shims make easy work of shimming center lock rotors -https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-shims/=15eaqfkDave
These look like a great value. As an owner of some Nimbus hubs to SL25s, I'd like to know if the house-brand hubs to line the rotor up approximately in the same place as the CLDs and their Nimbus brethren.