Posted in Cycle
FFWD F4R Wheelset

FFWD have been producing strong, reliable and high performance carbon wheels in their factory in Holland since 2006. In this guide we consider how to pick the best FFWD wheels for you!

Every FFWD wheel is handbuilt in the town of Zwolle in the Netherlands; these are not mass production wheels, but super light, strong and fast sets of wheels that are tailored for their specific purpose. FFWD produce a broad range of designs though, so what is the best one for your riding and discipline?

What kind of cycling do you do?

Your wheel choice will depend on the cycling discipline that you are participating in. We can divide the FFWD range into four disciplines: Road, Cyclocross, Track and Time Trial/Triathlon.

  • Road Wheels: Strong, durable and lightweight. Road wheels are made to excel on tarmac.
  • Cyclocross Wheels: Similar to road wheelsets; tough, light and stiff. Some feature disc brake options.
  • Track Wheels: Deigned for the velodrome. These feature tubular tyres, lock-nut axles and single fixed rear sprockets.
  • Time Trial/Triathlon Wheels: Aerodynamics are fundamental; that means deep rim sections and bladed spokes.

What rim material is best for you?

FFWD wheels can be divided into four rim material types: alloy clincher, alloy-carbon clincher, full carbon clincher and carbon tubular. Which one is for you?

  • Alloy Clinchers: Durability, strength and longevity. Ideal for training wheels and wet weather racing.
  • Alloy-Carbon Clinchers: A carbon wheel, with an alloy brake track. Lightweight, with strong braking performance.
  • Full Carbon Clinchers: Speed and convenience. Lightweight carbon with the convenience of a clincher tyre.
  • Carbon Tubulars: The top ranking performer; very lightweight and strong, only for use with tubular tyres

What rim profile do you need?

Once you've picked out the discipline that you want to use your wheels for, the next question is rim depth: Box Section, Shallow-Profile, Mid-Profile, Deep Section, Three/Five Spoke or Disc?

Shallow Section Rims

Shallow section rims are great for all kinds of riding; rough roads, strong winds and steep hills, these will excel.

  • FFWD Shallow Section Rim Wheelsets: F2R, F2A
  • Rim depth: 24mm or less
  • Low Weight - Great for climbing
  • Minimal Windage
  • Fast Acceleration


Mid Section Rims

These are the next step up towards aerodynamics from the Shallow Section rim. Ideal for everyday use, but with the added speed and strength of a deeper rim profile.

  • FFWD Mid Section Rim Wheelsets: F4R, F4R-C, F4R-FCC
  • Rim depth: 45mm
  • Low/Mid Weight - Good for climbing. Good for the flats. A great all-round option.
  • Low Windage
  • Fast Acceleration


Deep Section Rims

These are for flat races and time trials only. The deep rim profile provides superb aerodynamic advantages, and added rigidity for sprinting and tight cornering.

  • FFWD Deep Section Rim Wheelsets: F6R, F6R-C, F9R, F9R-C, (F6T & F9T for Track)
  • Rim depth: 58mm - 90mm
  • Added Weight - Better for flat roads and track racing
  • Medium/High Windage - Not for everyday use
  • The height of aerodyanmic advantages: Best for constant speeds, time trials and track racing

Three/Five Spokes and Disc Wheels

These are the ultimate in aerodynamic profile. Rather than using traditional spokes, three and five spoke wheels use carbon blades, and disc wheels have a solid profile. These slice through the air like rotor blades. However, they are only usually used for light wind conditions because of their susceptibility to windage in strong cross-winds. They are also not used on hilly races due to the added weight of the wheel. These wheels may also be used for Track Racing.

  • FFWD TimeTrial/Track Wheelsets: Three, Disc, Disc FCC, Disc 650
  • Added Weight - Only for flat roads
  • High windage - Not for everyday use
  • The height of aerodyanmic advantages: Best for constant speeds, time trials and track racing

Hub Types

You've selected your discipline, you've selected the kind of rim profile that best suits your riding environment; now it's time to consider the heart of the wheel - the hubs.

FFWD wheels have a variety of hubs laced into their wheels; including their own FFWD hubs, as well as high end hubs from DT Swiss. What sets these all apart?

  • FFWD Hubs - The 'standard' FFWD hubs are focussed on price and quality. These are high-end hubs made by DT Swiss exclusively for FFWD. They feature minimal rolling resistance and easily replaceable cartridge bearings. A superb option for those on a budget.
  • DT Swiss Hubs - FFWD wheels offer two options from the world famous DT Swiss; the 240 and the 180. The DT Swiss 240 is the most versatile and popular hub in the DT Swiss range; it uses durable and long lasting stainless steel cartridge bearings, whilst being lightweight and strong. The 180 features at the top of the ladder in the range; it uses ceramic bearings and a carbon fibre body to produce a hub that has incredible strength, durability and low rolling resistance, but all in a featherweight package.

Hopefully this guide has helped you identify the best FFWD wheels to choose from the extensive range. Wheels are a great way to upgrade the feel and performance of your bike, especially when you choose the right option for your style of riding.