Fast Forward have gained a fantastic reputation over the years for their aerodynamic carbon wheelsets, they are extremely popular with time trial riders and triathletes due to their high quality and aerodynamic efficiency. I was extremely pleased to be given the chance to try the new F2A wheelset, Fast Forwards first attack on the all rounder market.
Out of the box
The initial reaction when taking these out of the box was impressive, firstly they come in a padded double wheelbag which is a very nice touch, the skewers are well finished with a really positive cam action and the wheels appear very well made, a great first impression.
Featuring an eyeletted 24mm rim, a 20/24 spoke count, DT Swiss spokes and the fantastic DT Swiss 240s hubs these wheels look the real deal on the spec sheet, the real proof however is in the riding.
The ride feel
When you first ride such a highly anticipated wheelset you always hope they live up to your expectations, you want them to blow you away on the first ride and continue to impress as the miles rack up. The F2A’s fit my normal requirements for a wheel, they are light (sub 1500 grams a set) stiff and responsive, yet it took me a while to really understand what this wheelset was about, the super slick DT Swiss 240s hubs. I had heard great things about these hubs from colleagues and press reviews and although it took a while for me to appreciate the hubs, they eventually shone through as the standout feature of the wheelset.
Never before have I ridden a road hub that feels so solid, the ratchet drive system engages quickly and firmly with no hint of skipping which really gives you confidence in the wheelset and transfers every last watt of power to the road, couple this to the super smooth bearings and you can tell that Fast Forward really did their homework when selecting the components for these wheels.
At no point could I detect any level of flex, even under the most aggressive sprints and I really felt the wheels driving forward with each pedal revolution, they also seemed to ride well over bumps which is always a great feature with the state of the roads today.
I put a few hundred miles on this wheelset and they are still as arrow straight as they were when I put them on the bike, this is testament to the handbuilt quality of the wheels which were super stiff under acceleration and also braking. Comparing them to my previous tests of the Fulcrum racing Zero and the Shimano Dura-Ace C24 wheelsets the Fast Forwards are a great all-round wheel, they just do not quite match the other two when you are pushing the limits, taking a little more effort to keep them rolling at high speed. Although they do not perform quite as well as the very best alloy clincher wheelsets I have no doubt that they will outlast them thanks to the superb components and very high build quality, they are also considerably better value than their direct competitors. Fast Forward have produced a great alloy wheelset for their first attempt and I can’t wait to see what they follow it up with.
Overall this is a great set of hoops and if you only want one wheelset to do everything they should be very high on your list of options, they wouldn’t be my first choice to race on, but for every other type of riding they fit the bill perfectly and I would happily keep them on the bike for many more miles.