Wheels: Pro Textreme Disc
Progression: built with a light, stiffer carbon fiber
Now that true aero rim shapes are much more widespread than they were just a few years ago and many wheel makers have very similar rim shapes, the most progressive change to wheel technology on display at Eurobike was a new type of carbon. It’s a new carbon fiber weave called Textreme.
Standard carbon fiber weaves can be visualized like thick threads woven together attached by resin. As a thread passes over its neighbor, it creates a gap between the two that the resin fills. The threads make the weave stiff and the resin holds everything together but adds weight to the material without increasing stiffness.
Textreme increases the quantity of actual carbon fiber in a weave by minimizing the gaps, therefore increasing stiffness while reducing weight.
Instead of weaving thick strands together, Textreme uses thin tape-like segments of carbon fiber to create the weave. The result is a lighter, stiffer carbon fiber weave they call Spread Tow.
Several engineering-focused companies are experimenting with the material and two of them have a product ready to go. Felt’s new 29er mountain bike frame, the Nine, is one and Pro’s new lenticular disc simply called Textreme is the other.
The Pro Textreme disc isn’t just a materials’ experiment. With a 24mm-wide brake track and lenticular (concave lens-shaped) walls, it boasts aerodynamically validated shaping as well.
Available as a tubular only, this disc weighs just 957 grams a whopping 303 grams lighter than Pro’s standard disc constructed with standard weaves. Part of the weight difference is due to hub choice, however. The Textreme version uses a Dura-Ace hub and the standard version is built with an Ultegra version.