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The technology of DRIVE wheels

Our continued research and development combined with years of know-how have lead us to our newest development, the new Drive series wheels. We have set our sights on creating a product with the optimal balance of ultra light weight and performance.

 

Drive picture

 

In developing these wheels, our focus was on improving aerodynamics and reducing weight, while maintaining high stiffness and relative comfort. Silver decals with hand-stacked marbling make the Drive wheels truly eye-catching. Currently, we have four products in our lineup: Drive 40D, Drive 50D, Drive 40V and Drive 50V.

1 Carbon Spoke

One unique feature of Drive series wheels is the use of high-modulus carbon spokes. With up to 7% higher lateral response over the equivalent steel spoke wheelsets, the Drive wheels have been engineered to both be stiffer while being lighter weight. The vibration dampening of carbon fiber spokes brings a more direct dynamic response, and the 3.3mm width spokes provide are more aerodynamic.

 

elite spoke

 

Our Drive wheelsets uses mechanically secured carbon spokes, allowing for them to be trued and maintained just like regular steel spokes. Anti-loosening technology is also used in the spoke nipples. When the spokes are locked in, the threads built into the nipples achieve a double-locking effect, which is also essential for carbon spokes.

 

2 Innovative Carbon Technology – UNI

 

Like most high-performance wheelsets, Drive series wheels are made from carbon fiber composite.

 

Carbon fiber is used for it’s high stiffness and strength properties as well as it’s lighter weight. The resin matrix is used to holds these long, thin fibers together so that we are able to use them efficiently in product design. Different kinds of carbon fiber offer different structural characteristics, depending on how the fibers are arranged in the resin. They can be bidirectional, unidirectional, woven, or matte. Different kinds of carbon fiber have different levels of stiffness, strengths, and like all materials, different prices.

 

In manufacturing carbon fiber wheels, we usually use unidirectional and bidirectional carbon fibers. Unidirectional carbon fiber allows for lighter weight designs. It also gives us more freedom to place fiber of different orientations in sequence in order to achieve precise performance criteria. Bidirectional carbon fibers are usually used where additional reinforcement is required.

 

With our in-house developed UNI technology, we are able to improve the performance of the rims while reducing weight.

 

*The following is the material performance index:

The technology of DRIVE wheels

The material stiffness depends on the fiber surface density. However this doesn’t mean that stiffer is always better. From the above table, it is clear that UNI achieves a balance of rigidity and light weight.

 

In addition to material optimization, we also seek to optimized the inner walls of the Drive rims. The smooth inner walls have an advantage. They can increase the contact area between the spoke nipples and the inner wall of the rim. Improved drilling accuracy of the rim also becomes possible. In the disc brake version, we also included a special design detail in order to reduce weight. An additional T1000 carbon fiber reinforcement has been added to each spoke hole to in order toincrease the tension. Here’s how we can make a 40mm, 1260g, disc brake, carbon spoke wheelset.

 

 Elitewheels wheelset

 

3 Innovative rim shape for better aerodynamics

 

Better performance and lighter weight have always been what we strive for. DRIVE is an example of this. The aerodynamic performance of a wheelset depends on the structure of the rims. Excellent rim rigidity and light weight can bring high power transmission and low loss performance.

 

When it comes to choosing tires, many riders look for low rolling resistance as well as excellent puncture resistant options. Tubeless tires are gradually becoming more and more popular in road cycling. Many riders are also looking for wider tires for improved handling and comfort. U-shaped rims can be been difficult to adapt to such complex stress requirements. We have taken a different approach by combining the profile of U-shaped and V-shaped rims, creating a U/V-shaped rim. This not only retains the aerodynamic performance of the U-shaped rim, but also the performance of the V-shaped rim which helps reduce the wind resistance.

 

4 Wider tires and lower tire pressure

 

The inner width of our road series DRIVE disc rims is 21mm. They are designed to be used with tubeless tires run at lower pressures to increase comfort. This wheelset can also increase rider confidence in corners as tires will have a larger contact area with the ground.

cornering force

 

The increased inner width of the rim means that wider tires can be used. Furthermore, riding tires with lower pressures can absorb vibration, making long-distance cycling more enjoyable. Tires run at lower pressures are better suited to riding on rough surfaces. Grip is also improved the contact area between the tire and riding surface is more optimal, leading to both improvements in handling and safety. Wheels run at high tire pressures cannot effectively absorb road vibration, leading to a comparatively bumpy riding experience and as a result, less rider fatigue.

 

tire pressure

tire height

5 Tubless tire compatiable

 

Tubeless wheels and tires have been shown to have lower rolling resistance and be lighter than similar clincher setups, even those using latex inner tubes. A tubeless system with sealant allows for the possibility for punctures to effectively seal themselves, saving you from having to stop and change tubes. With the rising popularity of tubeless tires, more and more tubeless ready rims have been developed. Tubeless compatible rims give you the option of running tubeless tires as well as a traditional clincher tires with inner tubes.

 

The outward force of tubeless tires pushing against the inner wall of the rim is different than that of clincher tires. Tubeless tires create circumferential internal pressure for the rim. If the tensile force of the sidewall of the rim is not enough, the deformation of the rim will increase, which will cause the rim to swing from side to side and the spoke tension to decrease. We rigorously tested and optimized Drive’s rims with the help of CFD computer fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing, adding more tensile force to the rim sidewalls of DRIVE. This improves the wheelset’s stability and handling at high speeds in a variety of environments. DRIVE has the optimal balance of comfort and performance.

 

Elitewheels picture 

 6 Performance Hub

 

To get the most out of carbon fiber spokes, we have designed high flange hubs which have higher lateral stiffness, offering better handling, and have more real estate. High flange hubs result in wider bracing angles which is the reason for the greater lateral rigidity. The larger flange comes with more real estate allowing as there is more spacing between each spoke. In order to improve the smoothness of high-speed braking, the DRIVE disc brake front wheel uses 14 spokes on the disc brake side. The rear-wheel drive side uses 16 spokes, which increases power transfer.

 

Elitewheels picture

 

The reduction of rolling resistance is one of the primary considerations we have in designing wheels. The closer the hub shaft and bearing are to the midpoint of a shaft, the lower the rolling resistance is, and the less pressure is exerted on the bearing. Hybrid ceramic bearings are used in DRIVE wheels. Our primary consideration in developing hubs is accuracy. When determining the bearing installation position, the tolerance of the bearing itself should also be considered. A hub with more concentricity can accomodate the bearing pressure can be reduced, thereby increasing the service life of the bearing, reducing the rolling resistance. Ceramic bearings are more efficient, allowing you to ride even faster.

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