ARC Carbon Wheels
10th December 2012
If we mentioned Lightweight wheels you’d obviously think German, full carbon hubs, spokes, rims, everything, and very expensive…unless we mentioned light weight wheels, that were made in Kent, using a more traditional mix of carbon rims, aluminium hubs and spokes, and are relatively inexpensive. Confused? Well lets introduce you to ARC Carbon Wheels, which are light weight, do use aluminium parts, sell for around £1000 and come from Kent. Excited? Read on…
New company ARC Carbon Wheels is the brainchild of Andrew Wall. Like others before him, he saw an opportunity to make lightweight carbon racing wheels here in the UK to rival those of the bigger manufacturers.
Unlike others though the claimed weights of ARC wheelsets are pretty incredible – try 889g for a 20mm deep rim or if want to go a bit more aero, then how about 1103g for a 49mm deep rim? Even the ‘time-trial’ 88mm deep wheels are only 1388g – now that is light.
Of course there is a rider weight limit but its a generous 90kg to 100kg depending on the wheelset…And the cost of each wheelset is around £1000…(£875 to £1375)…This certainly got our interest.
But more than top-line figures, we were particularly impressed by the attention to detail that appears to have gone into the development of these wheels. Andrew hasn’t just gone out and put together a collection of off the peg parts. According to his website he has been to see manufacturers and specced the production of his own rims and hubs.
The use of Toray 1000 and M40 carbon fibres, Sapim aero spokes and lightweight aluminium hubs ticks all the right boxes, whilst ceramic bearings, non-contact seals and special low friction grease as standard suggests real attention to detail.
However, larger manufacturers who offer such light weight wheels, such as Germany’s Lightweight, usually offer wheels made entirely of carbon so it will be interesting to see how ARC have managed to produce such light hoops at such a great price using aluminium parts.
These uber-wheelsets, that offer similar weights, cost two or three times as much as the ARC wheels. Other brands do have similar specced wheels at similar price points but they are invariably carrying half a kilo more in weight.
One has to think about the longevity of such light wheels, but ARC claim to have carried out exhaustive testing on the road and even impact ‘sledge’ testing on their wheels. These wheels are tubulars and presumably, if you retain such wheels for racing only, then their lifespan would be greatly enhanced; its always a nice feeling to have that special wheelset for that special race.
If the worst happens and you crash mid-race, then at least you can feel some comfort knowing that your superlight wheels only set you back around £1000-ish as opposed to £2000 or £3000 of some others…
We’re very excited to see these wheels for ourselves and even more excited to ride them. From looking at ARC’s Facebook page, there’s a lot of well known racing cyclists who feel the same.
If you share that excitement you can see ARC at the Excel London Bike Show in January and if you’re a racing cyclist with a healthy social media following, then ARC are offering a 20% discount if you agree to promote them.