Far sports have been making carbon wheels for over 10 years. They are based in Shenzhen, China and operate under the Wheelsfar and Farsports brand names.
The wheels on test today are a sign of things to come, they are carbon wheels with semi carbon spokes (the ends are metal). The wheels are available in both Rim Brake and Disc Brake.
Farsports Hubs have long been considered one of the best in the industry. Their hubs along with Winspace which are of similar design use standard 6000 series bearings which are readily available.
This hub uses a set of 6803 bearings inside the freehub. A slightly larger 6903 in the drive side of the rear wheel hub and 6803 bearings everywhere else. It is good to see the use of standard JIS bearings and not “oddball” sizes such as those used in DT Swiss hubs which make servicing a minefield and also restrict user options when they inevitably wear out.
This particular test sample came equipped with Ceramicspeed bearings, this option is no longer available. Farsports cited poor customer feedback. Ceramic bearings are known for having very poor performance in areas where vibration is prevalent. A very hard ball rolling in a comparatively soft raceway causes micro-pitting and is a kin to trying to drive a locomotive on an asphalt road.
The hub itself is extremely well sealed. The axle is threaded onto the end caps and features two close running shoulders to act as a labyrinth. Further, on the inside of the bearing is another seal that appears to be rubber. Strangely, this seal is on the outer race – the running gap is usually found on the inner race.
The rims are a standard carbon layup – they are not butterfly weaved. They feature a matt finish with decals applied on to the finished surface. They do not appear to be under any clearcoat. The wheels on test were 56mm deep, 19mm internal width and 26mm external width at the bead. The rims are tubeless compatible. For test purposes they were run with tubes installed.
The braking track on these wheels is angled, effectively it’s tapered towards the tire and this has the benefit of increasing the track width slightly and improving aerodynamics as there is still some ramp on the adverse pressure side of the wheel.
A key performance element of this wheelset is the exceptional braking performance. The braking track features some machined in grooves that help disperse water. Farsports call this HMX technology. In practice the initial bite and brake feel is much better than any other wheel that has been tested.
After 5000km of use, the brake track has had little wear, the resin being used is clearly quite hard as it tends to eat brake pads.
Aerodynamically, this wheelset has some interesting features to improve on performance. The most notable element are the extremely deep carbon spokes. They are elongated for the majority of the radial length, at the threading locations the ends have been flared so they are not as reliant on adhesive to hold the threaded section in. The use of a spoke with a high chord to thickness ratio is aerodynamically beneficial.
The nipples have also been considered and whilst they are not hidden, Farsports have taken the decision to use heavily recessed nipples that protrude only a few mm into the freestream. The result is a significant aerodynamic benefit without the hassle of removing a tyre for maintenance such as retruing.
The overall performance of the wheel was very good. Given it’s comparatively wide nature, the gain from having a slightly longer cord length (deeper section) and wide spokes make it one of the best 50-60mm wheels on test. The Dnitriev plot shows good stability across the range.
Please note the graph below has been provided for illustration, datapoints have been removed to speed up rendering
Farsports have been making carbon wheels for a long time and their manufacturing techniques have been refined over this period. The wheels were totally faultless over the 5000km or review duration. The Ceramicspeed bearings that were fitted exhibited tell tale fault frequencies as time progressed – owing to the extremely hard balls rotating in comparatively soft metal raceways but this is a wearing part.
The wheels were radially true from new and did not require any remedial work through their life. Spoke tension was even across both wheels.
The ultimate out of balance of the wheels was very low. For a slender object like a bike wheel, a static (as opposed to dynamic) out of balance was performed. The residual unbalance on the wheelset excluding rim tape and tyres was found to be 290g.mm and was almost inline with the valve hole. This variable is important as speeds above 40km/h will generally require wheel balancing for the majority of riders (weight dependent).
Moment of Inertia of the wheels (indicative measurement) was found to be 39.6E6g.mm2. Inertia is quite low and is helped by having lightweight spokes and this contributes to rapid acceleration. The wheels would be well suited to criterium racing.
It is quite easy to recommend these wheels, they are well made and performance is measurably good. Wheels of an equivalent western brand (albeit likely made in China) would generally cost double and you may end up with some quirks such as non standard bearings.
You can watch a more detailed breakdown and review of the wheel assembly on YouTube
There is a discount code that has been supplied by Farsports on wheels that are over $1000 USD which is Hambini100 and Hambini50.