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Dutch company launches new aero tubeless aluminium wheelset on Kickstarter, and it's a success

Dutch company AForce takes to Kickstarter to launch its brand new AL33 wheels, which it claims is “the fastest aluminium bicycle wheel” and it's a promise that has proved a hit, with 43 backers pledging more than the €18,000 funding goal, with 27 days still to go. 

The company has set out to answer what it sees as a demand for an affordable aluminium wheelset that offers the performance of a carbon fibre wheelset, and it felt there wasn’t a single aluminium wheelset on the market that met its demands. So it developed its own.

Already offering carbon fibre rims, this is the company’s first venture into the aluminium market. And it’s created a 1,450g wheelset with a toroidal rim shape providing tubeless compatibility, so light enough for climbing yet potentially fast enough for racing on the flat.

With the AL33, the company says it is a light, durable and aerodynamic wheel that is tough enough to survive the punishing cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. The rim profile mimics its carbon offerings, with a 33mm deep toroidal shape with a 19.6mm internal width and 26.2mm width at the widest external point of the rim. Spokes nipples are concealed inside the rim.

aforce al33 2.png

aforce al33 2.png

“The aerodynamic benefits of the toroidal rim shape has already been proven on carbon rims including our A-force carbon rims. However, we are the first manufacturer to bring this principle to aluminium wheels without adding a weight penalty,” says the company.

The rims are manufactured from AF9X-T6 aluminium and feature a ceramic brake track to improve braking performance. It supplies its own brake blocks designed to be used with the ceramic surface. The rim weight is 465g.

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The CNC machined alloy hubs are carbon wrapped with straight pull spokes. The spokes are laced using the company’s Offset Crossed Lacing Technique (OCLT), generating a higher spoke angle which the company says contributes to a higher lateral stiffness. It uses 20 radial spokes in the front wheel and 24 spokes in the rear wheel, with 16 lightweight spokes on the drive side and 8 extra stiff spokes on the non-drive side. 

As standard, this wheelset comes with a 105kg weight limit, but it offers a wide variety of spoke configurations and drillings from 18 to 32 and stiffer spokes and brass nipples for people over the weight limit. It even offers a 1,395g wheelset using lighter spokes but that comes with a 90kg rider weight limit.

aforce al33 .png

aforce al33 .png

All wheels are handbuilt in Holland and come supplied with quick release skewers, brake blocks and wheel bags.

Currently, you can pledge €559 and get a 20% early bird discount on a wheelset with shipping anywhere in the world, and delivery expected in November 2016. 

And yes, it is working on a disc version, with a 465g firm that ditches the ceramic coating and braking grooves for a fully anodised rim.

Check them out at www.kickstarter.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

14 comments

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eddyhall [50 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

See also the Hunt Aero Light for a disc bake version

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allanj [204 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

hmm- they do sound awful like Hunt wheels.  I wonder if they will have the same issues with waiting times etc

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lambylamby [49 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
philhubbard wrote:

Or you could go with a proven wheel that has the same weight and weight limit for £100 less, https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/cero-ar30-alloy-clincher-wheelset 

 

So light they are 404 not found SWAG.  3

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LarryDavidJr [378 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Hunt Race Season Aero 31's.  My first set of 'upgrade' wheels and they're amazing, can barely believe the difference.  Also it pays to deal with a local (or even just UK based) firm.  When I had a minor issue they bent over backwards to help.  Plus they're only £500 INCLUDING a pair of Schwable Pro One Tubeless fitted and sealed.

The Road.cc review did not lie!

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lambylamby [49 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
allanj wrote:

hmm- they do sound awful like Hunt wheels.  I wonder if they will have the same issues with waiting times etc

didn't realise Hunt have waiting times - that's taken the shine off a little on choosing my next pair

 7

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ChrisB200SX [565 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

FLO30? Admittedly, not quite as light or tubeless, but the price was cheap before Brexit:
http://www.flocycling.com/wheels_front_flo_30.php

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allanj [204 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
lambylamby wrote:
allanj wrote:

hmm- they do sound awful like Hunt wheels.  I wonder if they will have the same issues with waiting times etc

didn't realise Hunt have waiting times - that's taken the shine off a little on choosing my next pair

 7

 A pal just got his having ordered back in April I think.  Looking on the website they are saying order now for delivery in early september which doesn't sounds too bad, though I'm sure my friends order was put back a few times before they arrived.  Hunt did a lot of publicity work and got some very good reviews (10/10 cycling weekly etc) so generated a lot of orders, hopefully now they are catching up with demand.  

It's good to hear Larry's experience of good service above, one of my worries when contemplating going for a set has been how they would manage customer support for replacement parts etc when they were struggling to fullfill orders.  It would be great if a small UK company makes this work, the wheels look great

 

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The _Kaner [1147 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
lambylamby wrote:
philhubbard wrote:

Or you could go with a proven wheel that has the same weight and weight limit for £100 less, https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/cero-ar30-alloy-clincher-wheelset 

 

So light they are 404 not found SWAG.  3

 

https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/products/wheels/cero-ar30-alloy-clincher...

 

Avatar
fukawitribe [2047 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
The _Kaner wrote:
lambylamby wrote:
philhubbard wrote:

Or you could go with a proven wheel that has the same weight and weight limit for £100 less, https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/cero-ar30-alloy-clincher-wheelset 

 

So light they are 404 not found SWAG.  3

 

https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/products/wheels/cero-ar30-alloy-clincher...

 

Cero do some well regarded wheelsets although, for comparision purposes, these are the older ones with very narrow, V-shaped non-tubeless rims. That might well be worth £100+ for someone, I certainly wouldn't spend nearly 400 quid on the AR30s myself for mainly those reasons, YMMV obviously.

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Butty [218 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

How is offering a discount on wheels by paying upfront in any way related to investing in a new invention or other creative concept that needs lifting off the concept page?

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Butty wrote:

How is offering a discount on wheels by paying upfront in any way related to investing in a new invention or other creative concept that needs lifting off the concept page?

Cash flow. Allows them to create stock for a first batch without having to raise an expensive loan or investment. In addition, should more initial capital be required they can wave a bunch of pre orders as proof of having a viable business.

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Martijn R. [1 post] 10 months ago
0 likes

I own a pair of these. After just 900km, of which 120 in December 16 and 136 in January 17  the ceramic coating on one of the rims is more or less gone. Normal wear says Aforce. No guarantee. What are your thoughts?

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Django [25 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Bit of pain the coating coming off! I'm considering these wheels. I'm considering the coated version too,  but that's not whole picture. Can you tell me - do the wheels ride well? Are you running them as tubeless ? 

Cheers 

 

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philhubbard [69 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Or you could go with a proven wheel that has the same weight and weight limit for £100 less, https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/products/wheels/wheelsets/cero-ar30-evo-...