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Token reveal Hero wheelset

New race wheel comes with alloy braking surfaces and a radically-shaped carbon rim profile

Token are launching a new Hero C45A clincher with a rim shape that’s radically different from anything else we’ve seen, designed to perform well in the wind tunnel and provide extra strength and stiffness.

Rather than a V-shape, a U-shape, or even a toroidal rim profile, the 45mm-deep Hero C45A has what Token are calling a SwiftEdge rim. Below the 23mm-wide alloy brake track, the carbon walls are slightly concaved before splaying outwards to form a raised lip. The sides then head in towards the centre, again with slightly concaved faces.

Sounds complicated? It’s probably best that you just look at the cutaway picture to see for yourself…

We’ve not seen anything like it before. Reynolds have their Swirl Lip Generator but that’s not really similar to this Token design. The only thing they have in common is the use of a lip.

So why have Token gone down this route?

“The lip provides extra strength and stiffness and, unlike a traditional aero rim, it splits crosswinds. In headwinds the lip pushes air around and away from the wheel. Stability comes from the wider 23mm rim and straight-pull spokes laced in a diametric spoke pattern add strength, stiffness and optimised power transfer.”

We first saw the Hero C45A design at the Taipei International Cycle Show earlier in the year, but we were sworn to secrecy at the time. We didn’t have the chance to use the wheel back then and we’ve still not, so we can’t comment on the performance. Neither have Token given us any wind tunnel data although, it has to be said, until there's some kind of standardisation in testing, the value of that kind of information is limited at best.

The hubs use Token’s TBT (Tiramic Bearing Technology) Bearings. Token say that the starting torque of the ceramic balls is only 74% that of normal bearings while the turning torque is 67%.

The wheels are built up with 20 Sapim CX-Ray aero spokes at the front, and 24 at the rear (16 on the driveside, eight on the non-driveside).

The SwiftEdge rims weigh 597g each with the complete wheels a claimed 795g (f) and 944g (r). That’s a total of 1,739g for both HC45A wheels (without rim tape). They’ll be available in Shimano/SRAM 10-spd/11spd and in Campagnolo 10spd/11spd.

The wheels will come with Token’s Shark Tail skewers, a wheel bag, 48mm valve extenders and rim tape. The maximum rider weight is 90kg.

The Hero C45A wheelset will be £899 from Token's UK distributor i-ride.

For more from Token go to 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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