The Fast Forward Tyro wheelset has been designed to take on a little bit of everything from road riding through to gravel and light off-roading. They are certainly tough and durable, and they work well with various tyre widths; the only thing going against them really is that they aren't the lightest.
FFWD's carbon wheels normally sit in the mid to upper price range of the market, so the £849.99 rrp of the Tyros really puts them in the more affordable bracket. It's a tough sector to be in, mind – they are up against the likes of Just Riding Along's Mahi Mahi 40 (£850) and Gecko (£850) wheelsets, Hunt's 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide (£899) and Parcours' Grimpeur Disc wheelset at £819, to name a few.
The one thing the Tyros don't share is the light weight of those mentioned. The Hunts are the heaviest at 1,548g, while the other three are all in the 1,400g range – compared to the Geckos, the Tyros at 1,769g are giving away 369g.
As we always say, though, weight isn't the be all and end all. Swapping from a lightweight set of wheels to the FFWDs is noticeable under acceleration from a standstill or when climbing a steep hill, but it doesn't ruin the ride or anything.
That weight does give them a good solid feel, too. The ride feedback is one of smoothness, even with a 25mm tyre pumped up hard on the road. The bumps obviously get through, but you don't get a buzzy ride from any resonation.
The rim width is 19mm internally and 27mm on the outside, which FFWD says suits tyres from 23mm to 40mm which will cover most situations, although pure gravel bikes are taking tyres well into the mid-40s now.
On the road, with a 30mm or 32mm tyre fitted, they look the business and roll along very nicely indeed.
At 45mm deep they offer a small aerodynamic boost over a shallow box section rim, but FFWD says that it has improved aerodynamics with the design of its Double Arc (DARC) technology. The rim is flat for about 10mm and then curves into a narrower profile before finishing with a U-shaped curve at the spoke bed.
According to FFWD, the profile improves aerodynamics and handling by reducing drag in the most commonly encountered real world wind conditions, with yaw angles of 0° to 10°. Drag is reduced around the wheel in both frontal and crosswind conditions by creating a negative pressure section that compresses and speeds airflow over the rim's positive section.
Does it work? No idea – it's impossible to test these sort of things away from the wind tunnel – but I will say this, powering along on a flat section they certainly seem to shift with no huge feeling of resistance.
Handling in strong crosswinds is also fine too – they certainly don't bring any nervousness to the steering, but many deep-section wheels achieve the same.
FFWD has gone for 24 spokes front and rear and it gives a strong build. The test mileage was spread about 60/40 per cent between road and gravel and they took plenty of abuse from all sorts of conditions.
The FFWD hubs continued to run smoothly and the wheels remained completely true throughout testing. You can have either Shimano or SRAM XDR freehubs and all take 12mm thru-axles.
Brake rotors are fitted by way of the Centerlock design.
As you'd expect of a modern wheel, the Tyros are tubeless ready, coming with tape already fitted and valves included in the padded wheel bag, so you are getting plenty of little extras for your cash.
Both skinny and wider rubber was easy to fit with just the use of a single tyre lever to pop the last bit of the bead on.
On the whole, the Tyros are a welcome addition to the marketplace. Yes, they are heavier than some very good opposition, but the ride quality and durability mean you are getting a very good set of wheels for your money.
Not the lightest but a fast-rolling wheelset that offers loads of durability for road and gravel riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fast Forward Tyro wheelset
Size tested: 700C, Shimano 11spd
Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
FFWD says, 'Full carbon and tubeless-ready, TYRO is the wheelset that will make you faster. In a design honed with the knowledge garnered from our many years of experience, the TYRO wheelset combines optimal performance with versatility for varied terrain.
'The TYRO wheelset is designed for the cyclist who knows what a set of top wheels can do for performance. And if you're looking for a carbon solution for all terrain, then TYRO is the only wheelset you may ever need. It shines not only on the road, but with the ability to fit tires up to 40mm, it also excels on gravel. TYRO provides the ultimate balance between price and quality in one versatile, high-performing wheelset."
It's a solid all-round wheelset that's fun to ride on both road and gravel.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Max rider weight 120 kg
Aero shape DARC
Tubeless ready Yes
Innertube compatible Yes
Brakes Disc brake
Tire range 23.0mm-40.0mm
Maximum tire pressure
8.3bar, 120.4 psi
At 798g front, 971g rear, they're not the lightest in this price range.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
The wheels stayed true throughout testing.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Both tubeless and tubed tyres fitted easily.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The included tubeless tape and valves made fitting tyres a doddle, and it's good to see a padded wheel bag for this sort of money.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A quick-rolling wheel that is strong enough to stand up to abuse on gravel and road.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
A fair bit weightier than the opposition.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This is a popular price point for carbon wheels that can be used on both road and gravel, and they are squarely in the sights of the JRA, Hunt and Parcours offerings mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are lighter road/gravel wheels on the market but the Tyros ride well and offer very good durability and build quality for the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!