Velocite MONC and Noir carbon rims have arrived

The new Velocite MONC and Noir rims are finished and are being made into complete wheels by our wheel builder.

 

Velocite carbon rims
A quick family shot of new Velocite carbon tubular and clincher rims

The rims are completely new in every regard except for the shape. They still come from the same molds, but the carbon fiber layup is entirely different to the previous generations’ layup. Gone is the 3k layer to be replaced with two layers of unidirectional (UD) carbon, thus the rim sidewalls are now made entirely from UD carbon with 3k being used in the braking surface/tire bed and spoke anchor parts of the rims. This layup change is visible, but all carbon fiber layers have been revised. This layup change makes the rims stronger, stiffer and more durable. The weights remained roughly unchanged:

Noir 50 tubular: 360g
Noir 90 tubular: 680g

MONC 50 clincher: 540g
MONC 90 clincher: 840g

The MONC series was also changed with respect to the clincher sidewalls. The MONC rims are made using a patented process that incorporates an extruded alloy element into the tire bed/clincher element part of the rim. This element looks like a letter “H” and resembles an alloy rim without the sidewalls. The purpose of this is to maximise the rim safety by virtually eliminating any possibility of catastrophic carbon clincher failure. The new MONC caron clinchers now incorporate a strenghtened alloy element to make them extremely robust.

 

New Velocite carbon rim layup
New Velocite carbon rim layup

The final change is with the naming and nipple drilling. All Velocite carbon rims now use external nipples and all tubular rims are now called Noir, while carbon clincher rims are called MONC. They share the same layup and technology. This also means that MONC rim costs have increased a little.

 

About our rim manufacturing

As you know, the company that makes our frames also makes our rims, and they are made in a small but very high tech facility in Taiwan. I will not share the specifics, or photos of this process due to this process being proprietary.

Velocite carbon rims are made using computer controlled induction heating method where the mold, and the carbon fiber are heated to the optimal temperature effectively instantaneously. This process ensures optimal resin flow and thus all on its own results in far less voids in the carbon fiber structure.

Our rims do not use a foam core but are formed using the inflatable bladder process. The difference with the process used to make our rims is that the pressure used to inflate the bladder is extremely high, and the exact pressure is also computer controlled. This is made possible through use of special molds where the top and bottom halves are secured to one another by the maximum amount of fasteners possible given the surface area. This ensures that the mold remains perfectly aligned, and closed even with extremely high pressure that the bladder, and the raw rim is inflated to. The extremely high pressure just about eliminates any possibility of void formation, whether due to trapped air, or due to volatile vapours that are formed during the curing stage.

This means that our rims are about as structurally sound as they can possibly be while being extremely light. For example our 50mm Noir tubular rim weighs just 360g and carries no rider weight limits. This makes it one of the the lightest 50mm carbon tubular rims in the world.

 

  • Kyle

    I am really really happy that the new rims are made for external nipples.  Now I don’t feel so bad about the custom 90/90 tubulars I ordered.  Thanks, Victor!

    Any changes to the hubs or spoke choice?

    • Hi Kyle,

      sorry for not seeing the rest of your comment. Hubs are unchanged, we are familiar with them, they roll exceptionally well and we have ample spare parts if needed. Nipples are Aplina ABS (made in Italy) with nylon insert that locks the spoke in place, thus preventing spontaneous unwinding without gluing the spoke.

  • Yes, all external now, but we made the wheels so that you will hopefully not need to take advantage of that anyway. All our wheels now use locking nipples from Alpina which prevent the spokes from unwinding without gluing them in place. The spokes are now PIllar PSR 1420. Very light with excellent performance on paper, and they do very well in reality as well, so our hopes are high.

    The hubs are unchanged. Our new hub is still under development so perhaps in about 4-5 months we will introduce them too.

  • Anonymous

    Those are darn beautiful rims.

  • Neil Crawford

    I was wondering how you plan to improve the hubs.  The current ones are pretty competitive weight-wise with what’s out there and from my experience have been super smooth.

    I’ve seen some manufacturers implementing at 17mm axle but I’m not really sure on the benefits of this other than the bearing load might be spread out a little more resulting in less friction.  I’m no mechanical engineer though.

  • Hubs…one of my obsessions 🙂

    OK, the current hubs are actually very good. They roll very nicely and build into high performance wheels. But, all bicycle hubs are designed with compromises, mainly sacrifices to the altar of low weight.

    There are two elements of hub stiffness: axial, and flange. The hubs that we are working on will address all stiffness objectives while keeping the weight where it is at the moment. What we may not be able to fix without increasing the weight somehow is the bearings issue – bearings in virtually all the bike hubs are incorrectly loaded, but to fix this it means increasing the hub weight. We’ll try to find a way around this penalty though.

    • Neil Crawford

      Why are the bearings incorrectly loaded?  Is it because of the different sized races in the drive and non-drive side of the hub?  Sorry lots of questions, perhaps I’m too inquisitive.

      • 🙂 No it is all good. It is to do with axial and radial loads. Here is a chart that summarizes the main bearing types and what they are good for: http://www.emersonbearing.com/pdf/load_bearing_chart.jpg

        Basically, the bearing type that is used in hubs, the deep groove bearing, is largely unhappy with the loads in the hub, but if the hub is designed well enough, it has the lowest friction of all common bearing types.

        The choices are thus changing the bearing type, changing the hub structure, or both, while maintaining low friction and durability.