Friday 13 January 2023

Project CarbonOne - wheels on carbon spokes

Dreamed wheels of every rider?  Stiff, light, long lasting and good looking. Most of us would say so. Stiffness and lightness is subjective. You consider wheels as light and stiff until you come across lighter and stiffer ones. This is exactly what has happen to me, when I came across carbon spokes for the first time. My definition of top notch wheels changed dramatically and all wheels I had in my hands with steel spokes didn't feel that stiff anymore...

Project CarbonOne

My wheel building concept was always based on custom wheels, designed for each and individual rider. Hubs, rims, spokes are matched based on customer's preferences, weight, bike type and budget. This was and still is my main objective, however CarbonOne wheels are the first series of wheels available off the shelf with limited customisation options.

Road disc CarbonOne wheels. 40mm height profile, 22.5mm inner width and overall 1259g weight!

You might ask the question why? My answer is simple: carbon spokes give such unique wheel's characteristics that cannot be given by any other spoke type. They provide ultimate lateral stiffness with extremely low weight at the same time. Ride feeling is also different. It's absolutely smooth and very responsive when you push on pedals to accelerate.  

Spokes are laced just like any other Straight Pull spoke. They are not bonded to rim/hub

Carbon spokes in such form is the latest innovation on cycling market. For the first time, carbon spoke is not bonded by any adhesive to rim or hub. It is laced just like standard straight pull spoke, which means that such wheel can be serviced by any workshop and single spoke can be replaced in few minutes without any special tools. This is huge milestone and advantage comparing rim-spoke-hub molded together setups.

CarbonTi hubs are part of CarbonOne wheels

Despite simplicity of spokes lacing, this project was the most difficult of all projects I did in my whole wheelbuilding history. It took me entire 2022, but finally they are here, and they are perfect.

Carbon spokes

Carbon fiber is amazing material. Properly formed and oriented fibers will provide stiffness, strength and comfort at the same time. If needed carbon will flex too... yes, those spokes can flex ;-) It's much less flex than steel spoke, but still, they won't break when you bend them.

Carbon spoke flex

Our tension meter calibration jig was excellent to test the strength & stretch of those spokes. Tension above 120kgf wasn't any problem and spoke was sitting in jig with this tension for couple of weeks. 

Stretch and durability was tested. I was able to tension those spokes to 120kgf without any problem

Spokes have aero (blade) shape, very similar to Pillar Wing ones. Thickness starts from 1mm, goes to 2mm in the center and then goes back to 1mm. Width is 3.2mm.

Spoke is thicker in the middle due to kevlar wire used to reinforce the spoke. Thanks to that, carbon fiber won't break.

Bladed shape of carbon spoke

Weight is 2.8g / spoke without nipples.

34g for 12 spokes. 2.8g per spoke

Overall, very light spoke (2.8g) with the strength of sapim leader spoke which is over two times heavier.

A this moment spokes come in black colour only, but in the future they will come with colour options to match them to CarbonTi hubs.

Carbon Ti hubs

CarbonTi hubs paired with carbon spokes

Choosing hubs wasn't easy task. I had to take into account many factors, also those which are not visible to end user like geometry, angles and spoke crossing types. After many thoughts and tests, my choice went for Italian Carbon Ti. 

Hubs come with eight colours which gives really nice options to match wheels to your bike

CarbonTi X-hubs have very clever and solid design

 - left flange is pushed by 36mm and right by 18mm from the center. Diameter of left flange is 48mm and right 54.5mm. This is good design to achieve stiff wheel

- 17mm axle

- SKF bearings with preload system 

- Four points of engagement with 56 teeth titanium ring

- 89g front / 180g rear hub weight

I'm servicing wheels which I built with those hubs and after 2-3 years, bearings are still good without any need to replace.


BlackCat road and gravel rims

Rims are my branded BC rims. Well tested in Swiss Alps since 6 years now. Never had any issue with overheating or burned rim brake version which is the best guarantee I can think of. They build up very well with equal spoke tension, have additional carbon layer reinforcement inside around spoke holes, provide necessary stiffness and come in modern shapes

- Road version has 22.5mm inner width and comes in 30mm / 40mm and 50mm profile

- Gravel version has 24.5mm inner width and comes in 39mm profile

They are not that light as competition (ex. Duke) but even with additional 50g / rim I was able to get really nice results:

Road 30mm - 1220g / Road 40mm - 1260g / Road 50mm - 1290g

Gravel 39mm - 1280g

Low weight with very high lateral and side stiffness which cannot be provided by any other spokes with this weight range.

It's all about angles and measures

As mentioned earlier, this project took me one whole year. The biggest challenge was to develop rims specifically for those spokes and Carbon Ti hubs. Only perfect drilling angles would provide safe and reliable wheels. Last thing you want is bended carbon spoke at nipple area. To avoid that, I had to connect three different suppliers & engineers so they could talk to each other and write proper CNC program to drill rims in a right way. Several attempts failed and few times I was very close to give up. From other hand I knew that if I make this right, those wheels will be very different to what exist today on the market. High class hubs, truly solid rims, carbon-kevlar spokes which are fully serviceable and last but not least, each wheel built by hand in my shop with quality and attention to details. 

CarbonOne wheels on Cannondale SuperSix Evo

Over 500g weight saving comparing to stock wheels

CarbonTi hubs in matte black

Pricing & availability

Price is the same for all wheelset types and profiles. Retail price is 1799 EUR* and that includes:
- Pair of wheels with four spare carbon spokes & nipples
- Installed tubeless tape (2 layers) & tubeless valves
- Insured shipping inside EU
- Standard crash replacement 50% of total value with option to extend for 100% crash replacement (additional yearly fee).
- Guarantee 2 years for components and lifetime for truing. In case wheels will have to be trued caused by normal usage (not crash) then such service will be done free of charge or 100% refunded if this will be done locally.

*for distributors and b2b sales models, please contact me via email to get different pricing 
*indicated price doesn't include custom/vat fees in case wheels will be shipped outside of EU

Wheels will be available as of March and first shipments will happen end of March.

Orders will be available through dedicated page: (page will be activated in March)

Decals are only white at the moment (under clear coat). After April I'll introduce different colours of decals, spokes and hubs

Early bird orders

For early bird orders, which will take place from now till 1st of March, price will be discounted by 20% so 1439 EUR. Early bird orders can be submitted via email only: [email protected] 
Please indicate which set you want to order (gravel 39mm or Road 30/40/50mm) and what freehub should be installed (Shimano, XDR or Campagnolo)

In case of questions, don't hesitate to contact me via email, or simply drop a comment here, so others can also see the answers and we'll build sort of FAQ.

Thanks if you read whole entry and I hope to see you on road with CarbonOne wheels ;-)

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