Mountain Gear

Revel launch recyclable carbon mountain bike wheels

A new material and manufacturing process offers a lighter mountain bike wheel, which can be repurposed into other parts at the end of its life.

Revel Bikes, the Colorado-based mountain bike manufacturer, now offers a carbon fiber wheelset fabricated without epoxy. And, without the environmentally-unfriendly material, the new wheels can be recycled and repurposed, once they are no longer viable for riding.

The Revel RW30 wheels are fabricated at an aerospace facility located in southern Utah, using a new proprietary material and process called Fusion-Fiber. Epoxy is removed from standard pre-preg carbon, and replaced with polymers (think nylon), blending unidirectional, long carbon fiber impregnated with this polymer.

The manufacturing process is unusual: the rims are laid-up and cross-plied robotically, removing human error or inconsistencies. Then, rims are then flash welded together, which offers faster cure-time: 20 seconds, instead of 45 minutes. This all takes place in a controlled environment so every rim comes out the same as the next. Revel claims this process yields a stronger product with better impact resistance, compared with wheels made of standard carbon fiber.

But just in case a rim is compromised while riding, Revel rims are backed by a lifetime warranty and crash replacement policy.

Wheels which can no longer be ridden have the vinyl decals removed, and the rims chopped into one-inch blocks and melted down. This material can be used for fabricating another bike part.

Photo: Courtesy Revel Bikes

Specifications
The RW30 is an enduro/trail rated rim, available in 27.5-inch and 29-inch sizes. Rims retail for $699 each and are available in 28H or 32H drilling. The 27.5-inch rim weighs 440 grams and the 29er weighs 470 grams.

Complete wheels are available with Industry Nine I9 1/1 hubs or Hydra hubs, with Sapim D-light spokes. Wheelsets are drilled 28H. 1/1 wheels coming in at $1,975 and Hydra complete wheels are $2,200.

Rims are wheels are available immediately, from Revel Bikes.