“”There is a new player in the carbon wheel business…”
Princeton CarbonWorks Wake 6560 Disc – Initial Ride
June 6, 2018 Scott Kingsley Product & Tech News
There is a new player in the carbon wheel business, Princeton CarbonWorks, and they have their sights set squarely on the big names of the industry. Their Wake 6560 wheel has a unique rim shape and they make some bold claims when it comes to aerodynamics, but they also have the data to back it up. We had a chance to catch up with Co-Founder and COO, Paul Daniels for a test ride on his local roads outside of Philadelphia on the disc version. This will be our initial feelings, and we’ll follow it up in a few weeks once we have a chance to put some serious miles in on our local roads a little further west in Pennsylvania.
We’ve mentioned them before in a custom build for absoluteBLACK’s Tony Brandotti and also in the UCI Approved List from Early April, so the name shouldn’t be new. We’ll get into their history more in the full review, but the quick version is Princeton CarbonWorks was founded by four former rowers that at one point or another were part of the US National Rowing program. As many rowers do, they turned to cycling and triathlon once their rowing days were over. The group wanted to create a better wheel that was more attainable to the masses than the current high end offerings, so the engineers of the group put their experience in mechanical and aeronautical engineering to use, and came up with something very unique. Sinusoidal oscillation is a repeating wave pattern that uses the same amplitude for the peaks and valleys over and over again. The Wake 6560 uses 24 of these waves to create a variable height rim design that is 65mm tall at the spoke hole and 60mm tall at the valley in between the spokes.
The Sinusoidal wave pattern makes for much more than just a striking rim.
A lot of engineering concepts went into these wheels, which we’ll touch on more in the full review, but it all boils down to a strong and aerodynamic wheelset. Not only is it fast, but it also handles cross winds better than a constant height rim design, which was very noticeable in the demo ride. Early on, we rode a decent that hit us with a cross wind at speed. Instead of the usual “punch” that you would feel with a deep wheel that forces the bike to heave sideways, it was a much more stable feeling. You could still feel the crosswind, but it was more of a gradual build up of pressure than an instant force.
Adding the Wake 6560 to the Van Dessel Motivus Maximus LTD makes and already fast bike even faster.
On some short, punchy rollers, I give the Van Dessel Motivus Maximus LTD (full review coming soon) a dig to test out the stiffness of the Wake 6560’s. Being an incredibly stiff frame that was especially made for the CCB Pro Cycling Team, any flex would have been noticeable. Even at 190 lbs, I wasn’t able to get the 24 spoke wheels to budge. On the descents, the wheels felt very stable, providing confidence through fast corners.
At a claimed 1495g for the disc wheelset, the disc version of the Wake 6560 is a fairly light option for an all-round wheelset. We’ll get into the weight and drag numbers from their comparison testing before the Wake 6560 was launched in the full review, but we will tell you is that these wheels tested faster than much deeper wheels from brands like HED and Zipp, and fit in the weight category of wheels that are about half the height. Starting at $2,400 for the rim brake version, $2,600 for the disc, Princeton CarbonWorks has a wheel that looks to be just as competitive (if not more) than the big names at a price that is much more attainable for riders looking to upgrade to a quality wheelset.
Look for the full review in the next few weeks once we have a chance to get more time on our home roads, including some racing at a local crit.
Heckling Editor, Image Taker, Crash Test Dummy, and Beard Master at Bikeworldnews.com
~Veggie Powered Athlete~
Location – Lancaster, PA
Current Testing Rigs – 2017 Focus Mares, 2015 Bianchi Sempre Pro, 1978 Trek TX900
Dream Bike – I’ll tell you when they make it
Discipline – Cyclocross, with some dabbling on the road, mountain, and running
Favorite Rides – Quiet country roads of Amish Country, some of the best roads around.
Food of Choice – Sweet potato roll
Beer of Choice – Unibroue Grand Reserve 17, aged four years
Bourbon of Choice – Widow Jane 10 Year