FFWD's new Laminar Airflow Wing Technology - LAW Tech - reinventing and setting the new 'LAW' in road wheel aerodynamics
The FFWD DARC rim profile has been developed to be faster by reducing the drag and creating an optimal airflow around the rim. It was originally designed around a setup with 23mm tires, the longtime standard for many cyclists. As a result of new technology, knowledge and materials riding tubeless has been one of the key evolvements in wheels the last years. With this also came a need for wider tires and the necessity to make wider rims.
Just taking an existing technology and adjust it to the current standard does not lead to the best results. In the development of a new aerodynamic rim profile we started completely from scratch.
An ideal rim profile has a shape that will enable the airflow around the tire and rim to maintain a laminar flow which will attach to the surface and easily passes the leading edge and trailing edge of the tire. This has been our goal to develop the new aerodynamic FFWD rim profile.
The study, development and testing resulted in the FFWD LAW Tech rim profile. Specifically developed to maintain this laminar flow over a larger percentage of the rim - like an airfoil - in a variety of wind angles. The typical shape of this rim profile creates a condition that avoids disruption of the airflow which results in less generation of turbulence thus drag or resistance behind the wheel.
A thorough test procedure has been conducted based on most common wind conditions, the difference in tire widths and the effect of lift and drag on different rim shapes. All to see how the best results can be reached when looking at the conditions of the real world. From these tests the results the FFWD DARC technology proved to be perfect with tires up to 25mm when looking at the lift and drag individually. The LAW profile takes aerodynamics really to the next level. When measuring the lift versus drag ratio - which creates a forward thrust - the LAW profile offers much more benefits with both 25mm and 28mm tires across the board.
With the LAW profile airflow is optimised around the rim and tire combination where it follows the surface completely. The DARC profile shows more disturbance in airflow when combined with a 25mm tire.
As ultimate test we put the F4 and RYOT44 head to head in a wind tunnel setup. Testing both wheels with 25mm tires in most common wind angles between 0 to 10 degrees at a speed of 50 km/h.
The LAW profile delivers 7,6% more efficiency and aerodynamic advantage compared to the DARC profile. A huge result for an all-round wheelset. More aerodynamic advantage is possible with higher profile rims for which the LAW profle has been developed at first and will show soon in future introductions.