I like designing aero wheels for many reasons. I get to work with Dave Kennedy, probably the best engineer I know. We get to do things nobody has ever done. Wheels are fun to test in the tunnel and the ultimate “we went with 10 questions and came home with 20” component.
But the biggest reason is that they can have so much impact. Especially for gravel, aero wheel design is still so rare that you can make huge gains by being bold. No rim shape Dave and I have ever done reflects that better than the Discus 45 | 40.
The premise was simple: We know aerodynamics matter in gravel, be it because you’re plowing through a 50 mile headwind or because you’re on a fast section. We also know that a big tire on a skinny rim doesn’t work. And we know knobs tend to be a “challenge” aerodynamically.
Over three years ago we first put some crazy wide rims in the tunnel: 32mm, 37mm, 42mm. We also tried numerous depths, from pretty shallow to 65mm deep. Some of this work became the basis for the Discus 45 | 32 LTD, the perfect wheelset for the Strada. The bigger rims revealed some surprisingly fast options (and a lot of unsurprisingly slow ones). We’ve gone back every year since to improve upon our designs.
And now we’re ready to start shipping the Discus 45 | 40 LTD. Simply put it is:
- Wide enough externally to pick up the airflow from a 35-40mm WAM tire.
- Deep enough to realign that airflow and reduce the turbulence behind the profile.
- Wide internally (29mm) to reduce lateral tire flop for more precise handling and give even a moderately sized tire a wider WAM
The Discus 45 | 40 LTD comes standard with the great Carbon-Ti hubs, made just a half hour from our HQ/factory in Bergamo. Chris King, Industry Nine and various color options are also available.
But for now supply of rims is limited, so whether you want to speed up your Exploro, Exploro RaceMax or any other gravel bike, this is your chance. For full specs and to order, go here.