If you are looking to go faster, roll smoother and give your bike that new, fresh feeling, a set of wheels is the perfect upgrade. With a myriad of options on the market, all boasting cutting edge features, lighter properties and claims to be faster than the competition, how do you stand out from the crowd and as a cyclist, how do you know what’s right for you?
Knight Composites are relatively new to the cycling world but have a strong team who, using cutting edge techniques and a vast experience in the sector, have been able to produce a range of market leading hoops. A glittering CV, the Knight engineers’ knowledge has stemmed from working at high-performance elite cycling brands such as ENVE, Reynolds and Cervelo.
A member of our sales team in store, Lucy, decided to put Knight Composites’ 35 Carbon Clincher Chris King R45 Wheelset through its paces at the first ever Red Bull Timelaps. Read on to find out how they performed at one of cycling’s toughest endurance events.
The 25 hour endurance race took place in the scenic and regal Windsor Park, and signified the world’s longest one day cycling race. The event consisted of 150 teams of four riders take on a 6.6 kilometre loop around the park from 12pm on Saturday 28th October through to 12pm Sunday 29th October with an extra hour added due to the clocks changing.
Out of the box I was highly impressed by the quality of the finish on these wheels. The white decals against the matt black rims and glossy Chris King R45 Front and Rear Hub provides a really nice contrast. I could already tell the attention to detail was second to none and this was before I had even put them on my bike.
After I fitted them onto my freshly serviced and cleaned Specialized S-Works Amira Road Bike I headed out for an easy spin before the race to test my wheels and make sure that my bike was running smoothly. My first impression of the Knights was that they were really stable and this was something that I definitely went onto appreciate during the race. This increased stability was paying dividends during my night stints out on the course when the conditions were harder, offering less room for error and an ever increasing wind.
Despite the rim not being the widest, compared to a lot of the other big name brands out there (they measure internally at 17 millimetres), the stiffness of the rim really shone through when I got out of the saddle and pushed up the climbs. Although the course was fairly flat, due to the length of the race, this rigidity ensured every watt was being transferred onto the road. The thicker braking surface ensures brake pad and rim life is increased. This is something many people are worried about when considering a new pair of wheels with a carbon braking surface so this is definitely a big tick in my book. The 3 millimetre rim wall improves heat dissipation and reinforces the braking surface making for a more responsive ride and allows for improved stopping speed.
In regards to handling, the wheels were incredibly responsive, something which I have previously struggled with on carbon wheels. As I am on the lighter side (50 kgs) I often get knocked around by the wind on carbon wheels, even by the smallest of gusts, but I had absolutely no issue with these wheels, with the 35 millimetre rim providing the ideal balance between aerodynamics and handling efficiency.
There were particular sections of the course that were out in the open and I did have to contend with crosswinds but the wheels felt assured and I was able to ride through in confidence.
To get the most out of your equipment, requires a certain level of trust and I can thankfully say, I was able to put my trust in these wheels. Allowing for more confident descending, Knight have produced a wheel that only makes you want to ride faster.
In summary if you are looking for your first set of aerodynamic carbon clincher wheels then Knight Composite’s 35 Clincher Wheels are definitely worth considering. The build of this particular model has clearly been well thought through, offering a top of the range, fast engaging Chris King Hub with a rim that has been designed in the windtunnel and has proved itself out on the road.