There are many wheels available today - some are a collection of miscellaneous parts chosen for price or color. Some are true systems. To build a wheel that provides best in class aerodynamics, stiffness, durability and great handling can’t be done with just parts out of a catalog. This system needs to be engineered and then it needs to be tested. A lot. At Rolf Prima, we pride ourselves on our engineering but we don’t pat ourselves on the back until we’ve validated it through testing. We’ve developed a testing regime that puts our wheels through the ringer, be it impact, braking, durability – you name it! Below is a sample of some of our proprietary tests.
Field testing is part of our program, but wheels need to be driven harder in lab testing to make sure they are ready for all forms of use. That's why we developed our in-house drum fatigue tester that allows us to put the hard miles the wheels need in a matter of days vs. years. Read more about our Fatigue Tester.
While it has been said jokingly many times that brakes just slow you down, that is a really good thing. Having brakes that do exactly what you expect them to do when you expect them to do it, is not as straightforward as it seems. That's why at Rolf Prima, we’ve developed testing capabilities specifically to evaluate the energies resulting from braking forces, distances and temperatures to ensure that brake performance is not something you need to think about. Read more about our Brake Testing.
While a lot of our testing is strength and durability focused, we spend equal time in performance testing. How a wheel rides is important if seemingly somewhat harder to quantify. Testing a wheel in a wind tunnel shows how a wheel responds to wind at different angles with or without a rider giving insight into overall aerodynamic efficiency as well as crosswind handling. Our professional athletes pile on the miles on new wheel designs to confirm our lab tests. Read more about our Aerodynamics.
A term that is thrown around a lot with wheels, stiffness plays into wheel performance in a lot of different ways. How a wheel goes into and snaps out of corners, how it responds in powering up a hill and how comfortable it is to ride are attributes that can be tuned – if you test them. As a team that rides and races just about every cycling discipline, we know what we want a wheel to feel like and by testing the wheels, we can tune their design to match. Read more about the different kinds of Stiffness Testing.