Forge + Bond Wheels - From Gunnison With Love For The Planet
Depending on how you look at things, it’s somewhat of a golden age for carbon bike wheels right now. Sure, we still have to navigate through some low-quality “inexpensive” wheels that come across the radar, but by and large there are a lot of great carbon wheel options out there today. Between technology and materials catching up to production requests, and the number of companies (Big Bike Brands included) taking the plunge into producing wheels, the market has dictated that you need to deliver a quality product before most riders will consider it. With any luck, the days of questionable quality, no-name internet carbon wheels are coming to an end.
As with most avenues within the bike industry, wheel technology and production practices are continually evolving and improving. Companies wanting to get into the game have nearly decades of previous examples, R&D and testing to pave the way into a quality product, which is great for all of us. We largely know what works and what doesn’t. So what makes one wheel brand more intriguing than another to us, the riders? That’s a tough one lately because as mentioned, there are a slew of great options out there. Beyond brand loyalty and sheer marketing, something now needs to speak to the rider to get their attention. Forge + Bond has officially stepped up to the mic. If you haven’t heard of Forge + Bond yet, you’re bound to soon. Along with some solid performers in their wheel lineup, they’re bringing a refreshing approach to production, sustainability, community and what riding bikes is all about. This has not gone unnoticed in the bike world, Forge + Bond currently manufacturers hoops for both Chris King and Revel. Forge + Bond is headquartered in Gunnison, Utah and all of their wheels are designed, developed, produced, and assembled at their manufacturing in this quiet town in Sanpete County. Fun fact, the Forge + Bond facility is the second largest building in Gunnison, next to the prison. Pull that one out on your next group ride! Forge + Bond has set their focus squarely on doing things different, with an ethos to Waste Nothing. It’s a bold ambition, but they have a solid methodology and process by which they’re pulling it off. From straightforward ideas like reclaiming carbon scraps and using recycled packaging, to their energy efficient warehouse and production facility, Forge + Bond’s environmental impact is kept to the absolute minimum. More noteworthy however is their innovative material and process known as FUSIONFIBER®. FUSIONFIBER® breaks the mold, as it were, of how carbon rims have been traditionally produced. Rather than utilizing a traditional thermoset epoxy/resin process, FUSIONFIBER® carbon uses long-chain polymers. The resulting thermoplastic composite material is noteworthy in that it uses a rapid curing process, and the material requires no refrigeration (unlike carbon fiber sheets). Once formed, the rims require no sanding, deburring, clear coat or paint. The FUSIONFIBER® material is fully recyclable as well, from leftover material to finished wheels. No carbon dust, 100% recyclable material, combined with the energy savings inherent in the thermoplastic process result in a finished product that truly supports Forge + Bond’s mission to waste nothing.
The inherent value in Forge + Bond’s approach to production would only go so far however, if the wheels don’t perform. They are of course aware of this as well and have gone to great lengths to design and engineer wheels that are strong, lightweight performers. The FUSIONFIBER’s long-chain polymers mentioned earlier allow a microscopic amount of flexing to occur within the material. This lets the fibers radially dissipate shock throughout the rim in a different way than a traditional carbon layup. The result is a rim that provides a greater amount of dampening, while maintaining lateral stability. In simpler terms, you’re going to get a great ride on the rough stuff and not sacrifice stiffness or stability. Combined with a respectably low weight, that sounds like pretty much everything we expect from a carbon rim.
Alongside keeping production based in Utah, Forge + Bond features Industry 9 hubs (Asheville, NC) to help achieve their goal of 100% Made In The U.S.A. Keeping the supply and production line as tight as possible also further aids in the mission to help protect the planet by reducing Forge + Bond’s logistical carbon footprint. Another added benefit comes in the ability to keep product quality in check. Everybody wins! To further emphasize their commitment to helping care for the places we ride, Forge + Bond partners with the Protect Our Winters (POW) Bike Alliance. More than just watching out for winter sports, POW Bike strives to bring the cycling community together to preserve our natural playground and create lasting change within the bike industry.Check out our Forge + Bond selection, and give us a call with any questions. We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time on them and we’re sure you’ll be seeing more of them soon!