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R88 Valve Cutout: Aero-Optimized Innovation

After an intensive development period, we’re proud to unveil the new hidden valve design of our R88 wheels. The idea has already garnered enthusiastic feedback from riders on social media, bolstering our confidence in pushing the boundaries of wheel innovation.

In this blog, we invite you to delve into the behind-the-scenes engineering journey that brought the R88 Aero Valve Cutout to life.

The beginning

The inception of the R88 Aero Valve Cutout was sparked by a visionary bike shop client passionate about delivering top-tier cycling solutions. He imagined a deep rim with a strategically placed hole for a concealed valve stem, catering to time trial (TT) and triathlon cyclists seeking to maximize aero gains.

“I was thinking about a rim (at least 60mm high) with a small hole in the side, and a cover (just like you have on the disc wheels). Then fit a normal valve in it, and use the same tool as disc wheels, to inflate it.”

— From a devoted customer.

Immediately intrigued by the concept, we collaborated with the client to bring this performance-enhancing option to all cyclists, forming a dedicated development team comprised of sales representatives, engineers, automatic machine technicians, and product testers.

The Challenges

Embarking on this journey, our cross-departmental team faced three key challenges:

1. Hole size. With the valve stem placed inside the rim chamber, riders need to inflate the tire via a valve adapter. We needed to balance the need for a convenient use of valve adapter while minimizing the impact on wheel integrity.

2. Layup adjustment. Carbon fiber rims created from laminates form an intricate system, and any change in design requires a new layup schedule or else the rim may not perform as desired. Our engineers needed to re-design the layup schedule of R88 to reinforce the opening area, and ensure a good dynamic speed balance.

3. Hole cutting. In the past we have only cut the valve openings on disc wheels, which feature a relatively flat operating surface. The R88 sidewall is more curved, so we needed to re-program our self-developed robotic arm for the precise cuts.

Our Approach

Collaborating closely with the client, our team devised a complete solution for the aero valve cutout design.

1. Hole dimension: Determining a hole size of 28mm × 50mm for optimal valve adapter use.

2. Renewed layup schedule: Engineers worked on a new layup schedule based on the determined hole spot and dimension, creating a rim sample for testing.

3. Testing: Iterative testing, optimization, and adjustments to perfect the opening shape and dynamic speed balance. Precise cutout √. Dynamic balance √.

4. User Experience Optimization: Ensuring a seamless out-of-the-box experience by pre-installing the valve stem and providing one valve adapter and two valve stickers.

The Result

In November, we proudly launched the R88 aero valve cutout online, bringing to market a wheel that is aero-optimized, perfectly balanced (≤3g), and with impact resistance surpassing the 70J energy level requirement (UCI impact standard is 40J).

Light-bicycle-R88-aero-wheel-with-valve-cutout.jpeg Hidden-valve-design.jpeg

Product Feedback & New Product Requests

We invite you to join the conversation!  If you have ideas or suggestions to integrate into the wheels you build, ride, or sell, we want to hear from you.

Submit your product suggestion now >>

Thank you for being a part of our journey towards redefining cycling performance. Leave a comment below if you want to learn more about the aero cutout or order a wheel for yourself.

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