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BEHIND THE RECON PRO SERIES

What is Recon Pro all about?

We set out to develop a better way of manufacturing carbon rims: one that was not only stronger but more environmentally friendly had a more durable finish and didn’t require post-production finishing. These rims come out of the mold as a finished product and the original carbon fiber texture is clearly visible to the naked eye.

We've come a long way

It took over two years to streamline the new Pro production line because every process needed to be broken down and scrutinized to the last detail. From the material preparation, heating, and cooling control, to a new style of molds and tooling, each area had to meet an unprecedented standard in order to achieve our goals. The carbon fiber and resin systems remain undisturbed - right out of the mold.

Why is it so hard to make?

Firstly, Recon Pro rims require no post-production, meaning that every little dust spot, twisted piece of carbon fiber, any flaw, would be visible once it came out from the mold. There’s no going back! No wet-sanding, no patching, no clear coat. We give you the 100% carbon fiber texture in all its glory.

How does it look?

Our development team took a long time to determine what the Pro rims look like on the surface. There were so many options on the table: Granular? Brushed metal? Weave pattern? Raw carbon fiber texture? We made several samples and sent them to many big customers and pro riders for consulting. At last, we had the winner. A satin finish that reflects light and presents a clear vision of the carbon fiber. Now you have it - visibility of every last detail.

the-appearance-of-light-bicycle-recon-pro-rims

Looking good, even when wet

There was one major problem at the beginning of the development: white marks would appear on the rim surface after extended soaking. We know cyclists ride in all conditions so we did accelerated testing in a variety of extreme conditions. Reference photo below. We were determined to fix this pesky problem!

After narrowing down the root cause of this irregularity, we were able to adjust the mold, layup, and other processes in order to fix this issue. Now you can ride hard and put them away wet.

the Features

•   Stronger (3-5% increase over equivalent non-Pro products)

•   Flyweight design for reduced weight

•   Highly scratch-resistant

•   Better looking

•   Lifetime Warranty available

•   More environmentally friendly

PRO TECHNOLOGIES

What makes the Pro series rim different from non-pro rims

exo

Customized Epoxy

BKT

The Black Tek(Scratch resistance)

FCM

Flyweight Construction Method

arp

Asymmetric Rim Profile

swt

Smooth Wall Technology

ACD

Aviation class CNC drills

sat

Sizing accuracy Technology

UMM

Upgraded mold material

era

Environmentally-friendly Release Agent

efp

Environmental Friendly Manufacturing Process

mpt

Molding Pulsation Technology

APE

Anti Pinch-flats Edge

bft

Burp Free Technology

opl

One-piece layup Technology

HBT

Hookless Bead Technology

sab

Specially design Air Bladder

hqm

Only the highest quality material is used

NCr

No Curing Carbon Ring

NrP

No Rim bed Patching

adt

Angle Drilling Technology

NrI

No residue inside the rim

fpp

Flow Production Process

ccc

Cooling Cycle Completion

Light-Bicycle-EXO-tech-icon-mo-190723 EXO

Customized Epoxy Resin

The newly improved resin system has superior consistency and forms the smoothest and most durable finish we’ve ever created. From a lengthened fatigue life to more robust interlaminar bonds, ExoTek raises the bar in performance and aesthetics.
The resin on the rim surface is sanded off for traditional rims, but for Recon Pro rims a thin layer of resin remains on the surface, yielding 3-5% more rim strength.

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Light Bicycle EXO tech icon pc 190723
Light Bicycle black tech icon pc 190723
Light-Bicycle-black-tech-icon-mo-190723BKT

The Black Tek (Scratch Resistance)

Rims featuring BlackTek come out of the molds as a finished product. Traditionally, rims are wet-sanded to remove imperfections like excess resin and then sprayed with a clear coat. Black Tek rims come with a factory finish and the outer carbon layer is never disturbed after the curing cycle is completed. This is the hardest wearing and finish we have ever produced.

Photos/Graphics
Light-Bicycle-FCM-flyweight-tech-icon-mo-190723FCM

Flyweight Construction Method

Our lightest construction method uses an exclusive unidirectional prepreg with a very low fiber areal weight. A variable thickness nipple bed reinforces key areas around the spoke holes, eliminating excess material. A blend of Toray T-700 and T-800 offers the weight-saving benefits of T-800 carbon without compromising the strength or stiffness of the rim.

Photos/Graphics
Light Bicycle FCM flyweight tech icon pc 190723
Light Bicycle Asymmetric Rim Profile pc
Light Bicycle Asymmetric Rim Profiletech mo arp

Asymmetric Rim Profile

Over the years, we’ve optimized an asymmetric profile that maintains the outright impact performance of asymmetric design but enjoys the benefits of offset spoke holes. This design significantly equalizes spoke tension between drive and non-drive spokes which results in a stronger wheel build that stays true longer.

Light-Bicycle-FCM-flyweight-tech-icon-mo-190723SWT

Smooth Wall Technology

We’ve developed a special air bladder material, that follows the inner contours of our rims. Coupled with our three-dimensionally shaped air duct, the inner wall of the rim is smoother, lighter, and is without wrinkles. The bladder is removed through the valve hole without the use of chemicals or a need for patching, improving the strength of the rims.

Light Bicycle FCM flyweight tech icon pc 190723
Light Bicycle aviation use CNC drills tech icon pc 190722
Light-Bicycle-aviation-use-CNC-drills-tech-icon-mo-190722ACD

Aviation class CNC drills

No tear out! Our Pro rims are drilled with Aviation-grade CNC drills with drill bits specifically designed for drilling through advanced composites. The bits have a unique cutting edge which makes extremely clean holes. Each hole is inspected to ensure they are free of burrs. The drilling speed and temperature is adjusted as the bit wears, and the bit is inspected after every 60 holes. Competitors use more common high-speed bits which heats up the holes and often leaves scorch marks. It won’t be uncommon to see some delamination in other carbon rims due to the inferior drilling process.

Photos/Graphics
Light-Bicycle-sizing-accuracy-tech-icon-mo-190723SAT

Sizing accuracy Technology

Light Bicycle makes the rim size more accurate and undisturbed by using a two-in-one mold.
The layup and pre-mold go straight inside the final mold without the need to remove the rim until it is fully cured. With traditional manufacturing processes, you’ll see the rim layup occurring in an inexpensive alloy pre-mold, then the rim comes out and is re-fitted into a higher quality mold that encapsulates the rim. The problem is that you can get some distortion when refitting the rim. With our process, no contamination happens on the rim surface and you get a rim that will build up with incredible roundness. The mold cost is higher and we sacrifice some production capacity, however, wheel builders will feel the difference in quality.

Light Bicycle sizing accuracy tech icon pc 190723
Light Bicycle upgraded mold material tech icon pc 190723
Light-Bicycle-upgraded-mold-material-tech-icon-mo-190723umm

Upgraded mold material

Traditional molds can become stained with a yellow appearance due to the epoxy resin. This can work its way into the final product.
Our Pro rims require higher-end molds with fewer impurities made from a few different kinds of steel, including S136 to meet the accuracy request of the engineering team. The parting lines on the rim surface are incredibly small, and this speaks to the accuracy of our molds. Some factories have wider parting lines and will claim it’s just aesthetics, however, the truth is that wider parting lines make a weaker and less accurate rim. Parting lines occur when two mold plates do not fit tightly together, and the lines form after the rims are cooled down. Resin and even carbon fiber will be squeezed through the gaps once the rim bladder is pressurized. The best condition for carbon fiber is to remain continuous and undisturbed. process.

Photos/Graphics
Light-Bicycle-environmental-friendly-tech-icon-mo-190723era

Environmentally-friendly Release Agent

A release agent is applied to the mold to make it easier to remove the rims. The most common release agent used in carbon rim manufacturing is oil mixed with a small amount of wax. There will be some residue on the rim surface after it comes out of the mold, so wet-sanding is used for removal. This isn’t an option for our Pro rims.
Desiring an effective mold release agent that was also as green as possible proved to be a challenge. We opted for the more expensive Henkel and Chem-Trend, and based on the product’s performance we stand by our decision. This non-transfer type release agent forms microfilm by chemically bonding with the surface of the mold. The film remains stable at high heat, withstanding temperatures up to 400 ° C. After the molding process, the release agent flashes off so no sanding is required. The application of the release agent is critical, we need to warm the mold up to a certain temperature in order to apply it, and it needs to be spread very evenly. We deploy a heat-sensitive camera to check our work.

Light-Bicycle-environmental-friendly-tech-icon-pc-190723
Light-Bicycle-tech-icon-Environmental-Friendly-Manufacturing-Process-pc-190723
Light-Bicycle-tech-icon-Environmental Friendly Manufacturing Process-mo-190723efp

Environmental Friendly Manufacturing Process

The Falcon Pro and Recon Pro series rims are manufactured by an optimized process that doesn't apply any post-production like painting, water sanding, etc. So it's even more environmentally friendly than traditionally made rims. NO wastewater emission during the whole process.

Photos/Graphics
light-bicycle-Molding Pulsation Technology-icon-moMPT

Molding Pulsation Technology

The molding pulsation refers to the dynamic control of air pressure to reach a balanced value that matches the resin flow. Air pressure, oil pressure and temperature must be adjusted frequently as the resin discharge changes during the entire molding process.
What does it do?
1. Avoids problems like over-discharged resin, air wrap on the rim surface, etc.
2. Makes the binding force between carbon layers stronger, increasing the fatigue life of the rim.

light-bicycle-Molding Pulsation Technology-icon-pc-1908014
APE-anti-pinch-flate-edge-design-no-snake-bite-rim-technology-logo-20190830
APE-anti-pinch-flate-edge-design-no-snake-bite-rim-technology-logo-mo-20190830ape

Anti Pinch-flats Edge

The rounded edge makes tire installation easier and offers increased support during hard cornering with a softer edge and larger surface area.

BFT-burp-free-technology-for-better-tire-seating-logo-mo-20190830 bft

Burp Free Technology

All Light Bicycle rims are tubeless compatible. The bump on the rim bed helps to create a buffer during tire inflation, making the mounting process easier. When the tire is mounted, the raised portion reinforces the tire bead, making it harder to “burp” or fall back into the drop channel.

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OPL-one-piece-layup-process-logo-20190830
OPL-one-piece-layup-process-logo-mo-20190830OPL

One-piece layup Technology

After the material is cut to size, it is delivered to the layup room. The layup workers are extremely skillful and our most experienced workers. The layup is performed by hand and is strategically built up in many layers. Every piece of prepreg is carefully oriented in a pre-formed core with the appropriate overlap.
We developed a one-piece layup design to increase continuity and reduce the number of overlapping seams. We have upgraded our equipment to handle large accurate cuts, and the end result is a rim that is not only stronger but also lighter.

HBT-hookless-rim-bead-technology-for-disc-rims-logo-mo-20190830hbt

Hookless Bead Technology

Our hookless design has consistent carbon compaction and there are no voids in the layup, providing the rim with a greater ability to withstand sharp impacts.

HBT-hookless-rim-bead-technology-for-disc-rims-logo-20190830
SAB-specially-designed-air-bladder-make-rim-inner-side-smooth-logo-20190830
SAB-specially-designed-air-bladder-make-rim-inner-side-smooth-logo-mo-20190830sab

Specially designed Air Bladder

Air bladders are inflated inside the rims during the molding process, but not all air bladders are created equal. We have numerous air bladders designed specifically for particular rim shapes, built thinner and of a higher quality than most factories. The thinner material can extend into tight areas of the rim, creating smoother walls and a more consistent nipple bed. The strict handling and storage conditions of our air bladders have significantly improved the interior of our rims.

Photos/Graphics
HQM-use-the-highest-quality-material-for-rim-produce-logo-mo-20190830hqm

Only the highest quality material is used

Carbon rims are complex shapes that require the best material available in order to produce a top quality product. Toray is a leading global manufacturer of carbon fiber and produces some of the industry’s most consistent products. The bulk of our rims are made with Toray’s unidirectional (UD) fiber, and we offer an optional woven 3k or 12k top layer. TORAYCA T700S is a mainstay in all of our rims, and we use T800S in some models to help reduce weight or increase stiffness in particular areas. Why not T1000?
Many people ask why Light Bicycle doesn’t use T1000G. not using T1000G that beats T800S at strand strength? True, T1000 has a higher strand strength compared to T700 & T800, but it is primarily used in military or aircraft manufacturing, costing roughly four times in price. We are also not able to secure enough of the material to use effectively. Material Preparation.
The carbon fiber is impregnated with resin before it is laid in molds. This is known as a prepreg. The engineering team determines the resin ratio, size, shape, type, thickness and angle of every piece of carbon fiber in a given rim. The layup schedule is critical to the performance and longevity of the rim. Rolls of prepreg are stored in a climate-controlled room, and released in small batches for cutting during a production run.

HQM-use-the-highest-quality-material-for-rim-produce-logo-20190830
NCR-no-curing-carbon-ring-to-avoid-2nd-hard-surface-molding-logo-20190830
NCR-no-curing-carbon-ring-to-avoid-2nd-hard-surface-molding-logo-mo-20190830ncr

No Curing Carbon Ring

Some manufacturers use a curing ring (some call it a carbon strip) for a more even, reinforced nipple bed. The challenge with this practice is the rim must undergo a double molding process. The curing ring reacts differently compared to the rest of the rim, ultimately leading to a weaker structure. Light Bicycle was one of the pioneers to eliminate this process years ago, and yet quite a few companies are still manufacturing with the curing ring

Photos/Graphics
NRP-no-patching-carbon-on-the-rim-bed-logo-mo-20190830NRP

No Rim bed Patching

Other factories pull out the core used in the layup process through a large hole cut into the rim bed, which is then patched. Under this process, a worker cannot accurately match the fiber orientation of the layers, and rim continuity is sacrificed. Wheel builders will notice that rims with this patching behave erratically during wheel tensioning. Light Bicycle builds differently. Our rims do not have any patching as we have a special process for avoiding this.

Photos/Graphics
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ADT-angled-drilling-spoke-holes-for-better-align-logo-20190830
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Angle Drilling Technology

The spoke holes of all Light Bicycle rims are drilled with a certain angle (axial direction and radial direction) to reduce the stress of the nipple, rim, and spoke interface. You can request a customized drilling pattern if you have a unique wheel build.

Photos/Graphics
NRI-no-bladderresidue-inside-the-rim-chamber-logo-mo-20190830nri

NO residue inside the rim

Other rim manufacturers sell their rims with voids in the layup and the air bladders still inside. Although it’s faster to leave them in, we carefully remove the air bladder so that no material is left behind. Every gram counts!

Photos/Graphics
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Flow Production Process

Light Bicycle is not a large production facility - we are experts in smaller custom orders. Yes, we produce a lot of rims, but our process is much different from “the big guys”. Traditionally, rims are ordered in large batches and travel through the various production cycles within that big batch. This means that rims are often sitting waiting for others in their group to be completed before the next process begins. During this time they can deform because they are not cured, and risk contamination. The productivity and cost is lower with this method, but the quality suffers.
With our process, the rims don’t stop moving once the process starts. Once a rim enters the production cycle, it moves swiftly between processes and is not left waiting for other rims in its “batch”. When a rim comes out of pre-mold, the final mold is already prepped and ready. Light Bicycle first started as a direct to consumer business and had to master the art of handling custom orders. The dynamic coordination of our production team took years of refinement, and now we’re able to handle thousands of rims each month with hundreds of variations that would cripple most production lines.

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/ Cooling Cycle Completion

Our rims are left in the mold until the cooling cycle is complete. Most factories will remove the rim after it’s cured so that another rim can be put into production. Although slower, we find our method yields a more dimensionally accurate product.

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A couple more things

Decal options

Unlike our traditional rims, the Pro rim surface is not suitable for waterslide decals. However, we found a new technology to apply the decals, allowing for personalized colors and graphics.

The new glossy-black-waterslide-based decal for Recon Pro series. Avery vinyl logo-kits are available in 11 colors. The vinyl is replaceable and easy to install.

Light-bicycle-Recon-pro-rim-decal-sticker-options

Black

Blue

Turquoise

Green

Purple

Red

Magenta

Orange

Gold

Yellow

Silver

White

What about the tubeless tape?

If you are running tubeless tires, you might have a concern about the tape not sticking to the rims that well. We addressed this by changing the formula of the carbon fiber and resin on the rim bed for ease of tubeless setup.

WARRANTY OPTIONS

Whether your tough on wheels or have never cracked a rim, our new warranty gives you the opportunity to get the coverage you need and avoid overpaying for what you don’t want. Our Recon Pro line of rims comes standard with our Pro 5-year Warranty against manufacture’s defects and, for the first time ever, with the option to upgrade this standard warranty to our Premium Lifetime Warranty.

5 years warranty
lifetime warranty

RIM LIST

Available in both 650B and 29er

Rim model Outer Width Depth Discipline Weight(+/-15g) Price(each) Explore
29er-XC925 30mm 23mm Cross Country 295g flyweight
360g standard
USD 259
Buy
Section View
29er-AM927 33mm 24mm All Mountain 400g USD 269
Buy
Section View
29er-AM930 36mm 25mm All Mountain 440g USD 279
Buy
Section View
29er-AM935 41mm 27mm All Mountain 470g USD 289
Buy
Section View
29er-EN932 38mm 25mm Enduro/DH 500g USD 289
Buy
Section View
650B -XC725 30mm 23mm Cross Country 285g flyweight
345g standard
USD 259
Buy
Section View
650B-AM727 33mm 24mm All Mountain 385g USD 269
Buy
Section View
650B-AM730 36mm 25mm All Mountain 425g USD 279
Buy
Section View
650B-AM735 41mm 27mm All Mountain 455g USD 289
Buy
Section View
650B-EN732 38mm 25mm Enduro/DH 470g USD 289
Buy
Section View