Wheelset Mania

The most packed booth we’ve seen is Wishbone’s. The whole booth consisted of mostly carbon made wheelsets and a few other outsourced parts such as handlebars, made of carbon, doubtlessly. It had the most comprehensive selection of wheelsets with every nuance in profile size, materials combinations and rim size for MTB, road, tri and track. Every two inches of the room had at least one wheel on display.

Eric Shih founded this company in June 2008. Having a background in motorcycles, he turned into doing bicycle wheels. His success is well-founded with a base of sponsorships for professional cyclists from HTC-Pride, Txtough Foundation and nearer to our home, Wishbone full sponsored Team Fuji Singapore in their OCBC Cycle 2011 race and were part and parcel of the Singapore girls’ cycling team in the YOG.

The main markets in which Wishbone has seen great sales is in America and Europe, which happens to be Eric’s best market, where they can either be branded as Wishbones or OEMs. You could get it in Singapore too, if you wanted to.

Starting to describe their range of wheelsets is a bit of a tall order mostly because it would be impossible to thoroughly describe every wheelset available – in one rack, there were about 11 wheelsets, and they had around six racks across the whole booth.
Gearing our coverage towards the latest products that Wishbone has for 2011, Eric started talking us through his range.

For road wheelsets, Wishbone makes wheels with profiles ranging from 38mm to 100mm, and a discus wheel for those who are interested in their track wheel. They also come made with a host of different materials, from the more shock-absorbent niobium-aluminium combination for their mountain bike range, to full-carbon wheels, the latter being the more preferred material used to make wheelsets.

The top-of-the-line wheelset available are the Ultimates. The Ultimate 38t and Ultimate 50t are road-going wheels that weigh in at 1.1kg and 1.16kg, and having a profile of 38mm and 50mm respectively.

But the latest product on show is the R45t, which has rim profile of 45mm, and takes 25c tyres and it has internal nipples for the spokes. For Eric, the reason why he created this wheel is because he realised that 23c tyres are poorer at absorbing vibrations as a 25c tyre would, and in races like the Paris-Roubaix where cobblestones dominate the terrain, there would be less chance of the tyre running out of the rim and the bigger width helps smoothen out the terrain, this gives better control for the rider. This product being so new, it hasn’t been weighed.

Aero-nuts would also be interested in the new 1.74kg Wishbone C52AC. These wheels have a 52mm rim profile, and have V-shaped spokes that reduces turbulence in crosswind and headwind conditions. It features a carbon dish and an aluminium braking surface, the reason being that aluminium has special braking properties that some riders might prefer, while desiring the lightness offered by a carbon dish.

Wishbone’s line of wheels is certainly one to look out for, because he is probably one of the few manufacturers who mass-produces wheelsets at almost every specification which you might desire and at a reasonable price too.