I think one of my favorite product partnerships of all time has to be with Rolf Prima. Most of the time, companies are perfectly happy slapping a logo on the jersey and handing you a pro-deal form. And as much as I appreciate getting sweet deals on cool stuff, these guys are different.
When we started working together, I was happy to be riding on nice road wheels, but didn't think much more of it. Rolf, however, realized that they were missing out on a great and passionate sector of the sport. A sector of the sport that to this point has been completely dominated by one scrappy American company and a pack of Frenchies that think the world of their track racing wheels, and charge accordingly. So they started asking questions.
"do people like tubulars or clinchers?"
"aero or lightweight?"
"carbon or aluminum?"
And so on.
For months and months.
I didn't immediately realize that I was a sounding board for a bunch of guys that were preparing to enter the track market, but when the first pair showed up completely stickered and ready to ride, the light clicked on. We went through several versions, we hashed out little nit-picky details and they finally landed on three versions ready for ultimate thrashing, commuting, and racing. Granted, they did all the hard work (I hear engineering is kinda tough. all that math and stuff), but after a summer of test pilotry, long winded emails and many many races on untested gear, there are 3 finished products.
So now, I am very proud to present to everyone:
The Rolf Track Alloy.
These are designed as a daily training wheel and a weekly race workhorse. I think the two words I typed the most when we talked about these wheels was "lateral stiffness," and that says it all. I am 190 pounds, and wanted a rock-solid wheel that I could do starts on all day, then turn around and race on that same night. This is the product. Custom 14 gauge bladed spokes, 20h rear, 16h front, clincher. Crazy stiff, very aero and virtually bombproof. A sprinter or enduro's dream. Beautiful. Black.
The Rolf 58 Track
Same brutally stiff setup as the alloy, but add a 58m deep carbon tubular rim. Low, paired spoke count on the front keeps it extremely aero, while the higher spoke count, paired design and high tension on the rear makes power transfer instantaneous. I rode these wheels in our winning team sprint at the Elite National Championships this year (and recorded the fastest first lap of the week, including Wednesday's 250 times). Not a bad debut. Also all the pics below from the Amsterdam six feature this front wheel and Rolf's forthcoming Carbon Disc. This is by far the fastest wheel I have ever ridden. It is also the blackest wheel you could ever ride. It is like the race wheel from the black lagoon, but blacker, and with menacing yellow eyes. Which is pretty great.
And last but certainly not least:
The Rolf P-Town
These wheels are sexy. Conversation over.
Based on the race wheels, but styled for... well... style. 130m rear spacing, so they'll fit on your hooptie fixie, killer mustache bar commuter or single speed cross bike. Flip-Flop hub will do fixie or free. These wheels will smash your face with killer-ness and leave you moaning and groaning for more. So get some. Today. Actual mustache not included.
1 year ago