When we set out to create the CLX 50 Disc, we had clear goals in mind—create wheels that are 48 to 54mm deep, aerodynamically optimized, ultra-wide, and under 1400 grams. This meant that they’d have to borrow some weight savings techniques that we developed for the CLX 32, take some aero guidance from the CLX 64, and keep all of the disc brake benefits that we’ve come to love if we were going to create what we like to call “the unicorn wheel.”
Why discs you ask? With our disc-specific rims, we ditch the brake track making for a stronger, more impact-resistant rim. This way, you get a disc-specific carbon layup that optimizes stiffness, a weight as close to its rim-brake brethren as possible, and incredible brake modulation and power in all conditions.
Even though the CLX 50 is similar in weight to many wheels in the “lightweight” category, aerodynamics came at the forefront of the development. With this, we jumped headlong into Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modeling to arrive at various rim shapes that could make the CLX 50 as fast and light as possible. It took a while, but we narrowed the rim shape down to three contenders that were then CNC-machined into rims, built into wheels, and put into the Win Tunnel. In the tunnel, we tested every wheel, ours and the competition’s, with a 24C tire (measuring 26C), as tires can drastically affect testing. We chose a modern-width tire to design our rims around, because they not only allow for less tire pressure (which results in more comfort and less rolling resistance) but are also just as aerodynamically efficient when paired with the correct rim width.