Upgrade Bikes’ Sector has released new high-spec carbon wheels across MTB and Gravel.
“We were looking at enhancing the structural properties of unidirectional carbon in the application of an MTB rim, with strength and impact resistance being primary considerations,” Upgrade stated.
“Working closely with composite and aerodynamics expert Paul Lew, we established that the introduction of Innegra fibres had the potential to significantly enhance the properties of an MTB rim. After a period of research and development, we arrived at the 9i and GCi rims.”
What is Innegra?
Innegra itself is a fibre derived from polypropylene that exhibits some highly beneficial properties, including high strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to damage, vibration damping and energy dissipation. The TexTreme fabric used in the layup of the new Sector rims is a Spread Tow fabric built from a hybrid of InnegraTM and T700 carbon fibres.
The Spread Tow layout is significant because it also contributes some positive attributes – the fibres are straighter (reduced crimp, therefore, higher strength) and it facilitates the use of less resin (lower weight). In the new Sector rims, the Spread Tow fabric is used on the outer layer of the rim, giving it the unique checkerboard pattern.
Upgrade continued: “Under a lab test the rims were 50% more compliant than a unidirectional T700 carbon rim of the same profile. This test involves loading the rim with a 100kg weight, in which the rims exhibited a deflection of 15.74mm compared to 10.55mm on the standard T700 rim. That’s 50% more vertically compliant!
“Why is this important? Compliance is important for damage reduction (less likely to crack), an improvement to ride quality (and reduction of fatigue) but also to improve traction. This is not only important radially, but also laterally, such as when the bike is loaded with forces that are not in line with the seat tube.”
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