Corsa Concepts Brings New Carbon Road Wheel Tech to Market

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Founded by Greg Hudson and Veloforma Bicycles owner Mark Duff, Corsa Concepts was born out of a frustration with lightweight wheels that just didn’t hold up to everyday use.  The goal: to build lightweight, durable wheels that will perform at the highest level of racing while still being solid “do it all” wheels for the common roadie.

Shown for the first time at NAHBS on Signal Cycles’ bikes, Corsa Concepts is based in Portland, OR, amongst the plethora of area builders, which has many of them excited about a second (and local) U.S. carbon wheel manufacturer (Edge Composites being the first).

Corsa Concepts will offer a full line of carbon tubular racing wheels designed for road, track, time trial, triathlon, and cyclocross and alloy training and racing wheels, with four models available now: the 1.2C clincher, 2.3T and 2.3TP tubulars and the Disc.  The naming system indicates their design: 1.2″ deep (30mm), “C” for clincher.  The 2.3′s are 2.3″ (58mm) deep and ‘T” is for Tubular.  The Disc is a full carbon disc wheel made for Tubulars, and there’s a Track-specific version available, too.

Hit more for add’l photos, specs and pricing…

corsa concepts carbon fiber disc triathlon aero time trial wheel

The Corsa Concepts tubular disc wheel weighs in at 976g and retails for $1,550.

While they don’t currently warranty their 1.2c for cyclocross use, Hudson says it is strong enough, it’s just that a flat tire on a clincher could lead to unpredictable consequences.  Their 2.3T is, however, approved for ‘cross use and the deep section rim is designed to help steer the bikes through Northeast mud.  With the Tubulars, the tire is still centered even if flat and can protect the rim surface.

For ‘crossers that don’t need or want such a deep section rim to steer them through the crud (think Southeast and Southwest regions), Corsa is working on a 1.5T rim.  It’s actually available for purchase now, just not yet approved (ie. warrantied) for such use. Hudson says they’re working towards that goal, but not likely to “officially” have the 1.5T cyclocross rim by next season.

They’ve tested the wheels in the lab for spoke pull, heat, pad wear and other tests, and riders have been on the open road with them for a year.  Corsa Concepts provides a 2 year warranty against manufacturer’s defects and a 4-year “no fault” crash replacement program that gets your wheel repaired or replaced for a maximum of $400, depending on the repairs needed. Corsa Concepts is working closely with several Portland-based teams including the Veloforma Elite Women’s Cycling Team and Portland Velo as the official wheel sponsor, using their racing as proof of concept and a solid testing ground.

corsa-concepts-carbon-wheels-rimThe 1.2C wheelset is 1,500g, and rim is 420g, which puts it on par with high-end alloy rims but offers the stiffness of carbon with a deeper aero profile.  The rim will retail for $500 and a full wheelset with Corsa-branded hubs is $1,700.

The 2.3T shown at the top of this post weighs in at 648g F / 817g R (1,465g set) and retails for $1,650.  The 2.3TP Pista set for track use (or fixed gear riders with a large budget) weigh 776 F / 810 R (1,586g set) and retails for $1,550.

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The 1.2C rim features a continuous flow.  Notice there’s no specific edge to the brake track, providing a very smooth, unique look.

Their rims are manufactured in Portland, from carbon fiber layup to drilling holes for the spokes.  Currently, Corsa outsources their hubs, but their looking at various options as they grow. Custom options are available if you want to have a set built up with, say, Chris King road hubs, and keep it all from the Northwest.

All of Corsa’s wheels are available with either Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo freehub bodies, and the laced wheels are all 28-hole with double butted black spokes and brass nipples. Wheelsets include skewers, valve extenders and brake pads. They’re working on an 24/28 (spoke hole) alloy wheelset as a training-specific set in the future.

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[...] Concepts, a new U.S. wheel brand that surfaced ’round about NAHBS time by sticking their wheels on some bikes at Signal Cycles’ booth, is prepping a new [...]

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