Skip to content Skip to footer

The technology of DRIVE wheels

Drive 50D

Our uninterrupted program of technological research and development combined with years of know-how has brought us this new series DRIVE. With this range of wheels, we have set our sights on new horizons, creating a road product with the optimal balance of comfort and performance.


Drive picture


Improved aerodynamics, light weight, great stiffness and relative comfort, DRIVE wheels are built around cyclist. Silver decals with hand-stacked marbling set the DRIVE wheels apart. There are the following models currently in this series: DRIVE 40D, DRIVE 50D, DRIVE 40V and DRIVE 50V.



1 Carbon Spoke


The significant feature of DRIVE wheels is the high-modulus carbon spoke. With up to a 7% higher in lateral response over equivalent steel spoke wheelsets, the DRIVE wheelsets have been engineered to increase the stiffness and reduce the weight. The higher frequency vibration absorption capability of the carbon fiber spokes brings a more direct dynamic response, and the 3.3mm width provides better aerodynamics.


elite spoke


The DRIVE wheelset offers purely mechanically secured carbon spokes, which allow carbon spokes to be trued and maintained just like regular steel spokes. Anti-loosening technology is also used on the spoke nipple. When the spokes are locked in, the threads built into the nipples achieve a double-locking effect, which is also essential for carbon spokes.


2 Innovative Carbon Technology – UNI


Like most high-performance wheelsets, Drive wheelsets are made from carbon fibre composite.


Carbon fibers are used for their high stiffness and strength along the fiber direction, and for their low density. The resin matrix is used to holds these long, thin fibers together so that we are able to use them efficiently in product design. Different kinds of carbon fibre offer different structural characteristics, depending on how the fiber are arranged in the resin: they can be bidirectional, unidirectional, woven, or mat. Different kinds of carbon fiber have different stiffness, different strengths, and like all materials, different prices.


In wheels, we usually use unidirectional and bidirectional carbon fibers. The unidirectional carbon fiber results in material that is lighter than other. It also gives us more freedom to place fiber of different orientations in sequence, in order to achieve precise performance criteria. Bidirectional carbon fibers are usually used where local reinforcement is required.


With our in-house developed UNI technology, we are able to improve the performance of the rims while reducing its weight.


*The following is the material performance index:


prepreg physical properties table


The material stiffness depends on the fiber surface density. However it doesn’t mean the harder the better. From the above table, it’s not difficult for us to find that UNI achieves a balance of rigidity and stiffness and lighter weight.


In addition to material optimization, we also optimized the inner walls of the DRIVE rims. The smooth inner wall can increase the contact area between the spoke nipple and the inner wall of the rim, and can also improve the drilling accuracy of the rim and the spokes. In the disc brake version, we also made a special design to reduce the weight on the premise of ensuring performance. An extra square-shaped T1000 carbon fiber has been added to each spoke hole to enhance the tension. Here’s how we can make a 1260g disc brake 40mm carbon spoke wheelset.


 Elitewheels wheelset


3 Innovative rim shape for better aerodynamics


Better performance and lighter weight have always been our fixation. The DRIVE is not difference. The aerodynamic performance of wheelset depends on the structure of the rims. Excellent rim rigidity and light weight can bring high power transmission and low loss performance.


As more and more users want a better riding experience, low rolling resistance performance and correspondingly strong puncture resistance, tubeless tires are gradually becoming popular in the field of road bicycles.Riders are also increasingly preferring wider tires for better handling. U-shaped rims have been difficult to adapt to such complex stress requirements. Thus combining U-shaped rim and V-shaped rim we created U/V-shaped rim. This not only retains the aerodynamic performance of the U-shaped rim, but also the performance of the V-shaped rim which helps reduce the wind resistance.


Elitewheels picture


4 Wider tires and lower tire pressure


The inner width of DRIVE disc rim reaches 21mm. They are designed to be set up alongside tubeless tyres, run at lower pressures, with the goal of greater comfort. This wheelset increases rider confidence in corners through greater tire contact area with the ground.


cornering force


The increased inner width of the rim means that wider tires can be used, and riding in a relatively low tire pressure environment can increase the shock absorption capacity and make long-distance riding more comfortable. Wheels with low tire pressure are better suited to rough riding surfaces than high tire pressure. Low-pressure tires increase grip by increasing the contact area between the tire and the ground, which improves handling and safety. Wheels with high tire pressure cannot eliminate the impact of obstacles, causing the bike to feel significantly bumpy. And lower tire pressure can reduce bumps and reduce fatigue.


tire pressure


5 Tubless tire compatiable


Tubeless wheels and tyres have been shown to have lower rolling resistance and be lighter than a clincher set up with latex inner tubes. A tubeless system gives you the chance that a puncture could self-seal and save you from having to stop and change tubes. With the popularity of tubeless tires, tubeless wheels were born.Tubeless wheels give you the option of running tubeless tyres as well as a traditional clincher tyres and inner tubes setup.


The pressure distribution of tubeless tires on the inner wall of the rim is different from that of clincher tires. Tubeless tires create circumferential internal pressure for the rim. If the tensile force of the sidewall of the rim is not enough, the deformation of the rim will increase, which will cause the rim to swing from side to side and the spoke tension to decrease. We rigorously tested and optimized Drive’s rims with the help of CFD computer fluid mechanics and wind tunnel testing, adding more tensile force to the rim sidewalls of DRIVE. This improves the wheelset’s stability and handling at high speeds in a variety of environments. DRIVE is the optimal balance of comfort and performance.


Elitewheels picture 

 6 Performance Hub


To get the most out of carbon fiber spokes, we designed high flange hubs which come with higher lateral stiffness and more real estate. It delivers all the handing and stiffness benefits.High flange hubs produce a wider bracing angle which results in a larger triangle and subsequently greater lateral rigidity. The larger flange comes with more real estate allowing wider spacing between each spoke. As a result, the flange is stronger and capable of accommodating more spokes. In order to improve the smoothness of high-speed braking, the DRIVE disc brake front wheel uses 14 spokes on the disc brake side. The rear-wheel drive side uses 16 spokes, which can better improve the power transmission of carbon spokes.


Elitewheels picture


The ability to reduce rolling resistance is the driving force behind our wheel development. The closer the hub shaft and bearing are to the midpoint of a shaft, the lower the rolling resistance is, and the less pressure is exerted on the bearing. Hybrid ceramic bearings are used in Drive wheels. When dealing with hubs, we put accuracy first. When determining the bearing installation position, the tolerance of the bearing itself should also be considered. Through the higher concentricity of the hub, the bearing pressure can be reduced, thereby increasing the service life of the bearing, reducing the rolling resistance, and thus better exerting the function of the ceramic bearing. At the same speed, you can clearly feel that the low-resistance ceramic bearing makes your ride easier.

Leave a comment