The Any Occasion Wheelset.
The market is fairly saturated with mid-depth carbon wheelsets and you'd be forgiven if you passed by Black Inc's Fifty Carbon Clincher Road Wheelset without much thought. What you'd miss is that these wheels are constructed from premium carbon fiber that is lightweight providing lightning-quick accelerations and a deep profile providing exceptional aerodynamics. The width helps plump up tires profiles so you can run lower pressure reducing rolling resistance and improving cornering so you can charge harder and brake less on the descents. Rims are but one component of a wheel equation and Black Inc wheel's centerpiece are hubs complete with CeramicSpeed bearings that spin with virtually zero friction. In addition to this smoother spinning, they require less maintenance so you'll be quicker on the group ride and spend less time in the shop.
The Fifty Carbon Wheelset can hold its speed in the flats for sure, but it doesn't turn away from a climb either. Rim width is a healthy 27mm, which is wider than the norm letting you use girthier tires without losing aerodynamic efficiency. Proper stiffness is the hallmark of any performance wheelset and the Fifty's possesses it in spades with its unidirectional carbon layup. In conjunction with the rim profile and wider width, the wheels ride a stout feel when you get on the pedals, unlike many lightweight wheels, and it gets up to speed very quickly and doesn't have any troubles staying there.
What we are most surprised with, in wheelset of this price range, is the standard hub bearings. CeramicSpeed bearings in the WorldTour is hop up norm and are usually an upgrade option on wheelsets as it offers real-world watt savings. It simply translates to a quicker, smoother, and faster feeling than standard steel bearings. CeramicSpeed is the leader in bicycle bearing technology and the ceramic construction, with hybrid bearings using top-grade Silicon Nitride ceramic balls, surpass steel bearings in every way. Not just a race day choice anymore, CeramicSpeed bearings are built for everyday use, with superior durability and lasting performance that doesn't require constant upkeep. Black Inc fabricates its hubs with a precise dedication to these bearings, constructing hub shells and axle tolerances around the tightest of tolerances so the bearings continue to feel the same season after season as they do the first day you pulled them out of the box.
- An aero focused wheelset with speed in all conditions
- Wide rim improves aerodynamics and supports bigger tires
- 45mm depth is fast in the flats with a penchant to climb
- CeramicSpeed bearings spin with virtually no friction
- Carbon layup is compliant while extremely rigid laterally
- Subtle graphics and detail is classy and looks great on any bike