By Lars Hundley
Portland-based company Chris King has introduced the ARD44 wheelset, a high-performance road wheel designed for a diverse range of terrains. Developed in collaboration with CSS Composites, a leader in thermoplastic carbon fiber technology, the ARD44 is built with the FusionFiber technology, providing riders with a stable, responsive, and comfortable experience.
The ARD44 wheelset combines a 44mm deep FusionFiber rim with Chris King’s industry-leading R45D hub. The wheelset’s rim design claims to reduces fatigue and strain on the rider by effectively minimizing road vibrations and feedback. As a result, the company says riders will experience better traction and a smoother ride. The R45D hub features Chris King’s in-house bearings, matched races, and single-piece axles, optimizing lateral stiffness and durability. The company’s RingDrive system also ensures 45 points of simultaneous engagement for efficient power transfer throughout the pedal stroke.
According to Greg Hudson, Wheel Product Manager at Chris King, the ARD44 wheelset is aerodynamically tailored for 28mm-32mm tires, with an internal width of 25mm and an external width of 30.5mm, accommodating tire sizes up to 47mm commonly used for gravel. The wheelset’s TSS hookless, tubeless rim design simplifies installation and maintenance while optimizing the tire and rim bed interface.
The ARD44 Wheelset meets the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standards, ensuring safety, compatibility, and performance. The 2022 ETRTO standards recommend a minimum tire width of 28mm for the ARD44, which has been tested and validated by Chris King. ETRTO standards are significant as they provide a unified set of guidelines for manufacturers, ensuring that products are compatible and meet performance expectations across the industry.
FusionFiber is a proprietary material and process developed by CSS Composites. Rims produced with FusionFiber offer claimed advantages over traditional carbon fiber rims in terms of robustness, durability, handling, and recyclability, without adding extra weight. The recyclability of the FusionFiber rims is an important feature, as it demonstrates Chris King’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
The ARD44 Wheelset is backed by a lifetime warranty. The wheelset is available now through authorized Chris King dealers and on the company’s website, with all 2023 color finishes available.
ARD44 Wheel Specs:
- 44mm Depth Front and Rear
- Weight – 1525g / Set
- Available with Ceramic or Steel Hub bearings (+$120 for ceramic upgrade)
- R45D Hubs available in all 2023 Color options
- Designed for 28mm-32mm tires, accommodating up to 47mm.
- ISO 5775/ETRTO 25-622 Rim Bead Seat TSS Hookless rim design for seamless compatibility with modern TSS road and gravel tires.
- FusionFiber Thermoplastic construction for unrivaled comfort, speed, and handling.
- 25mm internal rim width / 30.5 external width
- MSRP: $2,850