Wheels and Tyres

First Look – Fast Forward Outlaw AM carbon wheels

With so many brands coming out with carbon wheelsets it’s hard to find the diamonds in the rough. The new Fast Forward Outlaw AM wheelset really has an air of quality to it from the finish on the carbon to the presentation. This really does go a long way.

Words and images: Ieuan Williams

With an extensive range of road wheels this company really has a strong pedigree when it comes to making hoops but can they step up to the MTB world? Here’s a first look at the new Outlaw AM wheelset.

With DT Swiss 240s hubs as the base of the build it is solid start. DT Swiss are a proven brand when it comes to wheels, hubs and spokes so it’s no surprise that Fast Forward has opted for these. The centrelock brake disc option is not something I would have liked to have seen and there is no 6 bolt rotor fitting option but there are adapters supplied with the wheels along with quality wheel bags. It’s the full package.

Dirt was sent a sample pair of the new Fast Forward Outlaw AM wheelset in the 29” size. These measure up 33mm OD (outside diameter) with a 24.5mm profile and the spoke count is a reliable 28 hole built in a three cross pattern. These wheels are available with either a Shimano freehub or SRAM XD driver, in Boost or regular 100/142mm hub spacings and 27.5″/650B or 29″. If you’re running 6 bolt rotors you will need to get some DT adapters at £20 a pair or switch to the Centrelock standard.

As stated on the website these wheels have been designed to aid with climbing and, at 1495 grams for the pair, the low weight should be noticeable. Although the AM ‘All-Mountain’ wording is used in the name, Fast Forward has focussed the use of these carbon rimmed wheels for bikes with up to 140mm travel forks – putting them realistically in ‘trail bike’ territory rather than ‘enduro’. In comparison a pair of tough and proven aluminium rimmed Stan’s Mk3 Flow 29″ wheels (with a similar width rim) weigh in at 1918g. The new Reserve 27 carbon wheels from Santa Cruz Bicycles (with 27mm internal and 34mm external measurements) are 1755g a pair for the 29″ size with DT350 hubs and sell for £1599 for a pair.

Fast Forward are suggesting that there is no compromise to the strength here as the main goal is for them to descend as well as they climb. With a two year manufacturing warranty (they are hand built in the Netherlands) and half price crash replacement offered for the rims there is real confidence in the product from Fast Forward.

With us here at Dirt HQ having these wheels for a short time is it was only possible to mount tyres not ride them. With a great rim profile and ready taped ‘out of the box’ setting these wheels up tubeless was no worry at all. At some point I will be looking forward to getting a real test on these wheels on a familiar bike. The feel, durability and usability will be discovered and limits pushed.

Price: £1850 pr

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