USE’s reputation precedes it: its forte in making aftermarket finishing kit, as used by our very own Dr Hutch, and of course housed under the same roof as one of the best known and respected bike light brands Exposure; its reputation precedes it.
Wheels are an obvious next step; but it’s USE’s first bite at the wheel cherry, and in a world where the market is awash with mainstream aero wheel offerings, it’s going to be tough for an unusual suspect to crack.
However, USE should know a think or two about carbon. It’s been dabbling in the black stuff for a while with its componentry; although this time taking a departure from a traditional weave lay-up to opt for a unilateral construction.
USE believe this creates a super stiff, lightweight and aerodynamic rim. It also gives it a ‘striped’ effect where the fibres lay next to each other, rather than across. Adopting the currently fashion for wider 25mm rims should also assist with aero properties, creating a cleaner tubular-to-rim meeting point.
The rim is also where the Nano bit comes in. USE has given it its own Nano surface finish, which it says fills all the microscopic gaps between the carbon. This allows water and muck to bead off quicker than usual on carbon rims. We’ve not seen this kind of application on wheels before, but if it, as USE state, reduces drag and the ability for muck and water to stick to them then it could very well be on to something.
All are, predictably, partnered with USE hubs, boasting fully sealed cartridge bearings and a six-pawl 30-point engagement, so USE says they should also pick up pretty swiftly too.