Are you looking for a lightweight, low-priced carbon wheelset? If so, Farsports Feder Wheels are a great choice. These wheels are manufactured in China and offer excellent performance at a fraction of the cost of some top brands.
The company offers an option to customize your wheelset to suit your needs – hubs, spokes, internal widths, and the rim depths can all be customized based on what type of riding you do or how much money you want to spend.
Let’s take a look at these low-cost carbon fiber rims!
Can you trust Farsports, a China company, to build your wheels?
Farsports is the wheel manufacturer of many western brands. They have been in business since 2007 with over 200 employees working for the company, most of whom work at their headquarters located in Xiamen, China.
If you saw their prices, it’s understandable that you would be skeptical about the quality of these wheels.
Let me assure you – they are excellent.
The main reason why their prices are so low is the lack of middlemen involved. They manufacture rims and build the wheels in-house and there is no extravagant marketing, which ultimately saves you tons of money.
How much do these wheels cost compared to western carbon wheels brands?
They are one of the cheapest carbon fiber wheels I’ve ever seen from a reputable company.
For example, if you take a look at the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO clinchers – these cost more than $3500. You can get a set of Farsports wheels with a similar weight for a third of that price (or even less).
Sure, weight and price are not everything when looking at carbon wheels. We will talk more about these later, but let me just say now that Farsports wheels use some of the best hubs and spokes on the market, so you don’t have to worry about how these wheels will perform.
Farsports Wheels: What’s in store?
When you enter their website at Wheelsfar.com, right away you will see that there are many options to choose from.
This can be confusing if you’re new to cycling. For now, though, we’re only going to talk about Feder and Kaze, carbon wheels made for road bikes.
In short, the main difference between Feder and Kaze is the weight, price, and rim depth options.
Aside from those two, the newest addition to the Farsports wheels collection is the REVO rim. At this point, we’re not sure about the advantage of this type of rim yet. They’re claiming a revolutionary manufacturing process to reduce defects and improve quality. But those promises couldn’t persuade me since they are pricier, no weight reduction, and there are no quality problems with Kaze and Feder in the first place.
There is also Ventoux wheelset which you can get on a separate website Farsports.com, but we won’t talk about it here as it deserves another separate review. Just know that if you’re looking to build a custom wheel with third-party hubs and spokes, Feder and Kaze are the answer.
Next, you can choose the hubs. There are so many hubs options to choose from, and they’re all top brands like DT Swiss, Carbon-Ti, Chris King, Extralite, Tune, and more.
You will then choose the rim width, depth, finish, spokes, and nipples.
If you still want more options, shoot them a message and explain exactly what you need. Staggered rim depth, more spokes, a different set of front and rear hubs, or anything else – they can probably do it since they make their own wheels.
Farsports Wheels Review
So, I ordered two wheelsets from Farsports.
Here’s the first wheelset:
- Rim type: Feder, disc brake
- External width: 28 mm
- Depth: 35 mm
- Hubs: DT Swiss 240s EXP rear and RD 230 front (their bespoke hub)
- Spokes: 20/24 Sapim CX-Ray with alloy nipples
- Claimed weight: 1225 g (±30 g)
- Actual weight: 1229.0 g
The production time was 24 days and cost me just under $1000.
The first thing I noticed about these wheels is how clean it looks, at least from the outside. It’s pretty much flawless. I have seen way more expensive wheels with more imperfections than these Farsports wheels.
Have a look at these photos. I peeled the logo decal, but these are Farsports wheel photos:
Why the different sets of hubs?
I chose DT Swiss because of its reputation as a durable hub brand and I think the DT240s is the perfect balance between price, performance, and durability. The front hub won’t affect performance as much as the rear hub, and because of the simple construction, durability isn’t my main concern. So, I simply give RD 230 a try on the front.
Also, RD 230 is lighter and cheaper than a DT Swiss.
Nothing much to say about the rear hub. It’s DT Swiss 240. It’s good. And I’m sure you’ll get whichever hub you ordered from them, just make sure you know which one to choose (which we will discuss later). The rear hub came overly greased to the point that it was basically running silent during the first 200 km of the test.
As for the front hub, the RD 230 hub is their own design using a pair of 6902 bearings which is actually larger than what DT Swiss use in DT240, which is 6803.
Bigger bearings are more durable but give you more friction. I can’t see any flaw in the design, and the build quality is perfect. Overall, it’s a good hub if you’re looking to save even more money than you already are with these rims.
And here’s the second wheelset:
- Rim type: Feder, rim brake
- External width: 26 mm
- Depth: 45 mm
- Hubs: Carbon Ti
- Spokes: 20/24 Sapim CX-Ray with alloy nipples
- Claimed weight: 1310 g (±30 g)
- Actual weight: 1322.0 g
This time, the manufacturing take 18 days and the price was, again, just below $1000. I also ordered titanium QR skewers and SwissStop Prince brake pads.
Nothing to complain about these wheels in terms of build quality.
I ordered the satin or 70% UD matt finish for the rim brake version, but I think a UD matt finish on my first wheel looks better. It’s a matter of personal preference, of course.
Both wheelsets came true out of the box, though once installed I can see a tiny tiny wobble which is still well within tolerance. I can’t see any imperfection on the rims themselves – they are flawless.
Sapim is one of the top spokes manufacturers on the market. Many other budget wheel brands use the slightly cheaper Pillar spokes, so it’s a big plus that Farsports exclusively use the more well-known Sapim spokes at this price level.
Real World Farsports Wheels Performance Review
I’ve been using both of these wheels for more than 4000 km and 10000 meters of climbing combined without any problem. Both wheels are still true.
Like I mentioned above, during the first 200 km, the wheels feel a bit sluggish because of the over greasing. But after that, they feel buttery smooth just like how they’re supposed to be. You can remove the excess grease if you want, or just go climb some hills and freewheel downhills as I did.
What surprised me the most is that the Feder 35 mm feels twitchier against crosswinds compared to my 45 mm Feder or even my other wheelset, a 47 mm Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 wheels.
Compared to my Bontrager wheels, the 35 mm disc brake Feder wheels feel noticeably more comfortable and less stiff. I still prefer my Bontragers even though they are about 100 g heavier, but the difference in “feel” is so minimal that I don’t think most people should spend that much money on a top-level carbon wheelset anymore.
Keep in mind that comparing the power-to-speed difference between the Feder and more expensive wheels is impossible for normal people because there are so many factors that come into play in the real world. That said, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the performance against the wind, it is pretty much what you expect from 35 and 45 mm wheels.
What about the rim braking performance?
Okay, to be fair, I have not tried many carbon rim brake wheels to make an in-depth comparison mainly because in the past I’ve always been using alloy wheels on my rim brake bike. However, I did try my friend’s Campagnolo Bora WTO wheels, which is highly regarded as having one of the best rim brake performances.
In the dry, they perform similarly. I would say the Farsports wheels with SwissStop Prince pads are 95% as good as Campagnolo. In the rain, Campagnolo Bora is clearly better. Not much better, but if you tried both – one after the other, you can clearly feel that Bora takes fewer wheel revolutions to stop.
Even with the groove patterns which supposedly help the braking performance in the wet, it’s still not quite as good as some of the western brands I’ve tried. I still wouldn’t recommend using these wheels if you’re a heavier rider who rides downhill a lot in a rainy area, just like any other rim brake carbon wheel.
Everything else about Farsports Feder wheels has been great – the build quality, the price, the customer service.
They are truly fantastic wheels worth the price and more.
If you’re looking for a lightweight set of wheels and don’t care about the ‘bling’ from top brands, I can highly recommend Farsports Feder.
That concludes the review part of this article. Below, you’ll find some buying guides and recommendations if you’re interested in buying Farsports wheels but feeling overwhelmed with the large selection that they have.
Should you choose Feder or Kaze?
Feder is the lightweight series and Kaze is the aero series. Using the same configuration, Farsports claims the Feder is 70 g lighter than Kaze. However, Feder is limited to a maximum of 55 mm rim depth, and choosing Kaze allows you to go up to 88mm. Kaze’s max rider weight is 120 kg, 5 kg more than Feder. A sales rep told me that Kaze is stiffer than Feder but I can’t verify this statement from their website.
Also, the Kaze wheelset is $80 cheaper for the same configuration. Probably because Feder uses a higher grade carbon layup to achieve the lighter weight.
If you’re looking for all-around wheels, I recommend the Feder with a 45 mm rim depth or deeper. And if you want the Feder to be stiffer, you can ask them to use Sapim CX-Sprint spokes on the drive side for a small extra cost.
Choose Kaze if you’re a heavier rider, a sprinter, or need a deeper rim profile.
Which hubs to choose?
Farsports have so many hub selections that it can be confusing if you’re not familiar with any of these brand names.
So, in short, here’s what each hub is good for:
- DT240s EXP: A mid-range, all-around hub with good durability
- DT350s: Cheaper and heavier than DT240
- DT180s EXP: More expensive than DT240, slightly lighter, and uses ceramic bearings
- Carbon Ti: A solid lightweight hubs that are not too expensive and still durable for daily use
- Extralite: A super lightweight hubs, more expensive, less durability. Get this only if you care most about the weight
- Chris King: Good durability, easy to service, and is a high-profile brand name
- Tune: An exotic lightweight hub with good durability for normal uses
- White Industries: Heavier than others but is regarded as one of the most durable hubs
- Bitex: An all-around, durable hub with very good price. A fantastic budget option.
- RD230: Farsports’ bespoke hub design, not many reviews but is very cheap and lightweight. CeramicSpeed bearing option is available with extra cost
In my opinion, DT240 is a great all-around choice, it’ll never be a wrong option. If you’re looking to save some weight and use a proven name brand, go with Carbon-Ti. Finally, based on my experience with their (front) hub, Farsports RD230 might be worth a try if you’re looking for a cheap, lightweight hub.
Some of these hubs are only available in a rim brake or disc brake options.
What about the spokes and nipples?
The Feder comes in 24 spoke holes configuration by default, but if you’re a heavier rider you might want to ask for more spokes since my Feder wheels don’t feel stiff as my other wheels. It’ll be heavier for sure, but the wheels will feel better too.
If you want stiffer wheels for sprinting without adding more spokes, ask them to use CX-Sprint on the drive side. There’s an extra cost to this, so you decide if it’s worth it.
Lastly, if you want an even lighter wheelset for extra money, use CX-Super.
As for the nipples, there are two options: alloy and brass. They are the same price but alloy nipples are lighter, and brass nipples are stronger and more resistant to corrosion. That said, I’ve been using wheels with alloy nipples for years and they’re fine.
Does Farsports offer any warranty?
They do. Farsports will repair or replace your wheels for free if you find any defect within 24 months. They will also repair your wheels for a charge after 24 months. The only condition is that the product is not misused and the components have not been modified after purchase. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee.