Karbon Speed is a new company, formed in 2012, but their founders are hardly freshmen in the industry. Two of the three main guys (Brian and Glen) also own XTerra wetsuits, the other (Justin) started his career with Oakley.
As friends and triathletes, they were frustrated by the cost of aero wheels and thought there had to be a more efficient way to get quality carbon fiber wheels. They combined their manufacturing experience and triathlon industry knowledge and started Karbon Speed. Development started in fall 2011, and the company went live with products on September 5, 2012.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, they took existing research on aerodynamics and braking surfaces and looked at how to bring all that to riders for a better price. That said, they’re using their own molds, not just catalog items. The rim profile was designed by an aerospace engineering firm with experience in high tolerance carbon fiber designs intended for high speed production.
The rims are made of Toray T-700 carbon fiber and stick with a slightly modified V-shape. They did give it a bit of shaping at the leading edge and widen the rear a bit to add a bit of crosswind stability. Aero test data is available on their website, along with plenty of test videos.
Two depths are available, 50mm and 88mm. Both are clincher and have 21mm widths.
The brake track has a bonded on basalt surface. Basalt is a naturally occurring inorganic compound that comes from volcanoes and has really good heat dissipation. They mix it into the resin and carbon at the braking surface, which helps the rims handle much greater heat without having to add an alloy braking surface.
The wheels use Novatec hubs and 20/24 bladed spokes.