Forge+Bond release a more budget-friendly version of its greener composite FusionFiber wheels

 Forge+Bond Shift wheels.
Forge+Bond Shift wheels.

Forge+Bond has just added three new mountain bike wheelsets to its range. The Shift wheels offer a more affordable entry point to FusionFiber wheels for cross-country, trail, and all-mountain, saving $650 over Forge+Bonds existing wheel builds and retailing for $1,250.

For those that don't know, FusionFiber is a thermoplastic composite material produced by CSS Composites that replaces epoxy resins in traditional carbon fiber with long-chain nylon polymers. Not only does it eliminate the use of some pretty poisonous ingredients, FusionFiber requires less processing, less waste, lower emissions, and can be recycled at the end of a product's life. Forge+Bond is the customer-facing brand for CSS Composites, although Forge+Bond isn't the only one utilizing this technology as some of the best MTB wheels from Chris KingEvil, and Revel also use FusionFiber rims.

Forge+Bond Shift wheels on a XC bike
Forge+Bond Shift wheels on a XC bike

The new Shift wheels from Forge+Bond appear to use the same FusionFiber rims (25 XC, 30 AM, and 30 EM) as Forge+Bond's premium wheels but spec a new hub to offer the wheels at a lower price. Up until now, the rims were available with the choice of DT Swiss 240 Boost, I9 Hydra Boost CL, or I9 1/1 Boost 6B hubs but to bring costs down Forge+Bond has developed a new hub with Bitex.

The Bitex hub has a 14 gauge aluminum construction and sports 162 points of engagement for lag-free pickup when you stamp on the pedals. The hubs are only available in Boost spacing and six-bolt rotor options. Forge+Bond backs these hubs up with a lifetime warranty too.

The XC and AM wheels are laced up with 28 aerodynamic elliptic Sapim CX-Ray spokes front and rear. The EM enduro wheels use Sapim D-Lite spokes with 28 on the front and 32 on the rear for a more durable build.

The Shift wheels are only marginally heavier than the more premium hub options as well, with the Shift 25 XC weighing a claimed 1,600g, Shift 30 AM at 1,832g, and 30 EM at 1,920g.

Retailing for $1,250, these mountain bike wheels are still at the premium end of the market but in line with a lot of other carbon wheels. Short of buying the rims and building your own wheels, if you're carbon-conscious, this is the lowest price point for a set of FusionFiber wheels.

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