What type of coating is on the ceramic coated rims?
The coating is actually a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) coating. This is an electrochemical process of oxidation that is performed by creating micro-discharges on the surface of components immersed in an electrolyte. The process is applied to Aluminum, Titanium, and Magnesium to grow a dense, ductile nano-ceramic oxide layer that improves mechanical, wear, thermal, dielectric, and corrosion properties.
This is a much different coating than the anodization that is used on the sides of almost all alloy rims. The PEO coating is a much harder, and more durable coating, leading to increased longevity in all conditions.
Do I need special brake pads for the ceramic coated rim?
Yes, we include the Swissstop BXP brake pads which we have tested to work excellent with the ceramic coated rims. The main thing you will want to ensure is that you are not using the brake pads on a regular machined brake track rim as you can pick up slivers of aluminum which will scratch the coating on the brake track.
With the increased durability, will the coating wear off?
Under many different riding conditions, both wet and dry the coating has not been wearing off. That being said, you are still rotating a wheel between the brake pads. If there is hard material like sand or rocks trapped between the brake pad and the rim this can wear streaks into the ceramic coating.
How can I ensure the best longevity from the ceramic coating?
The easiest way to ensure longevity is to ensure that your brake pads are free from any debris that can scratch the rim. This is actually a great recommendation for any wheel, not just the ceramic coated. We have seen grooves worn into braking surfaces from debris left in the brake pads for a long time.
Riding in the rain can be inevitable. The problem with riding in the rain is that the debris from the road will splash up and coat everything. This is what makes it easy to get into your brake pads and create a point to scratch a rim. Thoroughly inspect your brake pads after every ride in the rain and make sure there is no debris left over. This can easily be done in most cases with a rag and rubbing alcohol (you will need to remove the wheels to do this). More stubborn and embedded debris may need to be picked out of the brake pad.
What happens if the coating does wear off?
Even if the coating managed to completely wear off from the rim, you can still use the wheel as normal. The ceramic coated rims are the exact same rims as our silver brake track alloy, so it's definitely not a situation where if the coating develops any streaks or wear that the rim is no longer fine to ride. Ride hard and have fun!!
Below are some pictures of the PEO coated rims both brand new and after one of our professional test riders has put over 8,000 miles on them in all types of weather conditions.
Below are photos of how the coating looks after 8,000 miles of riding in all different types of terrain and weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a few nics and scratches. Overall, the coating remains in good condition and is still providing really good braking performance. In fact, Winston just came back from a trip to the mountains of Colombia South America where he was doing rides like this!