The very first prototype Ward WheelZ - before they were branded and publicly available - started off merely as copies of well known leading brand wheel models. Research was conducted into which of the commercially available wheels offered the best combined performance from aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. Many wind tunnel drag graphs and rim profiles were examined before deciding on a particular wheel to use as the basis for the first Ward WheelZ. Then it was a case of searching for manufacturers who could supply the most similar components to result in a 'cheap' copy of this much more expensive original model.
Tom Ward's Mechanical Engineering Dissertation project was on "Elite Performance Cycling Modelling and Monitoring". It was in conducting this project where he learned to accurately and repeatably perform 'aero test' runs on an indoor velodrome, as well as measure bicycle tyre rolling resistance. Armed with these new skills, he set about testing any 'aero' wheels he could to determine their relative performances.
It was soon evident that this 'cheap copy' Ward WheelZ prototype was indeed exceedingly fast both from an aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance point of view and actually exceeded all expectations. In fact, it was only equalled by a few wheels costing more than double and only beaten by a leading brand of full disc front track wheel!
Tom formerly worked in the wind tunnel at the Boardman Performance Centre in the UK, accumulating over 500 hours of cyclist aero testing experience. This provided a huge wealth of knowledge and further wheel aero testing opportunities which translates over into the Ward WheelZ he produces.
With all this test data of these different wheels and their relative performances, certain trends appeared between the best and worst performing wheels. This newfound knowledge started the never-ending process of trial and improvement for Ward WheelZ, whereby the suspected key features of each high performing wheel were brought together to complete the full package.
Ward WheelZ have been designed and developed using mechanical engineering principles, while bringing that together with the experience of both wind tunnel and 'real world' testing. The physics of riding in different conditions have been carefully and extensively evaluated, culminating in a range of different potential design solutions. Each distinct design and has been thoroughly comparison tested to the baseline and the best performer selected as the new baseline. Each component in the wheel system has been independently changed and tested against the baseline reference. Any time an improvement is detected, it is double checked and then 'real world' tested out on the road or in the velodrome for reliability and handling, as well as outright performance, before making it into the customer version Ward WheelZ. This time consuming iterative 'trial and improvement' process is what sets us apart from the rest. Despite already producing some of the highest performing race wheels at unbeatable prices, we are still making breakthroughs and never content with our products for long, continually seeking further improvements.
"If you stay the same, you are actually going backwards" - Michael Hutchinson
List of achievements on Ward WheelZ:
UCI World Championship Medals
BC National Championship Medals
BC Regional Championship Medals
CTT National Championship Medals
CTT Regional Championship Medals
British University Championship Medals
10x 18 minute '10's by 6 different riders
46:27 25 mile TT
“X’s Mavic wheel is sloooooow on track. Not got nothing on the Ward WheelZ”
“Ward WheelZ for the win” - Jonny Wale
“It’s really smooth, it makes the bike feel softer” - Anna Morris
“That front wheel. My word. Smoothest thing ever... I was sucking that black line like a barnacle!”
“Game changer... Means I can get more extreme in position for the same stability as previous wheels”
“It’s mint... You’ve outdone yourself” - Ed O’Connell
“X let me use your wheel today, it’s bl**dy incredible, it’s so fast and so stable I love it! Happened to coincide with my best track session of the year as well” - Zac Herrod
“I can say for sure the Ward WheelZ wheel set is the quickest road wheel set I’ve used, and I can definitely vouch for their versatility - also, I can’t flex them when sprinting so they’re pretty damn solid wheels”
“Solid as f**k WheelZ- robust at Rutland can’t ask for anything more” - Alex Pritchard