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New bike wheel survives on rugged terrain, thanks to DuPont™ Zytel® nylon

The new FRX5 bike wheel has what it takes to withstand the punishment of off-road recreational biking and competition. TAG Wheels, Newport Beach, Calif., makes the new wheel in a single piece using DuPont™ Zytel® nylon resin delivering excellent toughness, strength and stiffness.

Using FRX5 wheels in the Hammer Fest downhill event on Vancouver Island this spring, pro rider Dharma Fontaine hit a rock that flattened his rear tire early in the race. “At the finish line, after I stopped shaking and rattling, I checked the wheel expecting to find massive damage,” he said.

Photo: DuPont
Made of DuPont™ Zytel® nylon, trail bike wheel withstands sharp impacts that cause permanent damage to conventional wire wheels.

“I was stoked to see a very small insignificant ding beneath the destroyed tire. These wheels really are bombproof!” Severe impacts like that usually cause permanent rim damage to traditional wire spoke wheels, according to Fontaine.

Other advantages of the FRX5 over traditional wheels include fewer flats, reduced flat spots and less maintenance. It never requires truing, tension or alignment procedures needed for wire spoke wheels, according to George Kotzeff, president of TAG Wheels.

To make its innovative new wheel, TAG Wheels relies on DuPont™ Zytel® 8018. “Extensive testing in the lab and in the field, shows that this material gives us just the right combination of impact resistance, strength, stiffness and moldability,” said Kotzeff. The resin consists of PA66 polymer modified with advanced DuPont toughening technology and reinforced with glass fibers (14 percent by weight).

The FRX5 is an innovative, one-piece design that optimizes structural strength, impact resistance and functionality. Wall sections vary in thickness to provide additional strength and stiffness where needed. Each spoke has an internal rib. The hub shell is a robust, thick-walled construction, and it is keyed to optimize shear resistance and torque transfer, according to Kotzeff. The design minimizes pinch flats with a relatively thick, flat-topped bead and a resilient rim. The rear wheel has an integral chain-catcher feature to combat chain binding.

TAG Wheels manufactures FRX5 wheels using a patented lost-core molding process that makes possible its complex geometry and strong hollow structure. The manufacturing process starts with molding a metal mandrel from a low-melt-point alloy. This mandrel is then over-molded with Zytel® 8018. The mandrel, or core, is then melted out leaving behind the hollow-formed composite wheel. TAG Wheels supplies FRX5 composite wheels with high-quality DT Swiss 440 hubs. For additional information, please visit or call 1-949-760-8972.

The DuPont Engineering Polymers business manufactures and sells Crastin® PBT and Rynite® PET thermoplastic polyester resins, Delrin® acetal resins, Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomers, DuPont™ ETPV engineering thermoplastic vulcanizates, Minlon® mineral reinforced nylon resins, Thermx® PCT polycyclohexylene dimethyl terephthalate, Tynex® filaments, Vespel® parts and shapes, Zenite® LCP liquid crystal polymers, Zytel® nylon resins and Zytel® HTN high-performance polyamides. These products serve global markets in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, healthcare, industrial, sporting goods and many other diversified industries.

For more information about DuPont™ Zytel® nylon resins, please visit on the web or call DuPont at 800-441-0575.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and all product names denoted with ® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Horst Ulrich Reimer | Du Pont
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