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Wednesday, 26 March 2008
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Rogue Process

PROCESS

Our hand built wheels are built from the ground up, using the best parts available, all chosen for the properties they bring to make our wheels the finest available.

We looked at the products currently available, and identified a lot of areas where improvements can be made. First and foremost we decided that people who use wheelchairs deserve more than just an assembly of middle of the road parts that may or may not be suitable for the unique ways that a wheelchair can perform.

We saw that all of the off-road wheels available basically slapped a knobby tire onto the same rims and hubs, making them easy to build, but with some results that weren't necessarily optimal for the people who end up using the products.

Hubs

Using the same hub forces the user to buy a longer axle and spacers so that the off-road tire won't rub on the sides of the chair. We thought that was a waste of money (and confusing), so we re-designed that element so that the same axle that is used for everyday chairs could be swapped directly into our off-road wheel.

To do that, we used ProE cad software to engineer a proprietary offset into the hub body so that the wheels are automatically spaced away from the frame, so that you can use the same axle that you use with your everyday wheels. That saves you time and money. We also matched our bearing spacing to the most popular wheels in an effort to start to work with other manufacturers on standardized elements that will ultimately benefit the people who use the products, whether they're ours or not.

The result is a 32 hole computer designed hub body that is manufactured to exacting tolerances out of 6061 T6 aluminum, using the latest CNC technology, finished with a durable powder coat process to resist scratches and chips.

Rims

We recognized that putting a wheel with a larger tire onto a chair with very precise geometry might compromise the balance point, and disturb the body position of the user, so we went shopping for a rim size that would allow a straight swap with your 25"� (559) wheelchair wheels, with no change in ride height or body position.

We picked our rim very carefully, because using the same type of rim that is used for everyday applications just didn't make sense. We wanted a rim that would stand up to anything someone in a wheelchair threw at it.

Syncros has carved out a niche and made a huge name for themselves by making the best mountain bike components available. Their rims are no exception; the Syncros DP32 is a true 24" (507) freeride rim. It's used by the top pros and is in high demand by any mountain biker who is looking for the best rims out there.

Every rim is stress relieved and work hardened after joining, and 100% quality assurance on each and every rim ensures near perfect round and run out.

Tires

There are lots of 24" tires out there that could have worked, but we needed a very special set of parameters to come together to make the Rogue off road wheel everything that we wanted it to be.

We chose Maxxis tires for a few reasons, but mostly because they're all about performance.

Besides pushing the envelope that way, they make two tires that offer some pretty amazing technology, and fit the need to preserve the ride height from an everyday wheel to the off road application.

The Holy Roller is a tire that offers amazing traction with a hand friendly tread featuring an "inverted semi-knob"� design, and comes in two widths, 2.40", and 1.85". From dirt tracks to grass, snow or gravel, this tire will get you where you need to go.

The Hookworm is a 2.50" inch wide urban assault tire that is tough as nails, with an enormous air volume. It softens drops, and uses a tread design that would look equally at home on the back wheel of a race motorcycle, providing low rolling resistance, without sacrificing traction. The hookworm is a great choice for applications where there is a need to go from a sidewalk onto grass; perfect for a round of golf, walking the dog, or a picnic in the park. The limited tread resists mud and dirt getting caked into it, so clean up before going back inside is made easy.

Spokes

We spent a long time choosing spokes, and decided to go with the lightest, strongest ones that we could find. There is some interesting spoke technology being used in everyday wheelchair wheels that we noticed was not being embraced by the bicycle world.

The best bike wheels are made with steel spokes for good reasons; the result is a stiffer, stronger, livelier wheel that can transfer energy up to 35% more efficiently than fiber spokes. Fiber spokes act as a vibration and shock dampener and they're 25% more absorbent than steel.

By using the technology of DT Swiss Revolution double butted steel spokes, we get the best of both worlds. Butted spokes are thinner through the middle, which give a wheel a springier, livelier feel, without giving up any efficiency. Steel spokes also don't need any special tools to repair or maintain; with spoke wrenches and replacement spokes readily available at any bike shop, you'll never need to special order parts or tools, and you'll never have to worry about being grounded waiting for replacement parts.

Rogue wheels use DT ProLock nipples, a patented nipple locking system that increases the life of a wheel up to 20 times.

If you were to look inside the threads with a microscope you would see that we have injected a two part compound which when activated by the heat from a turning nipple creating an adhesive which locks the spokes.

Push Rings

We chose aluminum for our pushrings because of the proprietary properties of the material. Many manufacturers offer titanium as an upcharge option, but the reality is that there is a minimal weight difference, and the use of titanium in a large circular part like a pushring is not the best use of the material. Titanium is at its best when it is triangulated, while aluminum doesn't require that kind of configuration as much.

If you really really really want titanium, call us, and we'll special order it for you, but it's a waste of money.

Bearings

We offer three choices in bearings; standard, with high tolerance precision sealed R8 type, and options for all stainless steel corrosion resistant (permanently sealed deep groove), or hybrid ceramic bearings, which are constructed of steel inner and outer rings with ceramic (Si3N4) balls in place of steel.

The R8's are very good bearings, offering precision tolerances and great rolling resistance.

Stainless bearings are preferred where corrosion resistance is required. They exhibit excellent toughness and hardness properties.

These bearings have several advantages over all steel bearings, such as higher speed and acceleration capability, increased stiffness, higher accuracy, lower friction and heat generation, reduced lubrication requirements, low thermal expansion, and extended operation life.

 
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