I have just bought a set of Fast Forward F6R wheels with Ceramic bearings.
My reference for comparison are Zipp 404 clinchers, Edge1.38 Tubular, DT Swiss R1.1 and HPlus Son TB14 on Chris King hubs.
The wheels were shipped in a nice sturdy box, and the wheels were in plastic and a cardboard sleeve to protect the rims.
Out the box the wheels look impressive, the rims are clear coated over the decals and the finish is really good. I chose the neutral version which has simple white decals on carbon rims, so they will fit with a whole lot more bike colours than their standard offering which has red and white logos. The wheels appear to be true and with no discernible vertical runout. Spoke tension feels pretty uniform. Without any load the wheels spin absolutely smoothly. On my Park Tools scale they weighed in at 1356g (1350g claimed)
The wheels come with FFWD branded skewers, wheel bag and Swiss Stop yellow pads.
The hubs are FFWD branded, but appear to be clones of DT240's. These wheels came fitted with the optional ceramic bearings.
It took me a few days to stretch and then glue some Continental GP4000S tubulars. The rim bed was nicely finished, and easy to apply glue to. The tyres went on fairly easily, and were easy to centre on the rims.
So far riding impressions have been really good. The wheels feel really smooth and spin up really quickly.
They hold speed really well on the flat, and feel similar in this respect to my Zipp 404 clinchers, and subjectively feel better, but this might be down to tubular vs clincher tyres. Variable wind conditions the last few days have made doing a comparitive test over the same course difficult.
On up hills I can't discern much difference between these and my 1120g Edge Tubulars. On the downhills they pick up speed really quickly and feel slightly faster than my 404 clinchers and Edge 1.38 tubulars.
Braking is the best I have experienced with carbon rims. It is smooth and progressive, without any grab or pulsing often felt with carbon rims. The textured brake surface makes a whirring sound when brakes are applied, but it is not overly loud. I am using my Enve pads and not the supplied,Swiss Stop Yellow, as I was switching between these and my Edge wheels for comparison. I have some Swiss Stop Black Prince carbon pads on order and will be trying them out soon.
Today i had strong gusting winds and I found the wheels to be very stable. In my opinion far less affected by cross winds than my 404 clinchers (pre Firecrest) not once was I blown around or felt any pull on the front wheel. The feel was similar to riding my alloy clinchers on a windy day, or the shallower Edge 1.38's.
The wheels feel quite stiff, and when standing on up hills or doing a sprint there was no brake rub noticeable. I am 90kg (200lbs) so I put some strain on the wheels.
I cannot comment on durability as I have only done 200km on them so far. Also I have not tested braking in the wet so no comment at this stage.
I was originally looking at Enve 6.7's or Zipp 404 Firecrests, but then I came across these on clearance - getting rid of 10 speed stock to make way for 11 speed at a bargain price. As I only recently fitted 2013 SRAM Red I will be on 10 speed for a while, and FFWD have 11 speed compatible hub bodies available, so it should be easy to upgrade if I change to DA 9000, and if need be a hub swap would solve the issue.
As I am a C grade Masters racer, I don't feel that an additional $2000 spend on the Enves would win me any races.the Enve 6.7 are still on my wish list, but in the interim these wheels are really impressive specially at the price paid.
At about Au $1500 these are a really good buy for someone looking for 60mm carbon tubulars that are light (1356g) and well finished. They also tested quite well in the Tour Magazine test getting the same 2.0 score for aero @ 40km/h as Zipp 404 FC, with very similar values at 30, 40 and 50km/h. Acceleration of the Zipps is slightly better but Tour tested the Clydesdale clincher version which is 397g heavier than the Zipps. Weight wise they compare well to Zipps 1355g weight and Enve 6.7 (1420g with DT180 hubs)
Price wise they are a "bargain" compared to the Zipps $2500 and Enve $3299 price (in Australia) for someone on a limited budget you get a wheel that performs at the same aero level as Zipp (using Tour Magazines data) at about 60% of the price, and half the price of the Enves.