Flywheel Do's and Don'ts

Happy Week One everyone!
From all my searching within CD and other areas, I’ve come to the point of simply posting some questions to the community in hopes of getting some insight from the much smarter people on here than I, whom have experienced proper flywheels (we’ve made them, but never to grand success).
With moving forward with a flywheel in our secondary prototyping, I’m looking to get some insight with some dos and donts that those of you may have from experience.

Fairlane are constantly brought up as amazing wheels, and while I see the enjoyment of them, I’m curious as to how teams have attached steel wire to them to prevent spread. As well as their process for affixing them to their shafts. I assume the later is simply the shaft roller purchase machined and bored to a hex, but dont want to make assumptions.
In contrast to the Fairlane, I noticed 254 made the switch from Fairlane to Colsons in 2016, but couldn’t find a reasoning for this, though my assumption is due to the ability to center the ball while coming into contact with the flywheel?
If anyone has any other suggestions or experience points, I’d love to hear them to better my understanding and theory.


We bought some 1.125 inner diameter Fairlane wheels and are planning on trying to stick a versahub in them to see how they react.

In 2016 254 switched from colsons to fairlane wheels, see: Team 254 Presents: Dropshot Technical Binder 2016

They can probably comment on the safety wire as well.

For hubs we’ve found that either a press fit hub or JB welding a custom hex hub works - if you have a lathe and a broach.

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We have a full machine facility. Our plan was to mill down the ends of the 1/2" core hub rollers and then broach them, but figured it be worth seeing what others have done.

I recommend this wheel: and buying either 1.25" round stock, turning a hole into it on a lathe, broaching it, then JB welding it, or buying something slightly larger, and turning it down to 1.252"-1.253" for a pressfit, but YMMV with press fits.

How many for a shooter? The Capital Ri3D guys are using 3. Is that necessary? Will 2 work?

IIRC their shooter was that wide because they reused a 2017 fuel shooter which also had weights on the shaft. 1 Wheel + an inertia wheel should be plenty if you’re planning on shooting with a single stream.

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Thanks! That’s what I figured, I just wanted to double check.

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Is there a source for these Fairlane wheels? I cant seem to find any that are robotics related

McMaster Carr, search drive rollers.

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Okay, 1678 machined delrin 1.25" rod to length and broached to hex for many of our fairlane wheel designs and then arbor pressed these into the hubs. Take care to keep them concentric. When you start approaching a 4-5000 rpm range you need to start thinking about banding them to prevent wheels from delaminating from the steel hubs. Purchase 0.032 stainless safety wire from a trusted vendor and purchase a set of safety wire pliers, cut enough wire to wrap the wheel 3 or more times, wrap the wire centered on the wheel so that where they cross makes 2 full wraps, start the twist by hand and finish with the pliers so that you have a twisted segment at least 1 inch long, now trim your tail to about 0.75 inches, take a scribe or other sharp needle like implement and stab into the wheel just to the side of the tail at least as deep as the tail is long, lastly using some pliers force the tail into the wheel until its wire is flush against the wheel. I’ve run the fairlane wheels over 7500 rpm and was unable to cause them to delaminate after this.


Do you by chance have any images of this?

best I got for the moment

I did find that video. That’s what peaked my interest into the subject matter. An up close picture of the twist would be fantastic if it is possible.

I can do it tomorrow evening. I’ll do a step by step for you guys.


That would be amazing. I appriciate it! And I would imagine others will too.

Has anyone experimented with the blue 60A urethane Fairlane wheels? How do they compare to the black Neoprenes?

You might also consider this option. However, you can’t get them right away.

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Awesome! Thanks so much.