carbon rims?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by STXR814, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. STXR814

    STXR814 New Member

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    Before I ask my question I tried the search function and didn't see anything that really answered the question I'm looking for. I'm looking to convert from aluminum rims to carbon. My question is how much of a difference will I be able to tell first of all? Secondly, is it a must to change the brake pads and if so can you give me some names to look at. Lastly, is there more maintenance with carbon rims like such as cleaning pads, rims, etc. to keep the rims from getting trashed and are carbon rims succeptable to damage easily? Thanks for any help before I take a leap. I just want to know what I'm getting into.
     
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  2. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Carbon rims will be lighter. Carbon rims will be a lot more expensive. Whether or not you will be able to tell a difference in rims that are about 100-150 grams or so less than the ones you may have is tough to say. More psychological than actual, IMO. Carbon wheels crack rather than get dented when you wack them. Carbon cracks can lead to failures, Dented aluminum not so much.

    MUST use carbon specific pads on carbon rims. Swiss stop, shimano, Campagnolo all make pads for carbon rims, thers as well.
     
  3. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    The whole bling wheels thing is probably the most overrated thing in cycling these days. I didn't notice any difference. In fact, almost all of the carbon wheels i've ridden felt slower to me coz they were flexy. If you notice any difference, it will either be in your head, or because the hubs and tyres will be better.


    Yes, they're much easier to wreck, and the obvious problem with this is the ridiculous replacement costs.

    I've got a set of Flash-Point FP60s and Token C50s. Big fat waste of money. I don't even use them, coz they're too flimsy for extreme criterium mashing. :p Maybe if I did some road racing they'd be more suitable.
     
  4. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    Carbon wheels are awesome to race on IMO. They are light and much stiffer than aluminum clinchers. However, tubulars are a pain in the butt because of gluing tires.

    Also, you can run normal brake pads on carbon wheels, however braking performance will be HORRIBLE. Not to mention, they make loud squeaking noises that irritate everyone when riding/racing.

    Personally, I would only buy a pair of carbon wheels if you plan on racing. Training on them is basically pointless. No point to go faster when training.
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    A couple of years ago, I got a pair of Zipp 404's in tubie on ebay for a (relative) pittance - $700. They are sweet. The ride is velvet smooth, though that may be as much the tubie tires as the carbon rims.

    Are they faster? On the downhills, definitely. Again, that could be the 58mm rim more than just being made from CF, though making a 58mm rim from anything other than CF would weigh a ton. On the flats, not much if any difference. Wow, do they catch the wind, though. Crosswinds are definitely noticable, though never to a dangerous degree.

    Resistance to damage? Given the cost of a replacement rim, I'm paranoid of road hazards when riding the Zipps. I did put them to the test once. Was turning from one road onto another, where some cretinous road crew had cut a trench in the pavement, about an inch deep and three inches wide, with sharp edges. Didn't even have time to bunny hop, just enough to straighten up from the turn. I can still hear that whack! when I hit that trench, thinking I've just lunched my precious wheels. They survived the ordeal with no ill effects, but I wouldn't want to try that twice. So they're not as fragile as glass. For tough rides, I have a set of stout, but brutally stiff, Rolfs.

    Fact is, even an aluminum rim should be replaced if it has taken a hit hard enough to deform the rim. The AL becomes crystallized where the dent is, and is subject to later failure. What is your butt (and your skin, and your structural integrity in general) worth? How good is your health coverage? A wheel malfunction is serious business.

    I love the Zipps. The combination of smooth ride and fast downhill performance make them my weekend hotrods. I don't race (anymore), but I do love a fast ride on the 404's. They just feel so sweet.
     
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