Your experiences of carbon-rim wheelsets?



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Robert Brown

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[an offshoot from the "What wheels would you choose" thread]

Hello,

For those of you who actually ride (have ridden) carbon wheels, could I pls have your input on how
you find them to be. Ability to stay in true, ride comfort, wind-up on back wheel, ability of
braking surfaces to withstand wear and tear, braking ability generally, aerodynamic benefits (either
real or imagined), improved ability to attract girls with them (either real or imagined ;-), etc.

You might also mention the brand - also, if you ride the clincher, or singles version. Low profile,
deep profile, metal spoked, 4-spoke, disk,
. . .

My intention here is more to get your personal experiences of having ridden them.

TIA /Robert
 
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Robert Brown

Guest
Robert Brown wrote:

> [an offshoot from the "What wheels would you choose" thread]
>
> Hello,
>
> For those of you who actually ride (have ridden) carbon wheels,

----8<----

You mean *nobody* here does? /Robert
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Robert Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> [an offshoot from the "What wheels would you choose" thread]
>
> Hello,
>
> For those of you who actually ride (have ridden) carbon wheels, could I pls have your input on how
> you find them to be. Ability to stay in true, ride comfort, wind-up on back wheel, ability of
> braking surfaces to withstand wear and tear, braking ability generally, aerodynamic benefits
> (either real or imagined), improved ability to attract girls with them (either real or imagined
> ;-), etc.
>
> You might also mention the brand - also, if you ride the clincher, or singles version. Low
> profile, deep profile, metal spoked, 4-spoke, disk,
> . . .
>
> My intention here is more to get your personal experiences of having ridden them.
>
> TIA /Robert
>
I like my Zipps, but the braking surface does leave something to be desired. NOT the best crit wheel
if you're doing something twisty turny...

The 404s are faster than the 303s.

The 404s build into some way stiff wheelsets! My guess: that deep carbon rim really doesn't
give too much.

The 404s I built for track racing are pretty fast wheels. They're not quite as fast as my disk was,
but they accelerate a lot easier.

I haven't ridden my new road Zipps more than one time so far. Its winter after all... (even here in
San Diego!) Once spring rolls around and I need to go do intervals I'll post back the difference
between my Reflex wheels and my Zipps.

Mike
 
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Bruce Frech

Guest
I used a front Zipp, an ancient one, on a very hilly 300km loop in heavy rain. With stop signs at
the bottom of some of the 10%+ grades I wore about a third of the brake pads off in that one 10 hour
ride. And it still didn't stop well.

Supposedly the newer rims work better. But a few pros don't use them in hilly races due to braking
difficulties. Then again other pros do. So..... keep looking for an answer.

Bruce
 
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Robert Brown

Guest
Bruce Frech wrote:

> I used a front Zipp, an ancient one, on a very hilly 300km loop in heavy rain. With stop signs at
> the bottom of some of the 10%+ grades I wore about a third of the brake pads off in that one 10
> hour ride. And it still didn't stop well.
>
> Supposedly the newer rims work better. But a few pros don't use them in hilly races due to braking
> difficulties. Then again other pros do. So..... keep looking for an answer.
>
> Bruce

Thank you!

I knew there was at least one person out there who'd bought a carbon wheel and actually
ridden on it ;-)

Focusing on your description of it being "ancient" - I've been wondering if all the braking
(especially with small amounts of road grit in the pads) would start wearing away the surface so
that the carbon fibres would start getting exposed, then pulling, then shredding. Have you seen this
on yours? Or is your experience that the braking surfaces remain essentially intact, even after
heavy use?

/Robert
 
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Bruce Frech

Guest
>I knew there was at least one person out there who'd bought a carbon wheel
and actually ridden on it ;-)

I didn't buy it, I just used it. :) The rim, a Zipp 440, was used in the early 90s, so it's at least
10 years old. A friend who used it to race on the track and for time trials left it at my house for
storage. The braking region was not smooth.

As I mentioned before, newer carbon rims have better braking surfaces. But they still don't work as
well as aluminum (from what I hear). So keep looking for info, as I don't have current knowledge.

Bruce

> Focusing on your description of it being "ancient" - I've been wondering
if all
> the braking (especially with small amounts of road grit in the pads) would
start
> wearing away the surface so that the carbon fibres would start getting
exposed,
> then pulling, then shredding. Have you seen this on yours? Or is your
experience
> that the braking surfaces remain essentially intact, even after heavy use?
>
> /Robert
 
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B A R R Y B U R

Guest
On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 21:32:59 +0100, Robert Brown
<[email protected]> wrote:

>I knew there was at least one person out there who'd bought a carbon wheel and actually ridden
>on it ;-)

The owner of the shop I work at just built a bike with Bontrager carbon wheels. The bike has not
been ridden yet due to below zero temperatures and snow. <G>

All I know so far is that the bike needs special brake pads, and the wheels are scary light!

Barry
 
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Robert Brown

Guest
"B a r r y B u r k e J r ." wrote:

> On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 21:32:59 +0100, Robert Brown <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >I knew there was at least one person out there who'd bought a carbon wheel and actually ridden
> >on it ;-)
>
> The owner of the shop I work at just built a bike with Bontrager carbon wheels. The bike has not
> been ridden yet due to below zero temperatures and snow. <G>
>
> All I know so far is that the bike needs special brake pads, and the wheels are scary light!
>
> Barry

I'll try to address all who've replied on this thread so far (including Bruce F, who was riding a
well-worn carbon wheel):

If the braking surfaces are beginning to wear down, do you see any carbon fibres beginning to
separate from the rim? Or does the wheel appear to retain its integrity despite braking surfaces
being worn down?

I'm trying to get an idea as to whether carbon wheels are an expensive throw-away-after-two-seasons
piece of equipment, or are they something that in fact can withstand a few years' use (say 10-20 000
km), if treated with care.

/Robert
 
D

Dianne_1234

Guest
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 22:17:02 +0100, Robert Brown
<[email protected]> wrote:

>If the braking surfaces are beginning to wear down, do you see any carbon fibres beginning to
>separate from the rim? Or does the wheel appear to retain its integrity despite braking surfaces
>being worn down?
>
>I'm trying to get an idea as to whether carbon wheels are an expensive throw-away-after-two-seasons
>piece of equipment, or are they something that in fact can withstand a few years' use (say 10-20
>000 km), if treated with care.
>
>/Robert

My experience is that, as usual, it varies. Carbon does not do particularly well at resisting
abrasion compared to metals, but nevertheless carbon wheels are out there with brake surfaces under
abrasion. Maybe there are sacrificial layers added?

Perhaps ask the manufacturers what kind of wear testing they perform? It would be interesting to
learn, for example, if they include water and sand...
 
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