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  1. #1
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    Carbon rim pros and cons?

    Ready to get my next bike. 650b around 130mm of travel for trail/AM rides, mostly in the Santa Cruz area. Not super rocky tech, mostly flowy with many roots and few rock gardens.

    Pretty set on carbon frame, but still unsure about the rims. Putting price of purchase aside, I'm wondering about the pros/cons? Weight diff doesn't seem that significant (although wheels is where it probably matters the most), and I'm concerned in case I get a flat in a tech section and keep rolling for a bit until I notice - what happens to the rims?

    Thanks!
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    If I work to pay for my rides - then why am I at work right now??

  2. #2
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    The rims are going to be quite durable, and they are going to be more stiff. There is much less flex in the rim, so your wheels will track nicely. Cons are expensive, most will use proprietary nipples/spokes, and/or is more difficult to work on, if you choose something like enve's (nipples are hidden, so you have to peel tire and rim strip off to adjust). Stans sealant can react with the carbon and cause it to prematurely fail.

  3. #3
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    The corrosion issue was with un-annodized nipples failing in Enves when exposed to Stan's. Most carbon wheels use annodized nips (as do the current Enves) so it's less of an issue. Personally after what I've seen Stan's do to standard alloy rims period I switched to Cafe Latex and now a Rubenia product (supposedly non-corrosive).

  4. #4
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    Dt Swiss also reccomds not to use tubeless on their carbon offerings, which has something to do with the resin reacting with sealant used in their rims.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I don't run tubeless and not planning to (I run 20psi with tubes). I'm more interested in how likely they are to damage where performance is affected, and also if it's more hassle/costs more to replace hubs, etc. I have a big dent in my aluminum rim right now but it runs fine no problem and been like that for years; I'm wondering if carbon is similar or it simply breaks and must be replaced.
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  6. #6
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    Benefits are stiffness, weight and durability. I have been riding my cracked carbon rim for a few weeks now without issue. The newer designs with hookless beads should be even stronger than the current generation of wheels. Plenty of companies out there that do not use proprietary spokes or nipples such as Derby, Light Bicycles, Nox etc. After riding carbon rims for the last two years I can't think of a better upgrade.

  7. #7
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    I've wondered about rock impact durability as well. I know they're not going to bend or dent like aluminum, but will the same force that would normally dent an alloy rim crack or break a carbon rim?

    I hadn't heard that tubeless or tubeless sealants were not recommended for carbon. That would be a non-starter for me.
    Last edited by KRob; 01-07-2014 at 05:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    My only complaint is not going with carbon wheels sooner. Running Derby and they are a game changer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    I hadn't heard that tubeless or tubeless sealants were not recommended for carbon. That would be a non-starter for me.
    People are definitely setting carbon rims up tubeless.

    I ordered some Light Bicycle carbon rims and they are listed as tubeless compatible on the product page.

    There are a variety of sealants you can use if Stan's isn't recommended for a particular rim.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
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    Do they make UST carbon rims that don't require rim tape? If not, that would be a negative for me.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Do they make UST carbon rims that don't require rim tape? If not, that would be a negative for me.
    Light Bicycle is making a UST rim for one rider see that thread in the 27.5/650B section for that discussion.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Do they make UST carbon rims that don't require rim tape? If not, that would be a negative for me.
    Easton who also make most durable carbon rims as well. Not cheap though.

  13. #13
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    Good job!

    I'm 210 lbs, full kit, running the Easton carbon havens tubeless. 20psi front 25psi rear Carbon Pivot mach 5.7. Squamish, Abbotsford Mission, Vedder, Even some time in the park at Whistler. Aside from a broken rear drive side spoke that I had to send to Easton to lace up. They have been bomb proof. Easton dealt with the rear hub issue at the same time. PS I am clumsy (and fast) so I may abuse these more than some.

  14. #14
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    I was a carbon holdout. Until I saw the Pinkbike video where they smash a carbon vs. alum frame. Now I only ride carbon frames.

    I was a carbon rim holdout. Until I bought some Enves. Not only are they noticeably stiffer but because they're more durable and Enve has a great warranty, I'm not afraid to damage them like I was with aluminum rims. So in other words, I can ride faster and freerer.
    We Ride In God's Country!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by myitch View Post
    I was a carbon holdout. Until I saw the Pinkbike video where they smash a carbon vs. alum frame. Now I only ride carbon frames.

    I was a carbon rim holdout. Until I bought some Enves. Not only are they noticeably stiffer but because they're more durable and Enve has a great warranty, I'm not afraid to damage them like I was with aluminum rims. So in other words, I can ride faster and freerer.
    Enve's warranty is about as good as you will ever find for rims. 5 year warranty with a lifetime crash replacement (50% off MSRP).
    Killing it with close inspection.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Do they make UST carbon rims that don't require rim tape? If not, that would be a negative for me.
    Yes! I am using Crankbrother cobalt 11 carbon wheelset, the wheelset is tubeless and I am running on Michelin XCR Dry 2

    but BTW I am a 26er but I paid USD$720 for my set of crank brother cobalt wheelset brand NEW as LBS is clearing stock due to configuration QR and 26er!!!! as QR 9mm and 26er slowly dying out....

    thus for me why bother with chinese carbon??

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