Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    320

    QR15 fork or carbon rim to improve stiffness?

    I have a Trek Superfly AL 100 Elite, with a Sun Ringle Black Flag Pro wheel set. I notice a bit of flex when riding (I'm about 195lbs) and would like to minimize it if possible.

    I'm currently running a Fox 9mm QR fork, and I was wondering if I would find more of a stiffness improvement by switching to a QR15 fork or getting some of the Chinese Carbon wheels built up. I have no experience with carbon rims so I don't really know what to expect performance wise. Anyone care to share their insight?

    The wheel option will definitely be the cheaper option as I'll sell my current wheel set. Given my fork uses the G2 geometry it could be tough to sell it, so I'll be looking at a decent cash outlay if I decide to change the fork instead, so I'm leaning strongly to the wheel option. Will going from the Black Flags to a Carbon rim wheel set provide a noticeable improvement in stiffness??? I will also be able to save about 300g changing wheels which is another positive.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Endothermic Cavewalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    217
    You don't need to buy a new fork, just order some new lowers with the 15mm qr drop outs.

    If the front hub is convertible to the 15mm axle, then keep them.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    320
    Thanks for that. So do you think this will make more of an improvement than carbon rims, or is this just another option rather than replacing the entire fork?

  4. #4
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,931
    Quote Originally Posted by manamana View Post
    Thanks for that. So do you think this will make more of an improvement than carbon rims, or is this just another option rather than replacing the entire fork?
    I've got 9mm QR REBA forks on my Dos Niner and JET 9.

    Going to the carbon rims on the 9mm REBA's were a big jump in stiffness for me. How to quantify that and compare to a 15mm TA switch? Don't know. You can, however, see the test results of the difference between a 9mm QR and 15mm TA if you do a search.

    Keep in mind that a lot of things have happened over recent years in addition to the front axle options. Tapered head tube/steerer tube, beefier tubes/hydroforming, beefier stanchions, beefier lowers on forks, carbon rims, etc... .

    I would venture to say that yes, with your frame/fork combo - you will/would notice an increase in tracking, cornering, accelerating (in terms of stiffness) with the carbon rims. I did in terms of an improvement from 3 wheelsets (I9 Enduro, King/Blunt/Sapim, Crest/DT 240) which the carbon rims showed an improvement in the stiffness "factor".

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    4,311
    I think the wheels win, by a nose. Plus, you get the benefits of lower rotating weight and a wider rim giving a possibly better tire footprint (if you go with the AM rims).
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Endothermic Cavewalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    217
    Quote Originally Posted by manamana View Post
    Thanks for that. So do you think this will make more of an improvement than carbon rims, or is this just another option rather than replacing the entire fork?
    I can't say anything in regards to carbon rims. I know that I'd like to try them one day, but other than that, I don't think I would ever buy them. At least not right now. I will wait until the technology gets better and for the prices to come down. Or at least for a manufacturer to stand behind their product with a warranty greater then 2 years or have some kind of crash replacement option.

    I think it would make a huge improvement and this is also the cheapest way for you to find out. Your wheelset should be able to convert to the 15mm axle diameter and new lowers from Fox are between $250-$300 or so. I also think the upgrade might also include some Kashima coating as well, although I'm not really sure on that. Most of those details can be found on Fox's web page.

    All I know is when I made the switch it was a night and day difference and I'm sure a carbon rim would further improve what the QR 15 already has.

  7. #7
    Ambi-Turner
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    117
    I went to the cheap carbon rims and noticed a big jump in stiffness and the bikes high-speed handling was much improved. I didn't notice a huge difference climbing, but it was so much more confident in descending and holding a line. I would go for the carbon rims, but be sure to get the 30mm wide rim and keep the tires inflated properly. I ran too low of pressure and when I came down hard from a jump, I actually cracked the carbon rim. It's an expensive mistake.

  8. #8
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,931
    Quote Originally Posted by Endothermic Cavewalker View Post
    I can't say anything in regards to carbon rims. I know that I'd like to try them one day, but other than that, I don't think I would ever buy them. At least not right now. I will wait until the technology gets better and for the prices to come down. Or at least for a manufacturer to stand behind their product with a warranty greater then 2 years or have some kind of crash replacement option.
    $155 per rim for the Light-Bicycles carbon AM rim
    $93 per rim for the NoTubes Flow EX rim

    Not sure prices will ever come down to match the NoTubes price, but $155 per rim is not a bad price point for performance at all.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,107
    Are these cheap carbon rims any good? It kind of scares me that there is such a price difference between them and the bigger manufacturers rims.

  10. #10
    North Van/Whistler
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,517
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    I've got 9mm QR REBA forks on my Dos Niner and JET 9.

    Going to the carbon rims on the 9mm REBA's were a big jump in stiffness for me. How to quantify that and compare to a 15mm TA switch? Don't know. You can, however, see the test results of the difference between a 9mm QR and 15mm TA if you do a search.

    Keep in mind that a lot of things have happened over recent years in addition to the front axle options. Tapered head tube/steerer tube, beefier tubes/hydroforming, beefier stanchions, beefier lowers on forks, carbon rims, etc... .
    What Bruce said and it also depends on your weight. At 195lbs you're big enough to probably get some noticeable benefit from stiffer wheels and/or stiffer fork. The easiest thing might be to try some bikes with 15mm forks to see if you can tell the difference.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  11. #11
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,931
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Are these cheap carbon rims any good? It kind of scares me that there is such a price difference between them and the bigger manufacturers rims.
    There is an entire thread in this forum dedicated to exactly that discussion. I must say, I was very skeptical - especially since I own and ride a pair of the "bigger manufacturers" carbon rim wheels (Specialized Roval). But I did buy a pair of the AM carbon rims from Light-Bicycles. They are very similar to the Roval rims with the only difference being the rim bead seat is not quite as tubeless ready on the "cheap" rims compared to the Rovals. However, an investment of $9.99 for the Bontrager Rhythm strips brought them up to snuff.

    So far, so good on the pair I own - both Roval and Light-Bicycle.com.

    1540g for the Light-Bicycle AM rims laced to American Classic disc hubs with double butted Wheelsmith spokes:

    AM Chinese Carbon Wheels

    1520g for the Specialized Roval Trail rims and beefy front hub:

    Roval Trail SL's on the scale - 1520g

    Both are "game changers" in terms of holding a line, cornering, etc... due to the stiffness.

    BB

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    320
    Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I might just bite the bullet and look to change both. Given the price of the Chinese complete wheel set I'm really keen to give them a try. After getting in touch with them it sounds like their QC has really improved too. Any thoughts on the Reba RLT 29 as a fork?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •