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  1. #1
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    alu or carbon wheels?

    have to upgrade my wheels on ours both bikes and wonder if would be better go all carbon or go for set aluminum wheels/hubs I9 for half a price instead?
    i'm (we) not really weenies about weight but still stiffness and weight on wheels are important, right?
    i'm more aggressive rider, including some jumps (up to 4feet) and my wife is more 'wheels on ground' kinda girl and weíre light weight riders (around 150lbs, each of course)
    any opinions about that would be welcome...

  2. #2
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    Carbon wheels are generally lighter, stiffer and more expensive. If you have the money to buy a bunch of carbon wheels go for it.

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    I'm using I9 ultralight 235 wheels and I had a chance to ride a I9 pillarcarbon wheels.
    it was light, stiff and somewhat feels smoother.
    but I don't do jumps.

    carbon wheels are very nice but the price may blow your bank.
    If you bend or break your alu rims, you can adjust or replace rim with no big deal.

    when you jump, carbon rims are not bend but may breaks. and cost very high.

    So, carbon wheels are very nice if you can afford it

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by czervonka View Post
    have to upgrade my wheels on ours both bikes and wonder if would be better go all carbon or go for set aluminum wheels/hubs I9 for half a price instead?
    i'm (we) not really weenies about weight but still stiffness and weight on wheels are important, right?
    i'm more aggressive rider, including some jumps (up to 4feet) and my wife is more 'wheels on ground' kinda girl and weíre light weight riders (around 150lbs, each of course)
    any opinions about that would be welcome...
    Have to upgrade the wheelsets, or want to upgrade the wheelsets?

    If have to, is it because of dents/rim damage? If that is the case I would say no to carbon. If you are generally easy on alloy rims (you can make them last for over 3 seasons) then carbon could be a feasible option for you.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=006_007;13489591]Have to upgrade the wheelsets, or want to upgrade the wheelsets?

    If have to, is it because of dents/rim damage? If that is the case I would say no to carbon. If you are generally easy on alloy rims (you can make them last for over 3 seasons) then carbon could be a feasible option for you.[/QUOTE

    Good advice.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Have to upgrade the wheelsets, or want to upgrade the wheelsets?

    If have to, is it because of dents/rim damage? If that is the case I would say no to carbon. If you are generally easy on alloy rims (you can make them last for over 3 seasons) then carbon could be a feasible option for you.
    yes, perfect question to ask - my rims are getting bitten and have meany dents, maybe withstand one more season, maybe... (have rf ar40) wifeís bike came with rf ar24 and cheapest hubs available (novatec d711&d426) and i was thinking that wider rims and new hubs should be future-proof - still, iím no doctor and slashing that kind of money from my pocket, for two sets of carbon wheel sets would be hard - on the other hand, i hear voices 'pay once, cry once' and iím not sure if carbon will pay off on long run


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicEpic View Post
    I'm using I9 ultralight 235 wheels and I had a chance to ride a I9 pillarcarbon wheels.
    it was light, stiff and somewhat feels smoother.
    but I don't do jumps.

    carbon wheels are very nice but the price may blow your bank.
    If you bend or break your alu rims, you can adjust or replace rim with no big deal.

    when you jump, carbon rims are not bend but may breaks. and cost very high.

    So, carbon wheels are very nice if you can afford it
    thatís what iím fighting with... reality versus yes, i want and i'll have carbon - thanks for sharing

  8. #8
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    Carbon rims are less likely to require truing after many miles of hard use. If you rarely have an issue with knocking wheels out of true then a well built aluminum set is a great value and the rims can always be upgraded in the future if you dent them too much.

  9. #9
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    Show me the money.

    If you're good with that request, go for what ever floats your boat!
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  10. #10
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    There are arguments for and against carbon wheels. Given your statement that buying two sets would be hard on your bank account, I think the answer is aluminum. Work with a good wheel builder who will he able to help you get the best balance of weight and strength for your riding style, weight and conditions. One has posted on this thread, lacemine29 is also good, as is Dustin at Southern Wheelworks. You can get great aluminum wheelsets build from between $500-1000 a set, depending mostly on how fancy of hubs and spokes you want. DT Swiss 350 hubs are probably the best value in hubs, decent weight, good pricing and extremely reliable.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    There are arguments for and against carbon wheels. Given your statement that buying two sets would be hard on your bank account, I think the answer is aluminum. Work with a good wheel builder who will he able to help you get the best balance of weight and strength for your riding style, weight and conditions. One has posted on this thread, lacemine29 is also good, as is Dustin at Southern Wheelworks. You can get great aluminum wheelsets build from between $500-1000 a set, depending mostly on how fancy of hubs and spokes you want. DT Swiss 350 hubs are probably the best value in hubs, decent weight, good pricing and extremely reliable.


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    thanks - iím pretty close to go with aluminum because of this (bank account) and also i was learning during mine research that light weight rides wonít benefit really from carbon rims
    i can have good price on industry nine wheel sets from my lbs especially during winter time

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by czervonka View Post
    yes, perfect question to ask - my rims are getting bitten and have meany dents, maybe withstand one more season, maybe... (have rf ar40) wifeís bike came with rf ar24 and cheapest hubs available (novatec d711&d426) and i was thinking that wider rims and new hubs should be future-proof - still, iím no doctor and slashing that kind of money from my pocket, for two sets of carbon wheel sets would be hard - on the other hand, i hear voices 'pay once, cry once' and iím not sure if carbon will pay off on long run


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    I think the answer is an alloy wheelset for you, and a carbon set for your wife.

  13. #13
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    Have Nextie paint your carbon rims in silver, then you can tell her they are alloy.
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  14. #14
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    I am not convinced that carbon rims are a good option, unless you do competitive racing. Good quality carbon costs $$$ and I would not ride on any carbon rims that don't cost $$$. You may want to familiarize yourself with this thread from sister site, Road Bike Review, before you make the mistake of being swooned by cheap carbon rims:

    Bulges at spoke holes on carbon wheels (photos)

    Aluminum is your best bang for the buck. The weight isn't that big a difference, really.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I am not convinced that carbon rims are a good option, unless you do competitive racing. Good quality carbon costs $$$ and I would not ride on any carbon rims that don't cost $$$. You may want to familiarize yourself with this thread from sister site, Road Bike Review, before you make the mistake of being swooned by cheap carbon rims:

    Bulges at spoke holes on carbon wheels (photos)

    Aluminum is your best bang for the buck. The weight isn't that big a difference, really.
    youíre right about it and i wouldnít - was looking at santa cruz reserve or nox components Ďcos they offer good warranty - either way iím sway toward aluminum wheels unless iíll win lottery soon (and donít forgot to buy a ticket)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by czervonka View Post
    have to upgrade my wheels on ours both bikes and wonder if would be better go all carbon or go for set aluminum wheels/hubs I9 for half a price instead?
    It's kind of a complex question. There's nothing "wrong" with aluminum--and carbon rims ARE kind of pricey. But if you can rationalize the cost, you're probably going to like the carbon rims so much that you'll never go back.

    I run Ibis 742 rims on Industry Nine's, and I really like them. For me, it was worth it to throw down an extra Grover to get the rims I wanted.

    My recommendation? Buy the carbon for yourself and your lady. You'll be sad for five minutes as you fork out the cash. If you get the aluminum, you'll be sad every time you ride and wish you had carbon.

  17. #17
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    Wider rims in either flavor will help protect themselves for any given PSI as well. I think 30mmish internal rim with a 2.35 to 2.5" tire is prefect and puts a BIG air cushion between your tires and the rocks. I use a Huck norris foam rim protector in my rear tire too. My Carbon nextie rims, yes cheap chinese rims, have taken a real beating and all is GREAT! Replacement Warranty too.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    It's kind of a complex question. There's nothing "wrong" with aluminum--and carbon rims ARE kind of pricey. But if you can rationalize the cost, you're probably going to like the carbon rims so much that you'll never go back.

    I run Ibis 742 rims on Industry Nine's, and I really like them. For me, it was worth it to throw down an extra Grover to get the rims I wanted.

    My recommendation? Buy the carbon for yourself and your lady. You'll be sad for five minutes as you fork out the cash. If you get the aluminum, you'll be sad every time you ride and wish you had carbon.
    absolutely, agreed... there is nothing wrong with carbon rims (but prices) unless youíre going to look at the weight of the riders (at least that what i was told) - anybody has info how reacts aluminum and carbon rims between different weights of the riders?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by czervonka View Post
    unless youíre going to look at the weight of the riders (at least that what i was told) - anybody has info how reacts aluminum and carbon rims between different weights of the riders?
    This morning I tipped the scales at a rather rotund 203 pounds. Sigh. But more important than weight, I think, is how hard you slam the wheels into rocks. I'm a bit aggressive there, and the wheels still perform as expected.

  20. #20
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    I cannot tell the difference between carbon wheels and aluminum. Especially at 23-25 PSI on DHR/DHF/GOMA/MORSA combo of tires, pretty high volume tires except DHR. I was using Spank Spike 33 rims before. Now I am on 29er DERBY 35 rims. Cannot feel a difference. However, my wallet IS lighter! I do see that my rear carbon rim is getting alot wider scratches and gouges than my aluminum rims did. Its all cosmetic I think. For me, this carbon rim experiment will be One and Done. Not worth the money. I am so glad I did not even consider outrageuous price of ENVE. Aluminum can be built lighter than carbon, probably stronger, but I think that they fatigue differently. I usually do about 400,000 ft of climbing per year, and 200 rides per year. My aluminum rims last about 500 rides. We'll see how the carbon holds up. Im 40 rides in so far, and they are pretty scratched, but performance is great. I am no faster with carbon rims. I really miss the SPANK rim color options. I do like ALL rims in this wider width, be it carbon or aluminum. Buy what you want, modern mid priced carbon has proven itself, which is great for consumers.

  21. #21
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    I totally agree with rusty iron. The bottom line is, impact force is exponentially greater with more weight and, his carbon is holding up. Mind you, his are top of the line rims. That said, the Chinese make almost all carbon rims these days and they use OUR technology to do it. Iíve heard in the same factory in some cases??? Iím building my 3rd carbon wheel set from nexti, no issues at all on the first two, I buy the rims when they are on sale, they had a Christmas deal going, and then build them up at home with the hubs from my old aluminum wheels. Iíve had a lul at work lately and obsessed over wheels and tires as well as riding LOTS. I wrote this yesterday, Tire pressure for all around XC riding?. I may be going for broke, rather broken, with that wheel set Iíll admit if I get carried away but, like rusty said and my reasoning as well, Iím light and pretty smooth, this summer is my 30 year anniversary with mountain biking! Iím 47. Big tires and good suspension help too! Sh#t happens but, I have not dinged a rim since I went to 2.35Ē tire and wide rims 3 years ago. KNOCK ON WOOD! You can see my other posts about this stuff if you click my avatar. Let me know what you think.
    Everyone says a light wheel set is key for long steep climbs and rightfully so, but in my mind agility is the best part. Accelerating up technical sections where keeping inertia is impossible or bunny hopping over and around big chunk is a blast. Youíre Wheel set weight savings is truly 3X more then the weight savings you get from static parts on your bike due to the rim and tire rotational inertia. PS tires are KEY too.

  22. #22
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    One additional note. I rode my 29er with WTB i23 rims the last 2 days, after being on carbon Derby rims for about the last 40 rides. WTB "narrow" 23 mm aluminum rims at 23PSI (rainy, so lowered pressure a few PSI from normal), felt pretty much same as my new DERBY wheels. Its a different bike, but I am just not feeling the love for Carbon rims. It always goes back to the point that nobody here does a double blind scientific test. Same bike, same tires, cover rims so you dont know what you are using, somebody else changes the wheelsets that also does not know which set is which. It would be a really cool experiment for MTBR to do. Science vs hype. I am really happy to try my carbon rims, I love bikes and bike stuff. But next rims will be less expensive aluminum.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    Aluminum can be built lighter than carbon, probably stronger, but I think that they fatigue differently
    While you can build up a set of aluminum rims that are as light as carbon they won't be anywhere as strong. To match the strength you'll need (a lot) more weight. That's the main attraction of carbon; high strength to weight ratio.

    Fatigue is quite different between the two materials, I don't think that's how the majority of rims fail.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    I cannot tell the difference between carbon wheels and aluminum. Especially at 23-25 PSI on DHR/DHF/GOMA/MORSA combo of tires, pretty high volume tires except DHR. I was using Spank Spike 33 rims before. Now I am on 29er DERBY 35 rims. Cannot feel a difference. However, my wallet IS lighter! I do see that my rear carbon rim is getting alot wider scratches and gouges than my aluminum rims did. Its all cosmetic I think. For me, this carbon rim experiment will be One and Done. Not worth the money. I am so glad I did not even consider outrageuous price of ENVE. Aluminum can be built lighter than carbon, probably stronger, but I think that they fatigue differently. I usually do about 400,000 ft of climbing per year, and 200 rides per year. My aluminum rims last about 500 rides. We'll see how the carbon holds up. Im 40 rides in so far, and they are pretty scratched, but performance is great. I am no faster with carbon rims. I really miss the SPANK rim color options. I do like ALL rims in this wider width, be it carbon or aluminum. Buy what you want, modern mid priced carbon has proven itself, which is great for consumers.
    thanks for that! of course itís going to be my choice but want to find out, what iím hearing here exactly - differences, pluses i minuses, price war and so on... very informative
    i do ride wide rims, low pressure dhf/hrII and now i live in midwest (not for long) - donít know how aggressive iíll be after my last season accident... anyway, in my head i can still do it

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    I cannot tell the difference between carbon wheels and aluminum. Especially at 23-25 PSI on DHR/DHF/GOMA/MORSA combo of tires, pretty high volume tires except DHR. I was using Spank Spike 33 rims before. Now I am on 29er DERBY 35 rims. Cannot feel a difference. However, my wallet IS lighter! I do see that my rear carbon rim is getting alot wider scratches and gouges than my aluminum rims did. Its all cosmetic I think. For me, this carbon rim experiment will be One and Done. Not worth the money. I am so glad I did not even consider outrageuous price of ENVE. Aluminum can be built lighter than carbon, probably stronger, but I think that they fatigue differently. I usually do about 400,000 ft of climbing per year, and 200 rides per year. My aluminum rims last about 500 rides. We'll see how the carbon holds up. Im 40 rides in so far, and they are pretty scratched, but performance is great. I am no faster with carbon rims. I really miss the SPANK rim color options. I do like ALL rims in this wider width, be it carbon or aluminum. Buy what you want, modern mid priced carbon has proven itself, which is great for consumers.
    So, let me get this straight, you can't tell a difference, yet performance is great. You say they are not worth the money, but that carbon has proven itself. You are one and done, but these are great for consumers.

  26. #26
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    Hey Schulze. The performance seems the same to me as in great! I have quality Custom wheelbuilds on both Aluminum and Carbon. Spoke tension meter, properly trued/tensioned/trued etc. Both wheelsets are great. I never said they are not worth the money for others, but to me they are not affordable. I ride with guys that buy a $6000 bike EVERY year, but I can't. To my friends they are worth the money. By Carbon rims proving themselves, I meant that the lower priced rims have come a long way since 2012 or so. It seems the Carbon rims are surpassing aluminum, in weight/strength but not durability for Pro Downhillers. For the average user however, Carbon may be as durable as quality aluminum, maybe more durable? Im not so sure, but its headed that way. One and Done for me, as I can buy Aluminum rims that do the same thing as carbon for $79 a rim, but the penalty is 70 grams for the $700 savings. Good enough for me. Also, I like picking a colored aluminum rim, such as Blue or green or red anodized. Thats just me. On my new bike, I was kicking around Silver Chris King hubs, silver spokes, and silver rims. I tried Carbon rims this time instead, and went all black. My new wheels are great!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails alu or carbon wheels?-img_1173.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Shoot, I wish I could say I wanted the DERBY label right side up, but my new bike pic is sideways. Sorry all.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by compengr View Post
    Fatigue is quite different between the two materials, I don't think that's how the majority of rims fail.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the way most rims fail is at the spoke holes.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    I cannot tell the difference between carbon wheels and aluminum. Especially at 23-25 PSI on DHR/DHF/GOMA/MORSA combo of tires, pretty high volume tires except DHR. I was using Spank Spike 33 rims before. Now I am on 29er DERBY 35 rims. Cannot feel a difference.
    Which is not surprising.

    Before any of you choose rims based on reports of stiffness, you may want to read this article in its entirety in order to get the straight poop on what does and ironically, what does not contribute to the overall stiffness of a wheel:

    Debunking Wheel Stiffness - Slowtwitch.com

  29. #29
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    alu or carbon wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the way most rims fail is at the spoke holes.


    Most rims fail because they hit something that exceeds their ability to absorb the impact, where the failure appears as a crack, tacoing, or dent that permanently changes the metal. A nipple pulling through spoke holes is either a overtensioned or defective rim.

    And there is no answer to which is better, any more than which wheel size is better, or if carbon, steel, aluminum, or steel makes better frames. It is best to pick the one you like and then be a dick about it.

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  30. #30
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    alu or carbon wheels?

    Oops, double post.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlewski View Post
    I totally agree with rusty iron. The bottom line is, impact force is exponentially greater with more weight and, his carbon is holding up.
    It is not exponential, it is linear. K=.5mv squared. K being kinetic energy, m being mass, v being velocity. Velocity increases energy by the square (exponentially). https://www.chem.wisc.edu/deptfiles/...gy/energy2.htm

    Doesnít anyone take physics or chemistry in high school anymore?


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    And there is no answer to which is better, any more than which wheel size is better, or if carbon, steel, aluminum, or steel makes better frames. It is best to pick the one you like and then be a dick about it.
    You clearly follow your own advice, lol. But you are right and I stand corrected. The article you linked was interesting as well. It is cool to get a clearer understanding of the wheel components and their interplay with the associated forces but, overall, the lessons demonstrated in the article donít really have much to do with mountain biking, maybe a bit about lateral stability.
    Rotational intertia and mass are the big players in my mind. I do think the industry has ALOT to gain by conducting sexy marketing with big ticket items and honestly, I drank the kool- aid and it was delicious. Placebo or not, I think being excited about something, and believing in it go a long ways toward enjoyment and improvement, as long a your finances are in order. I got some great deals and my bikes have serious performance and appeal! At the end of the day, some lightish tires with decent traction will make at least as much difference in performance as pricy rims. Both are outstanding!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails alu or carbon wheels?-1d1d4db6-a045-43aa-979c-5e0dcdcda5cb.jpg  


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    I would only add that my carbon rims feel more nimble and spin-up faster than my previous aluminum rims. Might be just my imagination as I don't have any empirical data to support these feelings. Bit of a pun.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    Most rims fail because they hit something that exceeds their ability to absorb the impact, where the failure appears as a crack, tacoing, or dent that permanently changes the metal.
    Oh OK. As a trail rider, I forget that we are talking about downhillers and riders who do 3"+ drops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    A nipple pulling through spoke holes is either a overtensioned or defective rim.
    Defective, or just poorly designed? Or someone exceeding the rim's weight limits. Or a rim made by Mavic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    It is best to pick the one you like and then be a dick about it.
    LOL! Isn't that what the internet is for??

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    It is not exponential, it is linear. K=.5mv squared. K being kinetic energy, m being mass, v being velocity. Velocity increases energy by the square (exponentially). https://www.chem.wisc.edu/deptfiles/...gy/energy2.htm

    Doesnít anyone take physics or chemistry in high school anymore?


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    he was actually just talking about force not energy...regardless you're both wrong.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    ... Aluminum rims that do the same thing as carbon for $79 a rim, but the penalty is 70 grams for the $700 savings.
    As rims get wider, I think this is where carbon comes into its own.
    I laced a set of 29" ARC40s for a friend, and scale verified those at 637 and 641g.
    My Nextie Carbon i43s weighed in at 505g each. That's 130g or more savings per wheel.
    Definitely narrow rim have a smaller weight difference, but I firmly believe that at i25 or narrower, carbon is measureably stiffer.
    Not to nitpick, I think that carbon rims are perhaps the epitome of "want not need". I think that if every carbon hoop vanished into thin air today, we'd all continue on with life and riding just fine. That said, I've ridden Stan's Flows and Arches, I've ridden carbon i30's, I've ridden alloy i39mm Duallys, Ive ridden ARC40s and I've ridden my Nextie Crododile i43s. I prefer carbon all day.

    I admit I can't quantify the aspects that make me like them, but, at the pinnacle of "luxury items", I ride for fun and enjoyment, and carbon wheels make me smile.
    I'll probably cry if it ever breaks, but I can say that compared to the ARC40s under the guy I ride with 90% of the time, his wheels are still in operation, but have 2-3 bead dents per hoop, and mine are scratched, but still going. Mine have been in service a few months longer, too.
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  37. #37
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    There isn't a huge gap between high quality al and low quality carbon. There is a big gap between high quality carbon and low quality al. A lot of people have to decide do they get nice hubs and al rims or cheap hubs and carbon rims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    There isn't a huge gap between high quality al and low quality carbon. There is a big gap between high quality carbon and low quality al. A lot of people have to decide do they get nice hubs and al rims or cheap hubs and carbon rims.
    What constitutes low quality carbon? Iím looking at nox and noble with either dt or onyx hubs...are those rims considered lower end? I am just starting my search so trying to see whatís out there


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  39. #39
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    party_wagon is giving low quality carbon too much credit. Low quality carbon can perform worse than even department store level stuff. The standards that need to be passed to be sold are quite lenient. What he means by low quality carbon, is the lowest cost stuff currently available that doesn't yet have a bad reputation among enthusiasts. More like budget carbon that's carbon for the sake of being carbon, which happens to have spent some marketing money to appeal to English speakers...

    In this article, a relatively unknown alloy rimmed wheel (Newmen Evolution SL A.30) wins the test comparison for value between 14 wheels: Test Laufr√§der: Carbon und Alu 27,5" f√ľr 491 bis 1480 Euro

    This is not their first accolade. They've earned strong marks in other reviews and even earned themselves some OEM contracts, at least with European based brands (e.g. Cube, Pole).

    Translated quotes from the article:

    "Carbon is the material to use in order to make the wheels as light as possible. But the current execution of carbon rims are so reinforced, to make them robust, that their performance traits are quite exaggerated and the weight advantage over the best aluminum wheels is gone. Reason says that the best alu remains the first choice."

    "Great differences are revealed by the crash test. Syntace's carbon rim (1600 grams) shows extreme handling qualities and remains intact even under heavy loads, which would cause alu rims to buckle like an empty can of beer."

    There was a virtually identical carbon rim design, shared by the Bulls and Castle, yet Castle's rim performed a lot better in impact/crash testing. The article states, "that's why there's the question of whether or not the manufacturer can guarantee to control the production quality*. Alu is honest in this regard; the material is homogeneous, and a big impact always causes a dent. Smaller dents can be straightened out..." *avoiding defects such as voids, wrinkles, improper layup, poor/uneven compaction, etc.

    I'll add that stiffer wheels are generally nicer to ride fast on. Their responsiveness, accuracy, and predictability seems to make you more of a driver, as opposed to a passenger. Not sure why there's a trend of judging stiff wheels as a negative all of the sudden. There's no excess of ground feedback on a pair of Enves, with CX ray spokes and DT/CK hubs; in fact, one of the benefits is that they have significantly less buzz (ground noise) than an all-alu i9 system wheel, the kind with alu spokes threaded into their hub.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 01-12-2018 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Grammar and typos
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    I feel more enjoyment when the suspension, tire width/pressure/rim width and bike geo combination include the right amount of compliance to work the terrain instead of pinballing it. That's my riding style I guess. I don't look for a setup that is sharpened to the point where I'm required to be 100% focused to remain in control. My concentration capabilities vary over a ride at different times and on different days. I get challenged but am out for the fun of it. Very stiff wheels don't fit my terrain and speed where I ride. It could be Enve wheels would be right for much higher speed runs then I have available. But like too much travel it doesn't fit where I am. Multiple seasons on CarbonFan rims with Laser spokes without damage and without ultra stiffness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    he was actually just talking about force not energy...regardless you're both wrong.
    F=MA. Still a linear relationship.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    There isn't a huge gap between high quality al and low quality carbon.
    Do I need to remind you of these:

    Bulges at spoke holes on carbon wheels (photos)

    Yes, I know this may be anecdotal, but cheap carbon is known for voids in the epoxy. This can conceivably spell disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    A lot of people have to decide do they get nice hubs and al rims or cheap hubs and carbon rims.
    This one is easy - good hubs and good quality aluminum rims.

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    I'm debatting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-light...0AAOSw9mpZ-6tH
    versus Stans Flows.
    170 lbs and easy on wheels. What would you do?

  44. #44
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    Not all carbon is good, but that doesn't mean all inexpensive carbon is "cheap" or bad. A woman I ride with pretty much ruined a set of ARC27's (they still held air but they had MANY dents) in one season and has had ZERO issues with her XMCarbonSpeed wheels. Yes, if you rim strike an aluminum rim, you can most likely ride out, but it will dent relatively easy. The thing with carbon is it goes from hero to zero relatively quick, but it takes much more of a hit to get it there. Either can be good or bad, depends on what you require from your rims.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8fsKeQwplg&t=10s

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoker View Post
    I'm debatting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-light...0AAOSw9mpZ-6tH
    versus Stans Flows.
    170 lbs and easy on wheels. What would you do?
    I would probably stay away. Not because I'm afraid of the generic carbon, but for a couple other reasons.
    1) it's an unknown vendor
    2) 380g is REALLY lightweight for T700 carbon. 29er's in that width should be in the mid 400's. Sub 400g wide 29er's are usually T800 and more money. All of this leads me back to reason #1.
    3) Nextie has a 35mm wide set for $24 less. Yes they weigh more but their weight is inline with other 35mm rims. And they are proven vendor.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/PROMOTION-S...Ae0iYDFgdyZkkw

    Another option would cost $412 and be lighter with 350g T800 rims.

    29er 34mm wide mtb 29 carbon rim clincher

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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    Not all carbon is good, but that doesn't mean all inexpensive carbon is "cheap" or bad. A woman I ride with pretty much ruined a set of ARC27's (they still held air but they had MANY dents) in one season and has had ZERO issues with her XMCarbonSpeed wheels. Yes, if you rim strike an aluminum rim, you can most likely ride out, but it will dent relatively easy. The thing with carbon is it goes from hero to zero relatively quick, but it takes much more of a hit to get it there. Either can be good or bad, depends on what you require from your rims.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8fsKeQwplg&t=10s
    Not to say that making aluminum rims is simple, but compared to carbon it's at the very least easy to understand. You've got things like aluminum alloy (6061, 7075, etc.), extrusion of constant cross section, welding or pinning seam, drilling nipple and valve holes, and painting or anodization. Most of which are also visible (other than alloy) in the final product, so we can see what we are buying.

    By contract, little can be gleaned from a carbon rim on inspection, even by a trained eye. To start off, you have two (can be more) materials that make up the final product: reinforcement (carbon fibers) and matrix (resin that binds the fibers). There are different grades of available reinforcement material (IM7, AS4, T700, etc.) as well as many resin systems to choose from, which already start to make things more complicated. Once you have your raw materials sorted (it doesnít really work in that order), designing a proper layup is no picnic. It takes a lot of work to properly design with composites. Software packages to design for manufacturing and do FEA are serious $$$, leaving most small shops at the mercy of engineering services or just build and test, bypassing this key step altogether. Then, assuming you have the design nailed down, making it isnít easy either. If you watch videos of how rims are made, there is a lot of manual labor that goes into the process. How do you design a process that is manufacturable and repeatable? If you donít, no two rims will be the same! There is a ton that goes into the manufacturing (layup ply orientation, resin infusion or prepreg compaction, curing, post-curing, demolding, and finishing), lots of variables that could turn a properly designed product into a something that may still look good, but will fail on first use. Iím leaving a lot of finer details out of this as they will likely bore you to death. The point Iím trying to make, this is a complicated process and we have almost no insight into any of it from the finished product.

    People tend to focus on things that are easy to understand, like reinforcement type (T700 vs T800), and cosmetic imperfections. The reality is, these may not at all be critical or important to the overall design, but often times, what we canít see is!

  47. #47
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    Some designers simply try to make the CF mimic metal, by laying the fibers down in a criss-cross pattern to try and make it have uniform traits in all directions. They do it that way since they're simply familiar with it. That and if they try to do it differently, they have to make sure to train everyone down the line to understand it. Not only do the ones producing it need retraining, but also the customer. Keeping it simple makes things fairly straight forward--more weight results in stronger traits related to the material.

    Overthinking things can be detrimental. Take for instance unique lacing patterns like Isopulse or 2:1 ratios, where there's 16 spokes on the driveside and 8 on the NDS (rear wheel). This stuff makes sense to a smart designer, saving weight and achieving even spoke tension, and also meeting strength, stiffness, ride experience, and price point goals. It doesn't make much sense to a consumer who fears the unknown. They'll argue for whatever choice they make, and expect someone to forcibly change their mind--they'll most likely reject it, but won't turn down a free product for test feedback, with a bias expectation that it won't work. They'll find reason to list cons, cursing system wheels, proprietary stuff, and promote a culture of incremental improvement, over innovation. At best, they'll reluctantly say some good things and play stupid, saying they don't know this or that. It's not until other positive reviews start echoing the good, without the negative bias, that they start seeing it also in good light, seeing some sort of consumer consensus and conforming to the social acceptance attitude.

    People seek some form of security. For instance, if a wheel has 32 spokes over 24, people may feel secure with the belief that they can afford to lose some on the trail, whereas they fear doom if they even lose 1 off of the wheel with 24. Or they feel fear if they can't find a replacement spoke conveniently, if it's some special order from only one distributor. Having a lifetime warranty, having some marketing video that shows Danny MacAskill doing trials on a carbon rim... people buy this stuff up, even though Danny did the same thing with Spank alu rims with similar results. People still link that Santa Cruz Nomad carbon vs alloy test, where they said they specifically overbuilt the Nomad (it weighed ~7.5 lbs, same as comparable alloy frames) and heavily reinforced the V10's downtube (the frame that got swung into a concrete block). They've since shaved the weight off the frames, and people use the video just to fool themselves into think carbon somehow changed from old times to now, to be superior over alu.

    This ain't like some generic drug, where the chemical composition is thought to be no different, ignoring purity and quality standards. People probably don't care if it's not made in a clean sterile factory with quality raw material sources like the name brand stuff. They just see a lower price and feel like they have a chance to save money to get a result that was better than what they're currently living with. They are happy to be ignorant, as long as they get a consumer "fix". A company could've been in the business and refined their process to much higher standards, but that's seemingly meaningless if a newcomer appears and undercuts them with a slightly different copy, as someone would likely give it a try to save a sizeable chunk of cash, using simple/familiar #s to compare, such as weight and geo/dimensions. The best case scenario is that the product doesn't fail, and the consumer can choose to upgrade to premium if they're curious, but if it fails, money has to be spent on marketing to counter the bad impression people got of the category of product.

    Got more to say, but figure this is enough of my monologue over stuff I've been observing. I really would love if people just tried to recognize value in quality, and actually learned enough to truly stand behind their purchase. For example, for more info on that quality alu Newmen wheelset I mention earlier: NEWMEN Evolution SL A.35 29er Laufradsatz ‚Äď Testintro. Can appreciate the thought and design process that lead to the traits that it achieved, like great impact resistance.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Overthinking things can be detrimental.

    People seek some form of security.
    Very true on both accounts. Yes carbon layup can be very complex and vary greatly depending on the individual products in the layup and the process used. But these factories aren't turning out crap just to scam the consumer. I would guess that most of them are in it for a long term investment and would like to turn out a quality trustworthy product.

    As far as security goes, it's usually a false security driven by image and consumerism. Just because you bought the premium rim at a premium price, does not mean that you will have better luck than the generic carbon purchaser. But it sure does make you feel that way. And MANY people on here will argue that. Like the poster that said he wouldn't buy a BikeYoke Revive because it's not a trusted brand. Yet his name brand droppers keep failing.

    With that, quality and value mean different things to different people. ENVE makes a great product that's made in the US and I would love to outfit the household fleet with their products. But with 8 bikes in the house, it's just not justifiable. So for me, I just don't see the value in $900 rims.

    But back to the OP's original question. Either could serve you well for many years, it's all up to what you can justify. If you can feel comfortable with generic carbon rims from a trusted vendor, I definitely feel that's the way to go. But that's just my opinion.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    For example, for more info on that quality alu Newmen wheelset I mention earlier: NEWMEN Evolution SL A.35 29er Laufradsatz ‚Äď Testintro. Can appreciate the thought and design process that lead to the traits that it achieved, like great impact resistance.
    Those definitely look like a great value wheel set. But their "special" nipples look an awful lot like the Sapim Double Square nipples.
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/4ecAA...Zw/s-l1600.jpg

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoker View Post
    I'm debatting https://www.ebay.com/itm/Super-light...0AAOSw9mpZ-6tH
    versus Stans Flows.
    170 lbs and easy on wheels. What would you do?
    I would go with the Stan's Flows.

    I would nix the eBay wheels for the reason BXCc mentions in post 45 and more.

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    just want to thanks everybody for very informative discussion, opinions and monologues - personally i wasnít aware about so many nuisances coming with decision what to choose - thought itís going to be easy after that but iíve more choices now then ever but still not enough money (just looked at envy rims @backcountry website) anyhow, itís great to know more!


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    Iím 170lbs all up and pretty smooth in ďrough Colorado trail conditionsĒ running 13psi front, 2.6Ē Nobby Nicks, and 15psi rear, 2.35Ē NN rear on both a boosted Horse Thief and Intense Primer. Full suspension light carbon trail bikes. Iím using Nexti premium internal 29mm rims, been bomb proof, at 450gm, in all trail conditions for me. Iíve noticed a few ďpingsĒ on the rear rim over the past year, never a huge slammer I could feel in my feet. Since I started using the Huck Norris rim protector in the rear I have not noticed ANY rim hits aside from rocks striking the inside of the rim. Itís been so light and accurate and responsive, ie thread the needle at speed situations and great acceleration in rough steep climbing situations, really boosting my confidence.
    Maybe boosting my confidence too much, Iím building these rims up nexti!
    The internal 28mm with Sapim cx-ray spokes and a Huck Norris DH protector for the rear pretty inexpensivly with reused hubs and the rims on a Christmas sale.
    Schwable tires will keepíem light and fast. No deep back country or enduro style decents for these since failure could make for a VERY LONG WALK!
    Iíd love any insites/suggestions, it is clear many posters here have lots to offer. Some T1000 in those, for better and for worse I guess...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails alu or carbon wheels?-0fca3366-38ca-4c92-93d9-cfaac6342e09.jpg  

    alu or carbon wheels?-73442446-a4ad-488b-924c-c0c0b88cb169.jpg  


  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlewski View Post
    Iím 170lbs all up and pretty smooth in ďrough Colorado trail conditionsĒ running 13psi front, 2.6Ē Nobby Nicks, and 15psi rear, 2.35Ē NN rear on both a boosted Horse Thief and Intense Primer. Full suspension light carbon trail bikes. Iím using Nexti premium internal 29mm rims, been bomb proof, at 450gm, in all trail conditions for me. Iíve noticed a few ďpingsĒ on the rear rim over the past year, never a huge slammer I could feel in my feet. Since I started using the Huck Norris rim protector in the rear I have not noticed ANY rim hits aside from rocks striking the inside of the rim. Itís been so light and accurate and responsive, ie thread the needle at speed situations and great acceleration in rough steep climbing situations, really boosting my confidence.
    Pings are a sign that the wheel builder didn't do proper stress relieving. It has noting to do with the brand.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Pings are a sign that the wheel builder didn't do proper stress relieving. It has noting to do with the brand.
    It doesnít sound like he is talking about pings from the nipples rotating, but the sound of a rock pinging a rim.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    It is not exponential, it is linear. K=.5mv squared. K being kinetic energy, m being mass, v being velocity. Velocity increases energy by the square (exponentially). https://www.chem.wisc.edu/deptfiles/...gy/energy2.htm

    Doesnít anyone take physics or chemistry in high school anymore?


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    Yep.
    And this is why a slightly more aggressive rider going moderately faster needs much tougher equipment.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    Doesnít anyone take physics or chemistry in high school anymore?
    In a thread with "Alu" in the title, it does make one wonder ...


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    Pro:

    They can be more aesthetically pleasing, if you like the look of carbon, or want to plaster big stickers over a really deep-section rim.
    They tend to stay true (i.e. perfectly round) their entire life, unlike alloy rims that need minor adjustments to spoke tension from time to time. But a good bike shop will include this in your annual service anyway; this is only a significant benefit for the pro team mechanic who maintains a fleet of hundreds of wheels.
    Cons:

    Carbon rims are (generally) stiffer, lighter, and can be built into a more aerodynamic profile. These factors may make them more efficient at high speeds, and/or when racing uphill. The average cyclist does not travel at these speeds, and is not racing, so this is wasted value.
    Stiffer means less comfortable (e.g. more road buzz), which is a big deal for the average cyclist.
    For rim-braking carbon wheels, the surface needs special brake pads to protect it, and they have less stopping power (especially in the wet), cost more, and have a shorter lifespan. So safety is a concern. The technology is improving though.
    Damage is much more likely to mean total loss of the wheel, and if possible at all, the carbon repair is vastly more expensive. You also canít ďlimp homeĒ the way we can on a bent alloy rim; if the carbon is damaged you must stop riding it, due to the risk of catastrophic failure.

    ADS..
    anyway if you have enough budget go for the carbon
    for ultra light carbon rim with T800 and T 700 29inch weight 360g 35width search our website www.oxivecarbon.com

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    In a thread with "Alu" in the title, it does make one wonder ...

    Except that rims are not pure aluminum. They are made of an alloy. Different rim makers use different alloys. Some are better than others.

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    Deleted after being neg-repped by self-appointed thought-police.
    Last edited by wgscott; 01-25-2018 at 12:22 AM.

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    Iím a believer that wider rims just ride better, especially when paired with good tires. Wide with a high quality hub and 3x double butted spokes on aluminum rims have a nice feel and absorb and disburse impact. With carbon rims itís much less and is a much stiffer feel. A full suspension bike will obviously smooth out the extra stiffness but a hardtail canít.
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    I was dead set on getting carbon wheels for my new FS XC bike, but after reading this I'm not so sure anymore. The reason I switched to FS bike was because my lowerback couldn't stand rough terrain on hardtail. If carbon wheels makes FS bike ride harsher then it kind of defeats the purpose. Considering the fact that my current FS bike alu rims (Mavic Crossmax ST, 19mm ID) have a lots of scratchmarks (fair amount of sharp limestone around here) and I have hit the rocks and roots with rim so many times, perhaps carbon wheelsets won't survive under me for long.

    I was looking for 25mm inner diameter wheelset, less than 1500g, cheaper than 1400 EUR (found a German shop selling Duke Lucky Jack rims + Tune King/Kong hubs + CX-Ray spokes, 1340g, 1200 EUR).

    I weight around 78kg, race XCM/XCO and enjoy technical tracks.

    Newmen components mentioned here seems to make a light enough alu wheelset - Evolution SL X.A.25 - 1460g, ~700 EUR, I have my eyes on that set now.
    I can afford the carbon, but I can't justify the purchase anymore.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rist View Post
    I was dead set on getting carbon wheels for my new FS XC bike, but after reading this I'm not so sure anymore. The reason I switched to FS bike was because my lowerback couldn't stand rough terrain on hardtail. If carbon wheels makes FS bike ride harsher then it kind of defeats the purpose. Considering the fact that my current FS bike alu rims (Mavic Crossmax ST, 19mm ID) have a lots of scratchmarks (fair amount of sharp limestone around here) and I have hit the rocks and roots with rim so many times, perhaps carbon wheelsets won't survive under me for long.

    I was looking for 25mm inner diameter wheelset, less than 1500g, cheaper than 1400 EUR (found a German shop selling Duke Lucky Jack rims + Tune King/Kong hubs + CX-Ray spokes, 1340g, 1200 EUR).

    I weight around 78kg, race XCM/XCO and enjoy technical tracks.

    Newmen components mentioned here seems to make a light enough alu wheelset - Evolution SL X.A.25 - 1460g, ~700 EUR, I have my eyes on that set now.
    I can afford the carbon, but I can't justify the purchase anymore.
    Don't let one internet thread convince you that carbon is weak as it definitely is not. I weigh the same and have 2 bikes with generic carbon wheels. My wife has a set also.

    Going a bit wider with the rim, maybe in the 27 or 28 range will help with what you are looking for. The wider profile allows for more air volume so even at the same pressures, the tire will conform more around rocks and roots give you more traction and a little extra cushion to your back.

    The carbon rims will most likely feel a little stiffer on a hardtail. Which isn't a bad thing as they won't flex under you giving you a "loose" feeling. But also, you are on a FS bike. Flexible aluminum rims on a FS only mask suspension that isn't tuned properly for your liking. Let the suspension give you the cushion you want, not the rims.

    Some T800 carbon rims like these laced to DT 350 hubs with Centerlock rotors and CX-Ray spokes should be well under 1500g (maybe around 1425ish) and will cost well under $1000 usd (800eur).

    Also, if you're looking for a sub 1500g 29er wheelset, you're putting yourself into a rim weight territory that really can't be stiff enough or durable enough for a good beating. I have a 1550g 29er wheelset on my SS, DT 350 centerlock hubs with bladed spokes and Crest MK3 (23mm inner) rims. They are on the chopping block for some carbon hoops as I want to go wider and stiffer without going heavier.

  63. #63
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    I did something similar, went from some nice Al DT Swiss rims, at 450gm and i22.5mm to Nextie Premium rims at the same 450gm but i29, upgraded to bladed X-rays and barely lost any weight but wow can I run lower pressures and use a 2.6" tire fearlessly if I want. Beat the heck out of the nexties too and theyíre still going strong. The ride is way more cushy yet accurate, improved tracking. Like many have stated already, carbon is a great way to gain all these wide rim advantages with no weight penalty.
    Another advantage to wide rims you rarely hear directly stated is improved roll over/rolling resistance in rougher terrain. The increased air volume and associated lower tire PSI just eats the chatter instead of pitching the bike up and over each and every little bump. I have a worn out back too from 25 years of mogul skiing, thank god for low PSI and great modern rear suspension. With supple casings most of the energy is returned as undamped suspension too.
    I call my plus bike the moon buggy and with a rocket ron 3" on the back at 12PSI it is so fast, efficient and comfortable plowing chatter up to about golf ball size, like it's barely even there. I know I'm really selling wide rims here but carbon is the lightest way to get there. It'll save your joints from those long hours of training too.
    Last edited by Karlewski; 01-30-2018 at 04:16 PM.

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    personally I prefer carbon but alu can be good too. DT is making good alu rims, Newmen seems to be very good too (reviews/specs), similar weight to going chinese carbon rims, same or cheaper price (lacing wheels and ordering separately is always extra cost). modern alu rims use 7075 alloy, straightpull hubs, quick engagement etc, and have besr price/performance ratio.

    on the other hand there are cheap alu rims and there is no much point comparing them with any carbon ones... they are porky, cheap hubs, and the only benefit is the price.

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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Pings are a sign that the wheel builder didn't do proper stress relieving. It has noting to do with the brand.
    I suspect that on straightpull hubs, with no cross-lacing (i.e. spokes do not intersect at all) there is no point of stress-relieving (there is no bend tension) and the wheel will be dead-silent in any condition. so there are simple benefits going straightpull...

    personally I hate it when rear wheel spokes start making grinding noises under full load going uphill, independently on why its happening (dirt between spokes, to low tension, bad stress relieving etc). so I will choose straightpull simply for that reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foresterLV View Post
    I suspect that on straightpull hubs, with no cross-lacing (i.e. spokes do not intersect at all) there is no point of stress-relieving (there is no bend tension) and the wheel will be dead-silent in any condition. so there are simple benefits going straightpull...
    Sorry, but this could not be more wrong. Stress relieving does more than just bedding spokes into the hubs. The nipples need to be seated properly into the rim bed as well. And whether spokes cross or not has nothing to do with stress relieving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Sorry, but this could not be more wrong. Stress relieving does more than just bedding spokes into the hubs. The nipples need to be seated properly into the rim bed as well. And whether spokes cross or not has nothing to do with stress relieving.
    good try, but according to this - https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/...relieving.html stress relieving have nothing to do with bedding.
    i.e. "Bedding-in occurs sufficiently from tension".
    stress relieving only helps for "yield" points and I suppose there is much less of them on straightpull if at all - all spokes are perfectly linear with no bends, and again no spokes intersections to create rubbing/yield locations.

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    Thought I would throw in a note for anyone still debating. i just built a new bike and while I wanted carbon rims, just couldn't afford to spend the extra with all the other expenses. I ordered Raceface Aeffect 30 aluminium wheel set with Minion DHF 2.5 tires. They came with tires mounted. When I unboxed them I thought for a minute they had made a mistake and sent carbon wheels. They are light for aluminium rims, and the combo much lighter than I expected.

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    carbon is lighter and stronger


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    OXIVE carbon MTB wheelset2017 lightweight T800 and T700 24 27 30 33 35 40 42 50mm width www.oxivecarbon.com

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by foresterLV View Post
    good try, but according to this - https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/...relieving.html stress relieving have nothing to do with bedding.
    i.e. "Bedding-in occurs sufficiently from tension".
    stress relieving only helps for "yield" points and I suppose there is much less of them on straightpull if at all - all spokes are perfectly linear with no bends, and again no spokes intersections to create rubbing/yield locations.
    Your use of the words "suspect" and "suppose" makes me think you are not sure. Stress relieving serves multiple purposes.

    But don't believe me. Build yourself a radial wheel with straight pull spokes and don't do any stress relieving. Just ride it and then come back and tell me how many miles you went before it went out of true. Humor me.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Your use of the words "suspect" and "suppose" makes me think you are not sure. Stress relieving serves multiple purposes.

    But don't believe me. Build yourself a radial wheel with straight pull spokes and don't do any stress relieving. Just ride it and then come back and tell me how many miles you went before it went out of true. Humor me.
    well I am not against stress relieving for sure.
    my point is that straightpull could be a measure to avoid noises, yet properly build wheels should not make noises indeed independently of hub type used. all good.


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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by foresterLV View Post
    well I am not against stress relieving for sure.
    my point is that straightpull could be a measure to avoid noises, yet properly build wheels should not make noises indeed independently of hub type used. all good.
    OK. But why would you go straight pull in order to avoid pinging when you can avoid pinging by simply stress relieving which you will do anyway?

    Straight pull has one other disadvantage. How do you avoid spokes turning at the hub end when there is twist? Sounds like a real PITA to build.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    OK. But why would you go straight pull in order to avoid pinging when you can avoid pinging by simply stress relieving which you will do anyway?

    Straight pull has one other disadvantage. How do you avoid spokes turning at the hub end when there is twist? Sounds like a real PITA to build.
    for hobbyist (like me) I think its actually easier to build straightpull because lacing is "hardcoded" in the hub and you just insert and tighten, no need to learn/recall/count lacing pattern how to insert spokes etc. to keep rotation easy (and clearly see any windup) bladed spokes could be used (like DT aero comp, nothing extreme) and associated tool to hold them (DT have one for about 15eur). for me straightpull experiment went very easy, no rotation at all and no twisting. plus to futher cheat on building I used torx nipples (you can tighten them "blindly" from the rim external side, hate stripping nipples using regular tools).
    next time I could try internal nipples too, why not.

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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by foresterLV View Post
    for hobbyist (like me) I think its actually easier to build straightpull because lacing is "hardcoded" in the hub and you just insert and tighten, no need to learn/recall/count lacing pattern how to insert spokes etc. to keep rotation easy (and clearly see any windup) bladed spokes could be used (like DT aero comp, nothing extreme) and associated tool to hold them (DT have one for about 15eur). for me straightpull experiment went very easy, no rotation at all and no twisting. plus to futher cheat on building I used torx nipples (you can tighten them "blindly" from the rim external side, hate stripping nipples using regular tools).
    next time I could try internal nipples too, why not.
    OK, point taken about using bladed spokes. I use DT Aero Comps and they definitely make building easier as you can easily see twist and compensate for it.

    I don't see how you strip nipples. I have never heard of this, really. Are you by any chance bottoming out because your spokes are too short?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    OK, point taken about using bladed spokes. I use DT Aero Comps and they definitely make building easier as you can easily see twist and compensate for it.

    I don't see how you strip nipples. I have never heard of this, really. Are you by any chance bottoming out because your spokes are too short?
    I think he means the outside of the nipple

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by compengr View Post
    I think he means the outside of the nipple

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    A good spoke wrench solves that problem. This one is my favorite and is well worth the $$:

    P&K Lie Spoke Wrench - Wheel Fanatyk

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    I prefer AL because it has more compliance so it makes my hardtail ride better. You can get a set of hope hubs with arch ex off of bike24.com for about $350 which is plenty to run a 2.25 ardent with a 2.3 dhr2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    A good spoke wrench solves that problem. This one is my favorite and is well worth the $$:

    P&K Lie Spoke Wrench - Wheel Fanatyk
    Great wrench, but for $7 a person can get a Spokey 4 sided spoke wrench. Not a huge difference for many, but for some, the $15 extra is a lot.


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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    Great wrench, but for $7 a person can get a Spokey 4 sided spoke wrench. Not a huge difference for many, but for some, the $15 extra is a lot.
    Well yes, the Spokey is also 4-sided, but feels like a toy. I like the feel of the P&K Lie better.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Well yes, the Spokey is also 4-sided, but feels like a toy. I like the feel of the P&K Lie better.
    Reminds me of how Beats added weights to their high end headphones, to make them feel less like a toy, since they were mostly made of plastic. Then again, the brand was all about pleasing those with specific biases, over pleasing those seeking function and value.

    I've tried hard to kill such bias of my own. The way I see things is that engineers should choose the best material for the application, based on what's most important: cost, weight, size of the product, ease of manufacturing, etc. Metals are not superior over plastics/composites; they all have their pros and cons. Heavy might mean its reliable, or it might not. It depends on the specific formulation, alloy, or grade of the material, the shape and thickness, cross-section, etc. It's ultimately how the engineer designed the product to reach his strength, stiffness, weight, cost, and other targets. Is it not lame to make compromises to these targets, due to using one material over another, for the sake of pleasing those that prefer that material? The sad state of the industry is that it's up to the consumer to detect this kind of BS, since the marketing teams know there as consumers out there that still have biased preferences.

    The material properties of Toray T700 prepreg is known. They use a certain grade of carbon fiber woven in a certain way with a certain epoxy resin. Even with very simple layup where you lay it up with fibers oriented 30 and 60 degrees from layer to layer, to certain thicknesses to get a certain cross section, you can make a certain prediction of how it'll perform if you are familiar with how it performs in other applications and tests. This is considered an economical grade of material--there are more costly higher grades, and there are custom formulations which use more advanced epoxy with impact resistant additives. Kind of like the 6061-T6 of carbon fiber vs 6069, 7005, or a myriad of other alloys/grades... 6000 series rims are known to be on the soft side, easily dinged, compared to rims made of other Al alloy. Rims made of T700 are known to be less impact resistance than other carbon fiber. Certain designs such as very short, thick, hookless, and flared rim flanges help mitigate damage.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BXCc View Post
    Don't let one internet thread convince you that carbon is weak as it definitely is not. I weigh the same and have 2 bikes with generic carbon wheels. My wife has a set also.
    ...

    Also, if you're looking for a sub 1500g 29er wheelset, you're putting yourself into a rim weight territory that really can't be stiff enough or durable enough for a good beating. I have a 1550g 29er wheelset on my SS, DT 350 centerlock hubs with bladed spokes and Crest MK3 (23mm inner) rims. They are on the chopping block for some carbon hoops as I want to go wider and stiffer without going heavier.
    Thank you (and Karlewski) for your input. I don't think I would want to run tyres larger than 2.35/2.4 since I'll be riding XCO and XCM, no long downhills or bikeparks where I live (Estonia). XCM means group rides and drafting and fair amount of paved or fireroads, lots of rubber-band effect and acceleration where rotating mass somewhat matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rist View Post
    Thank you (and Karlewski) for your input. I don't think I would want to run tyres larger than 2.35/2.4 since I'll be riding XCO and XCM, no long downhills or bikeparks where I live (Estonia). XCM means group rides and drafting and fair amount of paved or fireroads, lots of rubber-band effect and acceleration where rotating mass somewhat matters.
    2.35/2.4 tires will benefit from 30-35mm inner rims depending on tread profile.
    If you run a Bontrager XR1 2.2 Team a 30mm rim would let you vary the pressure for gravel/paved or climbing and cornering trails at 5 psi/0.34 bar less. That tire is 120tpi and higher volume more rounded tread profile good for a wider rim. An XR2 2.35 Team would give its best on a 35mm rim.
    These options would be tilted towards XCO.
    Maybe 2 wheelsets would be a reasonable choice.

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    Training set and a race set/long day set! That's how I'm set up. Having the choice for cushy, efficiency, or both depending on the consistency of the trail is great. It alway a trade off when things get this specialized . . .
    Varaxias, do you have any experiences opinion on the T1000 carbon? Marketing move?

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    Overall I think I prefer aluminum rims. I could run Enve's if I wanted to, no problem, but on my AM rig I dig the feel and practicality of Stan's Flows.



    On a trip if you kill a rim, like a Stan's Flow, it's pretty darn easy to get a replacement and build it up lickety-split.

    Rim dings bouncing through rock gardens where I live are common. When that happens on my carbon rims I cringe and back off. On the Flow's I'm like, eh, whatever and sometimes giggle.

    I think the feel of an aluminum rim is more forgiving, and gives an overall better ride on chunky trails.

    My DH bike has al rims, dt ex471s and they are very good.


    I also have a pair of Derby's I ride a lot as well. They are very good. Better than the Stan's - I don't know. A lot more money, yes. Do I cringe when I hear a rim ding, yes.

  85. #85
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    T1000 is just a different grade of carbon fiber offered by Toray. Over T700 and T800, T1000's strength increases marginally. T800 and T1000 have slightly higher modulus than T700; they're considered intermediate modulus vs standard modulus. T1000 is barely any better than T800 in the big picture, but the use of either of these allows the mfg to use less material to reach their stiffness and strength targets. Their M40 and M46 high modulus grades are also used, though usually only sparingly on frames and not rims; M46 is higher strength than M40, but both are more fragile (brittle) than T700. Toughness, or impact resistance, is reduced where there's fewer plies of the material used; less thickness or weight generally implies that it's weaker. The higher grade material is more expensive, and they tend to do things to a higher quality standard with more checks and select skilled employees to do the labor.

    Toray's just one supplier of carbon fiber, among many. Manufacturers have to work around the limitations of the pre-spec'ed material, whereas other manufacturers who can custom spec their carbon and epoxy can have more control over the end product. Textreme is another option of pre-spec high grade carbon that manufacturers can choose from. Choosing a higher grade material like this can allow a small brand offer a "high end" offering, like Spot with their Mayhem. There's less complication involved when you're only using 1 material, which cuts down on skilled labor costs.

    The big brand high end products often use many different grades of carbon combined and rely on a more labor intensive setup. They'll use standard modulus material in thicker layers where impacts are most likely, and use different grades of material to reach strength and stiffness targets and save weight in areas that are less vulnerable. Some do this around a preplanned shape, to get a desired aesthetic that they can sell easier. Others use the shape to synergize with the material to efficiently reach stiffness, strength, and toughness targets.

    If they build impact prone areas like the rim flanges to the same thickness, a T1000 or T800 rim would be tougher than rims made from T700. I'll add that I bet there's brands that develop their own carbon and epoxy that one-up that for a comparable cost to the T1000 rim. If you're going with cheap chinese carbon, I'd suggest sticking to the ones made from T700 for $200, with short and thick rim flanges (pref slightly flared out and hookless), for value. You'd just have to treat 'em as disposable like alloy rims, and take into account stiffness based on the geo and weight of the rim. If you fall for the wide rim marketing trend and get a 31.6mm ID rim that weighs 470g or whatever, and it feels too stiff for your light alloy frame, you just bought an expensive lesson in material science.

    IMO, the ideal scenario is that the entire bike is made as a system where bike, rims, tires, etc. are all designed by one mfg which balances everything to match in terms of stiffness and strength for a given discipline. Trek and Spec are getting there. Giant needs to stick to a certain tire brand. And YT sort of has something going with their e13 wheel + tires. Shouldn't have a frame that's so stiff that it encourages you to get other beefy stiff parts, winding up with a build you see on a long travel bike, nor a frame that's so flexy (lazy/sluggish) that it encourages you to go weight weenie to add more zip.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

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    Great info Varaxis and greatly appreciated. Cool innovative insights as well. Sad how the psychology of marketing can actually lead us away from real product improvement. Honestly, for me, some of the fun of it is having the ďFerrariĒ looking bike, and driving it like that too!
    The systems approach (wholistic perspective) truly is the only way group componentry to achieve optimal results. Seems obvious but easy to loose sight of with all the marketing hype.
    Personally I like/want stiff tight light frames, rims, & boost hubs... for quick accurate equipment response coupled with supple finely tuned suspension and high volume, low PSI tires for comfort, forgivingness, and max traction. Both deliver efficiency, unless your on hard pack.

    I drive an old truck and when I ding it, I just smile and say, oppsy. My bike is worth more then my truck. Perhaps carbon rims and Ferraris are less then practical but for max bling and performance they got it going on. Not to say some guy on AL wheels wonít smoke on by me today out on the trail. Itís 95% rider anyway.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlewski View Post
    Not to say some guy on AL wheels wonít smoke on by me today out on the trail. Itís 95% rider anyway.
    I've been that "some guy" and I totally enjoyed it. Nothing sweeter than smoking a 20 something guy decked out on $3,000 carbon wheels and racing kit up that steep climb - with my stock AL wheels and at age 57!!!

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    I think we've finally got to a point where we can draw one clear conclusion . . .
    and that's who talks the most blind smack.

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