carbon for rim abusers- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    carbon for rim abusers

    Sorry for another carbon wheel post, but before dropping some serious cash I wanted to get a grasp of the type of riders who choose carbon vs aluminum. I've read so much about converts, but I saw a thread on here from an EWS rider who basically said nobody at that level rides carbon (sure, they can't deal with an explosion). A vid by WorldWide cycles made a comment about avoiding if you're a known rim dinger. But then you see vids of great riders riding on carbon (like Skills with Phil).

    From my friends who ride carbon, I have those that are not that fast or hit any jumps, so I don't want to take their word. Then a few (very few) who are dh riders who hit big jumps but I don't know how often they have had issues (only 1 mentioned an exploded rim when landing a jump) but I know they like spending $$$ on bikes.

    So maybe thoughts on a rider that comes in on Strava top 10-20% on west coast/norcal terrain, and known to ding a few aluminum rims (but never break them) that have required about 3 wheel rebuilds over the course of several years. I don't know about 'line choice' when things are hairy nor think about it...if I have to plow through something that suprised me I just let it go. I keep my bikes for a while (i.e. not a new bike a year guy). I also weigh about 150lbs.

  2. #2
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    I weigh 170 and have never broken a carbon rim. I used to go through a ton of alloy rims. I think that carbon rims are more resistant to Taco-ing from excessive side loads like landing sideways or understeering really, really bad. People claim that they are less resistant to direct impact but that has not been my experience and I run anywhere from 18 to 28PSI depending on the course conditions and tire/size. I've got a set of the original LightBike rims at 420g (so pretty lite) that survived 4,800 miles on a Specialized Enduro 29.

  3. #3
    Keep on Rockin...
    Reputation: Miker J's Avatar
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    Well not sure if this will help but...

    On my DH rig I run aluminum rims. I was only getting one season out of a dt EX471 but seem to be doing a bit better on the FR570 (now 560). Using Flat Tire Defender inserts as I do get a lot of rim dings and that's why I've been running inserts the last 2 years. Weigh about 170 without gear. Wouldn't run carbon on a DH or lift assist bike. I do ride the DH bike very hard, and I like to run the chunkiest trails and hardest lines as fast as I can. Usually I get more of a physical workout downhilling than trail riding and I like it that way.

    On my 2 trail bikes I run carbon rims. No inserts. One set I've had for years. I get a few soft rim hits here and there. But I do ride as nimbly as possible on my trail bikes - very different from my DH rig. Our trails are more slow speed tech than high speed hits. Do I think the carbon rims are more fragile than the aluminum ones, probably not. They are probably stronger. But if they break I'm out a lot more cash.


    So, to me it comes down to riding style.

  4. #4
    Just a flesh wound
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    I went through a couple of alu rims on my Prophet before I switched to LB 38mm external carbon hoops. Put about 5,000 miles on those and I still have them on that bike. Never any problems, ever. Now I have 1,000 miles on my Ripmo with Ibis Carbon hoops and they too are still perfect. I can only say that you should not go for super light rims if you want carbon. My 27.5 LB rims were 420 grams each or maybe a bit more. I don't know the weight of my Ibis rims, but my experience with the straight line, unflappable manner of the carbon rims made my decision to get them again. That's my take.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Ripmo now.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Not all carbon rims are created equally. There are XC, AM, and DH layups offered in most widths by most manufacturers.

    Discuss it in detail with your wheelbuilder. They should be able to take all of your info (past wheels and how they held up, mode of failure, height/weight/riding style/terrain, bike setup, etc...) and create a package that works for you.

  6. #6
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    right now there is a plethora of lifetime no questions asked rim replacement warranty from SC, Enve and others, so I wouldn’t be too worried and you have nothing to lose not even riding time if you keep your current set as backup!

  7. #7
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    One thing I'm actually more afraid of is injury in case of a cathostrophic failure. But this helps. Miker J brought up one of my questions... What you riding and how fast/brutally. I'm not the fastest but ride at a good clip through rough terrain... My technique may not be as advanced (those fast guys that also have it all and can manual for 50 ft into a drop) hence "bad lines" may be more frequent along with crashes. I just don't want to end up in the hospital (again) due to wheels.

  8. #8
    The Fastest of Bananas
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkies View Post
    One thing I'm actually more afraid of is injury in case of a cathostrophic failure. But this helps. Miker J brought up one of my questions... What you riding and how fast/brutally. I'm not the fastest but ride at a good clip through rough terrain... My technique may not be as advanced (those fast guys that also have it all and can manual for 50 ft into a drop) hence "bad lines" may be more frequent along with crashes. I just don't want to end up in the hospital (again) due to wheels.
    For PROS, I really think it just depends on anecdotal experience with carbon or aluminum. This isnt a science.

    I've busted both. Seen lots of Enves fail. I've killed about a dozen alloy rims. Sometimes, the alloy rims hold air when they get dinged, sometimes they dont. But I can always put a tube in and get through the ride. Not always the case when carbon fractures, however, I've never busted one so bad that I couldnt get down the mtn.

    Carbon holds up better, for me. We Are One is the best in the game right now, a buddy of mine, who crushed serveral Enves, cant seem to hurt these.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Interplanetary Poultry
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    I've broken spoke nipples on my carbon wheels, and I've actually got a scrape on the rear wheel that leaks air when the tape gets screwed up, but otherwise the wheels have held up well to blitzing rock gardens here in SoCal. I can see why EWS guys won't run them, as you can beat an aluminum wheel back into shape if need be and it's better than taking the time penalty. Of course the question has to be asked, would the carbon wheel have bent in the first place?
    . . . . . . . .

  10. #10
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    Do the math.

  11. #11
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    There are a some EWS riders on carbon wheels. I'm not sure if they've had more or less issues than riders on alloy wheels though.

    I feel like these days if you're running the appropriate setup (wheels, tires, and pressures) for the terrain carbon vs alloy shouldn't be an issue. Now if you're plowing through black diamond rock gardens with light duty carbon rims and EXO casing tires at 18 psi then yeah you might have some problems.

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