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  1. #1
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    Pros and cons of carbon wheels

    Buying a new bike and considering carbon wheels. I am a senior and do not race. Half the year I am in the Pacific Northwest with long nontechnical climbs. The test of the year I ride in Arizona rock. Buying an Ibis plus sized bike. Trying to decide if I should upgrade to carbon wheels

  2. #2
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    Pros- lighter, stronger, spin up faster, dampen vibration and look good!
    Cons- lighter wallet.

    I ran the Roval Traverse SL carbon for 4 years on a 160mm bike. Beat the crap out of them and the only spoke I broke happened when a stick got caught in my spokes. Even with the broken spoke the rims stayed dead true.

    The Ibis carbon wheels are very reasonably priced (for carbon) and the width of them is ideal for a plus bike. They ride real nice too. Same goes for the Roval Traverse SL 38s.
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  3. #3
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    Honestly I wouldn't. There's a place for carbon wheels but from for your recreational reasoning I think an aluminum rim would actually make for a more comfortable ride.


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  4. #4
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    I'm VERY impressed by the ibis carbon wheels, but you won't see me buying any. Too expensive. Weight/ride quality/handling/etc is 95% determined by tire choice, although the aluminum ibis rims are pretty girthy.
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  5. #5
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    Ibis rims are the best on the market right now. Light, strong and great damping characteristics. They will improve your riding in rough terrain and spin up faster.

    Are they worth it is another story. Can you afford to break one? How hard are you on equipment? I expect mine to last for 5+ years and can feel the benefit of them.

    They fall into the nice to have category, but definitely not necessary to have a good time.

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    I'm not quite a senior--next year. I'm running Ibis 742's, and am really enjoying them. They're really impressing me on the chunk. Initially I wasn't sure about throwing down the extra cash, but I'm glad I did. The 738's are fine, but if you can rationalize the added expense, do it.

  7. #7
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    How much disposable income do you have to play with? Carbon rims are definitely a noticeable improvement but aren't totally necessary.

  8. #8
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    Pro = Turns jarring, trail chatter into a muted tremor
    Con = Short service life

    I'm back to alloy now...
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    Pro = Turns jarring, trail chatter into a muted tremor
    Con = Short service life

    I'm back to alloy now...
    What kind of "service" did you put them thru? The OP may just be XC not looking to maul it Enduro style.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    What kind of "service" did you put them thru? The OP may just be XC not looking to maul it Enduro style.
    XC and light Trail. Destroyed:

    a) Easton EC90 XC 29
    b) Easton Haven Carbon
    c) NOX Teocalli
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    XC and light Trail. Destroyed:

    a) Easton EC90 XC 29
    b) Easton Haven Carbon
    c) NOX Teocalli
    That seems excessive. Consider increasing tire volume, air pressure, or running a heavier casing. I bet you'd be faster too, once you adapt.


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    I would be riding a lot of Sedona rock. Do not race and prefer not to jump but not really a choice in Sedona. Sure do appreciate everyone's input. I have been told Ibis carbon rims seem to last but that is mostly from Ibis. It seems most people see a benefit to carbon but perhaps not significant enough to warrant the price. But no clear consensus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    XC and light Trail. Destroyed:

    a) Easton EC90 XC 29
    b) Easton Haven Carbon
    c) NOX Teocalli
    Pictures of the failures?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    Pictures of the failures?
    Here is the EC90 rim de-lamination:
    Good thing I was traveling 0 mph, when I heard the "gunshot." The NOX Composites cracked at two spoke nipples. I know three Enve owners who suffered the same fate. Once everything was warrantied - I offed them all on eBay. Now perfectly happy with DT Swiss Spline and Stans Arch alloy wheels...

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  15. #15
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    It takes a serious rock strike to kill a new generation carbon wheel. I've had 2 sets of enve wheels and 1 set of ibis. The first set was 26 inch non-tubeless and used by a pro for 3 years before I got them. They was several rock strikes on the rims and I ran them for 3 years with no problems. Sold them to a friend that used them roughly for a year and then then ended up on another buddies bike. He was running super low pressure bombing a rock garden and blew the tire off the rim. Needless to say the rim was toast.
    He is going to contact enve and see what they will do to help him out.

    So 8 years of abuse on 4 different bikes before they died. Aluminium would never have even made it 2 years under that abuse.

    FYI Santa cruz wheels are warrantied for life INCLUDING any ride related damage.

  16. #16
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    Laterally, carbon rims are much stiffer IME, so you get less wobble while ripping through rock gardens which I find attractive for 29er wheels. On the other hand, they are vertically less compliant, which gravity guys claim decreases traction. I haven't found that to be an issue.

    I broke a spoke on a SRAM Roam 60 rear wheel and it never even went a mm out of true, which compared to every alloy rim I've ridden in the past 25 years, was impressive.

    I just blew up a SRAM Rise 60 rear rim running it far, far outside of it's design parameters in Moab, rode it out and again on Porcpine rim the next day. While I wasn't happy I delaminated it, I found it remarkable that it held together.

    TLDR, they're nice if you have the cash or can get a deal, they aren't essential however.

  17. #17
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    I got easton haven carbons on pricepoints death sale, saved over 1500 bucks on a pair.

    they are amazing and quick and everything people rave about. rear wheel acceleration improvement noticeable vs even lighter aluminum ones (stiffness of the carbon). BUT would I pay top dollar for them ? only if I was paying the bills with racing.

    for less than half the price of carbon you can get amazing aluminum hoops 98% as good. but yeah...if you want a rockin wheelset, carbon hoops cannot be denied

  18. #18
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    I got a set of the new Bontrager Kovee Elite 23 carbon wheels for my Niner RKT 9. I ride XC so these work great for me. Cut almost a pound from the OEM wheelset weight.

    Between the lighter weight and the various differences due to them being carbon, I'm quite impressed with the ride qualities.

    The Line 30's would be what you'd need for the Plus bike.
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    I just got a set of Ibis 741s, and I'm definitely impressed. Not only do they help with vibration but they spin up very quickly that it feels like I have an extra gear. I know tire selection will play a part in this (I'm on 2.4 DHRIIs) but the wheels smoothed out the trail and let me relax more which means I have more energy to focus on riding instead of absorbing bumps, etc.

  20. #20
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    Not sure there are too many cons...I would say price...but with the availability of open mold rims from China...the costs of owning carbon wheels have come down quite a bit.

    Only negative I noticed when initially riding carbon hoops is the harshness (harsh, but at the same time livelier). Not a big deal once I got used to it.

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    Had carbon wheels in 26". First ride thought, well this is quite different. After some time with them decided I slightly prefer the ride qualities of aluminum.
    When I needed 650b wheels I went with aluminum and don't miss the carbon.

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    Thanks to everyone for the input. One last question. Since I will have plus size tires, I wonder if the benefit of carbon is less. Will be running 15 psi.

  23. #23
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    A not-often-mentioned pro for carbon is lower unsprung weight. With less mass caroming around under you, it's easier for the suspension to keep the tires pressed against the ground, more of the time... the wheels don't bounce as high when they hit bumps. It's a subtle but enjoyable difference that you'll notice when riding fast over ruts, braking bumps, and other trail chatter. Makes your bike feel more like an expensive sports car, and less like a truck.
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  24. #24
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    if you can afford it, why not?

    nobody can make the "worth it" determination for you.
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    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddyKilowatt View Post
    A not-often-mentioned pro for carbon is lower unsprung weight.
    My carbon wheels are actually 300g heavier than my oem wheels but they spin up more easily since the weight is at the hub instead of the rim.

    Honestly I haven't noticed any difference other than quicker acceleration and silent freewheel (Onyx hub). I haven't noticed any of the other common traits such as stiffness, harshness, sharpness of handling, etc.

  26. #26
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    Pros:

    Look nice, a little bit lighter.

    Cons:

    Too stiff, harsh ride, hilariously fragile compared to decent Alu rims.

    As a one bike to rule them all guy, from trail riding to DH & enduro racing, carbon wheels unless you have a bottomless pit of money are, a waste of money. People thinking they are faster are just kidding themselves.

  27. #27
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    Here's another affordable option for carbon wheelsets: Roost Wheels - Wide Carbon Wheelsets for Everyone

    Disclaimer: I own the company. lol.

    I caution against running too low of air pressure regardless of what tire/rim/bike combo you have - low pressure can increase traction (asymptotically) but you lose a lot of cornering predictability when riding on dirt/rock (snow is fine).

    A tire is basically an undamped spring - meaning it bounces you back up at an uncontrolled rate. In contrast, properly adjusted suspension dampens the rebound stroke to give you a more controlled, predictable adjustment to terrain.

  28. #28
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    I'm always amazed that people still believe carbon rims are somehow fragile.

    I've had rim strikes so hard I 'snakebit' a Maxxis EXO casing. Literally tore the Kevlar bead away from the sidewall. Perfectly symmetrical holes on both sides. Just like old tubes we used to run in the 90s.

    The Nextie rim was barely scratched. No way an alloy rim would have survived that hit.
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  29. #29
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    If you have the scratch to cover it, on a plus bike is absolutely go carbon rims. My i43 carbon rims weigh 500g each. A comparable alloy rim is gonna weigh 125-150g more and from firsthand experience comparing them to Velocity Duallys, they're stiffer in a good way.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I'm always amazed that people still believe carbon rims are somehow fragile.

    I've had rim strikes so hard I 'snakebit' a Maxxis EXO casing. Literally tore the Kevlar bead away from the sidewall. Perfectly symmetrical holes on both sides. Just like old tubes we used to run in the 90s.

    The Nextie rim was barely scratched. No way an alloy rim would have survived that hit.
    No even a case of believing it - my wall of shame proves it.

    Since I moved back to Alu rims i've not broken, bent, or badly dinged one.

    My creative wall of carbon destruction has run out of space to hang any more trashed carbon rims (of many brands). In the 2.5 years I tried carbon, i've broken more wheels multiple times over than the entire rest of the time i've been riding bikes.

    If you ride hard/fast/race, they just don't last. I'm not some weird one off either - most of my riding friends have given up & gone back to Alu rims.

    They work, and they actually feel nicer.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I'm always amazed that people still believe carbon rims are somehow fragile.

    I've had rim strikes so hard I 'snakebit' a Maxxis EXO casing. Literally tore the Kevlar bead away from the sidewall. Perfectly symmetrical holes on both sides. Just like old tubes we used to run in the 90s.

    The Nextie rim was barely scratched. No way an alloy rim would have survived that hit.
    Eh, done this 2-3 times in the past with no harm to the wheel. Exo casings are kinda flimsy. Good wheels can hold up to a lot, be they carbon or otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by -C- View Post
    No even a case of believing it - my wall of shame proves it.

    Since I moved back to Alu rims i've not broken, bent, or badly dinged one.

    My creative wall of carbon destruction has run out of space to hang any more trashed carbon rims (of many brands). In the 2.5 years I tried carbon, i've broken more wheels multiple times over than the entire rest of the time i've been riding bikes.

    If you ride hard/fast/race, they just don't last. I'm not some weird one off either - most of my riding friends have given up & gone back to Alu rims.

    They work, and they actually feel nicer.
    You need to ride more, I've trashed plenty of aluminum rims. The recent low pressure phenomenon is partly responsible for the increase in rim failures IMO.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    You need to ride more, I've trashed plenty of aluminum rims. The recent low pressure phenomenon is partly responsible for the increase in rim failures IMO.
    Complete agree. I have since started pressuring my tires up more. I also don't enjoy the squirmy feel around a corner. A think many people don't realize when their low tire pressure puts the ground in contact with the rim. No metal or carbon will fix that problem.


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    There is some very good input here. I will add this.

    When we test in-house, we do radial testing to see how much stiffness our layup design offers. We measure radial movement to the millimeter and load weight placed on our test rim as we compress the rim. It takes more than 450kg of force to have a rim fail. That is only amplified once you build that rim into a wheel and apply tension to with spokes. The question of what is stronger is not even close in comparison to aluminum.
    The added benefits come from ride feel and performance. You will notice your bike tracks better when you point it, it will go there. The lateral stiffness keeps the wheels tracking straight and you feeling like you couldn't choose a bad line.
    Being able to continue running tubeless after a rim strike. Almost all aluminum rims once you've had a rim strike, dent and you will find it hard to run tubeless.
    Precision dimensions. If manufactured right to a tight tolerance, you will find that tubeless inflation will be a snap with carbon vs. aluminum.
    And warranty. You will be hard pressed to find a warranty that backs impact damage on aluminum rims. Most carbon offerings offer this now.

    These are some touch points that I have seen missing here.

  35. #35
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    I think carbon rims seem to "track" better for lack of a better word. On aluminum it seems like I have to make very small adjustments mid-turn, whereas carbon seem to hold a turn better. Maybe it's just my mind trying to justify the price tag, don't know.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    You need to ride more, I've trashed plenty of aluminum rims. The recent low pressure phenomenon is partly responsible for the increase in rim failures IMO.
    You're right, I do. but sadly i'm grumpy and sore after breaking myself at the last round of the EWS & i'm now missing the next round this weekend.

    I'd probably agree regarding the low pressure movement - it's not something I subscribe to really, as anything less than about 26psi the tyre squirms horribly in corners & they get burped.

    Sits in with the super wide rim fad for me.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I'm always amazed that people still believe carbon rims are somehow fragile.

    I've had rim strikes so hard I 'snakebit' a Maxxis EXO casing. Literally tore the Kevlar bead away from the sidewall. Perfectly symmetrical holes on both sides. Just like old tubes we used to run in the 90s.

    The Nextie rim was barely scratched. No way an alloy rim would have survived that hit.
    I had a super hard rim strike from hitting a sharp rock and got a classic "snake bite" pinch on my (tubeless) Ardent Race EXO tire. That was almost 2 years ago and I'm still riding the same rim today, an alloy KOM.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The recent low pressure phenomenon is partly responsible for the increase in rim failures IMO.
    I'm a big fan of carbon. I'm a big fan of wide. I 100% agree the low pressure pissing match has gotten out of hand. I always chuckle when I see 200+ lb guys bragging how they run 18psi in their 2.4 tires (because, traction!), but simultaneously b!tch about how they destroy 2 i25 rims a year.

    Never thought those were related did ya?

    I'm 50# less and I can't get under 20psi with out multiple rim strikes per ride, and TBH it doesn't even ride that great at 20psi.
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  39. #39
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    I'm running the Ibis 942 wheels with a nobby nic 2.6 on the front. I don't know if it's weight balance or my riding style and terrain, but I can get away with 14 psi and only get squirm in 1 corner on my local hill. I do bump it up to 16-17 on rocky trails. Never broke a wheel or had a rim strike. I've had a couple tires that burped on ghetto tubeless back in the day that lead to rim strikes.
    A decent number of guys I ride with smash thew rock gardens and destroy sidewalls/get rim strikes at much higher pressures.

  40. #40
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    A positive is carbon are nice to build with too, the stiffness makes it easier (guess a heavy duty DH ally rim would be too, but not built a ally DH wheel) no wibbly wobbly like on the lighter stans rims anyway....makes getting a true even tension wheel easy.
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  41. #41
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    Here is my dilemma, and I'm in the same scenario as the original poster. No racing, just normal trail riding and maybe 1-2 bike park days per summer but I have a budget of $1500 for wheels/tires. It is for my Stumpjumper that currently is running 27.5+ wheels. I was a huge fan of the plus wheels at first but I am getting the itch to try 29er wheels, and to have the option of choosing between the two. Do I go for a higher end alloy wheel (i9 or similar) or try to stretch the budget and go for carbon? Coming from the plus with WTB i40 wheels with heavy maxxis 2.8 tires anything will feel like an improvement in weight and especially rolling weight.

  42. #42
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    Ibis 742 Logo Wheelset - Carbon Rims – Ibis Cycles Online Store

    Ibis worked with the manufacture of the hubs and basically redesigned them for them to improve reliability.

  43. #43
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    Currently on i9 torch hubs and spokes laced to nox teocali rims.
    29 front and 27.5 rear on my mixer. These wheels feel noticeably better then the i9 stans arch combo I was running before.
    At 54 I'm not as aggressive as I used to be but the love the quicker spin up and stiffness that aids in tracking on rough terrain.
    I say if you got the cash give em a try.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeAreOne_Composites View Post
    There is some very good input here. I will add this.

    That is only amplified once you build that rim into a wheel and apply tension to with spokes. The question of what is stronger is not even close in comparison to aluminum.
    The added benefits come from ride feel and performance. You will notice your bike tracks better when you point it, it will go there. The lateral stiffness keeps the wheels tracking straight and you feeling like you couldn't choose a bad line.
    Being able to continue running tubeless after a rim strike. Almost all aluminum rims once you've had a rim strike, dent and you will find it hard to run tubeless.
    Precision dimensions. If manufactured right to a tight tolerance, you will find that tubeless inflation will be a snap with carbon vs. aluminum.
    And warranty. You will be hard pressed to find a warranty that backs impact damage on aluminum rims. Most carbon offerings offer this now.

    These are some touch points that I have seen missing here.
    To counter this.

    Stronger, yes until the point of ultimate failure. This may result in a dent/ding with an aluminium rim, but obviously this does doesn't happen with carbon. It either shrugs it off, or it cracks. The beauty of aluminium is you can pull those dings out. You crack a carbon wheel, it's done.

    Ride feel & performance. Very subjective. something i've raised many a time that there is such as thing as too stiff. This finally seems to be coming through with peoples reviews - read between the lines, people are realising very stiff wheels arn't actually that nice to ride. On smooth stuff they track great, on rough, choppy, off camber stuff, the lack of lateral deflection makes it noticeably harder to hold high lines as the wheel just deflects, rather than flexes. Lot of sponsored WC racers also complaining their carbon wheels are too stiff & they are running crazy low spoke tensions, just to get a bit of wheel flex.

    Only in the last 24 hours i've seen 2 fairly prominent reviews of the new Intense Carbine 29 where the reviewer has complained the ENVE wheels are just too stiff & it makes the bike harsh to ride.

    Being able to continue to run tubeless after a rim strike? As mentioned above, the beauty of metal rims is you can pull them back into shape. As an aside point, as a racer, if you ding a rim hard enough on a fast, rocky section & pinch flat the tyre, chances are you will destroy a carbon rim before you even stop. We all know what Gwin did on an EX471 a couple of years ago @ Leogang.

    Precision dimensions? Ease of tubeless setup? Total moot point. Non issue. No easier or harder regardless of rim material.

    Carbon rim impact damage on warranty? I've seen Santa Cruz offering this (but not read any T&C's, but who else offers this? I'm not talking crash replacement schemes which are manufacturers offering rims @ trade prices, which is slightly insulting.

    My experience of carbon rims so far has been; Easton Havens', ENVE, Light Bike, Nextie, Derby & DT Swiss.

    Every single one of them i've broken.

    Yes they can be lab tested, stats can be shown etc, but as a ~top 10% racer in my category who occasionally gets to play with the big boys at EWS's etc, carbon wheels categorically do not work in my world.

    This is not a unique situation to me, most of the quick guys I ride with have tried carbon & returned back to aluminium for similar reasons.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by -C- View Post
    To counter this.

    Stronger, yes until the point of ultimate failure. This may result in a dent/ding with an aluminium rim, but obviously this does doesn't happen with carbon. It either shrugs it off, or it cracks. The beauty of aluminium is you can pull those dings out. You crack a carbon wheel, it's done.

    Ride feel & performance. Very subjective. something i've raised many a time that there is such as thing as too stiff. This finally seems to be coming through with peoples reviews - read between the lines, people are realising very stiff wheels arn't actually that nice to ride. On smooth stuff they track great, on rough, choppy, off camber stuff, the lack of lateral deflection makes it noticeably harder to hold high lines as the wheel just deflects, rather than flexes. Lot of sponsored WC racers also complaining their carbon wheels are too stiff & they are running crazy low spoke tensions, just to get a bit of wheel flex.

    Only in the last 24 hours i've seen 2 fairly prominent reviews of the new Intense Carbine 29 where the reviewer has complained the ENVE wheels are just too stiff & it makes the bike harsh to ride.

    Being able to continue to run tubeless after a rim strike? As mentioned above, the beauty of metal rims is you can pull them back into shape. As an aside point, as a racer, if you ding a rim hard enough on a fast, rocky section & pinch flat the tyre, chances are you will destroy a carbon rim before you even stop. We all know what Gwin did on an EX471 a couple of years ago @ Leogang.

    Precision dimensions? Ease of tubeless setup? Total moot point. Non issue. No easier or harder regardless of rim material.

    Carbon rim impact damage on warranty? I've seen Santa Cruz offering this (but not read any T&C's, but who else offers this? I'm not talking crash replacement schemes which are manufacturers offering rims @ trade prices, which is slightly insulting.

    My experience of carbon rims so far has been; Easton Havens', ENVE, Light Bike, Nextie, Derby & DT Swiss.

    Every single one of them i've broken.

    Yes they can be lab tested, stats can be shown etc, but as a ~top 10% racer in my category who occasionally gets to play with the big boys at EWS's etc, carbon wheels categorically do not work in my world.

    This is not a unique situation to me, most of the quick guys I ride with have tried carbon & returned back to aluminium for similar reasons.
    Great write up. I would just like to add that not all carbon rims are the same. For example Enve are one of the stiffest rims available. Combine this with a 36 fork, a super strong enduro frame and you have a complete package that almost eliminates tuned flex. Motorcycle racing figured this out 15 years ago when they started making bikes too rigid. They had to engineer flex back into the bikes to keep the front fracking straight over rough ground.

    IMO the ibis wheels have hit a sweet spot for strength, flex and weight. The shallow rim profile helps tune in some flex and the offset gives equal stability side to side. With the wider rims people tend to run bigger tires that help add some compliance too.

    EWS is indead a different world. They are hard charging and have to use the same equipment the whole race. It's safer to bend an aluminum back into shape and continue than to try and nurse a damaged carbon wheel.

    I have enves on my XC bike and Ibis on my trail bike. Both complement the bikes are not too stiff for the applications. Looking at the bike as a complete package is important.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeAreOne_Composites View Post
    There is some very good input here. I will add this.

    When we test in-house, we do radial testing to see how much stiffness our layup design offers. We measure radial movement to the millimeter and load weight placed on our test rim as we compress the rim. It takes more than 450kg of force to have a rim fail. That is only amplified once you build that rim into a wheel and apply tension to with spokes. The question of what is stronger is not even close in comparison to aluminum.
    The added benefits come from ride feel and performance. You will notice your bike tracks better when you point it, it will go there. The lateral stiffness keeps the wheels tracking straight and you feeling like you couldn't choose a bad line.
    Being able to continue running tubeless after a rim strike. Almost all aluminum rims once you've had a rim strike, dent and you will find it hard to run tubeless.
    Precision dimensions. If manufactured right to a tight tolerance, you will find that tubeless inflation will be a snap with carbon vs. aluminum.
    And warranty. You will be hard pressed to find a warranty that backs impact damage on aluminum rims. Most carbon offerings offer this now.

    These are some touch points that I have seen missing here.
    Hi! I just saw your introduction on Pinkbike

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/we-are...to-canada.html


    That's awesome and i hope all the best for you. I'm not your target customer- too conservative, too cheap, and too destructive... but i wish you nothing but the best and i look forward to seeing your wheels rolling around in my woods. Really really cool!!
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  47. #47
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    while relacing my rear carbon, i used a Dt E serie for a week. then back to carbon.
    First that stroke me was confort. Alu is way confy.
    For the rest, carbon hands down. but when iam old...

  48. #48
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    I've never ridden carbon wheels. I doubt they would do anything for me. I've ridden different aluminum rimmed wheels. No difference. The only improvement I noticed was going from tubes to tubeless. The way I think about it is you have this pig of a bike that's pushing 30 pounds with squishy suspension and fat squishy tires. How can I expect to feel a subtle difference in rims?


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  49. #49
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    I've never ridden carbon wheels. I doubt they would do anything for me. I've ridden different aluminum rimmed wheels. No difference. The only improvement I noticed was going from tubes to tubeless. The way I think about it is you have this pig of a bike that's pushing 30 pounds with squishy suspension and fat squishy tires. How can I expect to feel a subtle difference in rims?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There is a difference that you can feel. The bike will turn faster and handle different. Whether this difference is worth it and the size of the change depends on your current equipment, style of riding and terrain.

  50. #50
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    LB 38mm 27.5 rims here. Very different than the alu rims they replaced. No cons for my riding. Faster, stronger, lighter, just like me when I was younger!
    My name is Chris and I ride a Ripmo now.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    I've never ridden carbon wheels. I doubt they would do anything for me. I've ridden different aluminum rimmed wheels. No difference. The only improvement I noticed was going from tubes to tubeless. The way I think about it is you have this pig of a bike that's pushing 30 pounds with squishy suspension and fat squishy tires. How can I expect to feel a subtle difference in rims?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I'm able to feel a difference. My Banshee is just north of 30lbs with 140 rear and 150 front. First thing I felt is how much more harsh they feel compared to aluminum. After the first few rides...I wanted to ditch them.

    Whether the difference is good (or bad)...will be up to you.

  52. #52
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    Every carbon wheel rides different. I personally do not like the feel of Enve rims. Even the M50 feel really harsh to me. WAY too stiff. I tried the M90 on a DH bike and really hated the ride.
    I personally run the Roval Traverse carbon wheels and I love them. They have a low spoke count and were designed to flex and have an amazing feel. When cornering and jumping it feels almost like they store the energy and give it right back to you. You pop out of corners and off jumps with an energetic feel. Kind of like the rebound feel you get from nice running shoes.
    20 SJ Evo 29, 17 Whyte T130, 18 Giant Glory Advanced

  53. #53
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    Pros: Lighter, stronger, stiffness (less flex and more precise)
    Cons: Price, susceptible to cracks if you ride in rocky, rooty technical terrain, stiffness (they can ride harsher than aluminum).

    Stiffness is pro and a con because while it has very little flex and are very precise, they can feel a bit harsh at times in really technical terrain.

  54. #54
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    I'm assuming you're getting them spec'd on your new Ibis, so the con of price is not an issue. I have three friends with the Ibis rims who swear by them. I've been running Atomix for two years without a single true. I cracked the rear after a year during some very aggressive riding. Atomix replaced it no questions asked. My LBS loaned me a wheel.

    The stiffness and acceleration will reveal themselves to you in your driveway. It's a paradigm shift. Someone mentioned the elimination of small corrections in turns. This was immediately noticeable.

    It's a no brainer. Based on your honest description of your ability and riding preference, the Ibis rims will suit you perfectly and be hassle free.
    T275a

  55. #55
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    I can push my bike through turns, especially berms, much harder, with carbon wheels. It's hard to describe, but there was a lower limit with aluminum rims where when you pushed the bike into a turn, it just didn't "hold", it would kind of flop over and the bike wouldn't track. Riding with carbon wheels through the same turns, it's like it's on rails and simply holds the line much better.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  56. #56
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    I agree with Jayem. I upgraded from from aluminum to carbon two years ago. I've never looked back or regretted it. I weigh 140lbs geared up and ride aggressively but don't race. I always felt "flex" in the aluminum wheels in turns and also landing jumps. The best way I can describe riding aluminum wheels in aggressive turns and jumps is a roll and yaw feeling with respect to the vertical axis when pushing really hard. I got used to it and was able to compensate with body position and steering correction. I certainly learned to anticipate it. With carbon, as Jayem said, the bike tracks much better and holds the line. I can definitely push the carbon wheels harder in turns and off camber terrain where the only limitation is tire traction (and my skill set).

  57. #57
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    As a relative newbee to mountain biking.

    The stability of carbon wheels allows me to better evaluate tire issues. Different parameters such as pressure, sidewall flex, and grip are more discernible than with aluminum wheels I have used.

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