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  • Carbon rims. Talk me out of it
  • sharkattack
    Full Member

    I’ve always been indifferent to carbon but I’m starting to think I’ll see the advantage of plastic rims. Usually when I’m sitting in the garage carefully bending back the edges of my alloy rim with an adjustable spanner.

    I bought a bike that came with perfectly decent DT 350 hubs but absolutely chod E Thirteen rims. They’ve needed a lot of attention keep them true and I’ve thoroughly deformed the edges. This is just at trail centres with Covid lungs, I haven’t even got back into ‘proper’ riding yet.

    What I should do is have the hubs lovingly hand built into a pair of XM481’s and go on my way. They’d be perfect.

    But… I’m feeling fruity and I can’t stop peeking at carbon options. I’ve got a brand new pair of Rimpact Pro inserts and Exo+ tyres on order. I’d rather fit them to nice new rims than preshagged E Thirteens.

    This is my current favourite option- https://www.scrubwheels.com/product-page/Scrub-Carbon-Enduro-Wheelset

    Go on, tell me I’m wrong.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I’ve just gone back to Aluminium rims after a couple of years on Roval carbon wheels – which are considered pretty good by most standards Reasoning was that I did find that boost hubs on 27.5 carbon rims made for very stiff wheels that sometimes meant that the tyres struggled. There’s little to no compliance, so the the thing that gives way first is they grip on the tyre. They needed trueing much more than regular rims, again the rim is stiff, so the spokes tend to take up a lot of the battering that a more compliant wheel would absorb. The rear of mine cracked, it was replaced under warranty, but otherwise would’ve been more expensive to replace. They scuff up pretty fast, so they do look a bit shit after a while.

    personally. having had carbon rims for a couple of years,  I’m not sure I’d spend the money on another set.

    branes
    Full Member

    I have a slightly different experience…they build up really easily to a good wheel with even spoke tension as they’re really stiff. Load is distributed across a lot of (evenly tensioned) spokes so they don’t go out of true and theoretically spokes will last longer as they won’t fatigue so quickly

    But they do crack if you hit them hard, in my case on a sharp edged rock, requiring a new rim @ £250 which was slightly discounted in my case. More if you don’t build it yourself of course. I’m still on the fence, and I don’t dent alu rims much… In your case I’d stick with alu, or go with 100% no questions asked replacement guarantee carbon rims..

    samwilk200
    Free Member

    E Thirteen known for being cheese. Just build up on DT XM481 or EX511 if you want tougher. Think of the money you will save 🙂

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    I’ve got 2 sets of carbon rims, love them both. Both are around 1700g for the wheelset, the oldest ones are 3 years old and zero issues. They don’t bend like alloy, and you have to be doing some pretty atrocious stuff to them too break a carbon rim these days.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    I’ve recently bought some carbon rims from Light Bicycle. So far:
    – Great service re comms and info on their website, but the delivery is not quick as they make each rim to order and then ship from China
    – You do notice a difference in weight, but only when accelerating or on a hill, and then it’s only minor and even then only when you first change from a heavier rim! I completely take it for granted now lol
    – I didn’t notice any difference in stiffness or comfort. Maybe it’s the way I’ve laced them, not sure. These are the first rims I’ve built with offset spoke holes, so the tension is much more even between drive side and non-drive side, so maybe that makes for a more compliant ride?
    – I’m a bit annoyed at how quickly that got marked. They looked so lovely when new, but started showing scuffs very quickly after some very non-challengimg rides

    Overall: not sure if they are worth the price (~£350 for 2x rims inc shipping and taxes) but I’ll prob buy them again at some point down the line!

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I’ve got light bicycle rims on a couple of bikes and really like them. Whenever I consider building a new bike, I default to those. Wheels have been stiff, true and reliable.

    One other advantage is 8 can order them with a UST sealed rim bed. Bit more involved to build (but I like building wheels) but means no need for rim tape. Only a small thing but makes swapping tyres a little easier.

    They’ve taken a few knocks and even chipped the top laminate but I’ve just touched them up with 2 part epoxy

    stevextc
    Free Member

    Get some DT FR rims… you don’t even need a tyre.

    OK tongue in cheek about the tyre but this answers most of the issues with the E13 rims…
    I’ve got 511’s and I’ve ridden big jump lines landing on roots and square edge wood with no air and just an insert casing everything (because I couldn’t go very quickly) and ZERO damage to the rims…

    They needed trueing much more than regular rims

    That’s pretty much any factory built wheel to be fair…. even an average amateur wheel builder will build a much better wheel than machine built.
    I do have some carbon rims… professionally built 6-7 yrs ago and they have barely been touched… every new factory built wheel I ever had I undo until zero tension and just rebuild from there….

    mashr
    Full Member

    Switching your DT350s for some Novatec* things? Pass on that, at least get the hubs built onto the rim of your choosing (be it aluminium or carbon)

    *or similar

    Tracey
    Full Member

    We have been running carbon wheels for quite some time on all our bikes including the Emtbs. Never had a problem and all of ours have had quite a bit of hammer both in the UK and abroad. We have a mixture of Sixth Element, Rovals and a set of Nextie. All 29er until recently as the latest Ebikes are mullet.

    We have a set of DT EX511s built up in 2017 just in case we needed a spare set of wheels on our travels. They are still hung up in the garage unused

    I cant comment on the Scrub wheels you have linked to. Our Rovals are what’s come with the bikes and the Sixth Elements have a Lifetime warranty but not needed to use it. Would happily recommend them.

    davros
    Free Member

    I’ve had my roval control over a year now and I’m happy with them. Managed to break a spoke at ard moors last week but it stayed true. The rims are scuffed up but they still look nice in raw carbon finish. Ride feel is good. Noticeably stiffer/more direct at first but not in a negative way. So they’ve worked well for me. But if you’re a rim bender then I’d just go for dt as suggested for peace of mind.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Switching your DT350s for some Novatec* things? Pass on that,

    If I bought the Scrub wheels I’d be speccing Pro 4 hubs.

    Get some DT FR rims… you don’t even need a tyre.

    No one needs to sell me on DT Swiss rims, I’m already a big fan. My last set of XM481’s were light, stiff, lovely to ride, took an absolute pasting in the Alps…then got nicked. Wish I still had them.

    EDIT: Bollocks. The Scrub wheels I was looking at are coming up at £895 with Pro 4 hubs. It might be my imagination but I’m sure they were £850 a few days ago!

    Akers
    Full Member

    I’m a big fan of carbon rims, been using a set of Reynolds Enduro Black Label over 3 years. They’ve taken some truly horrible abuse, yet barely have a scratch on them.
    Some things worry me about these Scrubs though, 1) I’ve never heard of them, 2) no weights are listed, which is odd as this is a key benefit of carbon over alloy, 3) How come they are so cheap compared to other carbon wheels out there, with the exception of Hunt, whose carbon wheels are relatively heavy.

    In truth, personally I can’t notice any difference between the Reynolds carbon, and my alloy DT Swiss on my other bike when riding the same trails.

    AS you already have decent hubs, in your position I’d re-lace those with the XM481’s that you fancy and save the cash for your next energy bill.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    We have a set of DT EX511s built up in 2017 just in case we needed a spare set of wheels on our travels. They are still hung up in the garage unused

    Now that’s an awesome stealth advert 😉

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I just checked out Sixth Element and blimey, they’re more expensive than I thought they would be! Does anyone know what rims they are? They look exactly like Light Bicycle. By the time you’ve paid an extra £100 for crash replacement they’re getting on for Santa Cruz Reserve prices.

    stevie750
    Full Member

    last year sixth element had some really good discounts on carbon wheels at tweedlove.

    damascus
    Free Member

    If you buy carbon rims remember to buy a spare rim for when you break it. Chances are you won’t be able to get a match in the future.

    This isn’t the case with alloy rims.

    Alloy rims have come a long way recently and there’s not that much in it anymore.

    I think carbon rims make a lot more sense on a road bike as you go for deep section rims for aero.

    I’d just go for a decent dt Swiss rim to suit your riding style at the preferred weight option and build those into the 350s. Or just buy a new pair of dt Swiss wheels and sell yours and save the hassle of building wheels.

    Tracey
    Full Member

    You’ve not seen the state of our garage loft. We never seem to get round to selling stuff, when we do it just builds back up. Peatys Bike Bonanza has always been a God send for us due to no advertising, no photos and no posting. It was postponed last year and due again this year in November. Fingers crossed it goes ahead.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    I’ve carbon rims across three bikes – made sense for the weight saving on the fat Ike and aero advantages on the road bike, but the trail/Enduro I’d prob go with alloy if your heavy on wheels and constantly bending back the alloy ones you currently have. I’ve cracked a rim and it’s not cheap, quick or easy? to replace – I had to wait a month for a spare (£250) and pay for a rebuild.

    If you do go with carbon definitely use impact strips.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Just don’t go for DT Swiss carbon. They have a “warranty” on them, but it doesn’t cover riding on a surface with loose rocks, ie mountain biking.

    HobNob
    Free Member

    Not any lighter, don’t ride as well & have broken considerably more carbon wheels than aluminium. They are pointless on an MTB that gets a bit of stick IMO.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    We have a set of DT EX511s built up in 2017 just in case we needed a spare set of wheels on our travels. They are still hung up in the garage unused

    The other set are still working awesomely… don’t think I’ve had to touch a spoke and they have seen abuse only possible with my crap riding. The rear has been swapped onto Jnr’s bike on several occasions and he can wreck a wheel in a day…

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    This thread came at the right time as in looking again for a carbon set.
    Ive been tempted by the Blue flows which a friend uses and he praises them highly.
    Reserves ive know a few people who have killed them BUT replacement rims have turned op very quickly.

    I have used Bontrager line carbons for 18 months, and with a few marks and scratches they were brilliant. Light and stiff. I really have felt the difference moving back to alloy rims. Ive looked at the Nextie rims and sixth elements but cant help wonder are they just re labelled Chinese rims. I will keep an eye on this thread for further insight.

    jedi
    Full Member

    I love carbon rims on both ebike and acoustic bike. The stiffness and more bombproof than Ali in my experience. Seen wheels explode casing jumps at my place but carbons rode it out

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    Seen wheels explode casing jumps at my place but carbons rode it out

    thats do do with the build and blind luck mostly. although pinned ali rims will fail easier than welded.

    Usually when I’m sitting in the garage carefully bending back the edges of my alloy rim with an adjustable spanner.

    if you are doing this with an ali rim at the moment how is that new unbendable carbon rim going to fare??

    i treat rims as expendable items. usually i get about 6 months of casing/battering the hell out of one before i start to look for a replacement. i suppose i could run an insert but then i`m adding rotational weight which sucks.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    if you are doing this with an ali rim at the moment how is that new unbendable carbon rim going to fare??

    i treat rims as expendable items. usually i get about 6 months of casing/battering the hell out of one before i start to look for a replacement. i suppose i could run an insert but then i`m adding rotational weight which sucks.

    I have a pair of Rimpact Pro inserts waiting to be fitted to whatever I buy. People complain about the weight but they’re considerably lighter than most 29er innertubes.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Ive been tempted by the Blue flows which a friend uses and he praises them highly

    Never used them but they are catalogue Chinese rims branded up. Im not saying that’s a good or bad thing, just that’s what they are

    earl_brutus
    Full Member

    Running ROVAL traverse carbon and some reserve wheels on my two bikes – fast spinning and confidence inspiring.

    teethgrinder
    Full Member

    A mate killed front and rear SRAM carbon rims on his Nomad at Chopwell on Roots. Clumsiness on his part, but still catastrophic failures. Best bit is they were 24h, so replacement alloy rims are rarer than Brexit benefits.

    On the flip side, another mate killed a DT OEM rim in the same spot the week after. Wouldn’t hold tubeless, but a tube allowed him to carry on riding.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    i have never had an allegiance to alloy or carbon, but i have been running Zipp Moto wheels for the last couple of years and they have been utterly flawless.

    I got them used (but basically brand new) for around £700. So was quite the investment for me at the time, but as i say, they are superb. To the point that i think i would stump up the £1900 for a new set if it was ever required.

    I havent used ‘cheap’ carbon rims, but know a few folks that do and they seem happy enough with them. Although they always bring alloy wheels when we do ‘risky’ events, like the megavalanche… which to me says they didnt buy the right wheels. If they are fitted to a bike to do these sort of rides, they should be up to the task… not swapped out for a cheaper alloy rim.

    Another thing to consider is how hard you are on wheels. Personally, i have never cracked a rim (alloy or carbon) but have needed alloy ones trued a few times. If you dont brake rims, spending more is less of a concern. If you explode rims weekly, maybe they arent for you?!

    But ultimately, if you go carbon, get good ones. Zipp, Crank brothers, we are one etc

    howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    not any lighter, silly expensive, if you bike takes any sort of a beating i wouldn’t bother. They will crack and they will be expensive or time consuming to replace.   Alloy all the way.

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    @chrismac I dare say most are rebranded China rims. The struggle will be finding the best one. Ive just been looking at a set of Nextie Rims at £450 they seem value until the shipping wait time and import duties land then maybe not as good value.

    mboy
    Free Member

    I’m with HobNob on this… Far too many drawbacks for carbon rims on MTB, far too little benefits. On a high performance road bike they make absolute sense, but there’s no compelling reason to run them on an MTB that hasn’t been debunked in my experience, and often proven that decent alloy rims are in fact superior in many cases.

    But ultimately, if you go carbon, get good ones. Zipp, Crank brothers, we are one etc

    I don’t disagree with this at all, but it puts the price of entry firmly beyond the reach of most people… Which is even more of an argument to stick with alloy rims. Even working in the trade and being a total tart, I won’t be convinced that any carbon rim is worth the outlay over a decent alloy rim.

    Alex
    Full Member

    ve been tempted by the Blue flows

    Had some on my Mojo3. So 41mm with 27.5×2.8 tyres. Great build, lovely fella to deal with. They are still going strong on a mates bike. One broken spoke in about 3000km I think. They weren’t actually that stiff from memory (but 2.8 / 12 psi tyres…) and still looked okay after a few years use.

    But also had a set (not blue flows) on my Aires MK1.5. Cracked the rear while away in the Pyrenees (and I am not a hard rider, just clumsy). Thankfully we had driven down and had spares. Before they broke, they really made the bike feel way harsher I’m sure (was on some DT XM before I think) and weren’t that light.

    I switched to Newmen for my bikes now. Light, strong, well engineered, fixable. Also had a few sets of Ibis 9xx which while a bit heavier are also a great set of alu rims.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    Carbon rims (Sixth Element) on the big bike, alu everywhere else. Love the carbon rims, love not having to true or worry about dings etc. That said, I did case a gap straight onto a sharp edge and cracked a rear (miraculously the tubeless stayed up and carried ion riding it for a week or so…) However, it was a heavy impact and I wasn’t riding any inserts. Rim replaced for free (no quibble warranty) and back riding within a few days. Now with insert and no issues since. Have done the same with Alu in the past. Given the lack of maintenance required between I’d def recommend carbon.

    appltn
    Full Member

    I’m on a set of eThirteen TRS carbon wheels which came on a complete build and have been almost completely fine for the last 2 and a bit years. One broken spoke and one warrantied hub axle (quickly replaced) in that whole time and they’ve stayed nice and true.

    All that said, if they needed replacing I’d be getting a set of alloy Newmens. Their listed weight is about the same, they have fantastic reviews and they cost far less plus they have a nice quiet freehub which appeals to me.

    In fact, I’ll sell you my eThirteen wheel set and buy Newmens for myself if you want.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    I’ve had my roval control over a year now and I’m happy with them. Managed to break a spoke at ard moors last week but it stayed true. The rims are scuffed up but they still look nice in raw carbon finish. Ride feel is good. Noticeably stiffer/more direct at first but not in a negative way. So they’ve worked well for me. But if you’re a rim bender then I’d just go for dt as suggested for peace of mind.

    This, but I’ve had my set for years and they were second hand, love the direct feel over the alloy wheels I removed. Have had no issues with the carbon rims and have ridden them in many places quite hard.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    plus they have a nice quiet freehub which appeals to me

    I love a quiet freehub

    schmung
    Full Member

    I got a set of carbon wheels (the silt AM ones) for my titan. They are way, way lighter than the ex511 I was running previously. It makes a very noticeable difference riding up hills and slogging around the place. Ui assume they’re just chinese rims of sort sort despite what the marketing guff said, but they mounted up easily and did a week of me riding in Morzine like a moron with no issues.

    It’s worthwhile noting I’m a light rider(60kg) on a heavy bike, so that reduction in rotating mass is very welcome when you’re slogging up a steep lane to get some trals. They’re more pingy over roots, but not enough for me to sling the 511s back on the bike. We’ll see how they do in a few years time – my riding style is best described as clumsy and my maintenace strategy as occsasional and I’ve turned dt swiss, stans and a few other brands wheels into wobbly 50 pence pieces in the past.

    LAT
    Full Member

    i have a pair of carbon rims from light bicycle. i bought them about 8 years ago. they are the 30mm wide cheaper option 29er. build them myself and they have been no trouble at all.

    bought a new pair in the summer from another company. cracked within a month. the company i got the new ones from do free replacement for life, so got a new rim.

    lucky/unlucky? who knows. i’m pleased i went with a lifetime warranty option.

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