• This topic has 38 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by argee.
Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Carbon wheels
  • Premier Icon four
    Free Member

    I ride carbon wheels on my road bike and I’m aware of the benefits and I’d be unlikely to return to aluminium, however on my gravel bike and XC mtb I have aluminium rims.

    From people’s experience do carbon rims such as Hunt wheels make a difference over aluminium on a gravel bike (Mason Bokeh) and also on an XC mtb (Scott Spark 900RC)

    Thanks.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    For XC maybe worth the weight saving

    but for anything aggressive, carbon has to be beefed up to virtually as heavy as aluminium anyway
    they are stiffer so feel quicker to accelerate and steer,
    tho that can increase harshness
    a big benefit imo is that they never need truing

    Im happy with aluminium these days, I break everything so not spending silly money makes sense

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member

    I’ve only had a quick go on a few Carbon Wheels, and I’ve ‘considered’ it myself too – I think whereas for a road bike you can purchase off the numbers (what the lightest most aero wheels in my budget), on a MTB I think the feel of the wheels is really, really important – and this is where they seem to differ hugely. Theres definitely been a few cases of stiffness being turned up to 11, and then reviewers then starting to wonder whether that is a benefit or is it actually a hindrance?

    Premier Icon jonnybike
    Free Member

    I have some roval control wheels on my spur (not the sl ones)

    I wanted to save some weight on my transition spur and managed to save about 600 grams.

    The difference in weight is noticeable but not mind blowing but it’s early days I have only done a few rides.

    They maybe feel a bit harsher but nothing crazy.

    They weren’t bad value since they have a lifetime warranty no questions asked if you are the type to break wheels.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Full Member

    My gravel bike wheels are carbon but also have an alu pair, carbon has been fine for the rides I do.
    For XC racing I would most definitely go carbon. Not necessarily for trail riding, even though I’m a bit of a mincer and I’m sure they’d be fine.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    I like ’em. I was a pretty early adopter with Lightbicycle, I’ve had a few now and always been really pleased. A rear wheel in my ragley ti, a pair in my hemlock, and a 29er pair in my remedy.

    I’ve never really felt any difference in “feel” or stiffness or anything like that, other than the weight, so I’ll just mention that first. I swap back and forth between a heavier duty metal set sometimes and they just feel the same but heavier.

    I love the feeling of lighter wheels though. Now I’m not going to say anything stupid like “they’re 20% faster” or anything like that, they just feel good, and when the bike feels good I go faster, I pedal harder etc etc.

    I use them for everything, but I should say that I’m light, 10 stone.

    I’ve owned 6, broken 2, and both times really been totally happy with the fact that they broke- they’d had a full life. The one in my Ragley Ti was a first gen LB and it was silly light- about 340g IIRC. It replaced a much heavier alu rim which I’d broken (largely because I was struggling to find the right BCD and spoke count to replace that rim) and had a longer and harder life, and finally cracked after years of service when I clobbered a big rock at BPW. (I stuck a tube in it and rode it for the rest of that week in Wales) An alu rim the same weight wouldn’t have lasted a year.

    Had a pair of 26er ones, they were just no fuss, sold them eventually when I went 29er. Those did 2 EWS rounds, a load of scottish enduro including riding out a flat in 2 stages. They looked rough and had some decent sized chips which are pretty much the equivalent of a bent alu rim, but no worries and they weighed something under 1600g so again, there’s no way a metal wheelset would have stood up as well in the same weight class

    The current set are a more recent Lightbicycle rim in my Remedy 29, they make a 32h wheelset with 30mm width somwhere around 1650g. I built those in about 2016 I think. This year, the rear cracked, actually just riding along and ironically at BPW again- I think probably it’d taken a knock earlier in the day. It had a few decent size dings/chips in. LB gave me a discount on a replacement so that’s going on when I can be bothered. Again it’d had enough of a life that I don’t mind at all that it broke- I’d be pleased with any rim that’d lasted as well tbh, metal or carbon, heavy or light.

    (I do have a set of alu wheels for that bike that I normally use for uplifts etc- not because they’re stronger, in fact they’re almost certainly less strong despite being about 2200g but they were dirt cheap and I don’t mind bashing them about. When I flatted at the Mega I was totally happy just battering that poor rim to bits because it cost me less than the tyre 🙂 Not sure what I’d have done on a nice rim)

    Last thought… I did just replace that broken one, but I think in 2021 I’d find it a lot harder to justify a new set. The carbon options have got more expensive and the alu options have got much better. I mean, when I got that first set what was the nearest alternative, a Stans Crest? Made of chewing gum and still quite a bit heavier. But today’s DT rims are awesome and yeah, I reckon if I was building a new set from scratch that’s quite likely what I’d get just because the cost benefit thing has changed so much. But it’d be a tricky decision.

    Premier Icon steve_b77
    Free Member

    I’d love a set for racing XC and marathons, but in my mind the cost far outweighs the possible benefits.

    I’ve got a really good set of alloy wheels, they’re OE but they’re just rebadged DT swiss XR1700 spline 25’s so roll on DT350 hubs, with DT competition spokes, they spin up fast, are as true and round as the day I got them some 2000km later and aren’t exactly heavy and to go lighter and as strong is gonna cost a bloody fortune.

    I do have carbon wheels on my road bike, they’re DT Swiss ARC 1400 dicut, so bloody expensive but very nice. They were part of a deal on my current frame so they didn’t cost a lot.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    My enduro came with carbon wheels. The rear one is no longer straight or round and is missing a spoke (got ripped out by a heather root) but they still feel nicer than the hope alloy ones on my 29er. When the rear finally gives up I’ll probably go hunt.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    In 2014 I bought some light bike rims in 29 x 30mm iw flavour. At the time there was bugger all comparable in alu. They were stiff and light. I bought another set and a spare in early 2016 because there still wasn’t much in the way of comparable and. As of 2019 I’ve broken 4 of 5. I don’t think they’re weak, I think I broke them. They are not as tolerant of the kind of pinch flats I seem to deliver as alu. In contrast to Northwind, I’m 90kg.

    Since 2016, light bikes prices started to rise and more and more comparable alu rims have appeared. Most still aren’t as light, but the gap is WAY smaller than it was, and they’re still 1/3 of the price of a lightbike rim.

    The value/performance equation, for me at least, has shifted back to alu. The final deciding factor was how nice a set of flow mk3s felt on my hardtail compared to the carbons. Much calmer and less jittery.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    I have some SC Reserves for about 4 years now. On Sunday I had quite the crash on my bike!

    Came down a steep chute a bit too fast and didn’t make the turn at the bottom, hit the fence post dead on instead. Still a bit sore, but my front wheel burst about 6 spokes and made a loud crack!

    The rim is undamaged though (the rear rim is the same). They have scratches and look well used, but they’re still solid.

    I’ve always liked the ride quality of them and the mix of strength/weight is spot on.

    My missus is a serial rim killer, despite being about as heavy as a balloon. Her latest bike has Reserves on it too and she loves them! At least I know they won’t be full of dings after every ride lol.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Since 2016, light bikes prices started to rise

    When I bought mine I think there were around 1.5 to 1.6 dollars to the pound and LB rims cost me about £120 each by the time they were in my hand.  Nowhere near that now so I just buy DT Swiss EX or XM.

    Premier Icon jedi
    Free Member

    I love my hunt carbons. I have them for the stiffness not lightweight. It feels like a solid edge on my snowboard if you know what I mean

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I love my hunt carbons

    Did you pay for them?

    Premier Icon devash
    Free Member

    For trail riding, I much prefer the feel of a well-built DT Swiss based aluminium wheelset over any carbon equivalent.

    For road riding, definitely carbon.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    I’ve got 7 sets currently and have owned 11 – A mix of LB and Nextie and others. I’ve never broken any of them. I am aware that one set of Nexties broke around the spoke holes on their 3rd owner, but I don’t know what happened to them after my ownership.

    I like the way they build up, I like that you can (and should) use fewer spokes and I like that they’re generally lighter than their aluminium equivalents, especially when the spoke saving is taken into account.

    On the road, they’re light and stiff, but can be too direct. on a MTB, they’re just light and stiff. Only my premium rims (2 nextie, 1 LB) have cost more than an aluminium equivalent from say Stans.

    EDIT – I’m only 70kg and don’t tend to break things on bikes. I also don’t run very low pressures. If I feel the rim hit, that’s too low and I’ll stop and add some pressure.

    Premier Icon four
    Free Member

    Thanks all.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    I’ve got Zipp 303’s on my road bike

    Amazing wheels, good for the road and off road

    I wish I had had them when I did the 3 Peaks Cyclocross as they would have been fast, tough and also compliant. Opened my eyes to what a good carbon wheel is like

    Premier Icon rone
    Free Member

    Got some ‘older’ Enve m50s, 6/7 years old now and outlasted a frame or two.

    Also got some older enve AM – great too.

    Never needed to touch them and they’ve been everywhere and mega miles

    Also had cheaper Nextie. Also okay. The cheaper wheels feel ‘duller’ to me.

    Enve definitely nicer than the ‘cheap’ brands. But I get why people don’t or can’t spend that much.

    Just about to try Reynolds carbon wheels as part of a package on a new Turner.

    Carbon wheels worth the money if you want that bit of extra feel and durability – in my experience.

    Premier Icon jwh
    Free Member

    I have 3 sets of lightbicycle carbon rims.
    XC bike – thay are about 5 years old and has been abused – still straight and work perfectly
    Enduro bike – they are about 4 years old and have been riden hard… still perfect
    gravel bike – nearly 1 year old and very light – went with the feather weight rims for shits and giggles – they came in at 1150g and are really nice. I can tell they are possibly more harsh than an alloy rim… but i don’t care.
    Road wheels – some where stuck on the slow boat from china – 60mm deep aero setup.

    They are definaly not as cheap as they used to be – and i only went with the raod wheels as i have had good experience with them – rather than hunt / zips wheels, were i have seen a few issues

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    I had thought one of the selling points of carbon wheels for mountain bikes was that they were more “compliant” which i would take to mean being able to absorb or mute smaller bumps, while remaining stiff under pedalling. I would expect that might feel like a slightly softer or wider tyre. Has no-one experienced that?

    The weight difference doesn’t seem that great, certainly not for the enormous price difference.
    My Stans/DT wheels are about 1400g and I think were about £400. It seems with carbon you can go to maybe 1250g but that’d be well over £1000.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    do carbon rims such as Hunt wheels make a difference over aluminium

    What difference are you looking for?

    I’ve a set of Roval on my Enduro, the front has been trouble free, the rear has cracked and  been replaced under warranty, but the spokes were re-used when it was rebuilt by the shop, and it made keeping it true and round a bit of nightmare. I’m currently waiting on some spokes to properly rebuild it. The other issue is that they’re both 28 hole, which for a rear, I don’t think is up to the job in hand even though I’m not a heavy rider (74kg) . I don’t think I’d go for carbon rims again, to me they do feel a bit more “pingy” I’ll admit that may be just in head though, but I do find myself double guessing line choice sometimes because of it.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    went with the feather weight rims for shits and giggles – they came in at 1150g

    1150g! What, is that the weight of the rims or the wheelset? Are they 26″?

    My Stans/DT wheels are about 1400g and I think were about £400. It seems with carbon you can go to maybe 1250g but that’d be well over £1000.

    WTAF… unfortunately I’ve mislaid the paper where I wrote the weights of my recently purchased wheels, but the DTSwiss website has 1639g as the weight for xmc1501 wheelset. Which appears to retail around £1300 in the UK.

    Where the hell did you find a 1400g wheelset for 400 quid?

    The lightest dtswiss xc set is 1411g but around a grand and a half….

    Premier Icon jwh
    Free Member

    1150g! What, is that the weight of the rims or the wheelset? Are they 26″?

    No – thats the weight of the gravel wheel set – 700c / 29
    1150g for both the wheels – with a Novatech hubs + standard shimano hyperglide with CX ray spokes
    They are the AR24 rims.. so a low profile rim and hookless.
    They won’t take a road tyre very well as the max pressure is 40 psi… but i bought them for 1 bike so the limitations were of no concern.
    I have used a 32mm road tyre and it was fine… but its currently got 38mm g-ones on it with vittoria tyre liners.

    Premier Icon jwh
    Free Member

    Oh and see what they are like – i’ve just put a 11-34t ZTTO cassette on – which is 100g lighter than the 105 11-30t one i had on.

    Shifts well.

    possibly slightly more noisy when dirty… but my last ride was on a sandy moorland road.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Doh despite the fact that I checked twice jwh, I missed the “gravel bike” heading in the following paragraph:

    Enduro bike – they are about 4 years old and have been riden hard… still perfect
    gravel bike – nearly 1 year old and very light – went with the feather weight rims for shits and giggles – they came in at 1150g and are really nice. I can tell they are possibly more harsh than an alloy rim… but i don’t care.

    Premier Icon tall_martin
    Full Member

    Aluminium hunt xc wide on my hardtail, eBay carbon on my full suss.

    They are about the same weight. The hunts were Bob on their 1647g quoted weight, the eBay ones were a bit over the quoted weight, they came in at 1700g.

    They were about the same price

    The hunts get an easier life but have had a replacement free hub and a replacement rim.

    They are both nicer to rise that the heavier aluminium wheels both bikes have worn. But not by much.

    I went for carbon rims and 2nd hand hope hubs for my gravel bike wheels. These rims were well over their quotes weights for the rims. These replaced some heavy old MTB wheels I used until the rims showed up.

    In summary all the wheels I’ve had and have are fine. The lighter wheels made things a bit nicer. I’ve spent ages agonising a pouring over spec and weights and it doesn’t make a huge difference to me.

    95kg kitted up and repeated breaker of most bits.

    Premier Icon twonks
    Full Member

    Wheels are my chosen subject at the moment.

    130Kg with bike and always ridden EX511 rims on Pro 4 rims. Never put a foot wrong or needed truing in the 4 years I’ve had them, and they were on a Ripmo that gets a bit of stick although I don’t jump or mash into square edges.

    Now have Reynolds carbon 40mm wide rims on my hardtail. Spent the funds when they were on offer at Wiggle. Still not cheap of course but, reasonable with I9 hydra hubs.

    They have saved about 300g on the previous Pro 4 / ARC40 rims but feel quite a bit different. The ride seems to be a lot lighter in feel, although the previous wasn’t that noticeable so could be placebo.

    All in all I had no real need to change the wheels, just wanted to and had the funds.

    The Ripmo actually has DT XM481 on 28H 240 straight pull hubs and I’m still slightly nervous about riding it as I did previously. There was a thread on how I ended up with these and should just et on with it and ride the things hard but, I might go back to the hope/511 combo for security – then upgrade to Reserve SL wheels in the new year.

    All in all I am not sure that carbon wheels make huge differences over good aluminium ones. A lot of the time it seems to be – I can afford it and fancy something new, so why not.

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    “Where the hell did you find a 1400g wheelset for 400 quid?”

    Fitwheels.eu.

    DT 350 straight pull, Sapim Laser, and Stans Crest. 15/110 Boost, Microspline, Centrelock.
    They were claimed to be 1460g with DT Comps, but they were out of stock and switched to Lasers, saving a bit there. They were 1405g.

    OK, not exactly £400, but 479 euros.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Blimey. So why do people spend over a grand on the DTSwiss carbons?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    Remember, those chasing the lowest numbers possible, 200ish grams can be saved using (posh) string for spokes. Not cheap, mind.

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    “So why do people spend over a grand on the DTSwiss carbons?”

    I don’t know but i had thought carbon had a nice soft ride feel to it maybe. apparently not.

    “200ish grams can be saved using (posh) string for spokes. Not cheap, mind.”

    i know nothing about this. 56 sapim lasers are about 240g. There’s a “string” that weighs 20g per wheel?

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Full Member

    i know nothing about this. 56 sapim lasers are about 240g. There’s a “string” that weighs 20g per wheel?

    Not quite that little, but 60g per wheel.

    https://berdspokes.com/pages/technology

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    Blimey, half the weight of the some of the lightest spokes.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    gingerflash
    Full Member

    I had thought one of the selling points of carbon wheels for mountain bikes was that they were more “compliant” which i would take to mean being able to absorb or mute smaller bumps, while remaining stiff under pedalling. I would expect that might feel like a slightly softer or wider tyre. Has no-one experienced that?

    The thing about carbon is it doesn’t have one set of characteristics, you can lay it up to be stiff or soft or hard or flexible. I suspect it’s easiest to make things stiff- or rather, that it’s harder to make things flexible and still strong enough but you can pretty much just throw stiffness at the job. And probably a lot of products have deliberately gone for the easy marketing of “10% more stiffs” rather than the harder-to-target compliance. And how soft is too soft?

    Like I say, all of mine are just wheel-ey, but maybe this is just something I’m just oblivious to. I’ve felt the difference with some wheels in the past but I think only from low spoke counts and very weak builds, not from rims. If you weighted up my current carbon rims to weigh the same as the cheap alu ones I also have, I doubt I could tell which was which. TBH I expect a lot of people who’re totally convinced there’s a difference would fail that test too.

    But, frinstance, the stiffest bars I’ve ever had were Enve carbons which were pretty horrible, and the softest by a country mile are Crank Bros carbons which are like rubber.

    853 steel rims ftw! Wheel is real!

    Premier Icon gingerflash
    Full Member

    steel rims – now i think i could probably tell the difference there.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    Deep section carbon for TT racing in the day, but not now.

    I choose robustness over absolute weight.

    Premier Icon dumbbot
    Free Member

    I took my first foray into carbon wheels earlier this year when I switched out the Hope/XM481 that I had built for my Highlander for a set of Blueflow All Mountain wheelsets BF37/31 carbons with CX rays spokes(32 spokes on the rear and 28 spokes on the front)

    I can only speak of these particular wheels, as mentioned all rim compliance and wheels builds will be different but i’m totally sold on the ride characteristics of carbon wheels for MTB.

    First thing I noticed was obviously the zip and acceleration they added, the bike was instantly more playful(my Deviate isn’t a lively or light bike with coil F+R), but I think the most surprising thing was the smooth, damped ride feel they had over the Hope/Dt Swiss…they definitely take the edge off the trail chatter, like the effect of running a heavier tyre carcass. And for someone that suffer from chronic arm pump this is a win all day.

    Big ups Stuart at Blueflow wheels, hes a top bloke…

    Premier Icon fatbikeandcoffee
    Full Member

    I’m lucky to have set of nice SRAM Carbon MTB jobs (new to me but not new, thanks ebay) and a set of alu standard wheels and swap between both on my XC full sus.

    For me the carbon wheels feel much lighter to ride on so spin up faster, less tiring over same distance whereas the metal ones feel like I had added super heavy, winter tyres – ironic as I add winter tyres to the metal wheels! Difference in wheel weight between the two is 700g and that I can feel.

    Like many above I’d say that different wheels (carbon / alu) ride very differently and on my previous Giant I had their own brand wheelset which felt like they were made of superstiffium and hence not comfy (or particularly light) – the SRAM ones in comparison are like night and day different.

    Like all things I guess pays your money and makes your choice. If I had the funds I’d go carbon on an XC bike but if I didn’t I would just ride what I had – riding is what matters.

    James

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    I’ve a couple of sets, one that’s a few years old, a FFWD outlaw wheelset that were secondhand and i’ve had for 3 years, which have been flawless and work well, i keep them in the trail side of stuff, they live on my hardtail (non-boost), so commutes, XC trips through the woods and play stuff, so they do get a few hits now and again.

    Other set i built up over time, Whyte carbon rims (not sure who makes them for whyte) and a hope front and DT rear, they are on the enduro, have taken a few hits and broken a spoke or two, but the rims are fine, they make it a bit less deflective, so hold the line, which is good for the most, but also can be harsh at times.

    I don’t see a huge issue with carbon rims, they’re basically a material that have some properties that allow weight reduction against aluminium for key properties, such as stiffness, again you can go too low, but that’s more road racing and olympic racing where they use higher modulus carbon, i can’t see mountain bike rims not utilising standard modulus, or intermediate level at most, so will have a good level of strength and also due to the reinforced polymer binder used they tend to be well protected, bar when they’re overmatched due to forces in a certain direction (so the weave doesn’t displace the forces).

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.