What's the latest on chinese carbon wheels (clinchers)??

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  • What's the latest on chinese carbon wheels (clinchers)??
  • Shred
    Member

    I personally wouldn’t get cheap carbon on a road bike with rim brakes. I suppose they might be okay if you only ride in flat areas, but my goals include going to the Alps, and there is no way I wold trust them there.

    At the Marmotte, I know of one guy who had to stop because both of his rims had warped descending the Glandon.

    smell_it
    Member

    I’ve had some 38mm clinchers for nearly 3 years on my training bike. Ridden all around Europe and the uk using Reynolds carbon brake pads. No issues here, although they are starting to look pretty shagged and the braking does seem to be getting worse in the wet. I had to have them trued after 3 months, but fine since, and i changed the bearings in the novatech rear hub about 6 months ago. Can’t remember the ebay seller i got them from but they cost about £330. I’d have another set.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Does most of the common branded carbon stuff not come out of the same few factories…

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Was that this year Shred or a previous year?

    Just wondered if the quality has improved in the last couple of years. Why are the Bontrager wheels so much better, or even the Planet-X carbon rimmed wheels? Somewhere someone will be churning these out unbranded surely, with the same level of quality control and a good level of reliability?

    Currently got some Planet-X AL30’s which at 1600ish grammes + skewers are reasonably ok, but Superstarcomp (another controversial suggestion perhaps!?) Stans Alpha build or the carbon jobbies on ebay go down to more like 1400ish grammes.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    I know there has been a lot of threads on chinese carbon wheels (clinchers epecially), but its been a few months now, so I was wondering if anyone has any more feedback on them.

    Was looking at some Bontrager Aeolus clinchers in a Trek store the other day, and was thinking, if branded carbon clinchers are available then surely some of the unbranded stuff available now can’t be as disasterous as people make out?

    For around £300 its a toss up between say something from carbonzone or the like, or some Stans Alpha340’s because they can be had for around the same price and are also light for the price. But I’ve read the Alpha’s are flexy?

    Try yushin bike. All their wheels are up to safety standards and on branded hubs. They are a pleasure to deal with. Can’t speak for their wheels but I have had forks and other carbon bits without anything exploding.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Why are the Bontrager wheels so much better, or even the Planet-X carbon rimmed wheels? Somewhere someone will be churning these out unbranded surely, with the same level of quality control and a good level of reliability?

    Here is the thing, you don’t know 🙂 There is every chance that factory A works to rule B and C to the other one does too, they could be the same factory, they could be the same material, they could be something different.

    BenjiM
    Member

    Mine (50mm Clincher) have been fine. I’ve had no issues at all with lots of descents, ok not the Alps but Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lakes so plenty of big steep hills. I would reccomend changing the stock pads that come with them ASAP as they will put you off riding carbon rims. I’m currently using Lifeline Performance Carbon Pads and I’m amazed at the difference, they actually allow you to stop! Hubs have been fine for 6 months now. There’s a fair bit of choice for colours too and finshes.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I had some first gen Aeolus clinchers and they terrified me – tyres were so loose the bead would often end up on top of the braking surface. God knows how I never had a blowout. Sold them, I’d have more faith in Chinese ones!

    Particularly now some are starting to the wider round nosed rims that are becoming popular.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    I’ve not read any horror stories with the cheap 50mm Chinese carbons but I wouldn’t buy them myself – I’d never have any peace of mind of long descents. If it took the big name companies years to bring out carbon clinchers because they weren’t satisfied with the performance of prototypes then it just rings alarm bells for me on cheap designs that have been out for a couple of years.

    plus one
    Member

    After doing loads of Internet hunting and on friends recommendation I bought set of 38mm clinchers from these guys(there not on eBay I’d never heard of them) choice of hubs they use sapim c-x ray spokes.. Service was top notch and the wheels are stunning for price.. I got new u-shape with high temp resin/braking surface..

    Been hammering them for 500 miles now no issue

    http://www.wheelsfar.com/

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    940g 20mm tubs. Mmmm….

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Now that is tempting. As are the 50mm clinchers.

    Edit: … though not sure when I’d actually use 20mm tubs!

    theflatboy
    Member

    I’m tempted also, as I am by the carbon bars, stems etc. from that part of the world. But as above, I would constantly be worried about the parts breaking if there was no name/recourse to rely on…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Edit: … though not sure when I’d actually use 20mm tubs!

    I’d probably actually get the 1060g 38mm ones, be stiffer, and a better aero:weight split.

    BenjiM
    Member

    For those that haven’t seen it yet, carbon breakages occur with the big brands too. Busted Carbon

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’d never really realised the dates on those articles, they’re not exactly frequent are they?!

    damitamit
    Member

    Farsports (wheelsfar) seem to get good reviews on the thread on weightweenies.com. Very tempted by a pair of the 38mm Clinchers at 1250g.

    My 2p, the stans/novatech have been fine.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    My 2p, the stans/novatech have been fine.

    Be interesting to know how they would compare to these carbons in terms of weight and stiffness.

    theflatboy
    Member

    BenjiM, I know… I saw a programme the other day that had loads of chinese ebay items like fake car alloys etc., and it was showing how dodgy they are and how unsafe. Put the proverbial willies up me about chinese carbon parts…

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    I’m currently in need of a new rear rim for my powertap. The current one flexes so much I can feel/hear it hitting the brake blocks. Tempted by the chinese carbon – do they do 32 hole rims?

    Be interesting to know how they would compare to these carbons in terms of weight and stiffness.

    I think they’re 1250g and the rims are about 24mm deep, but probably not the most areo as the tyres come out wide of the brake track (unless you got hold of some 21mm tyres).

    I wouldn’t make claims on longevity Vs carbon as the sidewalls are pretty thin, I read reviews saying as little as 2000miles of wet commuting! Probably safer on alps decents though.

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Leo, aside from the blatant sales plug there, can you give any info on the quality control, or whether the same manufacturers also supply any of the bigger brands?

    oldgit
    Member

    Tin foil hat time. Why all the apparent secrecy around carbon. I trust the big brands, but they’re not in any hurry it seems to explain why they are any different to cheap carbon.
    I’m sure Ritte said on his website that the £1400 carbon cross frame they were selling could be bought for £400 unbranded, even gave the name.

    campfreddie
    Member

    i have a pair of chinese 38mm carbon clinchers on my road bike. i love them (although they flex like mad under hard climbing).

    in regards to the price difference, this comes down to a number of factors:-

    1.) warranty. far sports etc will give a warranty, which they do appear to honour, but ultimately, the enforcement of it is down to their good will. you buy carbon wheels from a uk distributor, and they need to provide an enforceable warranty.

    2.) reliability/safety. as above really. if you buy direct from china, you take your own risks. if the wheels fail and your face becomes smeared across the tarmac, good luck with any recouse. if you buy from a uk distributor, you have comeback.

    the planet x carbon wheels are really no different to those you can buy direct in china BUT, they have shipped them and got them through customs, they have warrented them, and they have to stand by them in terms of safety and fitness for purpose. if that adds circa £150 to a pair of wheels, that’s not bad value in my book.

    as for the Zipps, Enves & Lightweights of this world… well that is a different kettle of fish. comparing a pair of chinese carbon wheels with a pair of zipp firecrests is a little like saying that a porsche and a vauxhall are the same as they are both cars.

    you make your choices… i chose chinese and am very happy with them. if i had the cash, i would go for Zipps.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    well that is a different kettle of fish. comparing a pair of chinese carbon wheels with a pair of zipp firecrests is a little like saying that a porsche and a vauxhall are the same as they are both cars.

    Thing is though, plenty of the Chinese ones are lighter than the Zipp/Enve etc offerings. What do you get with Zipps etc? As I said up there ^^ I had some Bontragers and they were verging on dangerous! Not light, not particularly stiff. Not what I expected for £1600 frankly.

    If you want to do the car analogy it’s like saying a Porsche and a Vauxhall are the same because they’re both cars, and the Vauxhall is faster.

    IanW
    Member

    I wouldn’t have a problem with un branded. There was a point a couple years ago when it seemed like everyone I rode with had some exotic mtb forks without problem. That’s brands gone from unknown to trusted.

    The bit I’m concerned about is the 50mm rim whatever brand, there was a few points I was blown around today even with normal mavic rims.

    What sort off gains am I getting from a deep rim in average speed terms?

    mooman
    Member

    38mm chinese carbon clinchers on novatec hubs here too.

    Aside from from a problem I had with LBS swapping rear hub.

    The actual rims and hubs have been good. I would recommend then for sure.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    What sort off gains am I getting from a deep rim in average speed terms?

    Two fifths of bugger all. I’d go for the new generation of wider toroidal rims or not bother tbh.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I’m happy with my stan’s, although they have been a little fragile, and I’ve rebuilt them 32H, given the puny added weight from 24. I run tubeless.

    I still hanker after some silly light rims though (not bothered about hubs/wheelsets) and regret selling my planet X 25mm carbon tub rims which weights 270gm and are now unavailable…is there an alternative?

    If you race fast enough then the aero benefits are worth it, I’m slow/do longer events and at my speeds I’d prefer the psychological advantage that you can feel – light weight.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    I’ve rebuilt them 32H, given the puny added weight from 24

    you mean you got different rims and hubs or did you pull some voodoo-al shit with the originals to increase the spoke count ?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    is there an alternative?

    Yeah most of the manufacturers do <300g 20mm tub rims. Farsports do – they do a 940g wheelset IIRC.

    bigG
    Member

    Spamtastic,,

    cynic-al
    Member

    scaredy – I’s used a 32H rr hub anyway, and changed the front hib.

    njee – who sells rim only?

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