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Old 04-17-14, 08:47 PM   #1
RoboIsGod
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Chinese Carbon Tubular Advice

I'm looking to build a set of race wheels using chinese carbon rims or possibly buying a complete wheelset. There are so many different companies selling pretty similar products but it's hard to know which is more 'legit' than the others. Does anyone have experience with this? Most of the problems I have read about are with the carbon clinchers, so I think (hope) I should be OK going the tubular route.

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 04-17-14, 08:55 PM   #2
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get the Taiwanese rims. gigantex preferred
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Old 04-17-14, 11:22 PM   #3
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I have 4 wheelsets from Dengfu. If they can hold me and not burst they're probably ok. GL
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Old 04-18-14, 07:21 AM   #4
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I have 4 wheelsets from Dengfu. If they can hold me and not burst they're probably ok. GL
Yeah the Dengfu's look solid, good to hear.

I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on these. Thoughts? Sapim CX Carbon Tubular Wheelset 700c Rim 56mm Front Rear Road Bike Matt 27 Wide | eBay
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Old 04-18-14, 08:09 AM   #5
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I'm a very large rider (clydesdale) who races crits, road races, TTs, and trains on club rides, centuries, and everything in-between. A few years back, I started with carbon 88mm tubular rims, moved to 50mm tubulars, and now have adopted some clincher versions. I'm currently using 50mm, 25mm wide clincher rims bought through eBay from this guy. They're mounted with Michelin Pro3Race, 23mm tires. (I can't recommend the wider, 25mm rims enough--flats seem to have become a thing of the past, even after hitting potholes!) My clincher wheels are permanently on my bike now, and I only race on my tubulars. I love the tubulars, but buying a whole new tire or having a flat one fixed was getting very expensive.

The rims cost me right around $300 for the set, including shipping. I have had absolutely no problems with them. I purchased Novatec hubs separately ($120 or so) from bDop and had my most awesome local wheelbuilder build them up with Wheelsmith spokes (32/28 14g spokes). I have in excess of 6,000 miles on them and they're doing awesome.

Hardest part? Finding brake pads that don't squeal like I'm torturing a herd of cats! I currently use Zipp's cork Tangente pads. They do a great job and they last a long time, making their $50 purchase price easier to digest. They provide no stopping power in the wet, but everywhere else, they're pretty comparable to regular aluminum rim/brakes. I have tried all other brake pads that I could find and they all squealed. Lately, I've been testing bDop's carbon pads, which worked fine, but they didn't last very long at all and wore through very quickly (bDop is an excellent source for many bike parts, BTW!).

I have found that these no-name, generic carbon clinchers are only good for flat roads or straight hills where braking is not needed. I made the mistake, early on and prior to my current rims, of using my carbon clinchers to go down a very steep descent with switchbacks. I had no choice, at my height & weight, but to "ride the brakes" so I wouldn't go flying off the cliff-face I was on. The heat eventually built up & caused the carbon layers to delaminate, resulting in a blowout and ruined rims. speedcarbon11's rims were a replacement. Since then, I'm much more safe as I don't use them on "climbing" rides.
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Old 04-18-14, 08:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
I'm a very large rider (clydesdale) who races crits, road races, TTs, and trains on club rides, centuries, and everything in-between. A few years back, I started with carbon 88mm tubular rims, moved to 50mm tubulars, and now have adopted some clincher versions. I'm currently using 50mm, 25mm wide clincher rims bought through eBay from this guy. They're mounted with Michelin Pro3Race, 23mm tires. (I can't recommend the wider, 25mm rims enough--flats seem to have become a thing of the past, even after hitting potholes!) My clincher wheels are permanently on my bike now, and I only race on my tubulars. I love the tubulars, but buying a whole new tire or having a flat one fixed was getting very expensive.

The rims cost me right around $300 for the set, including shipping. I have had absolutely no problems with them. I purchased Novatec hubs separately ($120 or so) from bDop and had my most awesome local wheelbuilder build them up with Wheelsmith spokes (32/28 14g spokes). I have in excess of 6,000 miles on them and they're doing awesome.

Hardest part? Finding brake pads that don't squeal like I'm torturing a herd of cats! I currently use Zipp's cork Tangente pads. They do a great job and they last a long time, making their $50 purchase price easier to digest. They provide no stopping power in the wet, but everywhere else, they're pretty comparable to regular aluminum rim/brakes. I have tried all other brake pads that I could find and they all squealed. Lately, I've been testing bDop's carbon pads, which worked fine, but they didn't last very long at all and wore through very quickly (bDop is an excellent source for many bike parts, BTW!).

I have found that these no-name, generic carbon clinchers are only good for flat roads or straight hills where braking is not needed. I made the mistake, early on and prior to my current rims, of using my carbon clinchers to go down a very steep descent with switchbacks. I had no choice, at my height & weight, but to "ride the brakes" so I wouldn't go flying off the cliff-face I was on. The heat eventually built up & caused the carbon layers to delaminate, resulting in a blowout and ruined rims. speedcarbon11's rims were a replacement. Since then, I'm much more safe as I don't use them on "climbing" rides.
This is a great write-up! I am also a larger rider (about 2 sandwiches and a six pack away from being a Clydesdale) And I also race Crits, RRs, etc. I will be looking for an areo wheelset in the near future that doesn't break the bank, and this is some great info.
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