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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-19-14, 10:59 PM   #1
Axiom
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Carbon Clinchers

Picked up a set of Williams 38 from a friend and the rating turns out to be 190lbs. Would they asplode at nearly 70lbs over that limit, or is that limit just to cover their a*sses? And I've heard they might flex a lot under heavy loads.
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Old 04-20-14, 07:08 AM   #2
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Unknown. I'm about your weight and I ride Chinese eBay carbon clinchers, not Williams. They're my everyday wheelset. They don't have a problem at all, have never gone out of true over 7,000 miles. But, I don't know if the Williams are made differently or not. Maybe they have a lower spoke count and that's the source for the weight limit?

I'd recommend easing them into use. Short, easy rides with no big power outputs, easy cornering, little climbing, etc. Over time, introduce more stress to see how they handle.

Of course, the safest is to contact manufacturer.
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Old 04-20-14, 09:51 AM   #3
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Williams is a company with a pretty good reputation, from what I've heard, so the wheels are likely well-built. Still, you're pretty close to 50% over their weight limit. At your weight, I'd probably be nervous about riding the wheels. That's not to say that you shouldn't, but you'll need to keep a very close eye on them. Be on the lookout for cracks in the rim, uneven spoke tension, trueness problems, etc. If you find any of these problems, you'll need to take action immediately. If you don't own a truing stand and a spoke tension meter, you might want to think about acquiring them; at your weight I doubt these wheels will be maintenance-free.
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Old 04-20-14, 07:37 PM   #4
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Carbon can be tricky stuff as it seems like it can break without any warning. I can see using a carbon bicycle frame if just a few pounds over the weight limit, but rims, I would think twice. I doubt if the wheels will come out of true very often, but what about the extra force placed on every spoke at the rim? What size tire would use with the rim? A big pothole could
explode the whole wheel. I would at least contact the manufacture and ask them for their thoughts as most of us on this site are not engineers.


My thoughts,
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Old 04-21-14, 04:48 AM   #5
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I'd give Williams a call. Maybe changing out to better spoke might help but more likely more spoke count might be needed.
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Old 04-21-14, 09:18 AM   #6
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A big pothole could explode the whole wheel.
Bullsh!t.
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Old 04-21-14, 11:06 AM   #7
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I contacted the owner and he said the weight limit is strictly 190 pounds. Looks like I won't be riding these for a while. I have an old pair of Aksium race somewhere in the garage that are in great shape, so I might just swap them out. Although the claimed weight limit for those are 220 pounds; which I am still 50 pounds over. Granted they are aluminum..
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Old 04-21-14, 06:26 PM   #8
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I would at least contact the manufacture and ask them for their thoughts as most of us on this site are not engineers.


My thoughts,
Mike
I engineer.

I can afford them but don't trust them for rim braking and don't have them on my rig.

Not as much concern with the rim expoding as heat transfer blowing the tube on a descent. Weight limits are partly a function of heat generated by inexperienced and heavy riders.

Quote:
At Zipp, carbon clinchers come with a rider-weight limit, starting at 225lbs on the 303 wheels and up to 250lbs on the 404 carbon clinchers and the 808 models.
“We know of far heavier athletes riding the wheels every day without issue, but they tend to be good bike riders and even though they exceed the recommended weight limit are not hard on the wheels,” said Zipp’s technical PR manager David Ripley. “From an overall safety awareness standpoint we have to draw a line in the sand, and our stated weight limits are that line. The only other warnings are that the wheels require a carbon specific brake pad; preferably ours as we can control the testing and know data as it pertains to their properties and limitations. And lastly, that tire pressure does not exceed 125psi, which is pretty standard within the industry.”
Are carbon fiber clinchers safe? - BikeRadar

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Old 04-21-14, 08:27 PM   #9
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I engineer.

I can afford them but don't trust them for rim braking and don't have them on my rig.

Not as much concern with the rim expoding as heat transfer blowing the tube on a descent. Weight limits are partly a function of heat generated by inexperienced and heavy riders.



Are carbon fiber clinchers safe? - BikeRadar
The area of Florida is quite flat. The only descents are from bridges/overpasses which are steep but quite short (1/10 mile?) so that shouldn't be much of a concern. And I wouldn't consider myself experienced, but I do take proper precautions when riding, so I'm almost confident when I say I don't ride my wheels 'hard'. Still, it seems a bit risky. At the very least I'd like to take them on one short ride just so I can test them out.
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Old 04-21-14, 08:52 PM   #10
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At 260 lbs I gotta wonder why you'd want to ride around on low-spoke count carbon fiber wheels designed for racing underneath much lighter riders?

I'm assuming you're not doing racing nor hard, fast group rides, so why not something like this:

Mavic A319 Road 700c Wheel Set
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Old 04-21-14, 09:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
Picked up a set of Williams 38 from a friend and the rating turns out to be 190lbs. Would they asplode at nearly 70lbs over that limit, or is that limit just to cover their a*sses? And I've heard they might flex a lot under heavy loads.
I'm reminded of what my flight instructor said about getting iced in a Cessna 172.

"The 172 is not certified for flight into icing conditions. That means it's not tested in those conditions. So, get iced in a 172? Guess what - at that moment, you're a test pilot."

So it is with you exceeding the weight limit of these rims by 50%. And if it does asplode, (courtesy of the late, great Sheldon Brown), this is what it will look like, instantly and with no warning. Is a few grams off of your wheels really worth a potentially devastating crash which could entail serious and possibly permanent injuries?

<rant>

Gawd, I absolutely do not understand the fascination with carbon fibre, especially for us clyde's. It's overkill for a "normal" weight cyclist, but for a clyde, it's just asking for trouble, especially if you're 50% over the rated weight. If you're concerned about weight, lose it off of your damn belly! Doing that will get your kilograms versus grams from running

</rant>
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Old 04-21-14, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneLessFixie View Post
I'm reminded of what my flight instructor said about getting iced in a Cessna 172.

"The 172 is not certified for flight into icing conditions. That means it's not tested in those conditions. So, get iced in a 172? Guess what - at that moment, you're a test pilot."

So it is with you exceeding the weight limit of these rims by 50%. And if it does asplode, (courtesy of the late, great Sheldon Brown), this is what it will look like, instantly and with no warning. Is a few grams off of your wheels really worth a potentially devastating crash which could entail serious and possibly permanent injuries?

<rant>

Gawd, I absolutely do not understand the fascination with carbon fibre, especially for us clyde's. It's overkill for a "normal" weight cyclist, but for a clyde, it's just asking for trouble, especially if you're 50% over the rated weight. If you're concerned about weight, lose it off of your damn belly! Doing that will get your kilograms versus grams from running

</rant>
Of course I'm trying to lose the weight. But I picked these up for such a cheap price that even if I didn't like them/couldn't ride them I could turn around and sell them and make a couple bucks. I was previously riding CXP22 36h with Ultegra hubs which were awesome. Guess if it works don't fix it. And FWIW I've been the 'test pilot' for Aksiums & Carbones and they were raced and commuted on a few times and were always true.
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