Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Bikes: 2010 S1, 2011 F75X
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Carbon vs Alum Tubulars
Tubular is better for cross - that goes without saying.
But the real question thats burning in my brain is carbon or aluminum? I had moderate success last year running the stock clincher setup on my Felt F75x - getting away with pressures of 35-38psi or so. No pinch flats yet, but its only a matter of time.
I am going to order a tubular wheel set this year for the fall season, but I'm trying to determine the pros and cons of either wheel.
- Deeper section "apparently" is better in deep sand and mud.
- Can use in the summer as a road tubular wheel
- Cost. Not only initial cost, but also replacement. We all know in cross, run it only if you can afford to break it.
- Braking performance, even worse when wet
- Brake pads - requires dedicated pads. Pit wheels are aluminum which pose a problem
- Durability. No doubt they are stiff, but what about bottoming out on a rock or root?
- No need to change brake pads
- More durable during a bottom out??
- Heavier (marginally)
- Utilitarian looking
- Not worth (IMO) using as a road tubular for summer - I have Soul 3.0SL clinchers
So there are the factors as I see them. I'm a Cat B racer, so there's tons of room for improvement fitness and bike handling wise, but does the extra cost/risks worth it going carbon?
BTW, both are 23mm wide - carbons are 38mm deep and the aluminums are Major Tom based.