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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-30-13, 05:53 PM   #26
pdxtex
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synonyms and related words for replica......Related Words counterfeit, fake, forgery, knockoff, phony (also phoney), rip-off, rubber stamp, sham; miniature, mock-up, simulation; reconstruction, re-creation; image, likeness, semblance, shadow; impression, imprint, print; approximation, reincarnation, version; extra, reserve, spare


you get my point. aside from a warranty that would be hard to uphold if something goes amiss, id rather not have ahem, carbon "simulations" under me.

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Old 05-30-13, 07:26 PM   #27
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You know...sure, I have some skin in the game, but there is some very specific "magic" in building. It's not anything that isn't written down in the books or on blogs, etc about how to build wheels, but it IS about how certain steps are done. Those who build every day know what I am talking about. It's enough of a "thing" this "magic" that it's the first thing I was grilled on when a pro racer I sponsor finally met me a couple of weekends ago. She asked about it instantly because it turns out she's worked at Easton for a great number of years as head of their quality and warranty/returns (left last year), and after riding my wheels....she just couldn't figure out how I did it.

I've known it from day 1 and it's something that I have never revealed even in PM's here or in emails.

So can anyone build a wheel? Yes. Great wheels consistently? Nope. Turns out there is magic to that. Just like any other business that makes a lot of anything at a great level consistently.
Instant magic. Makes sense to me.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:30 PM   #28
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For the record, and to clear a few things up, the friend is me.

I'll only be buying the rims from China, and having the rest (spokes, hubs, nipples, build, etc.) done by a local wheelbuilder. I'm willing to chance the rims being slightly sub-par or heavier, at less than 30% of the cost (for the entire build) of Zipp 404 FC or similar.
Go from 30% to 50% and buy November Rails, Soul C5.0/C6.0, Boyd, or someone else with a name and a reputation. Otherwise, stick to the current budget and get very nice aluminum.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:33 PM   #29
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Go from 30% to 50% and buy November Rails, Soul C5.0/C6.0, Boyd, or someone else with a name and a reputation. Otherwise, stick to the current budget and get very nice aluminum.
Going from > 30% to 50% is doubling the price. Boyds are $1400, dunno about the others.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:34 PM   #30
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Again I for one am thankful some of the most knowledgable people in the industry like Rob, Bob D, and Coach Boyd take the time and often have the patience to contribute here. Their informative responses are so helpful.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:37 PM   #31
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Going from > 30% to 50% is doubling the price. Boyds are $1400, dunno about the others.
Yes, but you know what you're getting. If you can't get there, you can't really afford carbon, hence my suggestion to stick to the very high quality aluminum available at that price.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:40 PM   #32
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Good technique takes TIME and a bit of material. That equates to COST. So if you are in a very, very VERY price competitive market, as a manufacturer how to you lower costs?

You can't do it on labour as labour costs in China are rising roughly 20% a year. Labour turnover is pushing 80% a year as well which means you are constantly training new people and throwing poorly trained people into the process

Materials costs are rising.

Energy costs are rapidly rising in China.

So where can you shave a dollar. Yes, a dollar, so you are temporarily less expensive than the other factories supplying the trading companies selling these rims? Material? Yes. TIME? Yes.

As for hubs you can swap out quality Japanes or German bearings and use Chinese bearings. There is a SIGNIFICANT cost savings there.

Nipples? Sapim nipples are expensive. So why not use cheaper Chinese nipples that no one can tell and cost a lot less?

Then, once they've done that and are a dollar cheaper what do they do when the other factories follow suite and are now a dollar cheaper? Cut costs again.

And down goes the spiral.
No argument. I agree. I was just focusing on the rim, the one part of the "replica" wheels which is generally agreed to be unreliable compared to higher technology offerings. Even if the wheels are built with other name brands, high end parts and are well built, the open mold rim concern can't be overcome.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:46 PM   #33
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No argument. I agree. I was just focusing on the rim, the one part of the "replica" wheels which is generally agreed to be unreliable compared to higher technology offerings. Even if the wheels are built with other name brands, high end parts and are well built, the open mold rim concern can't be overcome.
It's not the open mold itself... it's the quality of manufacturing using the mold. I (well, not me personally) could make a weak, unsafe rim out of the 808FC mold by using ****ty prepreg and resin. I (again, not me personally) could also do a hand layup of in some open mold using extremely high-quality prepreg and resin and get a very nice, safe rim out of it.
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Old 05-30-13, 07:51 PM   #34
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Yes, but you know what you're getting. If you can't get there, you can't really afford carbon, hence my suggestion to stick to the very high quality aluminum available at that price.

He seems to be very determined to get deep carbon wheels and doesn't want to wait till he can afford a reputable brand name because it will take him a while to save up. I know that when I had my mind set determined to get deep carbon wheels I too looked and was intrigued by the thought of going with a cheeper chinese replica to save money. I was in that thought process for a while because the thought of spending $1600 on wheels was crazy and I knew that saving that money up would take a long time. So, I cant blame him for the getting this idea of trying to make it happen with the funds you have, but I think he is being impatient and will settle in quality in order to say at the end of the day that he has deep carbon wheels. There are success stories with these replica wheels, just hope he is one on that side of the fence and not picking rocks out of his cheek from a hard crash because of the wheels. But I cant help but sit back and think the same thing..."if you cant get there, you cant really afford carbon." I personally wouldnt allow myself to settle for a "what if" product. Ultimately, I hope he ends up being happy with his choice either route he goes.

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Old 05-30-13, 07:59 PM   #35
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I was in the exact same spot, I could never make myself jump to the Flos since I didn't want the anodized brake track... and then the Rail appeared, and I jumped on it.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:27 PM   #36
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Novatec hubs, cx ray spokes and an open mold rim? Sounds like something Neuvation sells (and warranties).
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Old 05-30-13, 08:37 PM   #37
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I've seen enough cut-throughs of no-name Chinese carbon rims to squash any desire to buy them. At least stick to a known entity, someone that relies on value as opposed to one that relies on being cheap *and* imitating a legit company.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:41 PM   #38
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I've seen enough cut-throughs of no-name Chinese carbon rims to squash any desire to buy them. At least stick to a known entity, someone that relies on value as opposed to one that relies on being cheap *and* imitating a legit company.
Care to expand upon this?

As for the imitation part, its bound to happen eventually. All deep-V rims or box rims are essentially the same shape, what's the difference here? It's not like there can be that many variations on rim shape, when they all are circular and have to curve to an extent.

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Old 05-30-13, 08:47 PM   #39
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as said before, its more than shape. Its how it is built and quality of the materials used. Just because something has the same shape does not automatically mean that it will perform the same.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:50 PM   #40
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Care to expand upon this?
Cases of uneven wall thickness, including sections too thin for my comfort.

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As for the imitation part, its bound to happen eventually. All deep-V rims or box rims are essentially the same shape, what's the difference here?
Um, no, they're not all essentially the same shape. Why would companies like Zipp put in so much time and effort developing and patenting rim shapes if, as you say, they were all the same?
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Old 05-30-13, 08:51 PM   #41
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Why start the thread if your mind is already made up or the outcome is predetermined? Something being sold with full disclosure, with no false claims of functionality, it is what it is. You pays your money and you takes your chances. It's a bicycle wheel rim, not a Mars Lander fer crissakes. How many have been sold, how many failures, where's the data? Believe me, if and when mine fail, this is the first place I'll come to jump on the "godda*n cheap Chinese sh*t" bandwagon.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:54 PM   #42
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Why start the thread if your mind is already made up or the outcome is predetermined? Something being sold with full disclosure, with no false claims of functionality, it is what it is. You pays your money and you takes your chances. It's a bicycle wheel rim, not a Mars Lander fer crissakes. How many have been sold, how many failures, where's the data? Believe me, if and when mine fail, this is the first place I'll come to jump on the "godda*n cheap Chinese sh*t" bandwagon.
Exactly, I think the "CHINESE CARBON EXPLODES/CRACKS/WILL FAIL 100% OF THE TIME" dealio is a bit overblown... how many cases of failed wheels or frames have there ACTUALLY been, compared to non-Chinese carbon?

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Old 05-30-13, 08:59 PM   #43
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I know that everyone's budget is different and a few hundred dollars could mean the world to people. But...
Last I looked, a full set of decent Chinese wheels on ebay were in the 400-500 range.
The November RFSC58s I bought were a little under $1000. They are great, have a warranty, and I've chatted with Dave a few times about things like spoke tension and brake pads over a year after I bought them.

So I guess my point is that if your friend wants Zipps, he needs to buy Zipps.
If we wants a good quality set of wheels just as good (some may say better) as Zipps there are lots out there for MUCH less.
November, Boyd, Williams, Reynolds, etc.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:02 PM   #44
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Weight Weenies has a thread full of success stories. However, they didn't grab the cheapest rims available, and the brake tracks are, at best, basalt. That might fly in Florida, but not here in hill country.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:08 PM   #45
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Why start the thread if your mind is already made up or the outcome is predetermined? Something being sold with full disclosure, with no false claims of functionality, it is what it is. You pays your money and you takes your chances. It's a bicycle wheel rim, not a Mars Lander fer crissakes. How many have been sold, how many failures, where's the data? Believe me, if and when mine fail, this is the first place I'll come to jump on the "godda*n cheap Chinese sh*t" bandwagon.
Because this wasn't all for me. I started this thread because it was a conversation that had two complete opposite opinions. I wanted to see what others that have more experience in wheel building had to say about this topic. The outcome was and still is not predetermined because he still is not 100% sure which parts he is going to buy at this point. Figured if Enough people who are well respected in this industry chimed in and gave their input (Which they did), he would possibly see a more clear path. Boyd, Psimet and Bob are all in the industry and all voiced their opinions with given examples of why they wouldn't. If I'm ready to drop $700+ on chinese knock offs and those 3 people tell me that it isn't the best idea, you bet your ass that I'm going to rethink my decision based on their input, thats just me. I'm not saying he cant, I'm not his daddy and it sure as hell isn't my money. Just trying to look out for someone who I have had a years worth of frequent bike talk with. This wasn't to prove him wrong and say I was right. I created this thread so that I could also see what would be said to further educate myself. As I said above, Ultimately, I hope he ends up being happy with his choice either route he goes.

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Old 05-30-13, 09:09 PM   #46
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Weight Weenies has a thread full of success stories. However, they didn't grab the cheapest rims available, and the brake tracks are, at best, basalt. That might fly in Florida, but not here in hill country.
That's true, some successes, some failures...noted on long threads on WW and RBR.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:10 PM   #47
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Weight Weenies has a thread full of success stories. However, they didn't grab the cheapest rims available, and the brake tracks are, at best, basalt. That might fly in Florida, but not here in hill country.
In that thread, they also have a lot of people requesting info on why their rim was uneven, brake surface falling apart, inconsistent sidewall depths...etc.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:13 PM   #48
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In that thread, they also have a lot of people requesting info on why their rim was uneven, brake surface falling apart, inconsistent sidewall depths...etc.
Indeed. Again, you'll note I went with the November Rail, not unbranded.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:13 PM   #49
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Because this wasn't for me. I started this thread because it was a conversation that had two complete opposite opinions. I wanted to see what others that have more experience in wheel building had to say about this topic.
Sorry, I didn't mean it quite that literally. So I was just ranting a little since the comments have been pretty one-sided.
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Old 05-30-13, 09:23 PM   #50
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no worries. BUT, IF you (try to be open minded and think about before you bought yours and was doing research) or I was someone looking to purchase said wheels/rims and the entire thread was one-sided about them NOT being a smart idea and there were other options out there, wouldn't you be hesitant after hearing this? 3 people who have very highly, well respected reputations in the industry have spoken against them and didn't just dismiss them, but gave valid explicit reasons why not to, wouldn't that be in the back of your mind while trying to make a decision? Maybe not you, but it would for me.
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