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  1. #51
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Everybody has their own bias. I do pay attention to knowledgeable experienced folks, but nobody's word is gospel. You can look not too hard and find plenty of contradictory opinions. Just have to sort through it all.
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  2. #52
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    It's the warranty, stupid.

  3. #53
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    Seems Like A Bait Thread, I'll Bite

    1. People are "working" with Chinese carbon manufacturer/wheel builders, and then slap thier name on them. Good that you can have some recourse
    against the US seller if something goes wrong, but there it is, some are sourcing rims from there too.
    It has been said here (so goodness, it must be true) that all high end carbon frames come from the same three Chinese factories.
    Where did these rims come from that your friend found? Information here is key. What if it was from the same manufacturer
    that a boutique wheel brand was currently using? (I know it's a Zipp replica, read the question).
    Where it was from and what their track record is would go far. No information about those tid bits then it's buyer beware.
    2. I think the big three bike makers and people who source Chinese carbon rims would love for it to be true that most of what
    comes out there besides their product is junk that will explode. The fact that some have already found facts the contrary and the
    fact that carbon products from China of reputable quality will continue to flood out of there will only make it harder for the Big three
    and the boutique sellers to put that horse back into the barn.
    3. What are people trying to achieve? The same thing big business has been trying to achieve for like, forever, to reach a goal
    in an efficient manner as to maintain and/or grow your wealth, not deplete it, while getting what you want.
    4. Personally I wouldn't buy a carbon wheel set from China without some data about who was making it. And if someone else already did it and had data, that would be a plus.
    The big three bike makers are really fighting frame counterfeiters. What if the counterfeiter had proof that they also made frames for the big three?
    What if you could source the Chinese rim maker that supplies a boutique wheel seller?
    5. "Magic Building Abilities" is just a bridge too far. But I will say anyone does have a right to use hypebole. But lets be clear that it is just that.
    A guy at work said that a man was going around local farms and telling the farmers that he had a special fertilizer that made plants grow super big super fast
    and he needed them to buy in and use it so he could use that proof when he went to ask the bank for money. My response to that was that if he had a
    "magic" concoction that really worked he wouldn't be wasting time with the farmers, he would be working with big fertilizer companies and selling them the
    formula or working with companies to get it manufatured, like a micro brewer does with beer.
    I see this "magic wheel builder" thing the same way. If you have a revolutioinary wheel building method and you are relatively
    unknown and all you got going is posting on Bikeforums, I would say you are doing it wrong. "Somebody that knows something about wheels likes my wheels"
    isn't data either. If the method was a true leap in wheels against the likes of ENVE, HED, Zipp and such, you should either sell the process or work your
    game better. People should have your name tatted above their butt crack if you have something quantifiable, truly substantial that you can prove
    with something other than this one person's testimoney. I would buy from a custom wheel builder for one reason, so he/she could make a wheel set
    with a rim/spoke/hub combination I wanted that can't be bought off the shelf. And I would buy from a good reputable builder without magic if it was cheaper.
    Last edited by Burnette; 05-30-13 at 10:56 PM.

  4. #54
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    ^^^ I understand the point you are making but it's not nearly that simple and your premise regarding the number of vendors is way off.

    Also, you fail to distinguish between proprietary products and open mold products. Factories produce to the level of quality designed in by their customer. If it's all about price that's the primary driving force with regards to design and construction as opposed to function and durability. The product will reflect that.

    Good wheel building isn't magic. It's about being detail oriented and having the same basic knowledge as other capable builders and being meticulous in that process. Some can consistently pull it off and some can't. That's what makes a good wheel builder.
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  5. #55
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    We are talking about farsport Chinese wheels. He is more than just someone producing them out of his front room, but he is far from producing the likes of zipp, enve or others alike. He has a good following of online users who are looking for an inexpensive light carbon wheelset, but also has a fair amount of customers who were dissatisfied with the results of the product with wheel failures like brake surface, rim inconsistency, carbon lips cracking or falling apart. Those stories aren't hard to find. Kyle (owner) seems to want to make those situations right which is good but if I experienced any of those failures, I would want a full refund not another set.

  6. #56
    Don't steal bikes, bro!
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    I took a chance with generic carbon clinchers from Farsports based on their reviews, and I couldn't be happier. For $700 shipped, I received a made-to-my-specs 1330 gram clincher with a 23mm wider track. The brakes were one of my main concerns, and together, with the included SwissStop yellows, they stop better than my stock aluminum wheels w/dura ace combo.

    I'm super sensitive to equipment, and so far, with about 500 miles on the wheels, they're holding up very well. I was almost all set on firecrest 303s, but for my application (solo 40 mile daily rides), it seemed a bit overkill.

  7. #57
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Here's the crux of the matter for me in "Brand vs Chinese eBay"

    With a brand there is an investment in the brand. They want to build a reputation and a fan/consumer base. There is incentive to innovate and differentiate yourself from the competition. BRANDS drive innovation. They take the risks. The invest in their products and their brand image. They establish relationships in the community through dealer networks, events, advocacy etc.

    Brands are invested in the consumer experience. If there is a problem they are highly motivated to solve the problem. They want consumer loyalty so they should be doing what they can to stand behind their products when things go wrong.

    Brands are thinking LONG TERM.

    With the trading companies from China that have popped up on the web there is no investment in brand. There is no investment in R&D. There are no dealer, community or any other kind of meaningful relationship established. They do NOTHING withing the community.

    What they do do is find a factory that is copying the work of others and they treat it as a 'money now' product. Money NOW!. If and when the product fails they stand behind it as long as they have to until their inventory is sold through and they can find another vendor and then they start all over again with "new" designs.

    If there is a real problem all they need to do is shut down an internet site and continue the process under one of their other company names. They don't care about innovating or long term credibility. It is about MONEY NOW!

    They are thinking SHORT TERM.

    Depending on where you jump in in this process you could get a decent quality wheelset or rims or you could get utter crap and be let holding the bag. Both are equally possible with most people having a positive experience and an unlucky few that are left with regrets. There are long threads on other forums that show this process over and over.

    If you're willing to gamble, go for it. The odds are actually in your favour. If you're not willing to take that chance then buy something you feel more comfortable with.
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  8. #58
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post

    Depending on where you jump in in this process you could get a decent quality wheelset or rims or you could get utter crap and be let holding the bag. Both are equally possible with most people having a positive experience and an unlucky few that are left with regrets. There are long threads on other forums that show this process over and over.

    If you're willing to gamble, go for it. The odds are actually in your favour. If you're not willing to take that chance then buy something you feel more comfortable with.
    ^^^^THIS^^^^^

    this says it all.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Here's the crux of the matter for me in "Brand vs Chinese eBay"

    With a brand there is an investment in the brand. They want to build a reputation and a fan/consumer base. There is incentive to innovate and differentiate yourself from the competition. BRANDS drive innovation. They take the risks. The invest in their products and their brand image. They establish relationships in the community through dealer networks, events, advocacy etc.

    Brands are invested in the consumer experience. If there is a problem they are highly motivated to solve the problem. They want consumer loyalty so they should be doing what they can to stand behind their products when things go wrong.

    Brands are thinking LONG TERM.

    With the trading companies from China that have popped up on the web there is no investment in brand. There is no investment in R&D. There are no dealer, community or any other kind of meaningful relationship established. They do NOTHING withing the community.

    What they do do is find a factory that is copying the work of others and they treat it as a 'money now' product. Money NOW!. If and when the product fails they stand behind it as long as they have to until their inventory is sold through and they can find another vendor and then they start all over again with "new" designs.

    If there is a real problem all they need to do is shut down an internet site and continue the process under one of their other company names. They don't care about innovating or long term credibility. It is about MONEY NOW!

    They are thinking SHORT TERM.

    Depending on where you jump in in this process you could get a decent quality wheelset or rims or you could get utter crap and be let holding the bag. Both are equally possible with most people having a positive experience and an unlucky few that are left with regrets. There are long threads on other forums that show this process over and over.

    If you're willing to gamble, go for it. The odds are actually in your favour. If you're not willing to take that chance then buy something you feel more comfortable with.
    Your analysis is very cogent - right on. I would add these concepts though for a fuller picture. What happens down the road, both good and bad, on both sides of the question, brand and knock-off? Sometimes the brand company gets lazy or greedy or both and falls back on its well established name and reputation to sell inferior goods or milk a cash cow. That isn't always, but it is certainly a known phenomenon and bears watching out for. And sometimes the knock off maker can establish itself through diligent hard work, attention to detail, quality and customer service as an up-and-coming brand with all the trappings like research and development, innovation, iron clad warranty, and so on. Shimano and Suntour were just knocking off Campy at first, but look at, ahem, one of them now. Well they did both establish themselves as quality producers at one point. That is the fluidity of global business. What is down can move up and vice-versa. I think my point is, like it or not, all the players have a part in global business. The consumer can rely on collective wisdom to make good choices, but old news is just that. As consumers, we can't get complacent, but have to always be watchful for the latest trends.

  10. #60
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    sadly, Walmart mentality has overtaken a lot of different market segments. everyone wants cheap and a LOT of people are willing to sacrifice quality and confidence to get it (otherwise these knock-off co's wouldn't exist). its a value judgement that each individual has to make.

    for me, I generally live by the "I can't afford to buy cheap stuff" mantra. in a nutshell, i can't afford to buy things that I will need to replace. I can only afford to buy most things once and it has to last and I have to have a high degree of confidence in the product. the older I get the more this becomes paramount in my purchasing decisions (for a number of reasons). if that means I have to save up a bit longer to get something, so be it. if I can't save the cash to get it, I do without. I'm fine with that, but each person has to find where their own value judgement is, and educating yourself about the product quality/process/reliability/etc is part of it.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

  11. #61
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    good point. When I was in my teen years, I constantly took shortcuts on what I really wanted because I didn't want to cough up the dough. Usually found myself going cheap then selling or throwing away because it was crap, going up a step and realizing it was still crap and on and on until I eventually got what I wanted, only I spend twice as much in the long run because of all the prior garbage I bought to try and save money.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    good point. When I was in my teen years, I constantly took shortcuts on what I really wanted because I didn't want to cough up the dough. Usually found myself going cheap then selling or throwing away because it was crap, going up a step and realizing it was still crap and on and on until I eventually got what I wanted, only I spend twice as much in the long run because of all the prior garbage I bought to try and save money.
    exactly. my first "real" experience was after my wife and I bought our first house we needed a grill, got the home depot sunbeam grill, worked for a year, got by for two, by the 3rd year it was falling apart, no parts available for repair, bought another cheapo, lasted a year again. broke down and bought a weber stainless gas grill, have had it now for 13yrs, parts are still available for it and it has been flawless even though it cost about 4x more than the cheapos it was worth every penny and has been cheaper in the long run to own.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

  13. #63
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Yup. I wish I had sprung the extra $100 or $150 to get the 240S hubs instead of the no-names in my Belgium QBP wheels. Will soon be rectified with Novatec hubs so that they match my Rails without tweaking the RD.

    Speakinawhich, who knows the best, or at least a very good, wheelbuilder in Austin?

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonz50 View Post
    exactly. my first "real" experience was after my wife and I bought our first house we needed a grill, got the home depot sunbeam grill, worked for a year, got by for two, by the 3rd year it was falling apart, no parts available for repair, bought another cheapo, lasted a year again. broke down and bought a weber stainless gas grill, have had it now for 13yrs, parts are still available for it and it has been flawless even though it cost about 4x more than the cheapos it was worth every penny and has been cheaper in the long run to own.
    Your grill example is interesting. I have the opposite experience. For decades I only bought $99 Char Broil brand grills. Good brand, yes, but I always bought in at the bottom of the line. I used the heck out of those grills, as much as 5 nights a week for years. Yes the carbon steel and cast iron parts would rust and wear through, but I just replaced them from Char Broil's mail order store at reasonable prices. After about three burner and grate replacements, I would spring for another new grill. Now, I'm too good for that, and besides the GOOD cheapies have largely disappeared from the market. So now for the last seven years I have an $1,100 all stainless grill. (And that was an end of season sale price!) It is larger, but it doesn't cook nearly as well. Sure it is bullet proof, haven't spent a dime to keep it up, but considering the time-value of money, I would go back to my $99 cheapies in a flash. The stainless grill has lots of bling, but not lots of value. Smart shopping is not just buying up to the top of the line and spending more. In every product category there is a sweet spot of price and performance that we know as good value. Straying too far on either side of that is how we get in trouble.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Your grill example is interesting. I have the opposite experience. For decades I only bought $99 Char Broil brand grills. Good brand, yes, but I always bought in at the bottom of the line. I used the heck out of those grills, as much as 5 nights a week for years. Yes the carbon steel and cast iron parts would rust and wear through, but I just replaced them from Char Broil's mail order store at reasonable prices. After about three burner and grate replacements, I would spring for another new grill. Now, I'm too good for that, and besides the GOOD cheapies have largely disappeared from the market. So now for the last seven years I have an $1,100 all stainless grill. (And that was an end of season sale price!) It is larger, but it doesn't cook nearly as well. Sure it is bullet proof, haven't spent a dime to keep it up, but considering the time-value of money, I would go back to my $99 cheapies in a flash. The stainless grill has lots of bling, but not lots of value. Smart shopping is not just buying up to the top of the line and spending more. In every product category there is a sweet spot of price and performance that we know as good value. Straying too far on either side of that is how we get in trouble.
    I get what you're saying, and I agree. maybe things have changed since then, but my Weber cooks better than any grill I've owned in the past, has lasted, and is REALLY far from top-o-the-line. I paid about $500 for it, delivered and assembled. it was a no brainer, the el cheapo grill then were still about $150 or so. for the record, my experiences with Weber has been so good that several of my friends quickly jumped on that bandwagon and all of us will never own another brand. their customer service is beyond reproach and their quality it top shelf. doesn't hurt that they are locally made as well.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

  16. #66
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    .....Depending on where you jump in in this process you could get a decent quality wheelset or rims or you could get utter crap and be let holding the bag. Both are equally possible with most people having a positive experience and an unlucky few that are left with regrets. There are long threads on other forums that show this process over and over.

    If you're willing to gamble, go for it. The odds are actually in your favour. If you're not willing to take that chance then buy something you feel more comfortable with.
    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    ^^^^THIS^^^^^

    this says it all.
    We agree on this...
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  17. #67
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Your analysis is very cogent - right on. I would add these concepts though for a fuller picture. What happens down the road, both good and bad, on both sides of the question, brand and knock-off? Sometimes the brand company gets lazy or greedy or both and falls back on its well established name and reputation to sell inferior goods or milk a cash cow. That isn't always, but it is certainly a known phenomenon and bears watching out for. And sometimes the knock off maker can establish itself through diligent hard work, attention to detail, quality and customer service as an up-and-coming brand with all the trappings like research and development, innovation, iron clad warranty, and so on. Shimano and Suntour were just knocking off Campy at first, but look at, ahem, one of them now. Well they did both establish themselves as quality producers at one point. That is the fluidity of global business. What is down can move up and vice-versa. I think my point is, like it or not, all the players have a part in global business. The consumer can rely on collective wisdom to make good choices, but old news is just that. As consumers, we can't get complacent, but have to always be watchful for the latest trends.
    Not really.

    Neither Shimano nor Suntor infringed on patents or copyrights as their SOP. Yes, there were exceptions but those were not always intentional and, as I said, it was not their entire R&D strategy.

    Shimano was also established in another industry before they made bike parts.

    They both had a brand, an address and they were available through brick and mortar shops so there was a face and usually service and a warranty backing them up.

    So not a good analogy.

    Yes, bands can get lazy and introduce goods of lower quality that are overpriced simply because of their brand. That would be a successful brand, non?

    Again, I don't think that is what we are talking about here. In fact, it is the opposite; Trading companies are dumping inferior products in the market with no real brand at all and questionable desires to establish one.
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  18. #68
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Gotta get back to wheelbuilding, but just get amazed by these threads.

    I can understand both sides of it, but everyone should kind of take a step back. I think a lot on the consumer side think, "hey, there's nothing wrong with less expensive product and OEM's that Poopoo is well they are doing that as a last resort/grasping at straws to keep their HUGE margins."....just not the case here. There are in fact 3 tiers.

    1. Large OEM's. Bells and whistles, large marketing campaigns, what some refer to as R&D, large Protour sponsorships, etc.
    2. Middle guys. "us". Building with a lot of proven product. Catalog and open mold rims, custom rims made by the same companies that we were buying catalog rims from. Hubs from the same companies with our own tweaks or designs, or simply just re-branding.
    3. The "OMGWTF" Chinese crap purveyors that we're all talking about.

    Those of us at the "2" level are the ones that have done the leg work and are selling what we believe to be decent product that delivers that huge value to price that most people on the consumer side of this thread are looking for. The reason we say that those "3" guys suck....is because they suck. This is a forum though and forum users tend to be the ones that are best self educated and plan on being the early adopters. So...good luck! This is they type that wants to buy rims and parts from the cheapest sources they can find and then build themselves. Not my market. So when I say, "hey....that stuff really does suck."....I'm just trying to help you out.

    Best part is you don't have to believe me or anyone else.

  19. #69
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    BTW Psimet, I'd just like to throw in that it'd be really handy if y'all in group 2 didn't rebrand the hubs - that would make it easier to find specs and source replacements when necessary (or to change hubs in other wheels so that wheel swaps don't involve tweaking the RD).

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    If anyone can tell me where I can buy a good looking, 1,540g 50MM carbon clincher with machined alloy braking, good hubs, CX-Ray spokes that was shipped quickly and has remained true for ~1,200 miles over midwestern potholes for $550 from a brand name, let me know. My experience with Farsports FSC-50 wheels on Novatec 291/482 hubs and CX-Rays has been excellent, especially at this price. The proof is in the pudding. I'm far, far from only one here. Let's see the evidence that Chinese wheels are crap.

    Also, the idea that Chinese vendors don't provide service and don't "participate in the community" is provably untrue. Kyle from Farsports is all over multiple forums (WW, RBR, here etc), responds quickly the emails and knows his stuff. The same is true of Jack Chen from Miracle Trade and multiple people from DengFu and HongFu. Velobuild is an entire site dedicated to these vendors that they actively participate in, offering group buys, answering questions, responding to concerns. I've purchased many things from these vendors and always had honest communication, professional packaging and timely mailing. Like anything else, if you buy from some no-name guys off of Ebay, you have no one to blame but yourself for poor service. However, if you buy from these known Chinese vendors, you will get good service.

  21. #71
    Senior Member island rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
    BTW Psimet, I'd just like to throw in that it'd be really handy if y'all in group 2 didn't rebrand the hubs - that would make it easier to find specs and source replacements when necessary (or to change hubs in other wheels so that wheel swaps don't involve tweaking the RD).
    Hijack. I was thinking about this this morning. I want to develop an arsenal of wheels, but was thinking of buying all from one manufacturer to minimize differences when swapping. If I simply went with all say... Chris King 45 hubs and shimano 10 or 11 speed freehubs on Zipp, Enve, PSIMET, Reynolds, etc... would that cure the problem?
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  22. #72
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    That is not involved in the community. That is doing sales work. Let me know when they help establish bike lanes in a city or do charity work.

    The are plenty of examples of failed product in the long, long threads on those same sites. As I said its hit and miss with more misses than branded products and no regard for patent laws.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  23. #73
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    If anyone can tell me where I can buy a good looking, 1,540g 50MM carbon clincher with machined alloy braking, good hubs, CX-Ray spokes that was shipped quickly and has remained true for ~1,200 miles over midwestern potholes for $550 from a brand name, let me know. My experience with Farsports FSC-50 wheels on Novatec 291/482 hubs and CX-Rays has been excellent, especially at this price. The proof is in the pudding. I'm far, far from only one here. Let's see the evidence that Chinese wheels are crap.

    Also, the idea that Chinese vendors don't provide service and don't "participate in the community" is provably untrue. Kyle from Farsports is all over multiple forums (WW, RBR, here etc), responds quickly the emails and knows his stuff. The same is true of Jack Chen from Miracle Trade and multiple people from DengFu and HongFu. Velobuild is an entire site dedicated to these vendors that they actively participate in, offering group buys, answering questions, responding to concerns. I've purchased many things from these vendors and always had honest communication, professional packaging and timely mailing. Like anything else, if you buy from some no-name guys off of Ebay, you have no one to blame but yourself for poor service. However, if you buy from these known Chinese vendors, you will get good service.
    As Bob said above, the odds are in your favor, BUT there are LOTS of instances where customers haven't been as lucky or happy as you. So the "proof is in the pudding" isn't really the case. I have personally spoken (through PM) with customers who were disappointed/dissatisfied with their product they received. If you were someone who had a negative experience, you could be on the other side of the table saying the proof is in the pudding that they were crap. Again, odds are in your favor, but a larger gamble than if you purchased a more established brand.

  24. #74
    I eat carbide. Psimet2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
    BTW Psimet, I'd just like to throw in that it'd be really handy if y'all in group 2 didn't rebrand the hubs - that would make it easier to find specs and source replacements when necessary (or to change hubs in other wheels so that wheel swaps don't involve tweaking the RD).
    I usually don't. That's kind of my thing, not to.

  25. #75
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by island rider View Post
    Hijack. I was thinking about this this morning. I want to develop an arsenal of wheels, but was thinking of buying all from one manufacturer to minimize differences when swapping. If I simply went with all say... Chris King 45 hubs and shimano 10 or 11 speed freehubs on Zipp, Enve, PSIMET, Reynolds, etc... would that cure the problem?
    That should do it; the hub determines the exact alignment of the cassette. I can't see why multiple examples of the same hub wouldn't put the cassette in the exact same spot. At least, if it did, that would tell me the hub was too low-quality for my comfort.

    Someone else can feel free to correct me if there's something I'm missing though; I was going to go with F482SB-11 for everything.

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