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Thread: Chinese wheels!

  1. #26
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    ^ exactly why I'd never buy no name carbon clinchers for my road bike. Some decents require a whole lot of brake, and the last thing I need to be worried about on a fast technical descent is a wheel melting.

    Again, nobody has ever melted down a Zipp firecrest, and it's almost exclusively ridden by overweight middle aged men who ride the brakes. I did pay like $1500 for my 404s, so that's 3x the chinese price, but the price for sexy wheels I don't need is worth it if it means I don't die coming down from Mt Baldy. I think the easton carbon wheels also have never had a publicly reported meltdown, FWIW. Previous reynolds were melty, and I think first gen ENVE's (EDGE?) also had failures. I bet most of the current iterations from those companies are good now too though.
    Oh definitely. Not willing to give up on them, here's the lesson I took: use my brain! When riding tough descents, take my Open Pro wheels instead or don't do the ride!

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  2. #27
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I find decending on carbon (even my tubs) is entirely different style then alum rims. Yah you can't ride the brakes down the entire mt so I find myself late braking like a mofo. Kinda reminds me how I used to decend when a bit younger and never had a blow out in the corners.

    Even the guys I ride w/ with Enve's, Reynolds carbon clinchers have tubes pop on heavy decents. The high end carbon doesn't boil but the tube does. Some link this to the plastic tire rim tape used that might be heating up faster then the rubber tube does. Not sure. But I feel safer on tubulars, stiffer and won't pop if I cook the brakes.

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    Black prince pads are in. No more squealing during braking. Stopping power isn't great at the moment (that part might be addressable by adjusting the cable) but satisfactory. Hit 50 miles on the front wheel. Spokes for the rear should be here in the next few days.

    Realized that I made a mistake lacing the front wheel. Instead of interlacing the spokes, I just routed them directly from the hub to the rim. Sounds like it's not a huge deal for a non-torque-carrying wheel but I'm going to do this right in the rear.

  4. #29
    Senior Member TJClay's Avatar
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    If you're spending over $1000 on carbon rims why not get Shimanos with a the aluminum braking surface? I've had my 9000 C24s now for about 2000 miles and couldn't be happier. I admit it, I'm a clyde that rides his brakes downhill way too much.
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  5. #30
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    ^^ sounds like he's in about $500-550 plus another $100 for tires, $25 in glue and even another $70 for an extra cassette. Weights should be a 200g lighter then C24 and have aero advantages when over 20mph

    Hamster, try to toe in the pads using a CC or something as the shim when making the adjustment.

  6. #31
    jmX
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJClay View Post
    If you're spending over $1000 on carbon rims why not get Shimanos with a the aluminum braking surface? I've had my 9000 C24s now for about 2000 miles and couldn't be happier. I admit it, I'm a clyde that rides his brakes downhill way too much.
    Well, C24's are great rims, but 1) they aren't nearly as aero as deeper rims, and 2) they aren't as sexy

    Seriously, Performance Bike had Firecrest Zipp 808's (and 404's) for $650-750each if you were paying attention this summer, that's $1400+tax for full carbon 808 clinchers. C24's don't make sense up against that deal IMO.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
    ^^ sounds like he's in about $500-550 plus another $100 for tires, $25 in glue and even another $70 for an extra cassette. Weights should be a 200g lighter then C24 and have aero advantages when over 20mph

    Hamster, try to toe in the pads using a CC or something as the shim when making the adjustment.
    So far I'm up to $567.57 in hardware and $190.41 in disposables.

    Rims: $341.20
    Front hub: $44.99
    Spokes/nipples/washers (front): $67.91
    Spokes/nipples/washers (rear): $91.88
    Valve extenders: $21.59
    Brake pads: $32.95
    Tires and tape: $157.46 (went with relatively expensive tires and gluing tape instead of glue)

    Savings from buying everything piece by piece instead of getting full wheelset are marginal (if they exist at all). I paid $546 including shipping for the parts minus valve extenders, and I didn't buy the rear hub. Could have saved a few bucks if I ordered everything at once, in one or two shipments. Rim manufacturer has pre-assembled wheelsets for $598 with shipping.

    What's CC?
    Last edited by hamster; 10-16-13 at 03:05 PM.

  8. #33
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    credit card.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Darth Steele's Avatar
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    Honestly, I don't understand why rims cost so much.. actually I do understand. Also, the manufacturers have done a great job of discrediting "cheaper" alternatives to the point that the masses are repeating the propaganda.

    Look, with the economy of scale and competition rims prices should be coming down. This is true for most goods, the only exception being luxury goods.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Steele View Post
    Honestly, I don't understand why rims cost so much.. actually I do understand. Also, the manufacturers have done a great job of discrediting "cheaper" alternatives to the point that the masses are repeating the propaganda.

    Look, with the economy of scale and competition rims prices should be coming down. This is true for most goods, the only exception being luxury goods.

    Economics 101, with respect to luxury goods. Luxury goods' price elasticity is entirely different from normal run-of-the-mill goods. For the most part, luxury goods are aspirational goods. If manufacturers/purveyors of luxury goods slash/lower prices in response to economic conditions, they might find their sales revenue diminish significantly. It is much to their advantage to curtail their supply a little bit. Consumers, especially luxury goods consumers can be funny. Why buy that BMW 7 Series sedan, if BMW lower the price? It means your babysitter or housemaid might be able to afford one. Where is the joy in that?

    Of course, I exaggerated a bit to make the point, but don't expect Zipp to lower their prices soon on carbon wheels.
    Regards,

    Jed

  11. #36
    Senior Member Darth Steele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    Economics 101, with respect to luxury goods. Luxury goods' price elasticity is entirely different from normal run-of-the-mill goods. For the most part, luxury goods are aspirational goods. If manufacturers/purveyors of luxury goods slash/lower prices in response to economic conditions, they might find their sales revenue diminish significantly. It is much to their advantage to curtail their supply a little bit. Consumers, especially luxury goods consumers can be funny. Why buy that BMW 7 Series sedan, if BMW lower the price? It means your babysitter or housemaid might be able to afford one. Where is the joy in that?

    Of course, I exaggerated a bit to make the point, but don't expect Zipp to lower their prices soon on carbon wheels.
    you mostly missed my point.. I did say "the exception being luxury goods"

    Perhaps.. the Japanese and Koreans entered the US market in the 70s and changed the US car industry forever.. but I don't want to go go off on a tangent.

    I don't expect Zipp to change their pricing model, I am just saying that I find it interesting that a competitor can't step in and reverse engineer the wheels and produce them for a fraction of cost with the same quality control.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Darth Steele's Avatar
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    also, it seem acceptable to build your own wheels by sourcing the parts from the "chinese" but yet not buy a full wheels from the same source.

    *

  13. #38
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Steele View Post
    you mostly missed my point.. I did say "the exception being luxury goods"

    Perhaps.. the Japanese and Koreans entered the US market in the 70s and changed the US car industry forever.. but I don't want to go go off on a tangent.

    I don't expect Zipp to change their pricing model, I am just saying that I find it interesting that a competitor can't step in and reverse engineer the wheels and produce them for a fraction of cost with the same quality control.
    Yes, you did say that. I was just reiterating the conundrum about luxury goods.
    Regards,

    Jed

  14. #39
    jmX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Steele View Post
    Honestly, I don't understand why rims cost so much.. actually I do understand. Also, the manufacturers have done a great job of discrediting "cheaper" alternatives to the point that the masses are repeating the propaganda.

    Look, with the economy of scale and competition rims prices should be coming down. This is true for most goods, the only exception being luxury goods.
    There's a bit of propoganda sure, but local people on local climbs have melted carbon rims from many other brands and when product X Y and Z are all known not to melt then that trust is worth a whole lot of money to some people who value their lives more than their dollars. The chinese or taiwanese no name wheels might be just as good or better, but "might" is a scary word if you're riding 50mph on a 14lb piece of plastic.

    Anyway, what is crazy is that Zipp just released a new set of Carbon wheels that are $1000 more a set! Holy cow.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmX View Post
    There's a bit of propoganda sure, but local people on local climbs have melted carbon rims from many other brands and when product X Y and Z are all known not to melt then that trust is worth a whole lot of money to some people who value their lives more than their dollars. The chinese or taiwanese no name wheels might be just as good or better, but "might" is a scary word if you're riding 50mph on a 14lb piece of plastic.
    The melting issue is less of a big deal than you think. Just yesterday I completely failed to convince a triathlete acquaintance not to buy a carbon clincher wheelset. My arguments were dismissed along the lines of "well, clinchers might melt, but tubulars can roll off if you don't glue them properly and it takes too long to fix tubular flats". I was told that clinchers dominate in triathlons. The person is going to spend somewhere around $1500 on a pair of brand-name carbon clinchers and melting concerns do not even enter.

    Nor is it about know-how and reverse engineering. Zipp has no trouble selling carbon tubulars and charging 5x the price of a Chinese equivalent. Tubular rims are extremely simple in construction and I don't think there's much know-how involved (magic dimpling notwithstanding). If the competitor can get the formula for the brake track ceramics, they have everything.

    I think it's just that the target demographic is relatively wealthy, can afford to pay extra for some vague notion of confidence, and isn't able to enunciate the object of their confidence. Why is it that big brands can get away with charging $3500 for a carbon road bike with 11-speed Ultegra group (Trek Madone 5.2), when you can get a functionally identical bike at bikesdirect for $1400 (Motobecane Sprint CF)? Because the buyer pays $1400 for the bike and $2100 for the trust that the frame will not snap at the first pothole, that the drivetrain will be functioning properly, etc. The buyer knows next to nothing about carbon fiber except that it's light and it sometimes snaps. He does not understand what might cause the frame to snap, never saw a broken frame in person, has no friends with Motobecanes, to him it's just a black box that either will fail or won't fail, and the best rationale he can offer for paying $2100 extra for Trek Madone 5.2 is something along the lines of "but surely Trek has better quality control".

    A competitor can step in and produce wheels which are identical to Zipps in every way but at a fraction of cost. But, if this competitor can't generate the same level of confidence as big brands, it can only sell them at the same price point as noname Chinese wheels. And if it can generate the same level of confidence, it has no reason to sell them much cheaper than Zipps.

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