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  1. #1
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    Aero/Carbon Rim Suggestions

    Wondering about suggestions for deeper/aero rims, preferably carbon, for custom wheel builds. Prefer something under "Envf" price range...Are there any suppliers that offer custom drillings? (prefer a few more spokes than most of the carbon rim offerings I've come across, or are there any opinions on a 32-hole build) Wheels would be for "slightly more than occasional" spirited rides and TTs, team weights possibly up around 350lbs. With some research I've found rims with max rider weights around 115kg...Is it just optimistic "I just want it to work" thinking that that rating is per rim, and the bike has two rims, and approximately 65% of the team weight would only be about 105kg on the front rim (would have to pull out the physics textbook to be more accurate with specific rider weights and lever arms between the wheels)?

    Would also like to hear the war stories on carbon rims (including team weights, wheel build, and opinions if possible). Also, finding that just about every manufacturer I've contacted doesn't have "tandem spec" rims, what recommendations are out there for what actually works?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    I had contacted Reynolds Wheels regarding custom drilling on there STRIKE SLG rims for tandem use, they were willing to work with me on hubs, custom drilling of spoke holes, spokes etc. with all of Reynolds new designs & production techniques & brake surface, Reynolds line of wheels have under gone, Reynolds felt more than confidant that the Strikes would be more than adequate wheel set for tandem usage.
    Last edited by Bad1; 04-13-14 at 09:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    The thing about ENVE's is they have a patent on molded spoke holes. Tandem rims seem to fail most often at the spoke holes, and having the holes molded in just makes more sense than drilling extra holes right through the carbon fibers.

    I was just at Sea Otter, and talking to the reps at the ENVE booth. The SES 3.4 has been available only as 20/24 spoke, but Cannondale just ordered a bunch with 28 holes, so these are available as well. There is also a disc version without the caliper rim brake reinforcement. Heretofore the only rims available with 28 holes have been the Classic 45 and 65.

    The ENVE rims are proven on tandems. Ours have been great for years. One wheelset good for everything. Long rides, time trials, racing, hill climbs, touring, its great for all of it. None of this 40-spoke everyday wheel, and then a liable-to-break performance wheel.

    People like Zipps as well, but its not like those are cheap. If you are looking for a value rim, maybe you can look at the 52-page Weight Weenie thread on Chinese sourced carbon clinchers. Perhaps the FarSports FSL60-CM would work for you, and its available with 32 spokes. FarSports complete wheelsets are available for less than one ENVE rim. So, if it didn't work you'd not be that bad off, and if it did work, you'd turn on the tandem forum to a great bargain wheelset.

    Madfiber made a carbon wheelset that didn't have a weight limit, and was used on at least one tandem. Madfiber went under, but Equinox (a Czech firm?) has picked up Madfiber's wheel construction banner. Would be interesting if one of these would work on a tandem, and whether they might be priced closer to the FarSports than the ENVE's.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
    I had contacted Reynolds Wheels regarding custom drilling on there STRIKE SLG rims for tandem use, they were willing to work with me on hubs, custom drilling of spoke holes, spokes etc. with all of Reynolds new designs & production techniques & brake surface, Reynolds line of wheels have under gone, Reynolds felt more than confidant that the Strikes would be more than adequate wheel set for tandem usage.
    Appreciate it, something I will look in to. Care to share problems with use/abuse? Would you recommend, or better yet given the choice, purchase them again?

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Ritterview;16668365]The thing about ENVE's is they have a patent on molded spoke holes. Tandem rims seem to fail most often at the spoke holes, and having the holes molded in just makes more sense than drilling extra holes right through the carbon fibers.

    I was just at Sea Otter, and talking to the reps at the ENVE booth. The SES 3.4 has been available only as 20/24 spoke, but Cannondale just ordered a bunch with 28 holes, so these are available as well. There is also a disc version without the caliper rim brake reinforcement. Heretofore the only rims available with 28 holes have been the Classic 45 and 65.

    The ENVE rims are proven on tandems. Ours have been great for years. One wheelset good for everything. Long rides, time trials, racing, hill climbs, touring, its great for all of it. None of this 40-spoke everyday wheel, and then a liable-to-break performance wheel.
    * I like the ENVEs, but my current tandem, and the new frame purchase I'm working on, combined wouldn't cost a set of ENVEs. Flashbacks of thrashed Hondas with $10k in rims and sound haunts me [Ok, I was a car stereo rep so the stereo was purchased cheap].

    People like Zipps as well, but its not like those are cheap.
    * Never really been a big fan of Zips, even when sighted and on singles...Always felt like I was paying a lot for the Zip advertisement on my wheels. Unjustified and unsubstantiated bias against I guess.

    If you are looking for a value rim, maybe you can look at the 52-page Weight Weenie thread on Chinese sourced carbon clinchers. Perhaps the FarSports FSL60-CM would work for you, and its available with 32 spokes. FarSports complete wheelsets are available for less than one ENVE rim. So, if it didn't work you'd not be that bad off, and if it did work, you'd turn on the tandem forum to a great bargain wheelset.
    * Have been checking a couple Chinese sources... Carbonal and carbonrimssale.com...the first offering 32-hole drillings and the second listing "custom drilling" options but two attempts to contact through their contact page yielded no responses so I'm not impressed with them so much.

    Madfiber made a carbon wheelset that didn't have a weight limit, and was used on at least one tandem. Madfiber went under, but Equinox (a Czech firm?) has picked up Madfiber's wheel construction banner. Would be interesting if one of these would work on a tandem, and whether they might be priced closer to the FarSports than the ENVE's.
    * If I keep it up my whole bike will end up being sourced from the Czech Republic...Working on the purchase of a Duratek frame and planning a possible European vacation to check them out. .
    Really appreciate the info.

  6. #6
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    We have a wheelset with Zipp 808 rims, drilled for 32 spokes, with 145mm White Industry hubs.

    We've had them for 5 years or so now, and they have maybe 7500 miles on them, with a team weight of 350lbs. Only problem is the rear wheel has a tendency to break spokes, given the acute angle that results from the deep sectioned rims, and the 145 spacing. We typically break a spoke about once a year, ( and the wheel stays mostly true even down a spoke)so it isn't a big deal.

    Ours are the older aluminum braking surface rims, not full carbon. I would think twice a bout using all carbon clinchers on a tandem with rim brakes, particularly in hilly terrain.

    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  7. #7
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    We are using HED3 wheels on or tandem with good success. Our team weight is around 300 pounds. I had to reduce the rear drop spacing in order to use the rear wheel but on a new build that would not be a problem.

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    Details are a bit scarce, but House of Tandems and Tandems East are now advertising a Spinergy Tx2 Stealth wheelset with a 43mm profile and selling for $1499.

  9. #9
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Rolf has a 50mm carbon rim wheelset that is disc specific.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=merlinextraligh;16668963]We have a wheelset with Zipp 808 rims, drilled for 32 spokes, with 145mm White Industry hubs.

    We've had them for 5 years or so now, and they have maybe 7500 miles on them, with a team weight of 350lbs. Only problem is the rear wheel has a tendency to break spokes, given the acute angle that results from the deep sectioned rims, and the 145 spacing. We typically break a spoke about once a year, ( and the wheel stays mostly true even down a spoke)so it isn't a big deal.

    Ours are the older aluminum braking surface rims, not full carbon. I would think twice a bout using all carbon clinchers on a tandem with rim brakes, particularly in hilly terrain.

    I haven't found the 808s as a "rim only" yet, but I haven't been looking very hard either...God to know. I'm considering a 12x142 [135mm hub) frame build, so the angle may not be as bad an issue. Your thoughts on a straight-pull build???

    The occasional spoke break concerns me far less than the rim exploding like F1 bodywork if you sneeze on it.
    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    We are using HED3 wheels on or tandem with good success. Our team weight is around 300 pounds. I had to reduce the rear drop spacing in order to use the rear wheel but on a new build that would not be a problem.
    Had a set of 3-blade rims (Spin) on a MTN bike when sighted, when they went untrue they were through. Also contemplating a mass-start event or two in the future, and while "technically" there are no technical rules publictions within USAC or the UCI (so I've been told), I couldn't convince a USAC official of this on another issue once (a front disc brake). Still, always loved the look of the 3-spoke wheelset.

  12. #12
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    Looked for the Equinox, but could only find them as complete 20/24 wheels (w/ DT hubs and Sapim spokes about a 1400 Euro build but I didn't shop around). Did find some rims through a search of Gigantex, but again only 20/24 drillings, and the deeper profiles seemed to only be sold as a 20 front and 24 rear set.

    Considered the Spinergies, and the Rolf carbons, didn't know either were as deep as noted above. Especially the Rolfs since they appear to be "tandem specific," but leary about losing the option of the rim brake (again, local race officials and disc brakes). Also, would have to consider the added stressors of a disc application on the spoke/rim interface.

    Looked at "Far Sports," while they mention 32-hole drillings, my internet skills weren't sufficient enough to find them specifically. Plus, they advertise right on the website their willingness to "fudge" customs documents to avoid import taxes...

    Thanks again everyone for all the input.
    Last edited by LastKraftWagen; 04-14-14 at 10:09 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    We have a wheelset with Zipp 808 rims, drilled for 32 spokes, with 145mm White Industry hubs.

    We've had them for 5 years or so now, and they have maybe 7500 miles on them, with a team weight of 350lbs. Only problem is the rear wheel has a tendency to break spokes, given the acute angle that results from the deep sectioned rims, and the 145 spacing. We typically break a spoke about once a year, ( and the wheel stays mostly true even down a spoke)so it isn't a big deal.

    Ours are the older aluminum braking surface rims, not full carbon. I would think twice a bout using all carbon clinchers on a tandem with rim brakes, particularly in hilly terrain.

    To me the development of carbon wheels and now disk brakes is an interesting example a our societies technological development. First deep all carbon rims are developed to improve aero performance. Rim braking suffers and now the industry is moving to disk brakes on race bikes to compensate for the poor rim braking performance on all carbon rims. I think merlinextrralight may have mentioned before that the aero performance of disk brakes may offset the aero gains of the carbon rim. To me how much progress we are seeing as it relates to tandems, which need good brakes, is an open question. Doubtless pro tour teams will do race bike wind tunnel testing on this but most likely AFTER disk brakes are approved by the UCI and on pro tour team bikes. It will be interesting to see if pro tour teams use them on time trial bikes which are the true test of aero performance.

    Also I would love to see a picture of the Florida state champs in aero tuck on that bike.
    Last edited by waynesulak; 04-14-14 at 10:02 AM.

  14. #14
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    BTW, what is the OLD you are looking for? 145 mm, 135 mm?

    Are you looking for rear disc, front caliper, or some other permutation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    BTW, what is the OLD you are looking for? 145 mm, 135 mm?

    Are you looking for rear disc, front caliper, or some other permutation?
    I'm REALLY considering 12x142 TA. New frame will be both disc and rim capable, so wheel build will probably be disc-capable hubs and rim capable rims so I can play around with different configurations/combinations. This is one of the drawbacks for me and the carbon Rolfs.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    To me the development of carbon wheels and now disk brakes is an interesting example a our societies technological development. First deep all carbon rims are developed to improve aero performance. Rim braking suffers and now the industry is moving to disk brakes on race bikes to compensate for the poor rim braking performance on all carbon rims. I think merlinextrralight may have mentioned before that the aero performance of disk brakes may offset the aero gains of the carbon rim. To me how much progress we are seeing as it relates to tandems, which need good brakes, is an open question. Doubtless pro tour teams will do race bike wind tunnel testing on this but most likely AFTER disk brakes are approved by the UCI and on pro tour team bikes. It will be interesting to see if pro tour teams use them on time trial bikes which are the true test of aero performance.

    Also I would love to see a picture of the Florida state champs in aero tuck on that bike.
    I doubt if you will EVER see pure TT bikes with disc brakes! How often do they really need to have super good brakes?

  17. #17
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    What do brakes have to do with Aero Wheel Suggestions!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Team Fab's Avatar
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    Brakes may dictate what rim you can use as some rims do not have a brake track.

    As for TT bikes not using front disk what about a front drum?

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