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Carbon wheels weight limits

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Carbon wheels weight limits

Old 12-26-17, 02:55 PM
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BrazAd
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Carbon wheels weight limits

I started riding in late June at 262 lbs. Six months and 1,487 miles later (yes, I need one 34 mile ride between now and Sun. night to hit 1,500 for 2017), I'm down to 248.


Thinking about replacing the Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels on my 2011 Bianchi Sempre with carbon wheels. Seems that some have a weight limit of 225 +/-.


What are your experiences? Recommendations? Oh, I'll be looking in the $800-$1,250 range, more than likely.


Thanks,

Gary

Last edited by BrazAd; 12-26-17 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-26-17, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
I started riding in late June at 262 lbs. Six months and 1,487 miles later (yes, I need one 34 mile ride between now and Sun. night to hit 1,500 for 2017), I'm down to 248.


Thinking about replacing the Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels on my 2011 Bianchi Sempre with carbon wheels. Seems that some have a weight limit of 225 +/-.


What are your experiences? Recommendations? Oh, I'll be looking in the $800-$1,250 range, more than likely.


Thanks,

Gary
Recommendation: set a goal of weighing <225 and reward yourself with the wheels of your choice.
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Old 12-27-17, 07:49 AM
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Check out FSE wheels. They have the highest weight ratings I’ve seen. The 35mm are rated for 260lbs, IIRC.

You could also custom build, of course.
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Old 12-27-17, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
I started riding in late June at 262 lbs. Six months and 1,487 miles later (yes, I need one 34 mile ride between now and Sun. night to hit 1,500 for 2017), I'm down to 248.


Thinking about replacing the Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels on my 2011 Bianchi Sempre with carbon wheels. Seems that some have a weight limit of 225 +/-.


What are your experiences? Recommendations? Oh, I'll be looking in the $800-$1,250 range, more than likely.


Thanks,

Gary
Even though I have no advice I appreciate your thread for the info' therein.
I have already bought a better built aluminum rim. If I upgrade further then
I have a couple of new sources. My motto is I am not too heavy for my bike
my bike was not built solely with me in mind.
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Old 12-27-17, 11:41 AM
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May I ask why you want to go to carbon? I ride alloy unless I've pinned a number on.
A quick root round on the Nashbar site finds a set, rated to 300#, for $125. Of course, carbon has the 'cool' factor and can make you faster but I prefer spending money on other bits.. like eTap

These
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Old 12-27-17, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
May I ask why you want to go to carbon? I ride alloy unless I've pinned a number on.
A quick root round on the Nashbar site finds a set, rated to 300#, for $125. Of course, carbon has the 'cool' factor and can make you faster but I prefer spending money on other bits.. like eTap

You named one reason. The other is that it seems carbon wheels absorb more road vibrations than aluminum, making a smoother ride. I couldn't care less whether I'm "cool" or not. It's all about having fun, for me.


The Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels I am riding have been great for 1,500 miles. No complaints about them bearing my 250 lbs. My weight question is about carbon, not aluminum.


Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Recommendation: set a goal of weighing <225 and reward yourself with the wheels of your choice.

That is a *great* recommendation! I'm down 15 already... and have 230 as my next goal, 18 lbs. away. Then I know I'll be safe, weight wise, in buying some carbon wheels, if I make that decision.


Gary
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Old 12-27-17, 02:47 PM
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Tyres are what will make the difference, not the wheels on their own. Something that is built well enough for the weight capacity you're after aren't going to be very vibration absorbing. The real gain from a deeper carbon rim will be in the aero gains (and they're really only minimal at that).......and of course the bling factor. It looks like bling factor is your main concern and if so, get something that you like the look of. With so many manufacturers out there these days it's entirely possible to buy of build something that is perfect for you.

I had (now sold due to lack of use) a set of Shimano RS81 C50 wheels. No posted weight limit. I was riding/racing them at 130kg. They have an alloy rim mated to a carbon faring. They roll very very nicely and were a nice set of wheels, but I just wasn't using them enough to justify keeping them. My main interest is track and their proceeds went towards a track disc that I made much more use of.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:51 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about being slightly over the nominal weight limit. A 150 lb rider who tends to ride straight through potholes and other road irregularities without any unweighting can easily put more stress on his wheels than a 250 lb rider who emphasizes smooth riding and avoiding bumps in the roadway.

So if you've frequently had problems with your wheels and feel your riding style might more closely fit the former then by all means get some especially strong wheels. Otherwise you'll probably be fine with lighter wheels even if you're a bit above their rated weight limit.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about being slightly over the nominal weight limit. A 150 lb rider who tends to ride straight through potholes and other road irregularities without any unweighting can easily put more stress on his wheels than a 250 lb rider who emphasizes smooth riding and avoiding bumps in the roadway.

So if you've frequently had problems with your wheels and feel your riding style might more closely fit the former then by all means get some especially strong wheels. Otherwise you'll probably be fine with lighter wheels even if you're a bit above their rated weight limit.
This is very true. As long as your careful when you ride you shouldn't have a problem. I've never really had a problem with wheels and it's impossible for me to be under 250 lbs.
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Old 12-27-17, 08:10 PM
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Alto is currently bragging on their unlimited weight wheels’ strength:


Last edited by chaadster; 12-28-17 at 09:49 AM. Reason: Posted wrong video
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Old 12-28-17, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post

snip>>You named one reason. The other is that it seems carbon wheels absorb more road vibrations than aluminum, making a smoother ride. I couldn't care less whether I'm "cool" or not. It's all about having fun, for me.
snip>>

snip>>
My weight question is about carbon, not aluminum.
snip>>

While you had asked about weight limits I was only intrigued at why you wanted to go to carbon.

That said, my experience is that I don't notice a difference in ride between carbon and aluminum. The difference will be in the tyre selection. Want a cushy ride; go wide.

Want to spend the money on carbon; gert ahead. Given that you believe it will be a better ride be ready to be disappointed... but that's my experience.
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Old 12-28-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
You named one reason. The other is that it seems carbon wheels absorb more road vibrations than aluminum, making a smoother ride. I couldn't care less whether I'm "cool" or not. It's all about having fun, for me.
I wouldn't count on a carbon wheelset absorbing more road vibration. My AeroClyde wheels seem to be transmitting more vibration up into the bike than the Stans Grail wheelset they replaced. It makes sense, too, since the carbon rims are much stiffer than the Stans alloy rims are. Vibration is far more effectively dampened by the choice and size of tire used than any other single component in the bike, including the wheels themselves.

If you've got the money and you really want a nice set of carbon wheels, and you're worried that you're over the weight limit of the conventional store-bought carbon wheels, you may be interested in reading about my AeroClyde wheel build. Warning: my writeup is very long and detailed, so if you check it out, be prepared to spend a few minutes of reading. Also, my bike had particular requirements for the front thru-axle sizing, and uses disc brakes, which dictated my choice of hubs at the high spoke count I used. If you use QR hubs and rim brakes you'd have a wide open selection of hubs available to you. Unless your bike has the same requirements as mine I'd recommend my writeup more for the thought process behind my component selection than the actual components themselves.

I currently weigh more than you, and that is a very solid, strong wheel build. It would certainly be strong enough for you. It is probably a little stronger than you need it to be if you're still losing weight, but the funny thing is, I'm not convinced that you'd gain much from dropping the spoke count and whatnot.

But let's say for the sake of argument that for your weight you decide that 32/32 is fine for you. That's still going to be stronger than any of the common store-bought carbon wheelsets. You'd save around 80 grams overall compared to my 36/36 build. You could probably go to 28 spokes for the front if you really wanted to minimize, but you'd only save around 40 more grams on the front wheel, and gain an infinitesimal amount of aerodynamic goodness, which may not be worth the reduction of strength and resiliency.

I'd bet that if you use QR hubs and rim brakes you could build a really nice set of wheels on the same Light-Bicycle rims I used, using similar spokes as my AeroClyde build, for in the $700 neighborhood. If you don't want to build them yourself you could probably get them built by an experienced wheel builder for not that much more.

One thing to remember is that even if you get down to 225 you'll still be at the very highest end of the recommended weight limit. Almost everyone else riding the same wheels will be a lot lighter than you. All those 20/20 and 20/24 lacings are really intended for skinny cyclists, not 225+ lb clydes. Even a 24f/28r build would still be on the very light end of the scale of wheels a 225 lb cyclist might ride. You might get away with it depending on how you ride, but dude, why spend all that money and get a wheelset that's always going to be fairly fragile at your weight, just waiting for you to hit the wrong pothole without unweighting your saddle? Going with more spokes isn't going to change much in terms of overall bike weight and aerodynamics, but will give you a lot in terms of strength and resilience.

Last edited by SethAZ; 12-28-17 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-28-17, 11:25 AM
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Hed Belgium Plus rims with 32 Sapim Cx Ray spokes on the rear and 28 Cx Ray spokes on the front, with good hubs

thats all you need .... and... you can use tubeless as well as clinchers

get some decent tyres such as 2017 IRC Formula Pro RBCC tubeless road tyres and you will have a fast comfy ride

I have my HED Belgium plus rims laced to Chris King R45 hubs (the ceramic bearing upgrade) .... I'm very happy
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Old 12-29-17, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
One thing to remember is that even if you get down to 225 you'll still be at the very highest end of the recommended weight limit.
That is not correct, as evidenced by the two wheel references I made upthread. There are others as well.

It’s also very important to note that wheel strength/durability is about more than just spoke count and rim stiffness. Hub design and suitability is very important, and elements of hub design, such as flange spacing and differential flange height, have serious impacts on build integrity, as does spoke design (esp. width), lacing pattern, and nipple design.

A wheel is a simple device, but it’s all about how it handles and manages forces, and understanding how the elements work together is the pathway to optimizing design for weight and strength.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That is not correct, as evidenced by the two wheel references I made upthread. There are others as well.

It’s also very important to note that wheel strength/durability is about more than just spoke count and rim stiffness. Hub design and suitability is very important, and elements of hub design, such as flange spacing and differential flange height, have serious impacts on build integrity, as does spoke design (esp. width), lacing pattern, and nipple design.

A wheel is a simple device, but it’s all about how it handles and manages forces, and understanding how the elements work together is the pathway to optimizing design for weight and strength.
Yeah I just watched that Alto video. They could have made it a lot shorter, but yeah it was interesting to see what it took to finally destroy the wheel in that test. I have no idea how relevant that test was to real-world wheel usage and strength, but it was certainly interesting, and for all I know it may mean a lot. That's also a pretty bold move for them not to put any rider weight limit on their wheels.
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Old 12-29-17, 02:18 PM
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Check out MacAskill beating Santa Cruz wheels to death:

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Old 12-30-17, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
You named one reason. The other is that it seems carbon wheels absorb more road vibrations than aluminum, making a smoother ride. I couldn't care less whether I'm "cool" or not. It's all about having fun, for me.


The Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels I am riding have been great for 1,500 miles. No complaints about them bearing my 250 lbs. My weight question is about carbon, not aluminum.





That is a *great* recommendation! I'm down 15 already... and have 230 as my next goal, 18 lbs. away. Then I know I'll be safe, weight wise, in buying some carbon wheels, if I make that decision.


Gary
I found that a nice set of handbuilts absorb more road vibration than a set with high tension spokes although I have never ridden carbon and never will. I prefer toughness more than anything and although carbon is tough there is a unknown with carbon, it has to be built well. Watch this guy and he might open your mind some.
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Old 12-30-17, 02:43 PM
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My recommendation is to call Hed and order Hed Jet 4 Plus stallion build and hold on tight!
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Old 12-31-17, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Check out MacAskill beating Santa Cruz wheels to death:

https://youtu.be/VfjjiHGuHoc
God damn you! After watching this, I spent the next 2-3 hours when I should have been asleep watching a ton of Ali's other videos. That style of bike riding is pretty new to me, and I just couldn't stop.
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Old 01-01-18, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
Hed Belgium Plus rims with 32 Sapim Cx Ray spokes on the rear and 28 Cx Ray spokes on the front, with good hubs

thats all you need .... and... you can use tubeless as well as clinchers

get some decent tyres such as 2017 IRC Formula Pro RBCC tubeless road tyres and you will have a fast comfy ride

I have my HED Belgium plus rims laced to Chris King R45 hubs (the ceramic bearing upgrade) .... I'm very happy
This is what I would recommend. I built a set of these with DT Swiss 240 hubs and the wheel set weight came in at 1468 grams which is pretty close to what a set of clincher carbon wheels will come in at. The difference being that the carbon wheels will be a bit more aero so average riding speed will be what matters there.

I have two sets of carbon wheels - a pair of the older style Enves which are awesome and came in at about 1200g. I run them with tubulars so that is a very light wheels set and has been bomb proof but I weigh closer to 200 and I did ride them at about 235. I also have a pair of Easton carbon rims that were supposed to not have a weight limit. I was continually breaking spokes on those. My wife rides them now and she has not had a problem with them. They are also tubulars.

I notice only a little difference from my Carbon Enves to the HED wheels. Since I ride with the Schwalbe 30c G-1 speed set up tubeless on the HEDs and 25c Clement tubeless tubulars on the Enve's, both are pretty light weight. The amazing thing about the HED set up is that the Schwalbe's are a very durable tire and very light - only about 50g more than my tubulars. But the plushness of the ride on the Schwalbe's is without comparison - it's so comfortable for a long ride. The Enves do climb somewhat better, but for the money (half the price) the HED/DT Swiss combo is just darn hard to beat.

If you're worried about weight and money is an issue, then build the wheels up with HED Belgium tubulars and you'll be at the same weight as a carbon clincher.

I see essentially no difference in ride quality between carbon and aluminum rims. Any difference there might be is swamped out by tire selection. Tires and inflation pressure will make a much bigger difference in ride quality (in all respects) than the material of the rim.

J.
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Old 01-03-18, 12:27 PM
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not carbon and bit old school this day n age, but Mavic Carbone SL work if you want to go faster. 200 gram weight difference to full carbon versions. But weight limits are near 250ish pending how you ride. cost is $1200 new, used on ebay is $500-700 for 11speed hubs (that were I got mine for $550 shipped from Probikecloset)

wheel depth is 56mm, holds aero better at 23+mph, bigger difference at 30+ mph.

Alum breaking surface so no worry about over cooking carbon on long mt rides that I do.

There are newer version that are U shaped that might be more aero and bit wider. HED and Bontrager and Giant to name a few. most alum w/ carbon faring are 1600-1750 grams.
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