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Aluminum wheels with some carbon fiber too

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Aluminum wheels with some carbon fiber too

Old 10-27-17, 12:38 PM
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TKJava
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Aluminum wheels with some carbon fiber too

A long story short, I was having difficulty with my wheels in that spokes kept breaking on the rear wheel. After roughly 5 spokes broke my LBS contacted the MFR and was able to send them back to get a replacement. I was sent a replacement pair of the same make and model. Sure enough on the new set 2 more spokes broke on the rear wheel inside of 3 months. I then called the mfr. and I was offered a replacement / upgrade by the same mfr. The replacement set has a somewhat deep carbon fiber channel with aluminum out at the edge. So basically "regular" brake pads are OK because they squeeze aluminum and not carbon fiber. I'm not sure I get why there's this sort of hybrid combination of carbon fiber and aluminum. The wheels are Oval Concept 950. The tech at the LBS said they are more aerodynamic and have "better" hubs. Does anyone have any thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of these?
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Old 10-27-17, 12:50 PM
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CF can easily be made into thin lightweight fairings of arbitraryish shape. Aluminum is a pretty good and cost-effective material for building a rim of reasonable weight and with a good brake track, but you start adding lots of weight and running into manufacturing difficulties if you try to create large thin lightweight aluminum surfaces (i.e. fairings).

Shallow aluminum rim with a CF fairing = affordable and well-behaved deep-section wheel.
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Old 10-27-17, 01:37 PM
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The carbon portion might be structural. There is little information about the Oval 950's and I would be surprised the carbon was structural but not all carbon/alloy wheels are just a carbon fairing.

Shimano C24 wheels are an example. They are an alloy skeleton which is reinforced with carbon. It isn't just an aero faring but a hybrid design using both materials for stength and light weight.


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Old 10-27-17, 02:24 PM
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They look nice, but I don't see why those would be less likely to break spokes than some other wheels.
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Old 10-27-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
They look nice, but I don't see why those would be less likely to break spokes than some other wheels.
Perhaps however it's not the same spoke as on the other set. Of course if in both cases it's how they are tensioned and if they are both done in the same factory the same way then... sure I might be breaking these too.
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Old 10-29-17, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TKJava View Post
Perhaps however it's not the same spoke as on the other set. Of course if in both cases it's how they are tensioned and if they are both done in the same factory the same way then... sure I might be breaking these too.
This was along the line of my thinking as well. I had similar issues with the wheels that came with my Giant Propel. The heads kept popping off of the spoke nipples and I kept having to go back to the LBS to have spokes/nipples replaced. I finally got fed up and convinced the shop to help with the cost of all new replacement spokes and I would re-build the wheels with spoke lengths that we measured. Turns out the spokes either weren't tensioned properly, or the OEM spokes were too short and they weren't threaded all the way into the nipple, which is why the heads kept popping off. After I rebuilt both the front and rear with new spokes I haven't lost a spoke yet, and I've only had them go out of true once, but that was due to the rear mech getting caught in the spokes because of a broken derailleur hanger.

I'm going to assume that these were machine built wheels and the same in your case on the first and second set. Possibly the Oval wheels are just better built, or hand built and they are built to better tolerances.

As for the Carbon/AL hybrid, I don't recall seeing anything under 30mm go this route or anything greater than 30mm go all AL. I have a few sets of 30mm AL wheels that work great, and I have a 50mm pair of HEDs that are basically a carbon fairing glued to one of their Ardennes rims (for the record I LOVE these wheels). I personally have opted to avoid full carbon rims as you need to use carbon specific pads and I don't want to have to switch pads every time I switch between my wheels.
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