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New wheels: top alum or mid carbon?

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New wheels: top alum or mid carbon?

Old 11-30-20, 07:58 PM
  #1  
canuckjgc
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New wheels: top alum or mid carbon?

I'm looking for a new set of rim brake wheels for my Cervelo R2. At first, convinced I wanted carbon aero but after too much net surfing and Hambini videos I've concluded that mid tier carbon wheels: don't brake well in the wet; don't have consistent aero advantages esp when the yaw angle is 'wrong'; don't really have great real world speed advantages period at the 40mm or so depth I've been looking at; if matched with the wrong tire lose all aero advantages anyway; still way more expensive than the top alum rims in Canada anyway.

For just over $1000 I can get the Fulcrum Zero Competizione with CULT for example, tubeless, stiff, 1475g. In-house chinese branded carbon wheels above that price point or maybe older style Mavic or equivalent. Top tier carbon wheels are way way above that (again in Canada).

Am I missing something? I don't see any reason to buy 40-50mm carbon wheels other than bling factor. I'm a Cat 5 mid-pack rider here, club rides, solo rides, lots of flat country but also some steep hills for training. A few races per year to keep me honest.
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Old 11-30-20, 11:12 PM
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For you and your situation, I don't think you're missing anything?

Beyond that, getting into the philosophical question of "why do other people make different decisions than me" , for amateur cyclists carbon wheels are a luxury, and so it's ultimately an emotionally-driven purchase. Of the things you listed, wet weather braking is the only thing that'd keep me away from a decent* set of rim-brake carbon wheels.

*I know people will disagree with this, but for me that means Enve, Zipp, Reynolds, Mavic, Princeton, etc...not the in-house, amazon, whatever stuff
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Old 12-01-20, 12:07 AM
  #3  
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I would go for Light Bicycle rims with DT Swiss hubs.

Bling is a good motivator btw.

Check this thread: Light Bicycle Wheels
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Old 12-01-20, 06:01 AM
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Ignore Hambini.

If you want rim brake aero wheels, Hed Jets are great and brake great.
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Old 12-01-20, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Ignore Hambini.
This cannot be said enough
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Old 12-01-20, 07:26 AM
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You have figured out that CF rims bring only disadvantages with no advantages...and you’re asking us what to do?

Get some custom built wheels: DT Swiss 240s hubs, some good alloy rims, and some good aero spokes like the DT Swiss Aerolites.
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Old 12-01-20, 10:37 AM
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I'll reiterate - ignore Hambini.
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Old 12-01-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
I'm looking for a new set of rim brake wheels for my Cervelo R2. At first, convinced I wanted carbon aero but after too much net surfing and Hambini videos I've concluded that mid tier carbon wheels: don't brake well in the wet; don't have consistent aero advantages esp when the yaw angle is 'wrong'; don't really have great real world speed advantages period at the 40mm or so depth I've been looking at; if matched with the wrong tire lose all aero advantages anyway; still way more expensive than the top alum rims in Canada anyway.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​You wasted a lot of time.
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Old 12-01-20, 12:19 PM
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I read through all the info on the website. What an amazing amount of useless and expensive bling. Incredible. In building custom artefacts, one has to make a basic choice at the beginning: whether to make the artefact as perfect as possible or to make it serviceable so it can go forward through time with its Imperfections, if in fact they are such, being replaced or cared for. If the thing is bespoke, then one obeys the client's wishes, but for the general market, give me serviceable.

Hence the very good advice above to have custom wheels built. Then everything in them is serviceable, since they were created by a technician from available parts.
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Old 12-01-20, 01:06 PM
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Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.Zonda.

Sorry, somebody had to do it ...

Last edited by tomato coupe; 12-01-20 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Forgot the sarcastic emoji.
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Old 12-01-20, 04:25 PM
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Yes, Zonda or Fulcrum racing 3. Hard to beat. I just built up two new disc brake frames and wanted to try tubeless tires, so Fulcrum racing 3 DB with the 19mm internal width was a no-brainer - no rim tape required. Best bang for the buck. Where to buy is another issue. PBK now charges sales tax. Merlin sells wheels bought in bulk without the factory supplied accessories, like tubeless valve stems and prices them without the $43 freight. Chain Reaction wheels come in factory boxes with all accessories.

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Old 12-02-20, 03:46 PM
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For rim brake alloy wheelsets, I would probably go with Chris Kings laced to HED Belgium Plus: https://chrisking.com/collections/he...plus-r45-24-28

1470g, and CK hubs are pretty great. This set is $1175USD, but you'll probably never need to buy another set of hubs again.
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Old 12-02-20, 04:21 PM
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For rim brake aero wheels, my default recommendation are HED Jet wheels. Wide internal width, aluminum track, so they brake well, with a carbon fiber fairing to provide the aero benefit. Right now, you can buy a Jet 6/9 combo (60mm front / 90mm rear) for $1050 from mybikeshop.com, which is a screaming deal.
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Old 12-02-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
For rim brake alloy wheelsets, I would probably go with Chris Kings laced to HED Belgium Plus: https://chrisking.com/collections/he...plus-r45-24-28

1470g, and CK hubs are pretty great. This set is $1175USD, but you'll probably never need to buy another set of hubs again.
Yep. I would much rather have a truly great set of alloy-rimmed wheels than some no-name cf-rimmed wheels.
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Old 12-02-20, 05:25 PM
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Rim brake, it depends on your riding style. Mostly flat, go carbon, lots of hills quality aluminum. If you've got disc brakes, then carbon all the way.
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Old 12-02-20, 06:55 PM
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Had the same issue and went with aluminum. I ride in a lot of hills and didn't want to worry about overheating the rims on steep downhills or wearing out the brake track. I also didn't see a clear benefit to carbon since the weights would have been almost the same. The only issue I've had with my Easton rims is that they tend to bend too easily in response to potholes and rocks.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:28 AM
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As a wheelbuilder/wheel company let me chime in - don't waste time and money buying a new rim brake set. The used market is FLOODED with high quality used carbon or alloy wheel builds for pennies on the dollar. Everyone went disc starting 4-5 years ago and rim brake wheels have become like a weird form of toxic waste that no one can get rid of.

When in doubt - buy a nice set of used alloy with stellar hubs that will last forever and then cut the hubs out and send them to a builder (not unlike myself) who can then get them into brand new carbon rims for much less than a new wheelset.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:48 AM
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Are you climbing all day? If not, those wheels are one of the slowest wheels you can put on your bike. They're basically made to resist smooth air flow. I live in Chicago, so I don't need to worry about climbing ever, but I wouldn't worry about a few hundred grams of weight on the wheels. You're getting more hub and more rim profile for the weight, which is going to make you a happier, faster customer.

I disagree with PSIMET above.... he's get the right thoughts, but I don't think the market has decent current options for decent prices yet. I theory the market is flooded with rim brake wheels, you can remember seeing a few good options, but then you really can't find that wide-ish, deep-ish, wheelset in good condition. These wheels are still sitting in people's garage, not on the market for sale.

Forget about ceramic bearings.... they just don't make any sense. They add a lot of fluff to the wheel advertising, but the ceramic wheel bearings don't outperform normal bearings for more than a few rides (though Campy's are better than other offerings) and only save 1w or so.

If you're looking for sub-$1000 wheelsets for rim brakes, German mag RennRoad did an interesting recently - they took a group of wheels to the windtunnel using a modern 25c tire on a modern low-profile wheel performance wheel, then tested it against a few other iterations of the a similar wheelset. They compared a lightweight 21mm deep wheel to a similar spec 32mm deep wheel to that same 32mm deep wheel with a 'classic' hub (the Swissside Pion) and then a 'fully optimized' 65mm wide, deep aero wheel a aero hub (tested same day, but numbers are in another article). They they threw in a few aero-on-paper wheels (the Fulcrum and Campy) as well as some 'wheel builder' spec wheels in there too. Looks like they used Swissside testing protocol/expertise, wheel only, spinning, 0-20 sweep. They give you a single number and don't show the full sweep, but it's the same test on the same day - though it looks to be heavily weighted for 0deg
One takeaway here other than the number is that the width of the wheel is every bit as important as the depth. Having the right width rim gets you most of the results of the having the deepest wheel possible. Most of these 22mm wide alloy rims need a 23c tire.
https://www.radsport-rennrad.de/test...al-praxistest/
https://www.radsport-rennrad.de/test...00-dicut-test/

For my money, i'd get the darkened brake track for modern looks (Vision Trimax 30, DT Swiss 32 OXIC, and others). If you can do without the darker brake track, there are a ton of good values out there for under $500 (Just looks at Merlin Cycles, Probikekit, ChainReactionCycles).

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Old 12-09-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
The used market is FLOODED with high quality used carbon or alloy wheel builds for pennies on the dollar. Everyone went disc starting 4-5 years ago and rim brake wheels have become like a weird form of toxic waste that no one can get rid of.
I need to peruse the Chicagoland CL next time im in town visiting to have my pick of wheelsets for pennies on the dollar because that sure isnt the case around me.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I need to peruse the Chicagoland CL next time im in town visiting to have my pick of wheelsets for pennies on the dollar because that sure isnt the case around me.
I don't check every day but every time I have looked at ebay or craigslist or any Facebook group there's piles of guys selling rim brake stuff because they went to disc.

Also Pros closet.

I'm sure some of that changed this year with the general shortages and people thinking what they have still has some sort of value...

...but ask around. I always have people trying to dump rim brake stuff on me. "Hey would you be interested in-" "NOPE. Thanks"
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Old 12-09-20, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I need to peruse the Chicagoland CL next time im in town visiting to have my pick of wheelsets for pennies on the dollar because that sure isnt the case around me.
Take a look - https://chicago.craigslist.org/searc...query=wheelset

CL is dead by the way. Not sure what happened, but CL and Ebay are gutted as far as used goods. I see a circa 2009 Zipp 404 for $650, which is a 20mm wide wheel??? You'd be better off on a lot of current $400 AL wheels unless you're running a 21mm tire. Everything else is junk or overpriced
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Old 12-09-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
Take a look - https://chicago.craigslist.org/searc...query=wheelset

CL is dead by the way. Not sure what happened, but CL and Ebay are gutted as far as used goods. I see a circa 2009 Zipp 404 for $650, which is a 20mm wide wheel??? You'd be better off on a lot of current $400 AL wheels unless you're running a 21mm tire. Everything else is junk or overpriced
Last year I could buy 404 firecrest rims at $600 ish. That's save $1k over decent carbon new and little to nothing has changed in our wheel industry since that era. 2009 is pushing is but only because of the width and honestly the width issue is massively overblown. we raced guys in that era who put down times that would still win the same races now. The effects are there but their impact on the rider has been massively overblown for a long time.
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Old 12-09-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Last year I could buy 404 firecrest rims at $600 ish. That's save $1k over decent carbon new and little to nothing has changed in our wheel industry since that era. 2009 is pushing is but only because of the width and honestly the width issue is massively overblown. we raced guys in that era who put down times that would still win the same races now. The effects are there but their impact on the rider has been massively overblown for a long time.
Rim width matters, but mostly when using wider tires and lower pressures. It's unlikely that the OP's bike would fit such tires.

With 30mm tires at 60psi, the ride would be pretty squirrelly on old narrow hoops.
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Old 12-09-20, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Rim width matters, but mostly when using wider tires and lower pressures. It's unlikely that the OP's bike would fit such tires.

With 30mm tires at 60psi, the ride would be pretty squirrelly on old narrow hoops.
We raced for years on 19mm wide rims and 32 and 34mm cross tires at sub 30 psi. This thinking that it won't work is a modern affliction.
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Old 12-09-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
We raced for years on 19mm wide rims and 32 and 34mm cross tires at sub 30 psi. This thinking that it won't work is a modern affliction.
What works for cross, is very different than fast road riding.
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