Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Carbon wheel quality?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Carbon wheel quality?

Old 03-16-24, 11:59 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
Carbon wheel quality?

I have a pair of Reynolds AR80 carbon wheels on my 2015 Shiv (rim brake, clincher). I like them quite a bit, however, I do notice the front 80mm deep wheel will get pushed around a bit in windy conditions. I'd like to find just a single front wheel to run on windier days so I'm looking around. The problem seems to be that it's a little more difficult to find just a single wheel. Also, because I prefer to run both 80s most of the time, I'd rather not put out a bunch of cash for a wheel that's only going to see use ~25% of the time.

I know names like Zipp, Enve, Reynolds and Mavic, but even if I can find just a single front wheel in a 30-40mm profile, I'm still looking at $400-$500 or more. Which leads me to conclude I'm going to have to look at cheaper wheel options from Asia. I personally don't have any problems with products produced over there, but I avoid Chinese as much as possible (for multiple reasons it would be best to leave unexplored).

Of course, I don't really know what manufacturers to avoid and which ones make a quality wheel and provide good service. This is where I turn to the good people of BF. I could spend hours on my internets doing various searches and reading all kinds of reviews. But I kind of figure this forum is something of a clearing house for exactly the information I'm looking for. I get that a lot of it will be personal preference, and there will be some conflicting opinions, but I expect I will trust many of your personal experiences over some random review I just pulled up in a search.

So who do you like? Who should I avoid?
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 12:49 PM
  #2  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,395

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Liked 5,006 Times in 3,445 Posts
If it's the wind pushing the front wheel on windy days that is your issue, then that is going to be due to the higher profile or deeper section rim more than any other thing I would think. So if that is the issue you wish to solve, you'll just need to get a single front wheel with less section height to run for windy days where gusts might bother you otherwise.

You'll get use to the aesthetic difference of the rear having a deeper section than the front after you look at it often enough. And if it's a different design model altogether, that might take a while longer to get use too.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 12:52 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
If it's the wind pushing the front wheel on windy days that is your issue, then that is going to be due to the higher profile or deeper section rim more than any other thing I would think. So if that is the issue you wish to solve, you'll just need to get a single front wheel with less section height to run for windy days where gusts might bother you otherwise.

You'll get use to the aesthetic difference of the rear having a deeper section than the front after you look at it often enough.
Ya, that's pretty much exactly what I was saying. AR80 on the front is catches too much wind. Looking for a <45mm front only. But I'm considering maybe getting a full wheelset for another bike and just swapping out the front to the Shiv on windy days. As of now, the Shiv is the only bike with CF wheels. All my other bikes still use aluminum wheels.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 01:01 PM
  #4  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,395

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Liked 5,006 Times in 3,445 Posts
If you haven't run the more deeper section wheels long enough to get use to the needed input from your arms often enough, then it might just be you need to bear with it for a while longer.

And if it's not a every day thing, probably few people will make snarky comments about the wheel mismatch between front and back if even if you use the alloy front with less section.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 01:50 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
I really don't want to go with an alloy on the front for several reason. For one, that means it would necessitate a brake pad change and caliper adjustment any time I switch. Really not a huge inconvenience, but still an inconvenience. Also, I already have alloy spare wheels, so hard to justify an additional purchase. But none of them are tubeless. So then my dilemma would be to run a narrow tube wheel on the front and a wide tubeless carbon wheel on the back, swap pads and adjust calipers any time I need to change from one to the other, or buy a compromise wheel that only works with that bike that may have some of the features I want, or just find one front wheel with a shallower section that's a simple swap in and out. I would prefer the latter.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 07:22 PM
  #6  
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 7,329

Bikes: Scott Addict R1, Felt Z1

Liked 3,805 Times in 1,895 Posts
I'm really liking my new wheelset from Winspace. Yes, they are made in China, but they have a very good reputation.

I assume you're looking for rim brake, so these might fit the bill, and they're not that expensive:

Winspace: Lún Routte 45mm Rim Brake Wheelset

You might end up liking them better than your current wheels.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat. ROUVY: terrymorse


terrymorse is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 08:35 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
So another option I'm considering is just buying a used bike that already has some decent carbon wheels, swapping them out for a spare set of alloy wheels that came with my Shiv, and then selling the bike.

Here's a decent example
https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/bik/...726659106.html

Not saying this exact one (I would be too tempted to keep it) but maybe talk the seller down to $1k, swap out those wheels and then put it back on CL for $500-600. Somebody gets a solid bike for a good price and I get the wheels I want.

Tempting.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 09:08 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 7,681

Bikes: RSO E-tire dropper fixie brifter

Liked 3,185 Times in 2,022 Posts
idk how much you care about the finished look, but if you are, try to find accurate photos of the one/set you're eyeing up. Some look more grey, others have a higher gloss, then you have those with massive decals that cannot be peeled off.

I understand that a budget is of concern, but if for some reason you do end up having to spend the loot... maybe you could find a source that'll offer to sell a pair of fronts if you dont have any need for a rear wheel built.
__________________
-YMMV
Troul is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 09:43 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Yan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,977
Liked 698 Times in 478 Posts
In case you didn't know, Reynolds wheels are made in Hangzhou (two hours drive west of Shanghai).

So you don't want to pay the cost of Western brands, and you also don't want to buy from China. What about Giant? They're made in Taiwan. Taiwan isn't much cheaper than Western brands though.
Yan is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 11:03 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
Originally Posted by Troul
idk how much you care about the finished look, but if you are, try to find accurate photos of the one/set you're eyeing up. Some look more grey, others have a higher gloss, then you have those with massive decals that cannot be peeled off.

I understand that a budget is of concern, but if for some reason you do end up having to spend the loot... maybe you could find a source that'll offer to sell a pair of fronts if you dont have any need for a rear wheel built.
Actually, the one thing about my current wheels I really don't like is the black out look. In fact, I had a local sign shop copy the original decals in a reflective silver/white which I intend to apply to the wheel set to break up the giant block of blackness.

But the more I think about it, the more I think I may just buy a complete wheel set (providing I can't find just the single front wheel). The idea is I can always set up the shallow rear wheel with a bigger cassette for more hilly courses.
Originally Posted by Yan
In case you didn't know, Reynolds wheels are made in Hangzhou (two hours drive west of Shanghai).

So you don't want to pay the cost of Western brands, and you also don't want to buy from China. What about Giant? They're made in Taiwan. Taiwan isn't much cheaper than Western brands though.
I did not know that about Reynolds. Very disappointing to learn, but thank you for the info. I'm a huge supporter of Taiwan businesses. I would absolutely look into Giant.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-16-24, 11:56 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,385
Liked 591 Times in 477 Posts
"... get pushed around a bit in windy conditions..."

It's important to understand what is happening here. It may not be just the drag from the deep-section side profile. The following is all theory in my head, not tested.

First, I assume that this is not just a felt push, but is also trying to turn the wheel away from the gust, because due to fork (rake?), more of the wheel area is forward of the steering axis. Yes?

Second, lift may be coming into play. The cross section of your deep-V rim combined with the tire makes a teardrop, which is similar to a symmetrical airfoil (think a wing cross section for aerobatic places that fly upside down, they need lift in both directions). If you have a "quartering" wind from, let's say, 2 o'clock to your travel direction, the front of your wheel will appear to that wind like an airfoil at a high "angle of attack", so may generate lift, pulling the front of the wheel to the left, in addition to the wind force pushing it to the left, but perhaps even stronger. And the faster you ride, the "wind" from the front, combines with the crosswind to shift the "apparent wind" direction more forward, to let's say 1:30. I sail.

So, ideally, you may want a lower side-view area of the rim, lower section depth, but you may also want no V-profile, or, perhaps a V-profile that is a bit less acute, less "sharp" (let's say a 50 degree included V instead of 25 degrees included V), that may be less likely to cause lift (the lifting flow around the V, the long path, curves back abruptly enough that the airflow "separates" from the rim, and you get no lift; This is like a wing moving forward and then tilting upward a bit and you get lift, then tilting upward so much that the wing stalls, lift stops). However, flow separation adds drag, due to the turbulence. Ideally I think, you want smooth, laminar flow around the v-rim when going straight, but flow separation under crosswinds, and that is technically possible because the air will need to make a much sharper turn when coming from the forward quarter, versus from straight ahead.

However a less "sharp" V may cost you more in aero drag with wind from the front. As stated above, it may be possible to thread the needle and get both. The USA racing rim manufacturers probably know answers on this. Last I looked at the subject years ago, IIRC, they were adding dimples to the rim surface, like a golf ball, for the same reason as the ball, to delay flow separation to reduce wake turbulence.

Just my thoughts.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 03-21-24 at 11:38 PM.
Duragrouch is offline  
Old 03-17-24, 06:22 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
You could very well be right in you analysis. Doesn't change the fact that the bike feels dangerously unstable at speed in a crosswind. Also keep in mind this is a tri bike, so a lot of my riding is down on the bars. When I come off the bars it still feels unsteady, but manageable. Then again, that kind of defeats the purpose of the tri bike.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-17-24, 07:00 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 7,259

Bikes: Cinelli superstar disc, two Yoeleo R12

Liked 563 Times in 449 Posts
I have 3 sets of BTLOS wheels that all cost under $800 per set. They've been great so far. They have many different rim profiles available. I have on 44mm deep set that can get dicey on windy mountain descents, so the other two are 29mm. I specified no spoke access holes, so I don't need rim tape.

btlos.com

Last edited by DaveSSS; 03-22-24 at 06:01 AM.
DaveSSS is offline  
Likes For DaveSSS:
Old 03-17-24, 07:15 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 5,703
Liked 3,239 Times in 1,851 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasJen
You could very well be right in you analysis. Doesn't change the fact that the bike feels dangerously unstable at speed in a crosswind. Also keep in mind this is a tri bike, so a lot of my riding is down on the bars. When I come off the bars it still feels unsteady, but manageable. Then again, that kind of defeats the purpose of the tri bike.
I can understand people theorizing about frame/fork geometry being a factor. But anyone who has ridden a bike with deep-section aero rims---I have one TT bike with conventional geometry and moderately deep rims---knows that a gust of wind has the same effect as having someone suddenly punch your handlebars from the side. Not enjoyable.
Trakhak is online now  
Old 03-17-24, 07:50 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
Originally Posted by Trakhak
I can understand people theorizing about frame/fork geometry being a factor. But anyone who has ridden a bike with deep-section aero rims---I have one TT bike with conventional geometry and moderately deep rims---knows that a gust of wind has the same effect as having someone suddenly punch your handlebars from the side. Not enjoyable.
Indeed. I actually have a couple tri bikes and run clamp on aero bars on all my road bikes, so I'm pretty familiar with the sensation of riding in the aero position. This bike, with the deep section wheels, is the only one that feels so unsteady in even moderate crosswinds.
VegasJen is offline  
Likes For VegasJen:
Old 03-17-24, 07:51 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,385
Liked 591 Times in 477 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasJen
You could very well be right in you analysis. Doesn't change the fact that the bike feels dangerously unstable at speed in a crosswind. Also keep in mind this is a tri bike, so a lot of my riding is down on the bars. When I come off the bars it still feels unsteady, but manageable. Then again, that kind of defeats the purpose of the tri bike.
I wasn't trying to change your mind. Clearly this is disconcerting to you, valid, and especially so if on clip-on aero-bars, where you just don't have the same leverage to correct against a stiff gust. My only intent was to say, it may not only be a factor of rim side area (same as "frontal area" drag on vehicles, but applied sideways), and reducing that area with lower section rims should help, but also the *shape* of the rim could also be a factor. Meaning, perhaps a box-section rim of the same section height might be less affected by a crosswind (when riding fast) than that aero shape, which may generate lift. These questions of drag and such, have been studied to pieces by the folks who originally design these rims (though not overseas makers that simply copy and sell that). Road-race wheel and rim makers in the US, at least well in the past, were very receptive to technical questions, as this is a premium price product and they want your business. You might pose the question of crosswind stability, versus aero drag, to one of the better US makers of premium race rims.
Duragrouch is offline  
Likes For Duragrouch:
Old 03-17-24, 11:23 AM
  #17  
Steel is real
 
georges1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Not far from Paris
Posts: 2,053

Bikes: 1992Giant Tourer,1992MeridaAlbon,1996Scapin,1998KonaKilaueua,1993Peugeot Prestige,1991RaleighTeamZ(to be upgraded),1998 Jamis Dragon,1992CTWallis(to be built),1998VettaTeam(to be built),1995Coppi(to be built),1993Grandis(to be built)

Liked 1,022 Times in 680 Posts
I would purchase a nice pair of Mavic Cosmic Carbone SSC wheels on ebay but made prior to 2008 as for Zipp , I would go for a preowned pair of 303 wheels which is the choice if you are buying aluminium and carbon wheels which are less tall 50mm. Other possibility is Bontrager or Hed rims
georges1 is offline  
Old 03-17-24, 02:49 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
eduskator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Québec, Canada
Posts: 2,164

Bikes: SL8 Pro, TCR beater

Liked 596 Times in 449 Posts
Windspace have a good reputation. Yoeleo also sells some. However, 500$ is not a lot for a CF wheel. You'll be restricted.

Made in China does not necessarily equal poor quality, but it often does.


eduskator is offline  
Old 03-18-24, 02:42 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 1,470
Liked 480 Times in 357 Posts
I would be quite wary of buying a used bike with carbon wheels and rim brakes. As it’s local you can get a good look at it but the brake track on my Edco 45s (made in Switzerland, high quality and cost, not too bad in crosswinds) is noticeably worn after 3 years of British weather. I learned to not use carbon wheels in the winter.

I notice their 48s are less than half the price I paid for mine though. I wonder if they have offshored and/or gone hookless.
edit: ah looks like their rims were always made in Taiwan. Hubs are Swiss and final assembly in the Netherlands. Price changes came in after a bailout by a German company. Don’t know how much they cost in the US, might be out of budget but they’re great quality https://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/gear/wheel-test-we-ride-the-edco-four-8-carbon-wheelset/

Last edited by choddo; 03-18-24 at 03:12 AM.
choddo is offline  
Old 03-19-24, 09:36 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 540

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Specialized Aethos

Liked 167 Times in 113 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasJen
Ya, that's pretty much exactly what I was saying. AR80 on the front is catches too much wind. Looking for a <45mm front only. But I'm considering maybe getting a full wheelset for another bike and just swapping out the front to the Shiv on windy days. As of now, the Shiv is the only bike with CF wheels. All my other bikes still use aluminum wheels.

lol it's like he didn't even read your original post
Jrasero is offline  
Old 03-21-24, 06:40 AM
  #21  
I am potato.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,208

Bikes: Only precision built, custom high performance elitist machines of the highest caliber. 🍆

Liked 1,730 Times in 986 Posts
If you look here: https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/produc...40525205995618 you can see the blunt profile at the trailing edge where the spokes insert. This blunt trailing edge to promote flow separation is the feature that you should be looking for to minimize crosswind interference. The wheel linked is about 2x your budget and the rim itself originates in Asia somewhere, but I've been pleased with Hunt rim brake performance and all-'round goodness, so I thought it worthy of mention.
__________________
I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.

Car dependency is a tax.
base2 is offline  
Old 03-21-24, 09:23 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1,008
Liked 587 Times in 320 Posts
Originally Posted by base2
If you look here: https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/produc...40525205995618 you can see the blunt profile at the trailing edge where the spokes insert. This blunt trailing edge to promote flow separation is the feature that you should be looking for to minimize crosswind interference. The wheel linked is about 2x your budget and the rim itself originates in Asia somewhere, but I've been pleased with Hunt rim brake performance and all-'round goodness, so I thought it worthy of mention.
Thanks. I see the one you posted, but that's the only rim brake I can find on the site. If I just get a single wheel, I will likely hold out for a suitable used one. But I am considering a full wheel set for another bike. One that can live on the other bike most of the time, but I can swap out the front to the tri bike when wind is a concern.
VegasJen is offline  
Old 03-21-24, 12:05 PM
  #23  
Full Member
 
Ryan_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 374

Bikes: Some

Liked 127 Times in 72 Posts
Originally Posted by terrymorse
I'm really liking my new wheelset from Winspace. Yes, they are made in China, but they have a very good reputation.

I assume you're looking for rim brake, so these might fit the bill, and they're not that expensive:

Winspace: Lún Routte 45mm Rim Brake Wheelset

You might end up liking them better than your current wheels.
Lots of great wheels from across the pond. I have a 45mm set of iCAN wheels (disc) that were $700USD for the set IIRC. I can't find anything to fault them on.
Ryan_M is offline  
Old 03-21-24, 04:06 PM
  #24  
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,468

Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate, Ultegra; Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Liked 12,387 Times in 6,337 Posts
Originally Posted by terrymorse
I'm really liking my new wheelset from Winspace. Yes, they are made in China, but they have a very good reputation.

I assume you're looking for rim brake, so these might fit the bill, and they're not that expensive:

Winspace: Lún Routte 45mm Rim Brake Wheelset

You might end up liking them better than your current wheels.
My eye/brain converted "Routte" to "Roulette", so I was going to make a joke about them being a bit of a gamble.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is online now  
Likes For genejockey:
Old 03-21-24, 04:28 PM
  #25  
I am potato.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,208

Bikes: Only precision built, custom high performance elitist machines of the highest caliber. 🍆

Liked 1,730 Times in 986 Posts
Here's a slightly different link with "shop," "all wheels," "Filter by:" set to Rim brake.
https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/collec...m-brake-wheels
__________________
I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.

Car dependency is a tax.
base2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.