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ebay carbon wheels

Old 06-13-12, 04:50 PM
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KoolAidnPizza
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ebay carbon wheels

What are the worries and or negative possibilities in buying Taiwan/ overseas carbon wheelsets? i have been looking for a set of wheels to race on, and i'm trying to figure out if the price is worth the risk. Does anybody have experience with them or have you heard anything about them? I appreciate any incite, i want to get an opinion on the cheaper alternative to a set of boyds or equivilantly priced 58's.
Gracias,
Andrew
 
Old 06-13-12, 06:44 PM
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in my opinion, the risk isn't that they're going to explode, but rather if something DOES happen, what kind of support/warranty are you going to get?
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Old 06-13-12, 07:13 PM
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I have a pair of 50mm's (28/32) and 88mm's (24/28). Both were built up w/Novatec hubs by my LBS. Both run great.Both sets cost about $650 complete.

Yes, if something does happen, I'm outta luck.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
in my opinion, the risk isn't that they're going to explode, but rather if something DOES happen, what kind of support/warranty are you going to get?
So the worry is not that a rim could be so poorly manufactured that it would simply fold in half, but that if I crash that I'm out x amount of dollars... At the price it seems that a new wheel is close to repair costs for other brands.


Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
I have a pair of 50mm's (28/32) and 88mm's (24/28). Both were built up w/Novatec hubs by my LBS. Both run great.Both sets cost about $650 complete.

Yes, if something does happen, I'm outta luck.
So you just bought the carbon hoops and purchased spokes and hubs from reputable manufacturers? This seems like a proper way to go.
 
Old 06-13-12, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KoolAidnPizza View Post
So you just bought the carbon hoops and purchased spokes and hubs from reputable manufacturers? This seems like a proper way to go.
Yep. At first, it was a test: I wanted to see if carbon rims would hold up to my clydesdale status without needing to be trued after every ride. If they did, I would then put Zipps et. al. on my shopping list. Not only do they not need truing, but they (88mm's) performed so good that I bought another pair (50mm's).

The only consideration I have is the Novatec hubs. A friend who (makes his own bikes and is a dealer) sells Novatec. He said that they can come w/two different bearings: one good, one bad, and you have to be careful with which one you get. Apparently, I got the cheap ones--the ride is a little rough--and will have my LBS replace them with some good ones at some point.
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Old 06-13-12, 09:30 PM
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It really does matter who builds your wheels.
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Old 06-13-12, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Yep. At first, it was a test: I wanted to see if carbon rims would hold up to my clydesdale status without needing to be trued after every ride. If they did, I would then put Zipps et. al. on my shopping list. Not only do they not need truing, but they (88mm's) performed so good that I bought another pair (50mm's).

The only consideration I have is the Novatec hubs. A friend who (makes his own bikes and is a dealer) sells
Novatec. He said that they can come w/two different bearings: one good, one bad, and you have to be careful with which one you get. Apparently, I got the cheap ones--the ride is a little rough--and will have my LBS replace them with some good ones at some point.
This is correct.

Novatec produces the same hubs with two bearing choices and a choice between alloy or steel freehubs.

They offer either Chinese bearings (less expensive) or, for the most part, Japanese EZO bearings or, in some instances, F.A.G. bearings from Germany (much more expensive). This is a detail to pay attention to regardless of hub brand when eBaying.
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Old 06-14-12, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by KoolAidnPizza View Post
So the worry is not that a rim could be so poorly manufactured that it would simply fold in half, but that if I crash that I'm out x amount of dollars... At the price it seems that a new wheel is close to repair costs for other brands.
Well, regardless of how poorly manufactured these rims are perceived to be, I think you'd be hard pressed to find one that simply folds in half - you're exaggerated just a bit there.

That is, unless Cav rides chinese rims



And no, I didn't mean crash replacement. I meant smaller things like spokes breaking, hub failures, rim defects etc....
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Old 06-14-12, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post
That is, unless Cav rides chinese rims

What the video.

The rims folds because the rider to his left RUNS OVER the wheel.
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Old 06-14-12, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by simonaway427 View Post

This may give me nightmares
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Old 06-14-12, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
What the video.

The rims folds because the rider to his left RUNS OVER the wheel.
Methinks the pic was posted in jest.
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Old 06-14-12, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
Yep. At first, it was a test: I wanted to see if carbon rims would hold up to my clydesdale status without needing to be trued after every ride. If they did, I would then put Zipps et. al. on my shopping list. Not only do they not need truing, but they (88mm's) performed so good that I bought another pair (50mm's).

The only consideration I have is the Novatec hubs. A friend who (makes his own bikes and is a dealer) sells Novatec. He said that they can come w/two different bearings: one good, one bad, and you have to be careful with which one you get. Apparently, I got the cheap ones--the ride is a little rough--and will have my LBS replace them with some good ones at some point.
so youve found no problems with the below mentioned possible breakage spots? spoke holes cracking or hub failure?
 
Old 06-14-12, 06:25 PM
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So all carbon wheels / bike wheels have to go through a minimum safety test that includes things like strength, braking, etc. The chinese carbon wheels, from what I have heard, meet the MINIMUMS for the minimum safety test. So yes, they are probably safe to ride on, although like others have mentioned, may not have the best warranty / support.

The cheap price comes in usually at the cost of old carbon technology or cheap hubs / spokes / cheap labor / not much R&D testing. Other wheel manufacturers (the higher end companies) put MUCH MUCH MUCH more time in testing. They do wind tunnel testing, strength testing, brake heat testing, as well as have all the latest and greatest technology with carbon fibre to get you the lightest, most responsive, most aero wheel you can buy. All this drives up price. For example, a minimum wheel test might be to brake for a continuous 40 seconds without heating / molding / bending the carbon. Cheap wheels meat that standard. High end wheels, might test for 80 seconds to make sure they are ultra safe for all decelerations.

So, although the chinese wheels are rideable, you might have some older carbon technology, which yields a slightly less 'aero' wheel that is usually a bit heavier than the newer stuff but still meets all minimum standards.

The choice is, do you want the carbon / aero for the bling? Or do you want to spend the same amount and get an aluminum wheel that is probably same / lighter weight, stiffer, and more responsive from a better known manufacturer?

.Chris
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Old 06-14-12, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ImChris View Post
So all carbon wheels / bike wheels have to go through a minimum safety test that includes things like strength, braking, etc. The chinese carbon wheels, from what I have heard, meet the MINIMUMS for the minimum safety test. So yes, they are probably safe to ride on, although like others have mentioned, may not have the best warranty / support.

The cheap price comes in usually at the cost of old carbon technology or cheap hubs / spokes / cheap labor / not much R&D testing. Other wheel manufacturers (the higher end companies) put MUCH MUCH MUCH more time in testing. They do wind tunnel testing, strength testing, brake heat testing, as well as have all the latest and greatest technology with carbon fibre to get you the lightest, most responsive, most aero wheel you can buy. All this drives up price. For example, a minimum wheel test might be to brake for a continuous 40 seconds without heating / molding / bending the carbon. Cheap wheels meat that standard. High end wheels, might test for 80 seconds to make sure they are ultra safe for all decelerations.

So, although the chinese wheels are rideable, you might have some older carbon technology, which yields a slightly less 'aero' wheel that is usually a bit heavier than the newer stuff but still meets all minimum standards.

The choice is, do you want the carbon / aero for the bling? Or do you want to spend the same amount and get an aluminum wheel that is probably same / lighter weight, stiffer, and more responsive from a better known manufacturer?

.Chris
For the performance aerodynamics and weight. Which I know can be achieved other ways but the aero is the main reason- so it looks like I'll have to put a couple more dollars down for boyds or the equivalent.
 
Old 06-14-12, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ImChris View Post
So all carbon wheels / bike wheels have to go through a minimum safety test...
No, they don't.

There are tests (See EN Certification) but there are PLENTY of products on the market that are NOT EN tested/certified. I've had the pleasure of participating in some testing and I've seen plenty of products that are currently available for sale, fail, fail and fail again.
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Old 06-14-12, 07:21 PM
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You can assume all wheels meet minimum safety standards the way you can assume all drivers meet minimum safety standards.
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Old 06-14-12, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
You can assume all wheels meet minimum safety standards the way you can assume all drivers meet minimum safety standards.
This does frighten me and push me towards brand name products
 
Old 06-14-12, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KoolAidnPizza View Post
This does frighten me and push me towards brand name products
I believe that's the goal. FUD. (fear, uncertainty, doubt)

So Bob - how do you find out what kind of/if any testing has been performed on these no-name wheels? I think if I were going riding in the Alps I'd want something rigorously tested like Zipps but for blasting around town, maybe it's not so vital.
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Old 06-15-12, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I believe that's the goal. FUD. (fear, uncertainty, doubt)

So Bob - how do you find out what kind of/if any testing has been performed on these no-name wheels? I think if I were going riding in the Alps I'd want something rigorously tested like Zipps but for blasting around town, maybe it's not so vital.
The decision is always yours and shouldn't be otherwise.

Factories can produce documents of testing done in certified labs to EN, CE, JAS or any other standard you want something tested to. We ask for them all the time for pretty much everything we deal with. There's nothing fearful, uncertain or doubtful about it. SOP.

If you're buying directly from a factory on the interwebs they should be able to provide docs to you in a pdf as a matter of course.

But...wheels fall into a funny place.

You can certify various parts to what ever standards apply but you have to test the wheel as a unit and it is a separate certification. So if you are a local builder it makes no sense to do EN (or UCI) testing on your wheels due to expense. So, as a result, there are plenty of good wheels out there without their papers.

The risk for a local builder is low but for a factory it is much higher. They are far more likely to certify products because of how exposed they are to liability issues. It's also something a factory wouldn't have trouble doing while for Wee Willy the Local Wheel Builder it's a might tougher thing to accomplish.

Like anything else ask a few questions of the people you're buying stuff from. eBay carbon has it's place just do a little homework.
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Old 06-15-12, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by KoolAidnPizza View Post
so youve found no problems with the below mentioned possible breakage spots? spoke holes cracking or hub failure?
I have about 1,200 miles on the 88mm's and about 1,500--2,000 miles on the 50mm's. Nothing yet.
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Old 06-15-12, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
...how do you find out what kind of/if any testing has been performed on these no-name wheels? I think if I were going riding in the Alps I'd want something rigorously tested like Zipps but for blasting around town, maybe it's not so vital.
FWIW, I do my own testing, each test getting progressively more challenging. At first, I was afraid, but not of rim failure. It was my first time on tubulars and I glued them myself. I was afraid of rolling a tire!! As I gain miles, I gain confidence.

At this point, both sets of rims have been through Cat 3 & 35+ Masters road races, time trials and tight-corner crits with & without good pavement. I've been down steep, 1/2-mile hills with them, but so far not any extended descents. (Next on my testing list?)

Also, FWIW, I have had name-brand stuff fail on me (as I'm sure many people have). A Mavic hub cracked during a race couple years ago due to an emergency braking (crash in front of me). I never crashed and yet the hub gave out.
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Old 06-15-12, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ImChris View Post
The cheap price comes in usually at the cost of old carbon technology or cheap hubs / spokes / cheap labor / not much R&D testing. Other wheel manufacturers (the higher end companies) put MUCH MUCH MUCH more time in testing. They do wind tunnel testing, strength testing, brake heat testing, as well as have all the latest and greatest technology with carbon fibre to get you the lightest, most responsive, most aero wheel you can buy. All this drives up price.
Exactly. You could get a deep rim that looks aero but isn't much better than a box rim. There may be literally zero testing. Amercian Classics came out with a great looking al wheel one time and sold a lot. The problem was when someone did a comparable test, the ACs were nothing - the shape was just a deep flat wedge. You could end up with something like that with a no-name carbon rim...you also might not but who knows

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Old 06-15-12, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Factories can produce documents of testing done in certified labs to EN, CE, JAS or any other standard you want something tested to. We ask for them all the time for pretty much everything we deal with. There's nothing fearful, uncertain or doubtful about it. SOP.
I was a little circular but IMO the big name factories (and the advertising supported media that reviews their products) tend to try to scare people away from unknown brand products. That's the FUD I intended to reference. "But they haven't been researched like X" "You're taking your life in your hands if you ride on those chinese wheels" etc

If something costs you $500 and breaks with no warranty, buy a new set for $500 more... you're still ahead of the limited warranty chap who spend $2,000 AND if you damage your expensive wheels you're probably right back in line at the cash register anyway. Catastrophic failure is a different story of course.
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Old 06-15-12, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
...If something costs you $500 and breaks with no warranty, buy a new set for $500 more... you're still ahead of the limited warranty chap who spend $2,000 AND if you damage your expensive wheels you're probably right back in line at the cash register anyway. Catastrophic failure is a different story of course.
And I think that is why more people are choosing the middle road; There has been growth for builders who are more local and, in consumer's minds, have some degree of liability/accountability even if using open mold products from Asia. There's a sweet spot between the two choices you mention that is a good option for an increasing number of consumers.
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Old 06-15-12, 09:18 PM
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In general, I've heard vanishingly few negative reviews from the various people (and there are quite a number of them) who have bought no-name chinese frames and wheels both on this forum and several others. In fact, I can't think of a single instance where a buyer of deep dish chinese wheels had an unexpected failure due to design or QC, and I'm sure we'd be the first to hear about it on the forums if it happened. There are running threads on BT and Slowtwitch about these wheels, and everyone who has bought them has given them the thumbs up. I've been waiting almost 3 years to hear the "I told ya so" post when they fail, but they haven't.
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