Hey everyone - I am sorry for the delay (as always) in responding on this thread. As you can imagine it's been pretty busy, but lots of interest in the wheels, so that's good.
Before I forget - We're doing LIMITED test ride and info presentation at Sea Otter. If any of you WW-ers would like to join, you can ride one of the first 5 pairs to arrive in the USA. Since I only have 5 pair, you have to RSVP with me via PM. But I'm already trying to get a few WW guys there, like Coloclimber and prendrefeu.
I have not seen all the comments but I can address what's been a recurring theme: what's so special about 40mm carbon clinchers, with weight per pair over 1500g? And, why bother to use carbon at all, going to all the effort when alu is ususally better?
We would address that by emphasizing the following points, which in total contribute to wheels which are not just cosmetic but actually bring some really nice ride characteristics.
- Mavic took great pains to quantify braking performance, and if you take a chance to ride the wheels, you'll note that dry braking is exceptional and doesn't fade. Wet braking is like no other carbon clincher - it's revolutionary. I don't know how they did it precisely, but when you feel the sidewall you will feel a surface that's unlike most others. Coarse, raw, like that.
- wheel weight per pair is not heavy, in fact when you measure competitors with the rim strips that they're required to use, the weight of 1550g is actually in line with wheels in category. It's below Reynolds and only 20g over 303.
- taken alone, the rim weight is below that of competitors, who are typically measured without the rim strip (which is required!). So with lower rim weight, Mavic has made a wheel with the characteristic "Mavic ride feel": stiff, rapid acceleration and low inertia.
- lateral stiffness on the bench test is better than competitors, and has been tuned for minimal movement at 180 degrees (brake pads). In fact by this measure the CC40 is better than almost all competitors.
- aerodynamics are good - better than CC SL/SLE/SLR. Almost as good as 303. 303 measures lower drag at 10 deg, but more after 13 deg. So the CC40 will be more predictable handling with less variation in drag across a full yaw sweep.
- the carbon wrapped up the sidewalls of the aluminum tire bed is 100% structural. The tire bed insert is too thin on its own to support tire pressure and impact resistance.
- The advantage of the aluminum insert is precise tire fitment. No chance of the Stan's or MF tire blow-off that is relatively well documented. In fact, Mavic has taken GREAT pains to respect the ETRTO standards for tire bead dimension and fitment. Both for rims AND for tires, too. Imprecise tire-rim tolerance, especially on the tire side, is responsible for more failures than you would even imagine.... Hence, the WTS "MAVIC tires included" program that Mavic is adament about. It's one more measure of tested, proven, known and trusted performance and QC by the rigorous lab and field protocols in Annecy.
- You're right if you say that carbon and aluminum have much different rates of thermal expansion. I do not know the precise nature of the bond between these two materials in the CC40, but I'm told it is chemical and in fact it grows stronger over time.
- regarding the width, it's clear that wide rims improve aerodyanamics but that wasn't the #1 goal with CC40. Good all around performance and handling was the key, and the width is in line to deliver that. Perhaps in the future, different widths can be explored but for now proving the durability and maintaining the brake performance were paramount.
I think the take-home on Mavic's side would be this: if you're looking for a carbon clincher, for whatever reason, you should consider safety and reliability first. Then, look for exceptional ride characteristics: braking, accelerating, stiffness. That's what the company did, and we think if you ride the wheels you'll actually notice the effort that was made.
Again, please hit me with a PM if you want to check out the wheels at Sea Otter. We can schedule a personal visit with the PM from France and also a test ride.
Thanks for reading, and .... well I guess now you can get on with tearing me a new one! It's no prob, I'm getting used to it ..