What's the difference between brand name and smaller brand wheels?

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buhx2
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:05 pm

by buhx2

Long time lurker/reader, first time poster. I'm wondering what the biggest difference is between the Zipp/Enve's of the world are vs the November/Boyd's are. The bigger, more well known names are much higher in price for what looks like on paper comparable specs in terms of weight or rim height (alleged aero benefits stated by their own companies).

Is it the name you're paying for? Is it the R&D that these bigger companies put into their wheels? Why not get a set of lesser known, less expensive wheelset like bc flechtwerk over a Campy or Shimano? Just curious what everyone's thoughts were.

I'm considering a set of mid depth 40-50mm carbon clinchers from my DA C24, but also looking to keep the weight low. Wanted to see how decisions are made by everyone here.

by Weenie


AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I personally don't know how Zipp/Enve get people to pay $3000+ for a wheelset. They are essentially the Rolex/Omega of the watch world - marketing, exclusivity. I guess buyers are not price sensitive.

I don't think Campagnolo Boras, for example, are any less of a wheel. They are very popular on this forum and half the price.

sawyer
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by sawyer

Rolex analogy is wrong tbh, they hold their value pretty well. Unlike most bicycle wheels.

I agree with you on their pricing though ... vs Boras / Reynolds / FFWD etc it's farcical
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

kulivontot
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by kulivontot

These types of generalized questions rarely have consensus and inevitably devolve into some kind of zipp vs China carbon argument. You'll get best results by narrowing your question down to specific options you are considering, and some constraints regarding your intended use, budget, experience, disc/rim, etc.

stormur
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by stormur

Are plenty of well known brands making MUCH better wheels ( funny, but basically any brand wheelset is better than Zipp; not common opinion on this forum, but owners know what I mean ;) ) than Zipp and rims (Enve, still just rim manufacturer, not system wheels ( no hubs )). Sometimes they're cheaper ( in most cases they are ) ,no.... they're always cheaper :))))

Vision, HED, Ursus, Corima, Edco, Cole... Plenty of choices.

Difference between "brand" and Boyd ( just an example, possibly they didn't deserve it :) ) , if you don't like it use FFWD instead ) is quiet big. It is matter between own design (in some cases own factory/ Campagnolo/) and something what I call "adaptive design" ; choosing ( sometimes with slight modifications ) some OE solution and calling it "own". They do not "do" anything , except decals.. . Everything is outsourced.

You can make "own brand" within week. Contact for example farsports and ask for your logo on circus monkey hubs, order plenty of 20-24h rims, then contact Pillar for (cheap) spokes and some local printing house for decals... Find few students from USA which will build for 7.50$ per hour wheelsets for you. Then pay a lot for marketing ( also on forums ) , sponsor some perspective TRI guys/girls, send free samples to major cycling publishers ( order at same time HUGE amount of adverts to be sure reviews ( must be VERY enthusiastic ;) ) .... And you are like ... "Boyd" ;) ( Apologies to Boyd ! )

Some companies ( perhaps Boyd ) do some own R&D and let far east companies do rims according to their specs. It happens. Question is , is this design better than OE from Farsports.... maybe, maybe not. To buy "know how" about layup, used CF, got sample of resin ( or brand, type ) from low paid employees working for "brand" suppliers can't be so difficult ;) So quietly copying can happened. Then, copy possibly will be better designed than "brand x" own development .

At the end ( I'm getting bored repeating that ) it is "price per performance" . Here Zipp & Enve have not so much points here.


Other thing is that "new brands" come dangerously close with pricing to products which are really well designed and proven to be excellent ( like mentioned in previous post Campagnolo Bora ) . To close IMO.

Anyway , 1000-1200€ ( purchase price, not MRSP ) can buy you a lot of wheel. Spending twice as much won't give you any more. Can give you headache ( soft wheels with 99.9% chances for recall of failing (AGAIN!) hubs.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Mark Twain


I can be wrong, and have plenty of examples for that ;)

buhx2
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:05 pm

by buhx2

This is exactly what I mean. So what are consumers paying Zipp and Enve top dollar for them if Campy can make wheels that are just as good for less dollars? This is what I've been questioning the whole time I've been doing my research.

I see lots of small brands that LBS carry as their own brand, which could very well just be Chinese carbon rims built up themselves and putting a sticker on it branding it as their own. What makes these wheels worse than The big name brands? Or maybe it isn't and part of the price does include the R&D, prestige/name.

I'm just wondering if there are tangible benefits to paying the extra dollars.

AJS914
Posts: 1900
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

The nobrand Chinese wheels are worse. Sure, lots of folks have had good luck with them and will rush in to tell us about it now that I've said that. There have been many reports of overheating/delamination on direct from China wheels. You don't hear about overheating issues with name brands like Campy, Roval, Reynolds, Zipp, Enve.

Geoff
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by Geoff

I would tend to agree with @sawyer and the Rolex analogy, but for a different reason: the Rolex is materially better, too. What you get with a 'factory' wheel, much like a Rolex, is analogous to the in-house movement.

As an example, your Shimano wheelset has a Dura-Ace hub. You cannot get a jobber wheelset that has that. That hub has true, adjustable angular contact bearings. Other than Campagnolo, no one else can provide you with that. Why? It is too damn expensive and hard to make when you can buy cartridge bearings from some jobber and throw them together. Nevermind that they aren't the best tool for the job. That is the same as why you want to by a Rolex Subbie, for the 3135 movement. It is simply better (not picking on Omega, which you also mentioned, as you could say the same thing about the Seamaster 300's Co-Axial escapement).

If you are coming from a Shimano wheelset, you might be disappointed with another manufacturer's offerings. Why not look at the C50s?

wingguy
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by wingguy

Geoff wrote:Nevermind that they aren't the best tool for the job. That is the same as why you want to by a Rolex Subbie, for the 3135 movement. It is simply better

Well, it's better than any other hugely priced but fundamentally inferior mechanical movement. But the analogy falls down when you could get any digital watch with a $5 quartz that's far more accurate on a day to day basis, and one that's still orders of magnitude less expensive than the mechanical watch that's guaranteed to be more accurate in the long term too. Buying a mechanical watch because it's good at telling the time is kinda missing the point :P

sawyer
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by sawyer

@winguy - agreed!

Oh and Grand Seiko is problematic too, but then you're back to less depreciation with the Rolex

TBH there isn't a vast amount in it for cheapest street prices between Zipp and many other brands. And some like Campagnolo have been very clever with the "One" range which is materially cheaper than their Ultra/pro wheels, for practically no inferior performance and materially undercuts Zipps etc.

Whatever else Campag have got wrong, they have absolutely nailed wheels over the past few years.
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

buhx2
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:05 pm

by buhx2

Like the watch game, you're unlikely to make money off any wheels unlesss there's some sort of limited edition super rare wheelset (does that exist?).

I'm cool with paying for a quality product provided there's some benefit I'm getting from it. But if you're getting 95% of a "nice" wheel from a custom wheel builder or small time company, then it's difficult to justify the premium you're paying for Zipp/Enve etc.

By the looks of it, much of the price difference comes from the hubs, as rims and spokes seem to be similar. How much do hubs play into the performance of the wheelset?

stormur
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by stormur

buhx2 wrote:This is exactly what I mean. So what are consumers paying Zipp and Enve top dollar for them if Campy can make wheels that are just as good for less dollars? This is what I've been questioning the whole time I've been doing my research.

I see lots of small brands that LBS carry as their own brand, which could very well just be Chinese carbon rims built up themselves and putting a sticker on it branding it as their own. What makes these wheels worse than The big name brands? Or maybe it isn't and part of the price does include the R&D, prestige/name.

I'm just wondering if there are tangible benefits to paying the extra dollars.


Logical mistake : Enve maybe some day WILL BE as good as Campagnolo, Zipp NEVER WILL BE even close. Fact they ask for more of your money it doesn't mean they offer you more for it. Rather opposite. Specially if we talk Zipp.

From some ( obvious ) reasons some brands avoid -like an IRS visit- independent tests; like brake track/ melting test. Some will never agree for "comparison test"... They know best why ;) And yes, Enve & Zipp are on this list :mrgreen:

Personally I can't see any reason to buy Enve or Zipp or some "new brand" ( like Hunt, November, Boyd... ) wheels. For same/ less €/$/£ I can have Corima, Edco or HED or Vision... to not mention Campagnolo Bora.

Why should I ? Because of heavy marketing ? Joke. ZERO increament in performance, large in possible issues and for sure lighter wallet. Poorer price/ performance ratio leads to obvious conclusion : NO.

BTW didn't I read recently somewhere that V shape is more aero than U shape ( again ? )

BTW 2 : google : Zipp hub recall/ failure , Zipp rubbing , Enve rubbing... read and enjoy :welcome: / after all try to find "campagnolo bora rubbing/ problem" ...
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Mark Twain


I can be wrong, and have plenty of examples for that ;)

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mpulsiv
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by mpulsiv

stormur wrote:BTW didn't I read recently somewhere that V shape is more aero than U shape ( again ? )


No, "U" shape has nothing to do with aero. The sole purpose to upgrade from "V" shape to "U" shape is for stability in crosswinds.
I questioned Victor from viewtopic.php?t=131368 as why he thinks we need to go back to "V" shape. His statement specifically applied to Venn Rev 507 (50mm) wheels. They couldn't form a true "U" shape with filament wound with deeper wheel. In contrast, Venn Rev 35 is true "U" shape.
Racing is a three-dimensional high-speed chess game, involving hundreds of pieces on the board.

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Nejmann
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by Nejmann

So my Lightweights are the A. Lange & Söhne of wheels? :D

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boysa
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by boysa

Ahhh... now we're talking. I've had my Lange picked out for about 5 years now. Just need to come up with the cash!
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

by Weenie


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