Carbon Clincher advice needed

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
dvelo
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:08 am

by dvelo

I'm looking for a set of wheels specifically meant for climbing (doing a few gran fondos and the diabolical double this summer!) and a lightweight set of carbon clinchers seems like a great idea. If money were no object what would you get?

I'm torn between the Lightweight Meilensteins, MadFibers and the Zipp 303s. I imagine the 303's are a little more aero, and I hear they ride really well, but they seem a bit on the heavy side to me. I've felt the difference between a 1498g wheel and a 1080g wheel, and it's night and day different.. so that has me a little worried about the 303's.

Has anyone tried the Lightweight Meilensteins vs the MadFibers?

I'm definitely no rocket scientist, but when I'm cranking up a 17% incline at 4mph, I can't see how having a more aero wheel would be better than less spinning weight. Am I completely off base on that one? So that makes me lean more towards the Lightweights or MadFibers.

Are there other wheels that I should consider?

I know tubulars would ultimately be the way to go, but I just feel more comfortable with the clincher (from a maintenance-on-the-side-of-the-road standpoint, as well as the ease in just carrying an intertube vs a whole nother tire)

Before you flame me, I DID try the search feature, but it returned way too many results which had nothing to do with this specific question, and I gave up after hitting the 23rd (or so) page..

Thanks..

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fa63
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by fa63

Out of your list, I think the Madfiber offer the best value on paper; you are giving up only 70g compared to LW but at a much lower price. One thing about Madfiber is that I don't think you can call them tried and proven yet, but those guys seem to know what they are doing so I imagine the wheels will be good. Plus it seems you can run them tubeless (which to me is a huge plus, since I love how tubeless ride).

by Weenie


cmh
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Location: San Francisco, CA

by cmh

so far there is nothing special about my 303s...I certainly haven't seen the firecrest advantage especially in relation to my lightweights. imo go with lightweight or madfiber from that list...

thisisatest
Shop Owner
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Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

arent 202 firecrests in the rumor mill?

airwise
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:31 pm

by airwise

Personally I wouldn't go near a set of carbon clinchers for Gran Fondos or Sportives in the European Mountains.

Simply put, unless you are starting at the front and expect to pull away your descending will be governed by lots of other riders who are clueless and will force you to brake far more than you might normally need to. This is especially true of events like the Etape and Marmotte.

In short, get some really decent aluminium rims and save the bling for when you have a clear road.

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itsacarr
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by itsacarr

Well rumor has it the new lightweights hold up to heat better so as far as heavy breaking is concerned that may not be a terrible choice. The firecrest clinchers from zipp also have a pretty good reputation thus far.

I might put in a vote for a good lightweight alu shallow clincher as well like from mavic. Plenty of great climbing wheels in that part of the pie - just not necessarily "deep dish".

andyindo
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:03 am

by andyindo

airwise wrote:Personally I wouldn't go near a set of carbon clinchers for Gran Fondos or Sportives in the European Mountains.

Simply put, unless you are starting at the front and expect to pull away your descending will be governed by lots of other riders who are clueless and will force you to brake far more than you might normally need to. This is especially true of events like the Etape and Marmotte.

In short, get some really decent aluminium rims and save the bling for when you have a clear road.

:thumbup: What he said. So true. Doing a hilly sportive like Marmotte, Etape, Maratona etc, the last thing you want to deal with is carbon rims. Most of these events are in the high mountains, sometimes it rains, sometimes it starts off dry then pours down 6hrs into a ride. I dont want to be all sketchy descending a mountain with carbon rims in the wet. Besides, you'll spend almost all your time climbing at low speeds, and you can make up more time on the descents if you improve your skills as opposed to running aero wheels.

bikewithnoname
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by bikewithnoname

To add my tuppence, all of the above is true, and if the carbon clincher wheelset doesn’t weigh less than 1250gms then there’s no real weight advantage vs a good quality handbuilt alu clincher with some weenie hubs (the alu set up would also be at least 50% cheaper).

That said if your heart is set on carbon clinchers and you can afford it the lightweights are basically the most coveted wheels out there, so it's an easy choice.
"We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." Oscar Wilde

Pegoretti Responsorium, Parlee Z5i, Donhou Commuter, 1946 MacLeans Featherweight L'Eroica!, 2x MTB 'dales

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Someone has to test the Meilensteins for us, go for them :mrgreen:

(Personally I'd still prefer alu clinchers for big mountain rides)

Edit: Why you ask? -- On those popular mountain passes you often get lots of (tourist) traffic, especially when the weather is nice, so chances are you will end up riding your brakes down at 30kph with cars in front and behind you for a significant amount of time. Better safe than ...
Last edited by HillRPete on Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dereksmalls
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Location: New Zealand

by dereksmalls

What about the Enve Smart 3.4 clinchers?

http://www.enve.com/wheels/road/3.4clincher.aspx

TimW
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: England, UK

by TimW

If going carbon, I think you should really reconsider Tubs given your priority of weight. There really isn't any much more hassle with them in reality.

murph100
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:46 pm

by murph100

+ 1 On alu clinchers for and European mountains, forget about carbon clinchers. I personally know of 2 guys who have has their carbon clinchers fail whilst descending Alp d'Huez, luckily managing to actually stop before any disaster happened.

Both went to a bike store closeby afterwards to buy anything to get them rolling again, and the guy there said he has at least 10 or 12 guys EVERY week who come into him after their carbon clinchers fail on the descent, might be even more but they probably went to the hospital first.

Bottom Line : FORGET carbon clinchers for this type of cycling, and probably a good idea to forget about latex tubes on this type of terrain as well.

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runner999
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Location: Bay State

by runner999

I had Troy Watson from Fairwheel Bikes build me a set of clincher ZTR 340 Alpha rims with Tune 70/170 24/28 spoke hubs with CX-Rays. Total weight with velo plugs, 1189 grams. Reliable lightweight wheels for mountains, wind and rain.

sawyer
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Location: Natovi Landing

by sawyer

murph100 wrote:+ 1 On alu clinchers for and European mountains, forget about carbon clinchers. I personally know of 2 guys who have has their carbon clinchers fail whilst descending Alp d'Huez, luckily managing to actually stop before any disaster happened.

Both went to a bike store closeby afterwards to buy anything to get them rolling again, and the guy there said he has at least 10 or 12 guys EVERY week who come into him after their carbon clinchers fail on the descent, might be even more but they probably went to the hospital first.

Bottom Line : FORGET carbon clinchers for this type of cycling, and probably a good idea to forget about latex tubes on this type of terrain as well.



Interesting!

+ another one for this point of view. As well as being much safer re. heat, tubs will corner better at speed, inspiring more confidence.

Stick with alu clinchers or tubs for the high mountains.
----------------------------------------
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

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btompkins0112
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Location: Mississippi

by btompkins0112

+1 for aluminum clinchers. I rode my carbon clinchers in a race recently in Tuscaloosa, AL (closest thing we have to mountainous terrain).....after the race a couple guy were like, "Dude, your wheels were smoking!"........of course, I said, "Thanks".......to which they replied, "No, they we literally smoking".

Anyways, if they get that hot with a total of 2000ft of decent, they would absolutely catch on fire in the Alps......

Stan's 340 or XR-200 would build you a very capable wheelset for those types of events that would also give you much less weight in both cases..... :beerchug:

by Weenie


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