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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:50 pm
Posts: 202
Location: York, PA
Hi, I'd like to get a set of carbon race wheels but my budget is very limited. I'd like to get tubulars. Are the cheap chinese carbon tubulars with Novatec hubs and Sapim CX-Rays pretty good or do you get what you pay for? Anyone know how the hubs are as far as smoothness and durability? Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm
Posts: 914
veloman wrote:
Hi, I'd like to get a set of carbon race wheels but my budget is very limited. I'd like to get tubulars. Are the cheap chinese carbon tubulars with Novatec hubs and Sapim CX-Rays pretty good or do you get what you pay for? Anyone know how the hubs are as far as smoothness and durability? Thanks


Well, if they are actually using CX Rays, then the spokes are golden for sure.

Novatec, they are descent hubs....the question is the rim itself.

I have a set of Stradalli 50mm clinchers, they use Chosen hubs, Aero flat spokes and god only knows what country carbon, China/Taiwan?

Anyway, they roll smooth and ride nice. They ride nicer after I sanded the stupid fake Italian name off the wheel and sprayed them flat clear coat..haha..

Also, I had to have the wheels completely re-tentioned and trued right out of the box, that is a Stradalli build issue of course, since they come boxed from their source in Asia. I had to have the front wheel trued last week also. But, I suspect when I pulled it out of the wheel bag, somebody jumped on top of them in the wheel truck since there are always like 30 sets of wheels in their piled up. But it could have gone out of true.

Anyway, I also have had a set of Boyd tubulars 50mm, they are Bitex hubs, CXRays and Taiwan rims. They rode nice as well. They were tight and dead straight out of the box, and never needed another truing for the 400 miles or so I put on them before selling them.

I still have my Stradalli 50mm clinchers for training and race pit duty. They aren't the stiffest or lightest wheel, but for training and backup, so what.

For race duty, I spent the money on some Zipp 303 FC tubulars...I need the 20w of power they claim to give. Now those are some nice wheels.

There are many people who buy the regular Chinese wheels you are talking about and don't report any problems. If there were, you know it would be all over the forums.

The one thing to consider, after sale support. Good luck with that. Communications are typically terrible when something goes wrong, and getting resolution, despite what they say about warranty etc...is not likely. Basically you are buying wheels, then on your own from there on out.

That is the one advantage of buying a US built Asian wheel like from Boyd/November etc..you will spend a few bucks more, but they will provide excellent customer service if something goes wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:13 am
Posts: 12
You didn't ask, so I feel bad saying this, but why would you want to put yourself in jeopardy racing on a set of....as you put it...cheap chinese tubulars?

Stick with a decent wheelset you can afford.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 4:04 am
Posts: 268
Location: Los Angeles | Boulder
I have to say that I really didn't want to drink the kool-aid so didn't want to invest a lot of money on an experiment. I bought a set of 2011 zipp 303's used in great condition for not THAT much and damn... I'm not even looking at the firecrests... yet.

The 303's are the best wheels I've ridden and they do it all. I should even mention that when I ventured into zipplandia, I first went with the 202's thinking I wanted the lightest possible for my parlee, but they never quite felt right - a little soft. I found the 303's and thought what the hell. I sold the 202's to buy the 303's and like I said, they are great. I feel like virtually nothing was lost when going up but I really feel the advantage in the aero dept. And their ability to handle crosswinds really is all it's cracked up to be. The hubs are great and we'll see how they hold up.

... and now with the firecrests taking a firm hold, I'm sure you could score a good deal on some.

The never-ending tinkerer and aesthete in me really wants to get my hand on a set of ultimates or all black firecrests, but they are in a different price point and I'm really in no hurry to leave the zipps I've got.

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