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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:53 pm 
in the industry

Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 1083
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
tyres blow of carbon clincher rims on decent mostly because of too much braking or the rider starts of with 120 psi . If the rider had used a wide clincher rim and run the tyres at 80 psi then a doubling of tyre pressure due to heat build is not so likely to blow the tyre of the rim.

Having said that I live in relatively flat lands of Suffolk U.K so my carbon clinchers (25mm wide) work just fine for me but I do not ride mountains.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:09 pm 
in the industry

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:08 am
Posts: 83
drainyoo wrote:
I've read so much on the topic that my eyes are about to bleed, and I've concluded that I'm confused.

You have one camp that thinks carbon clinchers are dangerous, and will cause catastrophic failure, and should be avoided at all costs. Then you have the other camp that swears by them and claims they're complete safe to ride.

I ask because I'm in the market for new wheels, and I can't seem to make an educated decisions. Carbon clinchers interest me because you get a deeper, more aero rim, at a decent weight. And sure, yes, they look awesome, too. But if I'm going to die riding these things, then I'd rather not.

Is the danger really there? If so, why do so many companies make them? Are they lying to themselves to just make a profit during this boom?

So, which is it? School me.

For each component on a bicycle, there is an ideal material for that application (given current technology that is). Carbon fiber is ideal for many things... frames, forks, handlebars, and a few other items. But a rim is not a good application for carbon fiber...not unless you're racing and you're willing to deal with the costs of using such a rim.
The reality is that metal is still an ideal application for enthusiast use....aluminum really....given current technology that is. The weakness of carbon being used for a rim is actually the resin. It offers poor braking properties and does not deal with friction/heat well.
Until some kind of new 'super resin' comes along that can suspend the fibers in the desired shape while dealing with all the extremes that a rim endures, I think that aluminum is still the best material for a rim for general enthusiast use.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:09 pm 

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:26 am
Posts: 372
Location: USA
If you buy a quality wheel..say Enve, Bontrager you get a 5 year warranty. I have never seen any one of those 2 fail. I do know Enve had some issues about 3 years ago and that problem is now gone. I have used carbon clinchers for years. I ride a ton of hills and never had an issue with carbon clinchers and I am 180lbs.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 367
I think that the Shimano R-785 changes things dramatically in this space- I've got them on my new bike and they are excellent- I've paired them with carbon clinchers as the braking concern is totally removed.

I've still got tubs (Stinger 4's) on the bike with standard calliper brakes, that said.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:13 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:13 am
Posts: 854
Location: 93306
I've taken my Enve 3.4s down some pretty steep descents, no issues.
I think it depends on whether you're an overly cautious descender or not. I would rather not use mine on a day that sees steep descents in the rain.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:42 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Posts: 1434
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
I've ridden my Farsports carbon clinchers down many fast steep descents and steep technical descents with no issues. Including the steepest most technical descent used in road races in my district. The race organizer stations radio operators, EMTs and ambulances down the whole thing because there will be multiple crashes. And I had to do more braking than normal on that descent because a support car got on the course in front of my group and wouldn't let us by. The brakes were squealing at the bottom but the rims survived.

However there are even steeper and more technical descents in the area and some of them would make me nervous on carbon clinchers. But they're race wheels and I train on cheaper aluminium rims.

There's not going to be a concensus. Each rider needs to evaluate the plusses and minuses for themselves. For me, doing long events and races with little to no support, tubulars are simply not an option. And the carbon clinchers work ok for me.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:07 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 1043
Location: New Zealand
All depends on the quality of the rim and the riders ability and their braking technique. I've had no issues with my Enve 45 clinchers, even with latex tubes, but the biggiest hill we have around here is just a shade under 600m in height and not terribly twisty which requires continual braking.

2012 BMC SLR 6.02kg

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:38 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 516
Once I rode down a 12,5% decent and ripped the side wall on a al clincher wheel.
Skidding across the road on the rim, the rim was a bit battered but ok.
I'm not sure a carbon wheel would be usable after that.
That was the last time I ever rode clinchers, ever.

And yes I have had several flats on tubulars after (over several years) and that is not a problem
get going on a decent with a new tire is.

Max Gravity, unfairly treated by gravity!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:00 am
Posts: 169
Location: California
Realistically hard braking will cause problems with carbon clinchers. Then again hard braking will cause problems with carbon tubulars as well, for different reasons but problems still the same. Just ask Beloki. You don’t hear the alarm bells ring when someone rolls a carbon tubular.

Where I see a material problem with carbon clinchers is riding on the rim once the tire is flat. Riding on the rim pretty much destroys the carbon clincher. Another question I have is after 10 years of use how does the resin in carbon clinchers and the brake surface hold up? I don’t know that anyone knows the answer to that. I’ve been riding them for almost two years and they seem fine, though I run through brake pads a lot faster.

So for me, as long as I am willing to replace brake pads often (same with tubulars), willing to pay $ for a cab ride if I run out of tubes to get me home some day (as yet never happened but have ridden damn far on a flat tubular), and willing to replace them within a couple of years (maybe earlier than tubulars), then carbon clinchers for me are fine. If I find some other major issue in the next couple of years that make them a deal breaker, then it’s pretty easy for me to go back to tubulars. Which as I said at the beginning have their own set of issues.

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