Training with Carbon wheelset

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by yongkun

Considering the price of OEM carbon wheelsets are so cheap now, wondering if anyone of you trains with them? any reliable affordable carbon wheels to recommend as well?


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by raspaa

Edge. wait, or is it "ENVE"??

Either way, they make great stuff.
grind it out

by Weenie

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by PDXWheels

With oem type carbon rims, reliability and durability can be all over the place. I would not go anywhere near oem full carbon clinchers.

If you know something reliable, sure why not, ride carbon everyday. But don't just buy something blindly because it looks like a Zipp (or whatever brand it may happen to resemble). Remember, manufacturers don't just relabel stuff, they engineer it, QC it, warranty it and service it.

Still, aluminum rims are going to brake better in wet weather, are super cheap and totally reliable (in MOST cases).

All the big boys make great carbon wheels you could ride every day. Zipp, Reynolds, ENVE (Man that is going to take some getting used to), Shimano etc etc etc.

As for no-name stuff, you're gonna hear a lot of "maybe"s.

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by HeluvaSkier

I'm considering picking up some tubular rims to build up as a training wheel for my race bike for next season. I don't plan on racing on them though, and as said above I won't go near no-name carbon clinchers yet. I did log about 1500 miles on a pair of Reynolds Assault clinchers this year both racing and training with no problems though. IMO, the Assault is a very good training wheel - at least for dry weather. In the wet, I don't go anywhere near carbon rims.

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by Griswald4x4

+1 for Reynolds Assault rims. I have a pair laced to AC hubs and have put in a little over 2k of training and a few races on them. Only needed the truing stand once after a long dirt road ride. Again not thrilled with performance in rain compared to al but that is something I am willing to work with given the price I paid for them and the quality of ride they offer to all my dry miles.

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by aeroslave

I race and train with my full stock Reynolds Assault wheelset on my Litespeed. 92kgs here and clocked in more than 2500kms.....NO WORRIES!
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by SpinnerTim


I race and train on a set of EDGE/ENVE 1.45 tubular rims laced to Chris King R45 hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. I run Veloflex Criterium (gum-walled sister of their Carbon), and my brake setup is DA7800 with Koolstop Dura 2 pads. Dry braking is excellent for my 135 lbs.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this setup for all-purpose dry weather use. I carry Vittoria Pitstop and a cell phone as puncture insurance.

Training is fine for carbon rims unless you simply don't pay attention. Sure, hitting a curb, a storm drain, or a serious pot hole will break something, but you have more time to focus on these details when you are training, and you can make a point of riding roads you know well. And I don't see too many bunch sprint pile-ups when I'm training.

That said, things "happen," when you are putting in thousands of training miles per year. The sheer volume of training vs. race miles is where the danger of failure really emerges. You could hit a camo'd rock, a low-vis sinkhole in pavement, swerve to avoid a car, etc. Know your wheel/rim manufacturer's replacement policy, and budget for a new rim if your marque of choice doesn't have a pre-paid replacement insurance policy like Mavic, Reynolds, or Carbonsports. I know EDGE offers a half-price purchase for crash replacement, and I think many others like Zipp offer the same.

When you are racing, you are at your limit, worrying about idiots holding their line, planning your moves, and often doing so on courses and roads that you don't regularly ride. If carbon is appropriate for this, it's fine for a judicious rider's training program.

If you know and accept that replacement will cost more than alloy *if* necessary, then I say pull the trigger. Deep, light, (hopefully) tubular training wheels are a joy to use, especially since most of your miles will be training miles.

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by stella-azzurra

I'm going to be riding Archtek's cheap 20mm carbon rims. These tubular carbon wheels will be under 1050gr for the pair and cost me less than $499 to build.
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by merkyworks

I have had a set of Assaults and used them for every day use, they didnt really hold up that great for me so i sold them off. im 95kg so perhaps that played a roll in it or perhaps i just got a not so great set, who knows. anyway i picked up a set of cosmic carbon sl's and they have been perfect (knock on wood) and i much prefer aluminum braking surfaces for everyday usage, i have been caught out in the rain a couple of times and braking didnt change that much with them. that just my 2 cents

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by Danton

The Assaults are very similar to the DV46, just an "older" carbon in the rim and lower quality hubs. But still very good.

I use carbon for training sometimes, purely for the pleasure of riding with nice wheels. It is safer in training, you are unlikely to crash and can see obstacles like holes or rocks on the road. Just not for winter if you ride on roads with a lot of dirt as this will see the brake track wear fast.

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by mrfish

Ridden my Edge 38 clinchers all the time for the last 2 years. Apart from riding to work, which was more about them getting stolen than anything else, and in pouring rain when I would ride an old bike with aluminium rims. This has included some truly awful terrain, London potholes, Italian 'road surfacing' and a few gravel roads after taking stubborn wrong turns. Since people do cyclo cross on these, I don't see a problem with rough stuff. I just wash them every so often and have never even been remotely tempted to true them as they don't need it. I've had a few punctures and a couple of pinch punctures from under-inflating tyres then hitting potholes and have not managed to damage the rim.

Given the not small amount of miles I do, I figured that technology will move on and I will get bored with the wheels before they wear out. Barring a few minor scrapes from transport, mine look like they did when new.

The biggest downside of carbon rims is that they don't brake well in the rain. I pooed myself the first time I tried riding down a steep twisty 15% hill in the rain. Basically nothing happens for 2-3 seconds after you grab the brakes. Aaargh. Then you slow down. Not good in groups, and I don't understand how pros race them in the wet. I'd recommend some cheap Al rims, a training bike or better still a cross bike with disc brakes for rainy days.

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by bigskyTi

I've been riding Zipp 303s and 404s (tubular) for at least the last 3 years. I must have close to 6,000 miles on the 303s and ride them no matter the weather.

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by showdown

Having once flatted a tubular some 60 miles from home in the middle of nowhere and waited for nearly 2 hours while my lovely girlfriend drove to pick me up, I'll not make that mistake again. FWIW, I did have a spare with tufo tape applied. The problem is that if your tire is properly glued to the rim it's amazingly difficult to remove without cutting the tire or the glue- I wasn't able to remove the tire during 30 mins of pulling and cursing...

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by cryoplasm

You could've still ridden the flat tub home, safely.

But I'm thinking why train with carbon at all?

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by King Weel

I am now going through this as well. I consider a nice set with Corima clincher rims and light hubs (maybe Adrien's RAR hubs) for training and commuting to the office (about 45 km that is). I am not really a bad weather rider and I have a very light and stiff clincher set for crits, so I dont see any problems riding a carbon clincher set as a do it all training set.
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