Chinese Carbon Tubular Rims- Just Arrived!

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

Rims just arrived!

50mm tubular rims, Chosen produced hubs, DT Aerolite spokes. Radial front 20, 2X rear 24.

I chose HongFu Sports Equipment for my purchase. I researched them and found them to be fully certified to EN standards by SGS, a Swiss firm. HongFu has photos and video of their production facility and testing facility on their website. I had many (24) emails with Jenny, the customer service manager. Jenny answered all of my questions almost instantly and offered to call me if I wanted. She provided technical drawings for the rims when I asked and EN test results. I wanted a matte carbon 3k drilled 20/24 and she was able to accommodate even though they don't generally offer matte finish. I paid by PayPal and have my purchase covered for 45 days by the PayPal fraud policy. Jenny confirmed the payment and when the wheels shipped she sent me a tracking number. The wheels arrived 4 days after being picked up with the longest delay happening in US customs... of course... ;) I was charged $70 USD for shipping and was surprised to see that HongFu paid 544 Yuan for shipping- meaning they paid $81 USD to ship the rims to me; a loss of $11. The customs declaration stated that there were 2 pieces of bicycle parts valued at $25 each.

I would most certainly order from Jenny at HongFu again. In fact my teammates are now considering a bulk purchase.

I was required to sign for the package which was delivered by the USPS. The box was dented but not punctured or damaged. The cardboard was triple walled and certainly durable enough to protect the rims. Each rim was packed in a foam sleeve.

The carbon is beautiful. The weave is tight, unified, clean and at the seam it's almost perfectly wallpaper matched. There are no ripples or creases in the carbon and the weave looks amazing. The finish is as smooth as can be. No imperfections, no variations, nothing. The holes are drilled perfectly; offset at the bed and centered at the nipple exit. There's no tear through and all the holes are identical. The bed is smooth and consistent. The seam channel is not as deep as Zipp but exists to allow proper seating of the tire. The valve hole is sunk at the bed allowing for the bulge in tubulars (I've never seen this on any other rim and I think it's a fantastic idea). The warning decal states the maximum force is 180kgf, definitely high up- I'll prob only run 100-110.

I am VERY happy with my purchase and will report back on the build process and ride quality later.

Here's a full gallery of photos: ... 053560446/

by Weenie

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by hidayanra

this is of great interest to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. :mrgreen:

keep us up to date with the build!

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Location: The Netherlands

by Exar

How much do they weigh? Was this the 'foam core' version?
Chains to the right!

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by showdown

Don't have a scale :( Another poster ordered the same rims and his came to 393 front and 417 rear... so somewhere around that...

These rims do not have a foam core... they are hollow...

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by OrPe

these look very, very good.

would you share the cost for the two rims (PM if need :oops: ) ?



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by petal666

Bummer, no 20mm rims.

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by showdown

Cost was $310 shipped.

As I understand, and as Jenny explained, if they don't have what you want in stock they will make it for you provided it's something they already produce. I asked about 60mm Tubulars and the lead time was 30 days... Not bad if you're in no rush.

There are plenty of other companies to choose from other than HongFu, I just chose them as I felt confident with them after doing some research.

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by nickf

Wonder if the clincher rims are any good? Im in florida so no downhill heat buildup to worry about.

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Location: uphill

by raspaa

I hope these rims serve you well. They look good!
grind it out

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by fritz

A few questions:-

- any idea of overall weight once they are built to your spec?
- did you buy hubs and spokes from HongFu as well?
- was matt your choice for the look of it compared to gloss?
- did you go for 50mm vs. 38mm for the look?

Please keep posting as you build them up and ride on them, they look fantastic:-)

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by showdown

So, last night I built up the wheels. First off- working with carbon hoops is so much easier than with aluminum... Because of the depth of the rim and the fact that it's carbon it stays round and true with much less effort... but I digress.

Building the wheels was a piece of cake, and I have them trued, tensioned, dished and round to about 98%. I'll compete the process tonight.

As soon as I can get a digital scale I'll weight them but that might not be until they have tires on them as I don't actually know anyone with a scale... Though I'm posting on WW, I myself am not too much of a WW... ;) There was another poster who built a set with almost identical specs and his came to 1299g or so... ( viewtopic.php?f=14&t=70015 )

The calculated weights I have are (taken from photos of these items on various people's digital scales found on the intertubes):

Front Rim: 397g
Rear Rim: 410g
Spokes/nipples: 200g
Front Hub: 68g
Rear Hub: 210g
Total: 1297g (so roughly around 1300g

While not featherweight, for a set of 50mm wheels that's damn good. Of course I could have gone much lighter if I would have bought a superlight set of hubs. As it is, I bought a set on eBay for $110. I'm going to race these wheels (criterium and road races) until I destroy them and as such I don't need a set of Tune hubs or something similar.

I bought the spokes from a shop where they give me cost on everything... You can buy hubs and spokes form HongFu- I believe they use Chosen hubs (same as I have) and Pillar aero bladed spokes. You can also have them build them to your spec- so if you wanted a 32 hole 4x rear they'd do it. I chose to build mine up as I wanted to learn how to build wheels and the DT Aerolite spokes are lighter, stronger and well, better than the Pillar spokes.

My first choice was for 60mm tubulars but Jenny at HongFu told me that there would be a 30-40 day lead time to fabricate them. On the plus side I wouldn't have been required to leave a deposit... Ultimately I went with the 50mm as I didn't feel like waiting. I'm now considering building a set of 20mm and 90mm. (all 3 sets would cost about $1800.. the Eastons I just sold MSRP'd for 2k and I Pro deal-ed them for $1200).

I wanted the matte black 3k carbon as the Colnago M10 I'm getting for next season will also be matte black 3k... And you know what they say about the shades matching the carpet... ;)

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by andyindo

pics please! How do they ride compared to the Eastons? I've been looking at a set of these for a while as well. Those rim weights are a little heavy, can you feel it trying to get them up to speed?

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by showdown

Haven't ridden them yet... I probably won't until spring... we'll see.

I did not like my Eastons for several reasons.

1.) the internal nipples made it impossible to true the wheel when it needed it without taking a tire off. That sucks.
2.) the hubs were constantly having problems (reported on this forum elsewhere) and needed servicing
3.) they were creaky!
4.) no matter which pads I used they squealed terribly.

FWIW, I've raced all sorts of deep carbon rims and really can't notice any difference in performance with respect to spin-up effort. Some are stiffer (Eastons) some are noodles (Zipp) etc...

For me the biggest issue is that I wanted a cheap (sub $600) deep carbon tubular wheelset that I can race hard and won't be concerned if I damage them. The Zipp 303 tubulars I destroyed taught me a lesson about expensive wheelsets, "warranties" and racing.

As soon as I have them complete I'll post photos.

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by Waves77

It seems that all these rims are 20f/24r no matter where I look. At 6'5" and hovering around clyde weight, do you guys think I could safely build these up with a sensible choice of spoked and hubs, or should I opt for something with a higher spoke count?

Very tempting at these prices I must say...

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by showdown

You might have some luck asking some of the manufacturers about custom drilling... I believe HongFu was able to do it.

I think that with proper spoke and lacing choices you could get away with it.. then again whey you say "clyde" I don't know what that means... Ultimately they'll probably do fine but your perception of your equipment's safety will have more of an effect on the choices you make... If you don't trust your wheels then what's the point...?

by Weenie

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