FarSports 38mm Carbon Clincher Review Thread, The

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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by wheelbuilder

waltthizzney wrote:got my light bicycle 45mm 25mm wide wheelset today.

blown away by the quality. i know they provide rims to a lot of brands who probably do not want to be mentioned

Please provide the names of the "brands" FarSports provides rims for.

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by Red7

Multebear wrote:45/55 mm front/rear combo is fine. 49/55 also. Don't get caught up in those small differences. You wont feel the them. A lot of the pros ride with X mm front and X mm rear. You don't have to do the X/Y mm combination. But if you have the option, then just do it. At least it looks good.

Regarding the 24 or 28 spoke issue. It's not really relevant when riding disc brakes. You need at least 24 spokes because of wheel strength for stopping the bike with the disc. You could probably go 24/24 without issues. But 28/28 is just the safe bet.

Don't overthink this. All the options you've mentioned will give you wheels, that you'll appreciate. And if you choose 28/28 spokes, you'll never get get problems with lack of stiffness or lack of durability. But then again, 50 mm rims will be plenty stiff no matter the spoke count.

Thanks a lot for all your help! I think I've decided on 28mm wide, 45mm front and 58mm deep rear with DT350 hubs and CX-Ray spokes. I haven't decided upon the finish but probably going to go with 3k glossy (maybe 12k). Should weigh about 1640grams.

Regarding tires...I'm between 28c Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless which supposedly run about 32mm on this rim or Conti GP4000s (tube) which run about 34mm wide (probably overkill). I've read really good reviews on both. I'm not set on running tubeless for road but I love it for mtb and people seem to really like the Schwalbe Pro ones for that. Plus 32mm should be plenty wide.

by Weenie

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by DavidMLee

prendrefeu wrote:Weight: 1239g (including 44 red VeloPlugs installed)
Rims: N-type from FarSports
Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
Hubs: ED Hubs, ceramic bearings
Drilling: 20h front, 24h rear
Finish: UD finish

Rider Weight at time of review: ~155lbs (US) or 11 stone (UK) or 70kg (World)
Tires: Continental GP4000s "Black Chili", 23mm
Tubes: Continental Supersonic Race 60mm (Butyl)
Brakes: Planet-X CNC (aka "Feather" aka ... )
Pads: Reynolds Blue (possibly same as the blue pads sent by FarSports with wheels)
Skewers: 43g Ti with carbon... similar to Tune, generic type.
PSI: Typically 110psi front and rear.

Review terms: 2.5 weeks of off season tempo riding: ~720mi/1,160km, 28k/8530m ascent. 90% of the time this is without a GPS because I'm experimenting with a theory (as stated over in Training).

Build Quality
So far I'm fairly impressed with the build. Wheels were true out of the box and remain true despite sometimes roubaix-like road conditions. The brake-track surface has rubbed down a little bit but this does not seem to have noticeably affected braking compared to the first ride. The box is nice and can be easily re-used for shipping other wheels, a nice bonus I suppose. For the cost ($640USD shipped) I think they are worth it.

There are varying reports on the "ED Hubs" - some say that they are horrible and fall apart, others say they are smooth. Some have stated that the bearings aren't smooth and grind, others have stated the opposite. I really don't know and I am interested in the long-term performance of the hubs, so we'll see how things go. So far the hubs have been great. They are very smooth and engagement on the rear hub is fine. I wouldn't mind if the flanges on the front hub were wider from center, but the wheels are stiff enough that I think for my weight they are ok. If the hubs do eventually break down I can just replace them with some other hubs I have in waiting, which is a nice benefit of the rebuild-ability of these wheels. Are there better hubs out there in the world? Obviously, yes. Those hubs also cost per pair the same or more than the wheels cost in total. If I have some money I'll certainly make a call to Jason @ FWB and order the best hubs money can buy me, but I'm patient for that future to happen and in the meantime I'm riding these and very happy.

These wheels are my first long-term (more than one ride) experience with braking on a carbon surface and took a little bit of getting used to. Having come off of alloy rims (Stan's Alpha340), braking on these rims is certainly different. I am certain other users here would be better able to describe braking on carbon rims or may think differently, but I would best describe the braking as "fade-in and then out". Coming to emergency stops is not easy, and I do recommend braking earlier rather than later if you are traveling at a high velocity. On descents up to 15% I found the wheels to be perfectly fine for a confident descender. If, however you are not a confident descender I do not believe these wheels are for you. Be honest with yourself here! There is a chance you can over-heat the rims into failure if you are grabbing the brakes too often. For comparison purposes for those of you that are local to Southern California: I'm the type of rider that doesn't touch the brakes from RedBox to LaCanada off of Angeles Crest, barely touches the brakes descending Piuma or Stunt, and use the brakes moderately descending Decker. I have not descended some of the steeper and technically difficult roads just yet - and after reading so many internet horror stories like old wives' tales there's a bit of admitted nervousness about the possibility. Then again, none of those previous reports have had any proper parameters for judgement: what if the rider was a nervous descender and held the brakes down the entire time? How difficult was their descent anyway to a different type of rider? Who knows?
On the short list of roads I'd like to take these on to test (and risk) - descending Mt. Olympus, Deer Creek, Tuna, ChairLift Switchbacks @ Baldy. I'll update in this thread whenever I get around to those.

With these I found the best technique - that works for me - to manage speed where brakes would otherwise need to be grabbed hard is to feather the brakes between the front and rear separately in small bursts. That being said, I don't use the brakes that much on descending compared to many people I know and I'm not a larger rider, so managing my momentum is easier than someone perhaps heavier than myself.

Braking in the Wet
HA! It's interesting, let's put it that way. There certainly is some braking when it's wet, but I would't descend like a madman when its raining or the brake surface is wet. I would prefer alloy rims for wet braking.

Aero Qualities & Sidewinds
I chose the 38mm for a few reasons: some aero qualities, perhaps, and they look cool (semi-deep). Are the wheels aero? Perhaps a bit. Compared to the Alpha340 wheelset I've been riding for years, I can feel a noticeable difference in performance going forward. Am I any faster? These wheels certainly feel like it, but there are so many other factors that may determine speed that I can't state an absolute. On descents I pick up speed a bit more and feel as though sustained speed is stronger. On flats whether pulling a train or tucking in I feel that there is a very slight advantage and less energy needed to maintain the speed - this, again, is only felt. I do not have a powermeter for verification.
Sidewinds: It might be that I ride a "potato chip" as a friend says or that I'm a relatively light rider, but I can certainly feel the wheels being pushed by strong sidewinds. How strong? in 18mph/28kmh sidewinds the wheels were lightly pushed. In 35mph/56kmh sidewinds I was riding at a definite lean. Canyon winds were easily dealt with however and did not concern me. Based on that I am very, very happy that I did not get the 50mm. That is purely based on my experience, rider weight, and so on (parameters described above). 50mm may work for others and may be more aero.

Cornering and Ride Quality
I believe these wheels to be stiff. I have not felt nor seen any serious side-to-side deflection in sprinting or out-of-seat punch climbing. The carbon wheels seem to deaden some rough roads which is nice yet they are by no means soft feeling. Since the rims are not "wide rim" tech, cornering is not as fluid as you may find on wider rims such as ZIPP Firecrest, Enve's Smart series of wheels and so on, but they're good enough for me since I've been riding standard wheel-width rims for as long as I can remember. I am confident that FarSports or other similar companies will eventually come out with wide-rim styles. They may not be companies at the cutting edge of tech, but they'll eventually cover ground and I'm okay with that.

The wheels came with a pair of light-ish skewers. I didn't use them at all since I have many skewer sets in waiting anyway.

Other Statements
There's inevitably an ongoing debate in the bicycle world and industry about these 'open-mold' type companies. Will they put the big brands and mfgs out of business? I don't think so, and I don't think they ever will. I believe these wheels are fantastic for those that do have a limited budget and want quality performance. Are they better than the top-end wheels such as Lightweights, Enve, Xentis or ZIPP? Not at all, but by no means does that diminish their value and quality as they are. If you do have an ample budget and resources to pick up the high-end wheels than by all means do so. Ultimately your performance comes down to the rider (engine) and the rider's skill level, and these wheels won't hold you back. The rest is up to you.

Don't use Latex Tubes on these rims.

Thanks for reading. I preemptively apologize for not being an "expert" at reviews, experienced with the highest-end equipment available, a Pro-level rider, or putting out 12,000 Watts of power as a rider. I just like riding my bike(s) and climbing. A lot. :mrgreen:

What an awesome review!

Thanks for the honest and informative review.
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by jeanjacques

Thanks Prendrefeu for the review, you say:

"Don't use Latex Tubes on these rims"

What is the reason ?

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by mpulsiv

jeanjacques wrote:Thanks Prendrefeu for the review, you say:

"Don't use Latex Tubes on these rims"

What is the reason ?

Most carbon wheels have sharp edges that slice fragile latex tubes. Needless to say Veloflex (manufacturer of cotton tires) print a warning sign not to use their tires on carbon wheels. However, many riders on this forum take risks and still use latex tubes and cotton tires.
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by Juanmoretime

I've been using Continental 4000S 2 and Vittoria Latex tubes on my 23mm wide 38mm Farsports carbon clinchers for over 3 years with zero incidents. I also use Stans yellow tape for my rim strips.

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by oreoboreo

Same here, however I have been using velo plugs for the past 3 years as well
Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

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by Tomstr

Same here, running Vredestein and Michelin latex on Edco's with yellow tape. No hassle.
Ride it like you stole it

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by Marin

Been running my old 50x23mm Farsports rims with Turbo Cottons for 2 years, no issues.

The last week the rear TC developed a bump - outer layer of casing cut by the rim. The tread was worn to the limit though, so the tire had spent a long time on the rim. I sanded down the sharp edge of the rim hook and mounted a new turbo cotton.

Ah, had been running Vredestein latex for the tire lifetime without issues. No rim tape because no spoke holes.

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by tomycs

38x23mm w. Vittoria latex tubes and no issues but I get why people wouldn't recommend latex. If you ever have to come to full stop mid descent more than once, the rim can get quite hot.

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by jeanjacques

What do you think about this disc brake rim ?
380g for the XC version, seem to be good for a 30mm height/large and not very common.
It's for a road use with 32c tires (at 60 psi), some time gravel path. I'm looking for some aero avantage compared to my 18mm height MTB rim (DT Swiss XR331).
Thanks for the input ;)

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by Ticlimax

jeanjacques wrote:What do you think about this disc brake rim ?
380g for the XC version, seem to be good for a 30mm height/large and not very common.
It's for a road use with 32c tires (at 60 psi), some time gravel path. I'm looking for some aero avantage compared to my 18mm height MTB rim (DT Swiss XR331).
Thanks for the input ;)

Aero advantage is going to be very slight. 100kg weight limit, and 65psi limit as well. They are nice and light, so they should be fun though.

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by mdeth1313

I've been running latex tubes on farsport rims for years now. The only issue I had was related to a couple of veloplugs that had sharp edges. Once they were replaced it was back to no issues.
Speedplay is the devil!

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by Digger90

Interested in owner reports from anyone running these (Farsports 38mm clincher) tubeless...?

I loved my Campy Bora One 35's... until 2 things happened that put me off them:

1. I had a front inner tube blowout descending the Col du Galibier due to excessive heat build up (I'm an experienced descender, I don't drag the brakes, but I was going quickly)

And in a separate occasion a few months later....

2. A spoke broke on the rear wheel. An easy fix you'd think.. but what a PITA it was to replace. The 'no holes in rim' design, plus Campy's proprietary spokes that had to be special-ordered, meant it was hassle and costly to replace (relative to a more common spoke).

So.... I'm looking at the Farsports (and LightBicycle, and Hunt wheels etc) but I'm thinking that to avoid blowouts on long descents I should go tubeless. I'm riding Mt Ventoux late August and have hit 57.5mph in the Alps before, so want absolute confidence in my tyres/wheels.

by Weenie

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by dobuy

Between my friends and I, we have bought about a dozen sets of Farsports Carbon Clinchers over the last few years and to date all of them have been excellent.
The "standard" Novatec hubs work well and are easy to service and reliable. My own wheels which have about 15,000kms on them are just getting towards needing new bearings as getting a little knotchy. These wheels have done most of their miles out here in Dubai, but have been on 4 holidays to the UK, Italian lakes and Tuscany and been up and down gradients up to 18% without issue. Yes braking in the wet is not brilliant, but good enough down a 8% avaerage 10km descent in pi**ing rain. I use Wiggles own brand blue pads, cheap and quiet.
Here are a couple of links to my own wheels
http://dubaicyclist.com/project-orange- ... -clincher/

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