What's the consensus on carbon clinchers, seriously?

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

Great thread.

In my humble opinion.

I for a long time thought carbon clinchers were marketing like many things in cycling. After just getting a front carbon clincher wheel alone what I found was the response of the wheel was great do to it being a much stiffer wheel, the 38mm wheel and ceramic bearings made a difference in average speed over an alloy wheel with the same tire and tube set up. That with the right brake pad, Reynolds blue, the braking was really no different than alloy wet or dry. Also Reynolds blue pads did not squeal. I then got a back wheel. I rode that wheel set for over 12,000 miles with zero issues including not having to true them and I hit my fair share of potholes that I didn't see or a team mate did not call out. They are now the race wheels of a team mate since the only reason I sold them is because I'm a Weight Weenie and wanted something lighter. Yep just lighter carbon clinchers.

I do have tubular climbing wheels that are 960 grams for the wheel set verses the 1260 grams for my 38mm carbon clinchers. I ride them for the weight for climbing and nothing else.

While changing a tubular on the road is not a big deal the initial set up is definitely more time consuming than setting up a clincher. Proper gluing takes a while. Flat wise I may actually flat more on tubulars than clinchers. Most of my miles are on clinchers and I really don't flat much and I do experience flats on my tubulars. Not pinch flats but we do have some sharp chip on the seal and chip roads we ride.

I like and own both tubular and clincher wheels and they both have a time, place and type of riding that one is better than the other. FWIW I only train and race on clinchers on my tt bike.

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by HillRPete

kac wrote:I may have missed this in this thread, but what's the perspective on "hybrid" carbon rim/aluminum brake track

They are even heavier than full carbon clinchers, at reduced bling factor. In situations where the somewhat better braking (nasty weather crit?) might be desirable, you probably don't want to run that heavy a wheel. In my book, the sweet spot for those is next to non-existant.

by Weenie

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by drainyoo

kulivontot wrote:When did 1600 grams become lightweight on weight weenies?

Is there a production 40mm carbon clincher that is a lot lighter? Not including those cheap Chinese wheels. Considering the added reinforcement of the aluminum core in the Mavic CC 40C, seems like a decent weight to me.

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by kulivontot

Lightweight, zipp, RZR, enve...

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by bombertodd

kulivontot wrote:When did 1600 grams become lightweight on weight weenies?



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by DMF

I think I can round this up fairly accurately.

Consensus count.

- A lot (and I mean a LOT!) of clowns quite seriously believe that riding tubulars make them more of "a real cyclist" than the next guy. Complete nonsense ofcourse. Putting in the miles and the efforts makes you a real cyclist.

- Carbon clinchers may pop your latex tube or suffer a heat glazed brake track or even deform under heat, if, AND ONLY IF, you race down a really freaking seriously huge mountain at break neck speed while dragging your brakes all the way down on a really hot day.

- There is a time and place for tubulars and likewise for clinchers. If you (speaking to anyone whom it may concern) for some reason don't recognize this while also riding tubulars on every single occasion, and on top of all this believe this makes you a better person. Then you sir, are a twat.

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by drainyoo

DMF, I agree with you here. I personally don't understand why people worry about and judge other people for what they ride. If you are just a weekend rider, and want to ride on expensive carbon tubular wheels, and it makes you happy, more power to you. Life's too short. But that's another subject.

On this subject, it does seem like the majority agrees that carbon clinchers do offer performance benefits, and unless you're bombing the Alps, and riding the brakes the entire time, they're safe to ride.

The info in this thread has helped me a lot, and I thank everyone for their input. It's only a matter time until the tech will be perfected. I think that Mavic took a big step forward with their CC 40c wheels. They're not perfect, but it's good to see them pushing things forward.
Last edited by drainyoo on Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by ferrarista

I think the new carbon clinchers are much better than they used to be. If I was racing obviously I would use tubulars no doubt about it, but i'm not.
I choose clinchers for peace of mind. When your far from home and have a flat, its much easier to change the tube and continue your ride instead of putting a tubular spare which is not glued and not be able to ride hard after.

With the new high temperature aerospace epoxy resins and basalt surface treatments I think it has improved alot.
For example take the new wheels from Deda elementi. They use the new high temp resins, combined with basalt on the brake track. They went one step further and put a brake track which is twice as big as conventional and also developed a new brake pad which is much bigger than regular. All this helps with braking performance and reliability. With more surface contact it should improve the braking in the dry and wet. Aparently they tested their wheels with 1200N of force on the brake track for 30 minutes with temperatures going up to 200 degrees and the rims didn't delaminate.
I have some Deda wheels 45mm carbon clincher or order and should receive them soon. Will see how they perform when I test them.

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by bobqzzi

First, tubulars are just stupid. You could make the argument that they are lighter if you happen to have a support vehicle following you..other than that..

Carbon clinchers work fine except in very mountainous terrain. Overheating can cause the tire to blow off the rim from the pressure increase (this can happen with an aluminum clincher as well, but since it dissipates heat so much better, it is delayed)

As for quality- I really think they are becoming commodities now and the quality/performance difference between Enve/Zipp/Hed vs Chinese is close enough to 0 not to make a difference

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by kulivontot

Spoken like somebody who has never raced...

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by rowdysluggins

Tubulars are definitely a performance edge with a weight savings of 200g on average. I used to race tubulars, before carbon. I had an "ultralight" custom tubular (pre-carbon) alu wheelset (and this was a while back), but it weighed 1500g. I now have multiple sets of carbon clinchers that weigh less than 1400g and two sets that weigh < 1300g. Anyone who cares about performance can not deny that carbon rims weigh less and and can be much more aero for a given weight. I'm kind of a light weight (142 lbs 64.5 kg), but I've ridden carbon clinchers for at least 5 years now, more than 8K miles a year ( > 10K this year), and I love them and have never had a problem with any of the 4 sets I own (2 Reynolds and 2 FarSports). I use alu for bad weather training and on my lunch rides because I don't want to wear out my carbon wheels (yea, they probably wear faster too, but I've only noticed that on one of the first sets I ever bought, over five years ago). I train in the mountains, which we have plenty of here in Utah and I've never had a problem with overheating. I can feel the weight/aero advantage, and I love my carbon clinchers, They are a major advancement in bicycle technology, and the positives far outweigh the negatives IMHO.

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by Tamu8104

I know a lot of buddies and teammates who have raced and/or trained on carbon clinchers without any issues. I don't live in a high mountain area so I can't speak to that but I think you would be fine.

That said, I think there's a lot of misconceptions about riding tubulars everyday. I'm not saying everyone should do it, ride what you enjoy, but they are lighter, have a great ride, and aren't as much hassle to set-up and maintain as everyone make them out to be.
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by MarkTwain

kulivontot wrote:Spoken like somebody who has never raced...


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by rrb

I'm a MAMIL and proud of it.I don't race,I live in the flatlands of america.We ride on mostly flat and often windy roads.I ride 4-5000 miles a year,group rides which average less than 36 kmh.I have extensive group ride experience with,Mad Fiber tubulars(sold/donated because too difficult to repair on road.HED Jet 4 set+/- Jet 9 rears, Cosmic carbone SLR exalith clinchers,Shimano cl24 tubeless,Stans 1200 gram tubeless, Enve 6.7clincher(King Hubs)
In the windy conditons all the wide clinchers far out perfom the older narrower deeper wheels.HED/ENVE.All my bikes have higher end brakes and apropreate pads.
I have not used my carbon clinchers on mountains but overall they are great riding/handling.
My latest build is a giant propel sl with 2014 303 clinchers and Fouriers Brakes SRam Red 22 drivetrain force cassette . Brake feel in the dry is superb. I can't wait for our snow to disappear so I can ride it on street
Some bikes:
Weght with pedals ( Keo Blades)/Cages/computer mount
1998 Colnago 6.4 Ti,S/R 11 Cosmic carbone slr's 7.9 kg
2008 Tarmac S works/S/R 11 HED JET 4's 7 kg
2008 Cannondale supersix team liquigas S/R 11 Fulcrum 1 clinchers 7.2 KG
2010 Ritchie Ti breakaway RED/XX rear Cosmic carbone SLR 7.9 KG
2011 Venge S/R eps Enve 6.7 7.3KG(6.5 Kg with Mechanical S/R 11 Mad fiber Tubies)
2013 Giant Propel advance SL 7.5 KG

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by bobqzzi

Tamu8104 wrote:That said, I think there's a lot of misconceptions about riding tubulars everyday. I'm not saying everyone should do it, ride what you enjoy, but they are lighter, .

Are you counting the weight of the entire spare tire you have to carry with you?

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