Carbon vs. Aluminum clincher?

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Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:10 am

by bpe

I am looking to buy dedicated climbing wheels (clinchers) to be used with rim brakes. I want to keep them as light as possible (obviously). For what its worth, I weigh about 145 lbs (66 kg). I plan on using these in mountainous areas where descending is also a concern. I know I can get lighter carbon rims, but I am concerned about braking performance. Am I overthinking this? Is the braking performance that much different? What are your recommendations?

Thanks in advance, and I will also apologize in advance as I'm sure I will be posting more questions as I continue this wheel selection process!


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Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 10:11 pm

by Multebear

First of all, what is your budget?

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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:19 am

by alcatraz

rim brake = carbon tubulars / alloy clinchers ok
disc brake = carbon clinchers ok (all rims ok)

it's about overheating the brake surface while descending

the least issues are with alloy rims or disc brakes + any rim


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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:36 pm

by fogman

There is a similar topic to refer to concerning descending on carbon clinchers.
If you are concerned about heating issues during descents and are looking at rim brake clinchers, I would go with aluminum alloy rims.

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It's all downhill from here, except for the uphills.

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by nemeseri

At your weight there is really nothing to worry about carbon clinchers from the safety point of view. In the latest tour magazine test only the older dt swiss, chinese and reynolds wheels failed. All the other wheels survived the torture. Based on their tests, I'd say any campagnolo, fulcrum, zipp, mavic, newer dt swiss wheels are all safe to ride.

Braking performance? It depends on your descending skills and type of hills you go up and down. Also on the actual weather. I'm a terrible descender and I think that even the best and latest rim brake carbon wheels won't offer the same braking performance in rain as their alloy counterparts. While others might argue that good descenders won't have any issues with them even in heavy rain.

The other issue is the price. You have to pay a lot of money to get the best/lightest carbon clinchers, while getting a dedicated lightweight climbing wheel will be cheaper and very comparable (or even better) in weight. You can go crazy and pick up some extralite cyberclinch ltds weighing at only 1,165g. Or have one built to be stronger and more versatile or pick up a stock dura ace c24. All of these costs less or around $1,000. In carbon clinchers this money will only get you some mediocre wheelset or used ones.

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