What's the consensus on carbon clinchers, seriously?

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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drainyoo
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:56 pm

by drainyoo

I've read so much on the topic that my eyes are about to bleed, and I've concluded that I'm confused.

You have one camp that thinks carbon clinchers are dangerous, and will cause catastrophic failure, and should be avoided at all costs. Then you have the other camp that swears by them and claims they're complete safe to ride.

I ask because I'm in the market for new wheels, and I can't seem to make an educated decisions. Carbon clinchers interest me because you get a deeper, more aero rim, at a decent weight. And sure, yes, they look awesome, too. But if I'm going to die riding these things, then I'd rather not.

Is the danger really there? If so, why do so many companies make them? Are they lying to themselves to just make a profit during this boom?

So, which is it? School me.

Wederkinck
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by Wederkinck

I've had both carbon tubulars and clinchers. I know that some people say that it's no big deal changing a tubular, and I agree that everyone can do it. But it is still a time consuming task, and I would prefer clinchers simply because they are so easy to use.

If you are looking for a 'racing only' wheelset you could consider tubular. If you intend to use them for the occasional training ride, I would definitely choose clinchers (as I have done).

by Weenie


bricky21
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by bricky21

There is no consensus. The war rages on :wink:

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

The main issue has always been braking. Latest models are better. Perhaps it depends on where you ride. I would never take carbon clinchers, not even the latest greatest, into hilly/mountainous terrain (especially if you are big). In the flatlands it probably doesn't matter.

The other issue is its a ton of money for limited weight savings. Look cool though so maybe that's worth the extra $ for some.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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kgt
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by kgt

Carbon clinchers are for those who want something nicer, lighter or more aero but don't want to try tubulars for some reason. This market is considerable.
Pros never ride carbon clinchers. That alone proves something...

Oswald
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by Oswald

I just don't see the point of carbon clinchers...
If you are sponsored, then you are on LW, Zipp, Shimano tubular wheels.
If you aren't sponsored, then you are on Planet X tubular wheels or on a set of handbuilt clincher wheels with Open Pro's, A23's, ...
If you don't race, then you're on a set of handbuilt clincher wheels with Open Pro's, A23's, ...

Oswald
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by Oswald

kgt wrote:Carbon clinchers are for those who want something nicer, lighter or more aero but don't want to try tubulars for some reason. This market is considerable.
Pros never ride carbon clinchers. That alone proves something...


Yeah, you should definately look at what the pros ride... :lol:
They have different objectives, different resources and ride in completely different situations.

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Sjoerd
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by Sjoerd

kgt wrote:Pros never ride carbon clinchers. That alone proves something...


This was on cyclingnews.com a couple of days ago:

Naturally, the build kit on Cavendish's bike spares little expense and there's a heavy emphasis on stiffness and aerodynamics. Key highlights include a SRAM Red 22 component group, Zipp's ultralight SL Sprint carbon stem and lightweight SL carbon handlebar, a burly Specialized S-Works FACT carbon crankset with a solid outer chainring and QuarQ power meter, and deep-section Zipp 404 Carbon Clinchers used exclusively for training.

mrfish
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by mrfish

I think the pendulum is swinging towards carbon clinchers:

- Latest models no longer delaminate down long hills. Top tier models have solved that problem through better heat resistant resins and better testing.
- Latest models no longer self-destruct when you ride over a pothole. Carbon rims are generally as strong as aluminium rims, and for a given weight are generally stiffer, while the tubular versions are also better at managing impacts.
- Braking is definitely worse the aluminium, but now only really in the wet, and latest models are less bad than in the past.
- Carbon is still expensive, though you can buy cheap carbon clinchers you may be making compromises on quality control and ability to withstand heat. That said, if you live somewhere flat or descend like a demon then probably no issue, but if you're a larger person who rides the brakes downhill it might end in tears.

- So for winter training, the optimum choice is still an aluminium clincher. Shimano's CL24s are hybrid option and add a bit of stiffness to what would otherwise be a bendy rim.
- For sporty riding in the summer on an expensive bike a deep rim carbon clincher is nice, but likely one of a quiver of rims such as aluminium for when it's wet, or low profile carbon tubulars for the mountains. The logical conclusion of this is a set of Lightweight clinchers or custom carbon boutique wheels.
- For racing in the dry there's not much discussion on carbon, just a toss-up depending how much you like gluing tubs. And if you're any good, you take what the sponsor gives you and ride it until it breaks.


HillRPete
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by HillRPete

Does it matter what Cavendish trains on, or what Tony Martin races on? Probably not very much. So let me break this down for you. Are quality carbon clinchers (like Enve, Zipp, etc)
- light? Nope
- aero? Yes (obviously depends on model)
- safe? Mostly (obviously depends on make)
- bling? Yup
You're welcome.

racingcondor
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:22 pm

by racingcondor

Oswald wrote:I just don't see the point of carbon clinchers...
If you are sponsored, then you are on LW, Zipp, Shimano tubular wheels.
If you aren't sponsored, then you are on Planet X tubular wheels or on a set of handbuilt clincher wheels with Open Pro's, A23's, ...
If you don't race, then you're on a set of handbuilt clincher wheels with Open Pro's, A23's, ...


I pretty much agree with this except I'd add -

If you don't race but want bling, carbon clinchers.

I'm currently enjoying an experiment with Alu tubs for everything. It's loving them except that it hasn't satisfied my desire for a set of blingy carbon rims which is a shame because I honestly don't think they'll add anything for a mediocre club racer like myself...

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

The pros get brand new equipment each year and have professional support maintaining their bikes for them. They can get the "best" and newest equipment and not worry about maintenance , failures, and time off the bike. The rest of us live in the real world and not all the equipment the manufacturers wish to sell us make all that much sense. I'd prefer riding my bike than spending extra time changing a tire, worrying about replacing an eps battery or regreasing my pressfit bottom bracket every 1,000 miles as some have claimed is necessary.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

sungod
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by sungod

agree with what wassertreter says

plus on the two examples cited earlier, there can be good reasons for a pro to use clinchers...

cav, like many other pros, uses clinchers for training, when they're out with no team support vehicle they can patch a puncture, when they're back at base they can change a tyre, no need for them to learn/spend time on gluing etc. or have a live-in/visiting team mechanic

afaik tony martin uses clinchers for tt as there are some tt-specific tyres now available that give very low crr, braking/rim weight are not usually big factors in tt where the norm is flat terrain, but low crr can be worth a lot of time, so it makes sense in tt, no idea what he rides on non-tt stages, but i'd guess it's tubs

Geoff
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by Geoff

Seriously? The problem with carbon clinchers is not the 'carbon' part, it's the 'clincher' part.

No, while my personal recommendation to someone looking for a light-weight, aero carbon wheelset is to choose a tubular wheel, a carbon clincher is likely to be just fine. Are there examples of failures on descents? Yes, but by the same token I have people asking about Beloki all the time. In 99.99999%+ of the time, you will be just fine. Personally, I would like to see a carbon tubeless...

by Weenie


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