why not ? carbon wheels from china !?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:29 am

by pauln

Hi I a ma sure there must be an obvious reason that I am not seeing as to why this is not as good a deal as it looks !!

£250 for a set of 50 mil deep section carbon wheels.....50 for shipping so £300 all in at least half the cost of anything else I can find in the uk ! hubs are novatech which are cheap but light and fine I have heard, rim must be very simlar to the ones that planet x and wheelsmith use... well they look it !! same weight etc etc

so what is the catch !! how's does the tax work if I buy something from china ? sorry guys prob very obvious questions just seems silly to pay £600 for a set of wheels I can get for £300 .... and don't get me started on buying shimnao, zipp etc etc for £1500 !! would be using them for crits mainly and to be honest as they are cheap I would probably try them from cross in the winter as well !! how do braking surfaces on carbon rims work ? it that what you apy for with emore expensive rims ?

opinions much appreciated !!

cheers Paul
link below to wheels !

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/50mm-700C-Carbon- ... 230bb91286

by Weenie

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by endo

You don't tug on superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, and you don't ride carbon wheels from china.

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Zen Cyclery
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by Zen Cyclery

The only way to make carbon wheels so cheap is to cut corners in quality control and manufacturing processes. The price will definitely reflect the durability. And the brake tracks on these are sketchy.

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by principiamacb

If they were so bad would photos of broken wheels/frames not be all over the internet?

People would jump at the chance to show how bad they are. Im sure the reason named wheels are so expensive is down to R&D, sponsoring pros, advertising and the fact people like posing around (me included) on £1000+ wheels.

Ive seen plenty of cracked frames from branded frames/wheels in the past.

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by dmotoguy

principiamacb wrote:If they were so bad would photos of broken wheels/frames not be all over the internet?

they are.. multiple photos of nipple seats cracking, etc.

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by dcl10

They are also pretty heavy, about 1lb heavier than some dv46 UL's or Edge 45's. Hell, they are a quarter pound heavier than Eastons 90mm TT wheels.

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by Getter

There are multiple companies that manufacture carbon wheels.

You can't just come out and say they "suck" just based on what you think.

If there were such pictures of mass failures...lest see them. Until then...its all pure speculation.

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by principiamacb

they are.. multiple photos of nipple seats cracking, etc.

I certainly wouldnt say ive seen any more cheap carbon wheels broken than branded ones.

Some of them are on the heavy side although not too much compared to lower end branded ones.

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by principiamacb

Although I sound as though im in favour of them and I love a bargain I still dont think i could bring myself to buy some.

Even though 99% of them are perfectly good theres the other 1% that might not be and whos to say they aren't the ones you end up buying. There's no control over quality like you should get if you buy from a brand. You can sue Mavic,Corima etc. Who do you sue in china?

I know someone who came away with horrific injuries after a fork snapped, (nothing to do with cheap carbon) a few years ago and any time I start to think about buying chinese wheels/frames this always comes to the front of my mind and I dont do it.

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by dmotoguy

principiamacb wrote:
they are.. multiple photos of nipple seats cracking, etc.

I certainly wouldnt say ive seen any more cheap carbon wheels broken than branded ones.

The photo/story was in the groupbuy thread that has been deleted, I believe. A guy had nipples pull through the rim while building(at some absurdly low tension).

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by Chiva

Zipps crack too. The only difference is they cost 3,000 bucks to replace versus 600.


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by showdown

Last night I bought about 3K worth of carbon rims for my team. We purchased 20mm, 38mm, 50mm, 60mm, and 88mm in Tubular and Clincher.

We'll be building them up on stock hubs (chosen produced, MoYon labeled) and with DT Aerolites.

We've had access to phenomenal equipment for years and we're currently sponsored by Colnago and Easton and SRAM and Giro and Fizik etc... Suffice it to say we have tons of toys at our disposal at a SIGNIFICANT discount.

That said let me explain our logic if for no other reason than I just finished a big cup of coffee and am rearing to type!!

These are facts about our team's particular situation:

1.) we race crits- a lot of them- upwards of 50 crits per year plus countless rides and other races. We're hard on our equipment and we don't often race on perfect tarmac or in perfect weather. So it goes without saying that we destroy equipment... sometimes through our own faults, sometimes as accidents and sometimes due to someone else's foolishness... Crashing in crits is something one just has to accept.

2.) we spend a lot on racing- 50 races at $30+ each... travel to races, hotels, airfare, food etc... It's sickening to think just how much so we try not to tally up the total... :(

These are facts about equipment (these may not be true for everyone but in 6 years of racing as a team these facts reflect our experience, so for us these ARE facts.);

1.) All equipment breaks the same. The Treks cracked the same as the Orbeas, my Zipp 404's shattered the same as my teammate's Edge wheels. Easton wheels have nipples pull through just like Ritchey carbon hoops... The brand name doesn't guarantee against failure. So whether the equipment cost $100 or $1000 it still breaks the same. If a piece of equipment fails while I'm racing it's irrelevant who made it- I still go down.

2.) Warranty and crash replacement is a pain in the butt. Replacing my Zipps cost me $380 per rim, shipping and the cost of rebuilding them at Zipp. So it goes. My teammate's Easton carbon wheels that had to be warrantied cost him $250. In both these cases and often in others, the turnaround was about 3 weeks. That's 3 weeks without equipment.

3.) Off the shelf equipment is off the shelf. there's little customization when buying from a brand... if you want X spokes or blue nipples, or a certain lacing pattern you're often out of luck... Having to make compromises is part of life and certainly when our equipment is free we accept compromise, but when we have to pay, it is a hard pill to swallow....

So, given those sets of facts:

1.) China carbon rims cost about ~$300 per set, about $86 for the hubs and $130 for the spokes (we build them ourselves). That's about $500-$600 for a set of carbon wheels that weigh (sub 900g for the 20mm, sub 1100g for the 50mm) less than brand wheels, are laced how we like with the equipment we want all for the price of most decent aluminum wheels. Financially, China carbon wheels win over any brand wheelset.

2.) While there are reports of failures with China carbon, those are anecdotal. Certainly these rims fail. That said, there is no empirical evidence that these rims are any better or any worse than any other rim out there... Until there is a collection of validated facts regarding the quality and performance of these rims, everything is shop talk. And certainly opinion and experience are worthwhile to consider, but for every tale of failure, it seems there are 10 tales of success... so it's a numbers game- we don't pass on a race because someone said the course is dangerous- we race it for ourselves and then decide. If we were to condemn a product based off forum chatter then the comments on WW alone about Edge clinchers would see them a black sheep. so the argument that these rims are inherently a lesser product is not one I can accept as anything other than heresy.

Further- when we speak about aerodynamics- opinion and anecdote rarely hold water- we go to the wind tunnel tests, the hard facts... so why here, when we speak about China carbon do we only seem to rely on anecdote...?

3.) The China rims take about 3 days to arrive (my first pair did). If I trash a rim while racing it'll cost me less to buy a new rim than going though a crash replacement with a brand, and it'll take significantly less time.

So that's the logic that my team used to get to where we are. FWIW, I sold a set of Eastons, and they'll pay for my 20mm, 50mm and half of my 88mm China wheels. 3 for the price of 1...

I'll be sure an leave my opinions on these wheels throughout the upcoming season- sure, it's just my opinion but it may be insightful. But take it with a grain of salt, everyone should develop their opinion on their own, through personal experience gathered by ones self... not by reading forum posts... Really, how many people who have chimed in on the China carbon debates (rims, frames etc...) actually have used these products...? Think about that next time you read someone's post...


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by andyindo

showdown where did you buy your rims from? sub 1100g for a 50mm set is awesome!What spokes and hubs are you using?

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by Gregorio

showdown wrote: The Treks cracked the same as the Orbeas

Orbeas crack ? Blasphemy!

I like your reasoning. The products definately have there place. I am looking for a carbon rim to rebuild a front bontrager wheel, but I think I will pass on these unbranded rims for basically all of the same reasons. I am not all that hard on wheels and I would like it to last for years.

by Weenie

Johnny Rad
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by Johnny Rad

Let's vote!

Would you buy a set?

If you bought them, what would you use them for?

Last edited by Johnny Rad on Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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