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Carbon wheels?? What kind??

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Carbon wheels?? What kind??

Old 05-22-20, 11:13 PM
  #1  
23109VC
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Carbon wheels?? What kind??

I am a recreational rider, Iíve done one century. I ride a couple times a week occasionally three times averaging 20 - 40 mile rides.

are use Strava and track my speeds distances etc. mostly for fun and challenge myself.

I have a Scott foil 30. It has the original alloy wheels

I was wondering whether it would be worth the upgrade to get carbon wheels and I was curious whether or not Iíd really notice a tremendous difference if I spent the money for a decent set?

I donít wanna spend two or $3000 for wheels Iím not going to be really racing.. But it would make my bike more comfortable to ride faster accelerate faster or ride better I would enjoy an improvement if it was around 1000 Or less US dollars.

Iíve seen some of the Chinese wheels and have read positive things about them was kind of curious if you think itís worth the investment what I would notice if I upgraded my wheels and what brand would be the best bang for the buck?

I see they come in various depths etc. I am looking for something thatís an all-around wheel.

thx
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Old 05-23-20, 12:03 AM
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Light Bicycles AR46. Enjoy.
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Old 05-23-20, 03:27 AM
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Rim or disc brakes?
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Old 05-23-20, 03:42 PM
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I just purchased the Zipp 303 Firecrest wheel set with rim brakes.They do help me to accelerate faster and I can keep a a little higher rate of speed with less effort but they weren’t cheap.My rim height is 45mm,Im not a racer but I do like to ride fast.

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Old 05-23-20, 04:50 PM
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I had a set of 44mm carbon rim brake wheels. They looked and sounded cool. They had no meaningful impact on my cycling proficiency. A good set of high quality shallow alloy rims laced to good hubs will cost less and work just as well on my humble opinion.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:41 PM
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Warning. Warning. Not sure what your your Scott foil 30 is but it looks like it has rim brakes. Anyway check your tire clearance and the current rim inside width. Wider rims will make the tire of the same size wider and taller. Other than that carbon rims look cool,. I went from Bontrager Race wheels on my 2006 Madone to Aeolus Pro 5. Did not have time to shop around and order. Broke my 13 year old rear wheel just before a long holiday weekend with riding planned. The local shops had Pro 5 and Pro 3. I went taller 50mm. Not too bad in the wind. The ride is much better. Stiff when on the pedals but absorb more road shock. Once the axle and spacer o-ring seals broke in they are faster. Oh also lighter than the Race wheels. Get a set. Shop around and make sure the tires you want to use will fit. Those new Zipps look good.

Te other problem I have now is if I get a all-arounder (gravel bike) I have to get a second set of wheel and they have to be carbon.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:28 PM
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Best bang-for-your-buck in wheels? Provided nothing is wrong with your current wheelset, buy a power meter and learn to use it. You will get faster. With a new set of wheels... not so much.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:34 AM
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Worth the upgrade only you can decide that, but they do look cool! I've been riding around 25 years, never raced and all of my road bikes have carbon wheels. I have Zipp's, Enve's, Reynolds and Light Bicycle wheels and I like them all. In comparison versus BRAND and PRICE I would buy the Light Bicycle wheels first. Look for something mid depth (45-58) if you decide to upgrade.
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Old 05-24-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Best bang-for-your-buck in wheels? Provided nothing is wrong with your current wheelset, buy a power meter and learn to use it. You will get faster. With a new set of wheels... not so much.
Ummmmm ..... so totally wrong.

What you are saying is not "Buy a power meter," but really, "Train harder and more scientifically and increase your physical ability."

Never bad advice ... unless the person is a cyclist, not an athlete, and already trains or rides the way he/she wants to.

Also, lighter wheels (see This thread "https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1202341-change-lighter-wheels-not.html") might not increase top speed but they affect every acceleration during the ride .... and might make the ride more enjoyable.

I know, it should be a crime but ... some folks ride bikes for enjoyment, not primarily as exercise, training, competition .... some folks aren't even that serious about going faster.

Everyone of us probably wishes we had more time to ride, and that itself would bring better fitness and maybe a little more speed, if only at the tail end of rides, when otherwise stamina might be waning ... but not all of us are eager to do intervals and hill repeats.

I know ... we shouldn't be allowed on bicycles, but what can you do?

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Old 05-24-20, 02:43 PM
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<extended fart noise>

The OP can spend whatever he wants on wheels, and it won't make him any faster. The butt dyno might feel a little stronger, but confirmation bias is as real as anything else. In terms of speed gained per dollar, wheels are about as bad as it gets. They don't feel a whole lot different, either.

Lots of excuses provided by people who are slow-- and slow is itself a relative term. Anyone who wants to go faster-- save for the very few who are already in the realm of marginal gains-- isn't going to get there simply by buying new wheels.
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Old 05-24-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
<extended fart noise>

The OP can spend whatever he wants on wheels, and it won't make him any faster. The butt dyno might feel a little stronger, but confirmation bias is as real as anything else. In terms of speed gained per dollar, wheels are about as bad as it gets. They don't feel a whole lot different, either.

Lots of excuses provided by people who are slow-- and slow is itself a relative term. Anyone who wants to go faster-- save for the very few who are already in the realm of marginal gains-- isn't going to get there simply by buying new wheels.
well said but they sure look good on a nice bike
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Old 05-24-20, 02:51 PM
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Oh, absolutely. If you wanna buy a shiny thing, by all means-- do that. But don't pin any expectations on 'em. They're just wheels.

I have a set fo carbon wheels myself. They look super cool. They did not increase my speed by any noticeable amount. But they look cool nonetheless.
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Old 05-24-20, 05:28 PM
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the bigger bang for your buck will be in the hubs!
after that it will be in the rim and build.

are you climbing hills go for shallow and light.
If you are doing a bunch of flats then get deeper dish hoops.

If you are a power smasher then get a supper stiff wheel build.


I had stiff wheels and went to aero. I lost on the climb and gained on the flats. it was a wash.

then I went 38mm carbon, and I gained on the hills and the flats.
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Old 05-25-20, 12:46 AM
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+1 on the Light Bicycle recommendation.

But I would also recommend getting the rear wheel built with beefier spokes like CX-Sprints. Possibly 28 spokes if youíre a bigger (over 160-170lbs) person.

Deeper, stiffer rims can cause issues with brake rub if the spokes arenít beefed up accordingly. I get a decent amount of brake rub with 24 CX-Rays at 140lbs.
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Old 05-25-20, 12:57 PM
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Wheels are generally the best bang-for-buck for hardware upgrades. Wetware/engine upgrades are a separate line item.
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Old 05-25-20, 01:46 PM
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I think carbon wheels would be great - if I had disk brakes... not if my bike had rim brakes. Why reduce braking performance?
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Old 06-02-20, 01:44 AM
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Thanks for all the great replies and information.

out of curiosity if I picked up an aftermarket set of carbon wheels can I transplant the hubs of my existing wheels or what are we better off to buy brand new ones? My Scott foil 30 has the original wheels and hubs. If itís a marginal increase in price to upgrade the hubs I could see doing that if thatís gonna make the wheels spin more freely and allow you to maintain more speed or if you let off and are Coasting and could roll faster...

I ride for all around fun recreation and fitness I do use Strava and I race mostly against myself - timing my speeds / times through various sections ..yes I agree I could get faster with more training I am currently slightly off my peak as I slacked off for several months and gained a few pounds

my goal is with more riding that will improve As I get leaner and get my cardio back where it used to be but yes a nice set of carbon wheels would look cool!!

I probably wouldnít want to go spend hige $$ for a set but if it would actually make the bike handle better accelerat faster and be more fun to ride I would certainly consider it.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:45 AM
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To answer the question above, keep your original wheels as a backup and purchase a complete set of wheels. I wouldn't use your original hubs unless they are boutique in some way. High end Dura-Ace, Chris King, or White Industries would be some of the hubs I would build up on. Other brands and models, not so much.

I am not convinced you need carbon wheels. You don't want to spend a lot of money which to me means you will be getting sub-par carbon wheels. You would be better off spending the money on some really nice tires and super light tubes. A tire like an open tubular with some Tubolito tubes which would be better bang for the buck. If you really wanted to buy new wheels, there a plenty of lightweight aluminum wheelsets that come close to carbon in the weight category and are in your budget. Sure carbon is the latest and greatest but in reality you can still find a 1400-1500 gram aluminum wheelset that arelighter than the Light Bicycle, Bontrager Aelous, carbon wheels.

Also don't discard the idea of buying used. Lots of non-disk specific wheelsets on Facebook Markeplace and other selling sites. People are flogging these wheelsets as carbon disc wheels are now the rage.
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Old 06-02-20, 10:17 AM
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I picked up a cheap set of Chinese carbon wheels from Superteam a month ago. 38mm depth, rim brake, tubeless ready. They're around 1550g.
They were $329 shipped via Amazon prime.

These replaced a set of Ultegra WH-6800 wheels that I've had on a cantilever CX bike for like 5 years. The rims are 23mm wide and I've run both 28mm GP5000's and 33mm Donnelly MXP's on them. I'm not sure the weight difference, but the new wheels are noticeably lighter in my hands.

They arrived well packaged and perfectly true. I've had them out on a handful of road and gravel rides so far, maybe 200 miles total. They spin up fast, braking performance in dry weather is decent using their included pads. I live in a flat area and generally avoid riding in wet weather, so I'm not super concerned about rim braking on carbon wheels. In dry weather on flat roads, the braking is nearly the same as it was with my aluminum wheels. I doubt they've really made me any faster, but they look nice and were super cheap, which was my primary goal. I'm also probably not getting much aero benefit due to my tire/rim size difference, but again... not the primary goal. Zipp and Enve make some really great wheels and if I had an expensive road bike I'd probably drop the cash on a name brand and make sure my tire/rim sizes were optimized for max aero benefits, but for a cheaper/older bike I would not hesitate to buy another set of generic carbon wheels.
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Old 06-02-20, 10:32 AM
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IMHO I've owned both "full carbon" and "carbon fairing" wheels.

With current "plus" tire size models and superior rim braking of an alloy plus fairing style, the super tiny weight difference means to me zero reason to run full carbon.

A modern HED 6+ or Flo 60 is about as fast as you can get for the money in a name brand wheel. Durable as heck too.

I do NOT understand the affinity for 100% carbon wheels. Even my rear TT disc wheel is the HED carbon overlay style.

For a rec rider wanting a little bling, speed, and comfort...........I think a set of HED 5+, 6+, or Flo 30's or 60's is a great setup.

Found used often for around $700 a set in excellent condition and can run 25mm tires and still be super aero.
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Old 06-02-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Wheels are generally the best bang-for-buck for hardware upgrades. Wetware/engine upgrades are a separate line item.
Of course this all depends on what you're starting with to upgrade. If your stock bike is an S-Works of some sort, maybe not so much accomplished replacing the wheelset. OTOH, the advice that comes with wheel upgrades, is typically about lower level bikes that often ship with 1800+ gram alloy wheelsets, and the upgrade benefit is often a lot in just shaving the weight. Eg. you can move from a set of Aksiums to a set of 1550g Campy Zondas and save about 300 grams at a net cost (after selling the Mavics) of maybe $250.

Carbon wheels look nice, and are somewhat more aero, but as others have said, don't expect a huge beneficial impact to your speed over and above what you could expect from just a better lightweight set of alloy wheels that likely costs a good amount less... and for rim brake setup, don't expect any betterment in braking.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal View Post
Wider rims will make the tire of the same size wider and taller.
Marginally wider, more square, and shorter.

Think about it, he's not adding material to the tire. He isn't creating something from nothing.

How much wider and how much shorter? From what I've seen, enough to make me think I've done something big when I changed rims. Once the calipers come out, it's like a milimeter.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:19 PM
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To answer your question.

Did I miss? How much do you weigh?

Unless you want to get under 1200gm, I think you can do better with metal.

Bitex's lightest road hubs, probably around 20f/24r, Sapim Race, and a rim under 400g. Maybe Stan's Alpha 340 if you're light, Open Pro tubeless if you're bigger or a bit abusive. They'll be very light but also a great wheel.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:24 PM
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My opinion is that you will be sadly disappointed in the gains you get from a set of carbon wheels. In fact, you'll be surprised at how poorly your brakes work compared to your existing wheels (assuming you have rim brakes). I did the experiment of upgrading from a decent set of Bontrager aluminum wheels to a used set of Bontrager Aeolus 5 carbon wheels for about $1k. About the only thing I really liked about the carbon wheels over the aluminum was that the freewheel was a lot quieter and they did look cool. The braking was awful in dry weather despite trying multiple different brake pads. In the wet... forget about braking and just start praying. On my typical 40 mile ride, there was no radical change in my average speed now that I was riding aero carbon wheels. Perhaps there was a several second benefit to the aero carbon wheels, but when one isn't competing, does a few seconds really matter?

Anywho... As other's suggested, if you look at brands like Hunt, Caden, Light Bicycle, or Winspace, you'll find you get get a really nice and light set of carbon wheels for under $1k brand new. They may feel a bit more lively than your existing wheels if you buy a light set, but I'd be really surprised if you feel the difference is huge and worth the money over a decent set of aluminum wheels.
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Old 06-03-20, 05:27 AM
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I have set of Aeolus Pro 5s. Except for them being wider than I would like for my frame they are way ahead of the stock Race wheels. Braking dry and wet is better with the pads provided. The ride is better. Less road vibration. But then the Race wheels were 12 years old and the rear rim cracked.

i have to say those Light Bicycle wheels look good. If I had had the time and known, Iíd have gone for there R35s for my Madone. Perfect rim width. They also have a chart showing actual tire width for several tires models.

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