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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm like so many other cyclists - I like to go fast, but I'm not competing. I will freely admit that an aero wheel is quite the luxury and appealing to me for my longer, flatter rides. And I will admit there is a distinct possibility may not make me go faster at all. (It really doesn't help to see so many *****in wheels on sale right now either.)

So for those of you who own mid-depth aero wheels - say 35-50mm range, tell me realistically if you felt it was money well spent, and what you get out of them that didn't come from your aluminum hoops.

Thanks,

David
 

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I regret not buying Dura Ace WH-9000-C35's over the C24's that I got because they aren't that much heavier and look just that much cooler, does that count?

Loved my RS80-C24's, RS81-C24's so-so, happy with 9000-C24's but wish I'd shelled out more for the 9000-C35's.

I don't think any of them ride better than the stock wheels I had prior, though. :)
 

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Meh...you don't need us to legitimize your desire to buy new carbon wheels. Just buy some good quality, name brand wheels on sale and enjoy.
 

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It's not uncommon for bike shops to offer test rides of carbon wheels. You might want to look into that.

They won't make you meaningfully faster. That's the only certainty here. But like pretty much everything else, speed isn't only reason someone would want or need something.
 

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THere is only a few people that are really gonna benefit from Carbon wheels. Most of us are pack fodder so it just doesn't give us much. I tell most people to buy if you want to look good, at least you will get some true benfit from them. I personnaly have a couple of sets. I found 38 or less seem to slip cross winds better. At 38 you get " The Look" but not the penalty of taller wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a very good idea. However, if you test ride wheels at your LBS, don't be a douchebag and buy them for less online.
I agree here. If anything I would borrow a friends set of wheels for a ride (and avoid bumpy roads that day too) but since I'm running Campy those options are seriously cut down.

I'm actually shopping seriously for a Powertap'd wheel. Separately I pine for a set of quality 40mm wheels. So I'm considering spending the extra grand for midrange carbon wheels from Boyd. But I still have reservations about braking ability, crosswind stability, comfort, toughness, and value. The resale on this kind of wheel is nothing.

Regarding, aero, I do cruise above 20mph most of the time. Being 200lb, riding at an 18-19mph average means slow up hills, fast and very fast on flats and downhills. I realize that's far from being a racer's pace but it's faster than most recreational riders. My front stack is not slammed but it's relatively low and I try to cruise in the drops as much as possible. I expect the difference might be small (hard to measure) but real.

The "look" is nice in a way but I'd prefer to be subtle. 38's look nice. If I just wanted the "look" I'd have bought one of several used sets of Zipp 808's on CL I've seen this winter. That would do it.
 

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I agree here. If anything I would borrow a friends set of wheels for a ride (and avoid bumpy roads that day too) but since I'm running Campy those options are seriously cut down.
If you are running 11s Campy, and your friend has 11s Shimano/SRAM, then you can test his wheels as 11s Shimano cassettes are compatible with 11s Campy drive trains.
 

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I think that carbon wheels only "look good" because that's what's usually on pro racers' bikes. If the hot thing for pros were 32 spoke low profile aluminium rims we'd all be wanting those. And in fact back in the day when pros rode those wheels, that was what we thought looked good. Some guys are still stuck in that era.

The problem with carbon clinchers is that they can deform or delaminate or overheat the tire from brake heat. If your riding includes technical descents you may overheat carbon clinchers, depending on how technical, how confident a descender you are and how much you weigh. I have had a tire come apart at the bead from brake heat. I don't use carbon clinchers on that road any more, which is a hassle since it's the road I live on. I'm a good descender and weigh 145 lbs, but it's extremely steep and very technical.

As far as aero benefit, the only place I notice it is on descents over 35 mph, and it's subtle.

My opinion is that they're not worth it except in races.

You will need to change brake pads to match the carbon rims, and change back to the aluminium pads to use aluminium rims. It's easy with Shimano holders but I hear Campy holders are tough. You might want to switch to Shimano or EE pad holder, which are even easier than Shimano.
 

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Also note that there are at least a couple options out there for carbon wheels with aluminum brake tracks if you are worried about the braking issues.
 

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Doing that can put aluminium shards in your carbon pads. If you don't pick them all out they can damage the carbon rims next time you use them. Many carbon rim makers specifically warn about that and will not warranty rims that have been damaged that way.

Pads for carbon often do not work as well on aluminium as regular aluminium-specific pads. Switching to aluminium wheels and leaving in the carbon pads is something that should be done only when getting a spare wheel in a race, not as a regular practice.

Carbon rim makers require that you use specific carbon rim pads. You can't use just any pad for carbon. Some carbon pads will damage rims that are designed for a different type of carbon pads. The rim warranty is void if you use the wrong pads.

Don't be lazy, use the right pads. It's not hard to change them.
 

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Doing that can put aluminium shards in your carbon pads. If you don't pick them all out they can damage the carbon rims next time you use them. Many carbon rim makers specifically warn about that and will not warranty rims that have been damaged that way.

Pads for carbon often do not work as well on aluminium as regular aluminium-specific pads. Switching to aluminium wheels and leaving in the carbon pads is something that should be done only when getting a spare wheel in a race, not as a regular practice.

Carbon rim makers require that you use specific carbon rim pads. You can't use just any pad for carbon. Some carbon pads will damage rims that are designed for a different type of carbon pads. The rim warranty is void if you use the wrong pads.

Don't be lazy, use the right pads. It's not hard to change them.
Go back and re-read. We were talking about carbon wheels with alum brake tracks.

Of course you wouldn't use the same pads with full carbon wheels. That was the point.
 

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Go back and re-read. We were talking about carbon wheels with alum brake tracks.

Of course you wouldn't use the same pads with full carbon wheels. That was the point.
Post 13 was confusing to me as well. Glad you clarified it.
 

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I agree here. If anything I would borrow a friends set of wheels for a ride (and avoid bumpy roads that day too) but since I'm running Campy those options are seriously cut down.
Wheels with 11-speed Shimano cassettes work fine with Campy, and vice versa. Your options are not limited.
 

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I like my carbon wheels because they make a nice swoosh sound when riding. Also they feel noticeably quicker when accelerating. Notice I said feel but the actual different is probably very minimal.

At higher speeds it feels a tad less of an effort to ride, so they are more aero, but only marginally so. But sometimes the difference between to making a successful bridge to a group up the road is 3-4m and that's where they can count.

Buy them if they can make you happy and if you can afford them. Don't go into debt or do any financing for what is essentially a luxury item

$0.02
 
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