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Chances of my ever buying carbon clinchers were around 1% but are 0 now.
Too bad to lose an affordable but still good option. I never seriously thought about getting some but if I ever got them it would have been those.
 

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Yes, really to be bad. The Rails received a lot of rave reviews and I had hoped to get a set. As it is I have the Nimbus Ti/Pacenti package and am waiting on the FSW3 set I ordered last month. There are carbon options but I don't think it would be the same.
 

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When I was looking for some carbon clinchers, both November & Boyd came up as quality, viable options.
 

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Chances of my ever buying carbon clinchers were around 1% but are 0 now.
Too bad to lose an affordable but still good option. I never seriously thought about getting some but if I ever got them it would have been those.
There is a set of Rail 52s listed on Paceline at a bargain price.
 

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It would take a book to go through all of the reasons why we arrived at the decision to make this change. The extreme shorthand version is that as we discussed planned builds with customers, we were far more often than not helping them to arrive at the conclusion that carbon was not the subjective or objective best answer to their wants and needs. Carbon wheels are undeniably sexy looking. In real terms, the aerodynamic performance benefit to most riders is nil. In many (perhaps most) cases, being able to use a latex tube as you can in an aluminum rim but can't in a carbon, provides more benefit than whatever aerodynamics a deeper carbon rim may provide. And that is but one of many performance based factors that go into it (brake performance being another, weight yet another, and stability still another).

We've made our thoughts on shallower carbon clinchers known for some time, beginning fall 2015 when we discontinued our smaller carbon wheels (Rail 34) and culminating in this blog post from spring 2016.

Rather than devoting an outsized amount of our resources to pursuing a game that we'd come to believe wasn't at all the best answer for the majority of our customers, and paying a crazy amount of insurance to stay in that game, and get lost in the fog of what has become a shifting goal post (in case you haven't heard, V shapes are the new U shapes, which themselves were once the new V shapes), "me too" products, and general opacity, we've simply decided to focus on alloy and doing that as well as we possibly can.

Plus, as more aluminum rims with black brake tracks proliferate into the market, we're betting (quite literally) that carbon's major advantage will be eliminated.
 

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In many (perhaps most) cases, being able to use a latex tube as you can in an aluminum rim but can't in a carbon, provides more benefit than whatever aerodynamics a deeper carbon rim may provide.
I'm guessing this is purely rolling resistance based? The butyl tubes I use are as light or lighter than most latex tubes I see being sold.

Rim brake carbon rims are dying and should die, probably never should have been made to start with. However carbon rims on disc brake bikes will live forever, there's nothing you can do to stop that. Maybe once disc brakes take over, as all the people with the power are pushing for, things might change.
 

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I'm guessing this is purely rolling resistance based? The butyl tubes I use are as light or lighter than most latex tubes I see being sold.

Rim brake carbon rims are dying and should die, probably never should have been made to start with. However carbon rims on disc brake bikes will live forever, there's nothing you can do to stop that. Maybe once disc brakes take over, as all the people with the power are pushing for, things might change.
Gains for latex are purely rolling resistance, yes. Weight really doesn't matter all that much, at least in small increments.

As for carbon, rim brakes present a huge part of the problem, but FAR from the whole thing. It's a serious mistake to think removing rim brakes makes carbon, much less any old carbon, full speed ahead. From a design perspective, you do have to put a fair amount of extra weight into a rim brake carbon rim as a heat sink, which you can remove. But brake heat isn't the only issue. Far from it. But we're happy to be the receiving end of a whole lot of "yeah, I'm going back to aluminum, what have you guys got for me" activity.
 

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Gains for latex are purely rolling resistance, yes. Weight really doesn't matter all that much, at least in small increments. .
People who test/measure this sort of thing have found 4-8 watts savings per wheelset from latex over butyl.
 

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People who test/measure this sort of thing have found 4-8 watts savings per wheelset from latex over butyl.
Coincidentally, our tests showed a very consistent 3w per tire advantage for latex over butyl. And those watts aren't affected by your wind angle or drafting. They're always there.

People are always going to assume that our particular decision was driven by rim brake issues, which is absolutely not the case. Just yesterday an acquaintance who works with another wheel brand, very carbon focused, was telling me they're pulling their hair out over their suppliers holding tolerance, the stunning QC steps that even good suppliers require you to hold, rejection rate, etc - and this brand does very little with rim brakes and a lot of their business is in tubulars.

A lot of times I feel in this issue what cycling must feel like as regards to doping and other sports. Just because no one else is talking about it or making similar moves about it doesn't mean that carbon's not a pain for brands. When you're attuned to this, you see it every day. Just because Bud Selig had no issue standing next to a bunch of juice heads and saying "baseball has NO PED problems," that doesn't make his statement true.

But again, not saying carbon is the devil or that no carbon is good carbon. We've made good carbon - for a pretty constrained use profile, it can be good. It's just that the benefit you ultimately wind up with is pretty limited, and comes with the cost of a big cost premium, decreased brake performance, oftentimes handling issues, and use constraints. So this aero benefit, when there is one, isn't exactly free speed.

So what we are actually saying is that alloy wheels are a long long way from dead or irrelevant. Long.

Just yesterday I saw a thing that showed the fastest spoked wheels around (Enve 7.8 and Zipp 808) save 14 and 11 watts at speed respectively over box section Mavics with thick spokes (i.e. worst case aero wheels). If Tony Martin switches from the wheels he used to an aerodynamically competent 27-to-30mm-ish aluminum wheel at Doha last year, he still almost certainly walks away with a rainbow TT jersey. Same with Cancellara at the Olympics.
 

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Coincidentally, our tests showed a very consistent 3w per tire advantage for latex over butyl.

Out of curiosity which butyl tubes did you use? I'd have to guess there's that much difference between butyl and butyl (like, say, Panaracer* compared to whatever Walmart has)

*I know Panaracer tubes are a mix of butyl and latex but you get the point.
 

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Good question. They were Bontrager Race something or another. Good butyl tubes that you would use. The point of the exercise wasn't to maximize any difference but simply to see what was to be seen.
Thanks. So I suppose you could say "at least" 3w per tire because loads of people just use whatever butyl tube they get their hands on.
 

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I'm glad to see some starting to question deep section carbon clinchers. My own experience was poor.

I had a set of 60mm carbon clinchers. They were very expensive. The braking was terrible in the dry and downright dangerous in any kind of dampness (this may vary from rim to rim, but I don't think anyone would say a carbon braking surface works as well as an alloy surface). The excessive stiffness of the rims drove me crazy over potholed midwestern roads. Crosswinds out in the cornfields made it very difficult to stay on the road. Every time I used tire levers on them, I was scared (perhaps needlessly) of cracking the carbon. I've also noticed that if someone breaks a spoke, at least 80% of the time, they're using a carbon rim. Every time you cinch a carbon rim down in a rooftop carrier, you have to worry about cracking it. Carbon clinchers are just a pain in the ass. On top of that, it's pretty evident that the supposed aero benefits are very questionable in the real world. I went back to 24mm alloy clinchers two years ago and haven't looked back.
 

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I'm glad to see some starting to question deep section carbon clinchers. My own experience was poor.

I had a set of 60mm carbon clinchers. They were very expensive. The braking was terrible in the dry and downright dangerous in the wet (this may vary from rim to rim, but I don't think anyone would say a carbon braking surface works as well as an alloy surface). The excessive stiffness of the rims drove me crazy over potholed midwestern roads. Crosswinds out in the cornfields made it very difficult to stay on the road. Every time I used tire levers on them, I was scared (perhaps needlessly) of cracking the carbon. I've also noticed that if someone breaks a spoke, at least 80% of the time, they're using a carbon rim. Every time you cinch a carbon rim down in a rooftop carrier, you have to worry about cracking it. Carbon clinchers are just a pain in the ass. On top of that, it's pretty evident that the supposed aero benefits are very questionable in the real world. I went back to 24mm alloy clinchers two years ago and haven't looked back.
Starting? Not really. Some of us have been questioning the indiscriminate application of carbon rims across the range of recreational riding for some time now. Add to that the questionable quality of some of the inexpensive alternates driven solely by price to get a disaster waiting to happen.
 
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