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SF
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well i am sorry to report that in about year of owning a set of EDGE 45 clinchers, i've had my share of problems. my main purpose in writing this is to see if anyone else out there has experienced issues as well (and if so, what you have done about it). seems like everything i read is praise for EDGE. i really want to like these wheels, and this company, but unfortunately the majority of my time with the wheels has been *not* riding them.

my first set was good for about 10 mos. i used them as an everyday wheel for long rides, centuries, some training, etc. a little bit of everything. then i noticed that the rear rim deformed (bulged), so EDGE replaced it without a problem. this is all fine and good, but i got dinged for shipping + handling + spokes + a wheel build (by my LBS) and it took about 2.5 weeks before i was rolling again. then, it happened again with the front wheel, and again i got dinged for shipping + handling + spokes + a wheel build. so i've now paid over $300 just to have 2 rims replaced and rebuilt.

when i got my brand new rear wheel back i noticed that it has a pretty bad imperfection on the braking surface. upon riding it the braking was horrible. it pulsed, squealed like crazy, and sent vibrations all the way thru my saddle.

man i'm so frustrated. i heard that EDGE used to make all the rims in the US, but now they manufacture overseas (to keep up w/demand) and have had a few "bad batches." from everything i have read and ppl i have talked to, the OLD, original rims were great, and totally bombproof, but the new ones have seen some quality issues.

the wheels are awesome when they are working. but unfortunately for me they haven't worked that well. BTW, i'm using yellow swiss stop king pads and i live in Norcal. I'm wondering if these wheels just aren't cut out for long and/or technical descents. i don't ride the brakes, but braking is definitely a necessity in these parts.

any similar experiences, stories, advice?

thanks in advance...
 

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No advice from me but want to bump to say that I would also like to hear about other people's experiences. I have considered Edge rims because they seem to be the only company that offers decent deep carbon clinchers. But, of course, this puts a wrench in any thoughts I had.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your grief, and have no comment either way on overall quality. I'm also not a fan of carbon rims in general, so I'll focus on only one point you raised.

Carbon rims generally don't handle the heat of braking well. Since you live in an area of long descents, you're converting a decent amount of kinetic energy into heat on a regular basis. That has to go someplace, and the brake shoes can't take it up so it goes into the rim, where some is passed out into the air, but most stays raising the temperature.

While EDGE claims they dissipate heat, there's only so much that can be done, so it becomes a question of the thermal stability of the matrix material. You might go back and ask EDGE straight out whether they consider their rims up to the task of repeated long descents.

One related point. Weight is a major factor so a rim that might be fine for the heat build up generated by a 150# rider, may not handle that of a 190# rider on the same grade. Also, how you brake is another factor. Using air resistance to manage speed, and pulsing the brakes to scrub off speed as needed will probably result in less heat buildup than continuous braking.
 

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Carbon clinchers have been available for what, 4 or 5 years now? Maybe in another 5 or so we'll see some that are up to real life riding conditions.
 

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I've had 2 failures (both Reynolds rims). One was a delamination of a front wheel during a technical descent (I weigh 165). The other was a few weeks ago - put me in the hospital and out for 6 weeks with a broken arm that required a plate. The tire blew off a rear wheel during a technical descent - theory is that the tire was too loose fitting, brake heating caused the tube to inflate 20-30psi, causing a blowout. Found information about potential tire issues relating to brake heating post crash... tire company has tire and wheel at their lab for testing. Reynolds (via Lew) has patents on brake track composition for heat dissipation - may help somewhat with delamination but still not the issue of tube over-inflating.

If I were to go back to carbon clinchers I would get ones like Hed with an alloy section to avoid what is clearly still a big issue - braking heat.
 

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A thought.

stevesbike said:
theory is that the tire was too loose fitting, brake heating caused the tube to inflate 20-30psi, causing a blowout.
Not trying to make an internet diagnosis here, but some people have postulated that brake heating causes the tire rubber to heat up to such degree that the tire bead starts to melt and "smears off" the rim like melted cheese would. To me, this has always sounded much more plausible than a 20-30 psi increase in the tube "blowing a tire off the rim."
 

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wim said:
Not trying to make an internet diagnosis here, but some people have postulated that brake heating causes the tire rubber to heat up to such degree that the tire bead starts to melt and "smears off" the rim like melted cheese would. To me, this has always sounded much more plausible than a 20-30 psi increase in the tube "blowing a tire off the rim."
it's more plausible for the heat to affect the tube than the tire. Re the tire pressure increase, this is what Josh Poertner, head engineer at Zipp, says:

I have seen people blow clincher tires off of rims due to the pressure increase. We have seen rim temperatures in testing exceeding 325F, which can be enough to raise the air pressure in the tire by 20-25psi, so this can be a blowout risk on loose fitting tires or rims at the low end of the ISO diameter spec.
 

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stevesbike said:
it's more plausible for the heat to affect the tube than the tire. Re the tire pressure increase, this is what Josh Poertner, head engineer at Zipp, says:

I have seen people blow clincher tires off of rims due to the pressure increase. We have seen rim temperatures in testing exceeding 325F, which can be enough to raise the air pressure in the tire by 20-25psi, so this can be a blowout risk on loose fitting tires or rims at the low end of the ISO diameter spec.
I'm not convinced. The tire bead is in direct contact with the rim's braking surface; the tube isn't. At 300F, some tire compounds start to melt. The likelihood of a 300F tire bead smearing off a rim hook is higher than the likelihood of a 20-30 psi increase in a tube blowing a non-melting tire off a rim. I do agree with the ISO rim/tire tolerance field assessment. A largest tire mated to a smallest rim obviously will blow off much easier than the statistical average fit.
 

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natedg200202 said:
Smearing? What are you talking about?
Heat-generated loss of friction between two surfaces that depend on that friction to remain in contact. As the surface layer of a tire bead approaches 300F, it becomes soft to the point of melting. When that happens, friction between the clincher tire bead and the rim decreases dramatically and it becomes possible for a loose-fit tire to slide out of its seat—like butter sliding off a hot knife. That melt-induced sliding is often called "smearing" in engineering parlance. To heat a rim to 300F takes some doing, so you don't see clinchers smearing off a rim all that often. But it can and does happen.
 

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SF
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
some good points here. unfortunately i find myself caught in a loop of warrantying the rims/wheels, being too nervous to really ride them hard (unless it's completely flat). and having spent a bunch of cash, time, and effort to try and make them work. i'd love to just get a refund and wash my hands of the wheels. i agree with the above that an aero wheelset with an alum braking surface is probably best -- the mavic sl and slr's seem to have great reviews, but then again so did edge.

fyi, i'm 150 lbs. and i'm using conti 4000s tires. as i mentioned above i live in norcal so it's pretty much non-stop mountain riding. you're either going up or going down. many of the descents are steep and technical so braking is a must. frankly i've started to wonder if these wheels can handle even a sudden stop from speed to a stoplight. i find myself really babying them (ie. not braking when i otherwise would, and/or modulating lightly to scrub speed, ALWAYS using both calipers) in order to try and preserve them but the overall effect has me riding timidly and always second guessing my wheels.

that's no way to spend a ride.
 

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ksroadie said:
Nick Crumpton's succinct summation: "i love my carbon tubulars and i love my aluminum clinchers. i see no benefit to carbon clinchers."
Perfectly said. It's a shame when a guy like xccx who obviously rides a lot, and probably rides pretty hard, races, etc., ends up with a product that on the face of it, would be great (aero, fairly light, etc.). The glaring problems with terrible braking, unexpected blown off tires, etc. start cropping up and soon enough, he's pissed (or injured, or both).

The reality seems to be that the folks that I see parading around from coffee shop to coffee shop on these wheels are the ones keeping them in existence, and I'll bet most will tell you that they are perfectly satisfied with the "performance" of these flashy toys. The high price tag is probably even an attractive feature to these guys, so as to make them all the more impressive to their peers. On the one hand, there's nothing wrong with that and people buy all sorts of blingy things just to look cool and impress others, and cycling is no different in that regard. Indeed, these are the customers that drive the industry. But on the other hand, it does suck when they drive the industry to create dumb stuff like carbon clinchers.

I guess I'm just generally annoyed by the trend of just glomming carbon onto any and every possible part of a bike. Just because you can make something out of carbon, doesn't mean you should.
 

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xccx said:
some good points here. unfortunately i find myself caught in a loop of warrantying the rims/wheels, being too nervous to really ride them hard (unless it's completely flat). and having spent a bunch of cash, time, and effort to try and make them work. i'd love to just get a refund and wash my hands of the wheels. i agree with the above that an aero wheelset with an alum braking surface is probably best -- the mavic sl and slr's seem to have great reviews, but then again so did edge.

fyi, i'm 150 lbs. and i'm using conti 4000s tires. as i mentioned above i live in norcal so it's pretty much non-stop mountain riding. you're either going up or going down. many of the descents are steep and technical so braking is a must. frankly i've started to wonder if these wheels can handle even a sudden stop from speed to a stoplight. i find myself really babying them (ie. not braking when i otherwise would, and/or modulating lightly to scrub speed, ALWAYS using both calipers) in order to try and preserve them but the overall effect has me riding timidly and always second guessing my wheels.

that's no way to spend a ride.
I'd get them fixed up and put them on ebay to recover some of your money and get another everyday wheelset.
 

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jsedlak said:
Why would (or does) a tubular carbon rim act differently under braking? Wouldn't the glue melt, or the tube expand and explode under similar conditions?
yes, the glue can soften under heat - once the tire starts to slip, the valve can rip off and cause a failure. According to Zipp, it's worse in shallow rims (climbing ones) since there's less mass to act as a heat sink and less surface area to dissipate the heat. I haven't heard anything about the cause of Voigt's bad crash this year in the Tour except it was a front wheel blowout but this is a possibility...
 

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xccx said:
what's your impression of a hybrid wheel such as the mavic cosmic carbone?

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/r...ic-cosmic-carbone-sr-wheelset-8035.267.0.html
I'll bet that is an awesome wheelset. I have the tubular version from about 8 years ago and I love them (mine are way heavier than those I believe, and I use them for crit racing). $2000 seems pretty steep, but I'm sure they're great wheels- I can only imagine that braking surface is super sweet, even compared to other al clinchers.

I don't have any conflicts about this kind of thing because my outlook on wheels is pretty simple- Use the most durable, serviceable and failsafe clincher wheels available for training (Mavic open pro, 32x, DA hubs) and use a range of different tubulars (some al, some carbon) for racing.

I don't feel comfortable really pushing the limits on clinchers. I'm terrified of high speed flats on clinchers because of how quickly you can lose control of them in the event of a blowout. I've experienced it, and I wouldn't want that to occur in a race when I'm on my limit. I try not to exceed 40 mph on clinchers, and I use tough overbuilt tires (specialized armadillos are my favorite) for safety and because there is nothing that makes me more furious than not completing a workout as a result of a puncture.

Tubulars are best for racing and high speeds. They corner better, roll better and are easier to ride down to a safe speed when flat then a clincher. I can glue them on so that they are VERY difficult to remove, and I'm not concerned with rolling them when I'm the one who did the gluing.

If I was not racing, and I had the dough for a mid weight, aero clincher; that Mavic wheelset would be one I'd really consider. There's lots of other great, high performance aluminum clinchers available these days too; there's no real reason to consider full-carbon clinchers beyond the bling factor.
 

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I'm a big fan of Hed Jet 6's as an everyday wheel; it's essentially an alloy rim with a non-structural carbon section bonded to it. You get the everyday reliability of an alloy rim and can ride on bad pavement without worrying about the carbon, and the aerodynamic shape is excellent (semi-toroidal, which Zipp and Hed share a patent on). It also has their c2 rim width, which improves cornering.
A bit heavier than some, but the drag characteristics make up for it until you're over 7% grades. The jet 4 is a bit shallower but I've found 60s to be fine even in windy conditions.
 

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Current technology has surpassed the cosmic carbone. They are still nice rims but heavy.

Have you considered Edge tubular rims? Maybe the company would work with you if you wanted to go that way. (As I recall, that was the outcome for the guy at weightweenies who had the same problem.) By design carbon clinchers are just more susceptible to heat deformation than tubulars. FWI, I'm no lightweight (190 lbs), and have not had any problems on my Edge tubulars in the mountains or flats.
 
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