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Forgive me if this has been asked before. A year ago I bought a pair of Chinese 38mm carbon tubular rims and had my local wheelbuilder (an incredible wheel builder-I have used many) build them up. He was neither overly enthusiastic or critical of how they built up and I have been happy with them so far. I have around a 1000 miles on them.
I am about to build up a second set and this time around, I am considering Gigantex 38 or maybe 50mm carbon tubular rims built in Taiwan rather than no-name Chinese. A retailer I trust says they are better engineered and constructed better-and more reliable. The cost difference is relative I suppose. $400 vs. $200 a pair is obviously 100% but all said and done, $200 is not large given what is at stake and how much I spend left and right on other bike related stuff. So, what say the experts here?
 

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i'm no expert (unless buying stuff makes me one), but to some extent i think this is "where you sit is where you stand."

the folks in TW or using Taiwanese pieces to build from can give good arguments as to why they're better, safer, etc. i read a good explanation of the differences in manufacturing techniques in another forum, but i'd guess the mainland chinese are catching up in hat regard. to me, if you're not buying from someone that can demonstrate something like "we have a unique mold designed and made just for us to our spec" and/or "we're using the latest resin mixes that generate less braking heat" then you might as well buy the cheaper items. also, buying TW usually implies you're buying from someone who has an OEM-like relationship with the TW manufacturers, because they generally don't sell to the public. although since you're building tubulars, you already know those are available. is rim weight a concern? generally the chinese claim lower weights.

like you said, the cost difference isn't a big deal so why not run the experiment and see? spending $800 vs $600 for a wheelset is much different than moving up to the brand name wheels and spending over $1500. on the other hand, if the no-name rims haven't given you any trouble why not stay with them? also, do you need a second set of 38mm? is there some different use intended?
 
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