As a rule I don’t recommend carbon clinchers for rim brake applications. Carbon clinchers for disc brakes are a different story. Check out this recent build of carbon rims to Hope hubs:
Blog: Carbon Rims
I’ve built this make of rim before. These rims were supplied by the customer but I hope to stock them in the future. We’ll see — it turns out doing business with China isn’t easy.
I’m really happy with the quality. The nipple seats are reassuringly thick and the rims were round out of the box. The manufacturer makes carbon rims for a major league brand so production is mature. This particular model is 45mm deep with a hybrid toroidal shape, virtually identical to the Zipp 303. They lack the dimples found on Zipp Firecrests but sell for a fraction of the price.
You can buy them as factory-built wheelsets but I offer more choice. For one thing I use brand name spokes and hubs. Or I can use your existing hubs, which is the story of the PowerTap shown here. Plus I lace carbon rims with nipple washers, which are not on the factory menu. For a scant weight penalty of 0.175 grams each, washers help nipples spin freely at high tension and ease maintenance.
If you’re interested in these rims and would like to discuss configurations, send me a note. Customers outside Calgary can order their rims with shipping directly to the shop to save money.
I recently became a SwissStop dealer and just listed brake pads for sale. Often overlooked, good pads make a material difference to stopping power, wet weather performance and feel at the lever. Add SwissStop pads to your wheel order and pay no extra shipping.
The driver behind this decision is upcoming carbon projects (stay tuned). If pads matter in general, that goes double for carbon rims. Braking generates heat — too much heat can melt carbon. SwissStop put a lot of work into their Black Prince compound, which, in tests, produced significantly lower temperatures. Dry braking power isn’t compromised and stopping distance in wet conditions is getting better. No matter which pad you prefer, reserve a set for use on carbon alone; alloy rims contaminate pads with abrasives that will damage carbon. I say don’t pinch pennies on pads.
Let me know if these or any other SwissStop pad interests you.
A trend I’ve been watching is direct sales of carbon rims from China. It’s an idea with pros and cons. The main pro is price. When you buy direct you’re effectively a wholesale customer as they offer no better terms for dealers. You’ve probably seen them on small brand wheels, which are often based on this idea — just add logos, the promise of testing and a little markup. If you purchase rims China direct, I can get them built. If you want to talk about the idea, get in touch.
These rims were supplied by the rider. Weight is the focus with a Tune King 15 front hub, DT Swiss 240S rear and CX-Ray spokes. Total wheelset weight is 1470 grams (29er, 32h). Wow!
Happy holidays all.
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