Ceramic coated rims
Do they last? Currently i get 3 to 4 years out of a rim and then it has such a curve in it from braking in the rain and dirt that I replace them.
Are they the solution?
Can't say they are more durable. The main benefit seems to be better braking (though they tear up the brake pads). In theory they should be more durable but I've never seen actual data either way. Tougher surface, better braking, tougher brake pads to take advantage of the tougher surface, faster wear - it may all cancel out. Again, the data seems scarce but maybe somebody has done some controlled tests.
Originally Posted by siclmn
Supposedly you're suppose to use ceramic specific green brake pads by Kool Stop.
Ceramic surfaces are brittle and crack easily. But aside from that they can be durable. However one must understand that ceramics are insulators, both electrical and thermal, so the braking energy converted to heat in the brake pad cannot transfer to the aluminum rim where it can be dissipated. This is the reason for rapid pad wear and reduced brake effect, but ceramic only makes the pad operate at higher temperature, so it will limit braking when the pad material breaks down or melt, or at least closer to melting than if it were running against aluminum, that is for standard pads, the ceramic intended pads supposedly won't do that. The main benefit was intended to be for wet braking where you can stop about 50% faster from reports I've read; its resistance to wear is probably also a goal for wet conditions that circulate much grit. And if they chip they will shutter under braking.
Personally I don't see any real advantage, and they get real ugly as they wear. But make sure you have the right pads.
Used to be popular in MTB rims in the 90s. Mavic used them on the crossmax wheels. They were pretty OK as long as they stayed intact. As mentioned the finish was brittle and would chip after a bit. Once the first chip happened, they would shed ceramics with normal braking. That tended to make the the rims and brakes grabby.
Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.