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  1. #1
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    House Brand (Giant/Roval) Carbon Wheelsets versus aftermarket carbon wheels

    Hello everyone! I want to buy a cyclocross bike and start racing more seriously. I did a couple this year but on my FS Santa Cruz. I have a road bike I ride regularly but it'll only clear 25mm tires so I'm currently pre-shopping/researching cross specific bikes to race and occasional gravel rides.
    One of the bikes on my short list is the Giant TCX Advanced Pro 1.
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcx-advanced-pro-1
    It comes stock with Giant's own composite wheelset. I spoke with a Giant mechanic about them and also got to ride a lower level TCX.

    My question is, does anyone have experience with Giant's carbon wheelsets and how they compare to aftermarket composite rims? Even Roval and Ibis make their own 700c carbon wheels. Do house brand wheelsets perform and hold up as well as other aftermarket wheels?
    From a price perspective, they are less expensive some than other carbon wheelsets at $1600.
    Any information is helpful as I haven't found much in the way of comparisons.

    Carbon wheels aren't a must, although I know they make a huge difference in ride quality.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodfather450r View Post
    Hello everyone! I want to buy a cyclocross bike and start racing more seriously. I did a couple this year but on my FS Santa Cruz. I have a road bike I ride regularly but it'll only clear 25mm tires so I'm currently pre-shopping/researching cross specific bikes to race and occasional gravel rides.
    One of the bikes on my short list is the Giant TCX Advanced Pro 1.
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcx-advanced-pro-1
    It comes stock with Giant's own composite wheelset. I spoke with a Giant mechanic about them and also got to ride a lower level TCX.

    My question is, does anyone have experience with Giant's carbon wheelsets and how they compare to aftermarket composite rims? Even Roval and Ibis make their own 700c carbon wheels. Do house brand wheelsets perform and hold up as well as other aftermarket wheels?
    From a price perspective, they are less expensive some than other carbon wheelsets at $1600.
    Any information is helpful as I haven't found much in the way of comparisons.

    Carbon wheels aren't a must, although I know they make a huge difference in ride quality.
    Thanks!
    No. They don't. They can't...it's not physically possible for a rim to have a 'huge' difference 'ride quality'...much less a noticeable effect at all. Carbon rims are much stiffer than alloy rims for one thing. ANY wheel that had low enough spoke tension so that you might say it was very comfortable would probably fall apart in a matter of yards.

    Your tires and the pressure that you inflate them to will make pretty much ALL the difference in ride quality on a CX bike. Saddle, a tiny bit. Bar tape/gloves, a tiny bit. I think Trek's IsoSpeed is great but I'm not convinced that you can even notice it on a CX bike w/ properly inflated tires. The only things you'll get from carbon rims are light weight and superior stiffness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Your tires and the pressure that you inflate them to will make pretty much ALL the difference in ride quality on any bike. Saddle, a tiny bit. Bar tape/gloves, a tiny bit. I think Trek's IsoSpeed is great but I'm not convinced that you can even notice it on a CX bike w/ properly inflated tires. The only things you'll get from carbon rims are light weight and superior stiffness.
    Fixed.

    We all want that Holy Grail - a bike which is vertically soft as a pillow, but laterally stiff as a board, right?

    Here's a good article explaining and debunking myths on stiffness. It's worth reading in its entirely before you go spending $$$ on wheels trying to achieve that Holy Grail:

    Debunking Wheel Stiffness - Slowtwitch.com
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    We all want that Holy Grail - a bike which is vertically soft as a pillow, but laterally stiff as a board, right?
    You used to be able to get a joke sticker: Guaranteed Vertically Compliant, Laterally Stiff.

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    That's no generalization to be made about 'in-house' vs after market wheels (or anything). Some of each are great and some of each suck.

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    Giant's carbon wheelsets are made by DT swiss, like all of their hubs. I'm not sure who makes Specialized's Roval brand or Trek's Bontrager brand. Bontrager's used to be rebranded HED wheels, but I don't know about now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    Giant's carbon wheelsets are made by DT swiss, like all of their hubs. I'm not sure who makes Specialized's Roval brand or Trek's Bontrager brand. Bontrager's used to be rebranded HED wheels, but I don't know about now.
    Pretty sure some Roval hubs have DT internals, and Bontrager's high end wheels definitely have DT internals. Trek makes or has the rims made for them depending on the wheel.
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    “Made by DT Swiss” or “with DT Swiss internals” is good - however real high end DT Swiss wheels are better - and more expensive.

    Choose depending on what you need/ wish and on your budget.

    I personally will never use the stock wheels from Giant, Spez./ Roval etc... as I want better wheels but I have to pay the premium price for that. 10-20% better is usually 50-70% more expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    Giant's carbon wheelsets are made by DT swiss, like all of their hubs. I'm not sure who makes Specialized's Roval brand or Trek's Bontrager brand. Bontrager's used to be rebranded HED wheels, but I don't know about now.
    I'd really like to know where you found this information. I don't think Bontrager wheels ever used HED rims. Bontrager and Giant may have used DT hubs, but I doubt they used DT rims.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I'd really like to know where you found this information. I don't think Bontrager wheels ever used HED rims. Bontrager and Giant may have used DT hubs, but I doubt they used DT rims.
    Older Bontragers were made by HED, it's not too hard to find a picture of that. More recently, Bontrager rims were produced under contract by Zipp. That has been over for a few years.

    The rebranding stuff has more or less always been somewhat insane. INRNG used to sort of maintain a "who makes what for whom" database. This old post on our blog talks a bit about some specific cases of rebranding.

    If you've been paying attention to this for a long time, none of this is news. Pretty simple to find out otherwise - Google has most of the answers to everything these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Older Bontragers were made by HED, it's not too hard to find a picture of that. More recently, Bontrager rims were produced under contract by Zipp. That has been over for a few years.
    What do you mean by "older"? Pre-2000? I really doubt that those hideous paired spoke wheels (Bontrager Race) that were notorious for spoke hole cracks were made by HED or Zipp.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    Seriously, Google. It’s a wonder. You can think and doubt, but this stuff is readily knowable.

    Some of the Lance era Bontragers were Hed rims. Zipp stopped producing rims for Bontrager maybe 2 or 3 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Seriously, Google. It’s a wonder. You can think and doubt, but this stuff is readily knowable.

    Some of the Lance era Bontragers were Hed rims. Zipp stopped producing rims for Bontrager maybe 2 or 3 years ago.
    Why would I Google when you're here and I can just ask you?

    Lance era Bontragers were HEDs? Those must have been their highest end wheels since the troublesome paired spoke rims were on many stock Trek bikes around that same time.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Why would I Google when you're here and I can just ask you?

    Lance era Bontragers were HEDs? Those must have been their highest end wheels since the troublesome paired spoke rims were on many stock Trek bikes around that same time.
    HED did make wheels for Bontrager for years. After that Zipp made the rims and Trek had the hubs manufactured with a shell they designed and DT internals. Then Trek took over the manufacturing of the rims when they wanted to go tubeless w/ carbon clinchers and Zipp didn't want to make them. That's how I heard the story from our Trek rep.

    The HED made rims in '08-'09 were paired spoke, in '10-'11 they were normal. Trek started getting Zipp made rims in '12, the names changed from 'Aeolus 6.5' or whatever to 'Aeolus 3 or 5 or 7 D3' that year. Can't remember the year Trek took over rim manufacturing...maybe '14 or '15?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    The HED made rims in '08-'09 were paired spoke, in '10-'11 they were normal. Trek started getting Zipp made rims in '12, the names changed from 'Aeolus 6.5' or whatever to 'Aeolus 3 or 5 or 7 D3' that year. Can't remember the year Trek took over rim manufacturing...maybe '14 or '15?
    Oh my! You mean those troublesome paired spoke rims were HEDs?? My 2007 Trek had Bontrager Race wheels (Race Lites had them too) with the paired spokes. Multiple spoke hole cracks at 4K miles and I'm not even a clyde! From what I see, that design existed from 2001-2009. They were gone in 2010:

    https://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/...=2300%20Triple

    https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...el=Pilot%205.0

    https://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/...204.5%20Triple
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Oh my! You mean those troublesome paired spoke rims were HEDs?? My 2007 Trek had Bontrager Race wheels (Race Lites had them too) with the paired spokes. Multiple spoke hole cracks at 4K miles and I'm not even a clyde! From what I see, that design existed from 2001-2009. They were gone in 2010:

    https://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/...=2300%20Triple

    https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...el=Pilot%205.0

    https://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/...204.5%20Triple
    The first link were Rolf wheels. The second 2 were Bontrager. I don't remember who made those. The wheels I'm talking about are the original carbon Aeolus' w/ rims made by HED, since we were originally talking about carbon rims. Trek spec'd Rolf paired spoke wheels for years before they went to wheels w/ the Bontrager label. Then HED made paired spoke wheels for a couple years for who knows what reason...I guess Trek thought they were cool. Then they finally went to 'normal' lacing.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    The first link were Rolf wheels. The second 2 were Bontrager. I don't remember who made those. The wheels I'm talking about are the original carbon Aeolus' w/ rims made by HED, since we were originally talking about carbon rims. Trek spec'd Rolf paired spoke wheels for years before they went to wheels w/ the Bontrager label. Then HED made paired spoke wheels for a couple years for who knows what reason...I guess Trek thought they were cool. Then they finally went to 'normal' lacing.
    You are correct, the wheels on the 2001 bike are Rolf wheels. Didn't see that at first!

    The second link is my bike. Those are the ones where my rear wheel developed cracks. At the time, my bike mechanic said "I know very few people who haven't developed cracks in these".

    But yes, now understood that the rims you were talking about were carbon rims.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



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