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  1. #1
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    Need Help: Inexpensive Carbon Clincher Recommendations

    My 2011 Easton EC90 Aero rear hub has a crack. Easton won't sell me a replacement hub. I don't know much about building wheels, but the LBS said that the lace pattern for that rim is not compatible with standard hubs.

    I tried to search my question, but there wasn't a good (recent) thread that addressed what I was looking to ask.

    Long story short. I'm looking for an inexpensive carbon wheelset. I used my Easton wheels as training wheels and spares for my carbon tubulars when racing.

    I'm looking for a wheelset in the $1000-$1300 price range (total with shipping).

    I've come across the following products and was hoping for experienced feedback on these options, or others I haven't considered.

    1. Williams Wheel System 38 Carbon Clinchers - $1,199 + $10 shipping = $1209 (I owned a set of these from 2006 or 2007, they were fantastic until they de-laminated - obviously an issue fixed with newer models).

    2. Neugent Cycling C38CC25 Carbon Custom Clinchers - $1095 +57.90 shipping - $109.50 for sale = $1043.40 (I owned a set of Aero28 aluminum wheels from Neuvation - bulletproof, but a bit heavy, worked perfectly when I sold them this summer)

    3. Mercury M5 Clinchers - $874.95 + $29 shipping = $903.95 (I have a set of Mercury S3 tubular wheels I got from a friend - pretty solid)

    Not too keen on the 55mm rim depth.

    4. Tokyowheel EPIC 3.4 - Carbon Clinchers - $899 + free shipping = $899 (I have no clue about this company, but I've read good and bad things about them - so still no clue).

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    3.
    Last edited by jspharmd; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:02 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  2. #2
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    Lots of lightly used wheelsets on the used market. This article is worth a read if you're set on buying new. https://intheknowcycling.com/2017/03...d-bike-wheels/

  3. #3
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    There was a lengthy thread on this site regarding Tokyo if you haven't seen it yet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by majbuzz View Post
    There was a lengthy thread on this site regarding Tokyo if you haven't seen it yet.
    Thanks for pointing out the thread.

    I had already read the Tokyo thread. It is 5 pages long with a very basic summary... 1) their initial marketing wasn't too bright (paying for good reviews), 2) they tried to clear their name on this site, but were not successful, 3) the RBR review of their wheels was mediocre (but they are only $889, so what do you expect?), 4) That was two to three years ago and they are still in business, 5) I have not seen anything meaningful posted since 2015.

    With a general lack of members discussing their experience with the wheels, I'm asking my question (for 2017).
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
    Lots of lightly used wheelsets on the used market. This article is worth a read if you're set on buying new. https://intheknowcycling.com/2017/03...d-bike-wheels/
    Yeah, I've had experience with lightly used wheels. My experience says, it takes considerable time to find the right balance of "light use" and price. I'm looking for used sets, but also looking at new sets.

    The review you suggest is helpful, but it also doesn't include the wheels I've asked about. I'm looking into the three wheelsets from the review that are in my price range. The Reynolds look great, but I can't find them at $1250. I have found them at $1300, but that is shipping from Europe and that price range often incurs VAT or broker taxes.

    Thanks for sharing though, I really appreciate it.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  6. #6
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    If these are going to be training wheels and backup race wheels, have you considered looking at some of the newer alloy rims? Here is a wheelset you might want to look at: November Bicycles: Race smart. - RFSW3. You can option up to WI hubs and still be at $830 for the set.

    Here is a link to the November bikes blog where they did some wind tunnel testing and these compared very favorably to the Zipp 303s: November Bicycles: Race smart. - November Bicycles Blog.

    This quote is very informative: Using a 303 instead of a Kinlin XR31T/FSW3 or an AForce Al33/RFSW3 will put you 40mm (we originally said .4mm - Mike carried the 2 wrong somewhere earlier, and an eagle-eyed commenter caught it) ahead after 40k. The construct here is that the 303 is ridden at a power that makes the rider go 25 mph, and the others ride at that same power. The FLO30 and HED Belgium+ are a couple of bike lengths behind. That's it, and that's the extent of our summary report there.

    I am building wheels on the Kinlin 31T right now and look forward to riding them soon.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdhbrad View Post
    If these are going to be training wheels and backup race wheels, have you considered looking at some of the newer alloy rims? Here is a wheelset you might want to look at: November Bicycles: Race smart. - RFSW3. You can option up to WI hubs and still be at $830 for the set.

    Here is a link to the November bikes blog where they did some wind tunnel testing and these compared very favorably to the Zipp 303s: November Bicycles: Race smart. - November Bicycles Blog.

    This quote is very informative: Using a 303 instead of a Kinlin XR31T/FSW3 or an AForce Al33/RFSW3 will put you 40mm (we originally said .4mm - Mike carried the 2 wrong somewhere earlier, and an eagle-eyed commenter caught it) ahead after 40k. The construct here is that the 303 is ridden at a power that makes the rider go 25 mph, and the others ride at that same power. The FLO30 and HED Belgium+ are a couple of bike lengths behind. That's it, and that's the extent of our summary report there.

    I am building wheels on the Kinlin 31T right now and look forward to riding them soon.
    I hadn't considered alloy rims in the past, because I was under the impression that I would have to swap out brake pads when swapping out wheels. I've done this in the past, but when I had to do this in a race, I was told that I needed to throw away the carbon-specific pads I had just used with my aluminum spare wheel, because there was likely tiny metal shards in the pads. They went on to say that using these pads would scratch the carbon wheel braking track.

    If I received incorrect information about this, please correct me. I would love to spend less money. I'm just tied to carbon, because of my race wheels and the hassle of buying new pads anytime I had use them on both wheelsets.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  8. #8
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    Understood on the difference in pads and possibility of needing to check them if you did use the alloy wheels in a race. I guess you need to assess whether the risk of some additional time on prepping for a race to change from alloy to carbon pads and back again afterwards outweighs the additional cost to stay with carbon. I did that for years on my TT bike and it was just part of race prep. The set of carbon pads stayed in the wheelbags with the race wheels so easy enough to make the switch.

    As to having to toss a set of carbon pads if you did need the alloy during the race, you are the only one who can assess how often you are likely to flat in a race? I guess I've been lucky as it has never happened to me. If you did need to put on an alloy wheel to complete the race, I would certainly try lightly sanding the carbon pads before I just tossed them. Pretty easy to see when you get to fresh pad doing that.

    You can buy a lot of brake pads, probably more than you would ever need, for the difference between $850 and $1,300 or so just to stay with carbon for training wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdhbrad View Post
    Understood on the difference in pads and possibility of needing to check them if you did use the alloy wheels in a race. I guess you need to assess whether the risk of some additional time on prepping for a race to change from alloy to carbon pads and back again afterwards outweighs the additional cost to stay with carbon. I did that for years on my TT bike and it was just part of race prep. The set of carbon pads stayed in the wheelbags with the race wheels so easy enough to make the switch.

    As to having to toss a set of carbon pads if you did need the alloy during the race, you are the only one who can assess how often you are likely to flat in a race? I guess I've been lucky as it has never happened to me. If you did need to put on an alloy wheel to complete the race, I would certainly try lightly sanding the carbon pads before I just tossed them. Pretty easy to see when you get to fresh pad doing that.

    You can buy a lot of brake pads, probably more than you would ever need, for the difference between $850 and $1,300 or so just to stay with carbon for training wheels.
    That's great feeback. I've had about 4 wheel swaps in two years (3 in crits and 1 in a road race). Two from the crits were due to debris, one from someone hitting my back wheel. The one from a road race was due to a broken spoke. One the first crit crash was with an aluminum wheel. I guess I would be out $120 if I had stayed with aluminum. That is if I didn't sand them.

    I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  10. #10
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    Just curious: Are you saying a pair of carbon pads is $120....what brand are you using or did you mean you would be out $120 if an aluminum rim needs replacing?

  11. #11
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    I think he means 4 sets of pads would be $120.

    To the OP, check out Flo 45 carbon clinchers if you are looking for a shallow carbon wheel. Should be $1150 + shipping for the set although you have to wait for one of their orders to come around.

    FLO Cycling - Front FLO 45

  12. #12
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    That is a possibility. However, if he only used one alloy wheel in a race, then, theoretically, only pair would be contaminated with alloy shavings and need to be replaced. I couldn't tell what the $120 related to, so that prompted my question.

  13. #13
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    Reynolds Assault Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd View Post

    The Reynolds look great, but I can't find them at $1250. I have found them at $1300, but that is shipping from Europe and that price range often incurs VAT or broker taxes.

    Thanks for sharing though, I really appreciate it.
    If you click the PBK UK store links and use the code provided at the end of the Reynolds review in the article https://intheknowcycling.com/2017/03...eels/#Reynolds, you'll see they actually will cost you $1135 to the US with no shipping or VAT and unlikely to get duty or broker charges
    Last edited by steve@intheknowcycling; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:40 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdhbrad View Post
    Just curious: Are you saying a pair of carbon pads is $120....what brand are you using or did you mean you would be out $120 if an aluminum rim needs replacing?

    What I was trying to say was that you are right. If I had not purchased my Easton Carbon wheels, but instead used my aluminum wheels, the four tire changes would have cost me $120 over two years. That is if I didn't use your suggestion of sanding them down to remove the metal.

    Just FYI, I had previously asked one of the better mechanics at my LBS about sanding them down. He said you should be able to do that, but if you leave any metal slivers, you could damage your wheel. That is why I tossed the one set and then bought the Eastons.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    I think he means 4 sets of pads would be $120.

    To the OP, check out Flo 45 carbon clinchers if you are looking for a shallow carbon wheel. Should be $1150 + shipping for the set although you have to wait for one of their orders to come around.

    FLO Cycling - Front FLO 45
    The FLO Cycling wheels were on my list, but when I went to the site to price them, I clicked on buy now and it said Product Not Found. The flow of the website with a dead end at Product Not Found looked sketchy. I've since gone back and there is information about the next batch (not out until May), so maybe I just caught the site at a bad time.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve@intheknowcycling View Post
    If you click the PBK UK store links and use the code provided at the end of the Reynolds review in the article https://intheknowcycling.com/2017/03...eels/#Reynolds, you'll see they actually will cost you $1135 to the US with no shipping or VAT and unlikely to get duty or broker charges
    The review was great, but it was too late regarding the Reynolds wheels. jwalther didn't post about the review until today. The PBK sale ended yesterday. The Westbrook Cycles price is $1454. I completely believe that you can pick them up at $1250 if you find the right sale. Right now, I'm riding my tubulars, but I prefer to save those for races. So, I'm trying to get something fairly quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    One word : wtf??
    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  17. #17
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    I certainly understand the cost of repairing damaged carbon wheels. Years ago, I was riding a set of Zipp 303 carbon clinchers on our Sunday group ride. We were in a double pace line when the rider to my left got spooked by a passing truck and swerved into my front wheel where his rear der. ate 8 of the 9 spokes on the left side of the wheel causing me to crash immediately. The rider behind me ran over my back wheel and cracked that rim too. Both wheels were trashed to the tune of close to $1,800.

    Very good lesson in "don't ride what you can't afford to replace". Since then, I have only used carbon wheels when racing on my TT bike and I don't do that too often anymore.

    Good luck with your decision. Were it me, I would go with the Novembers, buy a couple of extras sets of carbon pads, a file and sandpaper to deal with the "what if", and then have fun with the extra $$500.

  18. #18
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    Check back tomorrow. I have asked them to renew the sale.

  19. #19
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    "In the know" is one thorough review. I got lightly used Reynolds Assaults from a guy I know that rarely used them for a steal. Are they amazing? They look cool, lighter than my stock wheels, and for the price it was like buying a new alloy set.

  20. #20
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    Oh yeah, should have put a disclaimer on the age of the thread. Things may be very different now or exposed as not accurate. I actually have a set of Williams wheels and really like them. I was on a moderate budget and what sold me was the customer service when I called with questions. Glad I did, no issues at all. Also using as a set of spares from EC90's.

  21. #21
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    The sale has been extended. Click the article above, go to the store through the link in the article, use the code mentioned and you can get them free of shipping and VAT for USD $1135

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve@intheknowcycling View Post
    The sale has been extended. Click the article above, go to the store through the link in the article, use the code mentioned and you can get them free of shipping and VAT for USD $1135

    That is a sweet deal! Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jspharmd View Post
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    I've seen Zipp 202s go for $1,500 on Ebay. I go that route. Forget made in China trash.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notvintage View Post
    I've seen Zipp 202s go for $1,500 on Ebay. I go that route. Forget made in China trash.
    I assume you ride a bike frame that is also manufactured in the US?

    Regarding used purchases on EBay. They are plenty of risks. I've seen people buy wheels that fail in a month. They have no warranty or ability to apply for crash replacement wheels. Just seeing wheels on EBay for some random price doesn't make it a safe buy.
    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson
    That's three.

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