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  1. #1
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    November Rail 52

    I've been looking into upgrading my wheels to Carbon Clinchers. I've looked into Chinese direct but not sure I want to gamble with such an integral piece of equipment. I heard about November a while ago when a friend bought one of there Wheelhouse framesets. So far he has nothing bad to say so I am considering putting a preorder on "The Rail". I like there company ideals and the fact that they assemble the wheels themselves gives me peace of mind(A bonus for them is that one of them is also a sailor). As there first wheelset designed in house (All there others are open mold) I'm kind of curious but hesitant at the same time. What do you guys think of the wheelset? Anyone else considering throwing a preorder in?

    November Bicycles: Race smart. - The Rail

  2. #2
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    "their".

    Buy them. Know that the rim is made in Taiwan, to some November specification and quality standard I'm sure. Assembling them in-house does give some peace of mind, knowing that they have eyes on each wheel as they are lacing them. Nothing but good things heard from November.
    Last edited by twin001; 03-28-2013 at 07:09 AM. Reason: Edit: made in Taiwan, not China

  3. #3
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    They're actually made in Taiwan. The manufacturer is as experienced and well-credentialed as it gets, their rims have proven themselves with Grand Tour stage wins and what has to be, at this point, millions of miles with our customers alone. Our wheels up to now have used open mold rims. The Rail is all ours, built by the same manufacturer, exclusively for us.

    The mold was finished early last week. The first four rims have been run through the mold. We have been testing the construction for a while, and will final test a pre-production run starting in a matter of days.

    If the shape is not distinctive enough to prove that they are our rims exclusively, each rim has small marks by the valve stem to identify them as ours.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    irony intended
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    Over the last couple months, my research into bigger brand name versus lesser known and open mold hand built wheels has led me to conclude that the Rail 52 is going to be one of the best deals going quality for value wise. I'm no shill, but am planning to get a set of these if I just can't wait until the 30-something version gets designed later this year. But in any case, I don't think they're taking pre-orders yet (Dave please correct me if I'm wrong on that).
    2011 Tarmac Pro SL3 Project Black (gone but not forgotten)
    2012 Parlee Z5 SLi (because I can)
    2014 Colnago C59 AD04 (why not)

  5. #5
    Dr. Buzz Killington
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    Are those rims going to be yellow at final production? If so, I think I'll pass.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    Are those rims going to be yellow at final production? If so, I think I'll pass.
    No thats just a yellow plastic rim used for wind testing.(I emailed them asking the same question)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlislegeorge View Post
    But in any case, I don't think they're taking pre-orders yet (Dave please correct me if I'm wrong on that).
    Thanks. We plan to open up the pre-order towards the end of April. There are still some tests to be done and we want to make sure the pre-production run goes smoothly. We don't want to take any orders until we know 100% that we can deliver the product exactly as designed.

    The yellow shape dummy rim (we call it "Canary Thunder") also weighs about 18 pounds. Building it was no easy feat. Production rims will be UD carbon, matte finish.

  8. #8
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    They seems to be very very nice rim. What I like about them is, that they are construct almost like tubular wheels. the "hook" where the clincher tires "attach" (sorry for my bad english" are pretty low.

    Am I wrong at saying that they should behave almost like tubular with heat dissipation ?

    I will keep an eye on these wheelset for sure !!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadl View Post
    Am I wrong at saying that they should behave almost like tubular with heat dissipation?
    There's a small but very important distinction to be made here. The improvements in carbon clincher rim construction have to do with heat resistance, and not heat dissipation. Carbon composites are and will always be WAY better insulators than aluminum alloys. Aluminum dissipates heat extremely well - they cool down quickly. Carbon holds on to heat more, so the name of the game is to develop a system to resist the heat. Carbon tubulars naturally resist heat because of their structural shape, but they can still melt glue. A bit more explanation is here.

    Remember that when you see pros doing what they do on carbon rims, they are in general tiny people - at 6' 165# I am something of a lard ass compared to your typical pro. They are also insane bike handlers, even the worst among them is pretty flash at driving the bike. When you see them, they are on closed roads, among other great bike handlers. These aren't advantages that all of us have.

    Huge progress has been made in heat resistance, but you still have to be careful. I haven't yet seen any "high temp" inner tubes, but we might not be too far away from that.

  10. #10
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    I guess the only real advantage to the clincher is the flat issue while out training. Otherwise, there is no benefit of running a clincher in carbon wheels. The weight penalty, heat issues, strength of the rim etc...are all stacked against the clincher carbons to try and get more aero.

    Would really like to see November priortize a tubular 52mm version and 38mm approximately.

    Zipp did a great thing with the FC. 45mm and 58mm, in tubies, both are good weight choices for particular race course/training courses. 303s are fine for any climbing at just over 1225gms. 404 FC tubulars on flatter course at around 1370gms.

    If November has a 52 coming in around 1300gms in between that setup in tubular, that would be a great all arounder wheel, even if it gets a bit steeper, but not a pure climbing wheel obviously. That is where a 3xmm something tubular would be a great dedicated wheel.

    I think you guys are on the right track though.

  11. #11
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    Good on ya for building your own tooling, and doing something unique. I know from experience that it is a huge undertaking.

    I dont think people have a good grasp of how many rims you will have to sell to simply recover your investment- let alone be profitable enough to develop more rims.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full_Spectrum View Post
    Good on ya for building your own tooling, and doing something unique. I know from experience that it is a huge undertaking.

    I dont think people have a good grasp of how many rims you will have to sell to simply recover your investment- let alone be profitable enough to develop more rims.
    Thank you, on both counts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Thank you, on both counts.


    I'll buy a set of the Rail clinchers when they become available. Ive seen the older ones on bikes around here, and they have a good rep with their owners.

  14. #14
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    Looks like November has got in the first "Rail's" for testing. They look awesome and I like the little Rail marking by the valve is a nice touch. I hope they ride as good as they look!

  15. #15
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    Was considering the cheap chinese carbon clinchers, but when you upgrade to CX rays, the transparency of November's testing and design, and the hassle of buying the chinese wheels, I'm going with some Rail's. $400 isn't worth a trip to the ER for me and is still a lot better than $2700 Zipp's. Plus I don't have to deal with some person with a fake name and deal with international hassle if there should be any warranty issues.

    Dave or others, will there be any issues running the Rail tubeless with tires such as the Hutchinson Secteur? Obviously the tubes getting hot would be a non-issue, anything else?

    During your wind tunnel testing of the Rail, was there a optimum tire size that tested the best with the rail shape?

  16. #16
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    Well, don't want to sound like a broken record, but any deep carbon clincher wheel that weighs 1500+gms doesn't make much sense to me.

    Either go tubulars, or wait for the Vision wheels that will run under 1300gms for clincher to hit the market in the near future.

    FSA Vision Metron Carbon Road Cockpit ?*first Look - BikeRadar

  17. #17
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    In theory, there should be no problems going tubeless on Rails. People have done it with our previous wheels, and the tire bed is essentially the same as on our previous wheels, just wider. They aren't a UST tubeless design, so it's not absolutely positively guaranteed to work, but tubeless tires should have a very secure fit on the rims. I would expect that it will actually be challenging to get tubeless tires mounted, and you always need to be aware of just how much leverage you have with a tire lever. You can do real harm to a rim with those if you aren't careful.

    In terms of an ideal tire match, you can pretty much go under the assumption that dinner is better, aerodynamically. We didn't test a range of tires, that gets unbelievably expensive in a hurry, but we designed the entire rim to work with a 23. In my experience, using a 25 is, for most people, unnecessary since you get more volume and a smoother ride out of a given tire width with this type of rim. Similarly, a 21 might be the greatest thing ever from an aerodynamic standpoint, but the ride on a 23 is so nice that I'm more than happy to just use 23.

    As of today, it is one week since I first rode the preproduction first rim. I've been using it with a Vittoria EVO CX 23, and I am just Very very very happy with everything I have experienced so far.

    Please blame Siri for any odd syntax or grammar or spelling.

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    don't go tubless on a carbon wheel

    call the manufacturer 1st. I recall Reynold telling me that tubeless would be an issue a) strain on the wall of the wheel that they did not design for and I believe the latex sealant (even a latex tube) was an issues. A lot of tubeless tire sealants have latex and a bunch of other nasty stuff in there that can attack carbon

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfeigen View Post
    call the manufacturer 1st. I recall Reynold telling me that tubeless would be an issue a) strain on the wall of the wheel that they did not design for and I believe the latex sealant (even a latex tube) was an issues. A lot of tubeless tire sealants have latex and a bunch of other nasty stuff in there that can attack carbon
    Nothing in latex that should break down an epoxy matrix, at all. The only thing off the top of my head you need to absolutely keep epoxy away from is paint thinner. MEK is good to stay away from just as a general practice. The stuff is nasty.

    I've worn out a set of Fusion 3s (like down to unusable) now on a set of 52s. I'm about to put a set of Galactics on 34s. Keep the pressure under 90 psi (the entire point of tubeless anyway) and you'll be fine on Rails.

  20. #20
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    Thanks,

    Just repeating what the guy at Reynolds.com told me, not even latex tubes.,

    BTW getting fusion 3s on/off my dura ace C24 TLs was a bear. How easily do they go on/off your carbon wheels?

    I am now running Zipp 303 FC with GP4000s 700x25mm rides like tubeless. I wonder what 25mm tubeless rides like :-)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfeigen View Post
    Thanks,

    Just repeating what the guy at Reynolds.com told me, not even latex tubes.,

    BTW getting fusion 3s on/off my dura ace C24 TLs was a bear. How easily do they go on/off your carbon wheels?

    I am now running Zipp 303 FC with GP4000s 700x25mm rides like tubeless. I wonder what 25mm tubeless rides like :-)
    Checking with your wheel manufacturer for anything is the best idea. I can give you my experience on Rails tubeless, but that doesn't mean boo for any other rim/wheel. Same on brake pads - others work well with things we don't recommend at all, and vice versa.

    Getting tires on was tight but not brutish. Lots of soap and water and plastic tire levers (don't use metal) it wasn't that brutish. I've installed tighter and looser non-tubeless tires.

    Tubeless definitely does exert more pressure on rim sidewalls. If anyone out there is a fan of the huge psi (the line of which I'll draw somewhere around 110 to 115), a) please try lower psi you will probably like it and research backs the advantages and b) don't go anywhere near there with tubeless. Most of the point of tubeless is safely riding lower psi. The ride when I thought to myself "now that was a little too squishy" I was at 55 psi on 23mm (nominal) tires. 65 rides great.

    Since tires set up wider on wider tires, I find the point of "too wide" comes earlier for me. A customer recently measured "23mm" Conti 4ks at 25.95mm wide on Rails. I noticed steering characteristics that I didn't prefer when I used "25mm" tires (which measured at a bit over 27mm wide). The Fusion 3s were a little over 24mm wide when last I measured them - yes, all tires grow based on age and pressure (article in link has more specific info on that).

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