06 July 2013

Wheel Nos. 00011 and 00012 - Carbon Clincher 25mm wide rims from China

It has been several years since I rode my Reynolds Stratus Cross carbon tubular wheels.  I decided that for those of us who ride without a team support van and spare bikes/wheels at the ready, the benefits of tubulars (low weight, better "road feel") do not outweigh the costs (glue/tape, carrying spare tires, replacing the $75+ tire instead of the $7.50 tube, etc.).  

But the hubs on my Reynolds wheels are still as smooth as the day I bought them, and no reason not to repurpose them.  So I ordered a pair of carbon clincher rims (25mm wide, basalt braking surface) from China ($360 for the pair, including shipping), and some Sapim CX-Ray spokes from a German online retailer ... and today built up a set of carbon clincher wheels.  They look great and should be very fast and comfortable, given the 25mm width and beautiful deep carbon rims.
Wheel 00011. Front.  20 spokes.

Wheel 00012.   Rear.  24 spokes.

Happened to have a set of Vredestein 700x25 Fortezza TriComp tires waiting for these.  Perfect.
Of course, carbon clinchers have their own, very well-known weaknesses.  They melt apart when overheated from braking on long, steep, technical descents.  Fortunately, we do not have any such terrain around where I live (hah! just kidding).  

So these will probably be my time trial, triathlon and/or flat terrain wheels.  Or perhaps I will end up giving them to someone who weighs much, much less than I do and so is not a target for extreme brake-related heat on a descent. ...  And I will use Shimano cork-style brake pads, rather than Swisstop Yellow, given the warnings here about a link between heat generation and these pads.

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