Finding The Best Carbon MTB Rims

Before actually looking and upgrading into the best carbon rims MTB, it’s always better to take a deeper look into what makes them good. Compared to aluminum, carbon MTB rims have several benefits, especially in terms of lightness and durability.

Part 1: Selecting The Best Rims for Your Bike

If you have a plan to buy carbon mountain bike rims, do remember that there are a lot of varieties of MTB wheelsets that you can also consider. There are some for beginners and others special for bike enthusiasts. It’s pretty understandable that someone is confused because of how unfamiliar the engineering terms are. So, we want to make everything as simple as possible.

carbon fiber mountain bike rims

Before actually visiting bike shops or sites, it’s better to understand the four important aspects to understand when choosing any wheelsets. They are rims, hubs, spokes, and the bike itself. There are also two additional things to know, which we’ll explain briefly below:

The Materials

The material of these carbon MTB rims is the most important part. So, it’s better to understand the type of materials that are common to use for the wheelsets. The first is alloy. This material is the common one in bike-making. It’s affordable but still pretty inferior to the other two kinds of materials. The second one is aluminum, a material that’s strong, durable, but also easy to get. The later one is carbon fiber, which is often used as a stronger, more flexible alternative to aluminum. The thickness and properties are just in the right position for making proper wheelsets for sporting discipline.

Riding Style

After choosing the material for carbon MTB rims, now it’s time to think about your riding style. Do you love going uphill or downhill? Pick the proper carbon fiber MTB rims that suit your needs the best.

Part 2: Things to Remember Before Buying Rimset

Do you have a plan to buy the best carbon rims MTB? Surely you do. But before buying, there are a few things that you need to pay attention to. Instead of spending tons of money just to get a bad set of rims, know a few things below:

Disc Brake or Rim Brake

This is very important. What type of brakes do you have on your bike? Are they rim brakes or disc brakes? The most obvious difference between rim brakes and disc brakes is the color. On the rim brakes, there is a brake line on the outer side of the rim; if the wheelset is alloyed, then it is silver. If it is carbon, it can be black or alloy material. On the brake line, there is usually no sticker placed for smooth braking.

If your bike uses disc brakes, there are two more options, namely six bolts or a center lock. These two things are the way the disc brake rotor is locked on the wheelset. It’s really easy to find out; just look at your bike’s rotor. If there are six bolts surrounding the rotor, then you need to look for a wheelset disc brake with six bolts; if not, then you’re looking for a wheelset disc brake center lock.

Quick Release or Thru Axle

Quick-release (QR) or thru-axle (TA) itself is a type of shaft that connects the wheels and the frame of your bike. The QR has a smaller diameter than the TA, and the name itself allows the wheelset to be easily removed and put on and off quickly.

TA has a way of working like a bolt, which for this shaft will be locked with the frame, so it requires a special tool to remove it, usually an Allen key. Not all TA have the same size. The size of the TA itself can be checked from the length and diameter.

Wheelset Material

There are so many variations of wheelsets with various materials. Nowadays, what is often found in alloy or carbon fiber, but the alloy itself has many types. There are also many types of carbon fiber, which of these two materials have in common. If the material is more expensive, it will be light and has higher quality as well.

Rims Width and Height

Rims are parts of the wheelset that form a circle. The higher the rim, the better its ability to break the wind. But of course, the more materials used, the heavier it will be. If you want to find a wheelset with a high rim, it’s better to just go straight to carbon because it’ll be very heavy if you use alloy instead. In addition, if you buy a high rim such as 50mm (high profile), then you need to convey your rim height to the shop owner if you want to buy an inner tube because this will also affect the valve height.

The width of the rims itself has more effect on the tires. It will be suitable if the width of the rims is the same width as the tires. But, this does not rule out the possibility of using wider tires. For example, the width of the rims is 25mm with 28mm outer tires, and this combination is still okay. It doesn’t matter, depending on the rims, how many min and max tire widths are supported.

Part 3: Proper Steps to Upgrade Your Bike

It should also be noted for those of you who are planning to upgrade carbon MTB rims there are suggestions for the upgrade sequences that have the most significant effect on performance. Here’s the order:

Primary Parts

The primary part is the part that supports the rotating mechanism in the bicycle. The most influential parts of this bicycle are the wheelset and bicycle tires—other parts such as pedals, drivetrain (including groupset), etc.

The wheelset is the most flavorful part, and it’s easy to feel the differences in weight. The lighter it is, the more expensive the road bike wheelset will be.

There are many recommendable wheelset brands that are currently available in the market, such as Shimano wheelset, Campagnolo wheelset, Mavic wheelset, Fulcrum wheelset, Swiss DT wheelset, Araya wheelset, Zipp wheelset, Hunt, and many more.

If you don’t have enough funds to buy a wheelset with higher specs, we suggest upgrading your bicycle tires first.

Choose tires that are already Kevlar; if the wheelset already supports tubular tires or tubeless tires, it is even better.

Secondary Parts

This second part is the one that has to do with cycling comfort. Because it only has direct contact with the bicycle user’s body. This second part includes the handlebar, bar tape, stem, seat post, saddle, and the size of the bike.

The problem with this part is it should be well adapted to the users. Now, you have to be diligent in seeking any information about it better by reading reviews about the parts so that you won’t make the wrong purchase later.

Tertiary Part

This last part is more towards luxury and prestige, such as choosing a road bike brand and its supporting parts. The essential thing is that there needs a lot of riding practice, So if the ability is high and the money is sufficient, then these tertiary parts are surely an option.

Part 4: Conclusion

Before actually making a purchase, make a note of some of the factors you need to understand above. Consider the materials, parts, and support to have a wheelset that will suit your biking style the most.