Carbon Mtb wheels are undoubtedly a great way to noticeably enhance the performance of your bike. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is not a solution for everyone or all conditions.
- Part 1: Overall Evaluation: Pros And Cons
- Part 2: Brief History of Carbon Mtb Wheels
- Part 3: Details of the Main Parameters
- Part 4: Carbon Mtb Wheels for Better Riding Experience
- Part 5: Carbon Mtb Wheels Details
- Part 6: Specification Sheet
Part 1: Overall Evaluation: Pros And Cons
Good carbon fiber wheels can completely change the feel of your bike. The stiffness is more outstanding than aluminum wheelsets. So for potent riders, sprinting and climbing without a saddle, this attribute can make a clear difference in the bike’s responsiveness. Some carbon fiber wheels provide a smoother ride over rough surfaces.
Braking performance, or lack thereof. Prototypes of carbon fiber wheels were pretty terrible when braking. But manufacturers did design a way to dissipate the heat build-up. The solution for early carbon wheels was significant improvements in heat management. It starts with the type of resins used and the carbon brake blocks.
Anybody with a genuine interest in bicycles can see that carbon Mtb wheels are slowly displacing aluminum ones. Also, if anyone has paid attention in physics class, they know what should be lightweight in a bike so we can get up to speed quickly. Carbon Mtb wheels are definitely for people who care about incredible durability and keeping maintenance to a minimum.
Part 2: Brief History of Carbon Mtb Wheels
Aluminum rims are the definitive solution for mountain bikes, regardless of whether the bike is intended for recreational or extreme riding. For some time now, manufacturers of these components have decided to introduce 29″ MTB carbon wheels, which also come in smaller diameters, such as 27.5″.
Those made of fiber are definitely on a higher shelf, not only in price. Their presence in a mountain bike makes the best Mtb carbon wheelset more dynamic and reliable off-road. In addition, the material offers stiffness and comfort, which are invaluable on uneven surfaces. Additionally, its durability speaks for betting just on MTB carbon Mtb wheels.
An American company Reynolds is one of the most experienced manufacturers of carbon wheels. Its history dates back to the early 90s of the last century when the company dealt mainly with carbon fiber parts, but after a few years, it focused exclusively on the production of the wheel.
The chief engineer in the company is Paul Lew, a world-class specialist in the use of carbon fiber in cycling and aviation. In 1991 he developed the first carbon rim suitable with tubeless tires. In his spare time from designing wheels, he also designs spy planes for the American army, proving his knowledge and experience.
As a testament to Reynolds’ reputation in the carbon fiber world, Maclean-Fogg acquired Reynolds in 2007 to learn the ins and outs of carbon fiber production. Maclean-Fogg used this knowledge to produce roofs for the Chevrolet Corvette. Three years ago, Hayes Performance Systems, a manufacturer of bicycle disc brake systems, among other things, became Reynolds’ new owner.
Part 3: Details of the Main Parameters
It is advisable to select components from reliable manufacturers when choosing carbon wheels. In the case of hubs, the choice fell on DT SWISS because their products stand out from the competition in terms of durability and ease of service. Our best bets are DT SWISS, ZTR Stan’s NoTubes, and Sapim.
An example is the reliable and, at the same time, most popular 350 models. The price-quality ratio is an unquestionable advantage, and we will risk a statement that the sealing of those hubs is legendary. The bearings can operate without interference even after 25-30 thousand kilometers. Additionally, the 350 and 240s are equipped with the Ratchet system, which is more durable than standard ratchets.
Part 4: Carbon Mtb Wheels for Better Riding Experience
Carbon wheelset Mtb rim will be lighter than the corresponding aluminum rim. However, nothing prevents you from designing an aluminum wheel with a lower taper, which will simply be more delicate than a carbon wheel with a high taper. It all depends on your predisposition and what you need. If you ride mostly in mountainous terrain and need low, light rims with high resistance to damage, aluminum may be a better option, especially if you prefer tires to cones.
A highly controversial issue. Any carbon fiber product is designed to withstand overloads within a specific, prescribed range. Within its limits, it shows better resistance than its aluminum competitors – it is resilient and hard to damage. Unfortunately, life is not a laboratory.
Often, an adventure may happen where the intensity and distribution of forces in a fraction of a second exceeds what the designer predicted – and here the problems begin. After a sudden impact, an aluminum rim has a chance to bend before it breaks (which can be centered). A carbon rim will simply shatter and will be suitable for trash. Interesting fact – many mountain bike racers in Enduro World Series still use aluminum rims because, during stages, it is forbidden to change components. On a bent wheel with an aluminum rim, you will get to the finish line somehow – on a carbon one, not so much.
Choosing the right rims is extremely important, as the whole puzzle begins with them. There are carbon and aluminum models available on the market. Those made of carbon material are undoubtedly a shelf higher in terms of the dynamics of driving the bike and feeling the terrain.
Carbon rims are usually lighter, which means they are faster. This is not a rule because while top-shelf models are indeed super light, essential carbon wheels can have rims quite a bit heavier than well-known and popular lightweight aluminum rims from DT Swiss, or, e.g., No Tubes ZTR. However, if we take two sets of identical weight on the trail, the carbon one will still have an advantage over wheels on aluminum rims. Carbon wheels are usually stiffer and more resilient and more comfortable at the same time.
Don’t underestimate how important this is. You have to admit that there is just something undeniably appealing about the look of a sleek road bike that rolls on a pair of deeply profiled carbon fiber wheels. While many may not admit it, many invest in carbon wheels mainly because of the look.
Part 5: Carbon Mtb Wheels Details
Universally used for producing top frames, handlebars, seat rods, and even rim pads. Recently rims made of this material have become more and more popular. Their price is several times higher than that of high-end aluminum rims, and their durability may be a cause for concern.
Professionalism Is Key
As stated earlier, if you want to enjoy carbon Mtb wheels long-term, they must be built in a professional assembly shop using the best components. We recommend using the best elements in both aluminum and carbon wheels. This will help you avoid future disappointments and the need to repair your equipment. Carbon rims should be made of better quality carbon fiber such as T800 and the latest aerodynamic technologies.
Many companies on the market offer hubs branded with their own brand, under which there is a poorly sealed body, and it is the sealing that determines the durability of the seat. Even the best ceramic bearings will be of no use if the hub is not correctly sealed because everything that gets inside the body affects the operation of the approaches.
The best Mtb carbon wheelset must come from a reliable assembly shop so that the fitment is correct and under the restrictive requirements of wheel construction, and access to spare parts is fast and easy. Then getting help with any warranty issues is simply more accessible.
Comparing to Aluminum
Carbon fiber is widely known and used in practically every sports discipline where strength and low weight count. Bicycle frames made of this material make it possible to design light and very stiff structures, which at the same time are great at improving the comfort of the ride.
There are basically three main advantages of using the carbon wheel set Mtb. Firstly – weight. Carbon fiber is a very lightweight material and stiff and durable at the same time. Therefore it can be shaped into virtually any shape and strongly shaded without the risk of damage. On the other hand – if strength is the most important thing, we can create armored carbon wheels with the same weight as light and not very strong butted aluminum rims.
Low weight translates into another plus – aerodynamics. Significant especially in road cycling, where higher rim cones are desirable. Carbon allows virtually any cone height at a much lower weight than aluminum counterparts. This will enable you to build wheels that ride great upwind yet are lightweight and solidly strong.
Contrary to popular opinion, high-quality carbon Mtb wheels are much stronger than aluminum ones. Sure – planting bells one after another can damage the rim, but that goes for every spin. Aluminum taking a hit can deform, and the trim is practically useless because every attempt to restore its original shape weakens the material even more. In the case of carbon, the situation is a bit different because of its properties. It makes an impact, and if it doesn’t exceed the upper strength limit – much higher than in the case of aluminum – the material returns to its original shape. Moreover, the difference in stiffness and thus in traction or holding the line is much better with carbon Mtb wheels.
Part 6: Specification Sheet
Wheels of the latest model of the American manufacturer, are under hubs in BOOST spacing, which improves their lateral stiffness. drilled for 28 spokes. The rim has an inner diameter of 29 mm and an outer diameter of 33 mm, which improves the grip of the tire, which on these wheels can be tubeless.
The indicator of the quality of the construction of the wheels is the skills of the people who assemble them, as well as the advanced tools. The braiding and centering of the wheels are done by qualified staff with many years of experience and rich knowledge. They keep abreast of new developments and set new standards in wheel building. They also have access to the latest tools that allow precise craftsmanship.
An important factor during the wheel-building process is skillful centering. It automatically translates into more outstanding durability, reliability of the set, and ultimately into a better ride on your new wheels. The spoke tension is chosen with a repeatability of up to 5% to achieve an even distribution of the forces acting on the rim. By paying great attention to the strict centering process, we achieve parameters that deprive the wheels of even a nanometre of horizontal and radial run-out. The devil is in the details.
Professional wheel centering is a half of success, but it is also essential to choose all components with highly satisfactory quality. Specialists spend hundreds of hours designing and testing carbon Mtb wheels, so you can be sure of the highest quality. Low weight but relatively high strength (120kg limit) is a priority. We have put a lot of effort into ensuring that the rims are aerodynamically optimized and comply with the UCI norm.