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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cheap Chinese carbon wheels V's something a lot better...And Sunday's ride

I’ve been wanting carbon wheels for my Roubaix for ages but have always been hesitant to spend the money but last September year I decided to bite the bullet and lash out some of my hard earned on a set. As I was on a  limited budget I decided ebay would present me with the best deals and settled on a company called cn*carbon wheels and ordered a set of 50mm carbon clinchers with ceramic bearings for $608.00 AUD.
Any correspondence with the seller prior to ordering usually took a day or two due mostly to the time difference and was only possible through messages on ebay or email.
Once ordered the wheels took about three weeks to arrive and I have to say I was pretty damn excited when they showed up at the post office for me to pick up.
I had them on the bike that night and couldn’t wait till the next day when I could take them out for a spin.
On ride one I was pretty chuffed they looked the goods the only criticism I had was that the holes which the valves went through were a little oversized and allowed the valve to rattle around making things sound a quite agricultural.
Ride two was also fun and the wheels felt good on the road.
After ride three the wheels didn’t actually fall of but started to look like they might. Holes had developed on the breaking surface of the front wheel and had started to show on the back. It looked as though there had been air bubbles just under the surface and breaking quickly heated and wore through the thin layer which covered them and exposed the cavity which they created.

Not happy, what happens now? I was always concerned about how things would pan out should there ever be a problem. My first email came back with a reply saying that if I paid for return postage they would fix the front wheel, when I told them this was unacceptable as both wheels were faulty I never heard from them again, even after several more emails from me. Thankfully Pay Pal came to the party and I got my money back in full but get this only after I paid return post and provided a receipt showing such. The whole thing took weeks
As ticked off as I was I still really wanted carbon wheels but I did learn a lesson from the previous nightmare, I started to look around. My first point of call Wiggle as it often is these days (after Abbottsford Cycles) and found a set that I liked but was keen to deal with a company that I could get on the phone to and ask a few questions should I need to so I searched “carbon wheels” on Goooogle.
Having been bitten once I did have a few criteria I needed satisfied, I wanted to be able to speak to the people selling me the wheels, ideally I wanted to buy them from somewhere here in Australia, I wanted a proper warranty.
One of the first mobs I came across was Caden and after having a look around decided to give them a call.
As soon as I got off the phone I knew this was who I would be buying my next set of wheels from, yep the specs were great-50mm deep, 28.3mm at their widest, 18 spokes on the front and 21 on the rear, sweet skewers and weighed 1520 grams for the pair-all good for what I was after. The deal clincher (heh!) for me was speaking to the wheel builder when I rang, as that’s who answers the phone, Ben was the guy that set the tension on my spokes. Not only do you get to speak to an actual person, in real life, on the phone but you get to speak to the guy who actually builds your wheels for you and can answer any question you could possibly think of.
When I ordered my wheels he suggested what tyres worked nicely on them, suggested air pressure and even gave me tips on fitting the included brake pads. I rang him a few times and he was always patient and extremely helpful.
Done deal, I ordered the wheels and six days later they arrived, from memory the Chinese wheels took around three weeks.

I’ve had the wheels for about six months now and have had a chance to give them a reasonable run, including one 150 k ride. I love them, they roll beautifully, brakes work a treat, they look the bomb…and they’re stiff so maybe not for a 1200. Would I recommend them? Hell yeh!, my only whinge (and it’s minor) is that the free hub is pretty loud when you’re  not pedalling and given a choice would go for a hub that's a little quieter, but some folk like that sound and it’s wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me and damn I wish I were good enough to really put them through their paces.
Would I buy another pair of cheap Chinese rims? No way.
There's a ride planned for tomorrow morning from the usual place in Lannie at nine, Hope you can make it.


1 comment:

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