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What is the real value of carbon fiber carbon wheelsets?
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    In the TV broadcast of the Grand Tournament, you can see that drivers use carbon wheelsets, carbon bike wheels, carbon bicycle wheels and carbon fiber wheelsets - Racing 0 and Shamal and other top tube tire aluminum wheels, although sometimes found, but has been extremely rare. In the civilian circle, many manufacturers claim that carbon bike wheel can significantly save your power and improve your performance.That's the value of carbon wheelsets? Does its value match its price?

    Chatting among riding friends always involves upgrade of equipment and equipment, and most of the time the topic always shifts to upgrade of wheelset. In fact, more and more fans feel that changing a pair of wheels can improve their performance more than changing a kit or something else. There is an inappropriate analogy: many cyclist feel that the wheelset of a highway car is the engine of the bicycle.

    The performance of the major carbon wheelset factories has been booming in the past ten years. I guess it has something to do with the impulsive upgrading of wheelsets by many drivers. At the top of the pyramid, the market for carbon fibre wheels has expanded significantly. They claim to save a lot of time and power, and help drivers achieve better results - as if your car was equipped with nitrogen acceleration just by changing a pair of carbon knives. In this respect, the "cost-effectiveness" of carbon wheels is really quite high. Especially now that the high-end market is nearly saturated, the more affordable carbon fiber wheels have begun to downward compress the survival space of the aluminum alloy wheels. I don't know if the aluminium wheel, like the aluminium frame, will be gradually compressed to the bottom of the market until it fades out, but I don't think there is no chance. Fifteen years ago, drivers agreed that carbon fibre frames could not be widely used because carbon fibre materials were too expensive to prove performance and unreliable in the race. But now...

    According to market publicity, the important value of carbon fiber wheels is their light weight and better aerodynamic performance. The lightweight advantages of carbon fibers are well known. And the widening process of wheelset started by major manufacturers has further strengthened its aerodynamic characteristics. The ampagnolo Shamal frame in the mid-1990s was 40mm high and weighed 1980g, which was considered incredible height at that time. Now, carbon wheels with a height of more than 50 mm can hardly weigh more than 1,500 G

    Carbon fibers have only one color, but different arrangement of carbon fibers can give different appearance.

    Another advantage of carbon fiber is that it can be precisely molded into various shapes. With the help of hydrodynamic model, computer simulation and real wind tunnel test, the shape of carbon wheel can reach the limit of the manufacturer's ability. Publicity of breaking and windproof capability is the main direction of carbon wheel marketing nowadays, and these capabilities can be sorted by quantitative data, so users can compare air resistance and other performance of different types of wheels very intuitively before deciding to buy.

    A typical wind tunnel test chart, note that most of the wheels can achieve minimum wind resistance between 10 and 15 degrees of wind direction, rather than all directions of the incoming wind can achieve very low resistance. Data from Bontrager's 2011 study.

    Using carbon fibers to make rims or even whole sets of wheels can achieve a very high rigid weight ratio. We all know the characteristics of carbon fibre frame: it can be very hard and rigid in a certain direction. Carbon wheels are usually very rigid, which reduces the number of spokes required.

    Compared with carbon frame and other parts, the material requirement of carbon fiber wheels is more stringent. The top carbon wheels will use carbon fibers above M40 to lift rigidity, while the most popular carbon wheels are basically T800. At the same time, the strength of carbon fiber wheel group is relatively less concerned. Look at what happens when LightWeight hits a dog...

    At the same time, due to the reasons of manufacturing methods, it is impossible to ensure that the aluminium frame is completely round and unbiased in production, but the high-quality carbon fiber wheel frame can achieve this point, so that the spoke tension is more average and the quality of the wheel set is higher. Therefore, it is natural for carbon fibers to easily overwhelm aluminium alloy in the wheelset arena.

    This is one of the reasons why carbon fibre wheel frames are expensive... Their rate of good products is still not particularly high, so there will be one, two, three or four grade products...

    Carbon fiber wheels are obviously of great value when they are very light, very aerodynamic, and very high weight-rigidity ratio, taking competitive performance as the main consideration. But why, or do many people think that carbon fiber wheels are "too expensive"? Let's continue to analyze the real value of carbon fiber wheels.

    Super-high frame carbon wheels can provide aerodynamic advantages, but in complex wind environment, it may significantly affect vehicle handling. Obviously, the application of such wheels is relatively narrow. In addition, manufacturers often promise how much resistance a set of wheels can reduce, but the claimed value is not universal. The minimum resistance wind direction of many wheels ranges from 10 to 15 and once the wind direction exceeds this range, such as when you turn a corner, the wind resistance may suddenly increase, which may also cause control problems. We do not doubt the authenticity of wind tunnel tests and the effectiveness of aerodynamics. But how do they work in the real world?

    By strictly controlling variables, researchers create a perfect environment to measure wind resistance, in which wind speed and direction are constant, which in turn means that changes in wind speed and direction may significantly affect the results of measurements. In other words, the difference in air resistance between different brand wheels is so small that they can only be measured in highly controlled environments. These data are measurements of the wheelset itself, without considering the condition of the wheelset when it is loaded into the vehicle. Bontrager conducted a wind resistance test on top TT frames and their wheels in their research report, and concluded that changes in wind direction would still have a significant impact on wind resistance. Therefore, the so-called aerodynamic advantage is impossible to achieve theoretical results in reality. This is an ideal model.

    This is a warning label for many wheels, whether carbon or aluminium.

    Burning frames is another ironic problem that all carbon wheels may face. Many people think that the braking performance of carbon frame is lower than that of aluminium frame, and it is easy to burn the frame, which is an unsafe factor. Now, with the efforts of various manufacturers, the braking performance and reliability of carbon wheels have begun to catch up with aluminum frame wheels. However, continuous braking for a long time may still cause brake side failure, especially the brake side of carbon-rimmed open-end wheels - professional drivers will not brake like this, and experienced amateurs will not brake like this, but most ordinary people have become accustomed to braking downhill, especially on long and steep slopes.

    Companies such as Reynolds and ENVE have developed their own brake block formulation to slow down the rise in brake side temperature and require drivers to use the brake blocks they specify. But there are still risks. In some American competitions, organizers prohibit drivers from using carbon wheels. Recently, more and more reports have pointed out that there is a question mark on the reliability of carbon-side open-ended wheels. The manufacturer chooses to be coy. Disc brake may be a good choice, but it also faces many problems. In short, users'concerns about the brake side have reduced the value of carbon wheels.

    Swissstone's yellowking is the most commonly used carbon wheel brake block in the world, but many manufacturers prohibit drivers from using it on their wheels. Then swissstone introduced Black Prince, claiming that it controls heat accumulation better than yellowking. But the cork brake block is more recommended for individuals - not CORIMA, of course. Another advantage for the fire-proof frame is the popularity of wide ring. The expansion of air volume and carbon fiber cloth area in the frame is beneficial to heat dissipation.

    What about the strength and durability of carbon wheels except for the brake side? To be fair, in large factories, these wheelsets will not go wrong. Carbon fibers, after all, do not like materials that withstand impact. Wheel group manufacturers are usually reluctant to publicize their own wheel rim technology, and seldom provide information on wheel rim durability (especially brake side durability). ZIPP emphasizes that they use Kevlar fibers to reinforce the rings (so-called Carbon Bridge) and braided fabrics to reinforce them near spoke holes. And ENVE directly moulds spoke holes to avoid possible structural damage caused by drilling holes.

    Many riders use carbon wheels as hangers and only take them out for races or other special days. Personally, I think that a group of bicycle clothing accessories wheelset can fully reflect its use value, but it is understandable that the driver cherishes thousands of dollars. Even if every big factory has a policy of replacing carbon wheels at a low price after they are damaged, once they are damaged, it will still be a high price. What are the prospects for the daily use of carbon fiber wheels?

    What is the real value of carbon fiber carbon wheelsets?

    Many manufacturers impose weight limits on wheelsets, but manufacturers seem unable to control how their wheelsets should be used. ZIPP seems to think that their wheels should only be used for competitions, while ENVE does not think it is a problem to use carbon wheels for daily training commutes. If you're concerned about the durability of carbon wheels -- especially those on the brake side. Unfortunately, there is no definite study to determine when the brake edges of carbon wheels will be exhausted - there are sporadic claims that the brake edge life of carbon wheels is even higher than that of aluminium wheels! uuuuuuuuu Generally speaking, there is no problem with the daily use of carbon wheels as long as you overcome psychological barriers.

    In fact, another major factor of carbon discoloration is that many people worry about the high cost of tube tyres. In fact, is it really that high? The worst tube tyres can also catch up with some high-grade open tires, and the price of the latter is about three times the former, and it is very difficult to have a fetal ligation, which is also a slow leak. It's human nature to fear things you don't know for no reason, but it's easy to find out when you really touch them.

    Evolution of aluminum wheels

    The lightest wheels can be 1,200 g, and less than $1,500. Of course, you don't have many options. Stan's offers Alpha 340 rings, a 385g version that supports vacuum tires, and easy to achieve lightweight with Dash's ultra-light hub. American Classic has two new models, one 1179g and the other 1108g. They often do not have high tension, need to specify brake blocks, or are difficult to tire, and rigidity may not be able to meet the requirements of the competition.

    In fact, the value of carbon wheel varies from person to person. Major brands may not be able to solve all the shortcomings of carbon wheels, but it is clear that carbon wheels are difficult to beat in competitive performance. Aluminum wheels are unable to provide a solution that combines weight, aerodynamic performance and rigidity. But their price guarantees that they have room for survival.

    Whether a group of wheels is valuable depends on how the rider uses them. Therefore, the driver's personal needs are the most important point. Some users want a set of top-grade carbon wheels to improve the grade of the car and make it look better, which is a realization of value. By contrast, an average driver wants to get a better result through a set of wheels of about $3,000, which is also a realization of value. The important thing is to know what you need first, and then to find what you need, rather than "what you want, what you want".

    2018 - 12 - 11
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    2018 - 12 - 11
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    2018 - 12 - 11
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