That in itself could be its own blog post, but what I wanted to cover was that carbon fiber wheels are revolutionizing the way riders are looking at 29"ers. One only has to go back several years, (or read British mountain biking magazine articles from the present day), to remember that a common argument against 29"ers was that their wheels were to heavy and weak. Not anymore.
Take a quick gander at those Easton EC-90's there. Light? How about a real world weight, (weighed on my scale), of 1450 grams for the pair. (Easton claims just a touch lighter than this.) Okay, but how stiff are these? Let me tell you something- If these rims were aluminum, I would kill them in fairly short order. I happen to be a fairly smooth rider, and wheels last longer under me than with some folks, but if I had banged the aluminum rim like I have banged these, well......the rims would be pretty dinged up by now.
That's the thing here though. Yeah, so what? Carbon is tough, stiff, and all that, but at what price? The price. Well.........expensive would be a nice way to put it here. $2500.00 is not cheap by any stretch, and you could probably source some hand built aluminum rimmed wheels for a quarter of that price that weighed close to these wheels.
|UST rim bed = tubeless ready|
Finally- Do carbon rims hold up? If you buy from the leaders in the technology today, the answer is yes. They do hold up. Are there carbon rim failures? Sure there are. But you have to ask yourself: Would an aluminum rim have survived that accident/crash? Not likely. If you have a good company behind you, there are some warranty/crash replacement policies to help you out.
Those are a lot of things to answer and consider, but one thing would make all of this much clearer. That would be if the price of carbon wheel sets comes down. If the performance aspects can be kept, and the weight can be kept low, and the prices brought down to well below 2G for a wheel set, the equation gets a lot easier to balance. I suspect this will happen sometime.
Especially when you consider high end aluminum wheel sets can be as much as 1G or above, a cheaper carbon hoop set would strat to make a whole lot more sense. Time will tell..........