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Best alloy rimmed carbon clinchers?

GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
edited December 2015 in Road buying advice
Was thinking of tubs but can't be bothered with the faffing of it, changing brake blocks etc to put alu wheels on for training, carrying spare tyres etc.

So now thinking of an alloy carbon low to medium depth aero wheelset (for racing mainly). Have ruled out full carbon clinchers for the usual reasons also (poor braking, risk of blowouts/rims melting on long descents).

Doing a bit of research the consensus seems to be that wheel weight is less important than aerodynamics unless you are on steep climbs >10%, which I do occasionally in races but not often and they are relatively short climbs in reality. Still struggling psychologically to go for a heavy aero wheelset however!

There are plenty of options to choose from, main ones I like are:

Planet X ct45, wide rim, toroidal, cheap at £400, 1840g weight
Campag bullet 50, around 1750g, narrower rim, probably a v profile, seem to be a tough wheel with good rep.
FFWD F4r 45mm rims, look quality with external nipples, cx ray spokes 1680g, 22mm width, but more pricey around £730
3t Accelero 40 Team, look beautiful but opinions seem to be they are a bit heavy (although not actually any heavier than the alternatives) 43mm wide rim, around £650.
Shimano rs81 35mm, good reviews, strong, weight not bad around 1650g, but maybe lacking in aero benefits. cheap at around £330 with a bit of shopping around.

Head says FFWD, heart says 3T, wallet says Planet X, contrarian says Shimano c35!

Any experience of these wheels to comment on?


  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,992
    You missed off hed jet.
    Lighter and more aero than the others.
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  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    Bit over budget at around £1600!

    One I did miss off actually is Zipp 60 clincher, dimpled toroidal 58mm depth, not to heavy at that depth at 1800g.
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    Sorry missed your link there, good deal alright but still out of budget, thinking max £700, also I would be slightly embarrassed to race on a 75mm rear wheel....not sure why but seems a bit OTT
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Another possibilty, lighter than most, my soul s3 are still going strong,
  • Do they do C50s in the RS81? I have the RS80s in that depth.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    Yes those soul wheels look nice, might be an import duty hit on them though which would make them quite expensive.
    Rs81 c50s do exist, around 1900g which I don't think I could stomach. The 35s are much lighter at 1650.
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Yes those soul wheels look nice, might be an import duty hit on them though which would make them quite expensive.
    Rs81 c50s do exist, around 1900g which I don't think I could stomach. The 35s are much lighter at 1650.
    I paid about £30 on my Soul wheels. The other option for you is the Swiss Side Hadron 485.
  • ck101ck101 Posts: 222
    Just picked up a set of HED Jet 6 for the knock down price of $899.00.

    See here:

    Given the reviews seems a bit of a bargain and will make a worthy replacement for my Cosmics.
  • clazzaclazza Posts: 626
    I did a similar bit of research and had about the same conclusions. Wide was important consideration which ruled out the Bullets and external nipples I thought were important too so that ruled out the 3T. I got the FFWd in the end. As you say, they are quality and with a decent internal width of 16.7mm.

    However, I'm getting rid of them as I find them very stiff and, with my poor handling skills, the 45mm rim can be sketchy with crosswinds. I was using them my sportive bike so theyre probably the wrong wheels - I've gone for low profile now

    I think they would be great for racing, just wrong for me - if you're interested in mine (they've done less than 500 miles and in excellent condition), PM me
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Been riding carbon clinchers for 11000 km. The braking is as good as alloy clinchers. Braking feels different but stopping distance in the wet and dry is the same. Maybe it's the resin in my rims and the Campagnolo brake pads but the combo is excellent. I Don't live somewhere mountainous but would not hesitate riding them on a long decent except those that are really twisty and long and require lots of braking. I have carbon tubs for that or alloy rimmed wheels. I think you are discounting full carbon wheels due to fear. I have found the fear is overplayed. I think if you looked at renoylds and other main brands even at some wheel builders you could have a lighter aero wheelset.

    Alloy rimmed carbon clinchers exist because of marketing they allow buyers to buy with bit of piece of mind. However many who ride mountains will just a shallow light set of alloy clinchers anyway and leave the aero wheels for fit or rolling terrain. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    I picked up some Supra 58s at the beginning of the year for around £300 (offhand from Merlin I think).

    Roll really nice, look cool, can't fault them.

    If you can't find them then well worth a punt.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    Picked up some fulcrum red wind 50mm wheels for £475, will give them a look over and decide whether to keep. Another factor is my frame doesn't have huge clearance at the chain stay/BB area, any flex at all in a 25mm rim would probably be rubbing on the frame.
    The red wind wheels are essentially identical to campag bullet, decent reviews so we shall see.

    The cycle clinic wheels look very nice. I've had carbon clinchers before and I did find the braking pretty sketchy at times. I would prefer alloy/carbon as it means I can drop in an alloy wheel if it's very windy or I need something super light for climbing. Most riding I do is rolling with the odd bit of steep climbing, occasionally a bit of mountain terrain up to about 500m elevation max. We shall see if they are good or pants...
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    The Syncros ones you get on the upper model Foils are supposed to be very good. They come up unused on Ebay quite a bit for £400-500ish.
  • Can vouch for Zipp 60s - used and raced last season never put a foot wrong, and the pick up on the freehub is quick too - not something I noticed until I went back to a lesser hub, but is always near the top of my list when buying wheels since.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,198
    I went through a similar thought process - in the end I plumped for the planet x - mainly due to price and the backing of a uk warranty. Think I went for the 52mm

    I didn't buy them for racing, I brought them because they looked good ! - My only real concern was how much they were affected by wind (weather not not my butt!) - I found this really unnerving when descending.

    I was pretty unfit at the time, and felt I looked a bit of censored trundling along at mph with deep sections - so I sold them on pretty swiftly.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,229
    the bigger Heds are heavy, but once they get rolling, they fly along. definitely flat TT only kind of wheels.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I would wager though if you timed the a rider accelerating from 10 mph to 20 mph or from 15 to 25 mph on the heavier wider hed's against a lighter less aero wheel set indoors at the same Power output the times would be the same within margin of error (you may even find the heavier more aero wheel wins). You may feel like you are changing pace less quickly but you wont be the difference in weight is just not big enough.

    I say this as I don't like the statement "once they get rolling, they fly along. definitely flat TT only kind of wheels" as I think it is miss the point that the way to become faster is become more aerodynamic or develop more power. Saving weight works if you can save more weight than can normally be done by wheels alone.

    I am being devil's advocate again. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • GGBikerGGBiker Posts: 450
    The analysis which suggest you are probably correct from what I have read. The wheels arrived today, typical quality fulcrum/campagnolo finish, spokes all highly tensioned, nice wheel bags included.
    My plan is for 6kg weight loss (half way there already) so an extra 250g on the wheels is unlikely to be noticeable. The CULT bearing version of the red wind /campag bullet is meant to be 1590g which is pretty light, at least I know the rims must be fairly light as that extra 160g on the standard set is all at the hub.

    So tyre choice next, the conti gp4000s ii has lowest rolling resistance in tests, I found that their predecessor punctured a fairly often though. Rode ultremo zx past year from spring to autumn in all conditions and rough surfaces with no problems other than a few cuts to the rubber. Anyone riding the schwalbe one tyres, they seem to be excellent in rolling resistance tests also?
  • nicklongnicklong Posts: 231
    I've raced 2 seasons on RS81 C50s. Don't read too much into the weight, it is in the hub - the rim is identical to the Dura-Ace 9000 C50 wheel (the manual lists them as the same part number for replacements).

    They are wider than the previous generation (20.5mm) but I don't think the C35s share the width.

    For me, it came down to what sort of racing advantage I wanted - in already light enough to not worry in the climbs, but I could do with as much help as I could breaking (and staying) away.
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