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Cheap Chinese Carbon wheels post Brexit

I've got a Ribble Endurance SL Disk on order. Intention is for it to be my "year round training bike". I have a race bike for when I want something light and snappy. This is specced with 105 and the intention is to have it as a bike that's nice to ride but not too nice that I'd mind chucking in the boot and taking wherever and riding whenever etc.

But it comes with Aksiums, which I know from when I got my Dolan are 2.1kgs of pig iron that kill the feel of any bike. Wanted a pair of cheap mid depth budget carbon clinchers (38 or 50mm, tubeless, thru axle - don't need to be super light).

Originally I had planned to just get a cheap set of Chinese eBay wheels with generic Novatec hubs etc. As disk I am pretty confident they won't melt going downhill. But post Brexit I'm guessing that you're pretty much always guaranteed to be hit with import fees.
So choice to me seems to be:
1. Get some eBay specials at c£330 which by my guesstimate will turn into about £410 once all fees paid
2. Get a cheap UK sourced set like Prime at £560 or Merlin at £500
If the difference is only £90 I would almost certainly go for the UK sourced.

My questions really are:
- does anyone know of a better source of cheap carbon wheels?
- whats the process of calculating / paying import fees so I can be sure I'm comparing apples with apples on price?

Posts

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    Why would Brexit change the import fees from China?
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,841
    You can pre pay the import tax anyway with Farsports and Light Bicycle so you know you won't get stung at this end.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 1,977
    As per Ugo, but bear in mind most Chinese bods don't put a value on the customs docket anyway.....

    #commercialsample
  • Charlie_CrokerCharlie_Croker Posts: 1,109
    MattFalle said:

    As per Ugo, but bear in mind most Chinese bods don't put a value on the customs docket anyway.....

    #commercialsample

    I'm not so sure about that, most if not all my Chinese sourced produce has been priced on the package, usually in dollars.
    As for eBay they've been stung apparently and now add (and retain) the VAT from non-UK sourced produce (even if the seller is UK based). The VAT is not included in the price shown before you click to buy, this has happened to me, very annoying!
  • The low value thing is something customs are getting wiser too. I would expect further tightening of import vat rules in the future so the hmrc collects the vat, for example making taxes paid shipping mandatory. Thats the way the eu are going. We will follow the leader.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,599

    MattFalle said:

    As per Ugo, but bear in mind most Chinese bods don't put a value on the customs docket anyway.....

    #commercialsample

    I'm not so sure about that, most if not all my Chinese sourced produce has been priced on the package, usually in dollars.
    As for eBay they've been stung apparently and now add (and retain) the VAT from non-UK sourced produce (even if the seller is UK based). The VAT is not included in the price shown before you click to buy, this has happened to me, very annoying!
    Everything I've had from China over the last few months has had a realistic value on the label (although it's usually less than $5) although the descriptions are often entertaining e.g. a charge cable for a Magicshine was described as "conductance" on the customs form.
    The low value VAT relief thing has been scrapped now too for stuff under £15 so I expect HMRC will be getting stricter on checking things.

    I've noticed eBay saying that "VAT applies" now on some items, but only to some items that ship from China not all of them. Maybe if a seller says they are VAT registered then they assume the seller has paid the VAT.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,839
    Just spend a little more and get uk handbuilt wheels, from wheelsmith or Cycleclinic amongst others out there.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 578
    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Agree it may not have anything to do with Brexit, probably more to do with timing, but the other posts confirm my suspicions that the process around buying online from abroad has tightened up.

    I'm thinking the Prime are the most likely because they are Centrelock, a known quantity and get me platinum at Wiggle for a year.

    With respect to spending a bit more... that's not the point of this bike. I'm buying this bike so I can just use it and not worry about breaking something because I know I can replace bits for not much money, I have another bike for the bling stuff. Prime ticks those boxes because all the spares are available from Wiggle. £550 is already a large amount of money for such a bike so £800+ is getting silly.
  • For an all-year "trainer", maybe look at someone like Scribe also? £370 for a pretty light alloy 26mm deep tubeless rim IRO 1500g, with decent hubs and CX-Rays. I know they're not as deep as you'd like them to look, but probably make more sense for what you're after...

    https://road.cc/content/review/scribe-race-d-wheelset-276159
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,188
    I'd keep an eye out for second hand wheels on eBay or LFGSS.
    Given that they're for a disc brake bike then there isn't a brake track to be concerned about.

    Otherwise I'd grab some Prime wheels over the Chinese imports as you'll get a guarantee and spare parts are cheap and readily available.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 1,977
    MF has got Primes on the S3 and for the money they are mega.

    Free wheel could be noisier but if you like a quiet ride its no problem
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,599

    Otherwise I'd grab some Prime wheels over the Chinese imports as you'll get a guarantee and spare parts are cheap and readily available.

    I wouldn't count on the spare parts/customer service TBH.
    I had to bin a Prime wheel because CRC/Prime couldn't tell me how to get the freehub off and where to get a replacement when it started sticking and they won't tell me how to replace the bearings on the other (it's not one of the ones on their YouTube channel).

    Had the same issue with Cannondale with their own brand wheels.

  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 578
    thistle_ said:

    Otherwise I'd grab some Prime wheels over the Chinese imports as you'll get a guarantee and spare parts are cheap and readily available.

    I wouldn't count on the spare parts/customer service TBH.
    I had to bin a Prime wheel because CRC/Prime couldn't tell me how to get the freehub off and where to get a replacement when it started sticking and they won't tell me how to replace the bearings on the other (it's not one of the ones on their YouTube channel).

    Had the same issue with Cannondale with their own brand wheels.

    Spares on generic carbon wheels wouldn't phase me. Indeed if you spec the right Chinese wheels e.g. something with a standard Novatec/Bitex hub and Sapim spokes it can actually be easier to get spares than a lot of big brands, especially OEM stuff. As long as you accept you'll have to pay for said spares and repairs and not claim on warranty.

    Having said that, I have a set of Prime Pro alloys on another bike, and I've changed both the bearings and freehub in the past (Freehub from Wiggle, bearings not). The RR-V3s use the same so I think I'll be alright. Plus I now know to take apart and grease liberally immediately I get them and not rely on the "Japanese high quality bearings" to survive a dunking.
  • david37david37 Posts: 962
    I cant find a single chineese takeaway round here that will accept anything other than cash. that you suggest they are less than interested in paying their due tax is no surprise to me.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 1,977
    must be tories then....
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