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Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons?
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I have been seeing a lot of good reviews on-line of Chinese wheels like Superteam and Yoleo. I must say that the price tag around the $400 mark make these very tempting. They look good and seem to be getting up to good quality standards. I have been in the sport almost 7 years and have never had race wheels because it seems ridiculous to me to drop$1,500 or more for minimal gains when I have sooooo much more that I can get out of better training. That being said a price tag of $400 for very nice looking wheels make it very tempting.

What say you? Aside for marginal aero benefits, which I don't care about all that much, what should sway me to stay away from these wheels? Anyone have nightmarish experiences? I rely on the altar of the Slowtwitch wisdom (and even your half-assed, half-baked opinions, which are plentiful). Thanks!

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http://dontletitdefeatyou.blogspot.com
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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You should buy some Zipp wheels for $3K.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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There are plenty of threads discussing this, both here and on weight weenies.
The responses are:
Pros-
  • I ride them every day, no problem.
  • 99% of the performance at 25% of the cost.

Cons-
  • Do you really want to risk one exploding, causing serious injury and thousands of dollars in hospital to save a few hundred bucks?
  • They do not have the same QC, so they may look fine, but you never know.
  • If there are any issues, customer service is non-existent. You are on your own.



Flos and Hed are a nice middle ground between CCC and Zipps. Check those out too.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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jimatbeyond wrote:
You should buy some Zipp wheels for $3K.

I'll get them when I get that sweet Cervelo PX5. Mmmmmmm.....no. Sorry, I'm a cheap SOB. I'm still riding around in a 2012 Cervelo P2.

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http://dontletitdefeatyou.blogspot.com
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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Lock_N_Load wrote:
I have been seeing a lot of good reviews on-line of Chinese wheels like Superteam and Yoleo. I must say that the price tag around the $400 mark make these very tempting. They look good and seem to be getting up to good quality standards. I have been in the sport almost 7 years and have never had race wheels because it seems ridiculous to me to drop$1,500 or more for minimal gains when I have sooooo much more that I can get out of better training. That being said a price tag of $400 for very nice looking wheels make it very tempting.

What say you? Aside for marginal aero benefits, which I don't care about all that much, what should sway me to stay away from these wheels? Anyone have nightmarish experiences? I rely on the altar of the Slowtwitch wisdom (and even your half-assed, half-baked opinions, which are plentiful). Thanks!

HED JET 6 all the way, chinise carbon are good, but only with DTswiss hubs, and those are in the same price range as HEDs
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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I forgot to change the font color to pink.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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dfroelich wrote:
There are plenty of threads discussing this, both here and on weight weenies.
The responses are:
Pros-
  • I ride them every day, no problem.
  • 99% of the performance at 25% of the cost.

Cons-
  • Do you really want to risk one exploding, causing serious injury and thousands of dollars in hospital to save a few hundred bucks?
  • They do not have the same QC, so they may look fine, but you never know.
  • If there are any issues, customer service is non-existent. You are on your own.



Flos and Hed are a nice middle ground between CCC and Zipps. Check those out too.

On item #1 of your list of Cons. I have been researching and I haven't really seen 1st-hand accounts of this happening. Is this still the case or is this remaining folklore from when Chinese wheels first started coming into the market years ago. I have seen one video of a wheel exploding on a dude. The video is at least 5 years old. All the other comments I have seen are "some dude posted.." this and that. Does anyone have any recent experiences or know of someone who has had a safety incident caused by poor quality Chinese wheels?

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http://dontletitdefeatyou.blogspot.com
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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haha...I actually typed out and deleted something along the lines of: "best to ignore any dire warnings from 5+ years old. Overall their quality and reputation have improved since then"

But then, I really didn't want to track down any sources for that, so I deleted it.

There is an article somewhere where they tortured and cut up knockoff wheels and bars and compared them to name brand ones. The impression was: perhaps OK, but they could see a difference in the cross-sections.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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Eagle Bicycles has great affordable carbon wheels.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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dfroelich wrote:
haha...I actually typed out and deleted something along the lines of: "best to ignore any dire warnings from 5+ years old. Overall their quality and reputation have improved since then"

But then, I really didn't want to track down any sources for that, so I deleted it.

There is an article somewhere where they tortured and cut up knockoff wheels and bars and compared them to name brand ones. The impression was: perhaps OK, but they could see a difference in the cross-sections.

This would be interesting to see.

The above poster is a physiologist employed by PEARL iZUMi. However, statements are not made on behalf of nor reflective of PEARL iZUMI in any manner... unless they're good, then they count.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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Lock_N_Load wrote:
I have been seeing a lot of good reviews on-line of Chinese wheels like Superteam and Yoleo. I must say that the price tag around the $400 mark make these very tempting. They look good and seem to be getting up to good quality standards. I have been in the sport almost 7 years and have never had race wheels because it seems ridiculous to me to drop$1,500 or more for minimal gains when I have sooooo much more that I can get out of better training. That being said a price tag of $400 for very nice looking wheels make it very tempting.

What say you? Aside for marginal aero benefits, which I don't care about all that much, what should sway me to stay away from these wheels? Anyone have nightmarish experiences? I rely on the altar of the Slowtwitch wisdom (and even your half-assed, half-baked opinions, which are plentiful). Thanks!

I think your biggest worry is hubs, and then manually inspecting the carbon for defects prior to install.

I purchased some used Oval Concepts off eBay a year ago - 980 Carbon Clinchers for roughly $400. ( These come stock on some Fuji ) They worked alright. I raced with them once before I sold them. I did some research on the Oval Concepts and they had a hub recall on certain model hubs from a select date range.

I currently ride some old rebuilt Zipps circa 2010 pics in another thread here. These were also purchased second hand from eBay, Zipp is no stranger to hub recalls. You can find some solid deals on used Zipp wheels.

Regarding the customer service comment above, this is half true some sellers will make you jump through hoops. Amazon/eBay both have you covered as a buyer (and seller). If you ever have issues on eBay customer service side with the seller or eBay you're welcome to reach out.

Buy - sell - trade eBay Store Surveys: Favorite disance in Triathlon
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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I had a set of Superteam wheels and the bearing tolerance in them was poor so you could wobble them side to side. I contacted them and they sent me a video of removing the bearing and scoring the aluminium housing with a knife creating burrs to make the bearing tolerance tighter. Say no more... If you just ride slow and easy then maybe they are for you and generally the spoke tensions in them are very low. I prefer a more responsive wheel that feels lively to ride so I won't be buying a set again. For $900 at the moment how can you not just get a set oh Hed Jet 6. I personally will never buy a set of carbon rimmed clinchers again as as they brake like shit especially cheap carbon wheels and and I am sure we all be riding disc brakes soon enough.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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I have a friend who had a wheel delaminate on him. Turns out there were glass fibers under the carbon. Secondly, those videos where people section chinese carbon show that the parts may have the same shape as a zipp, etc, but there is no actual layup. It's just carbon thrown into a mold. To top it off, there are so many ways that carbon manufacturing can go wrong, the general lower quality control makes it definitely a no-go IMO. If budget is an issue, buy hed or flo. Actually, I'd say just buy from them regardless. Still cheap and actually proven to be fast (and less likely to kill you)
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [imswimmer328] [ In reply to ]
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If you're not in a rush to get a set, which it does't sound like you are, just keep an eye out on the classifieds here and in the Facebook groups. You can find a set of used Flo's for 400-500 bucks. I picked up a set of Rolf ARES 6 off a forum for $300.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Parkland] [ In reply to ]
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Parkland wrote:
If you're not in a rush to get a set, which it does't sound like you are, just keep an eye out on the classifieds here and in the Facebook groups. You can find a set of used Flo's for 400-500 bucks. I picked up a set of Rolf ARES 6 off a forum for $300.

x2

Buy - sell - trade eBay Store Surveys: Favorite disance in Triathlon
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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I have 2 sets of yoeleo carbon clinchers . Use 60 mm for road bike and 88mm for tri bike. These wheels are a great set of carbon clinchers for a decent price. They give option of novatec bearings or upgrade to dtswiss. I've road 3 years, over 1000 miles on both sets no issues. Ordered the wheels via PayPal on their website and received them in California in 10 days. Lots of random Chinese wheel options online but yoeleo actually has great website, YouTube channel, and lots of good reviews. Def worth a look if $500 ish is your budget!
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [xtrpickels] [ In reply to ]
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I think it was on Raoul Leuscher’s YouTube channel.
He cut up, IIRC, an ENVE and a no-name and looked at the voids and layup.

My feeling is that for a wheelset that for me is going to get ridden max 1000k/year and be cleaned and inspected post each ride/race, I’m quite happy to get a set of Yeoleo or light bike etc.

I’m however old enough that I think race wheels (carbons, deeps) are to be left for race day and my race bike only gets used the day or so before racing. I’ve a position-identical POS for roller and the odd road ride. If I was using race gear all the time, I’d probably go the Hed/Zipp route,
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [imswimmer328] [ In reply to ]
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I've personally seen two sets of Reynolds wheels delaminate so it's not limited to the no-name Chinese Carbon Wheels
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [altayloraus] [ In reply to ]
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altayloraus wrote:
I think it was on Raoul Leuscher’s YouTube channel.
He cut up, IIRC, an ENVE and a no-name and looked at the voids and layup.
Weren't the Enves the ones with the voids?

yep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8fsKeQwplg
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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I've had a set of Superteams for about 3 months now. Put about 1000 miles on them and they have been great. I've checked them in the truing stand and they are still the same as day one. Put the spoke tensioner on them and they are a little tighter than my Zipp 404s. The bearings are still silky smooth which is a bit of a disappointment as I was hoping to get some ceramic bearings to put in....but can't justify it with them still being so good. I did upgrade the brake pads (over the ones they sent) and have had no issues with breaking....even in downtown Boston Traffic. The only other thing I did was use titanium skewers vs. the ones that came with the wheelset....they were a little clunky. Also the wheels weigh about 4 oz. more than my 404s...but they are tubulars and these are clinchers. Take my experience for what it's worth but I'd buy them again in a second.
Last edited by: TriDavis: Sep 1, 18 4:34
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [TriDavis] [ In reply to ]
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I've been using Parcours wheels for a couple of years now and really rate them. I'm on my 2nd pair as i migrated to Disc wheels recently. At approx £850 per pair they are way more attractive than Zipps for sure.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [RCCo] [ In reply to ]
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I would like to share my own experience, seeing this from an industry perspective:
First of all, my summary might be a bit "yes/no, white/black" but I work in a similar market like carbon for almost 20 years with 10+ years experience in Asia.
We work with fiber glass which is, to a certain extend, the "longer arm of the industry" e.g. the mass market. Carbon is more high-tech and expensive. But everywhere where you find large amounts of Carbon production usually is a 10-100 times bigger GRP production nearby.

We are Germans buying raw materials from around the world. We are a smaller market then wind but bigger than bicycles. We started our journey to the internationalization approx. 15 years ago. Meanwhile lots of things have changed.

China: China still has the mass market. There is not much intelligence, mostly you find cheap products. Although products for the western world are better quality, there is lack of R&D, lack of design and engineering. Ive seen very very often products simply just copied, even in expensive industrial nice markets. Scary, and even scarier - no improvement of the last decade! There is and there will be always a market for cheap. Given the high tolerances that products of high reputation have the copy usually is good enough for 99percent of the users. With other words, market leaders, especially in the central European or Californian market, define the 200+% industry benchmark. Even the chinese copy with short cuts is not necessarily breaking down immediately.

Taiwan: I call this best of both worlds. Western companies choose Taiwan decades ago and put there companies out there. All aluminium CNC cutting, welding, Carbon and any other "higher" tech raw material is present on this little island. Compared with the bigger brother all seems smarter, more efficient and more high-tech. Also Japan is using Taiwan a lot as cheap next door labor. At the end of the day, Taiwan (and to a certain extend Korea) have it all. Western R&D, asian labor.

USA: Generally best access to the market. Marketing and R&D are close to the costumer. US companies know their costumers and forecast like no other. No1 reason, no one else is doing it worldwide No2, big enough country to justify local marketing, advertising and promotions. Downside is the labor. Labor (with my european eyes) is a disaster nowadays.

Again, this is us in our niche market but Im in good contact with others and their productions, comes down to the same at the end:
China has to step up and get R&D and engineering (lot of it has also to do with the communistic background. No managers!! No decisions! Everyone expects to receive a command and a target and things will be fine)
US should invest in work force. College degrees like mechatronics are a good way, we need much more than that.

coming back to wheels:
I don't really trust chinese wheels. Even worser, I don't really trust US wheels. I would prefer taiwanese wheels/bikes/parts. Thanks good this is where 99percent of the market is anyway. ;)
Last edited by: Spoili007: Sep 2, 18 23:35
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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After reading good reviews on ICAN wheels, I bought the 38 mm wheelset for 500 Euros including shipping to France and I am very happy about them.
Packaging was bomb proof and they looks nice, are quite light (i believe 1400 grams for wheelset) and so far ride nicely.
I did Ironman Hamburg with them and probably 2000km training.
Pp
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [Lock_N_Load] [ In reply to ]
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Bought a pair of Gigantex wheels several years ago second hand. I replaced the bearings, just because, and have ridden them several thousand miles on some not so great roads here in the northeast with no trouble. I don't ride the brakes going downhill, just to be safe. I don't notice a huge braking difference between my aluminum Mavics, but I'm a little more careful now as I get older and don't feel the need to go 50 downhill on a training ride, racing is different. What I'm saying is, nothing has blown up, delaminated, or gone out of round in thousands of miles.

good luck with your decision


Great things never come from comfort zones.
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Re: Chinese Carbon Wheels - Pros and Cons? [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks to everybody for their advice. I ended up getting a set of HED Clincher wheels (55", alloy braking surface). These are just as heavy as my current training tires but they should give me a bit of an aerodynamic benefit and they look very nice. I paid $590 on eBay (included shipping) for them. I have not taken them out on the road yet but I am very excited to try them out and see how they ride. From your comments I think Chinese would have probably been OK but for less than $600 bucks I think the HED wheels give me a good peace of mind. I'll post an update here once I have had a chance to ride them...

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http://dontletitdefeatyou.blogspot.com
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