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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a set of carbon wheels but want to go alloy for the hardtail, for more compliance. Without starting a holy war, I wanted to solicit some thoughts on keeping a carbon front and only swapping out the rear to alloy. I'd also take the opportunity to upgrade the hub on a new rear.

My thinking is that the stiffer carbon front isn't a big deal on the front since there is suspension. It's also 1mm wider (29mm Kovee Elite 30) than the alloy hoop I am looking at (Stans MK4 at 28mm) which makes sense as I generally ride wider tires in the front. Any reason not to mix and match here?

Thanks!
 

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slow
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I see no problem with that plan, though I think the difference in stiffness between my carbon front wheel and the aluminum front wheel it replaced is negligible. I've got about 6 months and 1000 trail miles on a similar setup and haven't had any problems. Granted, this bike is a soft tail with 20mm of rear wheel travel instead of a hard tail, so the back end is already a bit softer. Stans Crest ZTR (21mm internal) on the rear running a 29x2.3 IKON and a Niner carbon front (30mm internal) with a 29x2.4 Nobby Nic.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got it, yeah I can try the carbon and see how it goes first I suppose. It's a steel hardtail so that is at least doing to be more compliant than aluminum from a frame standpoint. My local trails can get fairly rocky. But I should probably try before I buy. This is a second bike so I'll be in the market for other wheels anyway eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah. My carbon front wheel choice was not determined by stiffness or weight, but rather by the availability and price on a replacement when needed.
Yep the idea was going alloy due to compliance and affordability in the rear and then repurposing the current rear as a front for the second bike by just picking up a front hub and re-lacing it. I think at this point I just need to finish the build and ride the current carbon wheels and see how it goes.
 

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If you're not already using inserts and tyres with decent sidewall support on your hardtail, then do that first.

Carbon wheels can vary wildly in feel and compliance, but that combination increases the comfort and grip / tracking massively I've found.
 

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I built up a new rear wheel for my hard tail, used an LB carbon rim and sapim laser spokes. Its 'softer' than my previous wheel which was an older stans arch with those giant I9 aluminum spokes.

I built the carbon wheel quite tight and its remained true and perfect for past 4 years, no complaints from me. Would buy again.

I suppose its possible there's certain carbon rims that are so super mega stiff that I'd notice it through a bike tire but I've not experienced it, for me the plushness comes from the tire.

So... in conclusion... I think you're nuts thinking you'll achieve anything by going back to alloy.
 

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I've ran carbon front/alloy rear for years and my steel hardtail is currently setup that way. It became that way for the same reason you described - I repurposed a carbon wheelset into two front wheels. I'm happy with it.

Since I switched to running an insert out back (first CushCore, then Rimpact, then Rimpact Pro and now Tannus tubeless) I've quit dinging rims. Previously, I would kill a rear (alloy) rim on my hardtail almost every year. An insert + 30PSI seems to have corrected that.

I'm flirting with re-lacing my hardtail's rear wheel with a 32H Enduro/DH layup, low profile rim (~18mm section height) and seeing how it fairs with an EXO+ or DD tire + Tannus insert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I have been out on the new rig and its great with the existing carbon rims, I don't find myself wanting aluminum due to harshness, but that could well be that I haven't ridden one to provide a comparison. I think I will keep them as a set for now. Thanks to everyone for the ideas here.
 
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