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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there can't be many of us out there that have had 29" carbon MTB wheels for very long, so I figured I'd share my experience and invite the others out there to share as well. I think many people are intrigued by carbon wheels and wondering if they really can hold up to daily use.

I purchased my Salsa Mamasita in January via craigslist and it came with the 2007 Reynolds Topo C carbon wheels already installed (BONUS!). Hubs are DT Swiss 240s (already have a pretty bomb-proof reputation on their own, so this review is more for the carbon rims). I was pretty skeptical of the carbon wheels but figured I could reuse the hubs pretty easily if the rims failed. God only knows what the first owner did to the wheels, but he was around 190lbs, 6'2" and in his mid 40s. I don't get the impression he hucked much or got too crazy with it, but he did mention he enjoyed longer rides (gravel grinding, endurance, etc) so I'm assuming he put quite a few miles on the bike. I did some research and found this is actually the exact same rim Reynolds was using for their road wheelset at the time. I became even more skeptical and worried if these things would hold up to my use.The rims were a bit discolored and you can see some of fiber weave in places where the luster has faded. Skepticism increased... I've destroyed several sets of wheels on full squish bikes and this was going to be my first hardtail in a while.

Almost one year later of continuously beating the **** out of these things and I've yet to even true them once. I've got several hundred miles of XC and short track race miles + many training miles in rocky central Texas and they are SOLID. I've even done a couple 4-5 ft drops (but try to avoid that on my race bike... sometimes I can't resist). I'm not very smooth in rock gardens and like to charge up obstacles rather than float over them (full suspension habits die hard - this was my first "real" hard tail). I weigh 180 pounds geared up and am a mid-pack cat 1 racer. VERY impressed with these wheels. I used to cringe when I took a bad hit, but now have lots of confidence in these wheels. I APPROVE of these rims :thumbsup:

Has anyone else had decent luck with at least a year or equivalent of heavy use on their carbon rims? Has anyone destroyed their rim, and if so how and what rim? What about discoloration issues (the only "problem" mine have)?
 

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hispanic mechanic
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Thanks for the report. I'm down the road in Fat Antonio, and I can attest to the overabundance of loose limestone in the area. Not someplace that I would choose carbon rims for.
Glad to hear they're holding up. If they last here, they should be good in a lot of places.

Los
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sslos said:
Thanks for the report. I'm down the road in Fat Antonio, and I can attest to the overabundance of loose limestone in the area. Not someplace that I would choose carbon rims for.
Glad to hear they're holding up. If they last here, they should be good in a lot of places.

Los
I used to agree with that statement, but my opinions on carbon rims have changed considerably over the past year. I'll update everyone if they end up exploding one day...
 

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transmitter~receiver
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jd1072 said:
I used to agree with that statement, but my opinions on carbon rims have changed considerably over the past year. I'll update everyone if they end up exploding one day...
TMBRA races, yeah?
What tires do you use and at what pressure?
Do you know the internal rim width?
Glad to hear they're holding up. :thumbsup:
I rode a pair of Edge rims for a few miles once and wasn't as blown away as I would have to be to drop $700 per on the rims (not sure any feeling could have convinced me to do that), but the stiffness and strength-to-weight of carbon makes a lot of sense for rims, and if they're holding up to rocky texas abuse on the long(ish) term, that's a good sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
meltingfeather said:
TMBRA races, yeah?
What tires do you use and at what pressure?
Do you know the internal rim width?
Glad to hear they're holding up. :thumbsup:
I rode a pair of Edge rims for a few miles once and wasn't as blown away as I would have to be to drop $700 per on the rims (not sure any feeling could have convinced me to do that), but the stiffness and strength-to-weight of carbon makes a lot of sense for rims, and if they're holding up to rocky texas abuse on the long(ish) term, that's a good sign.
Yes - mostly TMBRA races,... I've made every one this year except Double Lake in the spring series. Also have hit up a DORBA race and a 6 hour Warda race + some adventure races.
I was doing the Dirt Remedy races at Emma Long park earlier this summer and swapped out the tires to accommodate that super rocky ledge-fest biatch of a trail. Latest tire setup is a 2.4 racing ralph up front and a 2.25 RR w/ snakeskin out back both tubeless. I usually run 20-22PSI up front and 24-26PSI in the rear. On very smooth trails I will drop the pressure 1 or 2 pounds lower still.

I'm headed to the Tuesday night dirt derby tonight to go dish out some more punishment. Honestly, I miss the 2.25 RR front. I think the rim is too narrow for a 2.4, but it was useful to have a burlier tire at the Emma Long races, and for my normal greenbelt rides.

The rim width is 19mm (outside) and 17mm inside based on what I've read. Remember this was also their road rim at the time. and Reynolds advertises they work with up to 2.3" tires.

Here is some Dirt Remedy action:



Abilene
 

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transmitter~receiver
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sweet. we ride a bunch of the same races/places, but you ride a lot faster than i do (mid-pack cat 2 & ss racer). if i see those reynolds carbon rims i'll give a shout. :D
super surprising that you're able to run a regular RR 2.4 tubeless at 20-22psi on a 17mm rim and not get real squirmy and/or burping. :eek:
*edit*
add bike to the "in common" list :thumbsup:

sorry for the jack... back to topic! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
meltingfeather said:
sweet. we ride a bunch of the same races/places, but you ride a lot faster than i do (mid-pack cat 2 & ss racer). if i see those reynolds carbon rims i'll give a shout. :D
super surprising that you're able to run a regular RR 2.4 tubeless at 20-22psi on a 17mm rim and not get real squirmy and/or burping. :eek:
I'm positive I could get away with 17ish on the front but sometimes like to rail berms and want the extra stiffness. 22 feels pretty damn stiff believe it or not. The rear on the other hand will bottom out to the rim if go below 22psi with my less than smooth riding style. I've never burped either tire except when I already lost air pressure due to leakage. By that point, I imagine I was 12psi or lower anyway. The rim creates a very tight seal with with tire bead and has been great for tubeless conversions (so far have used Nevegal, Nano, SB8, and RRs). RIght now I'm using the stans rim strips, but have used yellow tape in the past.

Definitely come say hello if you see me. You're welcome to give them a spin if you can fit on my size XL frame. I should be wearing the same spandex kit as the pick above (still a love/hate thing with the spandex - I'm old school baggies when I can be). I'll be at the Hunstville race on Sunday.
 

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jd1072 said:
I'm positive I could get away with 17ish on the front but sometimes like to rail berms and want the extra stiffness. 22 feels pretty damn stiff believe it or not. The rear on the other hand will bottom out to the rim if go below 22psi with my less than smooth riding style. I've never burped either tire except when I already lost air pressure due to leakage. By that point, I imagine I was 12psi or lower anyway. The rim creates a very tight seal with with tire bead and has been great for tubeless conversions (so far have used Nevegal, Nano, SB8, and RRs). RIght now I'm using the stans rim strips, but have used yellow tape in the past.
Interesting.
jd1072 said:
Definitely come say hello if you see me. You're welcome to give them a spin if you can fit on my size XL frame. I should be wearing the same spandex kit as the pick above (still a love/hate thing with the spandex - I'm old school baggies when I can be). I'll be at the Hunstville race on Sunday.
Thanks for the offer, but If I jumped on your XL it'd probably cause my 30"[email protected] a bit of pain. :eek:
I'll be on a bikepacking trip to Palmetto this weekend, but good luck in Huntsville. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE:
I've had another 22 races + training miles since the last report. I gained a bit of weight from lifting and am now sitting at 170lbs nekkid... Still going strong on these rims and hubs. At the end of our local XC series (TMBRA) and in my second Open/Pro race I managed to get the chain wedged between the cassette and spokes and in my frustration tried brute forcing the chain out of the jam thus shearing the sides off six spokes (and a broken spoke resulted from this same wreck / cluster). This necessitated rebuilding the rear wheel, but the rim and dt240s hub is still good to go.

I am now running Maxxis Ikons EXO 2.2 front and rear. Using 21 psi front, 23ish rear. Just to be evil, I've done some 5+ foot drops to flat ground. The rims won't die. I'm trying....

Can anyone else add their experiences to this thread? Am I on ticking time bombs, or indestructible beast masters?

Edit: Action photos (since mine above no longer work):
 

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I bought a pair of the Easton EC90 which I plan to use on a Niner A9C SS set up rigid. I am concerned about the durability despite the fact that my friend works there and helped and get a really good deal. I am pretty smooth and don't do drops but wonder if the lack of suspension and extra torque from mashing will destroy these.
 

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You really worried

Or you just trying to show off your greatness? Seriously dude, if you are now a Pro/Open racer guy & hucking 5ft drops (pro/open XC race guy + 5ft drops, something don't add up Scooby) to flat on a Jet9, you should be pretty secure in the fact they aren't time bombs
 

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Thanks for the posts. I am also looking for a high performance rim for endurance racing. I am 200 lb so I read all experiences with a slight adjustment. Realistically I know a light "race" wheel set is a 2 year option for me. Knowing how much difference the rotating mass makes on an ultra endurance ride I am willing to pay up for the benefits. What I don't want is to buck up $2,000 and have a rim fail in 6 months.

Fwiw, my "race" wheels back in the day were ultralite and built on chris king hubs. They lasted 5 years with one tuning. So IMHO I am a heavy rider who rides light. Largely due to age and having cut my teeth on rigid bikes.
 

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I've been running Reynolds rims on DT 240's for 3+ years on a Niner SIR9(now an MCR9) and had zero issues. I'm a big guy (230+) and an aggressive rider and I couldn't be happier with how they ride and hold up. Spokes have bent and tweaked, but the wheels are still true. They've moved into a new chapter of their story as the wheelset for my wife's new 29er.

I also recently built up a Tallboy with Easton Haven Carbons, and outside of some interesting musical tones emitted from the rear wheel, have been totally satisfied with their quality. 29ers with Carbon wheels get up to speed so quickly, it's almost like cheating. I'm sold on carbon for ride quality and longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Or you just trying to show off your greatness? Seriously dude, if you are now a Pro/Open racer guy & hucking 5ft drops (pro/open XC race guy + 5ft drops, something don't add up Scooby) to flat on a Jet9, you should be pretty secure in the fact they aren't time bombs
More of an "aspiring" open racer at this point. I started MTBing just riding tech trails/urban and getting stupid with things, so that style carried over a bit when I switched to XC racing, not to mention the local trails have lots of nasty options. I sold my big travel bikes, but I have to get the fix sometimes though I'm nowhere near as mean as I could be to the bike/wheels. The new Jet is actually a great trail bike, though I wouldn't kick a RIP9 out of bed.

Everything works well before it breaks, so I was hoping to get more info out on these and similar wheels. I'll post here again in another 6 months or so to update you guys on whether or not the things are still kickin'.
 
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