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Is carbon fiber good for steering wheel?
Using carbon fiber for panels, parts, and structural pieces can reduce extra pounds, leading to improved performance. No wonder why carbon fiber is one of the top choices for a manufacturing steering wheel that is the heart of a vehicle.
Are DnD steering wheels good?
DnD performance in red Race Wheel. I’m very satisfied with my New Steering Wheel from DnD, Good quality strong and sturdy and Strong medal. I suggest anyone look for a good quality Steering Wheel definitely hit up DnD on amazon. 5.0 out of 5 stars All hardware comes in Box, love that!
How much does a carbon fiber steering wheel weight?
Weight – 1.45 lbs / 658g. Dish depth – 3.25 inches / 8.25cm.
Are Alcantara steering wheels good?
Because of its unique elements, Alcantara is highly resistant to cracking due to harmful UV rays, compared to leather, which can easily dry out and crack if exposed to the sun for a long period of time. Leather steering wheel covers age and wrinkle significantly if they are not maintained properly.
The material was created and developed by Miyoshi Okamoto, a scientist at the Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, in the early 1970s. The development of Alcantara was based on the same technology as another product from the same company called Ultrasuede. In 1972, a joint venture was formed between the Italian chemical company ENI and Toray Alcantara S.p.A. to manufacture and sell this unique material.
Alcantara fabric (commonly referred to as Alcantara leather) is commonly used for automotive interiors such as Alcantara seats, dashboard panels, and headliners by many high-end automobile manufacturers. In particular, Alcantara is commonly used for steering wheel covers in many performance-oriented vehicles. The use of Alcantara for steering wheel covers offers many unmatched advantages compared to other materials such as leather. The main advantages are:
1. Alcantara fabric is easy to clean and maintain
Due to its fabric composition, Alcantara is extremely simple and easy to clean. Unlike leather, which is made from animal skin and contains oil, Alcantara fabric is primarily polyester, making this material more resistant to stains. Alcantara’s unique, suede-like fabric makes it an excellent material for steering wheel covers as it is less prone to smudging or staining from greasy or oily fingers and is easier to clean using simple cleaning techniques. For example, a simple daily or weekly wipe down with a damp towel will keep your Alcantara steering wheel cover in top condition. For stubborn stains on the Alcantara steering wheel cover, you can purchase special Alcantara cleaning solutions to treat the stains. If you don’t have a dedicated cleaning solution, you can use water, lemon juice, or pure ethyl alcohol (found in spirits) and follow the directions below for different types of stains:
Stains from fruit juice, jam, jelly, syrup, ketchup: use lukewarm water, rinse with clear water by dabbing.
: use lukewarm water, rinse with clean water by dabbing. Blood, Egg, Feces, Urine: Use cold water: Avoid warm water as it will coagulate these substances. Rinse by blotting with clean water.
: Use cold water: Avoid warm water as it will coagulate these substances. Rinse by blotting with clean water. Spirits, Alcoholic Beverages, Wine, Beer, Cola and Tea Stains: Use lukewarm water. If the stain remains, treat it with lemon juice and then rinse well.
: Use lukewarm water. If the stain remains, treat it with lemon juice and then rinse well. Ink pen stains, cocoa, chocolate, pastries with cream or chocolate, ice cream, mustard: Use lukewarm water and rinse with clean water by dabbing.
: Use lukewarm water and rinse with clean water by dabbing. Stains from vinegar, hair gel, tomato sauce, coffee with sugar: use lemon juice and then wipe off with lukewarm water. Rinse by blotting with clean water.
It’s also important to note that a soft-bristled brush will help the Alcantara fibers stand up and not tangle.
2. Alcantara fabric does not get too hot or too cold
Because Alcantara fabric is mostly polyester, it doesn’t retain much heat from the environment. This property makes Alcantara fabric a fantastic material for car steering wheel covers as the material doesn’t get hot in the summer. Alcantara fabric also doesn’t get too cold, which means an Alcantara steering wheel cover won’t get too cold in winter. This is the ultimate perfect steering wheel cover material!
3. Alcantara fabric offers a wide range of colors
At Hydes Leather we have 45 colors in Alcantara covers and Alcantara inserts. Examples of the colors are:
This wide range of colors allows you to choose the one that best suits your personality or your vehicle.
4. Alcantara fabric is not made from animals
If you are a strong advocate of animal-free products, Alcantara is an excellent choice to enhance your vehicle interior. Alcantara consists of polyester and polyurethane.
5. Alcantara fabric stays in top condition for a longer period of time
Due to its unique elements, Alcantara is highly resistant to cracking from harmful UV rays compared to leather, which can easily dry out and crack with prolonged exposure to the sun. Leather steering wheel covers age and wrinkle significantly if not properly cared for.
6. Alcantara fabric is more sustainable
Alcantara remains committed to sustainability. The company’s core value is finding a balance between profitability and sustainability. Alcantara S.p.A. invests over 50% of its global investments in activities and initiatives related to sustainability.
Currently, Alcantara has achieved the amazing goal of being CO2 neutral. Climate neutrality means a net balance of CO2 emissions equal to zero, both in the production process and in the disposal of the product. Alcantara was one of the first companies in the world to achieve this ambitious goal in 2009, receiving the coveted CO2 neutrality certification from one of the most stringent international certification bodies, TÜV SÜD. Since then, the company has fostered a deep and constant commitment to sustainability, underlined by the continuous improvement processes within the company and the numerous additional certifications it has obtained.
Alcantara fabric measures, reduces and offsets 100% of all CO2 emissions attributable to both corporate activities and the product, from cradle to grave. The residual emissions that current technologies cannot yet eliminate are offset each year through Alcantara’s participation in green offsetting projects sponsored by the United Nations. These projects aim to promote the use of renewable energy in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas of the world.
How do you know if a vertex wheel is real?
Each Vertex product is manufactured with a serial number and certificate of authenticity. If your aero does not have either, you have a counterfeit product. Vertex kits are made to fit specifically to their factory application.
At Vertex USA, our goal is to educate aftermarket automotive customers about authentic products and their copied counterparts.
Let’s face it, counterfeit products are everywhere. Regardless of the industry, imitation products are evident from daily household to electronic products. Usually the consumer knows the differences between a branded product and brand x. However, in the automotive industry, the presence of copied parts harms the manufacturers of authentic aftermarket parts more than in any other industry.
Therefore, this section aims to provide knowledge and awareness to consumers of the automotive aftermarket.
Real vs Fake Reasons why you should buy authentic products Buying authentic products supports original manufacturers, which in turn helps consumers in the long run.
If the US auto market is flooded with counterfeit products, manufacturers from Japan may be less inclined to venture into the US. As a result, US consumers will suffer as they can only buy counterfeit/inferior parts. Authentic products are superior to their fake copies:
You get what you pay for in the automotive market. Authentic products are built and manufactured with quality and for the benefit of the consumer.
Counterfeit products focus on mass production, cheaper manufacturing, and inferior products. Authentic products make parts for the long lasting consumer.
Most counterfeit products are manufactured and sold on a short-term basis, mainly to capitalize on fads. Reasons why you should buy authentic products Quality, quality, quality
Quality is not sacrificed for a quick buck. Buying authentic products (for the most part) ensures that the consumer is receiving quality products. At Vertex aero, every piece is made by hand. The level of detail, weight/specification of each part is carefully researched and developed and formulated in the best interest of the consumer. Quality assurance is not affected either. Long-term benefits of buying authentic products. DURABILITY! Authentic products are proven to last longer than counterfeit products.
Breakdowns happen on the track, and Vertex track cars are no different. Our cars crash, we run over bumpers, etc., but our products remain intact (not indestructible), intact. Breakdowns like these prove our products are built with quality and strength. You might not be so lucky with a fake. If you don’t believe us, here are some pictures of our Vertex bumper after being run over at 130 km/h on the track:
Note that even though the front bumper was run over at such high speed, the overall structure of the part is in one piece. Inferior products would break in such an impact. Despite the obvious blemish sustained from the accident, the Vertex bumper is still in shape and ready for reassembly. Very well made products…clean and well appointed, and the style is fantastic. Edgar Acevedo
Walnut, CA One of the finest manufacturers of aero parts in the business, the best style for all cars. Victor Intil
Milpitas, CA Technique and elegance, put simply. First I had the copy fit as dooky as seen in the pictures so I said no to copies and bought the Speed Alliance real kit. I feel a lot better with the real deal. Royal Tse
Sacramento, CA I bought a body kit cheap on eBay for my 350z. I thought I was getting good quality at an unbeatable price. When I got my kit I was very disappointed with the workmanship of the products. Nothing seemed to fit! I also had to pay an arm and a leg for the installation and assembly by my body shop. So I spent more money trying to get the kit to fit and look good. After it was said and done I wasn’t impressed at all. By sheer luck, a Mini Cooper hit me on the Autobahn. My rear bumper was smashed. Now with money from my settlement I’ve been looking for another kit. I came across Vertex and WOW, I’ve always been impressed. This time I even got a discount from my body shop. The workmanship and equipment was first class. Now I know better! Arnold Sprat
Los Angeles, CA Professional Feedback on Authentic Products Below are some quotes from professional automotive experts. Read what they have to say about authentic (Vertex) products! VERTEX products are fantastically designed and built to last to give you confidence as you push your limits on the track. Jayson Pizarro
ProAM Drivers From a basic standpoint, you just need to see how well these products stand up to the abuse pursuit. Case closed. Prashant Patel
Retailer/Automaker Counterfeit vs. Authentic For Vertex Products Only!
Every Vertex product is manufactured with a serial number and a certificate of authenticity. If your Aero doesn’t have either, you have a counterfeit product. furnishings
Vertex kits are manufactured specifically for their factory application. Special cases of equipment are JDM specification bumper modifications for US specification applications. Counterfeit products mostly do NOT fit. In many cases, a professional installer is required to perform proper installation or no installation at all. Also, counterfeit products tend to warp over time. Pre-drilled holes
Vertex kits are pre-drilled to factory specification. Counterfeit products DO NOT have pre-drilled holes. thickness
Vertex products are thin and light. This makes our material more flexible than fakes which are heavy and thick. It’s easy, more compliance = no breakage. Vertex Adjustment
Now compare the fake fit to the Vertex fitment: Note that the Vertex lines are completely straight and follow the factory body lines. Again, the quality of authentic products is NOT compromised!
How light are carbon fiber wheels?
Each wheel weighs only 15 pounds, half that of aluminum alloy wheels, amounting to a 60-pound weight savings. Each wheel weighs only 15 pounds, half that of aluminum alloy wheels, amounting to a 60-pound weight savings.
The company makes carbon fiber wheels and plans to bring them from limited use on supercars to mainstream production models.
Koenigssegg showed off carbon-fiber wheels on its One:1 supercar in 2014, and last year Ford released the Shelby GT350R, including Carbon Revolution wheels as part of the package. Each wheel weighs just 15 pounds, half that of aluminum alloy wheels for a 60-pound weight savings.
Each wheel weighs just 15 pounds, half that of aluminum alloy wheels for a 60-pound weight savings.
While Koenigsegg and Ford specified carbon fiber wheels for their cars to improve performance on the racetrack, the wheels also work toward a current goal of automotive engineers, which is to increase fuel efficiency through weight reduction. Brett Gass, Executive Director of Carbon Revolution, described the company’s mission as follows: “If we’re going to make anything light, let’s make wheels.”
Gass points out that the weight savings from carbon fiber wheels would be a boon for electric cars, where efficiency is key. But he also addresses another point: carbon fiber wheels are quieter than their metal counterparts. He says that “carbon fiber has 870 percent better noise dampening” than metal because carbon fiber has less of a tendency to transmit resonant frequencies. Less noise coming from the wheels could push automakers to use fewer sound-dampening materials in a car’s body, further reducing weight.
Carbon Revolution’s wheels met Ford’s specifications for its Shelby GT 350R, and Gass says specifications for less performance-oriented cars would be easier to meet, suggesting the wheels are as strong as their metal equivalents. Regarding typical wheel damage like curb scratches, Gass points out that carbon fiber can be fixed with resins, similar to repairing damage to fiberglass boats. Additionally, where a crack in a metal wheel can propagate, the layered nature of the carbon fiber material tends to stop cracking.
Enlarge image Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The benefits Carbon Revolution touts for its wheels sound numerous, but cost is still a factor. Currently, a set of aftermarket carbon fiber wheels can cost as much as $15,000. However, with mass production as original equipment for an automaker, the cost drops dramatically. Gass points out that Carbon Revolution has managed to halve its own manufacturing costs per wheel in three years and expects a further cost reduction of 30 to 40 percent in the next two years.
Carbon Revolution is preparing its wheel production at its Australian facility and has sold its capacity of 50,000 units by 2017. The company expects to open new plants in other regions.
Each wheel comes out of its manufacturing process as a unique piece. The hollow spokes use a foam core and Carbon Revolution also embeds an RFID chip in each wheel, which is not possible with metal wheels. The company currently uses the chip to authenticate against counterfeit parts, but the chip can also be used to identify the car the wheel was designed for, down to the specific VIN number.
Given the advantages of carbon fiber wheels and improved manufacturing processes to reduce costs, they are likely to spread throughout the automotive market over the next few years, beginning with use in production cars from automakers’ performance departments and moving on to specialty applications. like electric cars and maybe one day all the way to the Toyota Corollas of the world.
How much lighter are carbon wheels?
Pros and Cons of Carbon Fiber Wheels
Lighter weight- Carbon wheels weigh 300 grams (10.6 oz) less than aluminum on average. Better handling- Stiff carbon wheels are responsive.
Most bikes are sold with low- to mid-range aluminum wheels. The benefit of this is that it keeps costs down. Unfortunately, these aluminum wheels don’t work very well because they’re heavy and flexible.
By upgrading to carbon fiber wheels or premium aluminum wheels, you can vastly improve your bike’s performance and ride quality. High-end wheels are lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, and more supportive. They allow you to drive faster and more efficiently.
Of course, not everyone needs expensive carbon wheels. There are also compromises to be made when using carbon fiber wheels. They are usually less durable and long-lasting. Roots and rocks on the trail can cause rim damage. Some models can be overly stiff and uncomfortable.
The best type of wheel for your bike depends on a number of factors including the type of riding, the terrain you ride, your budget and personal preference. Hopefully this guide will help you choose the best wheelset for your riding style.
Carbon Fiber Bike Wheels
Carbon fiber is the most common material used in the construction of high-end, high-performance road and mountain bike wheels. Today almost all professional road bikes use carbon wheels. Carbon wheels are often the only choice for competitive riders.
Carbon fiber is a light, stiff and strong material originally developed for use in the aerospace industry. It consists of ultra-strong fibers that are woven into panels and bonded with epoxy resin. In other words, it’s a plastic reinforced with strong fibers. It’s a composite. Carbon fiber is the lightest material used to build bicycle wheels.
Carbon fibers are made by processing a polymer into thin filaments of carbon atoms. The filaments measure only 5-10 microns in diameter. Thousands of these filaments are combined to form a cable or ribbon. These ribbons are woven together into a sheet and impregnated with epoxy resin.
The resulting carbon fiber panels are cut to size with a precision cutting machine. The pieces are then layered and formed into bicycle rims using a mold. Rim manufacturers can use modern technologies like computer modeling and 3D printed molds to form wheels with incredible precision.
Next, the carbon fiber sheets and mold are heated in an oven. The wheels are heated in a special heating cycle called the ramp cycle. The heat starts at a low temperature and rises over time and then cools down. Temperature and heating-up time are precisely controlled. This process melts and bonds the layers into a single piece and hardens the wheels. When the patties come out of the oven, they’re done.
Not all carbon fiber wheels are created equal. There are quite a few differences in the way carbon wheels are built and how the carbon fiber itself is made. For example, manufacturers can vary the type of resin used, the direction of the fibers, the weaving of the fibers, the density and type of fibers used, the quality of the carbon fiber, the thickness of the layers, the number of filaments per cable, how the material is heated and is formed etc.
All of these variations play a role in the stiffness, weight, and durability of the finished wheels. This can affect the weight of the wheel, handling, handling and comfort of the bike. Manufacturers can optimize carbon wheels for different riding styles. For example, a road wheel could be made stiffer and a dirt wheel could be made flexible.
For more information on how carbon fiber bicycle wheels are made, check out this interesting article.
Aluminum bicycle wheels
Aluminum is by far the most commonly used material for bicycle wheels. With the exception of a few top models, pretty much all bikes come with aluminum rims ex works. Aluminum is a light, stiff, durable and affordable material.
Aluminum itself is not strong enough to build bicycle wheels. To increase strength and durability, aluminum is alloyed with other metallic elements such as magnesium, zinc or silicon.
Different alloys offer slightly different properties. Some alloys are stiffer than others. Some are lighter or more resilient than others. Alloy plays a big role in ride quality, weight and rim durability.
The two most commonly used aluminum alloys for building bicycle rims are 6061 and 7005. Of the two, 6061 is slightly more common because it weighs less. A higher grade alloy called niobium is also used.
Aluminum rims start as a block of metal. This material is melted and pressed through a prefabricated die shaped like a cross-section of the rim. The stamp shape determines the rim shape and wall thickness. This plays a big part in the weight and performance of the finished wheels.
The material exits the die in a long, straight edge section. The rims are then cut to length for the appropriate wheel diameter (700c, 26″, 20″ etc.). Next, the sections are bent into perfect circles.
The ends of the rims are then joined together. Various methods can be used for this. With high-end rims, a computer-controlled welding machine welds the ends of the rim together in such a way that the seam is almost invisible. Another method is called plugging and pinning. This is common on mid-range and low-end rims.
Finally the rims are done. Spoke and valve holes are drilled. Skid marks are machined into the sides to improve braking performance on wheels designed for rim brakes. Some rims are painted or clear coated for added protection.
Pros and cons of carbon fiber wheels
Benefits Lighter weight – Carbon wheels weigh an average of 300 grams (10.6 ounces) less than aluminum.
Carbon wheels weigh an average of 300 grams less than aluminum. Better Handling – Stiff carbon wheels are responsive.
Stiff carbon wheels are responsive. Faster – The lighter wheels spin up faster.
The lighter wheels spin faster. More Efficient – It takes less energy to run lighter and stiffer wheels.
It takes less energy to drive lighter and stiffer wheels. Better Aerodynamics – Carbon rims can be molded into deep aero shapes.
Carbon rims can be formed into deep aero shapes. Carbon wheels stay true longer – The rigid ones keep their shape well because the tolerances are tighter.
The rigid ones keep their shape well because the tolerances are tighter. Better overall ride quality – Carbon wheels are a good compromise between weight, stiffness, performance and comfort. Disadvantages Less durable – carbon rims are brittle. A rim impact can tear carbon rims.
Carbon rims are brittle. A rim impact can tear carbon rims. More expensive – A carbon wheelset costs around $1000 more than an aluminum wheelset.
A carbon wheelset costs around $1000 more than an aluminum wheelset. Hard Ride – Some carbon wheels are too stiff. This makes the ride feel rough.
Some carbon wheels are too stiff. This makes the ride feel rough. Non-repairable – If your carbon rim cracks, you need to replace it.
When your carbon rim cracks, you need to replace it. Less Eco-Friendly – Carbon fiber cannot be recycled.
Carbon fiber cannot be recycled. Overheating – Carbon rims can overheat and fail on long descents.
Carbon rims can overheat and fail on long descents. Less Durable – Carbon rims can crack or overheat and fail prematurely.
Carbon rims can crack or overheat and fail prematurely. Less Reliable – Carbon wheels can fail and leave you stranded.
Advantages and disadvantages of alloy wheels
Benefits More Durable – Aluminum wheels can withstand harder impact forces without suffering damage.
Aluminum wheels can withstand harder impact forces without suffering damage. Cheaper – Aluminum wheels cost less than half as much as carbon fiber. Entry-level models start at $150.
Aluminum wheels cost less than half as much as carbon fiber. Entry-level models start at $150. Repairable – Dented aluminum wheels can often be bent back into shape.
Dented aluminum rims can often be brought back into shape. Comfort – Aluminum wheels can absorb some shock and vibration.
Aluminum wheels can absorb some shock and vibration. Safer – Aluminum dissipates heat better. This makes the wheels less likely to overheat and fail.
Aluminum dissipates heat better. This makes the wheels less likely to overheat and fail. Greener – Aluminum can be recycled.
Aluminum can be recycled. More Reliable – Aluminum rims are less likely to break and won’t let you down.
Aluminum rims are less likely to break and get stuck. Durability- Because of their durability, aluminum rims tend to last longer than carbon rims. Cons Heavier – aluminum wheels are denser and require more material, so they weigh more.
Aluminum wheels are denser and require more material, so they weigh more. More Flexible – The flex makes the wheels less responsive to rider input.
The flex makes the wheels less responsive to rider input. Slower – The heavier wheels spin slower.
The heavier wheels spin up more slowly. Less Aerodynamic – Aluminum rims cannot be formed into deep aero shapes.
Aluminum rims cannot be molded into deep aero shapes. Less Efficient – More energy is required to drive aluminum rims due to the added weight and flexing.
Aluminum rims require more energy to ride due to the added weight and flexing. Aluminum wheels need to be trued more often. The more flexible the rims are, the easier they lose their shape.
Carbon vs. aluminum wheels
When buying a new wheelset, rim material is one of the most important decisions you need to make. Both carbon fiber and aluminum can be used to build light, stiff and high-performance rims. Both materials have their own strengths and weaknesses. In this section we compare the differences between carbon fiber and aluminum bike wheels to help you decide.
Weight of carbon and aluminum wheels
Carbon fiber wheels are lighter than comparable aluminum wheels. For example, many manufacturers offer carbon wheels that weigh 1300-1500 grams. The lightest carbon wheels weigh less than 1000 grams.
For comparison, lightweight aluminum wheels weigh around 1600-1700 grams. On average, you save around 300 grams (10.6 oz) when switching from aluminum to carbon fiber wheels. For many cyclists, anything over half a pound is considered a significant weight savings.
Carbon fiber wheels are lighter because the material is less dense. The density of modern carbon fiber is about 1.9 grams per cm^3, while the density of aluminum is about 2.7 grams per cm^3. It’s almost half as dense. Carbon fiber is also incredibly strong. It has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel or aluminum.
The wheels are the best place to reduce a bike’s weight. The reason is that wheels are rotating mass. Lighter wheels have less rotating mass. The lower rotating mass means the wheels have less inertia. It takes less energy to overcome inertia when the wheels are lighter. Heavier wheels require more energy to overcome inertia.
Lighter bikes require less energy to accelerate. Once the bike is moving, it takes less energy to maintain your speed. This allows the bike to be ridden faster and more efficiently. You can drive further while using less energy.
As an added benefit, you can stop faster. The lighter wheels can also decelerate faster. This allows you to start braking later before a corner and saves time.
In other words, lighter carbon wheels let you ride faster and more efficiently than heavier aluminum wheels. The lighter wheels spin faster and with less effort because there is less weight to move. They feel faster and more responsive. This allows you to accelerate, climb, brake and maneuver faster. This is particularly useful when driving in stop-and-go city traffic, climbing steep hills or cornering. You can get back up to speed much faster after slowing down or stopping.
If you switch to lighter wheels, you will immediately feel the difference. The 300 gram reduction on your wheels is much more noticeable than the 300 gram reduction on a static part of your bike.
This weight saving is important when you are racing or timing. You can shave a few seconds off a long climb by upgrading to lightweight carbon fiber wheels. This can give you a competitive advantage. You may very well set a new personal record after upgrading to lightweight carbon wheels.
It is important to note that the weight stated by the manufacturer and the actual weight of the wheels often differ. This may be due to inconsistencies in manufacturing. For example, aluminum wheel tools produce heavier wheels as they age, as part of the tool wears away, making the rims thicker. When upgrading your wheels to save weight, it’s important to weigh the actual wheels you’re installing to get an accurate measurement.
Winner: Carbon fiber wheels are lighter than aluminum wheels.
Stiffness of carbon and aluminum wheels
Carbon fiber wheels are stiffer than aluminum wheels. This is because carbon fiber is up to 5 times stiffer than aluminum for the same thickness. Engineers can further improve the stiffness of carbon fiber wheels by manipulating the fiber orientation and construction. This allows manufacturers to build incredibly stiff carbon wheels that won’t flex under load. To learn more about the stiffness of carbon fiber and aluminum, read this interesting article.
Advantages of stiff wheels
Stiffer carbon fiber wheels are preferable for several reasons. First, they make the bike feel more responsive to pedal and steering inputs. You can accelerate and steer faster if your wheels are stiff. Stiff wheels are also more responsive to the characteristics of the surface you ride on. Handling is more predictable. The bike also feels livelier and more responsive when the wheels are stiff.
With stiffer wheels you can also steer more precisely and hold your line better in corners. They track well while leaning the bike and cornering hard. This is because the wheels don’t flex and send you down an unpredictable path. The steering feels crisp. This is important when driving through technical sections of track or at high speeds.
Stiffer wheels also allow you to maintain more speed because less energy is lost through wheel flex. When you hit a bump or obstacle on the road or trail, stiff wheels turn more predictably.
All of this inspires confidence and allows you to ride faster and more aggressively. They can rush into a corner and rush out the other side. For these reasons, many racers prefer carbon wheels.
Aluminum wheels, on the other hand, can flex a bit when cornering or hitting an obstacle. For heavier riders, the flex can be noticeable. If your wheels are too flexible, your bike won’t be able to corner as quickly or predictably. The bike can also ride a little less efficiently. Some of the energy is lost through wheel flexing. The bike won’t feel quite as responsive either. This can slow you down.
There are some incredibly stiff aluminum wheels on the market today. To improve the stiffness of aluminum wheels, some manufacturers use proprietary oversized spokes, additional spokes, or a unique spoke pattern. These constructions result in aluminum wheels that are almost as stiff as carbon fiber wheels. The aluminum alloy used, the rim cross-section shape and the wall thickness also play a role in wheel stiffness.
Stiff wheels make the bike more responsive to steering movements.
Disadvantages of stiff wheels
It is possible that bike wheels are too stiff. This was a problem with early carbon fiber bikes. Overly stiff wheels can be uncomfortable to ride as they transfer shock and vibration from the road or trail to your body. This is especially noticeable when driving on rough roads or off-road. The ride feels tough and chatty.
Some long-distance off-road riders prefer aluminum wheels because they offer a more comfortable ride. The wheels can absorb some bumps. A little wheel flex can improve ride quality.
Another disadvantage of stiff wheels is that traction can suffer. Stiff wheels cannot follow the ground as well as more flexible aluminum wheels. Stiff wheels tend to jump around on particularly rough or bumpy surfaces. Your tires don’t stay on the ground as well. This reduces the friction between your tires and the ground, making it easier to lose traction. You can compensate for this by reducing tire pressure by a few PSI. A good suspension system also helps.
Stiff carbon wheels can feel harsh over rough terrain.
Selection of wheels based on stiffness
Today, many carbon fiber wheel manufacturers optimize their wheels for comfort and ride quality as well as stiffness. Manufacturers can design carbon fiber wheels to be stiff in one direction but more compliant in another. Ideally, the wheel should be laterally stiff but vertically compliant.
Modern carbon wheels are often designed to be laterally stiff so that they retain their performance advantages in terms of cornering and response. At the same time, they are designed to have some vertical flex. This allows the impeller to absorb some shock and vibration when riding on rough terrain. Carbon fiber also has natural vibration dampening properties due to its low density.
Manufacturers are able to optimize the stiffness of carbon fiber wheels. You can manipulate the direction of the fibres, the thickness of the layers or the type of fibers or resins used to optimize the wheels in terms of rigidity, performance and comfort. Modern carbon fiber wheels often offer better performance and more comfort than comparable aluminum wheels.
Other interesting designs are also possible with carbon fiber wheels. For example, these Zipp wheels feature a single-wall carbon rim that can flex side-to-side relative to the spokes. They call this design “ankle compliance” because the wheel can adjust to uneven terrain like a human ankle.
This design allows the rim to rotate side-by-side with the tire, keeping the rim parallel to the ground when cornering. This increases traction. In addition, the rim can twist during impacts at the contact point. This allows the tire to adapt better to the ground. It also reduces the likelihood of punctures because the tire hits obstacles more directly than near the bead. These wheels are also designed to offer plenty of vertical compliance for a smooth and comfortable ride.
These carbon wheels were specially developed for enduro and trail riding. They are more flexible than all aluminum rims.
Winner: Carbon fiber wheels can be stiffer than aluminum. This improves efficiency and cornering ability. Aluminum rims are often more forgiving. This increases comfort.
Aluminum wheels are more durable than carbon fiber. You wouldn’t expect this as carbon fiber is the stronger material. Finally, it has a much higher strength-to-weight ratio. Carbon wheels are less durable because the material is more brittle. This makes cracking a carbon fiber rim much easier. Aluminum rims can withstand a much harder impact force without suffering damage.
Carbon rim durability
The most common way a carbon rim is damaged is by a rim strike. There are two types of rim runouts. A rock, root, or any type of debris can hit the side of the rim and break it. The tire can also bottom out when it hits a bump or lands after a jump, and the impact force can crack the rim. Rim impact is the most common cause of carbon rim failure.
A hard hit on the rim can tear a carbon rim. A cracked carbon rim is structurally compromised and usually cannot be repaired. It should be replaced as soon as possible for safety reasons. A damaged carbon rim can fail at any time without warning.
These types of rim damage are most common in mountain biking. Especially in downhill and enduro mountain biking, where riders ride at high speeds over gnarly terrain. This type of driving generates a lot of power. A particularly hard landing can destroy a carbon rim.
Carbon rim damage is also common in gravel riding and cyclocross. Rocks and other debris can be thrown up from the track and hit the sides of the rim. This weakens the rim over time. In rare cases, a hard hit can break the rim. Sometimes you just have bad luck.
Because of this, carbon wheels may not be ideal for those who are hard on their rims and those who ride rocky, technical trails or loose surfaces.
Carbon rims are the least damaged when driving on the road because less dirt can hit the rim. Many road cyclists ride tens of thousands of miles on a set of carbon fiber rims.
Carbon rims, like this carbon frame, can crack. Image: “Broken Carbon Fiber Frame” by Michael Mandiberg, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Aluminum rim durability
In general, aluminum rims can withstand harder impact forces than carbon rims without cracking or breaking. When a rock hits an aluminum rim, it can scratch or even create a small dent. Most of the time, this damage is only cosmetic. Aluminum rims remain perfectly usable even with severe scratches.
Aluminum rims can also withstand harder impact forces without cracking. Instead, the rim becomes dented, deformed, or goes flat. In most cases it is still possible, at least temporarily, to drive a damaged aluminum rim.
For this reason, many who ride in cycling disciplines where rim damage is common, such as B. some forms of mountain biking, aluminum rims. You can take more hits without failing.
This allows riders to attempt more challenging trails without worrying about damaging a rim. It’s also easy on the budget if you need to replace an aluminum rim. Some mountain bikers treat their rims like they are disposable.
Cosmetic scratches and dents on aluminum rims can cause some problems. For example, if you run tubeless tires, a dent near the bead can compromise the tubeless seal. In this case, you may need to try to repair or replace the rim if you want to continue going tubeless. When using rim brakes, scratches or warping on the rim walls can cause braking performance issues. Most mountain bikers these days use disc brakes, so scratches on the rim are rarely a problem.
Carbon and aluminum rim failure
A particularly hard blow can destroy any rim. Carbon and aluminum rims fail in different ways. In the event of a hard impact, an aluminum rim can dent. A flat spot may form. A hard hit can even bend an alloy wheel. A carbon rim, on the other hand, will almost always tear. Because carbon is brittle, it cannot bend, deform, or dent like an aluminum rim.
If an aluminum rim fails catastrophically, it is much cheaper to replace than a carbon fiber rim. This is an important consideration for mountain bikers who are hard on their rims. Most of us cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on replacement carbon wheels on a regular basis.
Catastrophic failure is less common with aluminum rims. In many cases, a badly damaged alloy wheel rim remains drivable, at least for a short time.
On my first bike tour, for example, my friend hit a gravel road on a rapid descent and buried himself. Luckily he was fine, but his bike took a hit. The rear aluminum rim was badly bent. Miraculously, he was able to ride the bent rim about 100 miles home. I very much doubt that a carbon rim would have survived the same crash.
In some cases, damaged alloy wheels can be repaired. It is possible to bend a deformed rim back into shape. Sometimes you can hammer out small dents. For example, when my friend came home with his bent aluminum rim, he was able to bend the wheel back into shape and true it. It was never perfect, but it was usable.
You generally can’t fix a carbon rim after it’s cracked. There are some exceptions to this. I’ll talk more about the repairability of rims later.
Many mountain bikers don’t buy carbon rims because they think they’re too fragile. The reason for this is that many cyclists have experienced carbon rim failure. This was common when the technology was new.
Modern carbon fiber rims are much more durable than they used to be. Carbon fiber technology and construction techniques have improved greatly over the years. Most recreational riders these days have no issues with durability.
There is a way to improve the durability of carbon fiber wheels. You can install tire inserts. These are pieces of foam that you place between the rim and the tire. The insert fills about half the volume of your tire. This protects your carbon rim from hard impacts. This makes rim failure less likely on a hard landing or when hitting an obstacle in the trail.
The downside is that tire inserts add a significant amount of weight. This can defeat the purpose of riding lightweight carbon bikes in the first place. For more information, see this tire insert guide.
Another aspect is the guarantee. Some manufacturers offer a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty on their high-end carbon fiber rims. Knowing that you can get a replacement if a rim snaps gives you some peace of mind.
In general, it’s best to ride wheels that you can replace if they get destroyed. For many drivers, that means running aluminum rims.
It’s also important to remember that there are many riders who have clocked up tens of thousands of miles on their carbon rims with no problems. If you’re one of those riders who goes easy on your gear, rides smoothly, and uses tire inserts, you probably won’t have any durability issues with carbon rims.
Some competitive cyclists own a set of both aluminum and carbon rims. They ride the aluminum rims during practice and then swap them out for carbon rims for race days or special occasions.
Winner: Aluminum wheels are more durable than carbon fiber.
Cost of carbon and aluminum wheels
Carbon fiber wheels are significantly more expensive than aluminum wheels. In fact, they are often twice as expensive. A set of carbon fiber wheels goes for $1500 to $2500. Zum Vergleich: Ein High-End-Satz Aluminiumräder kostet etwa 600 bis 1500 US-Dollar. Im Durchschnitt kosten Kohlefaserräder etwa 1000 US-Dollar mehr als vergleichbare Aluminiumräder.
Der niedrigere Preis ist der Grund dafür, dass die überwiegende Mehrheit der neuen Fahrräder mit Aluminiumfelgen verkauft wird. Es senkt die Fahrradpreise erheblich. Die meisten Radfahrer wollen keine zusätzlichen 1000 US-Dollar für Räder bezahlen.
Alufelgen der Einstiegs- bis Mittelklasse sind sogar noch günstiger. Sie können einen einfachen Aluminiumradsatz für 150 bis 300 US-Dollar kaufen. Wenn Sie ein knappes Budget haben, sind Kohlefaserräder nicht einmal eine Option.
Die meisten Fahrräder sind mit Alufelgen ausgestattet. Kohlefaserfelgen sind normalerweise ein Aftermarket-Teil.
Aluminiumräder sind billiger, weil sie viel einfacher herzustellen sind. Das rohe Aluminium wird zu einem langen, geraden Felgenstück extrudiert. Diese werden abgelängt, zu einem Kreis gebogen und anschließend verschweißt oder verstiftet.
Der Prozess der Aluminiumherstellung wurde über Jahrzehnte verfeinert. Vieles davon lässt sich mit modernen Maschinen automatisieren. Aluminiumfelgen können in Massenproduktion hergestellt werden. Eine produktive Fabrik könnte Tausende von Aluminiumfelgen pro Tag produzieren. Es dauert viel weniger Arbeitsstunden, um eine Aluminiumfelge herzustellen. Auch die Rohstoffe, aus denen Aluminiumfelgen hergestellt werden, sind deutlich günstiger. Aluminium ist billiger als Kohlefaser.
Kohlefaserfelgen sind viel teurer in der Herstellung. Der Hauptgrund ist, dass der Herstellungsprozess arbeitsintensiver ist. Es dauert mehr Arbeitsstunden, jede Carbonfelge zu bauen, da ein Großteil der Arbeit von Hand erledigt werden muss. Es kann nicht automatisiert werden. Der Arbeitsaufwand erfordert Geschick. Arbeiter müssen Kohlefaserplatten in der richtigen Reihenfolge und Richtung in Formen legen. Der Prozess erfordert Know-how und Präzision.
Auch die Werkzeuge und Rohstoffe, die für den Bau von Kohlefaserrahmen benötigt werden, sind teurer. Zum Beispiel erfordert das Bauen mit Kohlefaser kundenspezifische Formen. Diese Kohlefaserformen sind extrem teuer in der Herstellung. Die Kohlefaserplatten sind ebenfalls teuer. Zum Härten der Räder werden spezielle Öfen benötigt. Die Felgen müssen außerdem in einer klimatisierten Anlage gebaut werden. Auch dies erhöht die Kosten.
Um niedrigere Preise zu erreichen, verwenden einige Hersteller eine niedrigere Kohlefaserqualität, die mehr Füllstoffe und Harz enthält. Diese Räder sind schwerer und weniger zuverlässig. Sie bieten möglicherweise keine Vorteile gegenüber Aluminium. Sie können auch gefährlich sein. Wenn Sie ein knappes Budget haben, halten Sie sich am besten von Kohlefaserfelgen fern.
Ein weiterer Kostenfaktor, der bei der Entscheidung zwischen Kohlefaser- und Aluminiumfelgen zu berücksichtigen ist, sind die Wiederbeschaffungskosten. Wenn Sie mit Ihrem Fahrrad stürzen oder bei einem Sprung zu hart landen, können Sie Ihre Felge zerstören. Es ist viel billiger, eine Aluminiumfelge zu ersetzen als Kohlefaser. Das Ersetzen einer verbogenen Aluminiumfelge kann Sie einige hundert Dollar kosten. Das Ersetzen einer rissigen Kohlefaserfelge kann Sie über 1000 US-Dollar kosten.
Der niedrigere Preis von Aluminiumfelgen macht sie zu einer ausgezeichneten Wahl für Radfahrer, die ihre Felgen stark belasten, und für diejenigen, die in Radsportdisziplinen fahren, in denen Unfälle häufig vorkommen, wie z. B. beim Downhill-Mountainbiking.
Sie sollten auch die anderen Radkomponenten berücksichtigen, die Sie verwenden werden, wenn Sie sich zwischen Carbon- oder Aluminiumfelgen entscheiden. Die Naben, Speichen und Reifen spielen alle eine Rolle bei der Leistung und Fahrqualität des fertigen Laufrads.
Wer High-End-Carbonfelgen kauft, will zum Beispiel bei seinen Naben nicht sparen. Dies erhöht die Kosten. Wenn Sie Felgenbremsen mit Ihren Carbonlaufrädern verwenden, müssen Sie spezielle Carbon-kompatible Bremsbeläge kaufen. Auch dies erhöht die Kosten. Eine Möglichkeit, bei Carbonfelgen Geld zu sparen, ist der Gebrauchtkauf. Aluminiumradkomponenten können billiger sein.
Gewinner: Aluminiumräder kosten halb so viel wie Kohlefaserräder. Sie könnten über 1000 US-Dollar sparen, wenn Sie Aluminiumfelgen fahren.
Viele Radfahrer finden, dass Aluminiumräder eine komfortablere Fahrt bieten als Carbonfaserräder. Der Grund dafür ist, dass Aluminium Stöße und Vibrationen von der Straße besser absorbiert.
Dies ist möglich, weil Aluminium etwas nachgiebiger ist als Kohlefaser. Es kann sich ein wenig biegen, um Stöße zu absorbieren. Allerdings sind moderne Kohlefaserräder fast genauso komfortabel.
Idealerweise möchten Sie, dass Ihre Räder seitlich steif sind, damit sie in harten Kurven und auf unwegsamem Gelände gut spuren. Dadurch können Sie vorhersehbar steuern und Ihre Linie beibehalten. Gleichzeitig möchten Sie, dass Ihre Räder eine gewisse vertikale Nachgiebigkeit aufweisen. Dadurch kann das Rad dazu beitragen, einige Stöße und Vibrationen zu absorbieren, wodurch die Fahrt beim Fahren über raue Oberflächen komfortabler wird.
In der Vergangenheit wurden Laufräder aus Kohlefaser so steif wie möglich konstruiert. Dies war großartig für Effizienz und Handhabung. The drawback was that the excessive stiffness made the ride quality too harsh. The rigid wheels would transmit shocks and vibrations through the wheels and into your body. This made for a rough and chattery ride that many cyclists did not enjoy.
Modern carbon fiber wheels are designed with comfort and ride quality in mind. They are designed to be stiff laterally but flexible vertically. This is achieved by fine-tuning the carbon fiber during the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers can vary the direction of the fibers, type of resin and filaments, the thickness of the fibers, density, and more to achieve the desired vertical compliance and lateral rigidity. Carbon fiber naturally offers excellent vibration absorption qualities due to its low density. This improves comfort as well.
In reality, the wheel material only plays a small role in the overall comfort of the bicycle. In fact, most riders probably wouldn’t be able to even feel the difference between carbon fiber and aluminum wheels, in terms of comfort. The tires, grips, saddle, suspension system, and frame play a much bigger role in comfort.
For example, wide, high-volume tires with lower air pressure can absorb far more shocks than any wheel could. A well-fitting saddle and quality grips can make a big difference in comfort as well. The frame material and geometry are important considerations as well. A suspension system can greatly improve comfort by absorbing large shocks.
Winner: Aluminum wheels offer a more comfortable ride.
Both aluminum and carbon fiber rims can be repaired in some cases. Generally, aluminum rims are more repairable than carbon fiber rims.
If an aluminum rim gets dented from hitting a rock, pothole, curb, etc, it is possible to bend it back into shape in most cases. Check out this guide for instructions. The process involves using a wrench to pry the dent out.
You’ll really only want to attempt this repair if the dent affects some function of the wheel. For example, maybe the dent prevents your tubeless tires from sealing with the rim. Maybe the dent causes your rim brakes to rub. In these cases, it may be worth trying to fix the rim.
It’s important to keep in mind that bending an aluminum rim back into shape can weaken the rim. If the rim still functions normally with a dent, leave it as is.
Aluminum rims can also crack. This is usually caused by fatigue. All rims crack when they reach the end of their life. Most cracks form near the spoke holes. A crack could also be caused by a hard impact. It is possible to repair some aluminum rim cracks. The process involves welding the crack then machining it down so it’s smooth.
Repairing cracked aluminum rims is usually not cost-effective. A professional welder might charge $300 to repair a cracked aluminum rim . In that case, you’re better off just buying a new rim for $300. You never know how long a repair will last or if another crack will form. It’s difficult to determine the structural integrity of aluminum that has cracked. Aluminum rims that have been repaired may not be safe to ride.
Carbon fiber rims, on the other hand, are usually not repairable. If the rim cracks, it should be replaced. You never know when it will fail catastrophically and send you to the ground.
That said, there are some companies that will repair some type of cracks on carbon fiber rims. For example, this company claims that they can repair a crack on any part of a carbon rim except for the brake track on a rim brake wheel, the spoke hole areas, and the bead.
Of course, carbon fiber wheel repair is expensive. It’s risky to pay for an expensive repair, not knowing if the repair will hold or how long it will last. In most cases, you’re better off just buying a new rim.
Some riders attempt repairs on their own. For example, they will fill a small crack with super glue or make a patch from a piece of carbon fiber and epoxy. This isn’t recommended but it is something that people do. I wouldn’t want to risk this.
Tip: Many manufacturers guarantee their rims for a certain amount of time. If your rim cracks, you may be able to get it replaced for free under the factory warranty. Be sure to check your warranty before you go out and buy a new rim.
Winner: Aluminum rims are easier to repair. Carbon fiber rims usually can’t be repaired.
In theory, carbon fiber wheels should last longer than aluminum wheels because carbon fiber doesn’t fatigue as quickly. As long as you ride smoothly, avoid rim strikes, and don’t allow your tires to bottom out, your carbon rims should last pretty much indefinitely. Many road riders get tens of thousands of miles out of a quality set of carbon rims.
The problem is that carbon fiber rims are more fragile than aluminum because the material is more brittle. A carbon rim can’t handle as hard of an impact without cracking.
If you ride in a cycling discipline that is demanding on rims, such as mountain biking, there is a good chance that your carbon rim will hit something, crack, and fail prematurely. Sometimes a rock can get kicked up and destroy a rim. You might just get unlucky. For this reason, carbon fiber rims usually don’t last as long as aluminum. Aluminum rims can take more of a beating without cracking or failing.
Aluminum rims can last for decades. It’s common to find vintage bikes with the original aluminum rims.
Aluminum rims do fatigue over time. This is because aluminum doesn’t have a fatigue limit. Every time you apply stress to your rims, the aluminum slowly weakens. After enough miles, a crack will inevitably form. No rims last forever.
Exactly how long your aluminum rims will last depends on a number of factors including the type of riding you do, the cross-section shape of the rime, the wall thickness, your weight, how you treat your rims, the type of brakes you use, the size of the wheels, the quality of the material, and more. A quality set of aluminum rims could last anywhere from 5,000-35,000+ miles.
Winner: Under real-world use, aluminum rims usually last longer than carbon fiber rims.
Safety: Rim Overheating and Failure
Carbon fiber rims can be more dangerous than aluminum rims. The reason is that carbon rims can overheat and fail under extreme conditions. This problem is mostly limited to carbon fiber clincher wheels that are paired with rim brakes.
Friction caused by rim brake pads rubbing against the carbon fiber rims creates heat. Carbon fiber does a poor job of dissipating heat compared to aluminum because the material is a poor thermal conductor.
During a long descent, heat builds up in the rims and softens the resin that bonds the carbon fiber together. If the resin gets soft enough, the rim can begin to bubble or fold open. Heat can also cause the inner tube to burst and blow the tire completely off the rim.
This was proven in brake testing performed by Alto Cycling. They tested carbon fiber clincher wheels from a number of brands by running them at 1200 watts with a 7 pound load. The wheels were run until they failed. Heat buildup was measured. Some wheels failed in just 300 seconds while others lasted over 1200 seconds. It’s important to note that some brands responded by defending their wheels and criticizing the way that the testing was performed.
As you can imagine, this type of failure could be pretty dangerous. Imagine speeding down a hill at 30 mph when your rim decides to fail catastrophically and buckle under you. This could cause a serious injury.
Even though this type of failure is rare, it became common enough that carbon fiber clincher wheels have been banned or discouraged at some cycling events that include long steep descents.
Heat failure was more common on carbon fiber rims in the past because the resins used at the time were more sensitive to heat. Modern resins are much more resistant to overheating. That said, carbon fiber clincher rims can still overheat in extreme conditions. If you ride long steep descents, you might want to avoid carbon rims for safety reasons.
Overheating can happen with aluminum rims as well. The difference is that it’s much less likely because aluminum is an excellent thermal conductor. It dissipates heat much more quickly and efficiently than carbon fiber.
Aluminum rims also don’t usually fail when they overheat. Instead, the heat causes the air pressure in the tire to increase. Eventually, the tire will fail and a sidewall will blow out. This type of failure is less catastrophic and less common. Of course, it could still be dangerous. You could easily crash if a tire blows out.
There are a couple of techniques you can use to avoid overheating your rim. You can descend faster and brake less. Less heat builds up this way. Another trick is to brake hard and slow way down then let off the brakes for a while while you speed back up. This gives your rims a chance to cool. You can also try alternating between using the front and rear brakes.
If you believe your rims are beginning to overheat, you can stop mid-descent and let them cool down for a few minutes before continuing on. I do this occasionally while touring. You can also use disc brakes. This way, you don’t have to worry about rim damage from overheating. Keep in mind that disc brakes can overheat too.
Cracked rims can also be a safety issue, regardless of the material. It’s never safe to ride a cracked rim. Cracked rims can fail catastrophically at any time, causing you to crash.
Rims can overheat and fail during long, steep descents.
To be safe, you should periodically inspect your rims. Look closely near the spoke holes and on the sidewalls. These are the most common areas for cracks to form. If you spot a crack, you should replace the rim as soon as possible.
This is necessary because it is impossible to determine the structural integrity of a cracked rim. Cracks also expand over time. If you ride a cracked rim long enough, it will eventually fail. You just never know when.
Winner: Aluminum wheels can be safer when riding in extreme conditions. They are less likely to overheat.
Which Wheel Material is More Environmentally Friendly? Carbon Vs Aluminum
Most cyclists care deeply about the environment. For some of us, it’s the reason we ride a bike instead of drive a car. One excellent feature of aluminum is that the material is incredibly recyclable. For this reason, aluminum wheels are more environmentally friendly than carbon fiber.
Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials available. According to this article from Aluminum.org, aluminum is 100% recyclable and 75% of all aluminum ever produced in the US is still in use. The material can be infinitely recycled. After your aluminum rims wear out, they can be melted down and recycled into an endless number of new products including soda cans, building materials, or even new bike wheels.
Carbon fiber, on the other hand, is not as recyclable. When your carbon fiber wheels reach the end of their life, they will end up in a landfill where they may sit for centuries. Carbon fiber can’t simply be melted down and reused like aluminum and other metals. This makes the material less environmentally friendly.
Carbon fiber can be partially recycled. The process involves burning away the resin so the filaments can be reused. The resin is basically a type of plastic. As you can imagine, this process isn’t very good for the environment. Large pieces can sometimes be repurposed into other products. A company called Carbondale recently released a new type of carbon wheels that are supposed to be 100% recyclable. For more info, check out this article.
Winner: Aluminum wheels are more environmentally friendly than carbon fiber.
Speed and Efficiency
Carbon fiber wheels are more efficient than aluminum. The increased efficiency allows you to travel further while burning less energy than you would while riding aluminum rims. Carbon rims also allow you to maintain a higher average speed.
Carbon fiber wheels are more efficient for 3 main reasons. First, carbon wheels are lighter. It takes less energy to accelerate, climb, and maintain your speed with a lighter bike. This is because you’re simply moving less weight around. When riding heavier aluminum wheels, you’ll tire out a bit faster due to the extra weight. The lighter wheels also stop faster. This allows you to start braking a bit later when going into a corner. This saves you time.
The second reason carbon wheels are more efficient is that they are stiffer. When you accelerate hard, your wheels want to flex from side to side as you rock the bike from left to right. When this happens, some of your energy is being wasted flexing the rims instead of driving you forward. Wheels can also flex during a hard corner, slowing you down. When your wheels flex, you’ll have to spend more energy to pedal back up to speed. On some frames, the rims can flex enough that the rim rubs against the brake pad. This costs you more power.
Carbon fiber rims are designed to be laterally stiff so they flex less as you pedal. Because carbon fiber wheels are stiffer, you lose less energy to wheel flex.
This allows you to use your energy more efficiently because you’re not wasting energy flexing the rims. The bike will maintain its speed better when you’re not pedaling as well. This allows you to ride slightly faster and maintain a higher average speed.
For competitive riding, efficient rims are crucial
Aluminum rims tend to have a bit more lateral flex. This wastes energy that could have been used to drive you forward. For more info on wheel flex, check out this in-depth article.
The third reason that carbon fiber rims are more efficient is that they tend to be more aerodynamic. Carbon fiber wheels can be made into more aerodynamic shapes while maintaining their light weight.
This is possible because carbon fiber is a less restrictive material than aluminum. It can be molded into any shape. Carbon fiber is also much lighter than aluminum. Manufacturers can use more material and maintain the light weight.
Aerodynamic rims are deeper so the hole in the middle is smaller. This design reduces drag. Deeper rims create less wind resistance because the hole in the center of the rim is smaller. This allows the wheel to cut through the air more easily because there is less wind resistance acting against you while you ride. I’ll talk more in-depth about aerodynamics and rim shape in a later section.
This can save a considerable amount of energy. Whether or not aerodynamics matter depends on your speed. At lower speeds, aerodynamics don’t make much of a difference. At speeds above around 9 mph (16 kph), aerodynamics are important because wind resistance becomes the main force acting against you.
Each of these above efficiency gains is minimal on its own. When you add them all together, the difference can be significant. Of course, efficiency and speed really only matter for competitive riders. Recreational riders may not even notice the difference. Both carbon fiber and aluminum can make incredibly lightweight, stiff, and aerodynamic wheelsets.
The rims aren’t the only component that controls wheel efficiency and speed. The number of spokes, type of spokes, spoke thickness, axle diameter, frame material and design, rim width and depth, hub type, and more all play a role in wheel stiffness and efficiency.
Winner: Carbon fiber wheels are faster and more efficient than aluminum.
Ride Quality: Performance and Comfort
There is no clear definition of bicycle ride quality. This article does a good job of explaining ride quality and various aspects that may affect it. To me, ride quality is the combination of the performance and comfort of a bicycle.
When building wheels, manufacturers have to strike a compromise between performance and comfort. The wheel needs to be stiff laterally so the bike can handle responsively and predictably, accelerate quickly, and ride efficiently. At the same time, the wheel needs to have a bit of vertical compliance so the ride doesn’t feel too harsh and so traction doesn’t suffer. The wheel material, design, and weight all play a role in ride quality.
For example, when you take a hard corner, you want the bike to maintain its line without the wheel flexing and sending you down an unpredictable path. At the same time, you also don’t want the wheel to flex and waste energy. When you hit a pothole, you don’t want your teeth to shake out of your head because the ride is so harsh. You also don’t want the wheel skipping around on bumpy surfaces.
There is no clear winner when it comes to ride quality. These days, many riders argue that carbon fiber wheels make the best compromise between performance and comfort. Carbon fiber allows manufacturers to engineer and fine-tune wheels with incredible precision.
For example, with modern layering techniques, computer modeling, and high-tech resins and fibers, manufacturers can build carbon wheels that offer excellent performance while maintaining a comfortable ride. They can be stiff laterally and pliable vertically. Carbon fiber also offers excellent vibration absorption qualities due to its low density. This can help greatly to improve comfort. Carbon fiber wheels can also be built with more precision than aluminum. Tolerances are lower. All of these factors help to improve ride quality.
In the past, this wasn’t the case. The first carbon fiber wheels were optimized for performance. They were made incredibly stiff. While these stiff wheels performed well in terms of handling and efficiency, some riders found them to be too harsh.
Ride quality is somewhat subjective. Many riders find that aluminum wheels offer better ride quality. They find that the wheels offer a bit more flex, which can improve comfort. Quality aluminum wheels can offer a good amount of stiffness as well.
Of course, the wheels only play one role in the overall ride quality of a given bicycle. You’ll also want to consider the frame material, frame geometry, handlebars, suspension system, saddle, peddles, grips, and tires. That said, the wheels are one of the more important components controlling ride quality.
Winner: Carbon fiber wheels offer better ride quality.
You can run low-pressure tires on both aluminum and carbon fiber wheels. You can get away with running your tires at lower pressures if you go with aluminum rims. This is possible because you’re less likely to cause damage if you bottom out and a rim strike occurs. You may feel more comfortable running your tires at lower pressure for this reason.
If you want to run your carbon fiber rims at low pressure, consider installing tire inserts. These foam rings protect your wheels from getting damaged in the event of a rim strike. They add a bit of weight but can save your wheels. To me, inserts are worth it for peace of mind.
These Tannus Armour Tubeless Tire Inserts would work well. They protect your rims from damage, prevent pinch flats, dampen vibrations, and reduce the likelihood of burping air from tubeless tires. The inserts weigh only 150 grams.
The main benefit of riding with your tires at a lower pressure is that it improves traction. This is possible because the softer tire can deform more at the contact patch. This allows more of the tread to contact the ground, which increases friction. Lower tire pressure also increases comfort because the softer tires can absorb more bumps.
Both carbon and aluminum rims are suitable for high-pressure road tires. They can handle the pressure without any issues.
Winner: Aluminum wheels are better for those who like to run their tires at low pressure because damage is less likely in the event of a rim strike.
Which Wheels Stay True Longer? Carbon Fiber or Aluminum
Bicycle wheels require very little maintenance. Really, all you have to do is keep the hub bearings greased and true the wheels once in a while to make sure the rims stay straight and round. Truing bike wheels involves adjusting the spoke tension. For more info, check out this guide.
Carbon fiber wheels tend to stay true longer than aluminum wheels. You may only have to true your carbon wheels once after 25,000 miles. You may have to check the spoke tension and true your aluminum wheels once every 10,000 miles.
I’m not exactly sure why carbon rims stay true longer. It may have something to do with the higher rigidity of the rims. It could be because aluminum rims can flex more and permanently deform. Another theory I have read is that carbon fiber rims are more precisely made at the factory. They are rounder and flatter than aluminum rims because tolerances are lower. Aluminum rims can be slightly less flat or round. This makes it harder to get spoke tension even around the wheel. As a result, the aluminum wheels can go out of true more easily. Whatever the case, carbon wheels rarely go out of true.
Exactly how often you’ll have to true your wheels depends on a number of factors including your weight, the type of terrain you ride, and the quality of your wheels. Your wheels may need to be trued more frequently if you’re a heavy rider or if you ride rough terrain. High-quality, hand-built carbon fiber wheels may only need to be trued once when they’re built. Low quality or poorly built wheels may need to be trued after just a few thousand miles.
Winner: Carbon fiber wheels stay true longer than aluminum. This advantage is minor because both carbon and aluminum wheels stay true for many thousands of miles when properly built.
Across pretty much all disciplines of cycling, wider tires are becoming more popular. As a result, rims are becoming wider as well. The most common measurement for rim width is called ‘internal rim width’. This is the distance between the inside walls of the flanges where the tire meets the rim. Rim width is a compromise. There are benefits and drawbacks to using wider rims and narrow rims.
Rim Width for Off-Road Riding
The main benefit of using wider rims is that they provide more support for the sidewalls of the tires. This reduces the amount that the tires can roll on the rim as you corner. In other words, the tire won’t try to fold to the sidewall on the rim. This improves traction and cornering performance by stabilizing the tire on the rim.
In addition, wider rims can improve traction by allowing more tread to contact the ground. The tire’s side knobs can more easily bite into the ground while cornering hard. Tubeless tires will also be less likely to separate from the rim and burp air and sealant.
Wider rims also allow you to run your tires at lower air pressure. The wider tires that are typically paired with wider rims have a greater volume. High-volume tires can be run at lower pressures. These tires are less likely to bottom out and hit the rim when they hit an obstacle. This is the case because there is more air in the tire to act as cushioning. Wider tires are also taller. This means the tire would have to compress further to hit the rim.
A fat bike with extra-wide rims
There are a couple of benefits to running wider, higher volume tires with lower air pressure. Wider rims can better support the sidewalls of the tire at lower pressure than narrow rims. This improves traction. Higher volume tires can also absorb larger bumps, which improves comfort. The tires are less likely to bottom out and hit the rim.
Running your tires at lower pressure also increases traction. This is because the tire can deform more at the contact patch so more tread contacts the ground. Side knobs can bite. This increases the friction between the tire and the ground. With more traction, you can corner and accelerate harder without your tire sliding out.
For these reasons, wider rims are ideal for off-road riding, gravel riding, and mountain biking. The increased sidewall support and ability to run the tires at lower pressure greatly increase traction and comfort. With wider tires, you can corner faster without worrying about your tire folding on the sidewall, sliding out, or separating from the rim and burping air.
Running wider rims and tires can also reduce the likelihood of rim damage while riding carbon fiber rims because rim strikes are less common with wide, high-volume tires. Wider rims are also a bit thicker and structurally stronger.
Wider rims can also benefit road cyclists for the same reasons. The benefits of wider rims will be less significant because road bike road tires are run at higher pressures. Traction is less of an issue as well on pavement.
Rim Width for Road Riding
Road riders can also benefit from riding wider rims. There are fewer benefits because road riders tend to run their tires at higher pressures. Less traction is also required for road riding.
In road cycling, the external rim width is more important than the internal rim width. External rim width is the distance from the outside of one rim wall to the outside of the opposite rim wall.
This measurement is important due to aerodynamics. In road cycling, aerodynamics matter far more due to the higher speeds. At speeds over 10 mph, wind resistance creates a significant amount of drag. You have to burn more energy to overcome that extra resistance.
A number of studies have been performed on the aerodynamics of road bikes. Based on wind tunnel testing, the rule of 105 was formed. According to this interesting article, “The Rule of 105 states that the rim must be at least 105% the width of the tire if you have any chance of re-capturing airflow from the tire and controlling it or smoothing it.” In other words, the rim should be 5% wider than the tire so the tire and rim minimize disruption of the air as they pass through.
For example, if you run 23mm tires, you’d want your external rim width to measure 24.15mm at a minimum (23mm x 105% = 24.15mm). If you run 25mm tires, you’ll want to run rims that measure at least 26.25mm. Following the rule of 105 when choosing rims and tires for your road bike will improve aerodynamics and efficiency.
Whether you ride a road bike or mountain bike, it is possible for your rims to be too wide for your tires. There are mutliple reasons for this. Most importantly, it’s easier to damage a rim when the rim wall sticks out further than the sides of the tire. The bulbous sides of the tires act as bumpers for the rim walls to protect them from impacts from obstacles on the road or trail. You really want to avoid overly wide carbon fiber rims because they will be much easier to damage. Next, wider rims can spread narrow tires open too far and square off the tread. This can hurt your handling and tire performance. If you ride wide rims, you’ll want to ride wider tires to avoid this. You want your tires to maintain their rounded shape. Wider rims will also be heavier simply because they have more material.
Rim width is a compromise. You want your rims to provide good tire support and protection while still being lightweight and efficient. When choosing rims, you’ll want to think about the tire width you want to ride, the tire pressure, and the terrain you ride.
You’ll also need to consider your frame clearance when choosing rims. Your maximum tire width will be limited by your frame. You’ll need to choose rims that are narrow enough that the tires won’t rub your frame.
Every rim can support a range of tire widths. For example, road rims with an internal width of 19-23mm could support 25-35mm wide tires. Mountain bike rims with an internal rim width of 30-35mm could support 2.4-2.8” wide tires. If your tires and rims are within a couple of millimeters of the ideal parameters, you shouldn’t have any issues.
If you’re not sure whether or not a specific tire will fit on your rims, check with the rim manufacturer. Most list a range of compatible tire widths.
Winner: If you’re choosing wide rims, carbon fiber is the better material because it is lighter.
Aerodynamics and Rim Depth
According to this interesting article, when riding at speeds over 9mph (around 15 kph), air resistance becomes the main force acting against you while cycling. Once you reach 30mph, 90% of your energy goes toward overcoming air resistance.
Air resistance is the reason that road cyclists ride in groups, drafting behind one another. It’s the reason cyclists who ride in timed events work to make their bike and their body as aerodynamic as possible. When you watch a cyclist sprint, you’ll notice that they’re tucked as far down as possible and riding in the drops. The purpose of this is to increase aerodynamics to reduce drag.
The more aerodynamic a bicycle is, the faster and more efficiently you can ride. The reason is that you waste less energy overcoming wind resistance. More energy goes toward driving you forward.
The wheels play a major role in the overall aerodynamics of a bicycle. Wheel aerodynamics are particularly important on road bikes because road cyclists ride at high speeds than mountain bikers. The faster you ride, the more aerodynamics matter.
A number of factors determine the aerodynamics of a bike wheel. The rim shape, rim width, rim depth, spoke shape, and rim surface texture all play a role. The tire width and tread pattern also come into play. Probably the most important factor to consider when choosing wheels is the rim depth.
Generally, deeper rims are more aerodynamic than shallow rims. The reason is that deeper rims reduce air separation across the wheel’s surface. The air stays attached longer as it flows past the wheel. In other words, a wheel with deep rims disturbs the air less as you ride through it.
This is possible because the hole in the center of the wheel is smaller when the rims are deeper. This allows the wheel to cut through the air more smoothly.
Cyclists who are trying to maximize wheel aerodynamics choose the deepest rimed wheels they can get. Some cyclists use aero disc rear wheels. These have a solid plate that completely covers the hole in the wheel. These wheels are popular among triathlon and time trial riders.
For those who ride at lower speeds, such as mountain bikers, wheel aerodynamics matter less. As mentioned earlier, at speeds below around 9mph, wheel aerodynamics don’t really matter.
Rim Weight Vs Aerodynamics
There are some drawbacks to using deep, aerodynamic rims. The main one being weight. Deeper rims are heavier because they require more material to make. This is where the weight difference between carbon fiber and aluminum wheels comes into play.
Because carbon fiber is so much lighter than aluminum, it is possible to make deep carbon rims that are still lightweight, even though deep rims contain more material. Deep aluminum rims are significantly heavier.
Carbon aero rims might weigh 300-500 grams less than comparable aluminum aero rims. For this reason, you’re much better going with carbon rims if you’re trying to optimize your bike for aerodynamics.
Carbon aero rims are also easier to manufacture due to the strength of the material. Aluminum rims can’t be made as deep as carbon fiber because they would crumple at the walls. To make them strong enough, the walls would need to be so thick that the rims would be extremely heavy. For this reason, deep aluminum rims over 50mm deep are rare. If you want deep aero rims, carbon fiber is usually your only option.
Regardless of the rim material you choose, you will want to factor in both rim weight and aerodynamics when choosing rims. There there is a compromise to make.
If you regularly climb steep grades at low speeds, you’re better off prioritizing wheel weight rather than aerodynamics. In this case, you’ll want to choose lightweight wheels with shallow rims. If you ride flat ground and gradual grades at higher speeds, you’re better off prioritizing aerodynamics. In this case, you’ll want to choose deep and aerodynamic rims. Weight may be a bit less important.
For most riders, the cutoff is a grade of around 4.5%. If you ride grades that are steeper than 4.5%, you’re usually better off choosing lighter wheels. If you ride grades that are less than 4.5%, you’re usually better off choosing aerodynamic wheels. The reason is that you can reach speeds over 9mph on more gradual grades so aerodynamics benefits outweigh the extra weight. You can get away with deeper rims if you go with carbon fiber because the material is so much lighter than aluminum.
Another consideration is wind. Deep rims make your bike easier to blow around because they catch more wind from the sides. They act as a sail. This can make the bike feel squirrely. A heavy gust of wind or a large truck passing you could blow you off your line or even off the road. If you regularly ride in windy conditions or near heavy traffic, you might feel more confident with shallow rims.
When choosing aerodynamic rims, you’ll also want to keep rim width in mind. Remember the rule of 105, as outlined in the previous section. Most modern aero wheels are designed to maximize efficiency when paired with 23-25mm road tires.
Winner: If you’re buying aerodynamic wheels, carbon fiber is the better material because they are lighter. You can buy deeper carbon rims without the rims being too heavy. Aluminum rims typically aren’t made quite as deep because they would weigh too much.
Clincher Vs. Tubeless Vs. Tubular Carbon Fiber and Aluminum Rims
When buying bike wheels, you’ll have to choose between three different types: clincher, tubeless, and tubular. Each wheel type uses a different type of tire. It is important to note that tubular wheels are not compatible with clincher or tubeless tires. Clincher and tubeless tires can be used on both clincher and tubeless rims, in most cases. In this section, I’ll briefly outline the difference between the three wheel types and list a few pros and cons of each.
Clincher wheels use clincher tires. These tires are open at the bottom, like car tires. Clincher wheels have a rubber airtight inner tube inside to support the tire. When you inflate the tubes, they expand and put pressure on the inside of the tire. This tightens or ‘clinches’ a hard bead around the edges of the tire against the rim. The tube holds the air and the tire sits against the tube.
Clincher wheels can be drilled to run either Schrader or Presta valves. You can buy clincher wheelsets made from either carbon fiber or aluminum.
These are the most common type of bike wheels. They are found on almost all entry-level to mid-range bikes. They are also found on pretty much all older bikes. You probably rode clincher wheels as a kid. These days, clincher wheels are less common on high-end mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and road bikes. Many cyclists upgrade from clincher to tubeless tires and wheels.
Clincher wheels are ideal for those who are not very mechanically inclined, those on a tight budget, and beginner and recreational cyclists. They are easy to install and maintain. If a tube gets punctured, it’s easy to apply a patch or replace the tube. All you need to carry to repair a flat is a patch kit, tire levers, and a pump. Spare tubes and patches are common and affordable.
Performance-wise, clincher wheels don’t offer quite as much traction or comfort as tubeless wheels. The sacrifice in performance is pretty minimal. One major drawback is that flats are more common. Particularly while riding off-road. Tubes are easy to puncture. Running over a nail, piece of glass, or thorn can cause a flat.
In most cases, it is possible to run clincher wheels tubeless. This is called a DIY or ‘ghetto tubeless’ setup. This involves sealing the rim and putting sealant inside of the tire. For more info, check out this guide.
Tubeless wheels are designed in a way that allows the tire to form an airtight seal with the rim without the need for a tube. The tires have an open bottom, just like clincher tires. When inflated, air puts pressure on the inside of the tires so the bead sits tightly against the rim.
For this to work, the rim must be sealed up airtight with tubeless rim tape so air can’t escape through the spoke holes. During installation, a liquid sealant is poured inside the tire. This helps to seal up any gaps or holes so the wheel and tire remain airtight. Clincher wheels can be drilled to run either Schrader or Presta valves. Tubeless wheels can be made from either carbon fiber or aluminum.
Tubeless wheels and tires offer several advantages over clincher wheels. Most importantly, flats are much less common. This is possible because the sealant in the tire repairs small punctures before the air can leak out. If you hit a thorn or nail and your tire gets punctured, you won’t even have to stop. This is great for off-road riding where you’re likely to encounter sharp debris. It’s also ideal for long distance cycling, such as bicycle touring and bikepacking. You may be able to ride tens of thousands of miles without having to repair a puncture.
If you get a large puncture or tear that the sealant can’t fill, you can sew up the hole or apply a patch. If this doesn’t work, you can install a tube.
Another advantage of riding tubeless is that you can run your tires at lower pressure because there is no tube that can get pinched and cause a flat. This increases traction by allowing the softer tire to deform so more tread can contact the ground. It also improves comfort. The softer tire can absorb more bumps.
You’ll want to be careful with this if you run carbon fiber wheels. If you run your tire pressure too low and you hit an obstacle and your tire bottoms out, you risk cracking your rim. The risk is lower with aluminum rims because they are more durable.
One problem you can encounter with tubeless aluminum rims is dents, nicks, and scratches on the bead where the tire meets the rim. These can make it impossible to get an airtight seal. If you can’t get your tire to seal, you’ll have to run tubes or replace your rim.
Another drawback is that tubeless tires can be a bit of a hassle to install and maintain. There is a learning curve. Getting your tires to seal airtight can be a challenge. There is a learning curve. You need to inflate the tire quickly so it seals agains the rim. Repairing large punctures or sidewall tears can be difficult as well. You may have to sew a sidewall, make a patch, or plug a puncture. You need more tire repair tools in your repair kit when you ride tubeless. This adds weight.
These days, tubeless wheels are standard on most mid-range to high-end mountain bikes and gravel bikes. Some road riders and cyclocross riders are switching from tubular to tubeless tires these days as well. Many riders convert their clincher wheels to tubeless to take advantage of the many benefits of riding tubeless.
For more info, check out my complete guide to tubeless vs tubed bike tires.
Tubular tires are like an inner tube with tread. The tires are completely sealed. They are not open on the inside like clincher tires. Tubular tires do not need a separate tube because the tube is sewn or molded into the inside of the tire. In other words, the tire and tube are one unit. Tubular tires are usually glued to the tubular rim. This prevents the tires from moving around on the rim.
Tubular wheels do not have a rim wall and tubular tires do not have a bead. For this reason, tubular wheels work only with tubular tires. They are not cross-compatible with clincher or tubeless tires.
Tubular wheels are commonly used in competitive road and cyclocross racing as well as triathlons. Racers often prefer tubular wheels and tires because the system is lighter and has less rolling resistance than clincher wheels. Tubular wheels also allow you to run lower tire pressure than clincher wheels. This is possible because tubular wheels and tires are more resistant to pinch flats. Running lower tire pressure allows for better traction and a more comfortable and supple ride. Tubular tires are often a bit more durable than clincher tires as well. Flats are less common
The main drawback of tubular tires is that flats are difficult to repair. Because the tires need to be glued to the rim, the job is a bit more complicated. There is also a learning curve to installing tubular tires. You must learn how to glue the tire to the rim properly. This can be a messy and annoying job.
Many racers have two sets of wheels. They have one set of tubular wheels that they ride only during races. These wheels would likely be made out of carbon fiber. Racers often own a second set of clincher or tubeless rims that they use for day-to-day riding and training. These could be made from either carbon fiber or aluminum.
When building or buying a set of wheels, you’ll also want to take a bit of time to consider the hubs you’re going to use. The hubs play a major role in the durability, longevity, performance, and efficiency of your wheels.
For example, high-end hubs are often lighter. They also use higher quality bearings that create less friction. This creates less rolling resistance and improves efficiency. High-end hubs often require less frequent maintenance and last longer than lower end-end hubs as well.
In reality, the average cyclist won’t notice much of a difference in weight and rolling resistance between mid-range and high-end hubs. Hubs also last tens of thousands of miles if they’re maintained properly. Maintenance intervals are long. You may only need to maintain your hubs once every year or two.
One difference between low and high end hubs that is a bit more noticeable is hub engagement. Your cassette is mounted to a ratchet mechanism in the hub. This mechanism allows your rear wheel to spin freely while you’re not pedaling or while you’re pedaling backwards. When you begin pedaling, the mechanism engages. Hubs have a set number of points of engagement (POE). These engagement points are the clicks you hear when your hub is freewheeling.
The ratchet mechanism of a hub contains a series of pawls. These are spring-loaded bars are mounted to a ring on the inside of the hub. The paw pivot against a ring of teeth or ridges on the outside of the freehub body.
As the wheel spins forward, the ridges pass freely over the spring-loaded pawls. This is what makes the clicking sound you hear while coasting or freewheeling. When you begin pealing, the pawls spring up and catch on the teeth inside of the hub. This allows you to transfer your pedaling power to the hub to power the wheel.
This ratchet mechanism is what allows the wheel to only move freely in one direction relative to the cranks. For example, the wheel can freely roll forward without the cranks moving. When you roll the bike backward, the cranks move backward because the pawls catch.
The point where the pawls bite the ridges in the hub is called the point of engagement. There are a limited number of points of engagement because there are a limited number of pawls and there is space between the pawls.
Some hubs have more points of engagement than others because some hubs have more pawls and teeth than others. Low-end hubs often have 18-24 points of engagement. High-end hubs usually have 36+ points of engagement. These points are equally spaced around the hub.
Hub engagement can also be expressed in degrees of engagement. This number represents the maximum number of degrees you must rotate the cranks before the hub engages and begins moving the wheel. This is the angle of engagement. For example, if there are 18 points of engagement, the angle of engagement would be 20°. This is calculated by dividing 360 degrees by 18 (360/18=20). If the hub has 36 points of engagement, the angle of engagement would be just 10°. The more points of engagement a hub has, the less distance you have to turn the cranks to engage the hub and start moving the wheel.
Most high-end hubs these days have 72 points of engagement with an angle of engagement of 5°. Industry Nine released the hydra Hydra wheelset that comes with an impressive 690 points of engagement with an angle of engagement of just 0.52° (360/690=0.52). You can read more about these hubs here.
Quicker engagement is more important for off-road riders than road riders. Particularly if you ride technical trails or steep trails. You may not be able to pedal continuously on rough terrain because your pedal would strike an obstacle sticking out of the ground. You oftentimes can’t make complete pedal strokes.
When riding technical terrain, sometimes you have to make quick, short pedal strokes to power over obstacles and avoid pedal strike. Sometimes the terrain is too rough to peal through. On steep terrain, sometimes you have to make a partial stroke, backpedal, then make another partial stroke. This is called ratchet pedaling. You may also have to balance so you don’t fall over while riding at low speeds. Having more points of engagement these pedaling techniques easier because you don’t have to move the cranks as far before they catch.
When there are fewer points of engagement, there are dead zones when you start turning the cranks. This makes it more difficult to make short pedal strokes. It also becomes more difficult to balance. You may have to get off the bike and walk through technical sections.
Fast engagement is particularly helpful for racers because you can start delivering power a fraction of a second faster when you start pedaling. For example, when coming out of a corner, you don’t have to turn the cranks as far to start producing power. You can also more produce power while riding through particularly rough sections of terrain by sneaking in extra partial pedal strokes here and there. You can ratchet your pedals back and pedal a bit to gain some extra power. This comes in handy while riding over bumpy sections of trail.
For road riding, the number of engagement points or angle of engagement is less important because you’re pretty much always pedaling. You might only notice while starting from a stop or exiting a hard corner.
The point is that your hubs can play an important role in the performance of your bike. You wouldn’t want to pair high-end carbon fiber rims with cheap hubs. You’ll defeat the purpose of buying expensive rims. If you’re going to buy high-end rims, you’ll want to pair them with an equal quality hub to maximize performance. Quality hubs allow you to pedal through rougher sections of trail without having to walk your bike.
The spokes connect the hub to the rim. They play an important role in the weight, stiffness, aerodynamics, and strength of the wheel. The best spokes depend on your weight, the type of bike, and how you ride the bike. A few decisions you’ll have to make when choosing wheels include:
Number of spokes- This is a compromise. Wheels with more spokes are stronger and stiffer. Wheels with fewer spokes are lighter. Mountain bikes usually have 28-32 spokes. Road bike wheels typically have 16-28 spokes. Touring bikes often have 36-48 spoke wheels for extra strength. On many bikes, the front wheel will have 2-4 fewer spokes than the rear wheel because the front wheel holds less weight and doesn’t have to handle the pedaling force. For more info, check out my guide to 32 Vs 36 spoke wheels.
This is a compromise. Wheels with more spokes are stronger and stiffer. Wheels with fewer spokes are lighter. Mountain bikes usually have 28-32 spokes. Road bike wheels typically have 16-28 spokes. often have 36-48 spoke wheels for extra strength. On many bikes, the front wheel will have 2-4 fewer spokes than the rear wheel because the front wheel holds less weight and doesn’t have to handle the pedaling force. For more info, check out Spoke material- Most bike wheel spokes are made from steel. Several different alloys are used. The alloy can affect the weight, strength, and corrosion resistance of the spoke. Carbon fiber spokes are also available. These are lighter and stiffer than steel. Wheels with carbon spokes tend to use fewer spokes.
Most bike wheel spokes are made from steel. Several different alloys are used. The alloy can affect the weight, strength, and corrosion resistance of the spoke. Carbon fiber spokes are also available. These are lighter and stiffer than steel. Wheels with carbon spokes tend to use fewer spokes. Spoke shape- Spokes are available in a few different shapes. The most common straight gauge spokes. These have the same diameter throughout their length. Most measure 14, 15, or 16 gauge wire thickness. They are the strongest and heaviest type of spoke. Single butted spokes are thick at the ends then become taper down in the center. They are lighter than straight gauge spokes. Double-butted spokes are also available, which become even thinner in the center than single butted spokes. These are lightweight and offer some flexibility. They can twist when tensioned. Aerodynamic bladed spokes are also available. These have a wing or oval shape to reduce wind resistance. These are lightweight but can be tricky to install and adjust. For more info on spoke shape, check out this guide.
Spokes are available in a few different shapes. The most common straight gauge spokes. These have the same diameter throughout their length. Most measure 14, 15, or 16 gauge wire thickness. They are the strongest and heaviest type of spoke. Single butted spokes are thick at the ends then become taper down in the center. They are lighter than straight gauge spokes. Double-butted spokes are also available, which become even thinner in the center than single butted spokes. These are lightweight and offer some flexibility. They can twist when tensioned. Aerodynamic bladed spokes are also available. These have a wing or oval shape to reduce wind resistance. These are lightweight but can be tricky to install and adjust. For more info on spoke shape, check out this guide. Lacing pattern- The lacing pattern plays a big role in the strength and stiffness of the wheel. This helps the wheel handle pedaling and braking forces. The more times the spokes cross one another, the stronger and stiffer the wheel will be. The most common spoke lacing patterns include two cross and three cross. Wheels with 24 spokes can cross twice. Wheels with 32 spokes can cross three times. For more spoke patterns, check out this guide.
The lacing pattern plays a big role in the strength and stiffness of the wheel. This helps the wheel handle pedaling and braking forces. The more times the spokes cross one another, the stronger and stiffer the wheel will be. The most common spoke lacing patterns include two cross and three cross. Wheels with 24 spokes can cross twice. Wheels with 32 spokes can cross three times. For more spoke patterns, check out this guide. J bend or straight pull- J bend spokes are bent 90° at the end. Straight pull spokes are straight. They require dedicated hubs.
Who Should Choose Carbon Fiber Wheels?
Carbon fiber wheels are ideal for those who want to get the best performance out of their bike. The light weight allows the bike to accelerate quickly and ride efficiently. The stiffness of carbon fiber improves handling. If you’re not the strongest rider, you can buy yourself a bit of an advantage by switching to carbon wheels.
Modern design and manufacturing techniques give carbon fiber wheels excellent comfort and ride quality as well. They can be optimized for both performance and comfort.
In addition, carbon wheels require a bit less frequent maintenance because they stay true longer. Those who don’t enjoy working on their bike may appreciate this.
Riders who have never experienced wheel failure may also appreciate the benefits of carbon fiber. If you’re easy on your wheels, you don’t have to worry about flat spots or dents. Modern carbon wheels are extremely durable and long-lasting if they’re treated properly.
Those who aren’t on a budget will probably prefer carbon wheels. They offer a more premium experience. If you can afford to spend an extra thousand or so dollars on your bike, you might as well go with carbon.
Who Should Choose Aluminum Wheels?
Those who don’t care about performance will be better off with aluminum wheels. If you just ride recreationally around town or commute to work, there is really no reason to upgrade to carbon.
Aluminum wheels are ideal for those who are on a budget. The price of aluminum wheels is significantly lower than carbon fiber. If they wear out or get destroyed, aluminum rims are much cheaper to replace. Over time, this saves you thousands of dollars. A single set of aluminum rims can cost $1000 less than comparable carbon rims.
Those who are hard on their rims and have experienced multiple rim failures in the past are also better off going with with aluminum wheels. Aluminum rims tend to last longer because they are more durable. They may bend or dent but remain rideable. They are also cheaper to replace. If you go through multiple rims per season, you’re better off sticking with aluminum unless your budget is unlimited.
Those who ride in remote areas away from civilization and in developing countries are also better off with aluminum rims due to their durability, reliability, and repairability. Aluminum can survive a harder impact. If a rim fails, it can be bent back and ridden back to civilization in most cases. Aluminum rims are less likely to leave you stranded. For this reason, bicycle tourists and bikepackers are better off with aluminum rims.
Those who are concerned with safety may also prefer aluminum rims. They are less likely to overheat and fail. During a hard impact, they usually won’t fail catastrophically. Aluminum gives you some warning signs before it breaks.
Some riders also find that aluminum rims offer a more comfortable ride. Carbon rims can feel too harsh.
My Choice: Aluminum Vs Carbon Fiber Wheels
If money were no object, I would choose carbon fiber wheels without a second thought. They perform better in pretty much every way because they are lighter and stiffer. The ride quality and handling of modern carbon rims are excellent. Modern carbon rims are also very reliable.
I’m not the strongest rider. If I can increase my speed or efficiency or gain a bit of an advantage by upgrading a component, I usually will. Carbon fiber wheels give me a slight edge over aluminum. I also enjoy using the most modern equipment.
The cost is the main factor that prevents me from running carbon rims on all of my bikes. I simply can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on wheels. I also find that I am much more careful while riding carbon rims out of fear of damaging them. This makes me ride a bit more slowly and carefully than I otherwise would. Even though modern carbon fiber rims are very durable, I still tend to treat them gently.
For the types of riding I do, aluminum rims perform just fine. I do not ride competitively so performance isn’t all that important. I spend much of my riding time touring or riding recreationally around town. The extra durability of aluminum wheels brings me peace of mind. If the extra weight and flex mean it takes me a few seconds longer to get where I’m going, so be it.
Final Thoughts about Carbon Fiber Vs Aluminum Bike Wheels
As you can see, there are compromises to make when deciding between carbon fiber and aluminum wheels. For casual and recreational riders who don’t care about time or speed, aluminum is probably the best choice. The reliability and durability allow you to ride your bike without worrying about causing damage or getting stranded. They’re easy on the wallet as well.
Riders who need to get the best performance possible out of their bike, such as competitive riders, will be better off with carbon fiber wheels. When it comes to performance, the wheels are possibly the most important component of the bike. Being lighter weight and stiffer, carbon wheels allow you to ride a bit faster and more efficiently.
If you’ve never ridden a bike with carbon wheels before, it’s worth taking one for a test ride. Most riders notice the weight difference right away. The stiffness is a bit less noticeable. You have to really get to know the bike and push it to feel the difference.
You may find that you prefer one wheel material over the other. Some riders prefer the comfort of more flexible aluminum rims. Others prefer the raw performance of stiff and lightweight carbon fiber rims.
Do you prefer carbon fiber or aluminum wheels? Share your experience in the comments below!
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Does Alcantara last longer than leather?
But leather is longer-lasting than Alcantara. Though the fabric is also durable, it easily wears when subjected to frequent high friction. It is also noteworthy that it has a higher friction coefficient than leather. Unlike leather, which easily slips off when oily, Alcantara offers a firm grip.
What is Alcantara and how do you pronounce it?
High performance cars like this Ferrari SF90 Stradale are available with optional Alcantara seats | Martin Lucy/Getty Images
“Alcantara” is pronounced “al-KAN-taa-ruh”. This trade name for a soft, suede-like material is used for automotive steering wheels, headliners, seats, shifters, and door panels. It is often used in luxury vehicles and supercars. Despite its resemblance to an exotic suede, Alcantara is a synthetic fabric developed by Toray Industries in Japan in the 1970s.
Some consider this material better than leather in high-performance vehicles. Read on to discover the properties that characterize this fabric and why it might be a better option than leather for your car’s interior.
Pros and cons of Alcantara and real leather
A track-focused interior with Alcantara and carbon fiber in the #McLaren600LT makes for a special place to sit. pic.twitter.com/MVGL5iwhKO – McLaren Automotive (@McLarenAuto) September 14, 2018
According to MotorTrend, Alcantara is gaining popularity as an ideal material for car interiors. Because it has additional properties that leather lacks, claims the Alcantara company. Alcantara has many advantages and some disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons, according to Autoweek.
Advantages of Alcantara
It consists of a microfiber pile with a cracked surface. Alcantara gives the look and feel of suede without the negative aspects. It is available in many colors, offering variety to customers. Unlike leather, it is machine washable and resistant to cleaning agents. It is a good material for steering wheels and seats as it creates good grip so the driver’s hands and body do not slip or slide. It’s vegan. No animal needs to be killed to make your car look and feel good. It doesn’t heat up like leather or get soaked like fabric in high temperatures. It does not require high maintenance due to its resistance to liquids and dust.
Disadvantages of Alcantara
The material is more expensive than leather. It’s not as durable as leather. Also, Alcantara cannot be repaired.
Benefits of Leather
It speaks of class and luxury. It looks great and feels good. With good care, it can last for years. It is versatile and available in many colors. It can be easily repaired or replaced.
Disadvantages of leather
It requires a lot of maintenance to stay in good condition. Although durable, it wears out easily when exposed to UV rays. If not cared for, it will crack and wear out. Fortunately, the exchange is easy.
Differences between Alcantara and real leather
Although leather and Alcantara share many similarities, they also have significant differences.
First, leather has a uniquely soft feel that is unparalleled. However, Alcantara is considered more beautiful than leather and gives a car’s interior an exotic feel. It is also available in more colors than leather.
But leather is more durable than Alcantara. Although the fabric is also durable, it wears out easily when subjected to frequent high friction. It is also worth noting that it has a higher coefficient of friction than leather. Unlike leather, which tends to slip off oil, Alcantara offers a firm grip. Because of this, it is a preferred material for most racing cars.
In the past, Alcantara was mainly used for expensive, high-performance cars. The fabric is used, for example, in Formula 1 cars as flame-retardant seat covers. But the material is now more commonly used in mainstream vehicles like the Subaru WRX STI. Other cars that use Alcantara are the Ferrari SF90, Lamborghini Urus, Lexus LC 500, Audi RS 3, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and BMW M3, M4 and M5.
The final result
Alcantara is considered a premium material. Its high coefficient of friction makes it the first choice for sports cars. In addition, when used on a dashboard, the material does not reflect the sun’s rays, providing better visibility for the driver.
So if you’re a speed freak with a fine taste in fabric, an Alcantara interior is ideal for you.
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Is Alcantara long lasting?
Well, Alcantara is both lighter and more durable than natural suede; that said, it’s still one of the more delicate fabrics you’ll find in a car’s interior, and it requires special care when cleaning and maintaining.
Alcantara transitions from a proprietary blend of polyurethane and polyester to a finished fabric after undergoing various needle punching, polishing, glue soaking, extraction and dyeing processes. There are of course some other steps to the proprietary process, but these are closely guarded by Alcantara. Ultrasuede is basically made the same way, except by different people – real Alcantara is only made in Italy, while Ultrasuede is made all over the world.
Alcantara is often found in high-end cars, so if material cost isn’t an issue, why not just use real suede? Well, Alcantara is both lighter and more durable than natural suede; Despite this, it’s still one of the more delicate fabrics you’ll find inside a car, and it requires special care when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
So the next time you see a car promoting imported Italian Alcantara, you’ll know it’s just a fancy way of saying synthetic suede.
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Is Alcantara hard to maintain?
Another reason why Alcantara is commonly used in automotive interiors is because Alcantara is fabulously easy to clean. Unlike leather materials which are made out of animal skin and contain oil, Alcantara is made out of suede-like material and does not get easily stained or dirty.
Another reason Alcantara is commonly used in automotive interiors is that Alcantara is incredibly easy to clean. Unlike leather materials, which are made from animal skins and contain oil, Alcantara is made from a suede-like material and does not stain or get dirty easily. However, it is still possible to stain Alcantara, so it is essential to regularly care for your Alcantara car seats or Alcantara steering wheel cover to keep the fabric in top condition.
Here are five ways you can take care of and clean Alcantara for your car seats or steering wheel!
1. General Alcantara maintenance
It is recommended that you regularly clean your Alcantara car seat, Alcantara steering wheel and any other Alcantara vehicle interior to maintain the beauty of the fabric. However, avoid rubbing too hard when cleaning and we do not recommend using steam machines.
a. Daily cleaning
You can dust your Alcantara seats, steering wheel covers or other Alcantara vehicle interiors with a soft brush, dry cloth or vacuum cleaner.
b. Weekly cleaning
After dusting off your Alcantara, run a lightly dampened white cotton cloth over it. Avoid using printed absorbent cloths or papers as they may bleed ink onto the material.
c. Annual cleaning
If the cover is removable, you can machine wash it by following the instructions in the General Washing Instructions section below.
If the upholstery is not removable, you can still clean your Alcantara seats, hubcaps or other Alcantara vehicle interiors with specialist Alcantara cleaning products. Alternatively, you can also clean the material as follows:
Dust the material carefully
Dampen a soft cloth or sponge with clean water
Wring it out thoroughly and run it over the entire Alcantara material
Be careful not to get it too wet
Rinse the cloth or sponge and repeat if necessary
Leave to dry (overnight).
Gently brush the Alcantara fabric with a soft brush after the Alcantara fabric has dried.
2. General washing instructions for Alcantara
If it is necessary to fully wash Alcantara fabric upholstery due to intensive use and staining, carefully follow the washing instructions below:
For removable upholstery: Alcantara can be machine washed with water at approx. 30 °C and a mild detergent without hesitation. However, don’t skid. If there are Velcro fasteners on the edges of the upholstery, they must be protected with counter-velcro before washing to avoid damaging the upholstery.
After washing, allow the upholstery to air dry and brush gently with a soft bristle brush.
Chlorine should not be used on Alcantara.
If necessary, Alcantara can be ironed, but be sure to place a white cloth between the iron and the Alcantara fabric. The base of the iron must not reach a temperature of more than 110 °C.
Trichlorethylene must not be used in dry cleaning and direct contact with steam engines must be avoided. The use of the “spray extraction device” is only permitted at low temperatures.
3. General Alcantara stain removal instructions
In the case of localized stains and when the specific products for cleaning Alcantara are not available, the upholstery can be cleaned as follows:
Act immediately – ideally within the first 30 minutes – and start treating the stain from the outside in to prevent the stain from spreading.
Never pour detergent directly onto Alcantara.
Before removing the stain, remove the remnants that fell on the upholstery. If the substance is thick, like yogurt or jam, use a spoon or plastic spatula. For liquids, use unprinted absorbent paper or a sponge.
Avoid rubbing to prevent the stain from spreading or penetrating deep into the material.
Use a white cloth or a well-wrung sponge to remove the stains.
If you use a sponge, rinse it with clean water and wring it out well between each wipe.
4. Water-soluble stains for Alcantara
You should first use Alcantara specific cleaning products. If these are not available, you can use water, lemon juice or pure ethyl alcohol (from spirits) and follow the instructions below to treat different types of stains.
Fruit juice, jam, jelly, syrup or ketchup stains: Use lukewarm water and dab with clean water to rinse.
Use lukewarm water and rinse with clean water by dabbing. Stains of blood, egg, feces or urine: use cold water; avoid warm water, which will coagulate these substances. Rinse by blotting with clean water.
use cold water; avoid warm water, which will coagulate these substances. Rinse by blotting with clean water. Spirit, Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Beer, Soda, or Tea Stains: Use lukewarm water. If the stain remains, treat it with lemon juice and then rinse well.
use lukewarm water. If the stain remains, treat it with lemon juice and then rinse well. Ink pen stains, cocoa, chocolate, pastries with cream or chocolate, ice cream or mustard: use lukewarm water; rinse off by dabbing with clear water.
use lukewarm water; rinse off by dabbing with clear water. Stains from vinegar, hair gel, tomato sauce or coffee with sugar: use lemon juice and then wipe off with lukewarm water. You can rinse off with clean water by dabbing.
We are proud to be the official distributor of Alcantara in North America. If you are interested in buying Alcantara, please visit our online store to see the entire Alcantara collection!
Which leather is best for steering wheel?
Microfiber leather is breathable, and the design includes soft padding that massages your palms. It fits steering wheels with an outer diameter of 14.5 to 15 inches. The cover is about 100 grams heavier than most steering covers for enhanced comfort, stability, and durability.
The cover is non-slip and the textured exterior provides excellent grip on sharp turns. It also promotes driving comfort without blistering or hurting your hands. In addition, it protects your steering wheel from UV rays and abrasion. SEG Direct covers are available in a variety of colors, even with crystals to decorate your steering wheel. You can also opt for a simple, conservative color that won’t clash with your car’s interior.
A major downside to the cover is that it’s not reinforced with heavy-duty stitching at the seams. The stitching may come loose after just two years of use or if you are having trouble installing the cover on a wheel larger than 15 inches. Plus, it easily fits bikes under 15 inches. You may receive a folded cover upon delivery, which is poor packaging, and it may take months for the folds to disappear from the leather.
Is Alcantara better than suede?
Overally, the main difference is that Alcantara is a synthetic material created to mimic suede, and, in many cases, it also happens to be more expensive. Besides that, it is more durable, stain resistant, and easier to maintain, making it a better option for most vehicle owners.
What is Alcantara?
A red Alcantara interior for the Vantage. In combination with lightweight carbon seats, this will create a classy feeling. #astonmartin pic.twitter.com/0maWG0UsQ8 – HWM_AstonMartin (@HWM_AstonMartin) July 12, 2017
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Alcantara is not only used in automotive applications, but also gives a classy, high-quality touch to many cars. This soft-touch material sounds cool in its name, but if you’ve ever touched it, you’ve probably wondered how it differs from suede at all. The best way to describe Alcantara is that it is a synthetic suede, and the nuances behind its manufacture differentiate it from real suede in many ways that might surprise buyers. Once reserved for high-end luxury vehicles, this textile is now becoming increasingly popular in many vehicles.
Where does Alcantara come from?
Used 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Interior | Matthew Skwarczek, Motor Biscuit
First, it’s important to note that suede is not a vegan-friendly interior — it comes from animals. From this came the urge to create a material that was not based on animals, leading to the development of Alcantara. It’s very similar to other forms of faux suede, but it has more limitations to earn the name. Alcantara, in case you haven’t noticed from the capitalization, is a formal name referring to the company that owns the brand, Alcantara S.p.A. from Italy.
While the exact ingredients of the materials are proprietary, we know they contain polyester and polyurethane. According to CJ Pony Parts, the company also prides itself on being 100% carbon neutral. The site also details the history of the material in Ford Mustangs as a staple in the muscle car world.
Overall, is Alcantara the better option for interiors?
Aside from the fact that Alcantara is a more sustainable, animal-friendly material, there are many things that make this material different from suede. It’s a better option for most car interiors that can experience a lot of wear and tear over the years, making it an all around better option in almost any vehicle. Alcantara is:
Doesn’t get that hot in the sun
Easy to clean
However, it is not a cheaper alternative to suede, sometimes even more expensive
Overall, the main difference is that Alcantara is a synthetic material made to mimic suede, and in many cases is also more expensive. It’s also more durable, stain resistant, and easy to maintain, making it a better option for most vehicle owners.
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DND Performance Interior – Full Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel
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DND Steering Wheels – Redline360
DND Carbon Fiber Leather Steering Wheel (60mm Deep, 350mm) 6 Bolt. Vendor: DND Performance Interior. Regular price: $274.95. Sale price: $274.95 Sale.
Date Published: 8/28/2021
dnd steering wheel – Quang Silic
Anodized Steering Wheel Screws from $10.95 USD … Carbon Fiber Perforated Leather Race Wheel $274.95 USD. DND Performance Wheels | Free Shipping …
Date Published: 8/15/2021
DND Carbon Fiber Leather Race Steering Wheel 60mm
VHR Performance takes “customer service” very personally. We understand that finding the right parts can be overwhelming. Education and awareness are the …
Date Published: 12/28/2021
DND Steering Wheels – Redline360
DND steering wheels
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Benefits of Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel – Carbon Cartel
One of the most efficient materials used in the automotive industry is carbon fiber. Carbon fiber products are lightweight and provide better driver acceleration.
As an added bonus, they are resistant to corrosion, heat and chemicals, and electricity. Using carbon fiber for panels, parts and structural parts can shave off extra pounds resulting in improved performance.
No wonder why carbon fiber is one of the top choices for a production steering wheel, which is the heart of a vehicle. In fact, they’ve become a rage among drivers, and many companies have capitalized on this surge by introducing stylish carbon fiber steering wheels.
The good thing is that many aftermarket custom wheels are made of carbon fiber, which means you can replace your existing steering wheel with a carbon fiber wheel.
So here we will go through some main advantages of the carbon fiber wheel.
Improving the aesthetics of your car:
Carbon fiber steering wheels are aesthetically pleasing thanks to the latest designs. This means they can enhance the interior of your car after installation. Most aftermarket carbon fiber steering wheels look like a stylish piece of art as they come in a variety of styles, finishes and grips to choose from.
Ensuring better ergonomics:
When you have a small cockpit, it is sometimes difficult to find the instruments and lights visible to the driver. Installing a carbon fiber steering wheel provides better ergonomics as it can be fitted with shift lights and buttons and these can be seen by the driver.
Feels smooth and comfortable:
Unlike the plastic surface, Carbon Smooth feels soft and is not slippery. It feels good in the hands.
At Carbon Cartel we offer stylish and high quality carbon fiber steering wheels for all vehicles. We follow the latest trends and strict standards for ergonomics and functionality when it comes to designing a custom steering wheel for you. Let’s find what’s right for you!
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