The years gone by carbon wheels were used only for racing but over time, it is ridden all the times by riders. Thus, carbon fiber is the most accepted material in the bike industry especially when it comes to wheels. The other choice is alloy.
Properties of carbon wheels
- Carbon absorbs road vibrations better than aluminum. It is for this reason several road bikes are readied with a carbon fork. It is, for this reason, carbon wheels will conduct a better ride if you correlate it with aluminum. The wheel will absorb more of the hum and murmur.
- It will decrease the fatigue of the body as it will permit the rider to use less energy.
- Carbon wheels are mostly stiffer than aluminum so will bend less under load.
- Climbing will be beneficial as more power is passed on to propel you forward up the ascent.
The possibility of getting excellent quality products using carbon fiber and the application of advanced technologies for customization will increase the demand for carbon wheels. The usage of disc brakes with carbon wheels will conquer heating issues and the selling graph will go up. Thus, rim heating while braking will be overcome. The coming of the one-piece carbon wheel with four spokes is the recent entrant in the market.
Carbon wheels first made an appearance in the early nineties. At this time manufacturers began exploring with the material. This material appeared on the scene a decade back and made its launching in the high-performance arena of Formula One. The aerodynamic development is the crossover between motorsport, the aerospace and bike industries have brought us on the present stage. The track pioneers reinforced this. The process of development on the road took longer and new technologies were adopted.
Carbon has achieved a niche as the high-end material of choice for wheel manufacturing. The layout method which is done through lining the mold with sheets of carbon fiber so that it is cured. This process is manual thus raising the time and cost of manufacturing. The consumer pays for it. Aerodynamic efficiency by deeper and more complex shaped rim leads to stiffness-to-weight ratio. Carbon rims can be made significantly wider. Thus, the benefit it gives is a lighter and more aerodynamic wheel. Carbon has broadened the horizons of wheel engineers. The carbon wheels make a bike look attractive.
Carbon wheels are expensive. Braking performance more so on wet is still a matter of further research. The dry rim brake performance at present is particularly good. The application of high-temperature-resistant resins for the rim braking surface has become better and there is safety. These specific resins need not be used on the whole wheel as these are more brittle and will affect the impact resistance in event of a crash.
Disc brakes have brought about change for carbon wheels as constructing them to adjust a brake track has become pointless. Rim is the most propagandized feature of carbon wheel design. A wheel comprises of spokes, nipples, and hubs. The market is flooded with hundreds of wheel choices. These can be broken down as shallow, mid, and deep section. Added to this is the choice between rim and disc brake wheels.