SHOULD I INVEST IN CARBON WHEELS?
Well, we feel you, and that’s why we have designed an easy to follow process to determine if, indeed, spending your money in carbon is a good idea, and if so, what the optimal specs would be.
Before proceeding to navigate your way in the chart below (our decision making tree), please consider this is a road-specific article, and that our rationale has some assumptions and limitations to consider;
We believe that amongst all the benefits riding carbon would provide, performance is carbon’s most valuable contribution. Hence, this is where the decision tree starts. Your level of interest in improving your performance -go faster, go further, do both, should have significant weight in your decision.
When analysing why riders upgrade to carbon wheelsets, we see three main motivations; performance, design (the looks are important!) and other benefits (responsiveness, handling, stiffness, durability, etc.)
Recommendations on specific carbon wheelsets are simplified to just rim depth. However, we acknowledge that many other specs (i.e. rim width, choice of hubs, spoke count) should also play a fundamental role in your final wheelset decision. The underlying assumptions here are two; the longer the distance and/or the faster you ride, the more benefit carbon wheels will yield, and, the deeper the rim the more aero gains you’ll capture (marginally offset by increased weight as you go deeper)
Reminder (again!), the decision chart below is dedicated for road wheelsets only.
Our decision chart.
‘Ok, now I know what I want, what would be a fair price for this wheelset?’
All we can say is to make sure that;
The product is reliable (quality, warranty and returns policies are in place and meet your standards)
If you can, test before you buy!
You love it! If you love your gear, you'll love using it, which means more miles on the bike, which means you'll get better and faster -it's a virtuous circle
The price is a fair price in comparison to what you’re getting (there are some key elements to consider beyond the actual wheels; your experience as a customer, the impact of your purchase socially and enviromentally, etc.)
Do your research, see what else is out there!
All we can hope is that when doing the above, Negative Split Carbon is your first choice!
Hoping this helps you make a better decision on your way to purchase a carbon wheelset.
Please, send through your comments and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and when in doubt, reach out to us. Beyond our own expertise, we are connected to a team of elite athletes that won't hesitate in sharing their own views about riding carbon with you.