How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

User avatar
Defy The Odds
Posts: 376
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:00 am

How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Defy The Odds » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:37 am

I came across this video on YouTube and found it interesting.

Would like to know peoples thoughts as I have considered carbon wheels from Chinese sellers before.

Anyone recommend some over the others?


User avatar
Mugglechops
Posts: 2996
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:51 pm
Location: Shoalhaven

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Mugglechops » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:53 am

I think you may find that a lot of the carbon wheels with boutique brand names on them come from the same factories.

Then sold at a very large mark up.
Image

User avatar
Mububban
Posts: 1496
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:19 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Mububban » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:06 pm

Defy The Odds wrote:I came across this video on YouTube and found it interesting.

Would like to know peoples thoughts as I have considered carbon wheels from Chinese sellers before.

Anyone recommend some over the others?



This guy's channel has reviews of various Chinese wheelsets, rim and disc. He's a big fan of the ones he's tried and has done thousands of kms on them:

When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

Velt
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Velt » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:43 pm

I've been taking a cursory glance at chinese wheels but it seems they have outdated rim dimensions. Are there any out there with like a 19-20mm internal width with a 28-30mm external?

User avatar
familyguy
Posts: 5841
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:30 pm
Location: Cremorne, NSW

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby familyguy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:02 pm

Velt wrote:I've been taking a cursory glance at chinese wheels but it seems they have outdated rim dimensions. Are there any out there with like a 19-20mm internal width with a 28-30mm external?


Define "outdated"?

18 internal, 25 external:
https://www.wheelsfar.com/road-wheels/c ... elset.html

23 internal, 28 external:
https://www.wheelsfar.com/mtb/29/28mm-w ... -28mm.html


I'm on my third test set of carbon wheels. First set was a Far Sports deep set, which had some issues which were followed up by a replacement set. Make up your own mind here:
https://www.bicycles.net.au/2014/11/rev ... ad-wheels/

The next set was the Wiggle 'house brand' Prime RP50:
https://www.bicycles.net.au/2017/09/tic ... et-review/

Currently testing a set of Prime RP38 Black.

Are Chinese/Taiwanese wheels 'bad', as such? No, don't reckon so.

That said, not all Chinese/Taiwanese carbon wheels are created equal, yet. QC for big brands is what seems to add the dollars as the waste/rejection goes up. Either you sell every set you make at $750 or sell 70% of what you make at $1000 to break even (generalisation, but you get the idea hopefully).

Jim

Velt
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Velt » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:29 pm

familyguy wrote:Define "outdated"?

18 internal, 25 external:
https://www.wheelsfar.com/road-wheels/c ... elset.html



Pretty much that

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 7030
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Duck! » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:28 pm

Velt wrote:
familyguy wrote:Define "outdated"?

18 internal, 25 external:
https://www.wheelsfar.com/road-wheels/c ... elset.html



Pretty much that

Or just different bandwagons? Different dimensions for different purposes.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 7030
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Duck! » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:41 pm

My main MTB is rolling on a set of Carbonal rims, which I built up onto Shimano XTR hubs with DT Aerolite spokes about three years ago, and haven't even had to touch them with a spoke key since building; they've been rock solid. The only fault I can find with them is that the centre channel is too shallow, which makes fitting and removing tyres a royal chore, otherwise they are awesome; reasonably light (~420g each for the rims, 1385g for the built wheelset, without tyres, cassette & brake rotors, with brass nipples), very well made with no distortion from poor tooling, and plenty strong enough for my riding.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 13219
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney & Frankfurt
Contact:

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:11 am

To the original question, the easiest approach is to orientate towards the bigger name Chinese direct sellers. In recent years, a lot more carbon fiber production has been moving into China and the experience and quality is improving when it comes to China direct brands. When big brands produce in China, the QC keeps it in line and big brand names do lend peace of mind.

Consistency is an ongoing issue - things can get sloppy so a mistake can be let through that first manifests later whereas for production of brand name wheels, there is a higher level of concentration to avoid mistakes and errors / flaws are weeded out.

I hear of far fewer failures these days, both in brand name and the cheap Chinese wheels. The brand names can have a superior performing wheel - with material selection, attention to detail in assembly and an overall more considered construction, the result can be more finesse.

To elaborate, a cheaper wheel could be built to be bomb proof... and as a result comfort can suffer. The pairing of the brake pads and braking surface could be suboptimal, there could be no genuine design for aerodynamics... or dubious 'performance theories' could be featured and there could be other deficits - such as more sideways flex.

But a cheap carbon fiber wheel may still be an advantage and depending on rider skill, the deficits may be negligible or even remain unnoticed. When there are no big prizes and the wheels are safe and look good, then it may not even be an issue. Add to the mix, big name wheels which serve marketing more than genuine performance... sometimes a wheel that is three or four times the cost is much closer in actual performance that you would believe.

To summarise, Chinese carbon fiber wheels are an option. Go for the bigger name brands for a bit more certainty. Overall they offer a lower quality and genuine performance than reputable brands but it depends how much you need, how much you actually can recognise... and how much value it adds to your riding.


(AT) Mububban, thanks for sharing the video.

User avatar
familyguy
Posts: 5841
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:30 pm
Location: Cremorne, NSW

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby familyguy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:00 am

Velt wrote:
familyguy wrote:Define "outdated"?

18 internal, 25 external:
https://www.wheelsfar.com/road-wheels/c ... elset.html



Pretty much that


Er, that didn't really define anything. Are you running 28 on everything? That rim isn't going to suit. Are you running 25? That would work well. Do you climb on 23? Good rim. Horses for course, and without knowing your course, 'outdated' is a relative term.

Everything old is new again...after all.

Jim

User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
Posts: 29013
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:28 pm

Mugglechops wrote:I think you may find that a lot of the carbon wheels with boutique brand names on them come from the same factories.

Then sold at a very large mark up.


To be fair, decal designers don't come cheap...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 7030
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Duck! » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:39 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
To summarise, .... Go for the bigger name brands for a bit more certainty. Overall they (the Chinese - Duck's edit) offer a lower quality and genuine performance than reputable brands ...

Can you vouch for that? There is evidence that paying a Big Brand Premium is no guarantee of quality to warrant the price. The performance difference is likely insignificant to many riders.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4210
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Thoglette » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:59 pm

AUbicycles wrote:When big brands produce in China, the QC keeps it in line


This. QC - all the way down the supply chain.

Every supplier must understand that saving 5c is not a saving if you kill the business.

I lived this two decades ago and then again a decade ago. Nothing changed. In fact, the "but it was cheaper" excuse seems to have infected other parts of the world.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 13219
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney & Frankfurt
Contact:

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:02 am

Duck! wrote:The performance difference is likely insignificant to many riders.


I am shifting your comments around to start with this... I agree and hence my comment "But a cheap carbon fiber wheel may still be an advantage and depending on rider skill, the deficits may be negligible or even remain unnoticed. "


Duck! wrote:
AuBicycles wrote:To summarise, .... Go for the bigger name brands for a bit more certainty. Overall they (the Chinese - Duck's edit) offer a lower quality and genuine performance than reputable brands ...


Can you vouch for that? There is evidence that paying a Big Brand Premium is no guarantee of quality to warrant the price.


Not with lab evidence... only as a generalisation based on my own experience and observations.

For brands like Yoleo, Farsport, Dengfu, Hongfu, Xmcarbonspeed, Light Bicycle, Yishun and co, the actual business structure and other brands from whom they produce (or who actually produces) is not immediately visible. This makes it harder to judge. Where a business model is focussed on copying but there is less time for Engineering and R&D... the actual handling and performance benefits can be inferior... the result may be 'good enough' for many, but still noticeable. But if a big brand just buys off the shelf and simply stickers up their wheels - they may well be almost identical to a wheel available from China direct for less.

I realise that I am not helping my own argument but the market isn't black and white.

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 7030
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Duck! » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:53 am

AUbicycles wrote: Where a business model is focussed on copying but there is less time for Engineering and R&D... the actual handling and performance benefits can be inferior... the result may be 'good enough' for many, but still noticeable. But if a big brand just buys off the shelf and simply stickers up their wheels - they may well be almost identical to a wheel available from China direct for less.

The same was said of the japanese 50-odd years ago; criticised for copying rather than doing anything new, but in the end often turned out to be doing things better than those they were accused of copying.... The Chinese appear to be following a similar pattern, with their own twist. The vibe I get from some sources is that the Chinese realise that the western economies perceive them as a source of cheap products, so they play to that and make stuff - whatever it is - to a budget price if they're asked to do so. But on the flip side, if they're asked to do so, they can build to certain quality expectations as well. it is true there is some utter crap coming out of China, not just within a cycling context, but they're finding that there is a balance between high quality and affordability, and they're focusing on that balance with increasing consistency, perhaps moreso that tne Big Name players.

If you haven't already, I suggest you get in contact with Raoul Luescher at Luescher Teknik, who I believe occasionally posts here under the name whodesigns. I have no professional allegiance to him, although I have referred work to him on occasion and have attended technical seminars he's presented, and have no doubt that he can give greater insight to this topic than I can.

The short version is don't judge a product solely by its place of origin or its price.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

Neddysmith
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:10 am

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Neddysmith » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:12 am

Well said Duck!, people just read reviews or have an opinion based on where something is made, from looking around and experience, everything that comes from China is made to a price, not everything you buy from China is cheap and not everything is crap, there are products at both ends of the scale. From what i have seen with various carbon production products is their quality and reliability over the years is always getting better as experience in production increases.

I have a set of GRP carbon clinches which i was a bit suss on when which came with a bike i bought, I tried to do some research about GRP but found little on the web but decided to give em a go, but after riding on em for nearly 5k they have performed great, they have stayed true, roll really well are light and spin up quickly, I changed to a set of Campag Shamal for this winter due to Allot brake surface and riding in the hills more but as the weather improves think ill be putting em back on. No issues at all.

User avatar
biker jk
Posts: 6193
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby biker jk » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:10 am

Yes it's wrong to assume that all Chinese manufactured rims are inferior.


User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4210
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby Thoglette » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:07 am

Duck! wrote:....so they play to that and make stuff - whatever it is - to a budget price if they're asked to do so. But on the flip side, if they're asked to do so, they can build to certain quality expectations as well.

+1 This. In my (limited) experience
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 13219
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney & Frankfurt
Contact:

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:34 pm

With a few slight variations, I view China similarly and have had a few interesting interviews and conversations.

Havn't spoken to Raoul personally but have also referred people to him and following him - he cuts open a lot of bikes and talks about the production... No doubt you know his own youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY9JUM ... Hpb_zbIedQ

User avatar
MichaelB
Posts: 9177
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:29 am
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby MichaelB » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:40 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Duck! wrote:....so they play to that and make stuff - whatever it is - to a budget price if they're asked to do so. But on the flip side, if they're asked to do so, they can build to certain quality expectations as well.

+1 This. In my (limited) experience


I'll double & triple that with my longish experience in the automotive sector (Manufacturing Engineer at Holden & on Supplier side with Exhausts & Power Steering/Brakes).

Bottom line is you'll get what you are willing to pay for.

I've seen some pretty horrid stuff, but I've also seen some VERY switched on suppliers with better equipment and facilities than back home.

Went to one supplier in Shenzen, and was really impressed with their factory, and they were keen to do a reciprocal visit to our plant. Thankfully I was able to convince them that it wasn't feasible, yet we were riding them really hard over their systems and QC when ours was worse than theirs :shock: .

Only thing we did better was the pay and conditions for the workers.....

User avatar
hamishm
Posts: 586
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: How Carbon Wheels Are Made In Chinese Factories

Postby hamishm » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:59 pm

Duck! wrote:The same was said of the japanese 50-odd years ago; criticised for copying rather than doing anything new, but in the end often turned out to be doing things better than those they were accused of copying....

I'm still chuckingly at the irony that that SRAM started out by copying Shimano....

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Noviss, TheWall