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My New Cheap Chinese Carbon Wheels

Discussion in 'Components, Accessories and Clothing' started by philhul, 30 Apr 2011.

  1. philhul

    philhul New Member

    I know that a lot of people are interested in carbon products from China so I thought I'd post about my experience. There are loads of threads on loads of forums about the pros and cons of buying direct from China. That's not what this is about. This is for anyone who has already done the research on the products and are looking for real experiences before deciding whether to take plunge.

    After doing my research I decided to buy from CarbonZone on ebay. There was plenty of good feedback on various forums and I liked the idea of ebay and paypal protection. I am looking for a new bike and had decided that I would build a chinese frame with chinese wheels and thought I would go for the frame first, and if that was successful, then the wheels. I had emailed echo at carbonzone through ebay asking various questions to which he always replied quickly and accurately.

    I left it a couple of days to make I still wanted the frame then I bought and paid for a 52cm RB002 from ebay (fm028 with other manufacturers) only to receive an email from echo advising that they only had 52cm in 12k weave. I had bid on and won a 3k frame and personally don't like the 12k finish. I had transferred $500 and wasn't sure what to do. For some reason carbonzone only list tubular wheelsets on ebay but I had already established that for a direct payment outside of ebay I could have 60mm clinchers for $553 inc. postage. I therefore sent the extra $53 and advised that I wanted black hubs for shimano, and black nipples and spokes. The extra money was transferred on 19th April. I had read about similar problems on other forum posts so wasn't too upset as I always had it in mind that this could happen, and knew that the wheels were a back up.

    Then I waited. I had asked echo to send me the tracking number as soon as they shipped so I could make sure someone was in to receive them. It got to the 27th April and I still hadn't heard anything at all and was getting a bit concerned that they hadn't even acknowledged my order. I sent echo an email only for him to reply with a tracking number. Turns out that they had been shipped on the 23rd April and were out for delivery in the UK on the 27th. Therefore there was no one in and they were returned to the parcel force office.
    Obviously the lack of communication was frustrating but the wheels were shipped within 4 days and only took another 4 to arrive. Parcelforce screen shot below. They were shipped by EMS who also have a tracking website and the same tracking number was used on both.


    It looks as if, like most other people, I have gotten away without paying import duties etc... I had heard that the chinese sellers used clever tactics to get them through but I didn't realise that they just lied! The wheels are noted on the customs sheet as being $80 value and as a sample set with no commercial value.

    Anyway, picked the package up from parcelforce this morning:


    Luckily I remembered to stop off at work on the way home to use the scales in the post room before adding the cassette, tyres etc. I don't have any claimed weights for the clinchers, only the tubulars, so not sure how these compare.


    The wheels themselves


    Sorry about the quality of the pics, I only have an iphone.

    The finish is great and I am very pleased with the wheels. There were a few niggles (not having the right frame in stock, not sending the tracking number) but I knew this from reading other people's experiences. If you go into the purchase with this in mind before hand you won't be disappointed and I wasn't.

    I would definitely buy from China again and I will buy my frame from carbonzone. Echo has recently emailed me to advise that the 52cm frame is now back in stock. It was lucky that they were out of stock anyway as I have been double checking the geometry chart and now think I need a 54cm!!! I don't have any issues with sending the money direct and by cutting out ebay, he has earned my trust. If you do buy anything I would however email them first to make sure that they have what you want sitting ready to ship to avoid disappointment.

    I will update once I have ridden on them. It is very windy in Newcastle today so can't use them. Tomorrow I'm on the lash all day and would imagine that riding a bike will be the last thing on my mind on Monday due to the hangover!!!
    wiggydiggy, 567Black Young and jazloc like this.
  2. philhul

    philhul New Member

    Will I need rim tape for these? Being 60mm deep the spokes are a long way from the inner tube?
  3. amaferanga

    amaferanga Über Member

    Very nice looking wheels. Not uber-light even for 60mm clinchers, but great for the money. The clinchers I was looking at from Yishun are a bit lighter (about 100g), but also more expensive. I think I'd use rim tapes if it was me. I'd also run latex tubes and some nice tyres like Veloflex Corsa or Pro 3 Race. With the latex tubes and the Veloflex tyres they'd almost feel like tubs.
  4. maurice

    maurice Well-Known Member

    Very interesting post & report, looking forward to hearing how your road test goes.
  5. zexel

    zexel Senior Member

    Another one interested in your road test.

    What bike are you putting them on?

    What wheels did you have previously?
  6. raindog

    raindog er.....

    You'll still need tape or you'll be getting punctures where the tubes deform into the holes.
    I'm another looking forward to the road test.
  7. philhul

    philhul New Member

    With the rim tape on I can't get the tyre on! I'm going to have to go to the lbs to get a tyre put on a rim. How embarrassing!

    Unfortunately the ride report will take a while now. As I mentioned these wheels were for a new build but I thought I'd try them out on my 2010 Trek 1.5 in the mean time. I live in a block of flats with a 'secure' car park where it was chained with two kryptonite locks. When I went down yesterday to take the cassette off the current wheel I found that my bike was gone, along with the metal thing sunk into the wall that I chained them to. it was obviously easier for them to take everything instead of having a go at the locks and risk getting caught. Gutted.

    However, my parents have taken pity on me and are giving me an interest free loan to get the new bike bought, built and on the road asap. So at least I can take my mind off it by looking on ebay/wiggle etc... at lots of shiny new bike bits to go with my chinese wheels and the frame I'm about to order. New bike will be stored in the flat.

    Watch this space!
  8. Christ alive, they took the railing?

    As always, keep an eye on ebay/gumtree etc.

    Maybe even get a local newspaper involved?
  9. zexel

    zexel Senior Member

    Gutted for ya.

    Regarding rim tape, you could try Veloplugs, I have some on my Mavic Cosmic Elite's, which were a bugger to get brand new tyres on.

    Let us know what you what bike you get, and post pics of course. :thumbsup:
  10. l4dva

    l4dva Über Member

    Sunny Brum!
    thats shocking about your bike mate!!! bast*rds will take anything even if it is nailed down!!

    I can't see any spoke holes on ur rims.. if it dosen;t have any you wont need rim tape. my new wheels didn't need a rim tape because of this.
  11. Chrisz

    Chrisz Über Member

    +1 - I fitted a set to my Carbone SLRs and find I can now fit/remove Shwalbe Ultremo ZXs without the use of tyre levers quite easily :smile:
  12. philhul

    philhul New Member

    Ooh, never seen those veloplugs before. I will try them, the rims do have spoke holes.
  13. Alembicbassman

    Alembicbassman Confused.com

  14. amaferanga

    amaferanga Über Member


    These are deep section wheels - 60mm. A 60mm deep alloy wheel would weigh well over 2kg. If they were the same rim depth as the Fulcrum R5's then they would be quite a bit lighter.
  15. kfinlay

    kfinlay Must Try Harder

    Fife, Scotland
    I've sent Tony at Dengfu an email asking about their FM015 frame and a set of 50mm carbon clinchers - not sure if I can afford both as I've had to rethink things after I realised I can't afford the Canyon SLX 9.0 Pro that I lusted after.
    As a sort of consolation I figured I could build a bike for around £1100 (trying to stretch a bit for the wheels too) that looks a bit different everything. else. Just waiting to see how much it will cost before making a final decision.
    Here's the design I'm looking for (it's Baum inspired):


    a couple of others are (ignore the Cordus as I was playing with names too):