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As i'm pretty skint right now I'm hoping to not have to buy a winter set of wheels to see me through the winter. 

Will my carbon clinchers survive a shitty Scottish winter? Or will they likely die a horrible death and cost me more to replace them next year??

Anyone ran their best bike / wheels through winter and lived to tell the tale?

18 comments

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Joe Totale [98 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

DON'T DO IT!!!!

The winter ruins brake tracks no matter carbon or alloy. 

Scour eBay for some cheap alloy wheels, the place is full of people selling barely used stock wheels from new bikes which can be picked up for roughly £50 a set. 

 

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peted76 [1214 posts] 2 months ago
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Simple answer is that 'it depends on how hard you are on your wheels/brake tracks'.

Some people seem to ride carbon all year round with no detriment and some people will degregate their brake tracks horrendously. 

I've ridden carbon through winter and I can notice a bit of degregation, enough to make me wince. But I'm one of those people who for some reason seems to wear through brake pads and alloy rims quite fast.

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HawkinsPeter [2796 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

I had no issue with carbon clinchers through last winter, but then I've got disc brakes.

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Mungecrundle [1175 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Depends on brakes.

Disc - yes, no problem apart from the usual issues of cleaning to prevent corrosion, especially around the spoke nipples.

Rim - No, personally I wouldn't accept the additional wear on my bestest wheels and if the brake track is itself carbon, the poor braking performance.

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Miller [165 posts] 2 months ago
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Same for me, ran carbon rims last winter but - spoiler alert - discs again. That said, the issue won't necessarily be brake track wear, it's more likely to be the hub bearings getting a hard time through repeated exposure to muddy, salty water.

The suggestion of bunging on some cheap alloy wheels is a good one.

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PRSboy [361 posts] 2 months ago
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Personally I'd buy a set of alu wheels off ebay or somesuch for the winter.  As said above, I can certainly envisage the wet grit on the road wearing the brake tracks more quickly, and the bearings having a harder time in the salt.  Whilst I can see your point on saving money by running only one set, I think it would be a false economy.

Not to mention the braking efficiency of carbon wheels in the wet is not as good as alu so there is a safety angle.

Also you will enjoy the novelty of the carbon wheels all over again come Spring!

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bighairydel [15 posts] 2 months ago
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Ok, you've all verbalised my thoughts. I'll now trot off to eBay for a cheap set of rims! Thanks for the feedback!

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dave atkinson [6453 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

also, running on heavy winter wheels means you feel like a god come spring. briefly, at least.

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bighairydel [15 posts] 2 months ago
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dave atkinson wrote:

also, running on heavy winter wheels means you feel like a god come spring. briefly, at least.

It'll take more than lightweight wheels to make me feel like a cycling god! 

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MoutonDeMontagne [116 posts] 2 months ago
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Depends where you live in Scotland. I've not noticed any brake track issues but then I don't tend to brake that much anyway, and have a tendency to ride more flat routes in winter. However, the fine granite grit on the roads around Aberdeenshire has shagged my Campag ceramic bearings after not very much wet riding. 

In conclusion, a set of £140 Mavic Askiums are now on the bike over winter. 

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Organon [124 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Don't ride so fast that you have to brake. 'Riding to Conditions' I think is how some people around here call it; that would please them too because then you wouldn't have to wear a 'plastic noddy hat' that they hate so much.

or

Just ride and don't worry; British weather is actually not all that bad. And clean your rims occasionally.

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madcarew [901 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

I had no issue with carbon clinchers through last winter, but then I've got disc brakes.

Double like this 

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madcarew [901 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
bighairydel wrote:
dave atkinson wrote:

also, running on heavy winter wheels means you feel like a god come spring. briefly, at least.

It'll take more than lightweight wheels to make me feel like a cycling god! 

To be fair, Dave didn't say it would make you feel like a Cycling god. Just a god in general. I envy Dave's life veiw where simply riding on a set of rims makes him feel deified. I need at least a dozen supplications from nubile virgins and a couple of live sacrifices of bleating creatures before I ascend those transcendental heights!

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BehindTheBikesheds [2621 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I'll ride carbon rim braked wheels in winter, but I wouldn't ride them if it was pissing with rain or forcast rain and I'm going on a longer ride. If it's dry or simply a bit damp on the road then no big deal, it's just like any other day of the year really just with a lower temperature.

If your route will get a lot of standing water or it is piddling it down/forcast too then just take your 'training' wheels out, isn't that the very reason you have a set for 'best' and your other wheels are on the commute, touring, audax/sportif bikes and a couple of spare wheelsets as back ups?

I like using an open pro ceramic/Dura Ace front for horrible weather rides with a std Open pro/Dura Ace rear, still nice wheels but even if you're a lazy bugger and don't bother cleaning your rims that often you'll still get more than a couple of winters out of the rim, just get same rim and get it rebuilt.

Older Open Pros/reflex, Rigida/Ryde, DT Swiss etc can be had for peanuts, if you can build your own wheels then it's even cheaper but you can pick up decent spec wheels for ridiculous prices these days as people are 'upgrading' all the time. I bought a new front DTSwiss R1.1 on Powertap G3 carbon hub for £50 a couple of years ago from a shop.

If you only want one wheelset that you can use all year round in any weather condition and don't want the hassle of swapping and indeed not have to wipe your rims once in a while then disc braked bikes are probably where you want to be.

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Strathbean [35 posts] 2 months ago
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MoutonDeMontagne wrote:

Depends where you live in Scotland. I've not noticed any brake track issues but then I don't tend to brake that much anyway, and have a tendency to ride more flat routes in winter. However, the fine granite grit on the roads around Aberdeenshire has shagged my Campag ceramic bearings after not very much wet riding. 

In conclusion, a set of £140 Mavic Askiums are now on the bike over winter. 

Ive managed to wear alloy rims down to the point they arent safe to ride in just 4 months! That was from riding through the winter in the hills near Stirling, i put it down to a combination of filthy roads, worse weather, heavy rider and lots of braking. 

My next winter bike will have discs for sure.

The main reason id avoid rim braked carbon wheels in winter weather would be the braking in the wet, plus itd break my heart getting them covered in sheep shit and road salt. dont do it, go and get a set of consumable wheels for the winter.

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srchar [1096 posts] 2 months ago
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You might be skint now but you'll be even more skint when you have to replace your carbon wheels rather than a pair of winter shitters. Shimano RS010 or Campag Calimas are both available for around the hundred quid mark. I replaced some 20,000km old Zondas with Calimas a few weeks ago; they're not quite as nice but then they're less than a third of the price. They have also converted me to wide rims with 28s.  I've run 28s on the narrower Zonda previously, but the increased grip from the wider rim is genuinely noticeable.

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bighairydel [15 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Cheers for all the comments, as my bike is only rim braked I now have my eyes on a few pairs of cheap wheels on eBay.

My next bike will definately be disc braked. Cuts out all this faff for sure. Due to finances though this may be a year or two away. (those new Ribble CGR's are making my credit card tremble though) 

 

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cmcg867 [27 posts] 2 months ago
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MoutonDeMontagne wrote:

However, the fine granite grit on the roads around Aberdeenshire has shagged my Campag ceramic bearings after not very much wet riding. 

 

Type of dirt makes a huge difference! I've noticed around Surrey in years past I've been totally fine, now living in Southampton the dirt is more sandy and I'm eating rims. Will likely have to chuck my current training wheels away after the coming winter, only 2 years old!