Cole IBEX Carbon Wheels - Review

Jan 13, 2014 at 14:50
by Mike Kazimer  

Cole IBEX Wheels

Cole Wheels has been in business for over a decade, offering a full line of products for every style of riding from road to downhill. Their 24 spoke, carbon rimmed Ibex wheelset is available for all three wheel sizes, and according to the company can be used for all-mountain riding or enduro racing. An external rim width of 25mm and an internal width of 23.5mm is fitting for the wheelset's intentions, providing enough room to run wider tires. Our pair of 27.5” wheels, set up with a 15mm front and 12x142 rear thru axle, weighed in at 1630 grams, and retails for $1990 USD.

Details
• Carbon fiber rims
• Intended use: trail / all-mountain / enduro
• Sizes: 26", 27.5" (tested), 29"
• 23.5mm inner rim diameter
• Weight: 1630g (actual)
• Price: $1990 USD

The IBEX wheels use Cole's Dynamic Spoke Alignment hub design, which uses straight pull spokes that sit in an aluminum sphere.


Design

The wheels use a number of design features that are unique to Cole, including the second generation of their Dynamic Spoke Alignment hub design (DSA2). The purpose of the DSA2 design is to reduce the amount of stress on the spoke head and to allow for better spoke alignment. To accomplish this, straight pull spokes are run through a small aluminum sphere. The head of the spoke sits in a slight depression at the top of the sphere, which gives it enough range of motion to eliminate any bending when it is tensioned. The ability of the spoke to rotate also allows for higher spoke tension to be achieved.

The freehub uses a three pawl design to interface with the 36 teeth inside the hub shell.


The IBEX's freehub is a fairly common design, with one circular spring for all three pawls that engages with the 36 points in the hub shell. This works out to 10 degrees of motion between engagement points, which isn't quite as quick as we'd expect to find on a wheelset at this pricepoint.

A 23.5mm inner width gives wider tires room to spread out, and setting up the wheels tubeless was hassle free after running a couple laps of Gorilla Tape around them.


The carbon rims use a design that doesn't stray very far from the norm, with 24 holes drilled through the entire rim and a pronounced bead hook for the tire to sit against. The spoke nipples sit on a small washer inside the rim to help spread out the load once the wheel is tensioned. Our test wheels didn't come with Cole's tubeless conversion kit, so we ran two laps of Gorilla Tape and were able to get the rims set up tubeless without any trouble.

Performance

The Ibex wheels saw action on both a full suspension bike and a trail hardtail, and were run with tubes as well as set up tubeless. On the trail, the wheels felt light, but not as stiff as we expected from a set of carbon wheels, even with the higher spoke tension that Cole's design uses. For us, stiffness and the ride feel of carbon rims is a bigger selling point than the weight, since there are a number of aluminum rimmed wheelsets that come in at less than 1700 grams, but at half the price of carbon.

After less than a dozen rides, one of the spokes pulled completely through the rim, cracking the carbon fiber in the process.


Issues

After a few rides the freehub body developed an occasional popping noise, typically when it was under load. Pulling the hub apart (a simple process that only requires unthreading one of the endcaps) revealed that one of the pawls wasn't under as much tension as the other two, likely engaging intermittently, which would explain the noise we were hearing. We were able to manipulate the circular spring enough to get the teeth to engage evenly, and this got rid of the noise we were hearing. However, another issue soon arose.

On one of our test trails, a trail we've ridden hundreds of times on every type of bike imaginable, there's a small, four foot drop onto a smooth transition. We hit the drop exactly the same way as always, but upon landing there was a loud 'pop' noise, loud enough that we thought the rear tire had gone flat. A flat tire would have been preferable to what we found - one of the spokes had pulled all the way through the rim, cracking it, and making the wheel unrideable. Not exactly the type of result you want from a wheelset costing nearly $2000. We sent the wheels back to Taiwan for testing, and it was determined that the breakage wasn't caused by any manufacturing defect - the wheels passed the standards that Cole has in place. Those results lead us to believe that the Ibex wheels would be better suited to less technical, cross-country style riding - anything more than that and riders run the risk of breaking them.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesEnduro may be the hot buzz word these days, but companies need to be aware of the possible repercussions of claiming that their products are 'enduro ready,' which is how this wheelset's intended use was explained to us. This means they should be able to handle hard riding, both up and down, and they certainly ought to be able to survive a small drop onto a smooth transition without catastrophically failing. A high end wheelset, especially one that costs as much as this, should last for more than ten rides. As it is, these wheels fail to make the grade. - Mike Kazimer


www.colewheels.com


114 Comments

  • + 146
 Bloody hell! Pinkbike have actually done a negative review of something! Down with 'Enduro Ready' !!
  • + 7
 I remember they cracked Enve too. I like aluminum WTB Frequency rims. Cheaper, UST, about the same weight.
  • + 9
 I think you are being a little unfair on Pinkbike. There have been reviews with negative findings, a couple this month so far. The fact is that most of the stuff we ride these is very good, so one would expect most reviews to have positive findings.
  • + 11
 No, I think you're wrong.
If everything is so good then they should be more picky about what they say is good. This is my point.
It's all very well saying 'Everything is better than it was 4 years ago', but that is irrelevant, of course it is (if it wasn't something must have gone terribly wrong). It needs to be 'Is this a viable option compared to its competition?'
Don't get me wrong, I LIKE the fact they've made a negative review as I trust their opinion as riders. I would like to see more of this is all I'm saying.
  • + 11
 There is no way your second post could be inferred from your first.
  • + 5
 What is the point of these wheels, they are flexy and have a problematic hub, relatively heavy, freakingly expensive and they break on small jumps. They don't even look that fancy either. Many of you would remember that Fabian Barel used to smash his Mavic SLR wheels on drops without an issue and they are like 1400 grams or something and cost half of these miserable carbon wheels.
  • + 2
 Thats a real shame, I had some cole massif enduro wheels and loved them. The hub sounded awesome (louder than a pro 2 evo!) but they did ding very easily. I'm gutted to read this but glad I have as I would of seriously considered these for my bike.

Thanks PB
  • + 1
 @wreaman; I liked your first post because is kinda funny, but I have to admit that PB reviews (complete bikes, no separate components) are the best reviews around. Sometimes, maybe, I won't agree with testers about some 'things', but at least I will be able to see their point of view.
  • + 3
 @immodel My first post was supposed to be humorous, my second one was my actual detailed opinion, I couldn't agree more with you @Pakleni. I bought a bike (MEGA TR) due to the review PB did.
  • + 3
 @axxe The ENVE wheels, IIRC, were NOT production wheels and weren't fully tested for production.
  • + 3
 Cole isn't exactly a big advertiser...so of course they are not immune from a bad review.
  • + 3
 Ibex carbon products are horrid. I remember working on some dudes hardtail carbon ibex and it was the 3rd frame he'd cracked that year. (i was swapping parts from cracked frame to not cracked but soon to be cracked frame)

So far, Santa Cruz Bikes has the most trust worthy carbon for frames and Enve seems to hitting home with their products as well.
  • + 2
 @wreaman: I get the spirit of your comment, but I personally don't want negative reviews unless they are justified. If a product is "good" then allow it to be good. I don't like when there is a negative review for a "good" product just because it isn't the "best" product. I think we can agree... they got this review right. Wink
  • + 4
 We think that overall that this is that standard of review that we want to see in the future. A healthy dose of good and bad makes us feel like we are truly getting a well rounded picture.
  • + 1
 I like the majority of Pinkbike's reviews, but I have to say that it's rare to see them give a product a solid thumbs-DOWN. Glad to see a god-honest review without any qualifiers or excuses as to why the product didn't make the grade.
  • + 2
 "The IBEX's freehub is a fairly common design, with one circular spring for all three pawls that engages with the 36 points in the hub shell. This works out to 10 degrees of motion between engagement points, which isn't quite as quick as we'd expect to find on a wheelset at this pricepoint."
36 points are more than enough. Actually, people have been riding with 24 pawls for a decade now (actually the bontrager hubs of my remedy 2010 only have 15!), and I understand that high-end hubs have 36 or 40 activation points now. That's a good thing. But please don't talk the industry into a battle for more activation points, cause in the end this results in less durability, shorter live, more issues.
  • + 3
 IBEX webstie has this wheel in ''XC RACING'' category, not enduro.
  • + 35
 Interesting comments. Here's why...

When an aluminium product fails, people blame the manufacturer (e.g. "Cannondales crack" or "Velocity rims suck"), BUT when a carbon product fails, they blame the material, not the manufacturer.

Q: Why do these hubs run little balls on the spokes? A: So they can run higher spoke tension. Result: The spoke pulls out of the rim.

Now is this a fault of the manufacturer's design? Or is this a fault of the material?

I'm not an engineer, but I've hammered the shit out of some carbon rims on rocky descents for long enough to forget I was riding carbon rims, and ridden down the same trails with the same aggression where I dented aluminium rims.

We've seen Enve rims crack on this site, but it was a totally different type of failure. So would these rims have failed in a different way to the Enves?

Would this review stop me from buying carbon wheels? No. Would it stop me buying Cole's carbon wheels? Bloody oath it would!

Thank you Mike for the review.
  • + 6
 Just to add, I don't mean to imply that I favour carbon wheels over aluminium wheels. I don't care either way.
  • + 1
 I would say material choice is a big part of the manufacturer's design. I this case the shape, the material and the assembly method make a weak, expensive and unreliable product. No sale.
  • - 5
flag spooky1982 (Feb 26, 2014 at 3:40) (Below Threshold)
 Carbon fibre comes in many guises and weaves however because of the way its made up it provides a very stiff structure (perfect for frames). Evene with modern techniques carbon will still stress fracture, splinter and experience catastophic failure .... aluminium , steel titanium will bend but as long as its not past its elastic limit it can be repaired trued.... YOU CANT TRUE CARBON CAUSE IT DONT BEND.
  • + 6
 Woops accidently +prop Spooky1982. most times wheels need truing because of lost tension on some spokes, not because the hoop is bent. carbon hoops are no exception.
  • + 6
 spooky1982 why the hell would you think that? This is just plain wrong.
Trueing carbon rims is much easier, than trueing Aluminum wheels simply for the fact you mentioned - that they don't bend and lose their form.
If you don't true an aluminum rim right away, it adapts to the form the unequal spoke tension forces it to take. After that there is pretty much no way back. Also radial runouts are pretty hard to true and you just won't find that on a carbon rim as long as it's intact, because it keeps its form. Carbon is simply the better material for MTB rims, just as for frames.
Besides aluminum, steel and titanium will fail too, the only advantage with those materials is, that the fatigue will most likely show before it breaks ultimately... but you can't rely on that, really. If the force is high enough, the aluminum rim will just break in a split second as well, and the force needed to break it is much less than with carbon.
  • + 1
 The strongest wheel-set i have yet to witness is the haven carbon. Damn those wheels are indestructible, I'd even trust them on my big bike!
  • + 2
 And your're basing you statement on fact or opinion mazze?
  • + 4
 Bloody oath!!! Haahahaha! American english isn't very creative.
  • + 5
 Those are facts, as I stated in the comment already.
Carbon does not bend, he said that himself and I guess there is no arguing about it.
Yet he misses the fact, that carbon flexes to a certain extent, depending on the layering.
However, carbon will not adapt a new form, ever - no matter the layering.
It will either be completely stiff and keep its shape until it fails, or it flexes and then goes back to its initial shape after the force is gone. It's as simple as that.
Therefore it's objectively the better material for rims, as they don't dent or lose their initial "true" shape when the spoke tension relaxes unequally.
I don't think I'm eloquent and/or proficient enough to explain that in every technical detail, but it's not that hard to understand, really. I don't know where he got that engineering degree of his 15 years ago, but what he is propagating is just a load of unknowledgeable crap.
  • + 1
 Material choice is just to fulfill demand - carbon fiber is the public mandate/zeitgeist, according to bike manufacturers anyway. To say a wheel manufacturer uses carbon fiber purely for performance advantages and weight saving - and not marketing - would be a lie.
  • + 2
 So companies shouldn't produce what people want, only what they want? If the majority of people want carbon, then carbon probably is better. I consider myself just below average intelligence, so I assume what the "average" wants in the market is prob a better idea then what I have.

Also, in reference to mazze's comments about eloquence, here we are, an international community where the language is English. I am impressed to no end with all these foreigners who constantly post in a second language. The extent of my many years of French in high school is "je vais à la plage"
  • + 1
 i'm saying companies usually produce what people want. that's how they make money.
  • + 1
 Well cuban-b, I guess it's the same thing as with 650b or any other trend... the companies smell money and want a certain piece of the cake.
But still, the advantages of carbon are tangible and not an idea of marketing. The purpose of marketing is just to sell the shit out of those advantages.

By the way spooky1982:
everybody who has at least the tiniest amount of experience with carbon parts knows, that shock characteristics of carbon fibre are wayyyyyyyy superior to those of aluminum... which honestly makes me question the authenticity of your educational claims.
I am also deeply disturbed by the positive props people are giving you for that bullshit.
You are really the only person who deserves to be called an idiot, for claiming to be an expert on the topic and just postulating strongly disputable "facts".
  • + 1
 Totally agree with iamamodel. I would love to have a set of carbon rims but can't justify the price. I settled with DT swiss XM 1501s only 1mm narrower internal (22.5), a bit lighter (1590g), super fast engagement, tough as nails, stiff, and 1/2 the price. Sold.
  • + 15
 here lies the problem ... alot of IDIOTS think that carbon is the be all and end all its not . I have been an engineer for 15 years and i can tell you now carbon fibre is not the wonder material people make it out to be its UTS at certain points is strong but it sbrinell hardness and shock characteristics are dreadfull and you only have to look at how many sets of ENVE wheels have borken lots. wheels need to have torsionbal rigity but not too much so aluminium , 4130 cromo even titanium would be better .... PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE !!!!
  • + 3
 Finally. Soneone who is on the same wavelength as me when it comes to carbon fibre. Thank you!
  • + 4
 well said mate, also not to mention the shards and splinters if it cracks
  • + 2
 4130 for life !
  • + 6
 That's simply ignorant. Good quality carbon wheels are way stronger than their aluminum counterparts. Ride so much better. If you buy anything carbon for your bike, buy easton haven carbon wheels.
  • + 3
 Ive got the new Renthal bars and they just seem to flex too much for my tastes, think ill head back to the alu ones soon and chalk these down to a bad experience.
  • + 1
 Yea, but when you crack any enve product, you send it off to them and they send you a replacement. Yea, you might be off the bike for a few weeks, but you're not out of $2000
  • + 3
 I agree with dualsuspensiondave. Good quality carbon is far superior to aluminum. look up the Santa Cruz testing video. When you move away from the larger, reputable companies, you are taking chances...
  • + 1
 A company tried to do titanium rims in the mid-90s but they failed then because of the price and titanium is a poor material choice for running brake pads against. Today with everyone using disc brakes and clearly willing to spend several hundred dollars PER rim, it could definitely work better than carbon. And while yes titanium is 60% denser than aluminium, in the grades commoly extruded to make tubing for frames (which could also be extruded and rolled into rims) its 3 times as strong as the aluminium rims are made from.
  • + 7
 This still amazes me..... carbon drive shaft can withstand 4728nm of torque... steel only 1700nm.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjErH4_1fks
  • + 3
 Titanium's way too flexy for rims, terrible choice
  • + 2
 No...its not...titanium is also 60% stiffer than aluminium. The reason they build titanium frames and forks with flexibility to them is to improve the ride. The reason they don't with aluminium frames (other than some aluminium softtail frames) is because of how aluminium fatigues every time it flexes.
  • - 3
 I said titanium just as a reference its far too expensive to manufacture at a profit for rims .... carbon drive shaft can withstand a turning moment of 4000nm because of its stiffness and its youngs modulus , steel has a lower turning momemt but is more malleable and has a better elestic limit thus it can be TRUED into shape carbon cant. the problem with carbon is its stiffness i own an ibis mojo sl trail bike in raw carbon !!!! i know the benefits it rides sweet and fast as because of its stiffness. The problem is MTB wheels when you do a whip for example experience huge torsional loads and vertical loads for a fraction of second , thus causing your wheels to buckle ... carbon when it exceeds its youngs modulus or uts breaks ... the reason for the break mostly the glue resin needed to bond it together is hard . the only option is carbotanium which at this point is far too expensive to put on bikes but it will soon filter down.
  • + 2
 deeeight s right, that's why the make tank armour out of titanium instead of steel
  • - 1
 @spooky1982 -well said my friend! As a fairly seasoned engineer, I spend a lot of time listening to drivel, from armchair experts, about 'strength' - as those enlightened persons in this group will know 'strength' covers a multitude of mechanical, thermal and physical properties, and is entirely dependant on the operational environment.

Don't get me wrong, I run carbon rims on my road (eek i admitted it!) bike, but i would need to be convinced that the composition was spot-on for AM/enduro use.

people talk about 'aluminium, Ti, Carbon' etc as though they are singular materials -they are alloys and composites, so unless you know the specifics, it is all academic!

nuff said!
  • + 2
 'Im an engineer' says it's all really.. Nothing is perfect nothing works on everything and nothing lasts for ever...! Carbon is perfectly suited to rims, just need to make sure you buy quality and use it for what's it's made for easy, Car rims moto rims a lot of things are made for carbon for a reason so stop hating and just settle down.. If you don't like it don't buy it and DONT BLOODY WORRY about it lad
  • + 1
 totally off topic wolly96 but tank armour is rarely made out of titanium. most tank hulls are either steel or aluminium with normally ceramic composite panels in vunerable areas. ceramic is used as it has a extremely high melting point to protect against HEAT amunitions and a relativly low weight for the protection it provides. Im not and engineer. I cant even spell, but i do work with tanks as part of my job.
  • + 1
 With regards to tank armour and other bullet proof armour. Dragon Skin body armour uses Kevlar and Ceramic plates but you wouldn't use it to make mountain bike frames out of ! Certain materials have there place for certain requirements
  • + 3
 You engineers are forgetting about one thing... quality of the ride. Even if they aren't lighter or stronger, they win for me purely because they improved the feel of my bike. The carbon rims I put on my bike feel significantly better than the one's I took off (Mavic UST aluminum rims that cost 70% as much but weigh 50% more). For me they have been just as strong and way lighter, and not much more expensive. I was replacing rims when they were aluminum and I've replaced them about as often with carbon.

The carbon rims have not broken into pieces. I'm still running one that I've ridden many times since I cracked it. I was riding another one cracked for ages, and then cased it on a jump (with a log built into the landing) so hard it broke four spokes, but it still didn't break into pieces and could have been ridden out if I had spares spokes. If it wasn't already cracked it may not have even been damaged since it showed no other sign of damage other than opening the existing crack. The same jump had been cased by two other people in the past and their aluminum rims were destroyed as well (one into pieces).

At $170 for LB 33mm wide carbon rims at 460g(DH)/390g(AM), I'll likely never use an alloy rim again. I don't care what you engineers have to say about what's better on paper; my bike feels better on carbon rims and they have stood up to abuse at least as well and are way, way lighter than the 823's they replaced, which used to be the only rims I could run on the rear even on my trail bike as I would wreck everything else way too fast.

That said, the rims in this review don't satisfy my requirements for strength or price like the LB ones do. But that's not due to the material used.
  • - 1
 Reformedrroadie. Says who? Since when did carbon become better the aluminium? Just because you and bike manufacturers said so right??? Bollox to the Santa Cruz video it still doesn't mean carbon is the superman wonder materiel. It has its place but not in all aspects and building bikes, cars and planes. I've had the pleasure if going to Williams F1 factory and F1 cars aren't solely made from carbon. That's because certain parts of the car are best made out of other materials. Stop believing carbon is the perfect solution to all things to do with mountain biking!
  • + 4
 I'm not an engineer, but I have read up enough on materials in regard to bike parts to know carbon is stronger than aluminum for a given weight. You can look up the fact that not only SC carbon frames, but also Easton carbon bars when tested against their Al counter parts are stronger, lighter and have better damping qualities. Carbon can be manipulated in was metals cannot.
Not all parts should be made out of carbon, but where it makes sense: frames, bars, seat posts, it is superior.
  • + 2
 Depending on the layup of the fibers and attention to epoxy vs carbon a lot can go wrong. I have ridden high end Shimano and Easton aluminum rimed wheels and while they were light and reasonably strong my current carbon rimed Rovals are a much better ride. The acceleration and off camber control are immensely better than their aluminum counterparts due to stiffness and the fact that they have remained true under my lack of quality line choice and heavy weight. My old bike was a Stumpjumper Pro Carbon FSR that had a custom set of the wider 26 inch www.light-bicycle.com rims laced up to American Classic hubs via DT Swiss Champio 1.8-2.0 spokes and they came in at 1490g with skewers. I never had to true them and I only had to replace one spoke nipple due to using the old ammonia based Stan's No Tubes sealant corroding the aluminum. For the weight and cost on these Cole wheels I'll pass and seeing that they aren't very durable just adds another nail in the coffin.
  • + 2
 ReformedRoadie you are exactly right with everything you say. I honestly don't understand the random carbon bashing going on here right now... especially having read the total crap that spooky1982 posted before.
Matt76: nobody says carbon is a wonder material, but it just makes sense to use it for its properties, which in this case indeed makes it superior to its aluminum counterparts.

@sbrdude1:
You can solve the problem about corroding aluminum nipples in combination with carbon rims by using brass nipples instead. The weight penalty is actually very humble.
Are you living anywhere near the coast? I have never heard of aluminum nipples being a problem here in my environment.
Also, I agree with everything you say, but in the defence of aluminum wheelsets I have to add that the better grip and off-camber control could be derived from the rim being significantly wider than any a Shimano or Easton wheelset you've ridden before.
  • + 1
 On the rim width helping with off camber traction I have ridden wide rims in both carbon and aluminum from most of the big makers I just mentioned the ones that I had owned. I have heard about the eliminating corrosion by using brass nips. I live in central Cali where it is hot and dry most of the year and have only ridden costal trails once.
  • + 2
 I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Carbon, titanium, aluminium, steel or whatever new materials may come up next. They are just materials for making things. Buy from a reputable manufacturer and you will enjoy a well made product made from whatever material. As to the potential of the material, well, that's up to the people who know better. Certainly a well made carbon frame for example can be "better" then an equal frame made in aluminium.

I used to ride an aluminium Santa Cruz Nomad. It was great. When I swapped to a carbon Nomad with the same parts, I noticed some difference in terms of stiffness and it is about 300 gm lighter. I also swapped a Renthal Fatbar for an Enve DH bar. It felt equally stiff, but the carbon bar doesn't beat me up as much. I'm not a carbon junkie, but I appreciate a well made carbon product that works better then it's metal counterparts. I am glad we are moving forward in terms of materials rather than remain in the stone age.
  • + 11
 There is probably some fine print somewhere on the rims-

"Not intended for Off road use"
  • + 2
 Carbon wheel belong to the road
  • + 2
 when carbon road wheels first came out a lot of reviewers tested them to failure also. now they're fine. give it a minute.
  • + 4
 Might this review possibly, just possibly, put to bed the idea some people have that PB only gives good reviews because they have been "paid off" etc to be biased in favour of the manufacturers over the consumers. As far as I have been seeing it over the past few years, if a company sends a product that can perform as described, PB call it as such. I have always felt that the reviewers try to be as honest as possible with the readership when highlighting the positives and negatives of any product they are sent to review. To those of you who think PB is biased to companies, read this review again..and again....and again.

Has it not occurred to people that good reviews may be down to the fact that manufacturers send good products?

If they don't, PB has always told us.

My only wish is that more companies send more stuff to PB.

I bet the reviewers do too!
  • + 3
 No, because all the complainers will have forgot about this in a month.
  • + 3
 For things 1st. Nearly 2000 dollars!!!. Must be about £50 here (only joking). Seriously why on earth would you spend that much when you can spend a quarter of that and get a great wheelset that doesn't break like these! Also when are we going to accept that bloody carbon fibre is simply not the best thing to make rims out of or other bike components out if for that matter. Please stop believing all the hype and crap that comes out if these bike manufacturers. Please manufacturers just stop it! Carbon isn't the best thing to make bits out of.... It's an alternative, simple as that
  • + 3
 But carbon is awesome....
  • + 3
 Buy aluminium and stick carbon look decals on. Best of both Smile
  • + 3
 But carbon makes for a much stiffer wheel. Easier to build up to high spoke tensions. Yeah it may cost a lot but I guarantee if you put a set on your bike you would feel only positive differences.
  • + 2
 Is there any chance that pinkbike could review the much more affordable Chinese carbon fiber rims and wheelsets? I've built a set with industry 9 hubs and love them. They were about 1/3 the price of the American companies too and most likely the exact same quality.
  • + 1
 I'm having my second set laced up and I love them!
  • + 2
 Ive got a few buddies that are looking to getting them both for DH bikes and trail bikes.
  • + 0
 I'm the dude in the picture over their logo in the black kit holding the S-Works.
  • + 2
 You can buy high quality carbon rims 35mm wide ones hookless off of ebay for $175 each plus shipping, buy a good set of spokes $200 and hope pro evo 2 hubs and build a nice carbon wheel set for under $1000 all these companies do is manufacture their crap in asia and put stickers on it and charge over the top prices for crap you can build yourself for way cheaper.
  • + 2
 Actually, they don't. The fit and finish, a long with quality of manufacturing and build, are completely different. The rims that you're talking about have not even had long term testing done on them. Completely different from any of the big name manufacturers.
  • + 2
 What I find interesting is that the ENVE DH rim review that others have mentioned on here, had the photos of catastrophic rim failure edited out of the review piece that went live. It was noted that those pics would be too "sensational" and would detract from the review. But these failure shots are fully published.

Also, the ENVE reviewer Brad, has'nt done any product reviews since then, that I recall seeing. Which is a shame as I liked his reviews.

Just interesting observations.
  • + 1
 He rode them after noticing a crack. Granted, he could have easily not noticed and kept riding but you know...
  • + 6
 Ah well... They weren't fluro enough for enduro anyway.
  • + 4
 It's only Enduro approved and not All-mountain approved, get the difference?
  • + 1
 I will stick to aluminum for rims. It's not that I don't trust carbon as a material for wheels. what I don't trust, is how it was manufactured. especially when weight savings is the priority. road bikes yeah, mountain bikes should have durability as the #1 priority. anyways, weight be damned,I hope a manufacturer is working on mtb tires with rim guard technology.
  • + 1
 Haha thanks pinkbike, I saw Cole's advert banner for their DSA2 'technology' on your website and though 'what a bunch of bollocks that idea looks like!' far too many fiddly bits to crack and go wrong... Why do companies try and reinvent the wheel all the time, I would like to see more solid bed UST rims being made, there aren't enough companies out there that make them!
  • + 1
 wow, along with the fact they failed.... that rear hub looks terrible, the freehub is exactly the same as a superstar one (generic off the shelf Chinese/Taiwanese) and how many of those little spherical spoke holders are going to be lost either during spoke replacement or after one snaps during a ride. poor design and poor performance. pile of wank.
  • + 1
 They obviously under specced the wheel or built it over tight. I have a sneaking suspicion that the best menu with carbon in a wheel will be massively overbuilt rim and spokes at the lighter end of the tension spectrum. Given carbons lack of elasticity you need the compliance somewhere in the design unless one assumes that the suspension will deal with all impacts and you just spec the wheels accordingly. Coles just didn't put enough support in the rim, plain and simple. Any rim should take a rolling four foot drop.
  • + 1
 I have always wondered why some wheel sets intended for All Mountain riding use reduced spoke counts like 24 (e.g. Easton Haven 26", Crankbrothers Iodine) or 28 instead of 32 per wheel. There is not much weight savings in reducing the spoke count and the additional spokes should make the wheel stronger.
  • + 1
 This is the reason why I don't trust carbon fiber on my bike. It has a tendency to fail catastrophically - meaning carbon parts are either fine or they literally break into pieces. Aluminium might bend and dent, but it doesn't suddenly break apart. Breaking a handlebar is one of my worst nightmares - especially since carbon fiber likes to break with sharp, jagged edges.
For a mountain bike that's being pushed towards the limits, aluminium is the better choice. It has a far higher tolerance towards single events of overload than a similar component made of CF. Plus, aluminium usually shows signs of fatigue that can be seen in a visual inspection, whereas fatigue in CF parts happens by delamination of the single layers, which can't be detected without advanced technologies such as a ultrasonic inspection. Oh, and making proper CF parts is much, much more difficult than welding aluminium. I don't trust a "boutique" bike part manufacturer to properly understand layering or the consequences of stuff like bridging... I've seen "cosmetic" repairs to parts that are bridged in the most critical areas - just fill the gaps with black resin, it'll be fine - visually.
  • + 2
 Thats kinda sad, I was riding by 4" hardtail on a new trail didnt realize there was a 2' drop to flat, oh so graceful dropped it feet off the pedals ass on the seat and the wheels didn't seem to mind one bit....
  • + 2
 I run sun Ringle mtx 33's and they work just fine I don't care about weight when I take 10 foot drops I know my rims will aways roll me through to the end and that's all I care about best 350 bucks I ever spent
  • + 1
 Sry damn phone neg propped instead. But yeah i run sun ringle single tracks on both bikes. Never worried about anything so far. Best 140 ive spent. I'm not fussed about weight more on lasting through a lot of abuse
  • + 1
 How do you prevent spoke wind up (or in this case not actually windup, but the spoke just spinning in the flange) with this design? Both ends of the spoke are free to spin. I don't see a secondary wrench interface anywhere on the spoke.

Are the dudes making these in Taiwan just holding them with pliers?
  • + 1
 FAIL, soon not forgotten! PBers are generally hardcore mt.bikers and we demand the very best from our bikes and parts. We don't have time for mechanical failures on the trails when our lives are on the line!
  • + 2
 make a Ti rim and wrap carbon around it, bam most expensive rim in the world. what about laser spokes?
  • - 1
 The Cole website clearly has the IBEX 275 wheels under XC Racing category (24 hole w/ 25mm wide front and rear). PB has done some major damage to Cole wheels and needs to apologize for their mistake.

www.colewheels.com/pages/product.php?type=MTB&id=5&ids=XC%20Racing
  • + 4
 Despite what their website says, when Cole gave us the wheels to test they said they could be used for almost all riding, including enduro racing, .
  • + 3
 Someone's head is going to roll at Cole for not sticking to what the product and website states category and usage.
  • + 3
 I can understand that they wouldn't warranty them when used above their intended purpose, but I wouldn't ride on any rim that cracks on a smooth 4 foot drop. That's not by any means out of line with what even xc race wheels should be able to handle. 4 foot huck to flat, well, that's enduro territory I guess.
  • + 1
 PBers are hardcore Mt.Bikers, we demand the very best from our bikes and parts!
  • + 1
 Yeah but to be fair I look at enduro racer's rides and a lot of them run wheels that wouldn't last for real world thrashing. Just like DH racer's who run all mtn rims ... free wheels equals running lighter faster wheels than one normally would. That being said, I run Crossmax ST's on my all mountain bike at the moment and thrash them, they have remained intact. However I would swap them in favor of DH wheels when riding lift serviced trails.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure that top racers get away with lighter stuff than us normal folks cuz they aren't hacks, but not having to worry about paying for stuff they break helps too.
  • + 1
 When you say hack do your mean riding style or maintenance ? I'm not a hack in either department but I'll tell you race dh or enduro and you are going through wheels. Period. On a leisurely cruise you may opt out of high speed rock gardens with sharp rim hungry rocks .... But when racing you can not afford to. It's part of the reason I dot see myself ever buying carbon. Cost. I want to be able to blow up rims and replace them for 75 bucks.
  • + 1
 I'm talking out of my ass based on what I have heard. Please disregard.
  • + 2
 Well there is some truth to the statement though. A skilled rider can get away with riding bikes that punch above their weight class because they can ride with finesse. Experience allows you to get away with certain things. However, it's very important to remember that a pro's bike usually only has to last a season at most. With many parts being changed much more regularly than that. This can apply at a consumer level too though. You make decisions on what the best value is to you, based on what your needs are. Durability and performance, it's a balancing act. With some components you make compromises.
  • + 4
 What a failure ! ahah
  • + 3
 1990 for a wheelset with massive problems, no thanks
  • + 1
 How many sets of Crossmax SX for the same money? Would rather have AM Classic wide lightning if I had a 650b bike, lighter, cheaper and easier to fix.
  • + 1
 So far the SRAM Roam 60 have been awesome! I broke Easton Haven carbons… not enduro.
  • + 1
 I stopped reading when I got to the price! Never mind if it works or not....
  • + 1
 This company better put some serious money on advertisements like specialized so their products get good reviews .
  • + 3
 Good job Ibex...
  • + 1
 I had a Easton Haven Carbon front wheel break in three places but no spokes broke. I will never ride a carbon wheel again.
  • + 0
 喜happy闻smell乐happy见see
  • - 2
 ignore the typos ha !
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