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Carbon vs Alloy Mountain Bike Rim

Rim destruction!


  • + 1
 Which is stronger, carbon or aluminum? We smash two rims on the floor to find out.
The first (the carbon rim) rim was ridden very heavily for a year by a pro downhiller. It was his rear wheel and was just starting to show cracks but was still true and round. The second rim (the aluminum alloy rim) was ridden for a couple months by a 120 lb lady. It was her rear wheel and she had put a big dent in it.
The carbon rim took a serious beating before new cracks started to show. And even after all we did to it, it was still true and round.
The aluminum alloy rim was clearly deformed after the first two hits and just kept getting worse until we were able to break it by hand!
  • + 1
 What rims did you use? I´m thginking about brand and model. Because if you guys used a ENVE carbon rim and a cheap alloy, you can´t really compare it.
  • + 2
 The carbon rim was a 1st gen Light Bicycle and the alloy rim was a WTB Frequency i23.
  • + 5
 Everything is ok, but please Smile ....
  • + 1
 Fair point. But when the carbon breaks, what do you do with it? It's pretty much toxic landfill at that point. Aluminium has a pretty high recycling rate.
  • + 2
 Toxic landfill? Are you sure? Even if the weave is destroyed, there are still uses for chopped carbon fiber, such as 3d printing filament (and there are manufacturers already making/selling it). The process of mining and smelting aluminum isn't exactly without it's associated environmental cost and recycling it also uses energy and resources. Nothing is free, my friend. Besides, if a carbon rim outlasts multiple aluminum rims it gets more and more environmentally sustainable with every aluminum rim it outlives. At the end of the day comparing carbon and aluminum is almost pointless because they are so very different in so many ways. Recyclability as a criterium for viability seems like a bit of a stretch to me in this case.
  • + 1
 How does this relate to actually riding a rim?

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