We all know one of the easiest and most effective ways to upgrade your ride is by upgrading your wheelset. Wheelsets can speed up acceleration, drop weight, increase speed, and make you coast effortlessly. The question a lot of riders run into is whether to go with upgraded aluminum wheels, or make the switch to carbon. While there are inherent benefits of each, it really comes down to what you value in your riding. We are going to talk about some of the benefits associated with each, to put riders in a better position to make the best decision for their ride.
One of the most notable advantages of carbon rims is aerodynamics. Carbon rims will almost always outperform their aluminum counterparts in wind tunnel tests, and these aerodynamic advantages can make all the difference in long rides and race situations. For this reason, we offer three different rim depth options on the new Tommaso Corsa Wheel line, to best meet every riders aerodynamic and aesthetic needs.
Another clear advantage of the carbon rims is vibration reduction. As all riders know, more carbon on your bike translates directly to reduced vibrations due to the nature of the material. Carbon frames, forks, stems, and seatposts deliver a smoother ride through the reduction of road vibrations, as carbon dampens vibration much better than aluminum. This also applies (in a huge way) to carbon rims, and you definitely get a smoother ride out of a carbon wheelset than its aluminum counterpart. Which makes sense, considering your wheels are the first contact point with the pavement.
Up until now, we have only been looking at the advantages of carbon rims, but aluminum rims don't always come up second best. During harsh weather riding, such as rain or snow, aluminum rims have a clear advantage, as aluminum braking surfaces perform better when very wet. Carbon braking surfaces and brake pads tend to have somewhat decreased braking abilities in wet condition and need to be dry for optimal performance. On the other hand, aluminum milled braking surfaces work quite well across the board and offer consistent, reliable braking in all weather. Carbon rims have gotten significantly better in regards to braking over the years, so riders need not worry about being able to stop, but alloy rims still win this round.
While weight savings is an attribute people associate with carbon rims, this belief is more based in the fact that riders going to carbon are generally upgrading from a lower end aluminum rim. The thought that carbon rims automatically offer huge weight savings over aluminum rims is actually a widespread fallacy, and many times carbon rims and aluminum rims of the same level are only a few grams apart.
While sometimes weight savings may be less significant than one would think, there is one advantage that becomes immediately apparent to most riders, and that is acceleration. Carbon rims just seem to accelerate better, which can give you that edge when racing against friends, starting at that stoplight with cars behind you, or getting ready to climb that hill.
The final benefit of the carbon rims is the leap into aesthetic and auditory awesomeness. We all know carbon rims look sexy, turn heads, and can really make any bike look incredibly sleek and well equipped. Many riders, absolutely love the sound that carbon rims give when coasting, and it really let's others in your riding circle know that you upgraded (if that is something you care about). Honestly, they just sound and look great, which in a sport where aesthetics are more important than most cyclists care to admit out loud, is a benefit that just can't be ignored.
To those of us who have been riding for some time now and are quite familiar with the sport and what makes one bike better than another, carbon rims show money well spent. For example, an aluminum bike with a great component set and carbon rims will perform better than a lower level carbon frame with aluminum rims and lower end components, while costing the rider the same amount. Investing in your wheels is a move that will pay performance dividends to your riding for years to come.
Whether or not upgrading to carbon rims is worthwhile for you is a personal choice. Considering all of the above factors, as well as your budget, and really thinking about the type of riding you are looking to do is a great way to get started. The new Tommaso Corsa Carbon Rims are currently running at the unbeatable introductory price point of $500 for the holiday season, which for many riders makes the decision that much easier.
If you have been looking to make the upgrade to carbon rims, take advantage of the incredible half off holiday sale on these rims. This special promotion will only last through the end of the week, so don't miss out.