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Whoa! Two posts in one day! It's a new record for me. We're unusually slow at work right now.

So, the obvious, near-universal, trend right now is for internal nipples to be used with carbon rims. Whether or not carbon rims should be used for 'cross and who should be using them are really conversations for another thread, and have been covered ad nauseum on other boards.

My question is simple: are there any carbon rims out there, except for the Corima cyclo-cross wheels, that have external nipples?

With so many new manufacturers of carbon rims coming out of the woodwork in the past two years, I'm surprised there hasn't been at least more than one set of rims sneak through. If I were to buy a pair of carbon rims for cyclo-cross, I'd want the nipples available for truing the wheels. I know, I know - most manufacturers swear that, if their wheels are built up properly, they shouldn't need truing; however, the thought of an out-of-true wheel needing a minor adjustment, which would turn into a four-day affair, what with re-gluing and all, makes my stomach churn and my good sense to send me back to the trusty Escapes or Reflexes. The other concern I've got, on a related point, is the possibility (theoretical or real, I don't know) of the dreaded pull-through, and a weak nipple connected to a stressed spoke resulting in a broken rim.

Ah, at the end of the day, the carbon rims probably should be reserved for riders much faster than I am who get exceptional deals through sponsorships, or, kept available for those select few who race and are wealthy enough to not have to work for a living; but, I still have dreams of the handbuilt Edge Composites 2.38s (with external nipples), Sapim Lasers, and White Industries M15s with the Phil Wood submersible bearings.

Any thoughts?


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Yeah, actually thats a huge criteria for us when we select wheels for CX. You're totally right that "What if something happens?" factor is huge, especially when you have to cut a tire off the rim because its glued on there like crazy. All of our carbon tubulars have external nipples (Shimano Dura Ace, American Classic, Zipp) and I have to say I'm really glad. I understand the reasoning of Edge for their design but we've had to re tension wheels this season and relube nipples (oh man I can't wait for our t-shirts to arrive with that on them), but thats what it takes to run carbon wheels.

With regard to "Cross Specific" wheels, I have to say that we haven't needed it at all. With carbon technology now you can totally run "road" wheels on the grass and mud and not worry. We had more wheels break under Cat 4s on the road this year than any 'cross race.

With regard to your "Ah the end of the day..."- dude, thats why I started this thing. You don't have to be rich, sponsored or crazy to be able to run carbon tubulars in CX. The benefits are outstanding and everyone should have the chance to see what the raves are all about. Swing by the tent at Warwick, RI this weekend or in Kansas City to see for yourself. Now, with regard to your specifics, you're on your own. :)
Zipp, for one.

I have drilled out Reynolds rims and built them w/ exposed nipples. I won't say it isn't going to void your warranty, but those rims are so damn strong that they can take it no problem, at least to date. Plus it seems to solve the problem those wheels have of breaking spokes. I am not recommending to anyone that they do this, of course...

A set of tubulars built up that way, 3 cross on some good hubs might work well for cross.

I use aluminum rims because there is no tangible benefit for me to use carbon rims. It's dry here, and I can loose more weight off of my body than I can save w/ fancier wheels. Velocity Escapes work ok for me.

Have fun!!
Many thanks.

I'll take another look at the Zipps. That's exactly what I was looking to find out.

I appreciate the responses.


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