Your Carbon Fiber Wheels, and You
We made the decision to offer carbon fiber tubular and clincher wheels because we believe that carbon fiber engineering and manufacturing has progressed to the point where the material can be used to make wheelsets that provide high performance and reliability for most riding and racing conditions.
Most conditions - not all. We offer a range of wheelsets because not every one is suitable for each type of conditions. You wouldn't use your knee-deep RFSC 85s on a race with narrow roads and howling crosswinds, for example. Catching a gust that knocks you 8" off your line could put you or the three racers next to you into a muddy ditch.
Similarly, there are conditions for which carbon wheels of any rim type and depth are not suitable. Dirt roads, gravel, and cobbles are all surfaces for which the use of carbon wheels is unwise. Yes the pros use them, but the pros get their wheels for free and throw many of them out immediately after the beating they take at Flanders and Roubaix. For them, the threat of wheel failure is measured by the wait in seconds for the team car with a replacement. The expense and inconvenience in the real world is measurably greater.
Carbon wheels - particularly carbon clinchers - are also not as suitable for technical descents requiring sustained braking as alloy wheels. While significant improvements have been made in carbon rims' ability to resist heat, they are still far more prone to failure than their alloy counterparts. All November carbon rims now use high Tg resins capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 350 degrees farenheit without warping, delamination or other damage. But when temperatures do reach that high (which is more common in carbon than alloy rims since carbon dissipates heat more slowly), the tube becomes the fuse and is likely to fail, causing a blowout and loss of control.
The risks of overheating carbon rims can be mitigated by exclusively using the brake pads supplied by the manufacturer (which we require), employing proper braking technique by modulating between front and rear, and by avoiding circumstances where the road wants you to go 40mph but circumstances or your own skill level require you to descend at 20mph.
It may be unorthodox, but we ask our customers read and accept these terms and conditions prior to buying a set of our carbon fiber wheels. It's not to cover our asses - it's to help ensure you ride our wheels safely, and for a long time.
Terms and Conditions:
- Carbon fiber dissipates heat more slowly than aluminum. For this reason, all carbon wheelsets are more prone to heat-related incidents under extreme circumstances, such as the long and sustained braking required in crowded Gran Fondo and Alpine tour type events. November customers acknowledge that these risks, and the immutable laws of physics, exist.
- Damage to November carbon wheels while using other than the supplied brake pads is specifically excluded by warranty coverage.
- Damage to November carbon wheels resulting from a heat-related tube or rim strip failure (e.g. a blowout causing a crash or sidewall, brake track or other damage) is specifically excluded by warranty coverage.
- In the unlikely event of a heat-related failure to a November carbon rim purchased after March 2013, November will replace the rim or wheel provided that it is still within its 2 year warranty period.
- November customers acknowledge that warranty coverage does not constitute a license to make poor choices about suitable wheels for various conditions.
- Any damage to November carbon fiber wheelsets under the conditions listed above that is not covered by the warranty is still covered by our Crash and Damage Replacement policy.
Our intention is not to scare you out of buying our carbon fiber wheelsets - or anybody else's for that matter. We believe our wheels are no more susceptible to damage under extreme circumstances than other wheels available at 2x - 3x the price. With the rapid increase in popularity of carbon clinchers, we feel it is important to educate our customers about their range of suitable usage - both to protect our customers' investment in November products, and also to help ensure that our customers ride safely.