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ceramic rims(7 posts)

ceramic rimsck
Jun 13, 2001 12:19 PM
Somebody talk me into/out of building a wheelset with ceramic rims. Benefits? Drawbacks? Does the stuff eventually wear off? I need some help, as all I can find out about ceramic coatings is how it is applied (manufacturing) and the manufacturer's boasts of increased braking. Thanks.
re: ceramic rimsMeDotOrg
Jun 13, 2001 12:24 PM
When I investigated ceramic rims, I was told:

You will need to change your brake pads. Ceramic rims will eat regular pads in a hurry.

If your rim gets bent out of true, the ceramic coating can crack.

I stress this is what I have HEARD, not what I've experienced.
Jun 13, 2001 1:13 PM
They degrade dry braking performance significantly by forcing the brake pads to overheat.

Their wet weather performance is slightly better for the initial second or so in which an ordinary rim is being dried out by the pads, after which it is about equal until the pads overheat.

The ceramic coating cracks easily, resulting in poor control as the edges of the ceramic catch the pads.

They are unnecessarily expensive.
I've used themfreespirit
Jun 13, 2001 1:36 PM
I've used them on a mountain bike; in wet weather, I found them to be tremendously better (I don't ride my road bike in the rain much). You should use special brake pads, but you can get away with normal pads. Normal pads will wear faster and might squeal, though. This isn't an issue, unless you want to swap them out with plain aluminum rims, as you'd need to change pads again for them. Ceramic rim brake pads will eat up plain rims.

If I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I'd use them. Water has amost no effect upon braking with them, which is a good thing. Even running though knee deep mud and water did not degrade braking with them.
I've had mine for about 5 years now ....seth1
Jun 13, 2001 2:28 PM
and to tell you the truth, for road riding I think it's unnesseccary. I don't ride in wet conditions any more but I think they worked very well. I think it was mavic's original ceramic rims ate thru pads like Mr. Simpson and a box of donuts, but they redesigned them to solve this problem. I wouldn't get them again. I was talked into it by a shop owner who probably wanted the bigger sale.
I have ceramic 517s on my MTB bike, I'd say...biknben
Jun 14, 2001 8:51 AM
They are a dream on my MTB bike. The rim lasts forever in my experience. I've never seen ceramic chip on a 517 rim, but I have seen it chip on a CrossMax rim. The chips on a MTB could be caused by rocks and debris coming in contact with the rim. You're less likely to experience that on the road.

I wouldn't bother putting them on a road bike unless you:
-ride in the rain often.
-do a lot of long descents...where heat in the rims may be a factor.
-you're a larger rider looking to stop quicker.

-improved braking
-better heat disipation
-rim longevity

-have to run specific brake pads.
-Only available with 32 spoke holes.
ride in the wet much?jw25
Jun 14, 2001 11:43 AM
Because that's the only real reason a road bike would have ceramic rims. Instead of that sickening feeling of approaching a turn way too fast, with the levers pulled hard, and not slowing at all, you can modulate speed pretty well in any conditions with ceramics.
I run them on my mountain bike, and through mud and water, they're great. They might eat pads faster (even the ceramic-specific ones), but pads are lots cheaper than rim replacement. I've yet to notice any fade in the dry, but on a mountain bike, you don't slow for the length of time a road bike does, at least not here on the East Coast.
So, if you really want them, go ahead and get them, just be sure to use ceramic pads, and swap them out for normal pads if you change wheels. As for wearing off, the rim will probably die from fatigue before the ceramic goes, especially on the road, where the worst thing it'll see is road grit. Ceramic does chip, though, and if it chips badly, it can grab the pad, causing "pulsing" during braking, or even locking the wheel if you're unlucky. Chips can be smoothed down with epoxy, but it's something to be aware of. However, my Bontrager ceramics have seen lots of rocks, and have yet to chip.
So, I can't make your mind up for you, but there's some pros and cons. If the price was reasonably close, and I rode through more rain (I'm a wimp, I admit it), I'd build up a set of ceramics for training and ugly races, but right now, plain rims do just fine for me.