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December 15, 2017
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  • The Rabbit

    I have a set of the Curve 50mm wheels. The wording of this review would apply equally well to the 50’s. Awesome wheels. Curve also provided excellent upfront advice and guidance through the sales process. I recommend them highly.

  • Mark

    The acknowledged short comings make me wonder.

    No. Gravity doesn’t pull a heavier rider down faster. Just more energy is needed to slow a heavier rider.

    Similarly it says stuff about not riding the brakes all the way down a hill, then suggests getting in the drops and lowering your head… Which seems counter intuitive to the general caution.

    That said they look very sweet wheels and I will definitely consider when I next need wheels.

    • Hey Mark,

      Glad to hear you are considering Curve. Yes you are correct, more energy to slow riders down… our fault for trying to oversimplify the message, but your version is easy to understand, so we will update to suit, thanks!

      Short-comings; well many riders know carbon must be treated differently, no matter which brand you choose. Some riders don’t understand this, so we would rather tell our riders rather than hiding behind fancy talk. Our 50mm wheels have just past UCI testing, and now we will move on to our 38mms next. As far as caution is concerned and riding brakes… we are trying to explain to riders that being a little more aggressive down hills (and braking bursts in a controlled and safe manner) is actually better for your rim than just riding your brakes down the whole thing, and more fun too.

      • Col

        Same as driving a car down a mountain. Drag your brakes all the way and you’ll be smelling burnt brake pads by the bottom. Brake when & as hard as you need, then get off them so they can cool.

      • Mark

        Cheers. Re the second point, you may want to consider using the wording you’ve just said here to explain that. Just a little clearer IMHO.

        I guess the point I was trying to raise was that considering the faster you go, the more energy you need to slow you down therefore the greater the risk of failure. Yes completely agree, braking in bursts is better, just the way things are worded seems a little perverse. Hopefully you see what I’m trying to get at (ie I’m not trying to be difficult).

  • Wow, thanks! Glowing reviews of our 38mm wheels. Due to our testing and customer feedback we had always suspected that we would get good reviews, but there is always part of you that gets a little nervous. So yes, we are a proud as punch about this.

  • Cliff Nichols

    Hi CT, how would you compare these against the Rail 34s you reviewed late last year? they’re both around that magic $2k mark and profess ‘Goldilocks’ type qualities….

    • CC

      Well put. I’ll probably get flamed, but I feel like I’m missing something here? Solid Hubs, unknown Asian rims, no in-house R&D to talk of, spoke tension not suited to rider..? I’m a little lost Curve in what you’re offering, cause you’re getting mighty close to enve prices, R&D etc –

      • Phil

        I have to agree with you CC – there seem to be a growing number of ’boutique’ cycling brands who have amassed a loyal following which seems to be based on branding and marketing alone. The desire of cyclists to use products from less mainstream brands seems to be a contributing factor to this movement. I fail to see what differentiates curve from a shop built wheel using a non-branded carbon rim.

        • I can’t speak for Curve, but we did a series of interviews with small wheel brands (including Curve) asking many of these questions. This might help: https://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/02/inside-small-wheel-brands/

          • I hope you all get a chance to read Wade’s article – it’s offers a great insight into smaller brands like Curve. It’s taken us over 5 years of R&D and rider input to develop wheels that we are proud to put our name on – so people can avoid the risk of buying an unknown rim. I am also really excited to say that beyond our R&D, the UCIs European facility has tested and passed our 50mm wheels for the UCI approval… I actually just received an email being told that it will be on “the list” within hours. Next is the 38mm wheels.. we should have them on the list within a few weeks.

            • Phil

              Wade & Adam, I had read the article on small wheel brands previously and found it to be an interesting insight into the industry. I’m not trying to bag Curve, and I think it’s great to see an Australian brand establishing themselves in the cycling industry – no doubt it is a difficult and highly competitive environment. I have to say, that I’m still not convinced that Curve is offering a product that is remarkably different from other offerings. The mold they use is non-exclusive, and they don’t make any claims that the layup used is unique to them. The R&D efforts seem to be focused on sourcing a manufacturer and ensuring repeat-ability through a manufacturing quality assurance system. The testing and QA measures are nothing extraordinary, and to me, they are basic requirements for producing and selling any high-quality carbon product. The fact that there are many carbon rims available without such assurances speaks less to the quality of Curve and more to the dodgy products available for purchase direct from manufacturers in Asia. That said, it’s obviously hard to please everyone, and with a main staff member with a PhD in Physics and a student Engineer on staff, maybe we will see a rim developed in-house in the future. Again, this is my interpretation of the information that was presented, and it’s entirely possible I have formed an incorrect understanding of the product on offer.

              • CC

                Sorry Adam I have to agree. As a potential consumer, I’d love to see some proprietary R&D – stuff that’s unique to you, and will draw us in. Wish you guys every success.

                • alexroseinnes

                  I’m in the same boat – for a bit more money i can buy a set of Zipp 303 firecrests that don’t come with a lengthy set of disclaimers (no latex tubes, WTF?) and a long history of in-house R&D, testing and construction. It’s all a bit vague.

                  • Thanks guys for the feedback.. to be honest its a good conversation (rather than some of the hate you see on forums) as it nice to see how we are perceived. In general the support for the “new aussie brand” has been great and one thing I have taken from this, is that we need to better share our R&D with the likes “mr carbon” Raoul Leuscher and how our wheels compare to bigger brands. It’ll be a while before we can compete with their marketing efforts (if we ever want to) as we would rather the long list of disclaimers/suggestions/truths rather than waffle or what is omitted. But yes we are working on an exclusive wheel product (a new process all together) that is getting plenty of R&D and testing. We know what we have developed thus far is as good as the rest and will help us further build our brand, so stay tuned.

                    • Mark

                      Great response (seriously)! I too thought (2 sec thought given I’m not really in the market), seems expensive compared with some other offerings wondered what your response would be to comments like Alex’s.

                      Nailed it.

                    • CC

                      +1

              • Locky

                I agree with this…. i did a fair bit of research for getting a new carbon disc wheelset for my CX bike recently, particularly for handbuilt wheels. My reference spec was King R45 disc hubs, CXray spokes and a relatively light rim eg Stans Alpha, etc. I considered Curve but had same conclusion as you Phil – really the premium i was paying over direct Asian purchase (eg FarSport) was not for additional R&D (as Curve uses an open mould/ non-proprietary rim, ‘standard’ spokes and hubs eg White Industry), but rather for a warranty/local reputation. In the end, i have purchased direct from an Asian supplier based on many favourable internet reviews, including long term reviews from a magazine site, the wheels were made specifically to my spec re 28hole F&R, DT240s hub, CXRay spokes, matt finish, etc and in 12 months of use the wheels have been fine. I may have been more wary of the Asian option for rim brake rims rather than disc, where brake performance/delaminating might be more of an issue. The difference in total wheelset price was ~$800 which i couldnt justify for the local build/supplier ‘sourcing’ advantage that Curve may offer.

                • dicusser

                  Hi Locky. I would say you came to the right conclusion.

                  If you source a widget that comes 10$ direct from manufacturer, sell it for 15$ with half price replacement, or even a full replacement / stellar warranty policy, the consumer is still getting the short end of the stick.

                  I’ve seen this often in the bike industry – e.g. a certain bicycle distributor whose name is of a chili….

      • Bro

        not sure about “no in-house R&D” – don’t they say they had one bloke who rode on them an awful long way and the wheels didn’t even break? That must count for something…

        • A

          Haha lots of ‘bro science’ right!

    • Curve 38mm versus Rail 34s? Too close to call. They’re both great in the wind, tall enough to be stiff for race day efforts, but not so tall to be sluggish on hills. Curve versus Wheelworks? Also too close to call. Both companies really care about the people buying their wheels and are very conscientious with their builds.

      • Cliff Nichols

        Thanks Matt..it kind of read that way, just wanted to see if anything might edge it. Perhaps the T11’s on the Rails? and all the research that November seem to be putting in…??? Looking at it another way I really like the decals on the Curve! :-)

        • I believe Curve can build the wheels with T11 hubs, don’t know how that affects the price though. Both Curve and November take an honest approach to talking about carbon rims, which I think is important given the expense involved.

  • norm

    I’ve owned a pair of Curve 50’s (25mm width) for several months and have raced them extensively at the local crits, mainly Hawthorn and St Kilda Crits (C and B grades respectively).
    I have nothing but praise for the way they roll, their ability to get up to speed and to maintain that speed.
    My previous wheelset was Reynolds Thirty Two’s. The biggest difference was the comfort in going from 23mm wide tyres to 25mm. The stiffness of the Curve 50’s was noticeable but never uncomfortable in my opinion – I suspect that comfort could be gained by going for a wider rim, 25mm over the 23mm’s – for me that made a huge difference.
    In terms of rolling resistance the Curve’s was so so super smooth. At SKCC I was just sucked along with the bunch, acceleration was easy and it was stable in crosswinds. You definitely need to pay attention in crosswinds, but they were always predictable.
    At HCC, for those that know the course, the Curve 50’s were fine for the hillier crit. I never had any issue with keeping up with the bunch and even managed a podium once on those “heavy” rims.
    Highly recommended. Staff, in particular Adam were extremely helpful.
    Also, at the time, they had a “try before you buy” which really helped me make up my mind. You basically rent the wheels and get to test them thoroughly before committing. The cost of the rent can then go towards a discount off the recommended retail.

  • Martin P. Hoff

    If someone (not me) was picky they might object to keeping valve caps on for a photo-shoot like this. They might also wonder why you used such a long valve stem on one of the wheels.

    • The guys at Curve were testing out different tubeless valves with these wheels, hence the different lengths. As for the valve caps, I disagree, hats on for formal photos!

      • Martin P. Hoff

        Well you certainly nailed the photos because they look great!

        Re valve caps, note the specific note of “under any circumstance” in rule #60 http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#60
        Also closely related, rules #26 and #40.

  • allan iacuone

    I have been riding curve wheels since the beginning of 2014 at the aussie road nationals on the 24’s, im still riding them now and they haven’t missed a beat. For my CX bike i have set of 38’s in tubs, light stiff bomb proof, for the 2015 road nationals i took the cx tubs off and put on a set of FMB competitions, i have given them a good beating on my cross bike and they are still going strong. For training i have a set of their classic aluminum box section rim. What can i say the guys at curve know what their doing and i cant wait to see what they come up with next.
    Great price point, great wheels!!!

  • alexroseinnes

    “I can’t comment on the aerodynamics of the toroidal shape, and there isn’t any data that promises a tangible time gain over a set distance. This is the realm where marketing hyperbole typically dominates” No data?! There is endless data on this very thing. Start here for a great compendium – http://www.aeroweenie.com/data.html

    • Fair point. I had in mind data that specifically pertains to Curve’s rim. The existing data is a good argument for the value of the profile but it doesn’t predict how Curve’s wheelset will perform compared to other wheels.

      • alexroseinnes

        makes sense. i’d like to see some aero data from curve, too. November wheels have published some great data.

  • Can’t wait to give mine a proper crack at the Tour of Mansfield this weekend. Bought the tubular version of the 38mm. First impressions: fast, light, stiff!

  • Craig

    After melting my Reynolds 32 on the descent of Baw Baw(…and no I wasn’t riding the brakes :) ) got the guys from Curve to build me a new wheel with their 38 and my Reynolds/DT Swiss hub and am a very happy customer. :)

  • winkybiker

    I always wonder about low profile carbon clinchers. More exepnsive and heavier, and potentially with the well-documented braking issues. For deeper rim sections, carbon is a necessary evil, but otherwise why not just go with a high-end alloy rim? The new brake track treatments (Mavic’ Exolith and Campag/Fulcrum eqivalent) are spectacular.

  • yung bitter

    IS YUNG BITS THE ONLY COMMENTER that remembers a beautiful time when you could buy these wheels for like almost half the price?

    More an observation than a complaint. I think its mad dope what these homies be doin.

    I just don’t recall being taken on a journey of the mind where Curve turned from a ‘chinese wheel with local face and quality control and warranty’ to ‘premium baller wheels you resort to shelving cocaine on international flight to afford to race/crash’.

    I note they have upgraded from Novatec to brand name hub options, but that narrative or journey was never embarked upon. They just made the decals prettier and doubled the price.

    -Old young bitter guy

    • Hey Yung Bit. We do not normally condone any shelving of sorts, but there are always exceptions.

      Yup, we too remember cheaper beginnings, when the US dollar was less than an Aussie one, and our hubs cost $35 instead of $600+ ones… The old hubs we don’t miss at all, but we too miss a beautiful time of a better Aussie dollar. Glad you like the decals.

      • Trade Watcher

        Are the rims from FarSports?

  • Keir

    I had the chance to use the 38s a couple of months back. I was seriously impressed over a couple of hundred of kilometres. The flywheel like nature of the rims was sensational. What probably isn’t known is all the different custom options that the guys offer and that is something of a rarity now in the carbon wheel industry. Fabulous wheels.

  • elbertmishen

    Carbon
    Speed Cycle always updates their products and gives it completely a new and
    advanced feel. The objective of the program is to bring you only the most
    wanted top wheels as possible. The decisive purpose will always be to design
    the most useful and consistent parts.

  • owenthomson

    It happened that fast. I was coming down a road I’d ridden a hundred
    times before. It was a moderate downhill, about a 5% grade. Except
    this time, I made a quick decision to take a right I had only taken
    before in my car.

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