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December 15, 2017
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December 12, 2017
  • Velt

    Review of their Ti frames on the cards?

    • Nothing in the pipeline. I’d welcome the opportunity though.

      • dcaspira

        Matt, some Filament Spun rims starting to hit the market – be interested in a review on them, and does the technology potentially improve Quality assurance etc.

        • I’ve just received such a wheelset from FSE http://fse.bike/ to review but even if I ride them for 12 months, I’m still not going to assess them in terms what filament winding offers in terms of strength, durability etc.

    • Hey Velt, I have a Curve België – it’s awesome, highly recommended.

  • Dude pedalling

    With respect I don’t understand the fascination with this brand.

    • Chris

      The site started in Melbourne, Curve is from Melbourne. Probably Curve are keen to supply a lot of gear for sampling, too.

    • George

      It’s a good, home-grown, small business story, making gear that doesn’t suck

    • DM

      Agreed; seems like a bit of a circle jerk.

  • iddqd13

    Break performance in wet conditions should probably be listed under “bad stuff”, no?

  • Il_falcone

    Let’s summarize:

    You should not ride these wheels in the rain since they brake badly. You won’t ride them on rough roads since they’re overly stiff (what’s the performance advantage of high radial stiffness anyway?). They are no longer tubeless-compatible, so better not use them for alpine descents because you might overheat the inner tubes. And they don’t offer any advantage on windy days since you won’t be able to fully concentrate on pushing ahead because of their susceptibility for lateral winds. You might be even faster on a normal wheel set in windy conditions given that the aero advantage of aero wheels is rather small anyway.

    So it’s a wheelset for crit racing on perfectly smooth courses and dry days for those that don’t want to use tubs, and therefore accept the additional weight, right? That makes them really versatile performers ;-))). 8.6 / 10, are you serious? Any decent aluminum wheelset will outperform those in real life use out on the road on at least 9 out of 10 days.

    But I always tend to forget that nearly all of those wheels are bought because of their looks and the aesthetical “improvement” they offer. So why not rate them just for looks?

    • I’d be more worried about the risk of a carbon rim delaminating than overheating the tubes… in which case the value of tubeless on long descents is really questionable.

      I agree with each of your points… to a certain extent, since it’s all a matter of perspective. When viewed from the point of view of a commuter, this wheelset is completely irrelevant. By contrast, a testosterone-fueled crit racer is likely to see a lot of appeal in these wheels, depending I suppose, on whether he or she connects with the brand.

      Importantly, a wheelset like this is not positioned or marketed as a versatile, everyday wheelset, so why judge it according to those criteria?

      • Il_falcone


        when reading your test there is not a single mention that you rode / tested them in conditions / use where they might offer an advantage, i.e. racing on close circuits. Instead you elaborate (rightfully) on their shortcomings (performance) in everyday use. So it’s no wonder that readers expect a rating based on those findings. And to be honest, that’s what you did as you always do knowing that the majority of your readers are not predominantly racing and basing their buying decisions on how well a product performs under the special circumstances of racing.

        I can’t offer exact numbers but what I know with certainty is that there are a lot of problems and crashes because of melting tubes during alpine marathon events in the European and North American summer months. A tire “explosion” because of a melting tube is also more dangerous than the delaminating carbon rim brake track which normally makes itself known to the rider through brake shatter and severe vibrations before the brake track finally breaks off and the tire explodes.

        So yes a tubeless road clincher offers a big advantage with regards to safety since it usually also prevents a sudden blowout when pinch-flatting a tube. In fact that is without a doubt and with a big margin the biggest advantage tubeless technology has for road use. Everything else (ability to use lower pressures, self-healing effects because of the sealant, reduced rolling resistance) are marginal gains when compared to the safety aspect

        • These are not wheels for alpine riding.. Not In any way and no serious crit racer races on a tubless setup due to the tire tech for road bikes still been in its infancy. Generally racers perfer higher tire pressures than the recreational middle age man set and this leads to issues with tubless tires ‘burping’ aka coming off the rim.. So these points are totally out of context with the review and the wheels….. Matts review is very balanced but your response has cherry picked the article to provide an angle skewed to suit your cheerful out look.. These are Wheels for racing or fast flat rides and powerful riders… Certainly not a wheelset to own if you ride European alpine ranges, weigh 60kgs or only own one pair of wheels….

          • Il_falcone

            “Matts review is very balanced but your response has cherry picked the
            article to provide an angle skewed to suit your cheerful out look”.
            No, I certainly did not cherry pick but I’ll leave this to the other reader’s to decide. What I was trying to explain is that this is a wheelset for a very specialized use as you confirm, and I think the review and the 8.6/10 mark did not reflect / state this strong enough.
            I would have expected something along the lines of: “This wheelset is for you if you’re a crit racer with over 180 lbs but don’t want to ride tubs. This wheelset is not worth the money it’ll cost you if you want a wheelset for anything else. But when tested strictly for the the intended usage it still deserves a rating of … ”

            Your remarks with regards to road tubeless technology makes me wonder if you are familiar with how well it actually performs. Pressures up to 120 psi are absolutely no problem and any pressure beyond this will only make you slower no matter which tire type you use. Road tubeless is in fact the only alternative to tubs for crit racing where with normal clinchers the risk of pinch flatting is much too big given that you don’t usually see where you’re riding and thus often run through potholes, gullys, and over curbs.

        • The cause of sudden popping of tyres on long descents is still open to debate, but to my mind it seems more likely that the sidewalls of carbon clinchers with soften/fail/delaminate before the inner tube starts to melt: http://www.velonews.com/2015/02/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-hot-tires-rims-oman_361634

          • Il_falcone

            It’s part of my job to analyze some of those failures / accidents. And while I’ve seen my fair share of overheated carbon rims even current ones from reknown brands – which alone is very disencourageing – people also manage to melt / crack their tubes or pop of the tires before the rims fail. We should not forget that when the rim becomes very hot the pressure in the tire raises simply because the air trapped inside of the tire gets hotter and hotter. Combine that with the added heat from hot tarmac and the sun shining onto the tire and a 50% increase in tire pressure becomes realistic and can be measured in bench test used to simulate that failure mode.
            It also happens on aluminum rims, of course, and interestingly seems to actually happen more easily with tube-type clinchers than properly designed tubeless rims and tires. Which is probably a consequence of the much higher rigidity of the materials used for the bead core of tubeless tires compared to the Kevlar / Aramid fibers used for most tube-type clinchers.

            • Eric Hancock

              A great deal of this is just fashion, to the rider’s detriment.

              I don’t think amateurs should be riding rim brake carbon clinchers, period. They are inherently dangerous from an engineering perspective. Rim shapes for clinchers are non-optimal for the forces and heat generated by braking. But people like the way they look, so they’ll buy them. The latest generation of carbon clinchers are very good, but shouldn’t be mistaken for general purpose wheels.

              Amateurs drag the brakes, brake too long and tend to run too much pressure in the tires. Some insist on riding latex tubes. All of these are risky. Combine them and it is dangerous. With a carbon rim, you generally don’t know if you have generated enough heat to weaken the rim. I’ve seen failures of both rims and tubes due to braking. Interestingly, internal temperatures in aluminum rims tend to be higher due to better conductivity, but also cool more quickly.

              Disc brake wheels and tubulars are significantly different (and safer).

              These are not general purpose wheels any more than a tri bike is a general purpose bike. It seems fine to review them in this context.

              • Il_falcone

                Amen !

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      And then this – “G3 is a solid product, but not without its flaws. They fail under high heat loads like many other carbon rim brake products” which comes off sort of like “Yeah, that was s__t, but we were not the only ones selling it, but trust us now”. Carbon clincher will forever be an oyxmoron in my book – if you are serious about light weight you should be on tubulars and if clinchers make sense to you, mounting them on carbon rims is just, well…….a fashion statement. Reminds me of the Spinergy daze – a client brought back his second set of these crappy things after they failed (I just worked there with no control over what they sold) and despite my suggestions that maybe he consider another type/brand of wheel since he’d had such bad luck (he was lucky neither of the failures were catastrophic) with these, he wouldn’t hear of it! A few more questions confirmed his entire reason for buying them was FASHION.

      • winkybiker

        Carbon clinchers are maybe starting to make sense in the context of disc-braked bikes, I think. Free from the braking duties, the rim can be optimised for weight, stiffness, ride quality etc. It will likely still be beaten by a quality rim-braked tubular set-up in terms of weight and aero, but for many riders who are going with discs anyway, the choice of a carbon clincher rim is not as silly as it seems to be in the case of these wheels, perhaps.

        • Larry @CycleItalia

          Perhaps, but I scrolled through the photos and didn’t see (did I miss them?) any photos of disc braked wheels in this piece. And the weight issue – clincher vs tubular is still pretty much the same in either case, no? I’ve no problem with FASHION except when it’s promoted as something else by the marketing-mavens.

          • winkybiker

            No, there’s nothing about discs in this article. I was speaking more generally. Some wheelmakers such as Enve are doing disc-specific rims that aren’t compromised by brake tracks. (You can’t just just build a disc front wheel with a regular carbon rim either as the crossed spokes won’t meet the rim at the same angle as a radial wheel.)

            I think the weight difference between clinchers and tubs might come down (but not to zero) without the brake track constraint on either wheel. But the best alloy clinchers are a already a lot lighter than these Curves. With no rider weight limit.

            Carbon clinchers are worse than alloy clinchers in every department except aero. That might just be different for disc-specific wheelsets.

            For rim braked bikes, my view is either stick with alloy, or go all-in with carbon tubs for race day. Carbon clinchers combine the worst of both worlds and are expensive and potentially dangerous fashion statements at best.

  • dllm

    No tubeless… Old school… Less choice on applications… Will spend money elsewhere.

  • winkybiker

    $2599 for a 1640g wheelset that has a rider weight limit and poor braking in the wet. Carbon clinchers in general still have a way to go before they seem a sensible choice to me. But maybe make more sense on a bike with discs?

  • Ezra

    Whats the point? At this price point they are competing with Zipp and Enve, both made in house, in America with actual aero testing and substantial research. Curve is certainly doing well with this, and there is clearly a market in Australia for ‘made in Australia’ wheels. What is the draw, if purchased at retail?

    • One of those company’s makes really shit hubs and the other is having a lot of QC issues leading to rim failures.. But hey they are made In the USA and cost s big night out on the town more ????

      • George Darroch

        Which one has bad hubs?

        • Il_falcone

          He most probably refers to Zipp. I don’t have any experience with their latest hubs but every Zipp hub before those was sub-par, especially the rear hubs.

    • Cliff Nichols

      Not sure where you’d get a new set of 404s or 3.4s for $2.5k AUD….I’m not quoting this to justify anything – just that these G4s are in that segment (price wise) beneath 404s. I have a set of Campag Bora One 50s…and I must admit, I bought them predominantly for the finish they bring to my bike which I get a great deal of pleasure from maintaining as well as riding. That said, I ride mostly flat and fast – but that’s relative to me being a 40 yr old desk jockey, not in real terms – my wheels are much more than I need, but not more than I ‘want’. I should probably be embarrassed by that statement, but I’m not – it’s my one vice. Sorry, may have veered off topic (like that guy in the lead out gif currently doing the rounds). Love your work people…even the disagreements are a better class of argument!

  • Dbmurray

    Any review of the Grovel V2 coming?

  • Nick

    I’m finding comparing the g4’s with Industry Nine Torch hubs, against the Zipps with their generic base model hubs pricing a little unfair. The curves tested are custom built wheels, with top of the line hubs and hardware. I have both the G3’s and G4’s on different bikes (both at 55mm), and have found no issues with harsh rides. I’ve never found any issues with compliance, and have ridden them on long distances many times. And that’s with riding my track set back to back with alloys. And that’s on a carbon aero bike, and alloy track frame respectively (both running 25mm tyres). I have found the wet braking to be on par with any other carbon rim.

    This review is unfair, the Mullet combo is designed for racing, not to be judged with all day alpine riding. These aren’t marketed as hillclimbing wheels, so why review them like that? As Crit and track racing wheels, I have found them responsive, fast and stable. Would definitely recommend the new g4’s.

  • Steve G

    People whinging about too stiff, doesn’t brake in the wet, what’s the point of the brand competing against Zipp et al… seriously?
    I’ve had two sets of Curve Cycling wheelsets; one 35mm set on DT240’s, one 50mm on White Industry T11’s. Both wheelsets are custom made and laced to my desires, both braked like carbon wheels do, both were stiff and light, one set can be run tubeless and is currently run so. They’re not overly stiff, if you don’t want such stifness then don’t run a 75mm rear and a 55mm at the front for a start.
    Unlike the big brands, I can get the rim I want matched to the hub I want… and the hub is actually decent, and I get a performance gain due to the stiffness and the weight drop. Also, it’s an Aussie business… and cheaper. The pair of Zipps I had seemed alarmingly fragile and were sold in short order.
    Honestly, the review is like comparing a Ferrari with a Suzuki Hatch and saying the Ferrari is shit because it’s difficult to park and expensive.

December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017
December 12, 2017