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Alex D - this is responding to your point below about spokes being responsible for compliance. (might have to adjust how these threads flow!) How do spokes prevent radial deflection on impact? The rim is held in tension rather than compression so deflection can't be prevented by spokes (with a few exceptions like Easton's original Haven Carbons with rims that aren't perforated). In fact the impact vector will be in line with spoke tension rather than opposition. Having ridden carbon rims with similar lacing patterns, spokes and tires but a very different feel, my experience doesn't align with your contention.
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