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I think the most extensive behind the scenes looks on carbon wheel manufacturing are probably the pieces that have been done about We Are One and I think when you factor in design, testing, manufacturing moulds, manufacturing rims, customer service, warranty, etc, never mind building in a bit of margin so shops can keep the lights on that, whether you can justify the cost for your own usage or not, it’s unfair to flippantly throw out something like “I’d guess these rims cost $50 to make and therefore the mark up on carbon is huge.”
Anyways, aluminum wheels are great and, as you note, Bontrager has some great value products but I specifically addressed the value case here in terms of riders smashing aluminum rims v. carbon rims with two-year free replacement v. Bontrager’s durability claims which should result in rims that significantly outlast the equivalent aluminum rim which could save money for some riders.
For example, again based on durability claims, previously these would have saved me money on my hardtail v. running aluminum. Now with CushCore that isn’t the case. It all comes down to individual needs.
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