Posted by: AndrewMajor
Very interesting. Clearly they have no concerns honouring the warranty despite you running inserts? The garbage though…
My experience breaking carbon rims is they always fail on nothing - but I know I broke them previously. Not that I’m a wheel breaker - I probably represent the average use case for most rims just with a fair number of miles. No bike park, which really does put the descending miles on.
For me once inserts are involved (especially at the weight of CushCore) I don’t see any advantage to carbon. They’re still stiffer, sure, but carbon rim companies are putting a lot of effort into engineering compliance, so does that matter?
Anywho, don’t need a photo - I was just curious as I know how much effort they put into beefing up the latest generation rims.
No, not at all. I still stand by the statement that Trek warranty is the best in the biz*. They actually offer a two year "no questions asked" carbon wheel explosion policy, so I am not sure they ever did an actual warranty evaluation for any of my wheels. I saw them OK an original owner who melted a carbon hoop on the exhaust of a car. They didn't even ask questions that time (although I am sure they wanted to).
*all non-DTC warranty depends on your LBS
The last time I had a rim failure, I submitted my claim and then phoned the warranty guys because I wanted to chat about inserts. I basically said "this keeps happening to me, but only with inserts. What do you recommend"? They're usually quite forthcoming with information but the fellow I had on the phone was rather cagey about whether I was to run inserts or not. He did set me up with the top of the line wheels though, so that was nice. As I said before, I think it would be bad business to say it's not recommended.
I've been running inserts with carbon because the carbon came first. Trek makes the staff deal wheel price so attractive that it's impossible to look elsewhere. Their entry level staff deal price is within striking distance of a staff deal price of a high end set of alloy wheels. I got tired of truing wheels all the time and carbon rims (and vibrocore with nipple washers! shout out!) really cut the wheel maintenance in a dramatic way. Pre carbon/vibrocore, I'd have to spend a decent amount of time on the truing stand after every full park day. Even if its only for a few minutes each time, it gets tiring.
I think I am going to build a set of alloy wheels using some of the many hubs bontrager has so generously donated to me for insert duty. I don't want to put more hoops in the ocean, and at this point I feel like I am making a significant personal contribution. Lol.
Posted by: Blofeld
That is a brutal run on wheels! The WR1 rim with the Vittoria insert makes the least sense to me out of all of them. Would the reduction in air volume offer less protection in some way? And yes, I would love to see some photos.
The Bontragers I heard about that were replaced on warranty were 2021 Line Pro and Line Elites in the ~30mm width. I don’t think they were used with an insert. This is hearsay, but I’ll be watching for a recall notice now.
I don't anticipate a recall notice coming out, unless you have better knowledge that I do at this point. I have broken more bontrager carbon wheels than anyone else who has come through the door in the shop. By maybe double? I think I might have tied what we did as busy dealer in total this season. Keep in mind that Trek is moving absolute boatloads of carbon Line wheels as they've come on pretty much every 9.8 or 9.9 bike across the board for a number of years now in addition to whatever they do in aftermarket. That's thousands of these things coming into BC each year, and we only did a handful outside of what I personally did after dozens and dozens of 9.8 level bikes going out over the years since they started offering them OEM. As I said, without inserts - they seem to be very good.
With respect to WR1, that was some time ago now - I don't even think they were offering a handlebar at the time. You can't buy that rim anymore and I think they've since changed their tune (in addition to their layup process and designs, at least once) on inserts somewhat - at least publicly. I wouldn't worry about it too much, it was just what we were told when we dropped the wheel off back then - they still honoured the warranty too as it seemed to be more of a 'recommendation'.
And because you requested, here's the photo. Now that I see it, the number of wheels is 7. I had forgotten there was one wheel I've already taken the hub from (plus one non-bonty that got sent back) so it didn't make the photo.