Tuesday, April 2, 2019

When Crabon Attacks

So if you keep abreast of Fredly affairs you may have seen that Enve crabon rims apparently eat tires:

Specifically, Enve says that catastrophic tire bead failures — on the sidewalls, right at the bead hooks — have been occurring more frequently than in years past. In addition, and more importantly, Enve contends that this is happening with other brand’s wheels as well, and is a problem directly related to the tires themselves.

"Ha, ha!" I laughed smugly.  "Silly Freds with their overpriced Enve wheels."  I mean come on, admit it: when you see the Enve logo on someone's bike you get the same kind of douche chills you get from a BMW, right? 


For their part, Enve blames the tire companies:

“We called up the tire companies, and they were fairly dismissive about it, frankly,” Child said. “They tell us, ‘Oh, that’s a race-day-only tire that isn’t meant to go that many miles.’ But the problem is that nobody knows that; that’s not what their web sites say. So customers are buying the tires, shops are recommending them, and people are getting hurt. [The tire companies] are not owning it. That’s why this seems like a fairly aggressive approach, but I think we all collectively feel something has to be done to call this out. At a minimum, people need to know the risks they’re taking by running these tires on a day-in, day-out basis.”

Anyway, my smugness was cut off at the knees last week when, at the end of a longish (for me) ride I noticed this conspicuous sidewall tumor:

And yesterday when I finally got around to removing the tire I noticed my non-Enve crabon wheel had indeed eaten my "open tubular:"

Furthermore, when I inspected the inner portion of the rim sidewall with my disgusting, grubby, bitten fingers I found it was indeed quite sharp--like, "Wow, that doesn't seem like a good idea" sharp.

Of course I only have these crabon wheels in the first place because they came on the Renovo, but now that I know how dangerous they are I've immediately taken them out of service.

Just kidding!

No, I'm a total Fred, so what I did was just dig some old tires out of my reserves and put the wheels right back on the bike.

I mean I've already got them so I might as well.  Plus I'm fairly certain the casing on these tires is made from nylon so maybe they'll last longer. 

Or maybe not.

Either way, I have taken this as a sign that I need to dial back on the Fredness, so by way of realigning my priorities I headed out on a Surly with no derailleurs today without changing into special bikey clothes or anything:

I'm feeling better already.


mander said...

Podium and read the postium

HDEB said...

Hooray for riding simple bikes in regular clothing : )

Jake said...

That "Just Kidding" meme never stops being funny.

1904 Cadardi said...

I have an Enve fork, but back then they were calling themselves Edge, so that's okay right? Right?

Also, 32 hole aluminum Mavic Open Pro rims are pretty much the bee's knees AND the mutt's nuts. Not light, or aero, but don't gnaw through sidewalls like it's their job.

Anonymous said...

For a tire company response see www.challengetech.it/info/faq/en

Pist Off said...

Hell, Enve rims for mountain folk eat tires too, by cracking/crumpling all the time. It happened five years ago in a Pinkbike review, and it happened a couple of months ago in a Pinkbike review. It’s almost like Enve makes massively overpriced douche parts, and maybe just possibly rims aren’t the best place for crabon’s usual failure modes.

Also, do not take this as my endorsement of pinkbike and their dayglo pajama wearing, fullface-helmet-on-a-blue-trail dudebro readership.


Diefree said...


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need a rim job. chortle

Anonymous said...

I think it's primarily due to tire manufacturers omitting that component that serves to protect sidewall from the rim bead. Jobst Brandt raised the alarm on this years ago...

Matt said...

It sounds like it's all the clinchers (open tubulars are still clinchers) that have the failing tires...wonder if there is any failures of those w/ disc (dick) brakes. My mtb came w/ enve wheels (got the entire bike as a 1 yr old demo for a bit more than the cost of a new set of enve wheels, not a bad deal IMO). I have no complaints whatsoever w/ the wheels, they are indeed pretty awesome. I've ridden clincher carbons a time or 2, and all I can say is HOLY SMOKES THE BRAKING SUCKS (as compared to discs). Sheesh...might as well do the Fred Flintstone and drag your feet to stop (tennis shoes would be good here). And if you get the rims wet I think it actually accelerates the bike rather than brakes. The discs are pretty much perfect all the time (my new gravel bike has discs too, and they are SO MUCH BETTER than rim brakes that it's hard to ride my old road bike anymore...my Campy Skeleton brakes suddenly feel like I'm a kid back on a Huffy w/ those red blocks of stone or whatever they used for brakes). My only question is "why now?" There have been carbon clinchers for YEARS and I've never head of this until today (tire beads failing).

BikeSnobNYC said...


Not sure why dick breaks would have anything to do with it. I believe it's tires with cotton casings having the problem (makes sense when you feel how sharp the inside edge of the rim is), and I'm going to guess you're not using cotton MTB tires. "Why now?" is a good question. Maybe it has to do with a move to tubeless compatibility and corresponding change in rim shape...?

--Tan Tenovo

Anonymous said...

I had Enves that I replaced with Zipps after the Enves chewed through Vittorias and Michelins like it was their job. The problem is that Enve's have a rough edge facing the tire sidewall. This edge chews through the tire. Once it is past the tire, the tube has only minutes to live. After the catastrophic tube failure, the tire cannot be reused--you can't even make it 10 miles home before the compromised tire will let the Enve razor's edge cut through the new tube.

You can sand the edge down, which is a fun project after you paid a lot for these pieces of shit, or you can trade for Zipps.

Bonus: GOOD LUCK getting the tire off / on out of the road with these damn tubeless rims, they are way too tight for useful function.

Fuck Enve. Never buying their stuff again.

Anonymous said...

More ranting: my friend and I had the same Enves, but he had disc brakes and I have rim brakes: no difference whatsoever, both wheelsets absolutely shredded tires. He got new Enves under warranty, but they still pop tubes. Being rich, I simply bought Zipps and threw the Enves away.

The sharp edge inside the rim has nothing to do with tire manufacturers, and everything to do with terrible, terrible engineering and quality control from Enve. Also, it's very Enve to blame tire manufacturers and customers for what is clearly Enve's shitty defect.

Anonymous said...

I'd always assumed that was due to rim brake rub but perhaps there is more to it. Disc brakes on wooden wheels may be the way to go.

Larry and Heather said...

Goes back to the old "carbon clinchers" are an oxymoron. Or is it they are for morons? Reminds me of the old Spinergy Rev-X wheels of death. A guy who'd already suffered (luckily for him the wheel failed but not catastrophically) one failure comes back to the shop for yet another warranty replacement, but then goes f--ing nuts when a suggestion is made that he might want to get his money back from Spinergy and spend it on a different wheelset.
What do they call that when someone repeats the experiment over and over somehow expecting the result to be different? No, not Theresa May, but I can remember the same stupidity with a Ringle (remember them?) seatpost that snapped off cleanly at the seat collar. Customer wanted a replacement and took offense at the idea of using something else. Or how 'bout the IBIS titanium stem that snapped.....I could go on all day...what is it about bicycle riders?

Winnicycle said...

No, not Theresa May. It's Einstein's definition of insanity.

Unknown said...

where is this nice looking trail in the last pic?

Conrad said...

The issue is tubeless compatible rims. They have to be a tight fit so there are a lot of rim-tire combinations that just dont work. The irony is that a high quality tire (supple casing) is far and away the most important thing from a performance standpoint, and the best tires (Vittoria, Challenge, ReneHerse) generally dont work well with tubeless setups. People will do so much for a perceived performance gain... but you are going to add 50 mL of liquid to your wheel?! Makes no sense. If pinch flatting is an issue, either use a wider tire, use tubulars, or add sealant to a tube. Tubeless sucks.

JLRB said...

I once went for a leisure ride with a full-on-fred neighbor - his crabon rims hot a little rock and ruined our ride. No Thank You.

(My dog ate my homework and made me tardy)