Review: Yishun Wide Profile Carbon Clinchers
These were built to be my every day wheels. I wanted something that would be a bit burlier than my ENVE wheels and less tragic if they were crashed. To compliment these, I have a set of shallow climbing wheels for those up grade days, so ultra light wasn't a key priority here but overall weight was on my mind.
At the time I already had a set of Chris King R45 hubs on hand so the focus of the build choices were what rim to build around the hubs and the rim characteristics. I knew I wanted Sapim CX-Ray spokes. For the rim I was looking for a deeper U shape profile for aero benefits, wide profile at the brake track to fit well to 25c tires, weight concious, and of course something that fit my revised build budget. Based on Corey's recommendation, we chose to go with a set of the new carbon clincher model from Yishun Bike.
The final selection and build list is as follows
- Rims: Yishin 38mm front/50mm rear wide profile carbon clincher, UD matte finish
- hubs: Chris King R45 20h front/24h rear (black)
- spokes: Sapim CK Ray (black)
- rim strips: Continental (blacks)
- tubes: Contintental Race 28 light, 60mm presta
- tires: Michelin Pro 4 service course (black)
- skewers: Lightweight Obermayer 34 gram (black)
To be honest I was skeptical of the rim choice, but Corey has been my wheel guy for a few years and I have complete faith in his word. This is not the first wheel set he's built from this manufacturer and his experience had been good. Better than other alternatives. When the wheels arrived and I saw them for the first time I was impressed. The fit and finish is quite good. I had expected them to be a four panel UD finish but they appear solid like a higher end rim. The rim profile is WIDE. In the pics you can see the profile compared to the 25c tire, it is nearly a flat transition.
In terms of weight, I unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to weight the rims naked. Sorry. Fully built as rim, hubs, spokes, and rim tape the wheels weigh 1579 grams.
- front: 712 grams
- rear: 867 grams
To date I've been able to get out on the wheels for a few rides (not enough to give a long term review but I'll keep updating this review with my thoughts.) Out of the gate, the wheels seem to spin up quickly. Not as quickly as a shallow climbing wheel but still quick. They are easy to keep at pace. The combination of a wide profile and a 25c tire is noticeable. I'd best describe this as a feeling of being more planted and stable when rolling. The bike feels more controlled and connected while also being subtle. In cornering, again the combination of wide profile and 25c tire feels confident and the bike leans in greater control. Compared to my ENVE classic 45s which also have 25c tires, these wheels seem to lean better. Likely due to the wider rim bed of the Yishun rim.
Everyone is going to ask about braking. The rims have a basalt brake track. Visually there is a clear distinction of the brake track from the rest. There is no UD finish here, I'd best describe it as a 3K weave that looks rough and scratched up a bit. That's the basalt brake track. Overall, I'd say the braking is good. Thankfully there hasn't been a need for an emergency stop. Generally braking is good, not as good as an aluminum surface or on higher end carbon rims but still good. Currently I'm using Swiss Stop black prince pads for carbon rims and they work well and have no squealing. Will update over time as the rims break in.
In summary (so far), my impression of the wheels is very good. Are they the greatest carbon wheels on the market? No. Do the meet the criteria I needed and perform above my expectations? Yes. Do they look good? Yup. Am I happy with how they turned out? Definitely. For a mid season update, look below.
mid season update
It's been a few months and I've had enough rides, conditions, and kilometres to gather some updates. Overall the wheels have exceeded expectations. The 38mm front/50mm rear combination is perfect. The overall weight of a deeper rear doesn’t increase enough to outweigh (pun intended) the aero benefits.
So let’s talk about two key aspects: braking and aero.
First is braking. The rims have a basalt brake surface and they brake quite well. In terms of wear, the braking surface hardly looks touched after near 1000km so I’ll be friends with these wheels for sometime to come. Braking performance on the other hand does seem to be largely effected by your choice in brake pads. I’ve tried the ENVE brake pads (my other carbon wheels are ENVE classic 45s) and the Swiss Stop Black Prince. While riding with the ENVE pads the wheels take longer to grab on and definitely slow at a reduced rate. Yet with the Black Prince pads the wheels grab quickly, firmly, and reliably with more confidence. Not as fast as an alloy rim but more than adequate.This won’t be something you haven’t hear but bottom line, braking is good but choose your pads wisely.
Second, let’s talk about the aero performance. The new Yishun profile as noted above is the U shape or toroidal. Comparing these to how my ENVE or Pacentis handle cross wind or yaw, the Yishun rims are my favourite. Yes they do catch wind and get a push but not as much and it seem to be oblivious to some winds that would affect the other wheels. Bottom line, it’s less dramatic and less often so I’m very happy to put these on and head out the door.
One last update is on build quality. Let’s be honest upfront, these are not the creme de la creme of carbon technology. They do come from a reputable factory and are built well. But maybe quality control is not the best. My rear wheel suffered from an imbalance. The reinforcement around the valve hole is slightly overbuilt and means that one side of the rim is heavier than the other. It’s definitely noticeable in the work stand and under slower braking. We checked this with the tire and tube on and without. It’s also not present in my front rim. Strange but not alarming and apparently somewhat common. My wheel builder was able to equalize the weight by adding a small amount of lead tape opposite the valve and under the rim tape. Now it spins perfectly, however it’s still worth noting.
End of the day I’m really happy and the wheels continue to impress me for their performance and value.