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i'm wanting to put new rims on my TREK DOMANE AL 2 and i was wanting to know if these would work and if you have a recommendation please feel free to comment them

  1. https://www.amazon.com/ELITEWHEELS-Carbon-Wheelset-Tubeless-Cycling/dp/B08JB5TCF3/

  2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R9R5Q2Z/

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    Please be sure to read the site’s FAQ. this isn’t a general discussion forum. Product recommendations are usually considered off topic as well.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Dec 24, 2021 at 22:01

2 Answers 2

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As the FAQ states, product recommendations are considered off-topic. It is possible to discuss some general principles here, though.

The Trek Domane Al2 is an entry-level rim brake road bike. This link is for the current model year. The choice of rim brakes for an entry-level bike is sensible. They allow a lower price point, or for a given price point, they will allow a better spec elsewhere than mechanical disc brakes. However, one issue is that road bikes are transitioning to disc brakes, and most higher-performance road bikes only have disc versions for current model years. Thus, if you upgraded to carbon wheels, you wouldn't be able to bring them with you to a future bike unless you chose a rim brake version - by the time you upgrade to a new bike, there might not be any rim brake versions apart from custom.

Second, the links you posted are for mainland China-based direct to consumer brands selling on Amazon. They appear to work. However, I have some issues.

To be clear, the country of origin is not a problem per se. Most of the bike industry's composites manufacturing for rims (and frames, seatposts, handlebars, stems, or other carbon parts) is done in mainland China or Taiwan. My issue is that these don't appear to be well-known brands. They don't have a significant presence in the West. Warranty would involve going straight to the manufacturer, so shipping costs would be considerable. Also, rim brake carbon rims are much more demanding to get right than disc brake carbon rims. The issue is that for rim brakes, you need resins that can withstand high temperatures because you're braking on the rims. That's in addition to whatever other structural properties you wanted the resin to have. There is some brief discussion on this blog post by November Bicycles (wheelbuilder in the US; disclosure that I'm a customer).

The other issue with rim brake carbon rims is that their braking is poorer than aluminum rims. With modern premium rims, my understanding is that the difference is small. With no-name rims, I don't necessarily know how they'd perform. In any case, you will need carbon-specific brake pads. These are usually supplied with the wheels. When they wear out, you should stick to the manufacturer recommendations for a replacement pad, if they make any.

As I said, my issue is not with made in China per se. I believe that one of my bikes has rims from Light Bicycle, a China-based direct to consumer firm. I say "I believe" because the wheels were sold by November, and they stated they didn't wish to disclose their rim suppliers, but the dimensions match a rim model made by Light Bicycle. So, my purchase was mediated by a firm in my country that had the opportunity to inspect a bunch of those rims, test them, and determine that they were adequate for their needs. Apart from November, Light Bicycle and a few other China-based companies have good reputations if you ask around. On Amazon, the review system is known to have massive problems with gaming, so I can't trust their reviews.

Last, I would suggest upgrading your tires to a high-performance tire (e.g. Continental GP 5000, Schwalbe Pro One, something in that class but not a time trial tire), and light butyl tubes (or even consider latex tubes). Get some tighter fitting kit. Shave your legs if you aren't doing so. Those will provide a similar amount of performance gain compared to carbon wheels.

NB: the correct term is wheel, not rims. The rim refers to just the outer hoop that mounts the tire.

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Your bike needs wheels that have certain specifications.

  1. Radius/diameter - Just about all modern road bikes are 622mm diameter wheels, often called 700c for historical reasons. For older bikes, kids bikes, or MTBs there are more sizes to choose from

  2. Width - For the size of tyre you want to run, the internal rim width should be appropriate. The rim must not risk rubbing on the frame at all

  3. Valve hole - Again almost all road bikes have Presta valve holes. However I've seen Schrader/AV valves on some wider rims.

  4. OLD or Over Locknut Dimension - for the front wheel is likely to be 100mm, but the rear wheel could be any of 120/126/130/135/142mm and other sizes. Your wheels have to match your frame.

  5. Mounting system - Your bike could have a Quick Release skewer, or it might have a Through Axle Adapters might be available, but is better to buy the right thing.

  6. Spokes - If you're transporting more mass about, a higher spoke count wheel is advantageous. If you're trying to be all aerodynamic, perhaps fewer may help, as do the shape

  7. Rim Profile - You might want deep section wheels for going fast but are wobbly in a side wind, or you might want shallow section wheels for climbing slow or riding in side winds

  8. Brakes - Your bike might have rim brakes, in which case the wheels absolutely must have a rim brake track. Never guess, rim brakes will ruin a non-rimbrake rim in short order.

  9. Weight - if you climb a lot, or race, then a lighter wheel set will feel racier. If you commute or tour or endurance, then a slightly heavier wheel will be more resistant to failure.

  10. Tyre attachment - Road bikes are fairly split between tubed (clincher/hooked) or tubeless tyres, with a distant third being tubular. Make sure your choice of rim matches the tyres you want to use, or consider changing. There are rims that are "tubeless ready" but can be used with normal hooked tyres and tubes.

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    Oop - isn’t diameter 622mm, not the radius?
    – MaplePanda
    Dec 25, 2021 at 7:54
  • @MaplePanda doh - good spotting. Feel free to just edit blatant errors like that.
    – Criggie
    Dec 25, 2021 at 10:04

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