• Sure, it costs a fair bit to go out to China to find good suppliers, to have a UK head office and marketing operation, and to make a profit. That's where the difference in price goes. Also Hunt will probably be able to buy those wheels in bulk for £300 or £250 each, not £400.

    The main benefit of an operation like Hunt is that they largely prevent you buying a lemon - a really poor quality or dangerous wheel from a seller who doesn't know what they are doing, because they put in the time to find decent manufacturers. I can't believe they individually test every wheel they import and sell on. Their two main core competencies, and the backgrounds of the founders, are procurement and marketing.

    It's a good business selling decent wheels at a price that its mostly very satisfied customers are very happy and willing to pay. The only minor flaw is that its success depends, to an extent, on people believing that it is something that it is not.

    Not picking on Hunt in paticular, same with PX, Flo, and the guys who are re-painting the HongFu frame.

  • Yeah that's largely what I was getting at. My original point was that to start a company importing frame or wheels it's not a simple as buying £400 frames and selling them at £800 for 100% profit, there's a lot more costs and liability involved which pushes up the RRP and reduces profit.

  • The only minor flaw is that its success depends, to an extent, on people believing that it is something that it is not.

    One of the things that endeared Hunt to me was the fact that they were pretty open with their early wheels that, yes, they were made from OTP components and that if you wanted you'd be able to buy the components and build them up yourself. There was none of this 'our new patented proprietary rim which our designers have optimised for aerodynamics and handling' when actually it's an OTP rim from China that's been on the market for 4 years.

  • Sounds very familiar with Thesis buying Carbonda frame sets - check out the comments, there's a reply from Thesis blurting out that very spew of bullshit.


  • The only minor flaw is that its success depends, to an extent, on people believing that it is something that it is not.

    More than that, it depends on people not trusting Chinese companies. If you don't have proprietary technology then you're dead in the water once your Chinese supplier builds some brand value of their own.

  • Too right. Once more people realise that companies like Hongfu, Ican and Lightbicycle do offer worthwhile warranties and provide replacement parts for their products, that business model gets harder. It will take a long time though!

  • I think Hunt has been a bit more straightforward about what they do and don't do. And they've certainly built up a great following. Flo seems to have been a bit more pseudocience / smoke and mirrors. I was considering buying some of their wheels at one point, but a bit of googling put me right off them.

  • Yes, exactly. There's a reason why we don't see people importing those wheels and selling them for £450 or £500 - it just doesn't work unless you put in a big mark-up.

    It's the same for the big manufacturers: if we could see inside their cost struture, I'm sure we'd find most of it in the West, where they market and sell the wheels, not in China, where they make them.

  • is there a go to for a far eastern carbon gravel frame - that has a 27.2 seatpost/ 3 bolts on the fork/ takes a 650x48mm tyre?

    edit// These seem good from carbonda, didnt know if anyone had experience and would recomend?


  • How does one work this out? The LB shipping options confuse me - for a wheelset what is the best option? Any advice gratefully received!

  • I'd go for their TPD (Tax Paid Delivery) service. All the customs fees are paid upfront and you know exactly what the final cost of the wheels will be. They post the wheels to the Czech Republic first and then they make their way to the UK.

  • Thanks, that's really helpful to know.

  • We used this for group order and I have ordered a wheelset using the same, it works seamlessly.

  • can anyone provide some link to decent okaley 'replicas' please?

    it seems a bit of a lottery... i've tried finding some myself and they are frankly horrific!


  • I'm looking at getting some LightBicycle wheels:

    Any opinions on them, in particular:

    • rim braking tracks, grooved graphene vs high TG
    • U vs V-shaped rims. I'm assuming U is better
    • how good are their brake blocks, should I order a few spares?

  • high TG
    U shaped rims


  • I've got the graphene rims. Not ridden the other type but very happy with the braking of the graphene ones... not quite as good as alloy but nowhere near as crap as the last carbon wheels I rode.

    As for their pads, seem to be wearing reasonably fast but for the price who cares

  • Thanks very much both.
    Now ordered: 55mm rims with Bitex hubs (don't want to buy expensive QR hubs any more as will have to go disc soon).

  • rim braking tracks, grooved graphene vs high TG

    I don't know what they mean by high TG. High TG in the composites world means a higher temperature resin, i.e. the resin softens at a higher temperature. They use a lot of meaningless TLAs though (TCT, GGB, FTA, ART), so don't assume high TG in their context actually means that unless they've spelled it out somewhere.

    Let's also be clear, actual graphene doesn't exist properly in the composites world yet. It's a marketing term. What they're probably referring to is a resin heavily loaded with graphene-like graphite particles, which makes it more abrasive and therefore a better braking surface than pure epoxy.

    U vs V-shaped rims. I'm assuming U is better

    I think it's pretty accepted these days that U shape is more aero than V shape.

  • Was there a group buy going on for rims or has the order already been placed?

  • Anyone ordered replica sutros recently? Have a seller nudge for me?

  • I bought some off amazon and they seem to be pretty decent. Let me check if they are still on there.

    Still on there

    1 Attachment

    • Screenshot_20201201-131524.png
  • My cheapo Sutro were crap. Lense colour gradient visible when wearing (unlike the other oakley knockoffs I have) and the paint wore off after about half a dozen wears. I use them as safety glasses now.

  • crap...I use them as safety glasses

    So in spite of everything else wrong with them, you remain confident in their impact resistance? 😎

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Orient Express - Cheap Chinese Rims / Wheels / Forks / Frames / Cranks / Etc

Posted by Avatar for Dammit @Dammit