The main type of carbon fiber used for the manufacture of bicycle parts are normal tow (under 12000 fibers) carbon fiber, like T700, or commonly known as 3k, 12k weave, and UD(uni-direction) carbon fiber.
carbon rim 3k 12k ud
carbon fiber weave 3k
carbon fiber weave 12k
carbon fiber weave UD
Bicycle components, specifically carbon frames & rims are made using various grades of carbon fiber characterized mainly by their tensile strength and tensile modulus. Tensile strength is the amount of force needed to cause the fibers to break, while the tensile modulus is a measure of the carbon fiber's stiffness.
The cost of carbon fiber goes up with the increase in tensile strength, or increase in tensile modulus. And for carbon fiber weave also determines the cost of material with larger weave prepreg (eg.12k) costing less, due to the lower cost of manufacturing.
Carbon fiber layer(prepreg) has maximum strength only along the lengths of the fibers. That is why almost all the inside prepreg are using uni-directional carbon fiber while making carbon rims & frames. But the inside layup charts are still not identical. For example, the orientation are different( some are placed at 0 degree, some are 45 degree, 90 degree). This is very important to make carbon rims & frames with good strength & performance. That is also why using uni-directional fiber instead of woven carbon fiber (eg. 3k, 12k) creates stronger frames & rims.
Thus, the main use of woven carbon fiber is for appearance. But there is one mechanical benefit for 3k woven carbon fiber. Putting the 3k woven carbon fiber around hole area, it can prevent carbon fiber from laminating while machining holes.
For the weight difference, woven fiber has some area pass across each other. So, woven fiber is heavier than UD fiber. But, for rims, the size of carbon fiber is not large and only one layer different, the weight difference of woven fiber (3k &12k) and UD fiber is not big. Also, all rims have a weight range, for rims, it is +/-15g. So, sometimes, 3k rims & frames are lighter than UD.
For big size product (like frame), 3k frame will be heavier than UD. And for 12k, the weight different is not much difference.
carbon rim weave 3k matte
carbon rim weave 12k matte
carbon rim weave UD matte
Hi, I read with interest your explanation on the 3k and UD weave for rims finishing. I am in favor of the UD weave as I believe it is a stronger weave, however you did mention that lamination may occur during drilling (due to heat emission?) and this would definitely compromise the strength, durabillity and viability of the carbon rim. CAN you advice on this? Should I then opt for the 3k? I also understand there is a new special technological rim that does not require drilling except for the valve and can also dispense with rim tapes making the rims much stronger and bombproof. Do you carry those rims?
ello Donnie, Thanks for your contact. Our rims are constructed with a 3k weave on the nipple bed regardless of what the outer (aesthetic) ply is, so it is okay to use UD on the outer ply of the rim. It does not significantly impact the weight or strength of the rim. Our rims are at least 3mm thick where the nipple passes through. We use high end drill bits with a high speed automated drill at a regulated pressure so the holes are very accurate and as clean as possible. Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hi there, I am looking for a pair of Wheels for my Cervelo S3 roadbike. I would prefer 700c, 3K Carbon rims with a 35-50 mm heigh rim. i weigh 125 Kg, therefor i think it would be a good idea to choose a solid build hub, what do you recomend ? DT Swiss? how many spokes? I run the 11 speed Shimano ultegra, s
Hello Morten, Thanks for your inquiry. According to your details, we’d like to recommend the U45mm wheelset as following specs. -Rims: RRU45C02, 475 /-15g, 20H/24H. 3k matte? -Hubs: Black, DT 350 or DT 240S straight pull non disc hubs for Shimano 11s -Spokes: Black, Pillar x-tra 1420 aero -Nipples: Black brass Wheelset price (with DT 350 hubs): $849/pair Wheelset price (with DT 240S hubs): $654/pair Thanks, Lightbicycle
Hello there, I am willing to buy this cycling frame and this seller just told me that UD carbon is better than 3k. Another friend of mine told that theses frames from china are all made of the same carbon wich is different from the OEM frames because OEM don
Hi, I'm curious about the braking surface. I know some compaines recommend using carbon specific pads. For your rims, would you recommend any specific pad for cyclocross? If so do you sell them? I've always used Koolstop Salmon pads and have been happy, but would love your input
Hello Matt, Thanks for your inquiry. For brake pads, you have to use the ones for carbon rims only. Then it will work. We have attached new brake pads. It is USD10 (4pcs), which is with nice quality and feedback. For rims, we will recommend our new 25mm wide U-shaped 35mm/ 45mm/ 55m clincher rims. It is much wider and stronger. Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hi! How much if dt swiss 240s straightpull hubs with 36t star ratchet upgrade. Sapim cx ray black spokes Internal nipples 60mm clinchers front and rear 12k weave Mat finish Thanks! Pls reply in my email also.
Hi Ralph, Thanks for your inquiry. Currently, only 23mm wide V-shape 60mm and 25mm wide U shape 55mm clincher rim are available. U-shape 55mm wheels are what we recommend. It is much wider and stronger. The U55mm clincher wheelset with following specs is USD1010/pair. -Rims: RRU55C02, 515 /-15g, 12k matte, internal nipple holes. 20H/24H? -Hubs: Black, DT 240S straight pull non disc hubs QR for Shimano 11s (36T) -Spokes: Black, Sapim cx-ray -Nipples: Alloy or brass? Red or black? Thanks, Light-bicycle
I weigh 136 kg and was wondering if these rims would hold up on my new DH bike with me on them? Can they be made stronger for someone my size? I mainly ride the steep, technical rock gardens and hit some drops. I've dented rims in the past. Are these going to crack on the bead? Thanks, Rob
ello Rob, Thanks for your inquiry. According to your description, we will recommend the 38mm wide 650B DH rims. DH version is much stronger with extra carbon fiber. Please find attached rim cross-section drawing. We have sold many RM650BC13 rims, and all of them work well. So, you can trust our quality. RM650BC13 (38mm wide 650B DH rim) hookless: 490 /-15g, USD188/pcs If you like stronger one, we can add some carbon fiber to enhance the rims' strength, with a heavier weight about 520g. Is that ok for you? It is USD5 added. For rim weave, do you prefer 3k, 12k or UD? Matte or glossy? 32H? Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hello, I'm would like to know if there is any difference in terms of durability or bending between the 700c rim with 3k 12k or UD? Best regards, Jo
Hello Jo, Thanks for your inquiry. For 3k/12k/UD, it is the outer carbon fiber layer to make the carbon fiber with different outlook. It is only the outer layer different and all the inside carbon fiber are the same. So, the strength & weight are almost the same. 3k/UD & matte are more popular. May I know which rim you'd prefe? Then I can mail you the attached cross-section drawing of rim and more detail information. Thanks, Light-bicycle
hi, i am making a trike for human powered vehicle challenge(HPVC) India 2015. i would like to know which grade will be best for that and what is the price of that grade .
Hello Sir, Thanks for your inquiry. May I know the size of the rim? Is it 700C road rim? Thanks, Light-bicycle
I would like to know the price of a MTB AM 27.5 wheel set Price U.S.$ for -- Non-clincher, 35mm x 27.5 (32 or 36h) with Chris King Hubs ISO 15 and ISO XD (Front15mm, Rear ISO XD 142x12 SRAM 11spd) finish UD matte Price US$ for 35mm x 27.5 (32 or 36h) with HOPE Pro 2 EVO 15mm front & Pro 2 EVO XD (142x12 Sram 11spd) UD matte finish Also, do you have an opinion about doing 32h vs. 36 hole for strength, durability, and longevity (lifespan) for a Giant Trance Advanced SX trail bike that is ridden very aggressively. Shipped to California, USA Thank you.
Hello Michael, Thanks for your inquiry. Please find the attached cross-section drawing of the 35mm wide 27.5er hookless AM rim. It's OK to manufacture the rims with UD matte. http://www.flickr.com/photos/light-bicycle/sets/72157631432948364/detail/ Currently, there is no Chris King Hub here. But we have Hope pro 2 evo 15mm thru axle and 142*12mm thru axle for SRAM xx1. The hole is just with 32H, no 36H. The 32H wheels are strong and OK for most of customers. May I know your weight? For the spokes, it’s black bladed Pillar Aero X-TRA 1420 (4.3g/pcs for 260mm) and black/red/blue/green/gold(alloy) and silver(brass) nipples. Which color do you prefer? Thanks, Light-bicycle
I'm a little confused with this 3k and 12k Carbon. Is 12 or 3K best for a Rd bike Racer/Sportive bike or is this just a cosmetic think thanks
Hello Craig, Thanks for your inquiry. For 3k/12k/UD, it is the outer carbon fiber layer to make the carbon fiber with different outlook. It is only the outer layer different and all the inside carbon fiber are the same. So, the strength & weight is almost the same. 3k/UD & matte are more popular. Which rim do you prefer? I would mail you the cross-section drawing and more detail information. Cheers, Light-bicycle
I would like to know the price for the new kind of 29er mtb wheelset (35mm outer width & 25mm depth) with new process: with, RED Rotaz or HOPE PRO 2 EVO, spoke: Pillar Aero X-TRA 1420 red nipples, UD matte 32H. With quick release
Hello Kurt, Thanks for your inquiry. Please find the attached cross-section drawing of the 29er hookless rim(35mm outer width). So, your order is as below, right? Rims: UD matte and 32H Hubs: red Rotaz FD140/ RD240 QR(with quick release) or HOPE PRO 2 EVO standard QR(without quick release, should be purchased separately) Spokes: black bladed Pillar Aero X-TRA 1420 Nipples: red pillar alloy The price is USD598 with Rotaz and USD818 with Hope hubs for a pair wheels. The shipping cost is USD78 for a pair wheels to USA by EMS. Thanks, Light-bicycle
Is there any difference in rim's protection between matte and glossy cover?
Hello Matt, hanks for your inquiry. For the finish(matte and glossy), they are with different coating. Please find the attached pictures. For 3k/12k/UD, it is the outer carbon fiber layer to make the carbon fiber with different outlook. It is only the outer layer different and all the inside carbon fiber are the same. So, the strength & weight is almost the same. UD & matte are more popular. http://www.flickr.com/photos/light-bicycle/sets/72157631432948364/detail/ May I know which rim you prefer? I can mail you the cross-section drawing and more information of it. Thanks, Light-bicycle
I live in Mumbai. The roads are very bad here. I want to make a light weight full carbon fibre bike. I like 3K weave pattern. Which do you suggest 3k, UD, or 12K? Is there any price difference between the different types of the carbon fibre? I want a 52cm frame, 1-1/8"fork, 27.2mm 350mm seat post, 29er (or 700c) rims to accommodate about 28mm wide tires.Bo bottle cages, or handlebars. How much would this all cost shipped to USA New York address Pincode 10018.
Hello Bhupesh, Thanks for your inquiry. Sorry for the late reply, i just saw your message here. Which carbon bike do you like? road or cyclocross? size52? For the weave, 3k and UD is the most popular. So, your choice 3k is good. For rims, do you like 24mm deep/38mm deep/50mm deep? clincher or tubular? We have them with 23mm wide for road rims. It should be ok for 28mm tire. Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hello Light-Bicycle, here's a link to a bike i want to purchase. do you think it's worth it after reading the description? http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-carbon-cycle-26-mountain-bike-carbon-fiber-/281207326555?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&nma=true&si=UbvrB6qM5bVTMwAW%2BJLxeEL6NKw%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
Hello Carl, The link can not open. Thanks, Light-bicycle
How much extra weight in grams apprx. does clear coat add?
Hello Kenny, The weight will be around 7g~8g added for clear coat painting. Thanks, Light-bicycle
hi I'm Looking into making my own Triathlon Bike Frame can you please tell me what Carbon to use please Do I need to use 12k and 3k or can I only use 3k for the complete bike
Hello Tiaan, Thanks for your inquiry. it is ok to manufacture frames for you, But normally, it is UD inside the whole frame, 3k on the top of frame. Why you like 3k for the whole frame? Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hi, I am interested in the 26 mtb carbon rims..but I now sure whether to use the 3k ,12k or UD wave ?will be using the rims for trail riding and light jumps and downhill
Hello Kenny, Thanks for your inquiry. Currently, if you like rims for downhill, you can choose our new 26er rims. Please find attached rim cross-section drawing. It is 33mm wide and 30mm deep. The rim weight for DH will be around 460g /-15. If you like DH riding, you can choose UD, then 3k. These two are the best. Thanks, Light-bicycle
What can you tell me about the braking track on your clinchers? Do they have any special finish or treatment to improve wet braking and to cope with heat build-up? Thanks.
Hello Richard, For brake track, we have basalt braking surface, and high resin to prevent from high temperature after long-time braking. Thanks, Light-bicycle
Matt : Hi, I'm living in Perth, Western Australia and would like to purchase the parts to build my own bike. I like the look of mountain bikes but would like 29" wheels. Can you; 1 - 'create' the most complete bike using the parts you manufacture(I would prefer matt finish with decals), 2 - email me the parts (so I can look at them on your site), 3 - provide cost for parts & shipping. Look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Thomas
Hello Thomas, Thanks for your inquriy. And for 29er wheels, we have two types of 29er rims. One is narrow, and the other is wider and much stronger. The weight is sometimes the same. Which do you prefer? You can let us know your shipping address, then we can get the shipping cost accordingly for you. For decals, do you like our company logo or you like rims with your own logo? http://www.flickr.com/photos/light-bicycle/sets/72157631717562968/detail/ Thanks, Light-bicycle
Hi, I have noticed that Zipp and Reynolds and many other expensive companies use UD carbon, not 3K for their wheels. Does that make the wheel lighter? If I order a Special Assembly wheelset from you in UD, will it be stronger?
Hello Andy, Thanks for your inquiry. For UD layers, it is uni-direction. And the strength will be the best along the direction. So, it should be the strongest. But for rims, it is only the top layer different, all the inside are all UD layers. So, the strength is not much different. The weight & strength is almost the same. It is ok to order UD wheelset. Which size do you like? Thanks, Light-bicycle
Good day, is 88mm carbon wheel stronger than 60mm wheel, and is 'uni-directional' weave better than '3K' weave, for 88mm wheel ? Thank you
Hello Richard, Thanks for your inquiry. Yes, 88mm rims are stronger than 60mm, it is deeper. And for 88mm rims, the strength & weight for 3k & UD is almost the same, because the all the inside layers are the same, only the outer layer is different. http://www.flickr.com/photos/light-bicycle/sets/72157631588239854/detail/ Thanks, Light-bicycle
so if given the choice between 3k and UD on a set of 50mm carbon rims which is better? 3k or UD? stronger stiffer lighter?
Hello John,Thanks for your inquiry.For 50mm rims, we suggest you to order 3k matte. The strength is almost the same. But most customers like the top layer is 3k carbon layer.And it also looks nicer. Attached picture is for 3k 50mm rims.Thanks,Light-bicycle
Hi, I'm living in Perth, Western Australia and would like to purchase the parts to build my own bike. I like the look of mountain bikes but would like 29" wheels. Can you; 1 - 'create' the most complete bike using the parts you manufacture(I would prefer matt finish with decals), 2 - email me the parts (so I can look at them on your site), 3 - provide cost for parts & shipping. Look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Matt
Hello Matt, Thanks for your inquiry. You like to build a complete mtb 29er bike. correct? We have wheels, frame, fork, bars(do you like flat bar, or rise bar?), bottle cages, and seat posts. If it is all what you need, then we can make a list of pictures & price for you. Thanks, Light-bicycle