With carbon road wheels, you have two options—based on brake type. Carbon road wheels rim brake and carbon wheels disc brake are the two brake types, and both of them differ in a lot of ways despite that single difference in a component.
Carbon road wheels rim brake engages the brake system with a caliper brake that pressures the brake track on the tire. The caliper is usually controlled with a cable, and the friction between the brake pad and the brake track is responsible for reducing speed and bringing the bike to a stop. Rim brakes are preferred because they allow the bike to be more aerodynamic, lightweight, and are more affordable. Installing and setting up a carbon road wheel rim brake is a breeze; it does not take long.
However, they may not be the sharpest brakes you can find. It tends to wear faster and can damage your wheel over time, so you'll always need to prepare replacements for you wheels. Moreso, carbon road wheels rim brake can not work with tires of all sizes. It’s usually limited to tires of a particular size and rim width.
Carbon Disc Brake Wheels
With carbon road wheels disc brakes, you have a different mechanism. Unlike carbon wheel rim brakes, the brake caliper applies force to a rotor connected to the hub of the bike wheel when triggered. The friction between the rotor and the brake pad brings the wheel, reduces the speed, and eventually stops the bike.
Carbon wheels disc brakes are often preferred for their stronger and more responsive braking system. They work excellently even in wet conditions and allow for adjustability. Disc brakes can accommodate tires without limitation to size or rim width. The downside of carbon wheels disc brakes is, they are quite pricey, but if you are going for a good braking system, you shouldn't consider that. Setting up and maintaining disc brakes is complicated, and you may need experienced hands to help you handle them. And they are less aerodynamic when compared to bikes of the exact specification with rim brakes.
People often consider which wheel type to go for due to the significance it could hold for riders. Both brakes are good, but disc brakes appear to have better performance when you overlook the cost. When you consider braking safety, riding in wet conditions, the longevity of the rim, and the option to drive wider tires, rim brakes do not fit.
However, it's important to note that these wheel types are not interchangeable. If your bike is a rim brake type, you'll have to go for rim brakes, likewise if it's a disc brake bike.
The Difference Between Carbon Disc Brake and Rim Brake Wheels
A brake pad and a tire surface are used in all braking systems. The difference between disc brakes and rim brakes is exactly in the way the braking system works. Disk brakes use a brake pad to apply force to a rotor on the wheel hub while rim brakes use a brake pad that exerts pressure to the rim's surface. Both mechanism are aimed at reducing speed and bringing the bike to stop.
Manufacturers are moving towards producing bikes with disc brakes because they are in higher demand. Disc brakes are now fitted to casual road bikes, not just mountain bikes that traditionally use disc brakes. However, we still have manufacturers who are very much anti-disc brakes, and they make rim brakes for all kinds of bikes they produce.