Just a heads up that Sarma Bikes is not worth your $$$. They don’t honor their warranties. I cracked 2 carbon rims (Naran 29+) on a recent trip to Copper Harbor, MI. They assumed it was crash damage and decided not to honor the warranty. They took over 1 month to decide and the communication was very poor. These rims failed under normal use. I ride a hardtail aggressively over rocky trails and they didn’t last 10 months. Stick to a legit, established company if you’re in the market. Avoid Sarma Bikes & their crappy plastic wheels.
It’s easy to be brutal on equipment at Copper Harbor, I just rode there and put a chip in one of my off-brand carbon fat bike rims, but you broke TWO rims? Simultaneously, or one after replacing the other? That’s quite some badass riding there. My rims (which by the way are almost the same design as Sarma, and I’m betting they’re even made in the same factory) have held up to 15 foot drops and banging on the Downtown trail at Copper Harbor.
I’m not sticking up for Sarma in terms of their tardy communication, but in terms of honoring the warranty every company gets abusive warranty requests where products are intentionally destroyed and submitted for warranty or where customers try lying to brands. The fine print in Sarma’s statement leaves an out for them in situations like this. And abuse of the warranty happens more often than you think. The smaller the company, the harder it is to draw the line between genuine damage and abuse. At some point we just have to appreciate their very competitive pricing and accept the risks of going with a start-up.
Ok, so since we’re talking about warranties, and specifically about carbon rim warranties…
I’ve done some research on these and like sissypants said, they really don’t mean much. For example, here’s an excerpt from a “lifetime limited warranty” offered on a set of carbon wheels from a well known company:
Further, this warranty does not apply to damage caused by, for example, normal wear and tear, abuse or misuse, alterations or modifications
I get that warranties often don’t cover “abuse or misuse” but this one makes it clear even normal wear and tear aren’t covered. I’m not picking on this company or Sarma, just pointing out that buyers shouldn’t be mistaken in thinking a warranty, particularly for carbon wheels, is going to do much in the event of damage.
It turns out this particular company’s warranty really just protects the buyer against manufacturing defects, which IMO should be automatic. I know if I open up a new set of wheels and notice a manufacturing defect, I absolutely expect to be able to get a replacement, whether there is a warranty or not.
And this is why I run aluminum rims. Carbon wheels are nice and all, I’ve ridden plenty of them to know that, but in my experience ALL rims eventually need to be replaced. When it’s time to do that, I’d much rather pay $80-$100 for a quality aluminum rim than $300-$1,000 for a carbon rim.
I would like to hear more from @krampus about how the rims broke though.
They both broke on the Red Trail @ Copper on separate rock strikes. I probably burped the tires and then hit the next rock with lower PSI. There is a chance they were starting to break before Copper, but Copper definitely finished them off. My home trail is Hawk Ridge in Duluth, MN and it’s very rocky. I don’t jump or do crazy downhill stuff. I’m a singlespeeder and I ride it hard on techy XC trails. They broke under normal use in less than 1 year.
Companies that don’t honor warranties should be avoided. Simple. Sarma is known for poor service – check their Facebook page and you’ll find similar stories.
No more plastic wheels on this bike. WTB Scrapers are bomber.
Krampus said: “They both broke on…separate rock strikes. I probably burped the tires and then hit the next rock with lower PSI….My home trail is…very rocky. I don’t jump or do crazy downhill stuff.”
Herein lies a misperception about what kills carbon rims. It is nearly always rock strikes. A big jump or drop usually isn’t the culprit. Not riding “crazy downhill stuff” does not protect you from the most common way to destroy carbon rims. Hence the reason I gave up after only one try with carbon rims. I knew I was gambling with the way I ride and the gamble didn’t pay off. I do still have carbon on the front though as you can point the front wheel where you want it to go much more reliably than the rear wheel.