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Old 11-29-05, 08:12 AM   #1
echocola
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Hello All,

I have about a 20 mi commute each day, I don't do jumps or rough riding. I have a bontrager select rim. I recently had the rear wheel trued 2 weeks back. I was riding my bike on my commute and I noticed a strange sound, it was my rim rubbing up against the brake pad. I had to wait till I got back home so I can inspect it further. This is what I saw:



I have no idea as to how this could of happened because all I do is normal riding. I had this rim for about 4 months. Could the mechanic tightened too much while truing the wheel? I'm open to any suggestions or comments. Because I don't really know what to think. Is it repairable? Will I have to get a new one?

Thanks

Last edited by echocola; 11-29-05 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 11-29-05, 08:43 AM   #2
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Perhaps the mechanic didnt use a tensiometer when trueing the wheel. Some people have had trouble keeping these true, particularly if they are heavy.

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Old 11-29-05, 09:30 AM   #3
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Eyelet tearouts happen. It may be a weak spot or an over tensioned spoke or unevenly tensioned spokes. I'd suspect that, given the paired spoke of this kind of wheel, that the spokes have to take a lot of load to keep the wheel together. Aluminum isn't the best material to take this kind of load and, with normal wheel flexure, it would eventually tear out. That's one of the reasons I don't ride boutique wheels.

It's not repairable. You need a new rim. Sorry.
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Old 11-29-05, 10:53 AM   #4
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A similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago with a rim manufactured by Rigida. It's bad news I'm afraid - the rim is dead as cycommute said.

Since then I have had very good reliability from Mavic rims, specifically CXP33 and CXP21. Both are very tough and need very little attention once the wheel has "settled in" after the first few rides.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 11-29-05, 10:55 AM   #5
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Yeah, needless to say its a real bummer.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Holland
A similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago with a rim manufactured by Rigida. It's bad news I'm afraid - the rim is dead as cycommute said.

Since then I have had very good reliability from Mavic rims, specifically CXP33 and CXP21. Both are very tough and need very little attention once the wheel has "settled in" after the first few rides.

Cheers,

Ed
My experience with Mavic rims support this comment. I have approximately 10,000mi on a set of CXP21s that have had one minor truing, never a spoke replaced, and they look like they'll go another 10,000mi. Another set I ride are OpenPros wrapped around Ultegra hubs. Only a few thousand miles on them, but the same story. Not a single problem of any kind.
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Old 11-29-05, 12:03 PM   #7
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Had the same wheel set for about a year, had about 4000 miles on them. the rim started cracking around the spoke holes. Couldn't find a replacement rim to match the paired spacing of the spoke holes. The whole wheel was junk, aka not worth fixing.

But in bontragers defense, they were good while while they lasted, Never went out of true once, and I ride through some rough stuff. Can't say that for my new Openpro's and ultregra hubs. :/
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Old 11-29-05, 01:42 PM   #8
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i agree, cant beat Mavic! nashbar.com sometimes has good deals on mavic wheel sets.
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Old 11-29-05, 05:39 PM   #9
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In the few years I spent as a shop mechanic I've seen more Mavic rims fail like this than I did anything else.

To the OP: If you bought it new, from a shop, and it's only 4 months old, you can probably get it replaced under warranty. Check with the shop you got it from.
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Old 11-29-05, 06:45 PM   #10
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Did you buy this wheel new 4 months ago? The rim and the spokes look to be pretty beat up.

If it's a new wheel, you might have a warranty claim. If not, I'd go back to the shop that trued the wheel and ask them what's up. One possible cause is overtightening of the spoke. This tends to occur when trying to true rear wheels with paired spokes because of the uneven tension between the drive side and the non-drive side, compounded by the gaps between the spoke pairs. It's easy to overtension, and the weak link between an aluminum rim and stainless spokes is typically the rim.

BTW, although I'm a user of Mavic OP and Mavic CXP33 rims, I have had this same problem happen to an OP rim two weeks after a rebuild at the shop. Since that time I have learned to build my own wheels and haven't had a repeat.

Bob
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Old 11-29-05, 07:19 PM   #11
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This type of rim failure is usually due to impact and/or poor quality materials. It is unlikely that the spokes were too tight. A good rim can usually handle more tension than you or I could ever apply by tightening the spokes, the nipples would round off first.
As for Bontrager wheel, the Race Lite wheels that came on my wife's Trek 5200 had uneven spoke tension, some were very loose, when the bike was brand new out of the box.

Al
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Old 11-29-05, 09:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943
This type of rim failure is usually due to impact and/or poor quality materials. It is unlikely that the spokes were too tight. A good rim can usually handle more tension than you or I could ever apply by tightening the spokes, the nipples would round off first.
As for Bontrager wheel, the Race Lite wheels that came on my wife's Trek 5200 had uneven spoke tension, some were very loose, when the bike was brand new out of the box.

Al
I disagree. I've seen several rims fail from this mode although usually after riding for more than a few months. A poorly tensioned wheel will have high tension spots and low tension spots and wheels normally flex anyway. Aluminum will stand only so many cycles before it fails. It's not that the spokes have been tightened too tight but that they are carrying too much localized load. Eventually the rim will crack and the spokes pull out. His rim is probably worse because it doesn't have eyelets to spread out the load.
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Old 11-30-05, 03:30 AM   #13
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Now, if you live on a desert island, as a last resort, you can fix the wheel, just file a washer to fit in the recessed groove,inside of the rim under the rim strip, and silver solder into place. Make sure the washer is steel and the hole is smaller the the spoke nipple. File all sharp ends, insert nipple, replace rim strip, thread up spoke and bring up to tension.... But If it were me...
I would just get better rims. Araya rims are so frckin" strong it's incredible!
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Old 11-30-05, 02:56 PM   #14
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Bobby Lex:
These rims came brand new with my 05 poprad I bought. The wheel might look beatup because I ride them almost everyday.


I'm going to take the bike to the shop tommorow, hopefully they will replace it under warranty, I somehow doubt it's going to happen, but you never know..
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Old 11-30-05, 03:26 PM   #15
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From what I've heard, Mavic MA3 rims are fail a bit too often (at least with larger riders) in this manner. "Single" eyelets in aluminum that's not very thick. "Double" eyelet construction (a.k.a. "rim sockets" that spread out the load between both walls of a double-walled rim, is a better design. The Open Pro has double eyelets, as did the MA2 and MA40. Of course, I had an MA40 start to crack as a spoke pulled the eyelet out. After 7,500 miles on the drive side of a rear wheel that may not have been tensioned properly.
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Old 11-30-05, 05:20 PM   #16
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The nipple looks buggered up and it seems there are fewer threads showing which does suggest over tightening, imo. Take it back and see what he can do.
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Old 12-01-05, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
I disagree. I've seen several rims fail from this mode although usually after riding for more than a few months. A poorly tensioned wheel will have high tension spots and low tension spots and wheels normally flex anyway. Aluminum will stand only so many cycles before it fails. It's not that the spokes have been tightened too tight but that they are carrying too much localized load. Eventually the rim will crack and the spokes pull out. His rim is probably worse because it doesn't have eyelets to spread out the load.
Sure, but it's the uneven tension that causes the failure, not the high tension. Actually I was quoting from Brandt's book.
Would agree about the eyelets, all of my wheels have eyelets.

Al
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Old 12-01-05, 03:44 PM   #18
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Well I took it to the shop and the guy there told me they had to take a picture of it and send it in to Trek. Hopefully they'll be in a good mood and replace it under warranty.

keep you posted...
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Old 12-01-05, 04:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943
This type of rim failure is usually due to impact and/or poor quality materials. It is unlikely that the spokes were too tight. A good rim can usually handle more tension than you or I could ever apply by tightening the spokes, the nipples would round off first.
As for Bontrager wheel, the Race Lite wheels that came on my wife's Trek 5200 had uneven spoke tension, some were very loose, when the bike was brand new out of the box.

Al
Al, Brandt says: "The load limit for most rims is far less than what the spokes could deliver if they were tightened to their breaking point. So in a conventional wheel, it is the rim that limits wheel strength, not the spokes."

Brandt also addresses the OP's problem: "Rims also fail from fatigue. They can develop cracks around the spoke sockets....The cracks gradually weaken the wheel by releasing spoke tension. If the spokes are retensioned to retrue the wheel, they will eventually pull out of the rim."

That's exactly what the OP stated. The wheel had recently been trued, soon afterward the spoke pulled out of the rim.

If I had to guess whether this was a defective rim or a defective wheel-build, I'd bet on the latter.

Bob
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Old 12-01-05, 05:49 PM   #20
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Love my Mavic Open Pros w/36 db spokes around Ultegra hubs.
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Old 12-01-05, 06:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Lex
Al, Brandt says: "The load limit for most rims is far less than what the spokes could deliver if they were tightened to their breaking point. So in a conventional wheel, it is the rim that limits wheel strength, not the spokes."

Brandt also addresses the OP's problem: "Rims also fail from fatigue. They can develop cracks around the spoke sockets....The cracks gradually weaken the wheel by releasing spoke tension. If the spokes are retensioned to retrue the wheel, they will eventually pull out of the rim."

That's exactly what the OP stated. The wheel had recently been trued, soon afterward the spoke pulled out of the rim.

If I had to guess whether this was a defective rim or a defective wheel-build, I'd bet on the latter.

Bob
Brandt, page 32- "Rims usually fail during crashes or from hitting road hazards such as potholes and rocks".
In the next sentence he says- "Rims also fail from fatigue".
The only point I was trying to make is that high spoke tension is usually not the cause of rim failure, and I was assuming the wheel was properly built.

Al
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Old 12-01-05, 11:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943
Brandt, page 32- "Rims usually fail during crashes or from hitting road hazards such as potholes and rocks".
In the next sentence he says- "Rims also fail from fatigue".
The only point I was trying to make is that high spoke tension is usually not the cause of rim failure, and I was assuming the wheel was properly built.

Al
But I don't think you are looking at this wheel properly. The paired spokes of a low spoke count wheel, like this one have higher localized tension than a conventional wheel. That higher localized tension will make the wheel more prone to spoke pull out than a wheel with more evenly spaced spokes.

Also, spoke tear out doesn't usually happen in crashes or from hitting road debris. Blips or cracks in the rim would be more usual but having a spoke pull out like that wouldn't be expected from that mode of failure.
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Old 12-02-05, 12:12 AM   #23
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Rim-damage from impacts are usually dents on the sides or permanent flat-spots. Due to the direction of the impact, it actually reduces spoke-tension in that spot. The loss of tension is then distributed to the other spokes. That's how wheels go out of true as well, the momentary flattening removes all spoke-tension in that spot and the nipples rattle loose.

The failure of the OP's rim is simply fatigue. Most likely due to the high-tension needed for low spoke-count wheels.
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Old 12-02-05, 09:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute
But I don't think you are looking at this wheel properly. The paired spokes of a low spoke count wheel, like this one have higher localized tension than a conventional wheel. That higher localized tension will make the wheel more prone to spoke pull out than a wheel with more evenly spaced spokes.

Also, spoke tear out doesn't usually happen in crashes or from hitting road debris. Blips or cracks in the rim would be more usual but having a spoke pull out like that wouldn't be expected from that mode of failure.
Not according to my tension meter. Paired spoke wheels I've checked certainly do not have higher tension than conventional wheels. In fact my wife's Bontrager Race Lite wheels were built with much lower tension than my conventional wheels.

A wheel that fails with a spoke pulling through a rim started with "blips or cracks" in the rim.

High spoke tension causing rim failures is a common misconception. High spoke tension makes a stronger wheel, as long as the tension is even around the wheel.

Al
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Old 12-02-05, 10:10 AM   #25
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I've heard that some anodized rims are prone to developing stress cracks at the spoke holes, even with eyelets.
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