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  1. #1
    Senior Member GoJacob's Avatar
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    newbie with a rim question

    i have just recieved my first road bike that i purchased off of ebay. it's a miyata 512 (i'm satisfied, for 130 bucks shipped). it is still disassembled from the shipping and i am having a few knowledgable friends from work put it together/show me how to do it. while cleaning off the rear rim (wolber gentleman gta), i noticed that there are a few hairline cracks around (maybe 4 or 5) the eyelets on the rim where the spokes meet the rim. they run parallel to the rim (hard to explain, but they run with the rim, not out or away from the eyelets) and are very small [edit: it still doesn't sound clear, but they stem from the eyelets and run towards the other eyelets, not toward the tire or outside]. one of the spokes seems to be slightly pulling the rim up on one of the cracks.
    i have been able to find some to very little information about this specific issue on the internet. i called a couple lbs's and one said to not worry about it at all and one said that it may become an issue in the future, but it isn't a reason not to ride it. i was wondering what all of you knowledgable people here thought about it. i really don't want to replace the rim... but i am planning on commuting with it a lot in the near future. if anyone can give me some insight on what to do, or any advice, that would be great. [they are 700x23 if that is important]
    thanks!

  2. #2
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Well, cracks around the eyelets are definitely something to keep an eye on. As long as they hold, no problem... but once one breaks the rim is ruined and you'll need to rebuild the wheel with a new rim. If you need to true the wheel, be VERY gentle with it.

    As the LBS said, it's not a huge deal now, but keep an eye on it. The wheel isn't going to spontaneously disintegrate. If an eyelet fails, it will be just like a broken spoke: it will make your wheel wobble badly, but you'll probably be able to ride it a mile or five until you can get it fixed!

    Of course, how long they last in the present condition will depend on how much you weigh, how much you ride, and on what kind of terrain, among other things! It could be weeks or it could be years New rims aren't too expensive. I managed to get two brand-new Mavic MA2 rims for about $20 in traded parts a couple of weeks ago. The Sun CR18 is a fairly cheap but well-regarded strong 700C rim for touring/commuter road bikes, for whenever you need to replace yours.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GoJacob's Avatar
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    i'm about 6'3" and weigh 175 lbs. i will be riding on my local streets Toledo, OH-- which, for the most part, are in decent/fair to poor condition for cycling. i appreciate your recommendations for rims... it will no doubt get replaced sometime in the bike's future, i'm just trying to limit the money flow to this bike until i can actually RIDE it -- considering it is my first "real" bike. heh. i'll be around to ask a lot more questions so any info is highly appreciated. Thanks!

  4. #4
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoJacob
    i'm about 6'3" and weigh 175 lbs. i will be riding on my local streets Toledo, OH-- which, for the most part, are in decent/fair to poor condition for cycling. i appreciate your recommendations for rims... it will no doubt get replaced sometime in the bike's future, i'm just trying to limit the money flow to this bike until i can actually RIDE it -- considering it is my first "real" bike. heh. i'll be around to ask a lot more questions so any info is highly appreciated. Thanks!
    I'm 6'1" and 165 lbs and have never cracked a rim eyelet on a road bike, despite some pretty rough riding of my Mavic MA3 32-hole rims on my touring bike. Given the weakened condition of your rim, it's just not possible to put an expiration date on it, I'm afraid.

    Just keep an eye on it, and know that you're going to have to sink $50+ in it at some point, if you get an LBS to do the work... or less if you're willing to try your hand at wheelbuilding

    And welcome to Bike Forums. I'm originally from Michigan myself. I miss the midwest... except maybe the potholes.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    If it were my bike and I wanted a =reliable= ride for commuting, the rim would be gone. I had an MA3 crack around the eyelet at about 2300 miles and it put the rim way out of true and it wasn't going back into true without a fight.

    My opinion, don't fool with it, replace it. YMMV.

  6. #6
    Really like your peaches
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    I would replace it the moment it ran untrue, and it could already be running untrue. Like others have said, it won't explode on you, but you also won't be able to true it. I'd start looking for a replacement now. It's not a big job to replace a rim. Don't get a rim of the wrong size, or with the wrong number of spoke holes, or with the wrong size valve hole. If you get a very similar looking rim (instead of say a deep aero, or a double/single wall rim when yours is a single/double wall), you'll be able to reuse the spokes and save some bucks. Yes, I reuse spokes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    If it were my bike and I wanted a =reliable= ride for commuting, the rim would be gone. I had an MA3 crack around the eyelet at about 2300 miles and it put the rim way out of true and it wasn't going back into true without a fight.

    My opinion, don't fool with it, replace it. YMMV.
    That's what I think too. The cracks are a sure sign that the rim is in the process of failing. The only questions are how long it's going to take and where you're going to be when it happens.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    It probably makes better economic sense to buy a new or slightly used wheel than to have your rim replaced. You can easily get a slightly used high end wheelset for $100 + $15 shipping on eBay. I paid that much for a beautiful Mavic wheelset that included $60 worth of new Continental tires and tubes.

  9. #9
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Three things:
    1) I'm assuming the cracks at eyelets on the rear rim are at drive-side spokes, which are much higher tension than non-drive-side spokes in a typical dished rear wheel.
    2) I'd agree with Dirtdrop that it's probably cheaper to just get a new rear wheel - the front is likely okay and is under much less stress than the rear.
    3) I'm originally from Michigan too. I miss flatter roads where my mind can wander on long rides.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GoJacob's Avatar
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    thanks for all the help and suggestions. for now, i'm having a difficult enough time putting it together [my friend suggested i try my best to put it together, then bring it to her the next day so she can overlook/correct it. the wheels don't seem to be matching up with the brakes, i can't get the chain to run right on the rear derailleur, and i don't know what half of the little hex screws and bolts do on anything-- and i don't want to mess anything up so i'm not adjusting anything. it's rather frustrating trying to assemble a bike with no experience/knowledge of bikes besides common sense. i can't wait to take the thing to her and have her show me how all the stuff goes together.
    i'm going to just ride the bike recreationally with the "cracked" rim. once i start relying on it for commutes, i'll look into a new wheel (one of my lbs's said they can get a new wheel on for 50 bucks at the cheapest -- so i have some options). i appreciate the suggestions and advice immensely, as i have NO real experience with bikes whatsoever, and hope to expand my knowledge on the mechanical side bicycles. i'll definitely be back for more and keep the advice pouring! thanks!

  11. #11
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoJacob
    thanks for all the help and suggestions. for now, i'm having a difficult enough time putting it together [my friend suggested i try my best to put it together, then bring it to her the next day so she can overlook/correct it. the wheels don't seem to be matching up with the brakes, i can't get the chain to run right on the rear derailleur, and i don't know what half of the little hex screws and bolts do on anything-- and i don't want to mess anything up so i'm not adjusting anything. it's rather frustrating trying to assemble a bike with no experience/knowledge of bikes besides common sense. i can't wait to take the thing to her and have her show me how all the stuff goes together.
    i'm going to just ride the bike recreationally with the "cracked" rim. once i start relying on it for commutes, i'll look into a new wheel (one of my lbs's said they can get a new wheel on for 50 bucks at the cheapest -- so i have some options). i appreciate the suggestions and advice immensely, as i have NO real experience with bikes whatsoever, and hope to expand my knowledge on the mechanical side bicycles. i'll definitely be back for more and keep the advice pouring! thanks!
    If you need new wheels at some point, don't forget to check Nashbar.com and HarrisCyclery.net, as they both have very good prices for good quality wheels (and Sheldon Brown, the patron saint of amateur bike mechanics, works for Harris )

    Also, may I recommend Bicycling Magazine's Complete Guide to Bike Maintenance and Repair? That book is only $13 and teaches you nearly every darn thing there is to know about a modern bike. Interesting, well-illustrated, and aimed at newbies.
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  12. #12
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    I'll add my recommendation that the rim and/or wheel be replaced immediately. The cracks indicate complete failure, more likely sooner than later. If you insist on riding on the old wheel, take a cell phone with you.

    As noted, Nashbar and Harris have low cost decent quality replacement wheels.

    You may have to "cold set" (read bend) the rear stays to get a current 8/9-speed wheel (130 mm width) to fit your probably 6/7-speed dropouts. (126 mm)

    I also sounds like the bike has issues other than just the wheels so I hope your friend can get it working properly.

    I'll also repeat my long-standing belief that E-bay purchases should be limited to experienced mechanics, not newbies. It's not a bargain if you don't know what you are getting and don't know how to make it work right once you get it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GoJacob's Avatar
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    well, after getting the bike up on a stand to put it together, everything fell into place almost flawlessly. i was very impressed with the solidity of this bike. i only ran into a few problems: one of the screws going through the rear dropouts had been bent [maybe while shipping?]at the very end so it wouldn't move... but the rear wheel went on with no problem. the rear wheel is a little whobbly, but not too bad at all... (it IS more than rideable, and (possibly due to being the newbie that i am) i couldn't feel any problems or whobbling/movement while riding.

    i know i'm going to have to replace the rear wheel, but it is functioning very well for now. in the next week i'll be checking around to get a new one. the shifters are shimano light action --not sure how you guys would rate them-- but they're super smooth. everything feels like butter on this bike.

    i sincerely appreciate all the input and the recommendations [especially moxfyre, your book and wheel recommendations are extremely helpful!]. thanks everyone!

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