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Old 10-10-06, 10:18 AM   #1
SaddleBags
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Riding On Out of True Wheel?

My front AM Classic 350 is slightly out of true (I'd guess 2-3mm) and does not rub my brake pads. Is there any harm in riding this wheel slightly out of true?

Background info: I've had this wheel trued 3x in the past and the same section of the wheel always goes out of true (around the stem). After I get them trued, my first ride on them I hear several spokes "ping" and they are slightly out of true when I check them after the ride. I weigh 175#.
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Old 10-10-06, 10:49 AM   #2
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Well... you're more likely to break a spoke this way (which is often a pain to repair with a boutique wheel with straight-pull spokes), but it's hard to say how much more. Also, double-pivot road brakes cannot track an out-of-true wheel very well.

2-3 mm out of true isn't terrible, but it ought to be fixed. It sounds like whoever is truing your wheels isn't stress-relieving them!! A wheel that hasn't been sufficiently stress-relieved will "ping" when you first ride it because the spokes will shift position slightly around the hub and crossing points. Stress relief *has to be done* in order for a wheel to hold its true. You might wanna ask your mechanic about this, or learn to do it yourself!
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Old 10-10-06, 12:19 PM   #3
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True isn't the issue you should be concerned about, it's tension. Pluck spokes and see if they make the same tone. If they're off, you have a problem. If not, don't worry about it.

Brand new AC 350s aren't generally tensioned properly.
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Old 10-10-06, 12:41 PM   #4
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Since the same part of the rim is going out of true repeatedly, this is likely a sign the there is something wrong with the rim. Check for cracks near the spoke holes. If the rim has any cracks the spokes near the cracks will gradually loosen causing the wheel to go out-of-true. This is a fatal condition. Or the rim is bent or warped, this could be the cause for the uneven tension. With the wheel laterally true hang the bike off the ground, turn the wheel and see if you can detect a flat spot (out-of-round). It's possible that your mechanic is using uneven tension to make the bent or warped rim true and round. Often a good mechanic can fix a bent rim, especially if the problem is only a slight lateral warp, just be sure to get a repair cost estimate before proceeding.
The pinging noise is an indication of loose spokes, and it's the loose ones that usually break.

Al

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Old 10-11-06, 07:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleBags
My front AM Classic 350 is slightly out of true (I'd guess 2-3mm) and does not rub my brake pads. Is there any harm in riding this wheel slightly out of true?

Background info: I've had this wheel trued 3x in the past and the same section of the wheel always goes out of true (around the stem). After I get them trued, my first ride on them I hear several spokes "ping" and they are slightly out of true when I check them after the ride. I weigh 175#.
These are designed to be race day only wheels. The rims are too light for daily riding. Plus you weigh too much for these; they were designed for featherweights.

Plus, it sounds like the rim is physically bent and your shop is unable to equilibrate the wheel. No equilibration=wheel won't stay true. I think you need a new rim at best.

Seriously, I understand why people want the lightest wheels possible, but these won't take the day to day. Save these sorts of wheels for crits or time trials, and get some Race Lites or Race X-Lites for the daily. They'll stay nice and straight!
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Old 10-11-06, 07:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'll take these recommendations back to the LBS.
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1
Seriously, I understand why people want the lightest wheels possible, but these won't take the day to day. Save these sorts of wheels for crits or time trials, and get some Race Lites or Race X-Lites for the daily. They'll stay nice and straight!
I knew I was pushing the weight limit when I got these and my rear has stayed true (after the initial breakin truing). Plus, my LBS basically gave them to me when I bought my dedicated race frameset. These wheels have seen the road maybe 12x in the past 6 months. I use them for routes where climbing is involved and use my Circuits or SSL for training and crits. I did try them in one local practice crit during the season but found the Circuits and SSL gave me more cornering stability.
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Old 10-11-06, 08:11 AM   #7
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Does the front wheel have the same number of spokes and the same type of spoke as the rear?

I think that if the rear is the same and you haven't had an issue with the rear then your having some sort of problem with the front rim because your weight (though more then it should be for those wheels), would also effect the rear if both are the same. You should take it to the LBS and have them check it to see why.

But as BikeWise1 said, I would use those wheels only for racing and get a set of Velocity Aerohead rims built up with whatever hub you prefer and using 28 (though 32 would be the stronger and is what I would recommend at least for the rear) DT Competition dble butted spokes and alloy nipps laced 3x. This wheel would then be your every day set that can take a lot more abuse then the 350's, and their relatively inexpensive to build but light (not as light as the 350's of course but lighter then Mavic Open Pros and stronger), and since it's made of off the shelf parts repairs are easier and cheaper.
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