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Old 03-28-07, 05:41 AM   #1
Carusoswi
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Mavic wheel failure

Ok, so, it was almost 80 degrees F when I left the office yesterday afternoon. I was looking forward to a ride just for fun on an evening when I didn't have to protect my ears, hands, or other body parts from the cold - but my bike was such a mess what with the accumulated sludge picked up from riding through recent snow and road salt, that I decided I should at least rinse the thing off before I go riding.

To my horror, during the rinse process, I discovered one area on the rear wheel where the aluminum around a spoke hole had cracked on the inner portion of the rim in both directions leading away from the spoke hole (cracks run with the circumference of the wheel). Additionally, on outer side of the rim is a half moon shaped breech that looks as though that entire area is about to literally separate from the rest of the wheel.

I canceled my plan for a fun ride and rode instead directly to my LBS.

He explained that such failures are not uncommon, that the wheel would be ok to ride until we figure out replacement options.

I am very disappointed in this wheel. It is from Mavick, OEM equipment on my Cannondale Cyclocross Disc purchased new in June of '05. I have ridden many a mile, but have not had any collisions that involved this wheel - wheel was still true, regularly tensioned. Why should I be experiencing this failure?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I was ready to spring for a really expensive set of wheels (still am), but my disc brake setup imposes restrictions that make swapping out wheels more than a little complicated - this per my LBS. Bummer, they were really light, neat looking wheels.

Riding on a bum wheel for the moment.

Caruso
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Old 03-28-07, 07:04 AM   #2
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Not at all uncommon, I'm afraid...

Wheel makers have to balance lightness and durability. A few grams too heavy, and no one will buy it, but a few grams too light and the rims will fail. This is why most wheels have a 1 to 2 year warranty at best.

Additionally, wheels like this generally run at higher spoke tensions, and while that makes for a nice, straight, strong wheel during its life, when they break, they break.

Now, as a custom builder, I understand the allure of such wheels. They're sexy. People want the look. But I spec wheels perhaps a little conservatively-based on the anticipated use taking rider style and weight into consideration. Something a company like Mavic simply cannot do. That means they last longer.

It's a drag, but that wheel is probably tired and used up. Depending on the day of the week and who answers the phone at Mavic, they may or may not warranty it. I quit buying Mavic wheels because of their spotty customer service. On the other hand, Bontrager continues to impress me with his conservative designs and unbeatable warranty service.

Good luck with this!
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Old 03-28-07, 07:17 AM   #3
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+1 ^^^
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Old 03-29-07, 05:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I will contact the shop where I purchased the bike. Maybe they can work with me to get a warranty replacement.

Caruso
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Old 03-29-07, 06:58 AM   #5
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Um Bikewise you do realise that this is a 32 spoke 3x wheel we are talking about here right?

The rim in question is a Mavic Open Pro.

Carusoswi - well you do have plenty options...but I wouldn't ride the wheel as it is. First off it sound like you don't want another Open Pro...that would be one of your options...simply have a LBS lace a new Open Pro to your existing hub. Moving on from there there are plenty of after market disc hubs on the market as they are standard on MTBs now. Confirm with your shop but the rear spacing on that bike is probably 135mm so any MTB disc hub will be fine in the back and front hubs all have 100mm spacing so no issue there either. You can get some great wheels built by any number of custom builders or even locally. If you don't want a Mavic rim due to your expierence you can get something like a DT Swiss RR1.1 if you want a similar rim...or if you run wider tires (what tires are you running? What PSI?) you could go with a rim like the Salsa DelgadoX or Delgado 29er disc. Or a Velocity VXC disc 700c
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Old 03-29-07, 04:25 PM   #6
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I run Schwalbe Stelvio 23c tires (the skinnier the better for me) pumped to 145 lbs. LBS impression of my wheel setup (and my bike, in general) is that it is heavy and slow, but very "tricked" out. Without thinking he pulled down what to me were some very "exotic" wheels, fewer spokes, composite hubs, super light and, he tells me, more aerodynamic.

I am what I am as a biker, so lighter, more aero may be lost on me, but those were some goooood lookin' wheels. I told him to go ahead with 'em, and that is when he realized that there was no way for them to work with the hub setup required for my disc brakes.

He's a roadie (and deep down, so am I), so, although he has been instrumental in helping me make some really unique mods to that bike, he thinks it is a bit of a waste for me to invest in better wheels on that bike rather than to retire it to sub status and go with a dedicated road bike.

I was ready to splurge on a new set of wheels, not so ready to jump onto a new bike at this point . . . and I like the disc brakes even though I know they may be overkill and add some weight to the bike. OTOH, I ride in the range of 2500 miles or more per year, almost all of it on the road. Each mile I am loaded down with a rear trunk carrier and a trunk bag, my Garmin GPS unit, a headlight, tailight, and me (who ain't as light these days as I used to be) . . . so, it isn't as though I'll be setting any speed records anytime soon, new wheels or no. I really ride because I just like going places - I don't race and rarely ride in a group.

I am guessing I would have really gotten a kick out of those fancy wheels even if they would be more "appreciated" by some faster road bike. This issue was a non-issue until I discovered the cracks in my wheel - I would probably never have gotten an itch for "better" wheels. Now that I need to do something about that bad wheel, I sort of have an itch.

LBS is doing a little research to see what would be available in some different wheel that would still allow me to keep the disc brakes.

I'd love to swap out to wider wheels sometime just to test her out on them - can't imagine that I would like that set up, but, then, again, you never really know until you try it.

Thanks for the replies. Any additional thoughts welcome.

Caruso
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Old 03-29-07, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Um Bikewise you do realise that this is a 32 spoke 3x wheel we are talking about here right?

The rim in question is a Mavic Open Pro.
The OP didn't mention a specific rim, but.... an Open Pro in a disc wheel? THAT is why it failed!

There is no way I would EVER spec that rim in a disc wheel. Disc brakes require more material in the spine of the rim, instead of in the braking surface. The Open Pro, in my opinion is a very poor choice here.

Before I say more, though, I'll call Mavic tomorrow. I want to hear someone in the tech dept say "disc brake compatible" before I'm willing to believe it's the proper rim for the job...
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Old 03-29-07, 10:18 PM   #8
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If I remember, that bike was specced with discs and the mavic open pros.

All I can say is good luck dealing with mavic, being that the warranty on their wheels are one year. I won't even consider buying from them anymore, I'm a velocity/sun rims person now.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:44 AM   #9
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Carusoswi - Mavic makes a wheel that is 700c and disc compatible...but honestly those "fast looking" wheels do nothing but suck money out of your pocket. They are not really aero and just cost a lot of money.

If I were you I would get the original hub laced up to a new rim...just go with the same thing as stock Open Pro and it should cost you less than $100 for the parts and labor.

If you want to get new wheels go with hand built (even though you could get something aftermarket and cool looking) as it will be stronger, probably cheaper and just as light.

I am a big fan of Mike Garcia at www.oddsandendos.com but there are other high quality wheel builders. You LBS could also build the wheels but I have found LBS wheel builds to be hit or miss in terms of quality. Get a good hub and a good rim...if you want a suggestion call (don't email) Mike tell him what you have and ask him what he suggests. Ask about possibly doing a WTB hubset laced to DT Swiss RR1.1 rims...or if you want something more aero his Niobium 30 rim. You will pay something like $500 (maybe a little more maybe a little less) shipped and you will have a great set of wheels.

Mr. Smashy - yes the stock wheels were OEM hubs laced to OP rims in 2005...I do see that they ahve changed to different rims on the same model (the 2007 uses Mach1 CFX rims, the 2005 and 2006 used Open Pros) of bike so maybe they had quite a few issues with the OPs...or maybe they did it for cost reasons (maybe more likely?).
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Old 03-30-07, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeWise1
Now, as a custom builder
Funny, not a simple response has stated why the rim failed......

I was in my LBS yesterday getting raped on spoke nipples. As I was standing there a guy was being told his wheel couldnt be trued because of a similar failure as the OP. After the LBS guy finished I said. "mind if I take a look"? The LBS guys were like 'who the F is guy that just made us look like fools'. I expalined, in detail, to the owner that he had hit something and the impact was 180 dgrees across from the damage and that with radial spoking your more likely to have that type of damage because with cross spoke wheels the spokes come of the hub at and angle and you have to throw in the cosign...bla bla bla.

The owner of the wheel said, "your right, I hit railroad tracks."

The owner of the wheels states that there is damage on the opposite of the wheel. This wheel was damaged from an impact. Not from disc brakes.

I need to add the words 'custom' or 'master' or 'wheels' to my sig. Until then....

Jim, ex-mechanic, master builder of over 2,000 custom wheels
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Old 03-30-07, 11:15 PM   #11
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Oh great. I'm getting some built up on order. But not with disc.
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Old 03-30-07, 11:25 PM   #12
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open SPORTS(triple hollow) versus open pros(single hollows), for more durability at the expense of weight.

and 700c discs are just asking for a 319(triple hollow), 719(single hollow) or one of mavic's disc specific '29'er rims....

or order the Mavic built Speedcity and the MP3 plan to go with them.

but yeah, open pros are not really ideal for loaded commuting with disc brakes...
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Old 04-01-07, 08:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by miamijim
Funny, not a simple response has stated why the rim failed......

I was in my LBS yesterday getting raped on spoke nipples. As I was standing there a guy was being told his wheel couldnt be trued because of a similar failure as the OP. After the LBS guy finished I said. "mind if I take a look"? The LBS guys were like 'who the F is guy that just made us look like fools'. I expalined, in detail, to the owner that he had hit something and the impact was 180 dgrees across from the damage and that with radial spoking your more likely to have that type of damage because with cross spoke wheels the spokes come of the hub at and angle and you have to throw in the cosign...bla bla bla.

The owner of the wheel said, "your right, I hit railroad tracks."

The owner of the wheels states that there is damage on the opposite of the wheel. This wheel was damaged from an impact. Not from disc brakes.

I need to add the words 'custom' or 'master' or 'wheels' to my sig. Until then....

Jim, ex-mechanic, master builder of over 2,000 custom wheels
I am surprised (and also pleased) to have received so many informative responses. I have not gotten around to checking with the shop where I purchased this bike, and, given that the bike is coming up on two years of age, doubt that I'll bother.

If I didn't mention it in my earlier posts, the Mavic Open Pros are OEM equipment.

I am no expert on bikes, but fail to see how having disc brakes enters into the equation here. If it makes a difference, I use my discs to stop (obviously), but am not using the bike to do skid pad stop testing. When I need to slow down or stop, I use the brakes - the discs are probably overkill for me, but, I like 'em for stopping (then, again, you're talking to a guy whose other bike is a '73 Schwinn with caliper brakes that didn't stop well when new, and barely slow the bike down these days).

I am certain I've hit a few pot holes here and there, but, as for railroad tracks, should not a bike be able to navigate normal road type RR crossings without fear of wheel damage? If the rails are at the same level as the road surface, then, all you are dealing with is the gap designed to allow the train wheels to roll through without derailing. I have never considered this type of RR crossing to be of concern with respect to my wheels.

Other than those few obstacles, the wheel has suffered no severe shock or damage of which I am aware.

Basically, my riding is done on the road - some night riding, but mostly in areas where I am very acquainted with the conditions.

I also do not carry heavy loads on the bike - a small trunk mounted on a rack with a quick-release mount to my seat post - and me (I am lighter/heavier as the gods dictate - but tend to average 180-190 lbs) - that's all.

I rode the bike 75 miles yesterday - and, although I know I didn't hit any holes or tracks, the rim has become noticeably out of round. I will check out some of the sources for replacement mentioned here. I really don't want to risk a wheel failure - top speed (on more than one occasion) yesterday was in the 35 mph range. Having a wheel go at that speed makes for nasty stopping - been there, done that . . . had a wheel just decide to fold on me while doing 30 - broke my arm and took 7 stitches in my scalp (those were pre-helmet wearing days - no more).

I am not adamantly opposed to replacing with another Mavic OP, although, when things wear out or break on my bike, I usually use the opportunity to investigate whether or not replacement options offer an opportunity to upgrade to something that will be functionally better.

In this case, if I could get a stronger wheel without paying a substantial weight penalty, I would do so. If I could get a wheel that is noticeably lighter without sacrificing in the way of durability, I would do so.

I am really not interested in some indestructible replacement that will add a lot of weight or lessen even more the bike's limited aerodynamics, however.

$100, $300, $800 . . . it doesn't matter so much what I end up spending as long as the expenditure goes towards functional quality. I wouldn't spend $800 on a set of wheels just because they look good (although I wouldn't criticize someone else for doing that).

So, that's where I am at the moment.

Riding the bike in its current condition really bothers me. I stopped by the LBS on my way back in yesterday and would have changed that wheel if he could have done it for me on the spot - he couldn't - didn't have time. I will have to do something (even if temporary) soon.

Thanks again for all the good advice.

Caruso
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Old 04-01-07, 09:50 AM   #14
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Stop riding those wheels, NOW ! PLease, your making me nervous.
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Old 04-01-07, 10:20 AM   #15
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Yes for sure do not ride on that wheel anymore.

IMO the easiest option and should result in a fine wheel is to simply lace that hub to a new rim. Another open pro with double butted spokes should last IMO...but if you decide that you aren't a mavic fan (I know I am not) then go with the DT Swiss RR1.1 which is a very similar design but DT Swiss rather than by Mavic...the price is about the same, very much a latteral move. Outside of that your main option is to go with something slightly stronger and slightly heavier...it really wont be a big difference. Something like a Velocity Fusion will also be a little heavier but it will plenty strong.

RR tracks can really mess up a wheel in my expierence. When crossing you sould try to unload the wheelsand use your body to absorb some of the shock. They can provide a sharp hit to the rim that can dent it and unload a spoke enough to allow it to loose tension...which then allows the wheel to go out of true.
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Old 07-08-07, 02:00 PM   #16
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Zip Wheels

I have had to replace 4 zip wheels (303) they develope a crack in the carbon at the spoke. This is in one year. I have two ghisallos, both have zips They are under waranty so no problem getting them replaced. Has anyone else had this problem? According to my LBS, They're the best thing going. I'm loosing faith.
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