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Old 06-03-07, 11:53 PM   #1
Windjammer
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reusing a rim

this may sound like a no brainer... but i don't like to assume before spending money.

can a wheel be "unbuilt" and the rim and hub seperated without damaging either?
if so, can the rim then be reused on a different hub?
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Old 06-03-07, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Windjammer
this may sound like a no brainer... but i don't like to assume before spending money.

can a wheel be "unbuilt" and the rim and hub seperated without damaging either?
if so, can the rim then be reused on a different hub?
Yes...if it's not damaged. Also, if the new hub is a different type, spoke lengths may change.

You just asked if it could be done, not if it's a good idea, so yeah...it can be done.
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Old 06-04-07, 12:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker
Yes...if it's not damaged. Also, if the new hub is a different type, spoke lengths may change.

You just asked if it could be done, not if it's a good idea, so yeah...it can be done.
and its a great idea as long as the rim is in good shape.
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Old 06-04-07, 12:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by FlatFender
and its a great idea as long as the rim is in good shape.
...and as long as you have the skills, tools and the matching parts to do the work , or what the cost of a replacement wheel is versus the labor a shop would charge for the work plus the cost of a new hub and potentially new spokes, etc...

I'm not trying to dissuade the OP, just giving some insight into what costs or issues might be involved.
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Old 06-04-07, 01:07 AM   #5
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oh i understand the costs, just playing with the idear. i have some nice rims (mavic 823) that seems to just be too much wheel for me. i am a bit new to biking, and didn't think through the fact (before buying) that with such strong rims, an XC frame and hubs would break first even if the rims could take it. so now i'm thinking about some rims that are a little more congruent with the rest of my ride; somthing a little lighter. since my current rims are nice though, i don't want to trash them.
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Old 06-04-07, 02:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Windjammer
oh i understand the costs, just playing with the idear. i have some nice rims (mavic 823) that seems to just be too much wheel for me. i am a bit new to biking, and didn't think through the fact (before buying) that with such strong rims, an XC frame and hubs would break first even if the rims could take it. so now i'm thinking about some rims that are a little more congruent with the rest of my ride; somthing a little lighter. since my current rims are nice though, i don't want to trash them.
Better off getting a compelte wheel set or a full build. If waisting a rim is what concerns you, as it would with me, using old rims are not consired by wheel builders. I meen not considered..AT ALL. Rims don't do well after they've been laced. I've never heard or read any accounts of rim re-use, it's just not a option.
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Old 06-04-07, 02:53 AM   #7
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I do it all the time and have yet to have a failure.
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Old 06-04-07, 05:36 AM   #8
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I do it all the time and have yet to have a failure.
+1.

If the rim hasn't been warped or have a lot of brake wear I'll reuse them. My fixed gear and the bike that I ride most often both have recycled rims. Most of the time, however, the rim is the first part that gets ruined.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:05 AM   #9
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Yeah, I just moved an 11-year-old rear road rim (Mavic Reflex clincher) into single-speed duty. Turns out that my SS hub required spokes exactly halfway between the NDS and DS spoke lengths on the orignial wheel. I just moved all the spokes over too. Pretty sweet luck there.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:20 AM   #10
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I replaced the freewheel hub with a cassette hub on my trainer bike reusing the old rim and spokes. I've also ridden that bike on the road since and the wheel is perfectly good.

As long as the number of spokes match and the hub flange dimensions are close, it works fine. In fact, I replaced a Maillard hub with a Shimano hub and everything worked out properly.

When you disassemble the original wheel, be sure to loosen the nipples 1/2 or 1 turn each all around the wheel and go around several times that way to detension the spokes evenly. You don't want to distort the rim.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old and new
Better off getting a compelte wheel set or a full build. If waisting a rim is what concerns you, as it would with me, using old rims are not consired by wheel builders. I meen not considered..AT ALL. Rims don't do well after they've been laced. I've never heard or read any accounts of rim re-use, it's just not a option.
I don't know about that. I've rebuilt a wheel with new spokes but with the old hub and rim. I've rebuilt a wheel with new hub but with the old spokes and rim. Rims, like most other components, can be re-built and re-used.

Bob
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Old 06-04-07, 02:46 PM   #12
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One advantage to reusing the rim and spokes with a different hub is that used hubs in excellent condition are available very inexpensively just for the reasons mentioned above. It is often cheaper to buy a complete new wheel than it is to have an old hub rebuilt with a new rim and spokes.

I've been GIVEN used hubs by my LBS because nobody wants to pay to rebuild them into a new wheel.
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Old 06-04-07, 03:11 PM   #13
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Absolutely to both of your questions. It is also neither difficult or a bad idea. I have built several wheels from used rims and hubs with no problems. My next set will be 50 years old and I have no worries.

When you disassemble your wheels, do not just cut the spokes with a wire cutter. This has the potential of warping the rim. Instead use a spoke wrench ($3-$4 at your LBS) to slowly loosen the spokes, just a few turns before you go on to the next spoke. You will probably go around the wheel 3 times before all the spokes are "loose".

As others have wrote, you may need a new spoke length depending the hubs. Calculating that length is pretty easy, start with Sheldon's site and use Google if you need more info. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

Also, would not recommend reusing your spokes. I have been told under some very specific circumstances you can do it but I would leave that to the professional wheel builders to decide.
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