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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-05-07, 08:37 AM   #1
gholt
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Keeping Wheel True Bontrager Race

I have had a continuing problem keeping my wheels true. I have Bontrager Race wheels that have the bladed spokes So they do not have the 36 spokes pattern.

I had them trued at the two different bike shops and they stayed true for about a day or two, then back to the same wobly wheels.

I then trued them myself and got the rims far better than the shop. Now they are starting to get back to having the wobbles in the wheel.

I don't ride real agressive, I do ride about 40 miles a day to get to work.

My two questions are these: Is my weight causing this. I weigh about 190 give or take and put a lunch bag on a carrier on the bike, or do the spokes not have enough tension and need to be rebuilt so that they all have the proper tension?

The other question is for what I am doing, riding 40 mile to work and back, deem the need to get better wheels that have the 36 laced spoke wheels?
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Old 06-05-07, 10:07 AM   #2
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You should have Bontrager recommend a shop for you to have the wheels refurbished. They require higher tension than normal wheels, and there is a special stress relieving fixture made to service Bontrager wheels.

They are racing wheels, not commuting wheels. They're not particularly durable racing wheels either, as paired spoking serves no purpose other than to look "good," if you like that sort of thing. It leaves huge arcs of rim unsupported, and requires the rim to be heavier and spoke tensions to be much higher to compensate.

Yeah, at your weight, I'd advise a 32h front, and 36h rear, in any aero profile rim. Velocity Aerohead (OC rear) would be good, Fusion better, and Deep-V the best for durability. They won't slow you down any (I race with 32/36h Deep Vs).
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Old 06-05-07, 03:21 PM   #3
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I talked to the trek dealer where I bought the bike. He thought that the wheel may be covered by bontrager's warranty. So, hopefull the problem gets fixed in the next couple of weeks. But, I had to schedule an appointment for them to look at the bike. They are backed up two weeks.
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Old 06-05-07, 04:14 PM   #4
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I had the same problems with the same wheels. I ditched them for a pair of Mavics. I will never get wheels made by Bontrager again. They just don't hold up. My Mavic Aksiums have been bulletproof.
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Old 06-06-07, 05:46 AM   #5
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I'm a relatively bigger rider (175 lbs) and have a tendency to hammer hard especially when sprinting. I've had mixed luck with low spoke count wheels. I have a finickey RaceLite now myself that seems to have a mind of it's own. A properly, evenly tensioned wheel should hold up, but if the tension is off you will eventually unwind a spoke or two. Ironically, my most sturdy wheel (besides a 32 holer) is a cheap Alex 300 (Bontrager Select clone).
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Old 06-06-07, 06:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capwater
I'm a relatively bigger rider (175 lbs) and have a tendency to hammer hard especially when sprinting. I've had mixed luck with low spoke count wheels. I have a finickey RaceLite now myself that seems to have a mind of it's own. A properly, evenly tensioned wheel should hold up, but if the tension is off you will eventually unwind a spoke or two. Ironically, my most sturdy wheel (besides a 32 holer) is a cheap Alex 300 (Bontrager Select clone).
Yeah, that's kind of the problem with paired spokes. Properly and evenly tensioned are impossible. The spokes can be evenly tensioned (though rarely are), but the wheel has these huge gaps where spokes should be.
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Old 06-06-07, 09:05 AM   #7
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The Bontrager Race Lite wheels on my wife's bike were all out-of-whack when her Trek was brand new, uneven tension and out of true. The front rim has a 1mm bow between spoke pairs that cannot be corrected with spoke tension. I'm going to build her a good set of wheels.

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Old 06-06-07, 04:58 PM   #8
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I weigh 200 lbs and have ridden a set of Race-Lites for the last 3 years, and they are perfectly true (never needed truing since new). I also have a brand new bike with Race wheels that so far have 400 miles on them, but are also perfectly true. I wouldn't be so quick to fault the wheels themselves, but perhaps the person that is truing them. Not that I love these wheels, but when properly set up I've never had a problem with them. Bontrager does have a 2 year warranty, so if the dealer can't make them work, ask for new ones (while casually peering into the repair area looking for this): http://www.parktool.com/products/det...6&item=TM%2D1#
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