Here's the backstory.
Reader's Digest version: Got a handbuilt CR18 36 spoke 27" rear wheel that loosened up very quickly (I'm a Clyde but from the responses I got it seemed that that wheel should have held up without an issue for my 280# frame). They said it was because the (external) builder didn't use spoke prep. They (I guess) put spoke prep on the spokes and sort of trued it up. I don't think they have a tensionmeter. They also told me that if it loosens up than it just won't hold me so don't bother bringing it back, and because I broke a spoke (because they didn't tension it when they were supposed to) the rim is bent.
From the moment I had the wheel the non drive side felt very loose which was the first bad sign. The wheel wasn't true which was another bad sign (but they said it was because of that broken spoke which was fixed but they said the rim was bent). Went on a 60 mile ride, by the time I get back half of the spokes were rattling and the bike was shimming something fierce (was very out of true by then). I'm done with that lbs for wheels. I like them for all the other work they've done on my bikes so I'm not going to push it for now.
Here's my question. Can a brand new rim with 100 miles on it bend because of a broken spoke? If I bring it to another place to have them properly tension it up will this work or is the rim now shot?
I've been reading every wheelbuilding and tension thread/site I can find. I understand that a properly tensioned wheel is a system where everything depends on everything else. I don't quite understand the tolerances of rims I guess. I don't know how someone can see looking at a rim that it's out of true or just bent and when they just want me to buy something else or are telling me the truth. [Reading Peter White I see how an imperfect rim can be properly tensioned but out of true and then needs to be discarded] Some people say that a rim can be brought back into true as long as there are no physical damage to it and others seem to say that once it's significantly out of true it's done.
Do I now have an expensive decoration?
If it is 'shot' could I get another CR18 rim, reuse the hubs and spokes, swap rims, then bring it to a builder for the final tensioning and truing? Or are the spokes and nipples suspect too? I don't want to spend two or three times what I've put into it just to have it fall apart after going around the block.
Needless to say, this has all been very frustrating but it's great having you guys to bounce off of.