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  1. #1
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    Kinlin XR-300: Are they terrible or am I just unlucky?

    A couple months ago I decided to get into power training, so I built up a wheel with PowerTap SL+ and Kinlin XR-300. I got a couple good rides in with it, but then I wiped out, denting (and slicing) the rim in the process. This past weekend, I finally had time to build up the same wheel, just using a new Kinlin XR-300 (I probably would have used a different rim, I just didn't want to have to buy new spokes as well). On my first ride, I hit a medium-sized pothole–one that I've probably hit a couple times on my Bontrager SSR–felt a pulsing on the brakes, and then hear the tire deflate. Of course, I had dented my brand new XR-300. This begs the question, are the Kinlin rims just terrible quality or super weak? When I was deciding on which rim to use, people seemed to love the Kinlin. Of course, you're not supposed to wipe out or hit potholes, but these seem very, very weak. Luckily, my newer rim is fixable (no slicing this time, so I could probably bend it back into shape)–however I'm questioning whether I should just start anew, maybe with the Mavic Open Pro. But have other people had issues like this with the Kinlins, or do I just have terrible luck?

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    I and many others have had good luck with Kinlin rims. I have an XR-200 rear (lighter and weaker than the 300) with about 2,000 miles and no problems so far. The way I see it:

    - The first time you crashed, not necessarily the wheel's fault.
    - The second time you got a pinch flat. Any rim could be dented this way. How much pressure were you running in your tire?

    Also, how much do you weigh and how many spokes are you using on this wheel? IIRC Kinlin rims have weigh limits that relate to how many spokes they're built with.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  3. #3
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    I definitely agree that the first time was not the wheel's fault (just kind of adds to the story)

    I had just pumped up the tire to around 110psi. It's 24 spokes, but I weigh 130, so I don't think weight was the issue

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    KinLin XR-300 and XR-380 are not everyday use rims...especially on rough roads. You will destroy them...

    They are very lightweight racing and fast training rims - very thin wall all-around (1.9mm center line) and are used by my customers for track training while they save their carbons for actual velodrome racing. KinLin's use of a higher grade material for these rims does help a little...

    The better candidate KinLin rim that has a smaller profile and thicker walls at 470g is the XR-240. That is better suited for everyday use on smooth and semi-rough roads baring accidents.

    (I will actually be building an XR-300 and XR-380 set this week for a customer who saves his carbon wheels for the actual velodrome races.)


    ...and yes, I'm an importer of KinLin rims.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

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    I've got a set of XR300's and a set of XR200's. The 300's don't see much road time for one reason or another, though other than breaking a spoke (24 spokes, 2x, aerolites @ 160lbs) they've been fine.

    The XR200's (24/28 2x all round) are my daily riders (+crit wheels). I've done about 15,000 on them give or take over the past 12 months and other than some scouring on the brake surface they are completely fine. I had them retensioned after about a month, pretty normal preventative maintenance, and past that they haven't been touched. Ridden in all kinds of crap weather, crap roads, etc etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    It's really not a rim's fault if you dent it by hitting stuff with sufficient impact to pinch-flat a tire. If you want to blitz potholes like that, use bigger tires and plenty of pressure.

    I had the IRD-badged XR200s on my race bike, they held up well for me at 155-160 pounds (although I did most of my training miles on another bike). I used 28/32 Revolutions. They won a state championship by less than a foot; they were good accelerators for "old-skool" budget wheels. Now they're under a ~185-pound guy in my club, we'll see how long they stand up to him...

  7. #7
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    I think I mis-stated exactly what happened–my rear wheel didn't flat until about 5-10 seconds after hitting the pothole (so it probably happened from the dent itself).

    It sounds like the XR-300 is not really an everyday rim, so I'll probably go for a Mavic or XR-240 for my next build.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tunnelrat81's Avatar
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    I had a less than pleasant experience with Kinlin, but it was only eventually exacerbated by pothole damage. My XR-270 front and XR-300 rear came out of the box with some significant braking pulse from either ill-machined braking surfaces or other damage. I rode them for a while, hoping that it would improve or stop annoying me so much, and it never happened. I finally ended up hitting a deep pothole on a rainy ride and further deformed the braking surface. I opted to rebuild the same set (with new rims and spokes [yes it was fairly expensive]) but have been MORE than happy with the new wheels. I used the same type of spokes, but this time build HED C2 rims and love them.

    I also had the question about possibly being the one guy with bad luck with two kinlin rims, and seriously debated just buying two new rims and reusing the spokes, but I just couldn't have forgiven myself if the next set sucked too and I had thrown good money after bad. My choice was based on buying from a reputable rim manufacturer that I could call and warranty a bad rim through instead of simply being stuck.

    I should say that I wouldn't necessarily expect these rims to hold up to pothole abuse much better, but they are heavier and stiffer, so maybe they would. My wheelset certainly did put on some grams with the conversion.

    -Jeremy

  9. #9
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    It's really not a rim's fault if you dent it by hitting stuff with sufficient impact to pinch-flat a tire. If you want to blitz potholes like that, use bigger tires and plenty of pressure.
    +1

    If you cannot avoid potholes (and sometimes you can't) learn to bunnyhop over them or at least unload your weight so your rims aren't smashing in them. If your roads are that bad don't expect to run 23mm tires without pinch flatting and denting your rims, no matter what rims you choose.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeturner View Post
    I think I mis-stated exactly what happened–my rear wheel didn't flat until about 5-10 seconds after hitting the pothole (so it probably happened from the dent itself).
    Pinch flats are usually small tears, they don't go flat immediately. A couple weeks ago I got 2 pinch flats doing really stupid things on a road bike. The point is I didn't notice for a minute or two.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    I have close to 8000 miles on my Kinlin 300s (built by Psimet) with no significant problems. I weight 160lbs. My riding is generally decent roads, but there are cobble, trail and potholes out there. After about a year and half of use, there is a slight dent on one rim where I hit a very deep pothole at speed. I was amazed it didn't taco on me.

    I would say they are strong, but perhaps not quite as bomb proof as my Mavic Ksyrium SSCs (one which I race cross and have probably another 15,000 road miles).
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  11. #11
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    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    you need to inflate your tires more if you are hitting potholes and they are pinch flatting.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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