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  1. #1
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    Anyone have problems with Velocity A23 rims?

    Recently bought the A23's. Wanted to see if the wider rims lived up to the hype of a smoother ride, better cornering, etc. After getting the wheels built by my shop, however, it appears to have been a colossal mistake! The problem: I can't get the tire on AT ALL!!!! Ended up with blood blisters on my fingers, not to mention probably coming close to getting a hernia, stroke, and/or heart attack trying to get the freaking thing on! Even a screw driver was of no use. (Only managed to get a tire on -- barely -- after taking off the rim strip and not putting a tube in.) Usually use Mavic Open Pros, could get the tires on those with no problem. Anyone know of a problem with these rims? Is it something inherent with a wider rim? (The inside depth of the A23 appears to be a mm or 2 shallower than the Mavic. Could that be it?) Or, could it be how the wheel was built? (I'm thinking maybe not enough tension.) Is there another "wide" rim I can try that is likely to work better?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I have the A23s and went with the Velocity veloplugs instead of rim tape. 23mm Gatorskins mounted reasonably easily. Been happy with the ride of the A23s but the diffference isn't really very noticeable.

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    2mm less depth at the center can make a significant difference. You might test mount a tire without a rim tape on the rim. If that makes a difference, do as above, and go with plugs so minimize diameter at the center.

    Meanwhile consider that bicycle tires and rims have been around for about 100 years. In that time folks have tried wide rims, narrow rims, wide and narrow tires, and over those 100 years the current ratio of tire and rim width evolved as the winning formula. Trends come and go, but eventually the most evolved formulas win out.
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  4. #4
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    I've had some real trouble mounting conti gatorskin x23's on mavic ma40 rims. I think those tires run tight. never used a velocity rim, so I dunno about them.

    rumor has it the new rims coming from Velocity's new US factory are better sized and more consistent than the aussie stuff was. no idea if this is fact or just noise.

  5. #5
    Junior Member joetheun's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is wire bead vs folding. I've had rims I could not get a wire beaded tire on no how. but I was able to mount the folding. It being a bit more flexible and stretches a tad was enough to allow the folding to go on. Also be sure to keep the bead your mounting pushed to the center of the rim where there is a bit of a channel to reduce the diameter for mounting. I have found that to make a big difference in ease of getting a tire to fit.

  6. #6
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    "Even a screw driver was of no use."
    You can expect more problems than tight tires if you continue using screwdrivers on your rims.

  7. #7
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    indeed. ABS plastic tire spoons that I've smoothed the edges of are all I'll use, and then only as a last resort.

    I pinch the tires walls together on the side of the rim closest to me, and work my two hands around opposite sides of the wheel, pulling the tire out and away from me while pinching it into the channel til both hands are on the last tight part. usually if I've done the first part right, the last of the tire will just pop over the rim easy as can be. but some tire+rim combinations are a real SOB.

  8. #8
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    you're going about it all wrong. you are supposed to blame the TIRE not the rim.

    seriously, i'm sure someone has or will mention getting the tire down in the channel of the rim, whether or not this will solve the problem for you is questionable... i'd just take to the LBS and let them give it a try. at least if they botch the job and ruin something you will have somebody to yell at.

  9. #9
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joetheun View Post
    Another thing to consider is wire bead vs folding. I've had rims I could not get a wire beaded tire on no how. but I was able to mount the folding.
    I have one folding tyre (Michelin Pro 3 Race), and it's by far the tightest tyre I have; 8 other tyres here, mostly Contis.

  10. #10
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    I run Hutchison Intensive 25's tubeless on a set of A-23's and on a second set I use Conti 4 Seasons 28's and no problems mounting either set.

  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    OP: I would try different tires.

    There are lots of threads like this. Bottom line, some rims are easy/difficult. Some tires are easy/difficult. Rim width/tire width/wire bead vs folding does NOT matter in my experience. I have a Kenda small block 8 that I absolutely could not mount on my Kinlin XR-200 rim. Not even ONE side on, without a tube. But it mounted up fine on an old Araya rim. The Kinlin rim, by the way, has no trouble with Conti Gatorskins, Bontrager Race Lite hard cases, or a few other tires.

    Conti Ultra Race 23mm folding tires are probably the easiest tires I have ever mounted. They require virtually no effort on any rim I've tried.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    This works better than a screwdriver.
    61054.jpg

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    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    I have one folding tyre (Michelin Pro 3 Race), and it's by far the tightest tyre I have; 8 other tyres here, mostly Contis.
    and the folding Vittoria Randonneur Hyper 700x32's I put on my city-bike (cheap 25mm OD alex rims) were so easy to put on, I wasn't sure they'd hold air, but once I put a few PSI in the tube and went around the beads adjusting them to be in the sweet spot, then pumped them up, they were just fine.

  14. #14
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Rims and tires are manufactured within a range of tolerances and if you get a tire on the smaller side of the range and a rim on the larger side of the range, this happens.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    This works better than a screwdriver.
    61054.jpg
    The problem that I see with using such a tool is that you had better have it with you if you get a flat on the road if you expect to avoid a long walk home. My rule is that I won't use a tire/tube combo that I can't change by hand or with the couple of levers that I keep in my bike bag. At night. In the cold rain.

  16. #16
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    It just happens. I have several A-23's and have not noticed a specific issue. Use plastic tire levers. I almost never use just my fingers and I get suspicious in the opposite direction if the tire goes on too easily.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  17. #17
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Lubing tire bead and tube with talc can help ease installation considerably. Some use soapy water.

  18. #18
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    I just bought a rear wheel built up with the Velocity A23 rim (American Mfg.), and have been searching for answers myself.

    Some of the things I have found so far.

    It appears the mounting issue is real, and appears to be comming from the fact that this rim is designed to be used as a tubeless rim as well as tubed. If you go to Velocity's site, you will find a cross section of different rims, and notice that the distance from the rim bed to the bead hook is very shallow on this rim. I suspect it was built this way to help prevent "burping" when using this rim for tubeless applications at lower preasures. This design means that if you use a cloth tape it takes up room at the bed of the rim where the bead seats and makes mounting the tire very difficult! I mannaged to get on a new Tricomp, but had to use a tire lever to persuade the last little bit to jump over. This is with the cloth tape, but I intend to replace it with 18mm Zipp rim tape (much thinner) as soon as possible. I suspect this will improve the tire mounting, but can't confirm it at this time. I do know that out of all the rims I have had in over 20 years of cycling, this is by far the most difficult for tire mounting I have delt with!

  19. #19
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Follow up post

    I liked the rear so well I had a front built. Build list. Ultegra hubs, DT Comp spokes, Alloy nipples, and Black A23 rims, 32 front, 36 rear (I'm a big boy!).

    I used the Zipp 18mm rim strips on the front and the tire slipped rite on with no difficulties. The tape fit like it was made for this rim and looks great. Replaced the cloth rim tape with the Zipp 18mm strip on the rear and it helped some, but it is still difficult to mount the tire. This rim may be one that is just on the outside of MFG limits??

    I did a century ride on them Saturday and I will say they ride great! We shall see how well they hold up to me now!

  20. #20
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    This is resurrecting an old thread but I've been wanting to buy a pair of wheels with A23 rims for a while but I've been a bit put off by some of the issues people have had in mounting tires on them. The velocity website says to use a low profile rim tape and that veloplugs are not recommended. The MSRP for velotape is right around $30: Velocity Wheels.

  21. #21
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    you can use 2 layers of stans 21mm tape. i have not really had any issues mounting tires.

  22. #22
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    I use veloplugs on my front a23 and rim tape on my OC rear (veloplugs wont' work on the OC rim). No noticeable problems mounting tires - Continental GP4000s. I use plastic tire levers when needed, sometimes I need them, sometimes I don't.

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