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  1. #1
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Old Mavic Mach 2 Tubular Rims for CX, Worth a Shot?

    Have a new build going on. SSCX.

    Cleaned up the no-name Chinese tubular carbon rim today and...found two separate cracks under the glue. These were supposed to be "heavy duty" wheels, with 36 spokes. They lasted two seasons, which was about 18-20 race days and some training rides. I weigh 68kg which is around 150 pounds.

    This was supposed to be a cheap build-up of existing parts. Now I need to get a 36h tubular rim. The frame has vertical drop-outs and I've got a 36h eccentric WI hub.

    My bike co-op has a Mavic Mach 2 with double stainless eyelets that is NOS and the people at the co-op "think" it's from 1990 or so. The rim is in beautiful condition. They are asking 35€ ($50ish) which is a fair price perhaps.

    I told them I was going to use it for CX and the head of the co-op said "sure, it would work great," but one of the regulars there who I trust very much said to go for something "newer."

    Any opinions on who is right?

  2. #2
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    The Mach 2 was a basic workhorse rim in it's day. I see no reason (other than $50.00) not to build it up for CX. I have no idea what someone thinks is to be gained with a more modern rim, except probably more weight.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Is there any way I can figure out an actual date of manufacture? Does it even matter?

    Apart from cracking in the stickers, the rim literally looks brand new, no oxidation on the brake track, shiny eyelets, etc.

    Also, are you implying $50 US is too expensive? I really don't know what the value should be. I just checked on eBay and the prices are similar. And I don't need to pay shipping.
    Last edited by Campagnono; 07-20-14 at 04:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campagnono View Post
    Does it even matter? Apart from cracking in the stickers, the rim literally looks brand new, no oxidation on the brake track, shiny eyelets, etc.
    Build it up & race it, that's what it was designed to do.
    "Heavy Duty Carbon Race rims" that fail w/ little use were designed to a different standard, to dupe the credulous.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campagnono View Post
    Is there any way I can figure out an actual date of manufacture? Does it even matter?

    Apart from cracking in the stickers, the rim literally looks brand new, no oxidation on the brake track, shiny eyelets, etc.

    Also, are you implying $50 US is too expensive? I really don't know what the value should be. I just checked on eBay and the prices are similar. And I don't need to pay shipping.
    They were made over a number of years before fashion started dictating introducing new stuff every year. And No it doesn't matter anyway.

    I was only implying that $50.00 is $50.00. If the rims cost $30.00 I would have used that figure. The statement should be interpreted to mean that the cash outlay is the only thing against the build, whatever that may be.

    Anyway, these are CX wheels. IMO CX is where bike components go to die, and I choose them accordingly. To me, CX is about killing off that dinged road wheel that's not good enough for competition or even training, but too good to toss away. So CX allows it to die with dignity.
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  6. #6
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Edit because I didn't answer the OP's question... (sorry.) Those Mavic Mach 2 rims will be just fine for cross. Perfect choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I have no idea what someone thinks is to be gained with a more modern rim, except probably more weight.
    Exactly. I don't know why light tubular rims aren't available these days. It's a shame IMO.

    Last year I built up some used, 30 year old Mavic GEL 280 rims (310g) for my cyclocross bike. I used them for the whole season of training and racing. Besides some additional wear on the anodizing they survived unscathed.

    This year I'm going to build up some even older, lighter (275g) Fiamme Ergal yellow label rims for 'cross. But I'm just going to use those for racing.
    Last edited by FastJake; 07-20-14 at 07:50 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    Exactly. I don't know why light tubular rims aren't available these days. It's a shame IMO.

    Last year I built up some used, 30 year old Mavic GEL 280 rims (310g) for my cyclocross bike. I used them for the whole season of training and racing. Besides some additional wear on the anodizing they survived unscathed.

    This year I'm going to build up some even older, lighter (275g) Fiamme Ergal yellow label rims for 'cross. But I'm just going to use those for racing.
    FYI- Fiamme yellows are a bit brittle for any kind of hard use. Use spokes no heavier than 1.8mm (main section), preferably 1.6 or so except for the right side rear. Otherwise the side stress of CX can cause failure at the eyelets.
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  8. #8
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    FYI- Fiamme yellows are a bit brittle for any kind of hard use. Use spokes no heavier than 1.8mm (main section), preferably 1.6 or so except for the right side rear. Otherwise the side stress of CX can cause failure at the eyelets.
    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to use the same 2.0/1.6/2.0 spokes I always get from Yellow Jersey. I am a bit worried because they're pretty light rims and I hear they're "finicky" to build up. Mostly I'm doing this to see if they'll hold up. And I got them cheap because they're well used already.

    Fortunately I only weigh 135lbs and I'm not a powerhouse, so maybe they'll be ok.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Okay so I now have the rim.

    I need to go to the LBS to get some spokes. But now I'm thinking that I don't want to lace up a regular three cross wheel and I'd like to try something funky since I don't get the opportunity to build up a wheel very often, especially not one with 36 spokes.

    Do you guys have opinions on a 3 leading - 3 trailing design for this build? I'd like something different, but not at the cost of durability. I've just done a quick search on Google, here, and in some other forums and saw a lot of comments like "better for the front wheel" and "three cross in the back is most durable." But, this IS three cross in the back, no? Just a different pattern.

    The bike shop carries Wheelsmith 2,0 straights and Wheelsmith 2,0/1,7/2,0 DBs. Either/or? The DBs are exactly twice the price. 18€ for a 36 straights or 36€ for a set of the DBs.
    Last edited by Campagnono; 07-21-14 at 04:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    I would go with the DB's and a classic normal lace if durabilty and consistancy over many miles is your goal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
    I would go with the DB's and a classic normal lace if durabilty and consistancy over many miles is your goal.
    The goal is just to have a wheel that will last at least as long as the no-name Chinois carbon tubular. I know our CX courses are rough sometimes, and so am I. But 20 race days of 45 minutes each seems a pretty short lifespan for my import eBay specials.

    Also, our CX culture is changing here and is more like Canada and the U.S. now, where patrons give cups of beer to riders, riders wear bear costumes or tuxedo skin suits instead of club kits, and many interesting bikes are seen. 5 years ago none of that stuff was here.

    I'm not ready to drink beer while racing or dress up like a wolf in a dress, but I think a silly (and hopefully strong-ish) wheel is in the right direction.

    I have only built a half dozen wheels, but it is fun for me to do so, and although my knowledge and experience on wheel building is limited, none of my standard wheels has ever let me down, and I don't understand why the 3 leading - 3 trailing pattern would not be sufficient in terms of structural strength or durability. But if you could explain to me the reasons why it is not good idea I would really appreciate the information.

    This is a great site. Most people are very nice and respond so fast. Good information.

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campagnono View Post
    The goal is just to have a wheel that will last at least as long as the no-name Chinois carbon tubular. I know our CX courses are rough sometimes, and so am I. But 20 race days of 45 minutes each seems a pretty short lifespan for my import eBay specials.
    They should be up to that, at least. But cyclocross is tough on equipment and unpredictable. As FBinNY suggests, it's where equipment goes to die a dignified death. Buy the rims, build them, and ride them. Or buy used tubular wheels (often available for a song, these days) and ride them until they die. Rinse and repeat.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Given Gluing on Tubulars take time , best to have several wheels on hand ..
    or If you puncture , you are done for the rest of the race-day.

  14. #14
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    I'm a fan of classic builds, and would use the DB spokes (I only use palin gauge for track wheels, and a few special applications where extra strength is needed (at the expense of predicted service life).

    If you're in the mood for some sort of fancy build, go for it, but don't fool yourself into believing that it'll provide some special benefit other than cool factor.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I'm a fan of classic builds, and would use the DB spokes (I only use palin gauge for track wheels, and a few special applications where extra strength is needed (at the expense of predicted service life).

    If you're in the mood for some sort of fancy build, go for it, but don't fool yourself into believing that it'll provide some special benefit other than cool factor.
    Yeah, I'm under no impression that 3 leading - 3 trailing would be anything but "something different." But if it is worse in terms of overall strength than a normal 3 or 4 cross build then I'm not particularly interested. But indeed, if it's something unique and acceptably strong, I'm certainly alright with that as an outcome.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Given Gluing on Tubulars take time , best to have several wheels on hand ..
    or If you puncture , you are done for the rest of the race-day.
    I only ride two CX bikes, one geared and one SS. I usually have used the SS as my pit bike.

    But in our races here, the SS riders are all in a separate race, and as such I have no back-up as a pit bike. I do have a front wheel that I can swap out, though. Thankfully, never had a rear flat and only two front flats in two full seasons of racing. How it works here is there is a huge "series participation fee", the equivalent of $220, but with that you are eligible to participate in every weekend event and as many individual races as you'd like as long as you have a qualifying license category.

    But I do want to build-up another SS bike, as I come from a running background, and I'm more competitive in my license class with SS. It's also easier to be 1st out of 9 riders then 1st out of 40!! In our series, if you win a classification for the year then you can participate the next year (in that specific classification) even if you do not pay the series participation fees.

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Anyway, these are CX wheels. IMO CX is where bike components go to die, and I choose them accordingly. To me, CX is about killing off that dinged road wheel that's not good enough for competition or even training, but too good to toss away. So CX allows it to die with dignity.
    ! Eloquent and insightful!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campagnono View Post
    Yeah, I'm under no impression that 3 leading - 3 trailing would be anything but "something different." But if it is worse in terms of overall strength than a normal 3 or 4 cross build then I'm not particularly interested. But indeed, if it's something unique and acceptably strong, I'm certainly alright with that as an outcome.
    I'm very "cut to the chase" about wheels. leave it that after a century of experimentation, nobody has ever demonstrated any advantage of these exotic builds and the classic crossed patterns have one out. OTOH, I've no interest in debating whether other patterns are any worse.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    ! Eloquent and insightful!
    Keep kissing up, still won't get you that close ratio 3s hub.
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  20. #20
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    and the classic crossed patterns have one out.
    ... have one what out?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  21. #21
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I only use palin gauge for track wheels, and a few special applications where extra strength is needed

    is palin gauge
    another name for a 12 gauge?


  22. #22
    Senior Member Campagnono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I'm very "cut to the chase" about wheels. leave it that after a century of experimentation, nobody has ever demonstrated any advantage of these exotic builds and the classic crossed patterns have one out. OTOH, I've no interest in debating whether other patterns are any worse.
    Okay...but what if the other patterns are marginally equal?

    I just wanted to try the project for personal experience and a funky wheel.

    Green tea, pekoe tea, black tea, oolong tea, there is a tea for every cup. I am just looking for some direction that says 3 leading - 3 trailing is indeed poop tea or not!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post


    is palin gauge
    another name for a 12 gauge?


    No it refers to spokes that are the same at both ends.

    Or the result of dyslexic fingers.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campagnono View Post
    Okay...but what if the other patterns are marginally equal?

    I just wanted to try the project for personal experience and a funky wheel.

    Green tea, pekoe tea, black tea, oolong tea, there is a tea for every cup. I am just looking for some direction that says 3 leading - 3 trailing is indeed poop tea or not!!
    You asked why not? and I agreed, why not?
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