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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-19-07, 08:18 AM   #1
BeckyW
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more rear wheel problems... now what?

About 3 weeks ago (with only about 60 miles on the bike) my rear wheel went badly out of true and before I'd realized it, I wore a hole in my tire, causing a huge blowout. LBS trued the wheel (no charge - they do free lifetime service), I bought a new tire, and went on my way.

(It's totally irrelevant, except that it's frustrating, but TWO weeks ago it was in the shop for 4 days to tighten up my bottom bracket, which had come loose).

Today, a little less than 100 miles later, I broke a spoke on the rear wheel. It took me about half a mile to figure out what had happened, so the tire is worn, and will have to be replaced as well.

I'd really rather not have to deal with this every 50-100 miles (or once a week, with the mileage I've finally worked up to!)! So I'm wondering 1) what, if anything, do I get upgraded, and 2) what sort of warranty coverage should I expect or ask for from my LBS? They're really nice, and know a lot about road biking and hard-core mountain biking, but I've gotten the impression they're not very knowledgeable about building a bike for someone my size. I don't want to be too demanding, but I also don't want to pay for stuff I shouldn't have to.

I ride a Raleigh Venture 4.0 (2006) with:
  • Spokes: 14g stainless steel
  • Hubset: Shimano RM30 QR 36h
  • Rims: Alex R1000 36h

The spoke broke at the hub, and I wasn't doing anything extreme - just doing an easy warm-up @ about 10 mph on flat-ish asphalt. I'm heavy - 380 lbs/5'11" - but I don't ride real hard. Mostly spinning along @ 12-14 mph on flats, crawling up hills @ 7mph (or flying down them with very little effort). My tires take a max 65 psi, which is what I inflate them to before almost every ride (and I did so today). I'm not sure of the tire width, but they're not skinny road tires.

I just read through bdinger's "Should I throw away my #$%#$ bike?!" thread - but I don't know if my bike will take the Deep V's (or if they're appropriate), or what from that thread applies here.

Advice is very appreciated!

(I'm posting this same question in the mechanics forum)
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Old 08-19-07, 08:50 AM   #2
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Warning this is the internet and all advice is worth what you paid for it. My first guess would be a spoke tension issue. It may have been there when the wheel initially went out of true or it may have been caused by the truing process to fix the wheel. Go talk to the shop about it. Since it's a 36H rim I would not think that your weight had anything to do with especially since it doesn't sound like you are abusing the bike.

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Old 08-19-07, 09:15 AM   #3
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If it broke at the hook/hub. it was improper tension.

I always state that the LBS guys don't tension the wheels when you take them in for FREE Sservice. They true them, make them look staright and pretty then sen you out thinking you're set for life.

They need to true them AND tension them. That's the main reason I don't go back in for the FREE service. It ain no good if they don't do it right!
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Old 08-19-07, 01:15 PM   #4
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Good morning Becky

I have a friend who is now in a similiar plight. After I got back into biking and he witnessed my loss of 40 pounds he finally decided to pick up a bike and begin riding. He is nearly your physical twin, (height and weight wise) and I suspect you, like him, have some pretty powerful legs. As he likes to brag now, "it takes a lot of muscle to move me". He purchased a used Navigator around a month and a half ago. I do not know how that matches up to your bike, but I would imagine they are close. He too snapped a few spokes nearly immediately, (five within about 100 miles). Each time he went to his nearest LBS for a repair. He nearly gave up bicycling on the assumption that no bike could sustain his girth.

After the fifth spoke in under 300 miles he finally went to a different LBS. The one he went to is focused nearly 100% on roadies, AND tandems. Needless to say they built a wheel for him that has now lasted about 600 miles shows no signs of wear, (he was directed to come back after 100 miles for a retension and truing if needed, all part of the original price). Now the bad part of this tale is that rear wheel cost almost half as much as his bike. The rims are mavic CXP33. Off the top of my head I could not tell you the hub, but I know he opted for one that is sometimes used on tandems and very heavy duty.

I don't know how much you like your current bike, (I have read the let's get Becky a new bike thread) but a rear wheel can be transfered between bicycles. I would think a small investment now would pay off for many years to come.
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Old 08-19-07, 01:36 PM   #5
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Bummer! It's hard to rack up the miles with your bike in the shop.
Obviously you're going to have to take a "step up" when it comes to fixing the wheel.
Just replacing the spoke probably is just going to result in another spoke breaking in the future.
The reason I say this is-
You've broken a spoke when all 36 spokes were sharing the load.
When you broke the spoke, the adjacent spokes had to be stressed beyond "normal" and are thus weakened to some extent.
I think at a minimum, you need to replace ALL the spokes with NEW, QUALITY spokes and the wheel rebuilt by someone "knowledgeable" about wheel building, that has the proper tools (tension meter).
You might also want to get the front tensioned properly to AVOID problems with it. Since it carries a much smaller % of the weight, I wouldn't be nearly as concerned about it.
Maybe that "back up" bike is a good idea?
My $.02
EDIT-
I see the rims for your bike are listed as-
Alex R1000 36h
Some of the other Raleigh's (including the tandem) use-
Alex DM21 36h (double wall)
Maybe you could work something out with your LBS to get those wheels AND have them tensioned properly before installation???

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 08-19-07 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:09 PM   #6
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Very helpful comments - thank you. I think I'll go ahead and upgrade the rim - I'll feel more confident about it with something stronger. And a whole new set of spokes makes sense too. But it sounds like the most important issue is tension - how can I ensure that they're fixing that and not just truing the wheel?

Any suggestions as to what I should expect to be done under warranty? I expect to pay for an upgrade, but it seems like with 160 miles on the bike, and already having bought one new tire because the wheel was out of true, I shouldn't have to pay for everything. I like the idea of replacing the rims with the DM21's... maybe they'll do that and only charge me the difference?

I think I'll like my bike once I get all the fit issues worked out (and I'm getting close), and I don't know if I'm over-estimating how much more I'll enjoy a road bike, once I'm fitter, for longer-distance riding, but it seems like a comfort bike isn't the best design for 30-40-50+ mile rides. I hadn't thought about the possibility of using a high-end wheel on whatever other bikes I get, but that's a very good point. I definitely want a "spare" ASAP, but it might make more sense for that to be a mountain bike and wait on the road bike... but that's a whole different issue.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:25 PM   #7
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How did your tire get worn down from a broke spoke? I have had many a spoke break and it never effected my tires. Like some of the other posters, I would look into a different wheel. Your bike is basically the same as the Trek Navigator my wife has and it uses 26" wheels so those rims bdinger mentioned will not work for you.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:42 PM   #8
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I assumed it was the broken spoke taking the wheel out of true, then the wheel got worn when I didn't realize it right away. But maybe it was the other way around - wheel out of true, got worn, spoke broke. When I had the blowout before, the wheel being out of true and my not realizing it actually wore a HOLE in the tire.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:50 PM   #9
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Worn tire and a hole from a wheel out of true, doesn't make sense. I doubt the shop will take responsibility for the tire. As far as the rim, I've had warranty work done where the shop credited me for the bad part.

Looks like your bike has 26 mountain bike type rims. We had a tandem that used Weinneman 26 inch rims. They were popular at one time. Very strong rim. No problems with our combined weight of 400 lbs. But they were 40 spoke tandem hubs. Maybe 36 might be just as strong.
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Old 08-19-07, 10:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Worn tire and a hole from a wheel out of true, doesn't make sense. I doubt the shop will take responsibility for the tire. As far as the rim, I've had warranty work done where the shop credited me for the bad part.

Looks like your bike has 26 mountain bike type rims. We had a tandem that used Weinneman 26 inch rims. They were popular at one time. Very strong rim. No problems with our combined weight of 400 lbs. But they were 40 spoke tandem hubs. Maybe 36 might be just as strong.
Unfortunately, those indestructible rims are no longer available. I used to ride them with my mtn. bike back in the late 80's-early 90's. I have been searching for a pair of them to put on my Phil Wood hubs. I want something indestructible as well. I wish you the best of luck in finding what you are looking for. I have been fortunate that the Alex ace-19 and joytech hubs are still spinning... The axle in the rear is bent and causes a wobble at high speed. My Phil Wood hubs will be built up on some heavy duty tims next weekend. I have not decided which rim I will use yet. I am still holding out to find a great pair of those Weinmann concaves (26x1.95" rim, double wall and stainless eyelets)... I have two boys that encourage me to ride my bike like I used to back in the 80's... I am still jumping, riding dirt hills, etc.

-Stephen
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Old 08-19-07, 10:29 PM   #11
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Becky, Mr Beanz gives great advice on wheels.....I'm thinking of making him the official Clyde's
Keeper of the Wheels info".
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If it broke at the hook/hub. it was improper tension.

I always state that the LBS guys don't tension the wheels when you take them in for FREE Sservice. They true them, make them look staright and pretty then sen you out thinking you're set for life.

They need to true them AND tension them. That's the main reason I don't go back in for the FREE service. It ain no good if they don't do it right!
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Old 08-20-07, 12:10 AM   #12
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Most bike shops stock Sun rhyno lite rims, this is a little heavier with a wider profile.. With a good 36 hole hub, this will build up a nice bulletproof wheel.. A little more expensive is to go with a Velocity Deep V rim..

Rhyno Lite: http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Rim/product_22623.shtml

Deep V: http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Rim/product_22628.shtml
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Old 08-20-07, 05:16 AM   #13
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Sorry I've not been around on this one. My apologies!

As socalrider suggested the best TWO rims in my estimation for folks that have problems with rims are both that he suggested. In Becky's case I would tend to go with the Ryhno Lite due to it's wider cross-section width which would be closer to the stock rim that she has and would probably be much more laterally stronger for her purposes.

Spokes should be any quality spoke like DT Swiss or Wheelsmith Spokes. I tend to go with straight gage spokes due to availability. Brass Nipples and spoke prep are a must.

I doubt that the hub will be an issue, and in most cases it will not be. A slight upgrade over the stock hub would be better than re-using the hub. My recommendation would be a Deore or LX MTB hub. Good quality, good bearings, and overall good service to the dollar spent.

As for the build up. 36 hole MINIMUM with a 3 cross pattern.

My .02 cents

Chris

Last edited by ang1sgt; 08-20-07 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 05:32 AM   #14
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Worn tire and a hole from a wheel out of true, doesn't make sense. I doubt the shop will take responsibility for the tire. As far as the rim, I've had warranty work done where the shop credited me for the bad part.
Becky, while I cannot comment on wheel issues, let me state that I believe Mr. Beanz's comment on his bike shop is typical of most bike shops. It's a small pool of steady customers, and they want to keep people returning. When they solve your problem they will have a customer for life, and what retailer doesn't want that? So approach them about the wheel, and push for the tire replacement as well.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:05 AM   #15
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the Spin Lite guys have a great rep for building the right wheels for bigger folks. might be worth a call.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:13 AM   #16
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Unfortunately, those indestructible rims are no longer available. I used to ride them with my mtn. bike back in the late 80's-early 90's. -Stephen
I got a Weinneman rim for my son's bike about 3 months ago when he decided to leave his bike in the driveway of a friend and a sister drove over it so they are still around.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I assumed it was the broken spoke taking the wheel out of true, then the wheel got worn when I didn't realize it right away. But maybe it was the other way around - wheel out of true, got worn, spoke broke. When I had the blowout before, the wheel being out of true and my not realizing it actually wore a HOLE in the tire.
I understand the first tire popping, but on the second, where is the tire worn? I am thinking the side wall right along where the brake pad is, but I have never heard of this happening before, especially after such a short time after breaking the spoke. I wonder if this is not more of an issue of a mis-aligned brake pad that is rubbing the tire versus the broken spoke.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:33 AM   #18
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Don't give up, Becky!

I nearly did in my first year of riding when I became a destroyer of wheels. I had a very similar experience and I now plan to invest in either a deep V or a rhyno lite wheel for my recumbent before the current wheel has issues.

On my Navigator, I have a custom wheel and it has not needed any real work since it was built. If the LBS hadn't had the intelligence and maturity to just tell me I needed the wheel and then did the labor for free as I had lots of warranty work those first few months, I would have quit.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:09 AM   #19
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Becky,
Wheel issues are by far the most annoying of any you can have on the bike, but with the right investment, the easiest to cure. It sounds like you have a good shop attitude wise, you just need to make sure they fully understand what needs done.

I'm close to your weight, and was a good ways above it when I started on my Specialized Hardrock Sport. Without me even asking, before I picked it up the shop where I purchased it had checked the tension on the spokes to ensure longevity, then checked them again at my one-month service. That bike has not had a single wheel issue, knock on wood, that wasn't caused by negligence on my part (I swear, the root jumped out of the singletrack at me!).

As such, I'd ask the shop to take apart then rebuild your stock rear wheel. It looks like the wheel as spec'd is pretty darn good, it just needs to be rebuilt with the proper tension. See what kind of deal they will make you, and also ask them to use NEW DT or Wheelsmith 14g spokes. Detensioning then retensioning existing spokes will just lead to two wheeled chaos! If the shop is service oriented, I'd imagine they'll do this at no charge.

Finally, good luck, and don't give up!
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Old 08-20-07, 11:51 AM   #20
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I took it in today - they had a Rhino Lite (sp?) wheel in stock - I didn't think to ask about spoke count, but it's got at least 36, maybe more (looks at least as spokey as my existing wheel), and they said it was stronger than the one I've got. They're going to tension the spokes on that wheel and my front wheel, and I may have it back this afternoon, but more likely tomorrow.

As for the tire, they said it looked like it was the brakes being out of alignment - for whatever reason, the wheel's all crooked and rubbing on the brake. If it is worn due to improper brake alignment, they'll replace the tire at no charge.

So unless the tire damage was caused by something else, I'll be good to go by tomorrow, with a new wheel, tensioned spokes on both wheels, and a new tire, for $60 (they knocked some off the price of the wheel for me).
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Old 08-20-07, 11:57 AM   #21
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Whoa, that sounds like a winner of a shop. Glad to hear it has started to work out, and don't let it get you down!

Speaking of worn tires, broken glass has ended the life of my rear tire.. guess where I'm off to over lunch? But I doubt they'll replace it gratis, like yours is .
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Old 08-20-07, 12:00 PM   #22
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Yeah... I think I'm going to bring them some baked goods tomorrow, when I pick up the bike.

Sorry to hear about yours - at least it's a quick and easy fix.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:44 PM   #23
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Becky, I sent this to bdinger the other day as well: take a look at these wheels at http://surlyville.net/harvw/index.html. If you're going to go with spokes, this is probably the type of set-up you will need unless you go with a one-piece like an Aerospoke (I did, finally, with no regrets- 500 miles so far and no busted spokes!)
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Old 08-20-07, 01:00 PM   #24
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear about your Bike, it must really suck to be going through so many problems one right after another, I really hope that it get's worked out and you can get in the riding time you want. Here's sending some good ((((MOJO)))) your way.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:03 PM   #25
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Joe.. that's a LOT o'spokes!! I just had a "duh" moment - of course the wheel is 36 spoke, since I have a 36 hub, which is not being changed.

Red - thanks for the mojo - I'm gonna need it! I still plan to get in 55 miles this week, barring any further complications. It's going to mean some 20 mile rides (week ends on Friday)... but I can do it!!
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