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  1. #1
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    I'm so over breaking spokes...

    ..my new thing is cracking rim spoke holes.

    Cracked all the drive side eyelets on the stock rim of my Trek 1500. No eyelets on that rim, so the nipple was actually pulling through the rim in some spots.

    Out on a tour the past few weeks and just about halfway through I notice- huh, same thing. Nice cracks near all the drive side spoke holes on the rear rim. Gotta give credit to my trusty Kona Jake. Still did nearly 400 miles with 300lbs of me and gear on it's back and still doesn't look any worse than when I first noticed it. In fact, I think I'll continue using this rim through a 3rd cyclocross season just to see exactly what it takes to kill it.

    Anyway, since this is apparently a "thing" for me now, anybody know any super secret wheel building tips to avoid this sort of thing?

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    It's not a super secret, but use a double eyeletted rim. I'm partial to the DT Swiss RR1.1 hoop. It's a little heavier than the Mavic Open Pro but I find it feels stiffer when standing and climbing. Overall I like the feel of it compared to an Open Pro built around the same hub/spokes.

    Additional benefits: Wear indicators on the machined surface to tell you when the braking surface is nearing life's end. Gatorskins aren't a humongous pain in the butt to get on the DT rim. The Mavics tend to run a little on the high-side of manufacturing specs, and tight tires are a real workout to stretch over those hoops.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Anyway, since this is apparently a "thing" for me now, anybody know any super secret wheel building tips to avoid this sort of thing?
    Sounds like you need to find a new wheel builder. Broken spokes are generally a sign that spoke tension was too low. Cracked rims are generally a sign that spoke tension was too high. For 300lbs + touring gear, you may need a rim with 40 or more spokes. Velocity Deep V and Dyad rims are available in 32, 36, 40, and 48 hole drillings. The Deep V is supposed to be a great general-purpose road rim, while the Dyad is popular with the touring crowd. The Mavic A719 is another touring-oriented rim available in 36- and 40-hole drillings.

  4. #4
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    The performance by my work has some A719's, 40 hole, on clearance for $10.. I saw them there yesterday, but didn't get them because of the 40 hole setup..

    I searched for some 40 hole hubs, but didn't have much luck.

    If somebody wants them I'll pick them up and ship it to ya for the sum of the parts and shipping.. Or point me to some hubs and I'll get them for myself..
    01 Specialized Rockhopper A1
    07 Felt Z80

    45 pounds and counting :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    for a while this summer I toyed with the idea of using a rear wheel from a tandem bike. they're built to carry 2 people and are much stronger
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  6. #6
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Broken spokes are generally a sign that spoke tension was too low. Cracked rims are generally a sign that spoke tension was too high.

    Aha! This is getting to that super secret dark wheel building magic I was hoping to find. The question is- is there a measurable or otherwise definable point that determines too much versus too little tension? Other than learning from experience and going by feel that is...

    At this point, wheel building is the last area of bicycle mechanics I've yet to tackle myself, so I'm looking to rack up as much wisdom as I can in the area.

    Thanks for the wheel suggestions though, and keep them coming folks- always good to know what works for people. I'll probably go 36 spoke on the next go round, but I'm not entirely certain that more spokes is the definitive solution to this problem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    wanna ride or temp fate again. tandem wheel = overwhelming force. isn't there a military expression such as - when met with a strong or unpredictable enemy, send in an overwhelming force ...?

    on the other hand, a well built and well maintained wheel, like a perfect pitch, is a thing of beauty!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  8. #8
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    wanna ride or temp fate again.
    I'm all about tempting fate. It makes for good stories.

    But seriously, the thing I guess I'm curious about is if this is actually a wheel building problem- if it's improperly tensioned wheels that are causing my rims to fail, more spokes won't necessarily solve that problem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Aha! This is getting to that super secret dark wheel building magic I was hoping to find. The question is- is there a measurable or otherwise definable point that determines too much versus too little tension?
    Yes. Most rim manufacturers have recommended tension ranges for their rims. Velocity, I know, is pretty good about responding to questions concerning their rims. A good wheel builder will use a tension meter to ensure that spokes end up in the recommended tension range.

    Thanks for the wheel suggestions though, and keep them coming folks- always good to know what works for people. I'll probably go 36 spoke on the next go round, but I'm not entirely certain that more spokes is the definitive solution to this problem.
    Adding spokes almost always yields a stronger wheel with lower overall spoke tension. Because of the lower spoke tension, the wheel is less likely to be pulled out of true if spokes loosen or break. Correspondingly, spokes are less likely to break if the tension is lower. That said, it should be possible to build a very strong wheel using a 36-spoke rim.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    that's logical, but I was still suggesting buying a wheel and having someone else check the tension and trueness before riding it at all, then after a hundred miles having them check it again. I'll all for doing most of the work myself but I'm also all for having a good time and rewarding professionals for their skill and knowledge. I'm a photographer and it burns me when people try to do their own work and settle for second rate quality. they try to chip aay at my fee saying things like, oh I can do that ... people are experts in their field for a reason. go buy yourself a nice wheel and have some fun! ;-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Yes. Most rim manufacturers have recommended tension ranges for their rims. Velocity, I know, is pretty good about responding to questions concerning their rims. A good wheel builder will use a tension meter to ensure that spokes end up in the recommended tension range.
    Cool! I didn't know rim companies had published specs on spoke tension, I guess that answers my question mostly. A tension meter is on my list of things to buy if I dive into this wheelbuilding thing.

  12. #12
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I'll all for doing most of the work myself but I'm also all for having a good time and rewarding professionals for their skill and knowledge. I'm a photographer and it burns me when people try to do their own work and settle for second rate quality.
    But I really enjoy doing things badly. Check out my race results sometime.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    that's logical, but I was still suggesting buying a wheel and having someone else check the tension and trueness before riding it at all, then after a hundred miles having them check it again. I'll all for doing most of the work myself but I'm also all for having a good time and rewarding professionals for their skill and knowledge.
    The problem is that any minimum-wage monkey working as a bike mechanic thinks he can build a wheel. If they don't build wheels on a regular basis (e.g. every day) the chances that they can do the job properly in the amount of time you've paid for ($60 = 1 hour) are minimal. Good wheel builders can work very quickly and produce great results, but most LBS employees aren't good wheel builders in my experience.

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