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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 03-29-14, 03:20 AM   #1
brawlo
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New rims DT 440s/Mavic Open Pros/Velocity A23s

So after touting the pros of my A23 wheelset for so long on the interwebs (not really that long - 18mths or so) I was washing the bike in lieu of my impending race tomorrow and find no less than 5 cracks in the rear A23 rim. Luckily I got a set of Kinlin rimmed wheels built up around Christmas and so have a fallback set. There was a noise very similar to a loose spoke noise I had on my old wheelset of my previous bike, so just put it in the go see the LBS soon basket. That stated about 2 weeks ago. 2 of the cracks are small and just starting, and the other 3 are substantial. The way they have grown seems to be straight out from the spoke nipple and then along the rim where the material would go thinner for the rim wall.

Anyway, so I'm hoping to just replace the rims and nipples and keeps the hubs/spokes to keep costs lower. So unless someone can point me at other rims, it looks like the DTs, Mavics and A23s are my replacement choices. The A23 has ERD of 601mm and the Mavics have 602 and DTs 599 so all should match to my existing setup. I'm hesitant to go back for an A23 due to the failure mode and the whispers of their quality being a bit ho hum of late. I would lean towards the DT440s as I liked the transition to the wider A23 rims from my previous CXP30 rims although they're "only" 21mm wide. Wheels will be my everyday set although I'm a little lazy and will race on them more often than as well. They will be mating to 32h Ultegra hubs and my weight is sitting at around 115kg/250lb.

Worst case is I go for new spokes and broaden the search substantially.
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Old 03-29-14, 09:09 AM   #2
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I'm hesitant to go back for an A23 due to the failure mode and the whispers of their quality being a bit ho hum of late.
Those same rumors have been circulating about the Open Pro for the last couple of years. If I were you, I'd try to get Velocity to replace your A23 under warranty and then keep an eye out for similar problems in the future. If you'd examined the wheel when when it first started making noise, you'd probably have noticed the problem before it got as bad as it is now.

If that doesn't work, then the DT440 seems like the only option...
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Old 03-29-14, 02:17 PM   #3
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Even though I could try to get the rim replaced, I'm not keen to do so as pointed out with the failure mode. I know they're a light rim, but so are the alternatives.

I did inspect the wheel when the noise started, but being the noise of a loose spoke and not having ever had a cracked rim before, my mind went to that cause. After the wheel was washed, it was still hard to see the cracks. You had to get the angle just right. All the cracking is on the one side of the rim too. I'll have to take another look at the wheel, but I'd guess they're on the drive side.

A DT440 asymmetric rim looks like the best replacement option.
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Old 03-29-14, 08:25 PM   #4
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I would actually argue the other direction, to me it seems Velocity's quality has been improving steadily from with they were made in Australia. If it were me, I would find someone with a spoke tension gauge and see if they have been over tensioned (shouldn't be over 120kgf), if not contact Velocity and there is a very real chance they will send you a warranty rim. I have never seen a company stand behind their product like Velocity, I have read stories of Velocity sending warranty rims to far off countries that have to have cost them hundreds in shipping alone.
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Old 03-30-14, 08:22 AM   #5
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Even though I could try to get the rim replaced, I'm not keen to do so as pointed out with the failure mode. I know they're a light rim, but so are the alternatives.

I did inspect the wheel when the noise started, but being the noise of a loose spoke and not having ever had a cracked rim before, my mind went to that cause. After the wheel was washed, it was still hard to see the cracks. You had to get the angle just right. All the cracking is on the one side of the rim too. I'll have to take another look at the wheel, but I'd guess they're on the drive side.

A DT440 asymmetric rim looks like the best replacement option.
At your weight, the RR 585 might be a better option. Yeah, you'd need to replace the spokes, but that's probably also true for the asymmetric RR 440.
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Old 04-01-14, 11:29 AM   #6
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I'm just under that weight and have had great experiences with Open Pro (32's, 3 cross) and HED Belgiums.
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Old 04-01-14, 05:58 PM   #7
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Well after speaking with the guy who'll be doing the building, and scouring the net, I'll be going with the open pros. The DTs are significantly more expensive and not to mention harder to come by. I'd rather go for a 23mm rim, but with keeping the spokes I don't have much choice.

Thanks for the input guys
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Old 04-02-14, 08:54 AM   #8
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So after touting the pros of my A23 wheelset for so long on the interwebs (not really that long - 18mths or so) I was washing the bike in lieu of my impending race tomorrow and find no less than 5 cracks in the rear A23 rim. Luckily I got a set of Kinlin rimmed wheels built up around Christmas and so have a fallback set. There was a noise very similar to a loose spoke noise I had on my old wheelset of my previous bike, so just put it in the go see the LBS soon basket. That stated about 2 weeks ago. 2 of the cracks are small and just starting, and the other 3 are substantial. The way they have grown seems to be straight out from the spoke nipple and then along the rim where the material would go thinner for the rim wall.
If there's any way we can help you out, let me know. Out of curiosity, do you know if your A23 was Aus or US made, and if it was the tubeless-ready model or the original non-tubeless model? Was it one of our (Velocity's) builds or built elsewhere? Sorry for all the questions but it helps us chase down any potential issues.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:03 PM   #9
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I weigh 260 lbs and ride a Tarmac Pro. After popping some spokes on the Ksyriums that were stock. A few years ago, I had Colorado Cyclists build me a set of CXP 33 rims in 32/36 with Ultegra hubs and DT spokes. Pretty standard build from their website. Absolutely rock solid, never been knocked out of true. Probably 12-15K miles. You know the saying, light, strong, cheap...pick any two! I went with strong and relatively affordable. Also run a set of stock 32 spoke Ultegra Open Pros on my steel Allez frankenbike and they as well have been solid and stay true. These can be had pretty reasonable online but the CC build is pretty bomb proof for me. Stiff too. I run Gatorskin 25s on front and 28s on back BRW. Decent ride quality IMO.

Try to negotiate some $$ and put it toward a build! Good luck.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:20 PM   #10
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Well after speaking with the guy who'll be doing the building, and scouring the net, I'll be going with the open pros. The DTs are significantly more expensive and not to mention harder to come by. I'd rather go for a 23mm rim, but with keeping the spokes I don't have much choice.

Thanks for the input guys
There's a reason why the DTs are more expensive - they're a much, much better rim.

IMO you'd have been slightly better getting CXP33s if you had to go with Mavic, unless you saved money by going with OPs. Last I looked, the Weight Weenies web site showed that OPs tend to come in well over the weight Mavic claims for them, making them just about as heavy as CXP33s, with none of the strength and aero advantages of the CXP33 profile.

Probably not a big deal, though, as a well-built OP wheel will work just fine.
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Old 04-02-14, 12:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Soonerinfrisco View Post
I weigh 260 lbs and ride a Tarmac Pro. After popping some spokes on the Ksyriums that were stock. A few years ago, I had Colorado Cyclists build me a set of CXP 33 rims in 32/36 with Ultegra hubs and DT spokes. Pretty standard build from their website. Absolutely rock solid, never been knocked out of true. Probably 12-15K miles. You know the saying, light, strong, cheap...pick any two! I went with strong and relatively affordable. Also run a set of stock 32 spoke Ultegra Open Pros on my steel Allez frankenbike and they as well have been solid and stay true. These can be had pretty reasonable online but the CC build is pretty bomb proof for me. Stiff too. I run Gatorskin 25s on front and 28s on back BRW. Decent ride quality IMO.

Try to negotiate some $$ and put it toward a build! Good luck.
I got a pair just like that from Colorado Cyclists. Great build. Last I looked, they didn't offer that build any more. Too bad. It was a great offering.

Though if I had to do it over, I'd go with 105 hubs and DT Swiss RR585 rims. There's almost no difference other than finish color between 105 and Ultegra hubs, and the RR585s are IMO much better rims than CXP33s.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:44 PM   #12
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If there's any way we can help you out, let me know. Out of curiosity, do you know if your A23 was Aus or US made, and if it was the tubeless-ready model or the original non-tubeless model? Was it one of our (Velocity's) builds or built elsewhere? Sorry for all the questions but it helps us chase down any potential issues.
seely, I don't remember where the rims were made. I debadged them when I got them, which as it turns out was just over 3 years ago, not 18mths (wow a whole year went by in there somewhere!). The wheelset was a Velocity build with Ultegra hubs because at the time they had run out of their own hubs. The rims are the original non-tubeless model. The crack are hard to see unless you get the light at the right angle. They may have been there well before, and I just couldn't see them because I had no need to inspect the rim so closely. Pics of the 3 worst cracks are below, there's another 2 that are visible and they're spread right around the rim.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:54 PM   #13
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I weigh 260 lbs and ride a Tarmac Pro. After popping some spokes on the Ksyriums that were stock. A few years ago, I had Colorado Cyclists build me a set of CXP 33 rims in 32/36 with Ultegra hubs and DT spokes. Pretty standard build from their website. Absolutely rock solid, never been knocked out of true. Probably 12-15K miles. You know the saying, light, strong, cheap...pick any two! I went with strong and relatively affordable. Also run a set of stock 32 spoke Ultegra Open Pros on my steel Allez frankenbike and they as well have been solid and stay true. These can be had pretty reasonable online but the CC build is pretty bomb proof for me. Stiff too. I run Gatorskin 25s on front and 28s on back BRW. Decent ride quality IMO.

Try to negotiate some $$ and put it toward a build! Good luck.
I can certainly attest to the quality of the Mavic higher profile rims. My first second hand bike came with 28/28 CXP30 rims. I never had a problem with the wheels until just before I got the A23s where a spoke kept coming loose. That was after 3 years under me and however long under the previous owner(s). The wheel just needs to be rebuilt. I went for the A23s as the 23mm rim revolution had just begun and one of the factors I was chasing was the cornering performance on our tighter crit circuit. For those that haven't experienced it, there IS a difference with the 23mm rims, especially in this aspect.

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There's a reason why the DTs are more expensive - they're a much, much better rim.

IMO you'd have been slightly better getting CXP33s if you had to go with Mavic, unless you saved money by going with OPs. Last I looked, the Weight Weenies web site showed that OPs tend to come in well over the weight Mavic claims for them, making them just about as heavy as CXP33s, with none of the strength and aero advantages of the CXP33 profile.

Probably not a big deal, though, as a well-built OP wheel will work just fine.
I haven't gone with a new build as I had Prowheelbuilder make me a set of Kinlin XC279/DA hub wheels around Christmas. These were to be my race wheels, so I had them to fall back on. The rebuilt wheels will be a training set to just tick over the kms on the road so no need for aero. Also aero and weight weren't a factor here, just matching to the spoke length I had.
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Old 04-02-14, 05:02 PM   #14
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seely, I don't remember where the rims were made. I debadged them when I got them, which as it turns out was just over 3 years ago, not 18mths (wow a whole year went by in there somewhere!). The wheelset was a Velocity build with Ultegra hubs because at the time they had run out of their own hubs. The rims are the original non-tubeless model. The crack are hard to see unless you get the light at the right angle. They may have been there well before, and I just couldn't see them because I had no need to inspect the rim so closely. Pics of the 3 worst cracks are below, there's another 2 that are visible and they're spread right around the rim.
Interesting. That's not what I expected to see at all. I was expecting the typical fore/aft crack right at the center of the nipple. Those look more like the entire spoke bed portion of the extrusion is cracking away from the sidewall due to some sort of internal stress riser or something. Hmmmmmmm, I'll be interested to hear if Seely can shed any light on this issue.

And, by the way, although I used to be a proponent of the Open Pros, I believe there are currently much better options out there.
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Old 04-02-14, 05:28 PM   #15
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I got a pair just like that from Colorado Cyclists. Great build. Last I looked, they didn't offer that build any more. Too bad. It was a great offering.

Though if I had to do it over, I'd go with 105 hubs and DT Swiss RR585 rims. There's almost no difference other than finish color between 105 and Ultegra hubs, and the RR585s are IMO much better rims than CXP33s.
RRs were definitely something I considered as well as Velo Fusions (but not offered by CC). Too bad they don't have that option anymore (CXP33/Ult) they are really stout and nice and stiff too.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:11 AM   #16
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seely, I don't remember where the rims were made. I debadged them when I got them, which as it turns out was just over 3 years ago, not 18mths (wow a whole year went by in there somewhere!). The wheelset was a Velocity build with Ultegra hubs because at the time they had run out of their own hubs. The rims are the original non-tubeless model. The crack are hard to see unless you get the light at the right angle. They may have been there well before, and I just couldn't see them because I had no need to inspect the rim so closely. Pics of the 3 worst cracks are below, there's another 2 that are visible and they're spread right around the rim.
At 3 years old there is definitely a pretty good possibility of the rims being Australian made. It was before my time here, but I have heard that some of our Australian extrusions had some inconsistencies. Since switching to a US extruder with a long history of making bike rim extrusions, it seems like we've cleared any issues up. I'm going to say if the wheels are on Ultegra hubs, however, its likely not our in-house build but that doesn't mean it wasn't a competent build, and frankly, as long as it wasn't vastly over tensioned I wouldn't expect a failure like that from a poor build.

It sounds like you're pretty well set on the build, but if there's anything we can do to get you back on a Velocity rim, let me know. seely [at] velocityusa [dot] com
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Old 04-03-14, 04:32 PM   #17
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At 3 years old there is definitely a pretty good possibility of the rims being Australian made. It was before my time here, but I have heard that some of our Australian extrusions had some inconsistencies. Since switching to a US extruder with a long history of making bike rim extrusions, it seems like we've cleared any issues up. I'm going to say if the wheels are on Ultegra hubs, however, its likely not our in-house build but that doesn't mean it wasn't a competent build, and frankly, as long as it wasn't vastly over tensioned I wouldn't expect a failure like that from a poor build.

It sounds like you're pretty well set on the build, but if there's anything we can do to get you back on a Velocity rim, let me know. seely [at] velocityusa [dot] com
Seely, the wheels are definitely a Velocity build. At the time, they were having supply issues and were using Ultegra hubs in place of their race hubs. That was why I jumped onto the wheels when I did. As you say, I think there is a manufacturing fault at play here given the failure mode. The cracks are following the seam where the material changes thickness from the nipple seat. Hopefully with new manufacturing processes the same thing wouldn't happen again.

For the record, I'm not against Velocity rims. I've been running Aerohead rims on my track bike for 6ish years now. Hundreds and possibly thousands of full gas accelerations, standing starts and race miles and the wheels haven't even looked like running out of true.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:29 PM   #18
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I know you made your decision, but I just wanted to do a +1 for the DT RR585. I have a set, 32 3X laced to 105 hubs. I really like them.
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Old 04-04-14, 09:03 AM   #19
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I used Open Pro 36h with DT. I did have a reputable builder put them together. I have 3000 miles on them and I have hit many big holes riding in the dark. I am not talking 3 or 4 pot holes, I am talking many holes where your hands hurt from the impact LOL. The rims are still round and true with no adjustments as of yet.
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