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  1. #1
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    Replacement wheels for Trek Portland

    My 2007 Trek Portland has about 2500 miles on it, mostly recreational road riding and some commuting. I weigh 180 lbs. I've always enjoyed the bike but have been highly suspicious of the stock Bontrager wheels. The paired spoke design seemed silly for their intended purpose and the wheels area also rather heavy. During a tune-up tonight my fears where confirmed. One of spokes had pulled through the rim completely. Further inspection revealed several significant cracks at other eyelets. The rim is shot. The front rim does not appear to have major cracks yet, but I am not impressed. Sturdy and dependable wheels are key, especially for commuting. Does anyone know if there is a chance in hell of this being a warranty item? Not worthwhile I suppose if they replace with the same terrible rims! The bike is a few years old but the miles are low and everything else is in good condition so it's worth a new wheelset one way or the other.




    The best option I can think of right now is replacing these with a set build on those 130mm novatech hubs. If anyone knows of a better solution please let me know

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    Sorry to see your wheel.

    It's worth bringing the problem to the attention of the dealer you bought the bike from, I would say. Even if the wheel is not technically a warranty item the dealer might be willing to do something for you just to assuage your justified feelings of outrage. Perhaps they'll cut you a deal on a new wheel build or a new set of wheels.

    Trek's idea of bringing a purpose-built fast commuter bike to market was a great one. I love the Portland frame, and the inclusion of the quick-release fenders was a cool add-on. Some people would say the disk brakes are a cool item, too, though I'm not as much a fan of them on road bikes, myself. I don't think they're worth the cost compared to V-brakes or cantis. Still, disk brakes are not really what I would call a problem with the bike. The whole set-up, again, is great. I can see why you've enjoyed the bike.

    I had my suspicions about the wheels, though, too. Quick commute or no, I've never had much luck with sub-32 spoke wheels.

    The Portland otherwise as it is with a 32-spoke wheel would be nearly ideal as a commuting rig, I would say. It wouldn't be very expensive to get a new, high-quality wheelset with 32-hubs, especially with all the 29-inch wheels for disk brakes around now. If it were my Portland-- I almost bought one, so I thought about it a bit-- that's what I would do. Aero-wheels are cool but I don't think they're suitable for practical cycling, or even for regular long recreational rides for a heavier guy. That's my thought, anyway.

    Good luck with it. I hope you can get some value from the dealer for your trouble.
    Formerly Merriwether

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    I'm realizing that good pricing can be had on some suitable wheels due to the 29er craze. While the frame is spaced to 130mm, 135mm isn't much more and with a spacer removed and a slight pry I should be able to fit these in the frame. As it is, it's pretty easy to fit the 135mm rear wheel from my mountain bike in there. The rims will be slightly wide for 28mm tires but should be fine.

    http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com.../prod_222.html

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Check with your Trek dealer and ask about warranty replacements on those wheels... Trek has covered a lot of failures for Bontrager wheel sets because of poor designs and one friend had his Bontrager wheels replaced after 4 years as they started to develop multitudes of cracks at less than 1000 miles of riding the bike and I have helped other people get satisafaction after they also experienced failures with the stock Bontrager wheel sets on what have been pricier models.

    The paired spoke design is one of those failures and a wheel set on a bike as pricey as the Portland should go well beyond 2500 miles.

    You might get some new wheels for 0.00 and consider also that Trek has pretty much abandoned using paired spoke wheels because of the many issues customers were having with them.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    +1 , normal 32, 36 3X wheels are the way to go.

    If there is a run of those wheels that came on the bike exhibiting similar problems,
    Dealer may get compensation from Trek , he can pass thru to you..
    NB you did get 5 years/2700 miles of 'wear and tear' out of them , so maybe not..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-15-12 at 10:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Check with your Trek dealer and ask about warranty replacements on those wheels... Trek has covered a lot of failures for Bontrager wheel sets because of poor designs and one friend had his Bontrager wheels replaced after 4 years as they started to develop multitudes of cracks at less than 1000 miles of riding the bike and I have helped other people get satisafaction after they also experienced failures with the stock Bontrager wheel sets on what have been pricier models.

    The paired spoke design is one of those failures and a wheel set on a bike as pricey as the Portland should go well beyond 2500 miles.

    You might get some new wheels for 0.00 and consider also that Trek has pretty much abandoned using paired spoke wheels because of the many issues customers were having with them.
    Sounds like it it worth a try. Thanks for the advice. There is a Trek dealer near me so I guess there is no harm in swinging by before spending money that I might not need to. Cheers!

  7. #7
    tsl
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    I own a 2006 Trek Portland that has over 13,000 miles on it. I had two sets of those wheels--one for the three-season tires and one for the studded snows.

    I don't have a current product to offer, but this is my experience:

    Trek warranteed each set twice before I got tired of the same old crappy wheels. But if you're putting only 200 miles a year on the bike (1,000 miles in five years?), you'll likely get another five years out of them. For that matter, if Trek won't warrantee yours, I still have a set I'd part with pretty cheap.

    Strangely, it was easier to find disc-specific hoops a couple of year ago when I had mine built. (Story here.) Since then, Velocity discontinued the VXC rim I used. With new road disc bikes coming out you'd think you could find more wheels and rims these days, but they've pretty much dried up. Temporary I'm sure, but it doesn't help you today.

    Velocity still sells--and I highly recommend--their 130mm road disc hub. I was told that one shouldn't cold set (that is, bend or force wider) an aluminum frame. Steel tolerates it, but aluminum apparently does not. This is before even considering any chainline issues a wider hub could introduce. I played it conservatively and stuck with the 130mm spacing.

    I have nearly three years and about 5,000 miles on the "new" wheels I had built and they've still never needed to be trued, let along never having any spoke problems.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  8. #8
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I believe White Industries also has a 130mm rear disc hub.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    more spokes in the Next wheel !

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    Do you still have trek portland wheels sitting around? I need to replace the rear wheel on my 2008 Trek Portland that I use as a commuter. The rim was bent due to an idiotic motorist. (He hit me after failing to stop at a stop sign, I am fine and it could have been much worse). Great bike other than the 130mm rear spacing and the stock wheels, but alas I do not have the funds to build up a new wheel set right now. Let me know if you have some wheels you could part with,

    Thanks,
    Dan


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    This was directed towards Tsl. Trek portland wheels for sale??

    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I own a 2006 Trek Portland that has over 13,000 miles on it. I had two sets of those wheels--one for the three-season tires and one for the studded snows.

    I don't have a current product to offer, but this is my experience:

    Trek warranteed each set twice before I got tired of the same old crappy wheels. But if you're putting only 200 miles a year on the bike (1,000 miles in five years?), you'll likely get another five years out of them. For that matter, if Trek won't warrantee yours, I still have a set I'd part with pretty cheap.

    Strangely, it was easier to find disc-specific hoops a couple of year ago when I had mine built. (Story here.) Since then, Velocity discontinued the VXC rim I used. With new road disc bikes coming out you'd think you could find more wheels and rims these days, but they've pretty much dried up. Temporary I'm sure, but it doesn't help you today.

    Velocity still sells--and I highly recommend--their 130mm road disc hub. I was told that one shouldn't cold set (that is, bend or force wider) an aluminum frame. Steel tolerates it, but aluminum apparently does not. This is before even considering any chainline issues a wider hub could introduce. I played it conservatively and stuck with the 130mm spacing.

    I have nearly three years and about 5,000 miles on the "new" wheels I had built and they've still never needed to be trued, let along never having any spoke problems.

  12. #12
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by dperkins View Post
    This was directed towards Tsl. Trek portland wheels for sale??
    Nope. That post was from four years ago. They're long gone. Sorry.

    Velocity no longer makes that hub either.

    I'm glad you're okay. You were rear-ended at a stop sign. This makes the driver liable for damages. Can you get them (or their insurance company) to pay up?

    As I recall, there's nothing about that stock hub that requires it to be built with that goofy paired-spoke lacing. Check with someone who knows more about these things than me. If the hub can be built with standard lacing, have it rebuilt into a decent rim using 2X lacing. (With only 24 spokes, I don't think 3X would work, but again, ask an expert.)

    Velocity's A23 O/C for off-center builds up as a really nice rear wheel, and it comes in 24-hole drilling. The benefits of the off-center design will really help with 24 spokes.

    Hope this helps!
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Is the hub flange spread even narrower with a Cassette 130 disc Hub . or just a thinner left side Spacer. ?

  14. #14
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    I'm sort of fascinated by the Rolf-style wheels, I can see the reasons for them. Trek licensed them and used them a lot at the time.
    Genesis 49:17

  15. #15
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Trek licensed them and warranteed them a lot at the time.
    FIFY

    They were an especially bad idea on a disc-brake commuting bike.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    In the last couple of years there has been a growing market of disc brake Cyclocross and disc brake commuter bikes with 700c wheels, so the 130mm disc brake wheels may well be available.

    Here is one, but there are probably cheaper ones.

    Bontrager SSR Disc Road Rear Wheel - Brands Cycle and Fitness

    One could probably take any MTB disc wheel, remove a spacer from the left and redish, although it may put the spacing on the rear brake off a bit. The brake callipers usually have a few mm of lateral adjustment so you may have to just try it.

    If you can shop at a local bike shop (or co-op), then they might allow you to test the wheel on your bike to see if it looks like it will fit before purchasing it and doing the work on it.

    Given a compatible hub, it is easy enough to build your own wheel, and you may well end up with results as good as, or better than factor wheels (individuals often choose higher quality parts).

    I've got a Trek Portland that came with mismatched parts. And the wheels seem to have gotten separated from the frame, so I'll hunt them down tomorrow.

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