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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

  3. #3
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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 09:34 PM.

  6. #6
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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.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    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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