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Thread: Wheel Life?

  1. #1
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Wheel Life?

    Hey everyone. I thought I'd take a break from the VC debates and pose a question about wheel life.
    Specifically how many miles do most of you get out of your wheels. I know most of you are going to make me cry with your multi-mile totals.
    I'm asking as this is the second rear rim I've had develop stress fractures along the eyelets. The stock rims gave up the ghost at 1500 miles and now a 3x 36h set I had specifically built up by Colorado Cyclist are starting to go at less than 1500 miles. I'm a big guy (220) and I do a lot of loaded touring, and commuting with bunny hopping of potholes and such. But Dang! It's not like I'm riding down stairs or doing big drops like my mt. biking friends. Does anyone have any reccomendations for a bomber 26" wheel set up. Please, no lose weight, I'm 6'4", and/or carry less as were talking 35lbs tops on most days, and I know of tourists who carry tons more than that for thousands of miles, and maybe I should be posting this question there. Just thought some of you commuters might have some good suggestions too.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  2. #2
    cab horn
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    I have a set of steel rims on my uber old school road commuter - 3700km and counting.

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    Sun Rhyno seems to have the best rep as a tough touring rim. Its no lightweight but it has plenty of thickness at the brake surface to wear through.

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    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    I had Mavic T520's on my Hope rims handbuilt with straight gauge spokes. The rims wore through to the wear indicators in about 18months (10000 miles or so) but they were still true, having survived the daily commute into Edinburgh and also a couple of laden tours (over Belgian pave).

    I think it's the building which is critical
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    Aside from the most basic corrections, I can't keep a wheel true to save my life - let alone build my own. So I depend on someone building a bomb proof wheel set for me. It really does make a difference. I'm on my second set of wheels built by Mean Todd of WebCyclery in Bend Oregon. The first set was a 36 spoke Mavic T520 rims - XT hub in front, Sram internally geared 7 speed in back. The set I'm currently running are 32 spoke Mavic MA3's - Surly hub in front, Novatec single speed freewheel in back.

    I've put at least a thousand miles on each set and they've stayed as true and straight as an arrow. Definitely worth the investment. I should ad that I weigh in the neighborhood of 220 and carry about a 10 to 15 pounds while commuting in Los Angeles. I try to avoid hazards as much as the next person, but sometimes the roads turn pretty crappy around here and it's like flying a bomber through flak. You just have to grin and bear it.

    So try to avoid the mass produced, machine built wheels and have a craftsman build you up a set. Find someone with a good reputation and I'd be willing to bet that they'll last you longer than anything you've tried so far.

    DanO

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    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    [I'm asking as this is the second rear rim I've had develop stress fractures along the eyelets. The stock rims gave up the ghost at 1500 miles and now a 3x 36h set I had specifically built up by Colorado Cyclist are starting to go at less than 1500 miles.


    Ok, I've got a few suggestions for you. First, use rims that are silver, not hard annodized. The thick dark annodized coating actually promotes the fatique failures you are experencing. Second, reduce wheel dish. This will help balance the tension left to right on the rear wheel, and reduce peak tension on the drive side. There are a couple of ways to acheive this: 1) increase rear axle spacing to 135mm if it is 130, or 140mm if it is 135. Only applicable if you have a steel frame and can cold set it. 2) get an offset bed rim, that moves the spoke holes to the left. 3) if you are running 8-9 speed, consider running a seven speed rear hub. What I do is use my 9 speed cassette, minus one cog (usually the 2nd smallest) on a 7 speed hub. I get the advatage of 8s with the lower dish of 7. Finally, use double butted spokes, 14/15/14 guage. They are more elastic, and allow the stress to be spread over more spokes, reducing peak stress around the spoke hole. Using some or all of these techniques should get you lots more life out of your wheels.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    I just repacked the bearings on my Mavic Open Pros rims with Ultegra hubs. They had close to 10000 miles on them and they are still running. When i bought them the spokes were too loose so I tensioned the wheel a little tighter as I am 190 lbs and tended to break spokes on wheels with less tension. Anyway, I am still looking to see when the wheels wear out. It sounds like most people wear through their rims long before this so I guess I better check my rims.
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    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    I've had two wheels fail in the past two months, ones I've used for about 2 years commuting, both failed on the rim walls, probably because I didn't replace the brake pads enough or street grit got on the good pads and wore them down. I recently bought a Mavic 40-spoke tandem wheel to be extra bomb-proof. Not sure if that will help the rim wall issue, but the thing is awesome strong.

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    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmother
    Ok, I've got a few suggestions for you... Second, reduce wheel dish. This will help balance the tension left to right on the rear wheel, and reduce peak tension on the drive side. There are a couple of ways to acheive this: 1) increase rear axle spacing to 135mm if it is 130, or 140mm if it is 135. Only applicable if you have a steel frame and can cold set it. 2) get an offset bed rim, that moves the spoke holes to the left.
    Or run a single speed! If your commute is only about 7 or 8 miles and the terrain isn't too hilly... why not?
    Dark mother is also right about the 135 or MTB hub width. I run a MTB single speed hub on the back of my CrossCheck and the symmetrical build really helps with the wheel strength. This was also the case with my previous wheel which was built around an internally geared hub. No wheel lasts forever, but both of mine have been bomb proof so far.

    DanO

  10. #10
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DanO220]Or run a single speed!

    Dig it. I miss my SS. That's my next bike project. They're just too much fun not to have one.

  11. #11
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Just wondering, I read on another forum that the Mavic 517's have a psi limit and will crack over 85 psi. I thought it was the tire that would go with too high of pressure, not the dang rim. Plus I'm talking 90-100 PSI.
    I'm sure a single speed wheel would be bomber, but I do a lot of riding in the mountains when I go touring so sadly my knees need the gears.
    It just seems strange with all of the downhillers, and aggressive mountain bikers there would be a slew of bombroof wheels out there. It seems like the only thing you can find anymore is every company falling all over themselves to make a disk specific wheel with the fewest spokes. So any bomber 36 hole rim reccomendations would be greatly appreciated.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  12. #12
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    velocity deep v's are very strong and not a bad price either.

  13. #13
    Get the stick. darkmother's Avatar
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    The type of failure that you will get from too much tire pressure is not what you are describing. The brake surface will fail, not around the spoke hole. I think nashbar has some mavic 231's in 36 hole, IIRC. Anyway, this was a great rim: steel eyelets, double wall. I am 205 lb, and I had a pair of 32 holer's on my MTB for years. Extremely reliable. Take a look at some slightly heavier rims, usually they have a little thicker wall near the spoke beds.

  14. #14
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    i weigh between 250-260 pounds... put over 130 miles a week on my bike, and have still never had one of my wheels go out of round. i run nimbus armadillos at 85 psi. and rhino lites.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/120...-Lite-Rims.htm

  15. #15
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I have a pair of cheap alex rims that came with my $300 specialized hardrock that has somewhere between 5000-6000 miles on it through the city and all it's potholes etc. Still true to within 1.5mm or so since I first trued it. The front braking surface is starting to feel the slightest bit concave though.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmother
    The type of failure that you will get from too much tire pressure is not what you are describing. The brake surface will fail, not around the spoke hole. I think nashbar has some mavic 231's in 36 hole, IIRC. Anyway, this was a great rim: steel eyelets, double wall. I am 205 lb, and I had a pair of 32 holer's on my MTB for years. Extremely reliable. Take a look at some slightly heavier rims, usually they have a little thicker wall near the spoke beds.
    I had a set of 231's on XTR hubs back in the early 90's and I still have them but the rear is bent. I disassembled it and will rebuild it with a new rim someday. I don't know how they got bent, I hadn't seen the bike in about 5 years when I got it back.

    Now I am running Mavic 221's on Deore LX hubs, and at 320lbs I'm not light exactly. I don't hop curbs and do small drops even, at my size. I've had them for a few months and they haven't gone out of true even in the least bit.

    My road bike on the other hand has single wall 27" wheels and they seem to be holding up OK. We'll see how long that lasts.

    EDIT: My 221's are 32 hole, the 231's were 36 hole. So far I cannot tell the difference.

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