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  1. #1
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Wheel failing, dangerous?

    Below is a close up of the rim on my rear wheel showing a crack that has developed. This is the rear wheel and ALL the cassette side spokes show the same crack but neither the opposite side spokes nor the front wheel do.

    The picture is representative of all the cracked areas.

    Do I have time to shop for replacements or is this subject to catastrophic failure?

    Last edited by TomD77; 11-27-12 at 11:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Let's face the obvious fact......no wheel should have that crack. That means the wheel is now junk and will need to be replaced ASAP!
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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Let's face the obvious fact......no wheel should have that crack. That means the wheel is now junk and will need to be replaced ASAP!
    +1000 Don't ride on that.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Odds are the wheel won't explode. IME when the rim had a crack around the hole, it's hard to keep true. All you need is for the rim to go out on a ride and lock up with the brake pad. That itself will hurt you. Doesn't take an "exploding rim" to cause damage.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Is it worth just replacing the rim? I often feel that if the rim has had a hard life and is almost worn out (Without the cracks) then the hub would be almost worn out too if it is 105 or lower spec. If rebuilding it will be a new rim- new spokes and a good wheelbuilder. Cost of that could be up to a new wheel of better spec.
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    I would not ride that rim. Why take a chance unless you were in the middle of the Sahara and needed to get to the nearest oasis?

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    I have had cracks like that in wheels before. When a wheel cracks, it is at the end of its useful life. Once I discovered a crack, my policy was to get a new wheel. You could just replace the rims and spokes. The spokes are probably stressed anyway. I would think that with proper maintenance, the hubs should be fine. However, that assumes that you have a good wheel builder locally. Wheel building is as much an art as anything else. Some people have the touch and others don't.

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    To some extent I think the possibility of catastrophic failure depends on the stress you're putting on the wheel. If you're 110lbs and only ride on smooth road surfaces, you MIGHT be ok for a little while. If you're in the Clydesdale range with body weight or jump curbs, I'd say you're asking for trouble. If it were me I'd stop riding it now.
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    I'm on the do not ride the wheel side, Tom, that is just waiting to finish splitting and let some spokes take things apart and show you what a sudden stop is. You and I are both Clydes and I wouldn't use it at all. New wheelset time for your safety's sake.

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    I had a rear wheel that looked like that after a too close for comfort encounter with a deer on a paved MUP; by the time I got back to my truck (about 12 miles), there were only 8 spokes that didn't have cracks on both sides of them, and I never went over 5 mph on the ride back - and that's on a recumbent tadpole trike. On a regular bike, I wouldn't even have considered it - I'd have just called my wife to come and get me at the nearest road crossing, and would have walked the bike to that. I just don't heal quickly enough any more to take those sorts of risks!
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    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I never understand post like these. what is the cost of a new wheel compared to the hospital stay?

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    The drive side (DS) spokes are under the highest tension. That's why the rim is cracking under them and not the NDS spokes.

    Did you or someone true the wheel? Somehow the spoke tension went over the rim's limit. Or perhaps if the wheel's seen a lot of miles its just fatigue.

    If the hub is decent and in good shape, then it's worth rebuilding the wheel on it using a new rim and new spokes. About half the cost is labor which varies depending on where you are but figure $125-175 for the total.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Below is a close up of the rim on my rear wheel showing a crack that has developed. This is the rear wheel and ALL the cassette side spokes show the same crack but neither the opposite side spokes nor the front wheel do.

    The picture is representative of all the cracked areas.

    Do I have time to shop for replacements or is this subject to catastrophic failure?
    It costs $200 for a new wheel, it costs $20,000 for a couple of days in hospital, and all the tests you need after the crash..... This is called a no brainer...

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    I'd replace as soon as practical, but I wouldn't be calling up the wife to come pick me up. I'd just ride very cautiously and monitor - typically the wheel will give some warning by going radically out of true long before failing catastrophically.

    You accept some risk when you climb on the bike - if safety is all that is important, you wouldn't get on the bike to begin with.

    - Mark

  15. #15
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    I'd replace as soon as practical, but I wouldn't be calling up the wife to come pick me up. I'd just ride very cautiously and monitor - typically the wheel will give some warning by going radically out of true long before failing catastrophically.- Mark
    I agree with Mark (plus what others have said), i.e. it's not going to fail dramatically but the wheel will be more and more difficult to keep in true. I bought some Neuvation wheels and after about 25,000 miles the rear rim developed similar cracks. I contacted Neuvation and got a new rim, laced it up with the same spokes and hub . . . and got another 20,000 or so before that rim failed for the same reason.

    I've also had to replace the rear hub bearings (yes, bearings wear out), but I guess my point is that as long as you can build wheels, just lace up another rim and be done with it. Replacing the spokes on principle is a good idea too, but as I found out (at least with the Neuvations) not always necessary.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Rims are a Consumable, time to get a rebuild, or a whole new wheel, depending on your Hub(s) ,
    and your attachment to them.

    NAS would Ground Planes for Less..

  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The wheel is totally shot. How is the rest of the bike?
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  18. #18
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    You're probably not a heartbeat away from catastrophic failure, but that rim is done and you need to replace it ASAP. Unless you have a very valuable hub in that wheel, it is unlikely you can have it rebuilt for less than a new one would cost. What are the specs of the wheel?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    The rim is a year old and had slightly north of 5000 miles. It (and it's front mate) is now at the dealer's shop to be sent back to the manufacturer for warranty replacement. Everyone who saw it today agreed that it should not be ridden.

    Yesterday, before I knew of the cracks, I was doing hill repeats where I was getting up well over 30 on a bumpy road on the way back down.

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    The rim is a year old and had slightly north of 5000 miles. It (and it's front mate) is now at the dealer's shop to be sent back to the manufacturer for warranty replacement. Everyone who saw it today agreed that it should not be ridden.

    Yesterday, before I knew of the cracks, I was doing hill repeats where I was getting up well over 30 on a bumpy road on the way back down.
    Many wheels will begin to show use at 5000 miles, but a moderate quality wheel should last twice as long before needing replacement. You might need to upgrade your wheelset, if you ride often and your usage is demanding. You can invest in a strong wheelset, a moderately priced wheelset or a light wheelset. Pick two.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    The rim is a year old and had slightly north of 5000 miles. It (and it's front mate) is now at the dealer's shop to be sent back to the manufacturer for warranty replacement. Everyone who saw it today agreed that it should not be ridden.

    Yesterday, before I knew of the cracks, I was doing hill repeats where I was getting up well over 30 on a bumpy road on the way back down.
    For a rim to crack around all the drive side spoke holes like that in just 5000 miles of use, it must have defective materials or overtightened spokes or some kind of defect. Glad your dealer is sending them back to the manufacturer. Hopefully they will honor the warranty and replace them. Any product is subject to having defects. Good companies will make it right.
    What wheels were they?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    What wheels were they?
    Bontrager Race Lites from Trek. Had never tightened the spokes or trued the rear wheel (the one with the cracks). The front wheel was a different story, couldn't keep it true at all. The nipples were stripping.

    I just bought a set of DT Swiss 1850 wheels but won't have them until next week.

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    Seems like there's no up side to using that wheel. The down side would be like having a buddy take you out in the car at about 15 ~ 25 Mph and jumping out the window on to the road... No Thanks!
    2012 Trek 5.2 Madone
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  24. #24
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    Bontrager Race Lites from Trek. Had never tightened the spokes or trued the rear wheel (the one with the cracks). The front wheel was a different story, couldn't keep it true at all. The nipples were stripping.

    I just bought a set of DT Swiss 1850 wheels but won't have them until next week.
    OEM wheelsets are often built to meet very basic requirements in terms of quality and durability. 5000 miles is a half life for a quality aftermarket wheelset, but might be the amount of life hoped for by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Machine built wheels that are made to a price point are going fail after several thousand miles if the rider is strong enough.

    Purchasing an aftermarket wheelset provides the buyer with opportunity to select the right combination of weight, strength and cost.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-27-12 at 06:02 PM.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
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  25. #25
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    My next wheels,,,,

    http://store.aerospoke.com/

    For the money,,THIS Is a no brainer...
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

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