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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 08-13-06, 04:38 PM   #1
enginerd
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Dented my rims - now what?

I need some advice. My wife and I were doing a ride yesterday in Petaluma. There was a short downhill stretch with a concrete bridge over a creek. I hit the bottom just before the bridge at about 35. Turns out there was about an inch or more of difference in height at the bridge transition and my rims slammed into this hard enough to hear. I ended up with both rims dented, out of round slightly flattened at the point of impact and the brake surface at the point of impact is warped out a bit so that when I brake, it makes a thump sound each time this goes around. Fortunately, I was using my commuter bike with cheap rims (Matrix Aurora originally from my wife's Trek). Are these repairable or worth repairing or do I just need to get a new wheelset?
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Old 08-13-06, 04:44 PM   #2
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You may need new rims. Take your wheels into your LBS and ask them to have a look at them.
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Old 08-13-06, 04:49 PM   #3
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I dented my Mike Garcia DT Swiss rims when I hit a pot hole the first day I rode them.

Enjoy shopping for new rims.
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Old 08-13-06, 05:27 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd get new rims.
But go used. Are they 700c or 26"? you could probably find a replacement wheelset on Craigslist or something for $50 or less.
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Old 08-13-06, 05:46 PM   #5
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Ok if it is not too bad you can somewhat fix it.

Remove the tire. Take an adjustable wrench and set the width using a healthy portion of the rim such that you can just slide it along the straight portions. When you get to the damaged section begin to rock the wrench back and forth while moving along the rim. Re-true. If you can get the tire to seat, and the brakes not to pulsate, rock on.

In the future, inflate your tires to a higher pressure.
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Old 08-13-06, 08:26 PM   #6
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Despite the possibility of being able to straighten the rims, I would recommend replacing them. Once aluminium is bent it loses structural strength, so even if you manage to straighten the rims you'll be retrueing them regularly and probably have spoke breakages as well.
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Old 08-14-06, 07:19 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the feedback.

Enthalpic: I did end up trying to straighten the rims which for the most part seemed successful. Brake still pulsates slightly in the front and the rim is out of round, but the brake pad still stays on the brake surface of the rim. I had the pressure at 100+. Not sure how much higher I should have gone (I'm also fairly light at 140lbs).

62vette and the beef: This was my main concern with a repair. I'll ride on the repair until I can find a suitable replacement on craigslist. If it gets too sketchy on these rims, I'll ride my weekend bike in to work instead.
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