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  1. #1
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Rear wheel out of true

    Hit a bump this weekend that knocked rear wheel OOT. Several loose spokes on one side. Took to LBS thinking they could easily true this one back up. Not so. He says that we need to be real careful with this wheel as one more knock will make it unservicable.

    We've had issues with this LBS before. I'm almost tempted to take it to the other LBS and see what they say. I'm really annoyed that we are dealing with this issue in the first place. We have merely 3000 miles on this bike. We don't have the high-speed super light wheels. Stock Velocity Dyad rims. We've hit a few bumps, nothing major. Our weight inlcluding the tandem is around 420 lbs. Now I'm looking at a $100 parts and labor rebuild on the back wheel...for what...another 3000 miles?

    Are there better choices in rear wheel out there? I'm wanting bomb-proof. Stoker wants high-speed. I'm thinking I'm going to win now.

    I wish Peter White and his lifetime garauntee lived in Texas.
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  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    Hit a bump this weekend that knocked rear wheel OOT. Several loose spokes on one side. Took to LBS thinking they could easily true this one back up. Not so. He says that we need to be real careful with this wheel as one more knock will make it unservicable.... I'm really annoyed that we are dealing with this issue in the first place. We have merely 3000 miles on this bike. We don't have the high-speed super light wheels. Stock Velocity Dyad rims. We've hit a few bumps, nothing major. Our weight inlcluding the tandem is around 420 lbs. Now I'm looking at a $100 parts and labor rebuild on the back wheel...for what...another 3000 miles.
    Have you called Co-Motion to back check what your LBS (their authorized dealer) is telling you? Toll Free: 1-866-282-6336. I'm sure who ever answers -- Elayne, Dwan, Kent, Dan, etc. -- will do their best to understand what happened and to address your concerns both with your tandem's wheel and your LBS.

    As for your LBS' diagnosis, if that little bump was at an odd angle or actually harder than you realized it may have defomed the rim; even well built wheels with stout rims can get buggered up. When they get dinged badly enough you'll often find one or two spokes that just don't true up the way they should -- and this is a symptom of the rim being bent and no longer a simple spoke tension issue.

    FWIW: We only weigh in at about 310 -- riders + tandem -- and I've been through three Deep V rims in the past three years; about 1/4000 mi (even though two were trashed by the same pot hole that we nailed while riding in a paceline where the lead rider didn't call out the obstacle). I've taken to bringing an extra rim with me when we go to rallies under the premise that, if I have a spare rim I won't need one: Murphy's Law of replacement parts.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-20-06 at 05:15 AM.

  4. #4
    WATERFORD22
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    I agree with TG - I am averaging a new wheel or a rebuilt every 3 to 4000 miles for various reasons. Tandems are tough on rims. Like TG I am also making sure I have backup set available. I usually don't bugger the hub though. I use quality equip to - White Industries, Hugi's, Mavic, Velocity - it's a joke with my wife everytime we have a long trip planned a wheel goes bad just prior to leaving. We have multiple tandems so it's not a particular bike issue. I never had these issues with singles. With bike and equip we weigh in at around 375. I have friends that just eat up tires also - never been issue with us.

  5. #5
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vosyer
    I agree with TG - I am averaging a new wheel or a rebuilt every 3 to 4000 miles for various reasons. Tandems are tough on rims. Like TG I am also making sure I have backup set available. I usually don't bugger the hub though. I use quality equip to - White Industries, Hugi's, Mavic, Velocity - it's a joke with my wife everytime we have a long trip planned a wheel goes bad just prior to leaving. We have multiple tandems so it's not a particular bike issue. I never had these issues with singles. With bike and equip we weigh in at around 375. I have friends that just eat up tires also - never been issue with us.

    We ride careful and try to avoid pot holes and things that would damage a rim. We have used several different rim and hub configurations over the years, knock on wood we have never damaged a rim. To me every 3000 miles is not a very long time for a good rim to last. We use a White Ind light weight jocky hub set hand built with a 36 spoke Velocity deep V rim as standard on most of the tandems we have owned. The Velocity deep V rims have held up very well for us and we weigh in at 350 lbs plus the tandem at aprox 30 to 31 lbs.

    Good luck,
    Bill G
    Last edited by Bill G; 09-19-06 at 10:22 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    Hit a bump this weekend that knocked rear wheel OOT. Several loose spokes on one side. Took to LBS thinking they could easily true this one back up. Not so. He says that we need to be real careful with this wheel as one more knock will make it unservicable.
    I'm pretty sure that your LBS is right. "Several loose spokes" is the tip off. I strongly suspect that your rim has been bent laterally. When that happens it's sometimes possible to pull it back into line with spoke tension. That'll get you back home (hopefully) but it hasn't solved the problem and you really need to replace the rim if you're looking for carefree bicycling. Sorry.

  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I'm pretty sure that your LBS is right. "Several loose spokes" is the tip off. I strongly suspect that your rim has been bent laterally. When that happens it's sometimes possible to pull it back into line with spoke tension. That'll get you back home (hopefully) but it hasn't solved the problem and you really need to replace the rim if you're looking for carefree bicycling. Sorry.
    +1 sounds like a flat spot in the rim.

    People who are replacing 36h rims every 3000 miles should reconsider their spoke count. I only weigh 185 and I ride a 36h Deep V rear (32h front) on my solo. My prediction is that it will last me 30,000 miles.

    When I finally get back to my tandem project, I'm going to be building up 40h Deep-Vs for it, and it's a 26" wheeled-bike.

    I don't understand the motivation to reduce the number of spokes. Aerodynamically, it might make a small difference in a time-trial (though gloves create more drag than wheel spokes, according to a recent MIT study). As far as weight goes, spokes are meaningless. For durability, it just makes no sense at all to reduce spoke counts.

  8. #8
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets
    +1 sounds like a flat spot in the rim.

    People who are replacing 36h rims every 3000 miles should reconsider their spoke count. I only weigh 185 and I ride a 36h Deep V rear (32h front) on my solo. My prediction is that it will last me 30,000 miles.

    When I finally get back to my tandem project, I'm going to be building up 40h Deep-Vs for it, and it's a 26" wheeled-bike.

    I don't understand the motivation to reduce the number of spokes. Aerodynamically, it might make a small difference in a time-trial (though gloves create more drag than wheel spokes, according to a recent MIT study). As far as weight goes, spokes are meaningless. For durability, it just makes no sense at all to reduce spoke counts.

    I think my wheel is a 40 hole. How can some wheel builders, ie Peter White, offer lifetime gaurentees on a tandem wheel if they're so destructible?
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets
    People who are replacing 36h rims every 3000 miles should reconsider their spoke count.
    To be clear, a 48h trekking rim with 38mm tires would have been damaged in any of the incidents that have damaged my 36h Velocity Deep-Vs.

    All three of my rims (and all on the same tandem) were damaged while riding as the unlucky third tandem in a drafting line at tandem rallies or large events where the lead tandem team failed to call out large pot holes. Being the third bike is a bad place to be as the lead bike moves around the obstacle (but doesn't call it out), the second sees it and goes the other way, and the third splits the difference as speed, distance, and reaction time work against you... at least this is my theory. In actuality, it's really just a case of bad luck, not weak wheels. If we attended fewer rallies, always pulled, or never got stuck in a line of tandems led by less experienced (or inattentive) tandem teams, we would not be having this discussion.

    FWIW, and relative to 36h wheelsets, the 36h Phil Wood / Mavic CXP-30s that I built for my '98 Erickson now have some ~17k damage-free miles and another set of 36h White Industries / Velocity Deep Vs have well over ~8k damage free miles. It's the 36h Phil Wood / Velocity Deep Vs on our travel tandem that have had the luck of the draw and been dinged. Conversely, our '96/97 Santana Arriva had 40h Edco / Mavic T217s and, son-of-a-gun if I didn't ding the rear rim on that tandem back in '98.

    On my single bikes, I don't think I've replaced a rim due to road damage since 1983 when I bunny-hopped a railway crossing at about 25mph... only to find out that there were two sets of tracks at the top of the berm, not just one.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-20-06 at 09:16 AM.

  10. #10
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    I think my wheel is a 40 hole. How can some wheel builders, ie Peter White, offer lifetime gaurentees on a tandem wheel if they're so destructible?
    If a wheel is well desinged and built, it can last a very long time. Your 40h should probably be a durable wheel, but as Tandem Geek points out, isolated impacts are a different story.

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    How can some wheel builders, ie Peter White, offer lifetime gaurentees on a tandem wheel if they're so destructible?
    You'd need to actually read Peter's lifetime guarantee... it's a design and workmanship guarantee, not a road hazard guarantee. Basically, if Peter builds a wheel for you per his own specs (which will be established based on your total team weight, intended use, etc...) and the wheel goes out of true or breaks a spoke, he'll fix it at no cost to you. HOWEVER, if you have damaged the spokes or wheel, all bets are off.

    Here is the actual wording for his tandem wheels:

    Quote Originally Posted by www.peterwhitecycles.com

    Hand Built Tandem Wheelsets

    Like all wheels I recommend and build, my tandem wheels come with a lifetime guarantee. If one of my wheels ever breaks a spoke that hasn't been damaged by an over-shifted chain or some other obvious damage from impact with a foreign object, I will replace the spoke, and true the wheel while you wait at no charge. If one of my wheels ever needs truing, I will true it while you wait, no charge. I guarantee that my workmanship and choice of spokes will outlast the rim and/or hub. Of course my guarantee is not of much practical value if you aren't one of my local customers. Shipping a wheel back and forth from California to New Hampshire gets expensive, and my guarantee covers my work, not shipping. When I began my business and my guarantee in 1988, most people had never heard of the internet, and all of my customers were local.

  12. #12
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree that impact damage is different than long-term durability. I still see no reason to lower spoke counts as we've seen in the last 5-10 years. There's just not enough of a performance advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    To be clear, a 48h trekking rim with 38mm tires would have been damaged in any of the incidents that have damaged my 36h Velocity Deep-Vs.

    All three of my rims (and all on the same tandem) were damaged while riding as the unlucky third tandem in a drafting line at tandem rallies or large events where the lead tandem team failed to call out large pot holes. Being the third bike is a bad place to be as the lead bike moves around the obstacle (but doesn't call it out), the second sees it and goes the other way, and the third splits the difference as time and reaction time work against you... at least this is my theory. In actuality, it's really just a case of bad luck, not weak wheels. If we attended fewer rallies, always pulled, or never got stuck in a line of tandems led by less experienced (or inattentive) tandem teams, we would not be having this discussion.

    FWIW, and relative to 36h wheelsets, the 36h Phil Wood / Mavic CXP-30s that I built for my '98 Erickson now have some ~17k damage-free miles and another set of 36h White Industries / Velocity Deep Vs have well over ~8k damage free miles. It's the 36h Phil Wood / Velocity Deep Vs on our travel tandem that have had the luck of the draw and been dinged. Conversely, our '96/97 Santana Arriva had 40h Edco / Mavic T217s and, son-of-a-gun if I didn't ding the rear rim on that tandem back in '98.

    On my single bikes, I don't think I've replaced a rim due to road damage since 1983 when I bunny-hopped a railway crossing at about 25mph... only to find out that there were two sets of tracks at the top of the berm, not just one.

  13. #13
    WATERFORD22
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    Interesting thread - I ride with 25 tandem teams throughout the year and invariable at some point one of these or several has to do a rebuild throughout the year. Most of these rims don't wear but in the process of riding something gets hit - a pot hole, a railroad track - we cover lots of different terrain, flat roads, gullies, wet , gravel, loaded touring etc. Nobody buys cheap stuff - it just happens. (tj) to your point my most recent wheel rebuild was a man hole cover 6 to 10 inch drop following a pace line - didn't even see it I was concentrating on the rear wheel of the bike I was following. Prior to that I developed a buldge in some t217's which I understand had issues which have been noted. Unfortunately the weight of the team will make a difference - not always my riding partners seem to be having issues with the new Shimano Sweet 16"S. Point is tandems are complicated machines - need constant attention and care to keep operating properly and I would have it other way and wheeels are just part of that equation.

  14. #14
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    I think my wheel is a 40 hole. How can some wheel builders, ie Peter White, offer lifetime gaurentees on a tandem wheel if they're so destructible?

    Like most have said, the rim damage is due to road hazards, pot holes, hitting a big object in the road, and so on most of the time. A well built wheelset should last quite a long time with no real problems. I put around 500 miles on a new wheelset then I check the wheel alignment to make sure the rim is centered, adjust spoke tension, re-true if needed and find that there is not any real problems after that first check up or break in period on a good pair of hand built wheels.

    I have also seen lack of maintenance like letting spokes get loose and low tire pressure be responsable for damaging a rim. Also, some riders ride through everything like their tandem is a tank. Quite often if a part or rim in this case fails time after time the same way, it boils down to lack of care and abuse or poor quality. If a person is going through a well built hub and rim combination every 3000 miles they may want to take a look at their idea of maintenance or lack of, tire pressure and their riding style as the possible problem.

    Take Care,
    Bill G
    Last edited by Bill G; 09-20-06 at 06:43 PM.
    Custom Co-Motion Primera Tandem (AKA The Marrage Counsler)
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    Get 48h wheels!

    Get a pair of 48's !!! My Santana is 18 years old with 36,000 miles on it, still has it's original wheels. I have maintained it myself, trued them 2 - 3 times over the years. It helps if you got good captain skills and scan for objects coming up in the roadway. Your $100 quote is not bad for 3000 miles of fun.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, we are 400 lbs and we tear up rear wheels on our tandem. Used a mavic tndme rim. similar to OP profile, sucked. Sun tandem rims, sucked. Every wheel was about one year 2,000 max. We ride other bikes too.

    Finally I ended up using Velocity Deep V's (30mm high). Seem much stronger. Even use them on my singles as I'm 220 and thrash wheels. ow have 48 spoke Velocity deep V's front and back.

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    What happened here. can't show the pic

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