Old 05-25-20, 08:22 PM
Mad bike riding scientist
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Location: Denver, CO
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Three weeks ago I put the summer tires back on my old MTB-based commuter and snow bike. Since then the rear tire has had a slow leak. Losing about half its psi every couple of days. Just sitting In the shed. This morning I rode it to pick up some potting soil.

I knew from removing the winter studded tires and mounting the summer slicks the innertube had an old patch, and this may be the cause, or perhaps there was a goat-head thorn or some other breach in the tire. So this afternoon I decided to change the inner tube and inspect the tire.

I found a crack in the wheel running from braking surface to braking surface across the inner rim!

I know it wasn't there three weeks ago when I swapped tires. as I always inspect the inner rim for debris, and check the outer rim to make sure the bead is even.

I rode this bike maybe four times since then and for no more than 50 miles in all.

However, this is the original wheel that came with the bike when I bought it new in 1997...Weinmann 519 alloy wheels, but mine says Weinnann 559 (26x1.5 / 559).

Since I bike commute most days, and this was my only bike for 12 years, then one of two for 6 more, then one of three for the last 5 years, as my snow and ice bike in the winter, I'm guessing this wheel has between 60K to possibly 85K over 32 years when longer weekend rides are figured in.

The first and last time i removed the rear cassette myself I spilled the bearings across the warehouse floor at work. Amazingly, I managed to wrangle them all and took the opportunity to clean and repack them. So I think I will let my local bike shop wrench it for me.

As the bike is old I know my options may be limited, and I am open to whatever option is least expensive, except steel wheels... this bike is heavy enough!

I just spent just under $80 last fall converting it to drop bars myself using a mix of new and used parts, and the back rack is from its predecessor bought in 1987, so the bike has tremendous sentimental value, if not monetary value.

I switched this bike to V-Brakes four years ago, and I wonder if their amazing grip helped hasten the wheel's demise.

I'm 58 and still have all my original equipment...i hope there are no hidden surprises waiting for me too soon.

(with rim-tape removed)
That’s not a crack. It’s a joint. All rims have them. Some are pinned and welded, and some are just pinned. A single walled rim like yours is usually just pinned. The joint is a little separated but it’s likely been like that since the wheel was made. It’s not an issue.
Stuart Black
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