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Why don't all rim brake rims have wear indicator grooves?

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Why don't all rim brake rims have wear indicator grooves?

Old 12-03-20, 05:55 PM
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MyRedTrek
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Why don't all rim brake rims have wear indicator grooves?

Both my Giant Cypress and my Trek Verve came with rims with wear indicator grooves. However of the aftermarket rims I've been looking at, I don't think I've seen any that have them. Anyone have insight into why this is?
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Old 12-03-20, 05:59 PM
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Because for decades the risk of blowing out a rim due to pad wear has been thought to be the rider's responsibility. Maintenance and precaution stuff. It wasn't the job of the rim manufacturer to tell you when you wore out your rim. Andy
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Old 12-03-20, 07:35 PM
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are the aftermarket rims you're looking at nicer or cheaper than the rims that came on your bike? a wear indicator seems like more of a luxury thing.

more importantly, most people don't know what a rim wear indicator is, so I would not be surprised if most companies don't bother with a feature that everyone will ignore.
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Old 12-03-20, 08:45 PM
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Maybe the manufacturers get tired of folks returning the rims, thinking those holes are mfg defects.
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Old 12-03-20, 09:09 PM
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Check carefully for some small drilled divots instead of the grooves; there may only be one or two per side.
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Old 12-04-20, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
... Anyone have insight into why this is?
I have them on my Bontrager rims and the divots do give peace of mind. I have over 40,000 miles on the rims and divots are still there. For the relatively small effort to create the divots, it offers much more in safety and peace of mind.

Same with tires. My Continental Gatorskins and Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires have wear divots. It's a great visual indicator.
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Old 12-04-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
Same with tires. My Continental Gatorskins and Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires have wear divots. It's a great visual indicator.
Which I blithely ignore and get another 25-50% tire life before I see threads or start getting too many flats.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:29 AM
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Because most rims are replaced due to an accident long before they wear out?
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Old 12-04-20, 09:49 AM
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This is the greatest pro disc brake argument there is. Disc brakes do not in the end destroy high priced rims.
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Old 12-04-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
are the aftermarket rims you're looking at nicer or cheaper than the rims that came on your bike? a wear indicator seems like more of a luxury thing.

more importantly, most people don't know what a rim wear indicator is, so I would not be surprised if most companies don't bother with a feature that everyone will ignore.
The rims I'm looking at are probably at around the same level as the Bontrage AT-750's that came on the bike. The Sun Rhyno Lite I ordered might be a little nicer since it has spoke eyelets - like the Bontragers it's double walled, machined. If there are any wear indicators it isn't obvious to me from photos - they definitely don't show a groove like the Bontrager rims.
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Old 12-04-20, 11:19 AM
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Ride or Pie?!: Measuring rim sidewall thickness

I've measured mine using the caliper and bent spoke method.
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Old 12-04-20, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Which I blithely ignore and get another 25-50% tire life before I see threads or start getting too many flats.
Well, on the rear at least.
When I do discard the threadbare rear, I move the front to the rear (thus getting yet another 50% of tire life) and buying one new tire (for the front.)
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Old 12-04-20, 02:32 PM
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I never saw rim wear indicators before machined brake tracks became fashionable. Machining the brake track removes material from the rim, shortening the useful life. Maybe the wear indicators are a CYA type of thing?
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Old 12-05-20, 02:08 AM
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My rims are chromed, or some other kind of plating, does this count as wear indicators?

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Old 12-05-20, 07:29 AM
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Really don't see a need for it. When the side wall of the rim starts cupping, replace it.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
I have them on my Bontrager rims and the divots do give peace of mind. I have over 40,000 miles on the rims and divots are still there. For the relatively small effort to create the divots, it offers much more in safety and peace of mind.
A $6 dental caliper works fine - just replace when less than 1mm remains.

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Old 12-05-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Both my Giant Cypress and my Trek Verve came with rims with wear indicator grooves. However of the aftermarket rims I've been looking at, I don't think I've seen any that have them. Anyone have insight into why this is?
Gap calipers . . .

. . . so long as sidewall thickness is .5 mm or more, there's some life left.

Most rims start at 1.4 to 1.6mm

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Old 12-05-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Check carefully for some small drilled divots instead of the grooves; there may only be one or two per side.
Like this!

On this rim, diametrically across from the valve hole.
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Old 12-05-20, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mrrabbit View Post
. . . so long as sidewall thickness is .5 mm or more, there's some life left.

Most rims start at 1.4 to 1.6mm
This is consistent with my observations on several new rims and several worn-out rims. The dental thickness gauge, known also as a "crown thickness" or "Iwanson" gauge, is good for rim wear measurements.
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