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lifespan on a MTB wheel set.. any wayo t tell if a wheel is "shot"

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lifespan on a MTB wheel set.. any wayo t tell if a wheel is "shot"

Old 09-23-10, 01:57 PM
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lifespan on a MTB wheel set.. any wayo t tell if a wheel is "shot"

I have a set of bontrager racelite wheels for my MTB that came stock on my 07 trek Fuel ex 9

I've broken 2 spokes in the last month... and wasn't doing anything silly at the time and I don;t generally do any jumping or hucking

one was climbing a fireroad and it broke in the middle the 2nd was last night riding smoothish single track and it broke at the hub

I spoke with a friend of mine at an lbs and he said after almost 4 season of riding and tracing my wheel set should probably be replaced

so is there a way to tell if a wheel needs to be put out to pasture ? or do I just need a rebuild with new spokes ?
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Old 09-23-10, 02:12 PM
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There is no time frame for wheel durability. Stock wheels on a brand X bike will never be as good as some hand made ones by someone with experience. Most LBS do not employ such people, with exceptions of course.

I don't know ..... I'm a stickler on wheels ...... they are undervalued by people big time. The frame gets all the attention, and wheels get overlooked. Good wheels make or break a ride. I would not pay or even attempt to offer anyone to rebuild a used rim 4 years old. You can reuse the hubs, probably. It's tough to give anyone advice though, as we all have our ways and bias's. That said, I'd suggest some wheels made by a dedicated professional, if you want wheels that don't need truing after you start riding them. Whoever you get to build them, ask them if they build them to "stand". ... meaning they won't need trued or or touched after building them. If they wander off into never never land, walk away. Such professional and amateurs can and do build such wheels every day.
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Old 09-23-10, 02:28 PM
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Off road riding is kind of hard on wheels, but the fun per mile ratio must be reasonable
or you would walk the bike over rough ground.
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Old 09-23-10, 02:30 PM
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How often have you had your wheels checked or checked them yourself for consistent and correct tension and truing? If you've been keeping up on this I'd say that you're harder on your wheels than you realize or have let the spokes get quite loose between tuneups then yeah, a rebuild with new spokes is in order as these are just likely the first. But unless you've got serious warping, kinks or other issues with the rims then they should still be good. For example if you're using rim brakes then the rim sides may be getting pretty thin by now and the rim isn't fully spreading out the spoke loading or needs to be tuned up to allow for whatever shifting their is. Examining the rim closely for signs of eyelets pulling through would be another good idea. Once you're fully aware of the rim and hub condition if they are good in all respects then new spokes may be all you need to restore the trust in these wheels.
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