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Wheel Build/Repair Question

Old 05-19-13, 08:42 AM
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Wheel Build/Repair Question

So, last year I was pushing my rear derailer a little past its capacity and ended up pulling it (the jockey wheel, hanging, part) into my rear wheel, which is/was a 32h Mavic Open Sport laced to an Ultegra 6500 hub by DT Swiss Competition (double-butted) spokes. I ended up breaking a couple spokes and bending another 1-2. This also wasn't very good for my RD. After this, I fixed the wheel by replacing the bad spokes and re-tensioning the wheel. Start of this season, I noticed this wheel is very much out of true, with a quite noticeable jump in horizontal true in one spot...the spot of the damage, I suspect. I've built a few sets of wheels (4 sets), but not a lot, and those wheels are good, stay true, and don't end up wobbling like this.

What I'm wondering is if I should try and repair the wheel, and, if I do, what likely needs replacing (i.e., rim, spokes...both?). Any way to tell?

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-13, 09:38 AM
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sorry about your mechanical accident. I've done this twice on bikes that I thought I'd kept perfectly adjusted, which is why I now run spoke protectors on all my bikes (even the nice road bikes). The miniscule weight and "dork-ness" is a small price to pay for minimizing chance of damage from an overshift.

As to your wheel, it may be that the rim itself was bent when you shifted into your spokes.
But I'm not clear on: was the rear wheel in true after you replaced the spokes and re-tensioned and trued the wheel? Did the horizontal lack-of-true just appear later?
This may simply be your new spokes "settling in" - I'd go back and true it and re-tension the spokes, and see if it stays. If not, you may have to decide whether to live with an imperfect rim that's well-tensioned, or a poorly-tensioned rim that is true, or replace the rim.
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Old 05-19-13, 10:26 AM
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Often there may be a bit of settling of new spokes replaced in a wheel. This is because most people don't effectively pre-stress and settle the elbows on repolacements as they do when building new wheels. There were also the bent spokes which, if you didn't straighten them perfectly, might have relaxed throwing the true off.

If there are no new broken spokes, true it up, check for decently even tension, and correct then stress ans retrue and you should be able to pull more life out of this wheel. Whether or when to replace and start fresh is an economic decision more than a mechanical one. At some point used wheels become more needy, and you have to weight the time and expense of repeated retruing vs. buying fresh. (of course, when the rim is cracked, or the brake track worn through, there's no option but to replace).

When I consider retruing vs. replacing, I consider the condition of the rim, ie. is it near the end of it's life anyway?, and other issues like whether I need extra reliability because I'm starting a long tour, or routinely ride far from home. I'm much more patient nursing the wheels on my commuter than I am on my road bike.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:22 PM
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FBinNY explained the reasons better than I did.
Here are a few details to help:
Sheldon Brown's wheelbuilding article - go to the section on "Seating and Stress-Relieving the Spokes"

Also, a couple of pictures of rims starting to fail as spokes pull through:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_0648.JPG (82.8 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_0793.JPG (85.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 05-21-13, 05:32 PM
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Well, the rims don't have any of the spokes pulling through...so not that kind of damage, which is reassuring. I'll try truing it up again, checking tensions, and see how well it holds up over the next couple months. Thanks all.
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Old 05-21-13, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by vins0010
Well, the rims don't have any of the spokes pulling through...so not that kind of damage, which is reassuring. I'll try truing it up again, checking tensions, and see how well it holds up over the next couple months. Thanks all.
I have found with broken spokes the wheel is stressed and difficult to retrue. I detension the wheel and start from scratch and end up with a good-as-new wheel.
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Old 05-21-13, 07:06 PM
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When you re-tension the wheel, it's very important to use a tensionmeter. If you don't have one, go to LBS to re-tension it.
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