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Ksyrium ES - no replacement rims after 5 years?

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Ksyrium ES - no replacement rims after 5 years?

Old 07-05-13, 12:25 PM
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vetteman
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Ksyrium ES - no replacement rims after 5 years?

My Ksyrium ES anniv. Helium rear rim developed cracks around 2 of the spokes. My LBS contacted Mavic & said there is NO rim available to repair this wheel. What? This is an $1100.00 dollar set of wheels. Been riding road bikes for 50+ years & never had a pair of wheels that couldn't be repaired. And this is the most expensive wheels I've ever purchased. If this is true I will NEVER buy another Mavic product & not reccomend them to anyone.
Now my rant is over, anyone know of a rim that will fit the rear bladed 20 spoke wheel? Other than using the wheels for wall art as was suggested. They are 2006-07 model with single red spoke. If need to replace all the spokes it just wouldn't be cost effective.

Thanks, vetteman
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Old 07-05-13, 12:48 PM
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Perhaps the real issue is a lack of the exact replacement rim. Some models get discontinued and replaced with something that's supposed to be better. If the wheel is rebuilt you should be able to use any Mavic Ksyrium 20 spoke rim, with the correct length spokes, for the rim. The old spokes should not be reused.

For example, the current Ksyrium SLS has a 20 spoke rear, with Zircal spokes. It should work with your hub, with the matching spokes. The question is whether it's really cheaper to rebuild.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 07-05-13 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-05-13, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by vetteman View Post
My Ksyrium ES anniv. Helium rear rim developed cracks around 2 of the spokes. My LBS contacted Mavic & said there is NO rim available to repair this wheel. What? This is an $1100.00 dollar set of wheels. Been riding road bikes for 50+ years & never had a pair of wheels that couldn't be repaired. And this is the most expensive wheels I've ever purchased. If this is true I will NEVER buy another Mavic product & not reccomend them to anyone.
Now my rant is over, anyone know of a rim that will fit the rear bladed 20 spoke wheel? Other than using the wheels for wall art as was suggested. They are 2006-07 model with single red spoke. If need to replace all the spokes it just wouldn't be cost effective.

Thanks, vetteman
I am anxious about my two Mavic wheelsets due to your experience. I have exactly the same ES anniversary edition and the Ksyrium SSC SL. I love both wheelsets, but perhaps now is the time to sell both of them. To shell out that kinda money and not have a reasonably financially viable option to fix cracks, broken spokes etc is just making me anxious.

<heavy sigh>.
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Old 07-05-13, 07:29 PM
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should have bought traditional j bend spoke wheels if you wanted to be able to rebuild them. hard to get parts for older mavic wheels. i prefer not to buy "wheel systems"
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Old 07-05-13, 08:12 PM
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As Dave said, it's morea question of exact match rather than no possible replacement.

OTOH, welcome to the new millennium, where fixing things has given way to replacing them outright. This goes beyond bikes to just about everything we own.
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Old 07-05-13, 08:18 PM
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Parts aren't easy to come by for ANY specialty item over five years old. Were you really expecting them to last forever? Most high end wheelsets have a useful life expectancy after which they're replaced.

On the other hand there was the guy that came into the shop with a specialty Easton wheelset. The spokes are straight pull and threaded into both the hub and a nipple at the rim side. Except that he had snapped off a seized spoke inside the hub. Parts are still available - but getting that piece of spoke out without scrapping the hub would probably cost more than a new wheel.

Suggest you retire them. Find something else that gets you excited.
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Old 07-06-13, 12:58 AM
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I think new wheels are the best option.

That being said... Option number 2 is finding out the ERD of the rear rim and trying to find another 20h rim with a similar ERD. Reusing spokes is not a great idea, and I don't endorse it as it can be unsafe, but I know a guy who's Ritchey rim cracked and her replaced it with a Velocity rim of the same ERD and he reused his bladed spokes. His bike is still doing fine and he's still passing plenty of people on the road.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:22 AM
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I'm in Sweden, and had no problems ordering a replacement rim for a 2004 Mavic Ksyrium Elite last year. Took a week to get it, cost just shy of USD 200.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by thedevilisbad View Post
Reusing spokes is not a great idea, and I don't endorse it as it can be unsafe,
Huh?
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Old 07-06-13, 05:58 AM
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Yeah, pff to not re-using spokes.

I do it all the time and to my knowledge not one of the wheels I've built or rebuilt has ever broken a spoke.

Been doing it since the 80s.

Although I understand the problem here is the special weirdo fat spokes which aren't threaded; their captive nipples thread into the rim, amirite?

So, any 20h rim of +/-2mm ERD, except it has to be a Mavic one, that uses the same system.
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Old 07-06-13, 07:29 AM
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Reusing old zircal spokes is a bad idea. If you break one out on the road, you probably won't be able to ride the bike home. I have this same type of wheel and broke my first zircal spoke after the wheels were a few years old. The wobble was so bad that the tire would rub both the chainstay and the seat stay and there was no amount of adjustment that would stop that. Fortunately, I was less than 5 miles from home and rode home with the tire rubbing severely on each revolution.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Huh?
I've been told this by a few mechanics who claim that by using spokes that have been tensioned before, then un-tensioning the spokes, and then tightening them back up again runs the risk of a wheel collapse. I think reusing some spokes is ok, but I don't know if I'd want to reuse all of the spokes that have been previously used on a wheel.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:50 AM
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i will reuse the spokes if i know the history or the current wheel is in good shape tension wise.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by thedevilisbad View Post
I've been told this by a few mechanics who claim that by using spokes that have been tensioned before, then un-tensioning the spokes, and then tightening them back up again runs the risk of a wheel collapse. I think reusing some spokes is ok, but I don't know if I'd want to reuse all of the spokes that have been previously used on a wheel.
Reusing old but undamaged spokes is done quite often and with good results. I think your "mechanics" need a few more lessons in metallurgy. That said, I'd be leery of reusing "Zercal" spokes. Zircal is an aluminum alloy and, like all aluminum alloys, have a finite fatigue life. Stainless steel spokes are not subject to that limitation if not overstressed.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:58 AM
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I respectfully disagree that reusing the spokes makes sense in this case. This was a low spoke count wheel, that was well used for 5 years, and to the point that the rim developed stress cracks. Therefore it's safe to assume that the spokes also saw their share of stress cycles.

Stainless steels have excellent fatigue life, but it isn't infinite. Weighing the cost of 20 new spokes against the risk of not seeing full service life in a new wheel, I say replacing the spokes makes good sense.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Stainless steels have excellent fatigue life, but it isn't infinite. Weighing the cost of 20 new spokes against the risk of not seeing full service life in a new wheel, I say replacing the spokes makes good sense.
OK, not infinite in real world use but certainly far longer than an aluminum spoke.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
OK, not infinite in real world use but certainly far longer than an aluminum spoke.
Absolutely!

Aluminum spokes are another example of why a bike built for professional competition may be unsuited for general use, including amateur competition.

The bike world, especially the road bike world tends to think of racing as the proving ground for bike hardware. It is to an extent, but we need to take that with a grain (or more) of salt.

What's ideal for racing, where bikes are tended to daily, and where money is no object, doesn't necessarily make sense for bikes that need to go for thousands of miles with minimum attention.

Years ago there was less separation between racing and sport use. Pro rode the same bike for an entire season with little maintenance, they rode stage races with little support, and the bikes didn't get serviced between every stage the way they do now. So a stage bike had to be built to endure, and the stresses top riders put them through in a single race were more than most of would put them through in years.

But those days are gone, and non pros have to realize that their needs are different from the pros. Unfortunately the marketing folks in the bike industry would have us believe otherwise.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I respectfully disagree that reusing the spokes makes sense in this case.
But you're talking about sense WRT job effort, reliability and cost of parts.
"Thedevil" suggests that it's unsafe.
I can't see how riding a wheel with old spokes but new rim would be any more dangerous than continuing to ride the wheel as it was if the rim hadn't failed.
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Old 07-06-13, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
But you're talking about sense WRT job effort, reliability and cost of parts.
"Thedevil" suggests that it's unsafe.
I can't see how riding a wheel with old spokes but new rim would be any more dangerous than continuing to ride the wheel as it was if the rim hadn't failed.
I'm sorry, I always try to talk sense.....

However I agree. Unsafe is a word that's vastly overused these days. New spokes, old spokes whatever, the modality of failure for steel spoked wheels is one of progressive failure to where it's unusable, vs catastrophic failure with potential to injure. Spokes fail one at a time, and one would have to ignore a problem for a long while to face any sudden serious failure (if it ever happens).

For that matter, I'd rather ride on seriously dubious steel spokes of unknown age and provenance than brand new carbon spokes.
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Old 07-06-13, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
But you're talking about sense WRT job effort, reliability and cost of parts.
"Thedevil" suggests that it's unsafe.
I can't see how riding a wheel with old spokes but new rim would be any more dangerous than continuing to ride the wheel as it was if the rim hadn't failed.
I probably should have used a different word choice, but I suppose that's what I get for working the late night shift at work and then posting on roadie forums.
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Old 07-06-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Reusing old but undamaged spokes is done quite often and with good results. I think your "mechanics" need a few more lessons in metallurgy. That said, I'd be leery of reusing "Zercal" spokes. Zircal is an aluminum alloy and, like all aluminum alloys, have a finite fatigue life. Stainless steel spokes are not subject to that limitation if not overstressed.
yeah, I don't trust those UBI and Barnett guys anymore either.
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Old 07-06-13, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Reusing old zircal spokes is a bad idea. If you break one out on the road, you probably won't be able to ride the bike home. I have this same type of wheel and broke my first zircal spoke after the wheels were a few years old. The wobble was so bad that the tire would rub both the chainstay and the seat stay and there was no amount of adjustment that would stop that. Fortunately, I was less than 5 miles from home and rode home with the tire rubbing severely on each revolution.
I could change that paragraph to start with "Using" instead of "Reusing old" and it would still make sense...

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Old 07-06-13, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by thedevilisbad View Post
yeah, I don't trust those UBI and Barnett guys anymore either.
They are going to err on the side of caution since they are typically dealing with bike shops and professional mechanics who have to be sure their customers don't have problems even in the long run and cost isn't as much of a consideration. So, they are going to install new spokes and a new rim all the time. For your own use, that's not an issue.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:00 PM
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I have never been a fan of Mavic customer service and I have especially never been a fan of propriety overpriced parts, especially those that fall into the category of consumables.

I always try to steer people towards traditional spoke, ideally handbuilt wheels unless they fall into the racer who does not really care about long term durability category. Even wheels like Easton's that use an off the shelf straight pull spoke and "normal" rim are much much better. I was able to lace a new non propriety rim onto the old straight pull hubs to keep one customers expensive wheels rolling after wearing out the brake track on both rims.

With the cost of the rim and their high dollar spokes I would lean towards building a new wheelset with traditional spokes instead of spending $300 or so to fix this one.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:46 PM
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To replace spokes or not, that is the question...

Look at it this way. For years, I've heard guys in shops say 'you don't want a question mark over the spokes in your rebuilt wheels' like bad things can happen or something. Why?

(In the case of a wheel that's been breaking spokes due to undertension, there is indeed a significant question mark, and all the spokes are suss. But aside from that, IME there isn't one to worry about even on spokes that have been mashed by the chain and straightened with pliers.)

I've been rightfully sceptical of such dire warnings since I heard the first one, and over the last 25 years that scepticism has been 100% validated. The only spokes I've rejected have been from undertensioned wheels, or were severely gouged, or too bent to straighten easily. So it seems to me that people say that either because they're not aware the only thing that kills spokes is fatigue via undertension, or because they're not sure the spoke hasn't been subject to fatigue. Re the latter concern, I've always just assumed that if the spokes came from a taut wheel they're good - and that rule of thumb hasn't failed me.

Now of course we're talking about a whole different kettle of fish here with the Zircal spokes, but here's why I think it comes to the same thing:

Mavic's engineers wouldn't have taken the decision to use an aluminium-based alloy for spokes lightly. You can bet the alloy is specifically tailored to be about as resistant to fatigue as it's possible for an aluminium alloy to be for a start, and then there's the fact the entire system has been redesigned to accommodate the metal's requirements, hence its proprietary nature. Fatigue destroys spokes at the elbows; these don't have elbows. I think ally spokes are a silly idea due to the aero factor, but I also think the Mavic engineers have done a good job with this design, and there's a good chance the spokes have plenty of life left.

Okay, so there's that. Now think about the cost of a set of these spokes for a minute... there's no way I cough up that sort of dough for peace of mind if I figure I'm probably alright anyway (but of course that's just me; I prefer to develop my sense and management of risk rather than pay insurance premiums).

And face it, you have the choice between overbuilt wheels with redundancy, and high-performance wheels with none. If you choose the latter, maybe that means a broken spoke equals walking home, suck it up.

I'm only 65kg, so that helps, but I've never broken a spoke. Looking after your wheels helps too. The first way to make your wheels last is to ride easy on the rear; don't let it get smacked around, and don't overinflate or let the pressure get too low.

Last edited by Kimmo; 07-06-13 at 10:55 PM.
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