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Mavic Open Pros Cracked

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Old 03-01-05, 06:48 PM
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ChezJfrey
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Mavic Open Pros Cracked

I'm a bit peeved. I have 32 spoke Open Pros that are less than 2 years old. I noticed some rubbing against the brakes and checked the rear rim. I found 4 cracks in the middle of the braking surface at various points of the circumerence that correspond to the tire bead around the rim -- like the tire is blowing the rim apart.

I merely commute to and from work every day on these rims in the winter. I weigh 170, but carry about 20-25 pounds worth of stuff in rear panniers. The tire pressure is 115-120. I never (OK, very, very rarely) use the rear brakes, so there is absolutely no wear on the rim. What gives? Any quality issues or recalls I'm unaware of for these things? I would hope they would last longer, but who knows...

I'm running my Rolfs now, but I want to use a standard 3x laced set. I'm wondering if I should replace the Open Pros with something else??
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Old 03-01-05, 06:56 PM
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Well, I can tell you its from ridding in the winter. Salt and sand from road maintenance acts like sandpaper on your rims. Although you may not use your rear brake that often the times you do are like hitting it with a grinder in the winter.
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Old 03-01-05, 06:59 PM
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OK, I dont know how much snow you get in Portland so it may not be sand and salt from snow removal. Its all the grit thats picked up in the rain. Rims with ceramic sidewalls are designed for this reason.
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Old 03-01-05, 07:37 PM
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Yep, they've just worn out. It will happen to anything sooner or later. Opens are not known for being any better or worse with regards to this.

I'd buy another Open if you can - if it hasn't done that many miles, a good wheel builder can lace the old hub and spokes across to a new rim (we hate doing it though - as it takes longer than putting new spokes in). It is best to put new spokes in though.
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Old 03-01-05, 07:43 PM
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Rims are worn, time for replacment before it collaspes.
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Old 03-02-05, 12:26 PM
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But less than 2 years? I replace my front rims every couple years because I do wear through the sides, but I figured the rear would last longer since I don't use the brakes on them. But, they do carry a bit more of the of weight and must endure the brunt of road impacts. I'm still debating the Open Pros -- they are considered a light-weight rim and I may need something a bit more suited to commuting with panniers.

I noticed that Rivendell suggests that the Open Pro will suit either 200lb riders, or loads up to 20 lbs. At 170, with gear, I guess I'm right at the top end of their scale; plus. Adding a a few knocks from a less-than-smooth road at times and I guess this may have pushed the limit. So, as some of you mentioned, 2 winter seasons and about 7,000 miles on the Mavics may have indeed worn them out.

I spoke to a guy at a local shop and he thought maybe Bontrager R465. A bit more box section may make it sturdier, but they only come in black. I prefer silver, but maybe... Any other suitable options?

Mavic MA3 -- They're a bit heavier and wider, so maybe better able to sustain the 120lb pressure of a 23mm tire?
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Old 03-02-05, 02:09 PM
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I think you missed the point of earlier posts: it is not that the rims fail because the
tire pushes them out and cracks them directly, it is that the braking abrades away
metal and at some point the metal is too thin to take the pressure and cracks. The
thinnest point with most rims on the braking surface is just below the bulge that
hooks the tire bead. Ceramic rims have a wear layer of "ceramic" on the braking
surface and hence are more durable, or you could go with a rim with a thicker cross
section below the bead retention bulge. Another option would be to check into putting a disk brake on one or both wheels. Braking would be better esp in Portland
weather, IIRC someone has a jury rig to hang the rear disk caliper off the top of the
triangle if you have a frame not suitable to seatstay attachment of the caliper.
Steve
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Old 03-02-05, 02:13 PM
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Actually, you miss the point -- there is absolutely no wear on the rims at all because I've probably used the rear brakes twice since those wheels were purchased. Really, I mean it; they look new.

I know rims wear from braking because I frequently replace my front rims because they are too thin. I'm just puzzled about why a non-worn rim would crack prematurely.
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Old 03-02-05, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ChezJfrey
Actually, you miss the point -- there is absolutely no wear on the rims at all because I've probably used the rear brakes twice since those wheels were purchased. Really, I mean it; they look new.

I know rims wear from braking because I frequently replace my front rims because they are too thin. I'm just puzzled about why a non-worn rim would crack prematurely.
Ok, sounds like a warranty issue. Take it back to where you bought it.
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Old 03-02-05, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike_13
Ok, sounds like a warranty issue. Take it back to where you bought it.
I agree. Its very odd that a rim would crack on the braking surface anyway unless it suffered some huge impact. These rims normally last for many years, this was likely a manufacturing defect. I've got a set with at least 40-50k miles on them and they have no cracks and work great. If your shop won't help you, try calling Mavic USA directly.
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Old 03-03-05, 08:07 PM
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Is the rim separating beneath where the spoke holes are? I mech at a bike shop, and just today, a guy brought in a Mavic Open Pro rear wheel to have a spoke replaced. Well, I noticed the braking surface right below where a few of the spokes are attached was cracked. The spokes are distorting the rim, slowing pulling it apart at the sidewalls. This can happen when the spokes are tensioned too much by an overzealous wheel builder, or the normal loading and unloading of the rim as it rolls. Usually it takes at least 15 or 20,000 miles for this to happen with a good rim. Sometimes a spoke pulls out of a rim that's cracked around the spoke hole, and the sidewalls aren't distorted at all.

Don't know if you can still get them, but I have about 20,000 miles on a pair of Wolber Super Champion Gentlemen's, silver rims that are perfect with 28C tires and okay with 25Cs, but too wide for 23c, probably. They have brass eyelets lining the spoke holes. Another pair are Campy "Lambda" silver rims with brass eyelets, slightly narrower, that will handle 25C and narrower tires better. They have between 20 and 30,000 miles on them.

Both rims are box sectioned, like the Mavic Open Pro. I cracked an Ambrosio rim on the sidewall after about 20,000 miles. It was from repeated pressure of spokes trying to pull out, from sideways crashes and re-truing. They were also anodized, which made them stiff but more brittle. That may be what caused the Open Pro to destruct.

Just go with non-anodised aluminum box sectioned rims with brass eyelets. They aren't sexy-light, but they're reasonably priced and will hold up for years.

Last edited by fredrico; 03-03-05 at 08:35 PM. Reason: syntax
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Old 03-03-05, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by peligro
I agree. Its very odd that a rim would crack on the braking surface anyway unless it suffered some huge impact. These rims normally last for many years, this was likely a manufacturing defect. I've got a set with at least 40-50k miles on them and they have no cracks and work great. If your shop won't help you, try calling Mavic USA directly.
Better off calling Veltec, Mavic's US importer.
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Old 03-10-05, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fredrico
Is the rim separating beneath where the spoke holes are? I mech at a bike shop, and just today, a guy brought in a Mavic Open Pro rear wheel to have a spoke replaced. Well, I noticed the braking surface right below where a few of the spokes are attached was cracked. The spokes are distorting the rim, slowing pulling it apart at the sidewalls. This can happen when the spokes are tensioned too much by an overzealous wheel builder, or the normal loading and unloading of the rim as it rolls. Usually it takes at least 15 or 20,000 miles for this to happen with a good rim. Sometimes a spoke pulls out of a rim that's cracked around the spoke hole, and the sidewalls aren't distorted at all.

Don't know if you can still get them, but I have about 20,000 miles on a pair of Wolber Super Champion Gentlemen's, silver rims that are perfect with 28C tires and okay with 25Cs, but too wide for 23c, probably. They have brass eyelets lining the spoke holes. Another pair are Campy "Lambda" silver rims with brass eyelets, slightly narrower, that will handle 25C and narrower tires better. They have between 20 and 30,000 miles on them.

Both rims are box sectioned, like the Mavic Open Pro. I cracked an Ambrosio rim on the sidewall after about 20,000 miles. It was from repeated pressure of spokes trying to pull out, from sideways crashes and re-truing. They were also anodized, which made them stiff but more brittle. That may be what caused the Open Pro to destruct.

Just go with non-anodised aluminum box sectioned rims with brass eyelets. They aren't sexy-light, but they're reasonably priced and will hold up for years.
Yes, you are indeed correct, the cracks are exactly at spoke points. The spoke tension appears fine, but the load I carry daily would obviously become a factor. Also, some of the cracks correlate to spokes opposite the drive side, and these are lightly tensioned on the unloaded rim.

I appreciate your response and better understand some possible factors that may have contributed to the failure: a lightweight rim, extra load, and anodizing induced brittleness.

Thanks.
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Old 03-11-05, 11:32 AM
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The cracks are caused by impacts. When you impact anything on the road surface the spokes nearest the road loose tension while the spokes opposite become under greater tension. This greater tension will cause the spokes to pull out of the rim. A less rigid rim will help by flexing versus transfering all the forces to the spoke holes. What you've encountered is relatively common.
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