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Cracked CrossCheck rim (Alex rims)--upgrade recommendation.

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Cracked CrossCheck rim (Alex rims)--upgrade recommendation.

Old 09-16-13, 03:29 PM
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Earthlark
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Cracked CrossCheck rim (Alex rims)--upgrade recommendation.

Riding in the rain this summer, I went over a deep pothole that was wearing a puddle disguise. It cracked my rear rim and I haven't ridden since, which is kind of crazy since my bike used to be my main form of transportation. Tried to figure things out before, but gave up out of frustration. I need to start riding again, so any recommendations would be much appreciated.

I'm trying to figure out if I should be upgrading the cassette or anything at the same time as getting a new rear wheel. I'm not really rolling in dough presently, but would just as soon upgrade components now if they should be and it's easier (and cheaper in the long run) to do simultaneously with my wheel.

Here's what I have:
  • Alex rims DA16
  • Shimano Deore FHM-530 hub
  • Shimano CS HG50 9 11T-34T cassette
  • RPM? crankset 36/48T-110 (7075-CNC)
  • Shimano Tiagra Shifters

I commute mostly (sometimes with a lot of weight in my saddle bags), but also find myself on some wooded trail fairly frequently. I was living in Japan for quite some time, so the extra gears in back were nice to have for the mountains. Now I'm in Minnesota, and the extra gears aren't quite as important, but I find myself using them from time to time going up off-road hills.

If more info is needed, let me know. Thanks.

Last edited by Earthlark; 09-16-13 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:10 PM
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I don't see why you need a different cassette, unless it's worn out or you don't like the ratios.

The Shimano hub is worth saving, it will last forever. If it were me I'd lace it to a new rim. But I build my own wheels.... It might be cheaper/more feasible for you to just get a new wheel.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:23 PM
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What you need to do-
1. Measure the spacing between the dropouts to see if it's 130mm, 135mm or something in between.
2. Look at the rim for a size, such as 622-xx

A "typicall" hybrid rim will be 135mm dropout spacing & something like 622-23mm.
However, you must make sure.

Are you looking for the same rim?
IF SO, you could just buy the same rim. (same spoke count) Tape it to the existing wheel and swap over the spokes one by one.
IF you doubt your wheel building skills, you could do just the spoke swap and have the LBS finish it.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 09-16-13 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Measure the spacing between the dropouts to see if it's 130mm, 135mm or something in between.
Cross Checks are spaced 132.5 mm and will accept either 130 or 135 mm hubs. Surly's marketing term for these things is "Gnot Rite' spacing.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Cross Checks are spaced 132.5 mm and will accept either 130 or 135 mm hubs. Surly's marketing term for these things is "Gnot Rite' spacing.
There was something in the back of my mind about Surly's, so that's why I added the "something in between". I normally wouldn't.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:58 PM
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You could get any rim with the same spoke count and ERD (effective rim diameter) and lace it onto the old hub. My preferred method of doing the swap is to use a bit of masking tape at each spoke crossing. This will allow you to remove all the spoke nipples and the spokes will stay in their original configuration. Line up the valve stem hole in the new rim with one of the openings in the spoke pattern(paying attention to the drilling pattern of the rim) and start putting the spokes through the holes and attaching nipples. After all nipples are attached, thread them down until the threads of the spoke just disappear into the nipple. Tension the wheel by going around the wheel and turning each spoke the same amount. You will have to make some adjustments to get the wheel dished(centered) and trued, but this will get you close.

If all of that sounds like its over your head, just have a shop rebuild your wheel.
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Old 09-16-13, 05:06 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the cassette or crankset (there's nothing about a rim or wheel repair that makes it any easier to change those anyways).

I don't know what an Alex DA16 compares to other rims I've heard of, but you might take this opportunity to replace the cracked rim with something more robust. For the CrossCheck I commute with, I chose Velocity Dyad 32H rims, because Peter White speaks well of them, and because they come in a reflective finish. But there are lots of other "bombproof" rims out there that others can recommend.

Since you're asking questions in the first place, I think we can assume you are (like me) not a wheelbuilder. That seems like a good suggestion above to tape a new rim to your old wheel and transfer the spokes one-by-one. That way you don't have to worry about losing your place, or changing the lacing or anything. Then you might be able to find a local wheelbuilder who will tension it up for probably under $50, if you're lucky maybe more like $20?

I'm guessing though, that the tape-and-transfer suggestion may be more for your learning than to save money. I doubt a wheelbuilder would charge significantly less than if you just handed over the broke wheel and a rim, and said "rebuild please!"
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Old 09-16-13, 05:11 PM
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Oh yeah, I forgot to remember about ERD. OP, you can only transfer spokes directly across if the replacement rim is the same size as the previous. Not the 700C, that's the 'outer' size that the tire sees. The ERD refers to the 'inner' size that the spokes & nipples see.

I can't help you directly there, but does anybody else know of any rims with the same ERD as an Alex DA16, and is it worth upgrading to?
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Old 09-16-13, 05:22 PM
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Here's something like my rim*, listed as having ERD=596.

Alex DA16 is apparently ERD=599.

So IF you swapped to a Velocity Dyad, which is 3mm smaller, you would have each spoke threading 1.5mm further into the nipples.

I don't know enough to say whether that is a significant difference.

(*that listing says "Non-Machined Sidewall" in the text (which would be for disc brakes only), but the pic appears to show a machined sidewall, which is what you'd need for a CrossCheck's rim brakes)

Last edited by RubeRad; 09-16-13 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 09-16-13, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
......(*that listing says "Non-Machined Sidewall" in the text (which would be for disc brakes only), but the pic appears to show a machined sidewall, which is what you'd need for a CrossCheck's rim brakes)
A non machined sidewall is just that. It has nothing to do with disc brakes.

IF it said disc brakes only, that's a different matter.
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Old 09-16-13, 10:14 PM
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I thought rim brakes required a machined sidewall. If it's not machined, wouldn't it be painted?
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Old 09-17-13, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I thought rim brakes required a machined sidewall. If it's not machined, wouldn't it be painted?
It'll probably be painted, yes. That's usually what it means. You can run a brake on it but it's not always ideal. For the rear it'll be fine though.
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Old 09-17-13, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I thought rim brakes required a machined sidewall. If it's not machined, wouldn't it be painted?
Not at all. Many older rims did not have machined sidewalls but weren't painted either. Machined sidewalls give a better, smoother braking surface but certainly aren't a necessity.
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Old 09-17-13, 08:21 AM
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If you're looking for something inexpensive and strong, it's hard to beat these wheels from Nashbar at $149 a pair: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...72_-1___202478

Nashbar is having free shipping today and tomorrow; I don't know if this includes wheels but if it does, that's a decent sale. These would make very good commuter wheels. You can always figure out how to rebuild the rear wheel when you have time and then you'll have a spare set (which is a good thing if you are commuting).
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Old 09-17-13, 10:56 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the helpful comments! Things make more sense now since I only have one component to think about replacing. I suppose I may as well lace a new rim for the experience. I've trued my wheels a couple times, so I suppose this is the next step.

Do I have to use a rim that has an ERD of exactly 599, or can it be slightly bigger or smaller? If so, what's an acceptable range? (I tried using a spoke calculator, but I'm not really sure that it answers that question--just gives me spoke lengths I need for the specs). If it can be slightly off, would the RubeRad's recommended Velocity Dyad Rim with an ERD of 596 work? If the ERD needs to be exactly the same, I'll echo RubeRad's question: "does anybody else know of any rims with the same ERD as an Alex DA16 (599), and is it worth upgrading to?"

I suppose I'll need a chain whip and a cassette lockring tool, too. Is it just as well that I buy this Nashbar Essential Tool Kit? Is it a decent kit? (I have some of the tools already, but they're on a portable Levine multitool.) Is it a good idea to order a couple extra spokes as well?

@bikemig I'm considering those wheels as I've always thought it'd be nice to have a second set when I want to throw on some 40s for off-roading (using the CrossChecks wide clearance). ...of course, that probably wouldn't actually speed things up (from tire changing) unless I had a second cassette... Maybe I can eventually pick one up somewhere, though.
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Old 09-18-13, 07:52 AM
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Earthlark, I have that Nashbar Essential Tool Kit, and I think it's a good place to start, especially if all you have in terms of bike-specific stuff is a portable multitool. IME, the pedal wrench is cheap and soft, I guess use it as long as you can, plan on getting a better one once the jaws are mashed up. Also, the tire levers, although impressively large, are not very strong, and may break if working with extra tight tires. Turn to Pedro's levers here, they're the best. Other than that, I think it's a very useful kit for the occasional hobbyist bike maintainer. In particular, the allen wrench set with the ball-ends has become my #1 go-to.

I suppose I may as well lace a new rim for the experience. I've trued my wheels a couple times, so I suppose this is the next step.
Well be careful there, I thought the same and just tried to completely loosen (not even undo and relace) all the spokes on a cheap wheel I obtained specifically for practice, and when I was going through tightening everything back up, I didn't pay nearly close enough attention and before you know it, I've tightened that sucker into like a 2" taco! I loosened everything again as quick as I could, and it seems the rim relaxed mostly... Obviously I don't have any answers for you, other than go slow! which is what all experienced wheelbuilders tell newbs all the time anyways.
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Old 09-18-13, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Not at all. Many older rims did not have machined sidewalls but weren't painted either. Machined sidewalls give a better, smoother braking surface but certainly aren't a necessity.
Non-machined rims turn into machined rims after you've ridden them for a while. The schmuck you get on your brake pads eventually grinds them down. You just get to start with more material, so the cheaper rims last longer!
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Old 09-18-13, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Non-machined rims turn into machined rims after you've ridden them for a while. The schmuck you get on your brake pads eventually grinds them down. You just get to start with more material, so the cheaper rims last longer!
Yeah, that was one of the arguments against machined sidewalls when Mavic (?) first introduced them, that they machine off some of the metal you could use. I believe machined rims actually start out with thicker sidewalls than older non-machined rims and then are then reduced to about the same starting thickness.
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Old 09-18-13, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Well be careful there, I thought the same and just tried to completely loosen (not even undo and relace) all the spokes on a cheap wheel I obtained specifically for practice, and when I was going through tightening everything back up, I didn't pay nearly close enough attention and before you know it, I've tightened that sucker into like a 2" taco! I loosened everything again as quick as I could, and it seems the rim relaxed mostly... Obviously I don't have any answers for you, other than go slow! which is what all experienced wheelbuilders tell newbs all the time anyways.
From fully loose spokes and after setting each nipple to the same engagement on the spoke threads, I start off with full turns to bring the tension up and progress towards 1/2 turns to set the dish and finally 1/4 - 1/8 turns for the final truing and tensioning. Any "faster" than that and I've found that I can't accurately balance tension and truing.
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Old 09-18-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
From fully loose spokes and after setting each nipple to the same engagement on the spoke threads, I start off with full turns to bring the tension up and progress towards 1/2 turns to set the dish and finally 1/4 - 1/8 turns for the final truing and tensioning. Any "faster" than that and I've found that I can't accurately balance tension and truing.
+1
The more methodical I do it, the faster I end up with a good wheel.
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Old 09-18-13, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
From fully loose spokes and after setting each nipple to the same engagement on the spoke threads, I start off with full turns to bring the tension up and progress towards 1/2 turns to set the dish and finally 1/4 - 1/8 turns for the final truing and tensioning. Any "faster" than that and I've found that I can't accurately balance tension and truing.
Thanks for that guideline. I will use that when I try again.
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Old 09-18-13, 11:11 AM
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Rim is just the aluminum hoop , it cracked? they are a consumable, just replace the rim itself .
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Old 09-18-13, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
+1
The more methodical I do it, the faster I end up with a good wheel.
My worst results have come from trying to start with a mess of a used wheel (out of true and wildly varying spoke tension). I always end up spending a bunch of time for a quick "bandaid", never achieving the minimum results I'd like (+/-10% spoke tension and true to <1mm), and regret not having started the way I would have if I was building a new wheel.
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Old 09-18-13, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
My worst results have come from trying to start with a mess of a used wheel (out of true and wildly varying spoke tension). I always end up spending a bunch of time for a quick "bandaid", never achieving the minimum results I'd like (+/-10% spoke tension and true to <1mm), and regret not having started the way I would have if I was building a new wheel.
So my wheel was new when I got it. I intentionally bought a wheelset for the purpose of practicing/learning wheelbuilding. It was a takeoff from a lower-end BD bike, the guy sold it to me via CL for $60 including tires, tubes, strips, and skewers, and worth every penny (but not much more)! So with such a low-end rim (Jalsco?) am I shooting myself in the foot? I was hoping that even though the rim is quite wobbly with no spoke tension, it is weak enough to submit to the spokes and be well tensionable and truable.
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Old 09-18-13, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
So my wheel was new when I got it. I intentionally bought a wheelset for the purpose of practicing/learning wheelbuilding. It was a takeoff from a lower-end BD bike, the guy sold it to me via CL for $60 including tires, tubes, strips, and skewers, and worth every penny (but not much more)! So with such a low-end rim (Jalsco?) am I shooting myself in the foot? I was hoping that even though the rim is quite wobbly with no spoke tension, it is weak enough to submit to the spokes and be well tensionable and truable.
How did you determine that the rim is wobbly? Unless you've disassembled the entire wheel and laid the rim on a flat surface, you really can't assess this properly. A loosely spoked wheel will appear to wobble all over the place in a truing stand. Start adding tension and see what happens. It should improve just by doing that, and get even better once you start actively truing the wheel. Unfortunately, you won't really know until the wheel is finally built if an existing bend was too much (identified by a large tension differential between spokes). But, by that point you'll have learned quite a lot about wheel-building and won't have had the misfortune of ruining a good wheel in the process.
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