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How to replace a rim?

Old 01-16-15, 12:35 AM
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gwschultz
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How to replace a rim?

Hey everybody,

I need some help in replacing a rim. I'm new to cycling and looking to try to keep it going before I buy a new one in the Summer. The bike I have is a Mongoose Detour 26' and I've put 3,000+ miles on it.

Anyway, the rear tire started to wobble. I would take it to a bike shop and they would fix it (more later). Now it's so wobbly that the tire either leans against the brakes (non-disk) or when I finally get it straighten, it is so tight that I can't peddle.

I finally decided to take apart the rear axle and the barrings fell out and it's determined that pieces to keep it straight are missing.

Another bike shop estimated it would be $200+ to replace the rim so I need help in finding a replacement. The tire size is 26', the ISO is 57-559 and the full specs are 26x2.35. Some places I read said that a 26x1.75 rim should be fine, since the ISO is 559. Is this the correct size or do I need to go higher?

Thanks for the help,
Gregory S.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:25 AM
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How many speeds is the bike, i.e. how many gears at the rear?
I'm going to guess that it's 7 speed, and has a threaded on freewheel.

The cost of repair / replacement seems steep. Was it for just the rear wheel? If you have 3000 plus miles it's possible that the gears are worn, so is possibly the chain, was that also quoted?

A simple rear wheel should be had for $60, You could check your local craigslist or kijiji for a 26" wheel, and with a cassette / freewheel should cost you $25 -30 just to get you back on the road.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:25 AM
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Where are you located?
You need more than the rim, you need the whole wheel (or to fix yours).

26" wheels are a dime a dozen.
  • Do you have Disc Brakes?
  • Freewheel vs Cassette & number of speeds on the rear?
Ok, so the Mongoose Detour is supposed to be a $200, 21 speed bike (7x3) (no sense in paying $200 to replace a wheel on a $200 bike). It could still have either a cassette or freewheel, but perhaps it doesn't make a difference as either will work.

As long as the size has decimals for the width, then they are all the same, and it doesn't make a difference. DO NOT BUY A RIM THAT IS 26x(some fraction, 1 1/4, 1 3/8, etc)..

The width of the rim doesn't make a big difference, although you may need to adjust the brakes if you mount a narrower or wider rim than what you have.

Anyway, do you want to try to rebuild your wheel, or replace it?
Things like bearings are cheap, and can even be purchased at your local building supply store or any decent bike shop.
Grease is cheap.
You may need a new axle and cones, but they are also cheap.
Redline 2006+ Rear Axle Set M10 Loose Ball 165mm Solid Chromo
Bicycle Bike Hub Cones Locknuts Washers Rear Axle Set 6.7"

The big question is whether you've damaged your hub. Also, is the "wobble" in the spokes or in the axle/hub? Also, there are some slight differences in the grease seals of the axles.

Hmmm...
Do you have a bicycle co-op or used bike store nearby?

If you do end up with a used wheel, then I'd encourage rebuilding it, but it is certainly something that you could do.

=============

Anyway, if you need advice, clean what you have up as good as you can and take some pictures.

Do you see pitting in the cones (curved part of the axles)?
What about the races (curved part inside the hub to match the cones?

Last edited by CliffordK; 01-16-15 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 01-16-15, 02:11 AM
  #4  
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What a load, if there's missing bearings that would be a few bucks, you can get a new wheel for $20-50 online.

(What are the odds the wheel was never assembled correctly and nothing is actually missing, coming from Wallyworld?)
The wobble probably meant it just needed to be trued ($10-20)
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Old 01-16-15, 05:48 AM
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There's a bunch of things in your post which are unclear and confusing.

Much as I like to see people being talked through a DIY fix I think your best bet is to find a better shop that would:
a) explain things better to you
b) not try to rip you off

To start with:
- rim = the metal hoop that the tire sits on. Nothing more, nothing less.

Unless something sudden and (near) catastrophic happens, rims are generally replaced when the brake track has worn thin/through. Occasionally, due to cracking around the nipple seats.

3000 miles is way too low to merit a rim replacement due to normal wear unless you do all your riding in abrasive sludge.
Thing is though, it's not only possible, but also probable that you'll wear through the brake track w/o the wheel going out of true.
The sides might flare, but that's another thing.

Sudden and (near) catastrophic things that can kill rims are mainly potholes and crashes. People tend to remember things like that from a ride.

I'm not entirely certain there's anything wrong with your rim at all.
Sounds like you have some serious issues with your hub though.
Those can range from easily fixable to wheel killers. We can't tell from here.
$200 for a rim replacement is ridiculous. You can buy a complete replacement wheel for less.
Even for a new wheel, $200 is questionable, considering the bike it's going to.

Not that there's any problem finding a $200, or even a $1000 wheel. But it doesn't make sense suggesting one of those for you.

You can't trust a 26" size designation. There's something like five different ISO/ETRTO sizes lurking in the 26" size bracket, and they don't interchange.

ISO/ETRTO 57-559 and 26x2.35 are similar data, but in reverse order.
57 mm and 2.35 is the kinda-sorta tire width(exact result will vary with inflation pressure, rim width and manufacturer honesty)
559 mm is the Bead Seat Diameter(where rim and tire overlap) and 26" is a somewhat shaky reference to what the "working" diameter of the inflated tire will be.

26x1.75 rim doesn't make much sense. That would be a very wide rim. Not even regular DH rims would be that wide.
No need to go that wide unless you're looking for something special, like an almost-fatbike.

A 26x1.75 tire though would be perfectly fine. On the narrow side for off-road use, on the wide side for road use.
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Old 01-16-15, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
............
26x1.75 rim doesn't make much sense. That would be a very wide rim. Not even regular DH rims would be that wide.
No need to go that wide unless you're looking for something special, like an almost-fatbike.

A 26x1.75 tire though would be perfectly fine. On the narrow side for off-road use, on the wide side for road use.
I have a bunch of old 26" rims in the garage marked 26X1.50-1.75.
One 26x1.50 is actually wider than one marked 26x1.75.

Basically, the OP needs a "26" generic mountain bike rim.

The $200 the LBS quoted is probably because the OP asked the price of a rebuild instead of "what's the cheapest option".
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Old 01-16-15, 09:12 AM
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This thread is getting pretty complicated, not that there's anything wrong with any of it. But I think it would be a little nuts to replace anything on the wheel, rim or otherwise, let alone commission a bike shop.

Go to Amazon and look up mtb rear wheel, starting at around $30. Look at "also bought" for the type of cassette/freewheel (7-speed) that goes with it, and the tool needed. Order that all from Amazon or some other site, replace the wheel.
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Old 01-16-15, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gwschultz View Post
Hey everybody,

I need some help in replacing a rim. I'm new to cycling and looking to try to keep it going before I buy a new one in the Summer. The bike I have is a Mongoose Detour 26' and I've put 3,000+ miles on it.

Anyway, the rear tire started to wobble. I would take it to a bike shop and they would fix it (more later). Now it's so wobbly that the tire either leans against the brakes (non-disk) or when I finally get it straighten, it is so tight that I can't peddle.

I finally decided to take apart the rear axle and the barrings fell out and it's determined that pieces to keep it straight are missing.

Another bike shop estimated it would be $200+ to replace the rim so I need help in finding a replacement. The tire size is 26', the ISO is 57-559 and the full specs are 26x2.35. Some places I read said that a 26x1.75 rim should be fine, since the ISO is 559. Is this the correct size or do I need to go higher?

Thanks for the help,
Gregory S.
Buy a new wheel. I bought a decent 26' wheel at my LBS for $79. $200 is probably more than the bike is worth. Can't believe any bike shop would actually quote you a price for a rebuild rather than just trying to sell you a cheapo pre-built wheel.
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Old 01-16-15, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I have a bunch of old 26" rims in the garage marked 26X1.50-1.75.
One 26x1.50 is actually wider than one marked 26x1.75.
If the 1.50 is wider than the 1.75, I'm guessing that inch size marks on rims refer to the intended tire, and not the rim?

Wouldn't be the strangest sizing/labelling habit the bicycle industry has come up with...

In that case I stand corrected. The ISO/ETRTO millimeter-rated rims I see all refer to the rim measurements. In that scope, 1.75" would mean a 44 mm width, and that would be some serious hoops.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
If the 1.50 is wider than the 1.75, I'm guessing that inch size marks on rims refer to the intended tire, and not the rim?

Wouldn't be the strangest sizing/labelling habit the bicycle industry has come up with...

In that case I stand corrected. The ISO/ETRTO millimeter-rated rims I see all refer to the rim measurements. In that scope, 1.75" would mean a 44 mm width, and that would be some serious hoops.

I stated ONE was larger, although there isn't enough difference between them to really matter.
Some of these are probably 30+ years old Arraya VP 20's etc.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:23 PM
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This is probably all moot, since the OP hasn't responded.

My gut feeling is that since this is a Mongoose with 3000+ miles, the hub is trashed.
They out such a minimal amount of lube in the factory hub, I wonder how they last a few hundred miles.
I've seen some of these that appeared to have a spray lube that "set" rather than any actual "grease". There simply wasn't ANY excess.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:38 PM
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There are a few things that could be wrong:

- Hub not adjusted properly and wobbling - adjust hub
- Rim out of true or not tensioned properly when it was built so it is becoming less and less true as time goes on - true and tension
- Hub failure due to missing/broken parts - replace parts if minor or replace entire wheel
- Rim bent/failed - replace rim or replace entire wheel

Either way, I'd bring it somewhere else if you aren't comfortable with it. Have them explain exactly what is wrong and I imagine you can get it fixed or replaced at the shop. They can swap over your cassette/freewheel as well.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:42 PM
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The OP apparently tried to get it "adjusted" at the LBS. However, I wonder if they just tightened the cones and sent him on his way.

I'm not sure how much a bike shop charges to pull a hub apart, clean, inspect, and repack, but I wonder if it was ever done. Perhaps that is a reason to take over one's own maintenance. It doesn't matter if it takes one an hour as long as it is done right.

My guess the cones are toast. The axle may be bent.

The races and the rest of the hub could probably take the miles. However, if not repaired properly, then I can imagine a lot of damage could be done, in which case the whole hub might be toast.

And the rim may in fact be just fine, and technically could be reused (but putting a good MTB rim onto a new hub is probably beyond what the OP wishes to do, unless getting a good match is important).
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Old 01-16-15, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I stated ONE was larger, although there isn't enough difference between them to really matter.
Some of these are probably 30+ years old Arraya VP 20's etc.
So are those actual rim measurements or approximate tire recommendations?
There were some fairly wide single-wall rims back in the days. But 44mm would still be very wide.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
snip.... (no sense in paying $200 to replace a wheel on a $200 bike).
Since when does the cost of a wheel have anything to do with the cost of the bike? If this is the case then no one ever should buy carbon wheels unless they also buy the highest priced road or CX bikes.

I am one of those folks that has put a $200ish hand built wheel on a $200 bike. I first tried a machine built budget wheel and at over 250 pounds at the time and frequent use, much more than this level of bike was actually made for with some steep, although short grades the wheel did not last. My LBS took part responsibility for selling me a wheel that did not fit my needs and gave me 100% warranty replacement on the hand spun. At the time I just could not afford a higher level of bike but I could afford to nickle and dime repair and upgrade what I had. The same thing may be happening here. 3K miles on a budget bike is somewhat high usage, for that a higher grade wheel makes sense some of the time.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
So are those actual rim measurements or approximate tire recommendations?
There were some fairly wide single-wall rims back in the days. But 44mm would still be very wide.

I went out into the garage and just measured an Arraya VP-20 marked 26x1.50.
It's about 1-1/16" outside, so inside would be about 22-23mmish inside?

I would consider the marking to be for a "nominal" size tire, since they have no problem handling 1.25-2.2" tires.
In fact, I have the same rim on the front of my "grocery getter". As much as I'd like to have handbuit wheels F&R on it, I can't justify a new front for a bike that makes 2.5 mile round trips to the store, heavily loaded (up to 55 lbs.) on the back 1/2 the trip. I did build a rear w Velocity Synergy OC rim & different gauge spokes DS & NDS for a "weight carrying wheel" to "compliment" my 250 lbs.
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Old 01-16-15, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Since when does the cost of a wheel have anything to do with the cost of the bike? If this is the case then no one ever should buy carbon wheels unless they also buy the highest priced road or CX bikes.
I suppose you could argue that if one buys a cheap wheel with cheap cones, one would end up with the same problem in another 3000 miles. Whereas a quality wheel may last significantly longer provided it isn't abused too much.

At the same time, if the replacement bike is $200, one would get the wheel, two brand new tires, everything (mostly) working, new chain, new freewheel, brake pads, etc. I.E. Start fresh with all the wear items.

If the original bike hasn't been maintained, then replacing the common wear items may cost quite a bit, at least if done at shop rates.

Thinking of quality, I took apart one of my Mongoose wheels a few days ago. It appears to have black paint on the bearing races. No doubt the paint wears quickly, leaving debris in the grease and a greater gap for the cone adjustment. The races still seem intact, but pitting has already begun on the cones.
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Old 01-16-15, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Since when does the cost of a wheel have anything to do with the cost of the bike? . . .
Let's explore that. Which is better: a $400 bike with a $10,000 wheel, or a $2,500 bike with stock wheels?
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Old 01-16-15, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
Let's explore that. Which is better: a $400 bike with a $10,000 wheel, or a $2,500 bike with stock wheels?
Who besides you is suggesting anything close to such a cost difference?
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Old 01-16-15, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Who besides you is suggesting anything close to such a cost difference?
So, after all, you agree that the value of the bike effects how much should be spent on a replacement wheel. Now we can explore how much cost difference is reasonable.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I suppose you could argue that if one buys a cheap wheel with cheap cones, one would end up with the same problem in another 3000 miles. Whereas a quality wheel may last significantly longer provided it isn't abused too much.

At the same time, if the replacement bike is $200, one would get the wheel, two brand new tires, everything (mostly) working, new chain, new freewheel, brake pads, etc. I.E. Start fresh with all the wear items.

If the original bike hasn't been maintained, then replacing the common wear items may cost quite a bit, at least if done at shop rates.

Thinking of quality, I took apart one of my Mongoose wheels a few days ago. It appears to have black paint on the bearing races. No doubt the paint wears quickly, leaving debris in the grease and a greater gap for the cone adjustment. The races still seem intact, but pitting has already begun on the cones.
Perhaps I need to restate what I am saying. $200 is not an unreasonable cost for a wheel and there are many that are much more. There are even times when a $200 wheel is the right wheel for a budget bike and rider. This wheelset would be appropriate for this bike for some riders who have to race what they have but can spare the cash for a higher level wheelset. It is also quite likely that a rider can buy the bike as last years model discounted so far that the wheelset costs more than the bike. Ideal maybe not.

Sure he might be able to buy another cheap bike for the smae price as a wheel but a year from now he'd be at the same point. FWIW I have about 4K miles on my Schwinn and the chain and brakes are oem. Tires and wheels plus upgrade to cassette have been the wear items I've replaced. It shifts just fine still. I don't ride it much anymore. Much prefer my Roubiax and Crux. @CliffordK you are jumping to conclusions about the condition of the OP's bike, you could be right, you could be wrong. Several others seem real quick to throw an unknown LBS under the bus and @AnkleWork seems to want to argue with an absurd question and then troll like off topic derailing reply. I'm offering an alternative possible view that is also a guess but could be the why the OP was given the quote he was.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
So, after all, you agree that the value of the bike effects how much should be spent on a replacement wheel. Now we can explore how much cost difference is reasonable.
There are a multitude of factors affecting the decision.

I've rebuilt or parted out a few thrift store specials. It always burns me to spend $5 on a bike and $20 on a replacement tire. But the $5 bike won't go anywhere without the tire, unless I snag another bike just for the tires.

One can buy good used 26" MTB wheels for $5 with a bit of judicious shopping, but most of them need a bit of tuning up if the OP is willing to learn. And they will last a good long time with proper maintenance.

A $50 new wheel (plus shipping?) may suffer from the same problems the OP had if not maintained.

A $200 wheel might be built better, better rim, better hub, better cones or sealed bearings, etc. So it might not be bad for someone that puts a lot of miles on the bike.

I'm not sure iif the OP mentioned his weight and riding style, but a more expensive wheel might also have less of a chance of bending the axle if that is an issue.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Perhaps I need to restate what I am saying. $200 is not an unreasonable cost for a wheel and there are many that are much more. There are even times when a $200 wheel is the right wheel for a budget bike and rider. This wheelset would be appropriate for this bike
But, that wheel set is NOT appropriate for This Bike

Although, as I've mentioned, there are arguments for a wheel that wouldn't suffer the same problems as the last one.
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Old 01-16-15, 05:09 PM
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Yes, that is what I'm saying. $60 for a rim, $30 for spokes, $30 for hub, $40 to build it, rim tape and if changing from a freewheel to a cassette you are right close to $200 for a wheel that will out last the bike.
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Old 01-16-15, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Yes, that is what I'm saying. $60 for a rim, $30 for spokes, $30 for hub, $40 to build it, rim tape and if changing from a freewheel to a cassette you are right close to $200 for a wheel that will out last the bike.
You don't like my example, OK let's go with yours. The bike in question frequently sold for less than $170, has over 3,000 miles, reportedly has very low durability and quality (even for a bike in that class), and is now worth little more than scrap. Do you consider it reasonable to spend $200 to replace its rear wheel?
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