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Are Fiamme Red Label rims robust enough for a 205 lb. rider?

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Are Fiamme Red Label rims robust enough for a 205 lb. rider?

Old 10-25-23, 06:37 PM
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Are Fiamme Red Label rims robust enough for a 205 lb. rider?

I am getting ready to order spokes and build some wheels with parts I have on hand. Hubs are Campy Record High Flange and I have a choice of rims - I have a pair of Super Champion Gentleman rims in nice shape but I also have a pair of NOS Fiamme Red Label tubular rims still wrapped in paper. The rims take different length spokes so I need to decide in advance what I'm going to do. : For someone of my weight (205 lbs) is there any point in building the Fiamme wheels?
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Old 10-25-23, 07:32 PM
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If you “ride light” avoid disruptions, lift your weight off the saddle at drive way aprons, All the Time, sure, 28-30 tires.

if not, the Gentleman rims and still the same tire with rec.
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Old 10-25-23, 07:52 PM
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I have red label Fiamme rims that came with my Puch in 1979. I have been riding on them the last two years with 24 mm Tufos at 225 pounds without a problem. I'm very likely a more careful rider today than I was when I weighed 175 in the eighties.

I thought the even lighter gold label Fiamme rims were the concern, not the red.
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Old 10-25-23, 07:54 PM
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Good news is that when you hit something, they will just bend, not break. Rims like these are why every shop had a rim puller and the mechanics knew how to use it.

Lace the wheels with the lightest butted spokes you can get away with. Not too tight. Big tires. Plenty of pressure. Accept that they won't last forever; that at some point they've exceeded your standards of true, wobble free and smooth brake track performance and you will have to replace them. 'Til then, enjoy!

I race trained on 330 gm Arc en Ciels in New England. I got not much over a season (5000 miles) out of each rim, riding them hard as a 150 pounder but I never worried about safety. They were funky by season's end but perfectly safe another season but they were in production and available, so why?
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Old 10-26-23, 03:47 AM
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I've been riding my Faimme Red Label tubular rims (HiE small flange hubs) with 27mm Schwalbe Ones since 2015 and I have never had an issue. In fact, I've never needed to true the wheels.

I purchased the wheelset on ebay, so I am uncertain as to their age or previous use. During this time period I've weighed as low as 210 and as much as 300. They have taken me safely over NH frost-heaved and cracked roads, many hundreds of miles of dirt road and path riding, and now across the seams, cracks, and uneven expansion joints on a concrete bike path. This past March, I did a 50-mile ride on rural chip-seal and dirt TX roads.

The Faimme RL rims have served me very well and I imagine my example is a better analogy than a race-training one. The picture below is shortly after I began riding this wheelset and they remain above ground with plenty of life left.


At a NH cemetery.
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Old 10-26-23, 04:52 AM
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I have ridden Mavic GL330s @ 225lbs without any problems. So confident I started collecting them along with a couple of others.
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Old 10-26-23, 06:26 AM
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repechage nailed it above. The proper answer to this question is more about your riding style and maybe road conditions.

in best possible conditions then sure the RL rims are OK for a rider of your weight.

wider section tires properly inflated (but not OVER inflated) will give you a bit of a safety margin as well

I'm of the opinion that a taller rider will place more loads on the rear wheel so a heavier rim is good practice in the back.

most of my bikes are set up this way, a light rim on the front for zippy feel and handling, and a heavier rim on the rear for a bit more robustness.

/markp
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Old 10-26-23, 07:43 AM
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There are a couple of points that have not yet been mentioned. As the the weight of the rider gets above 160 lbs. or so….and the further beyond the more important…..More spokes is definitely better than fewer. 36 spokes are very well suited for lighter rims….32 requires much more care and best of luck with 28 or less. Rear spacing is also an issue. From the hubs mentioned, I will assume 120 or 126 mm rear spacing. The dishing required for these widths is not any real problem with lighter rims. If you go to modern 130 mm spacing, the dish is simply too severe for anything much less than a 400 g rim (tubular….less for a clincher). By the time you get adequate tension on the non drive side to prevent spoke loosening or premature spoke failure from lack of tension, the drive side will have more tension than the rim can withstand and you will develop cracking at the spoke holes in relatively short order. Of course both of these points represent other ways to kill a light rim than hitting something while riding…
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Old 10-26-23, 10:05 AM
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Hubs are 36 hole, 120 OLD
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Old 10-26-23, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
I've been riding my Faimme Red Label tubular rims (HiE small flange hubs) with 27mm Schwalbe Ones since 2015 and I have never had an issue. In fact, I've never needed to true the wheels.

I purchased the wheelset on ebay, so I am uncertain as to their age or previous use. During this time period I've weighed as low as 210 and as much as 300. They have taken me safely over NH frost-heaved and cracked roads, many hundreds of miles of dirt road and path riding, and now across the seams, cracks, and uneven expansion joints on a concrete bike path. This past March, I did a 50-mile ride on rural chip-seal and dirt TX roads.

The Faimme RL rims have served me very well and I imagine my example is a better analogy than a race-training one. The picture below is shortly after I began riding this wheelset and they remain above ground with plenty of life left.


At a NH cemetery.

Real- world experience is about as empirical as it gets. Thanks for your post. Great Halloween photo, by the way......
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Old 10-26-23, 11:35 PM
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I'd give you the green light.

Comparable weight on my end. My weight fluctuates but typically around 210 (+/- 10).

I've got a couple pairs of Fiamme Red wheels that I rotate around a few bikes. One with 27mm road tires, campy lo-flange, and another with 32mm cross tires (Dugast Pipistrello ftw), campy high-flange. Go with 36H rims if an option, esp. for rear.

I don't shy from rough roads, but do agree with repechage on the importance of "riding light."



Even loaded



Are the newer Fiamme Red with the rectangular decals from the 80s much different in terms of construction vs. earlier versions?

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