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Do eyelets matter?

Old 11-18-13, 07:29 PM
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Do eyelets matter?

I'm looking for a set of 700 rims for my Motobecane Grand Record, and thinking maybe of some concave Weinmanns, which I think were original to at least some GRs. They came in two widths, as far as I know, both of which came in with-eyelets (to reinforce the spoke holes) and without-eyelets versions. Does anyone know if the rims themselves are identical except for the presence or absence of the eyelets? And do eyelets actually help? I've ridden a bunch of rims without eyelets--including a pair of apparently-indestructible Arayas from an old Univega that I'm still riding--and while eyelets make me feel more confident and seem classier, the only rim I ever had fail because a spoke nipple pulled through it was an eyeletted one.
Any wheelbuilding veterans out there have any thoughts on this?
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Old 11-18-13, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara
Any wheelbuilding veterans out there have any thoughts on this?
The old school concave Weinmann rims were the most bomb proof of their day in a narrow width, but not light.
This was when 700C clincher rims were a new thing to build a set of tubular size training wheels.
After denting the butter soft Rigidas "back when" I built up a set of W's and never looked back.
Don't recall eyelets Y/N, didn't matter.
Good luck finding NOS, they were fine kit.

edit: Morning coffee revives memory, eyelets Y, definitely.


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Old 11-18-13, 09:34 PM
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Eyelets in a rim are so much nicer when building or truing a wheel because they reduce the friction between the rim and the spoke nipple and you can closer feel the "real" tension in the spoke and not just friction. When I designed some rims for Weinman, the wall thicker of the rim had to be thicker for non eyeletted rims.

The first wheel I ever built was a 700C Weinman Concave. That rim was a benchmark in its day.

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Old 11-18-13, 10:25 PM
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Can't answer your question about eyelets; am interested in seeing others' opinions. I can say that Jobst Brandt thought they were a good idea, IIRC.

However I must say I'm not a big fan of the Weinmann Concave. It was long ago when I had a rear Fiamme-rim'ed wheel fail. I don't recall how. So I had an LBS build a wheel with a Concave rim. It didn't last the summer. With little encouragement it turned itself into a pretzel. Okay, maybe it wasn't strung as tight enough. It seemed true, IIRC. I blamed the rim at the time. Okay, maybe I rushed to judgment. But it was heavy enough that I could feel the extra weight, so I was happy it was gone.
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Old 11-18-13, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
However I must say I'm not a big fan of the Weinmann Concave. It was long ago when I had a rear Fiamme-rim'ed wheel fail. I don't recall how. So I had an LBS build a wheel with a Concave rim. It didn't last the summer. With little encouragement it turned itself into a pretzel. Okay, maybe it wasn't strung as tight enough. It seemed true, IIRC. I blamed the rim at the time. Okay, maybe I rushed to judgment. But it was heavy enough that I could feel the extra weight, so I was happy it was gone.
Maybe it did have plenty of tension, and it took a side load?



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Old 11-18-13, 10:32 PM
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Nipple washers are cheap, light and available, too
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Old 11-18-13, 11:26 PM
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Weinmann concaves came in two versions:

A126 (narrow)

A129 (wide)


I've not seen either of them without eyelets, but perhaps they were available. Regardless, if a rim doesn't have eyelets, I'd seriously consider using washers under the nipples.
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Old 11-19-13, 03:26 AM
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I am building up a set or 27" Weinmann concave rims, laced to black anodized Dura Ace high flange hubs. I have owned, and probably still do, 27", 700c narrow and 700c wide - all were fitted with eyelets. Do they matter?

Yes - they spread the load created at the nipple head. Without eyelets, sooner or later, and sooner is most likely, the rim will crack/split at the nipple hole, particularly if the spokes are not evenly tensioned. So, eyelets or forget abboud it, in my opinion. If you don't have a rim with eyelets, I suggest the nipple washers which are a bit of a pain to install but will do the same job as a rim's integral eyelets.
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Old 11-19-13, 08:07 AM
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I like eyelets because they keep my nipples from chaffing.
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Old 11-19-13, 08:20 AM
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Pictures, Bianchigirll. We need pictures!
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Old 11-19-13, 08:23 AM
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Speaking of washers, if I may interject here, while I know outfits like Sapim sell them. But I'm going to build a set of wheels this winter, NISI with no eyelets, and have both stainless and brass small washers on hand that would fit right. Any cons to using either of those?
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Old 11-19-13, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Pictures, Bianchigirll. We need pictures!
Ha Ha sorry guys I just couldn't resist.

I agree with Randy that yes they help spread the force load over a wider area but I think eyelet or washer if the rim is going to crack from fatigue, trauma or over tension it will crack. In my experience nipple abrasion/failure is a bigger issue (and pain in the bum) than rim issues especially with the late '80s V profile aero rims.

Rootboy I think either would be fine but I would use the stainless. I do believe thought some Nisi rims took a funny washer maybe oval shaped don't know if that matters.
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Old 11-19-13, 09:44 AM
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Thanks BG. No pics eh?

I have seen those oval washers. Not sure they'd fit in the holes of these rims. I did take some stainless washers, good quality Marine grade, and domed them slightly in my dapping block. Seems they'll work fine.

BTW, the only reference I had were the old, crusty NISI rims that came off the bike (63 Frejus) and man, were those washers weird. Little brass cupped washer with a fiber insert. I had considered re-using them but, probably not.

I can't imagine building no-eyelet rims with no washers. Did they actually do that in the past?
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Old 11-19-13, 09:49 AM
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I wanted to use a pair of original rims off of Trek 610 and in the process of tightening up the spokes, one of the eyelets seperated and fell down the spoke. The rim looks fine and the rest of the eyelets look ok. Now I don't know what to do with the rim!
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Old 11-19-13, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
I can't imagine building no-eyelet rims with no washers. Did they actually do that in the past?
Crap, now I'm worried about the three no-eyelet wheels I've built without washers. Didn't know that washers were a "thing" for these rims.
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Old 11-19-13, 10:05 AM
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You might be just fine, T-Scott. I'm just mostly ignorant on this subject. Maybe it was common practice???
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Old 11-19-13, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Maybe it was common practice???
Sure was "back when".
Your garden variety Araya or Weinmann 27X1/14 alloys wheels on production bikes came from the factory built w/o washers, worked just fine.
Tubulars were always built w/ washers and we whole heartedly adopted the ferruled rims when Mavic introduced them and they spread through the industry. Same w/ hard anodizing, but a different deal.

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Old 11-19-13, 10:34 AM
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I do agree that eyelets must make a difference in stregnth at the spoke holes when it comes to box section rims, especially the very lightweight ones where material is not thick for most of the section of the rim. but I don't think the same applies to C&V aero section rims where more aluminum material is usually present at the rim's inner center line where the spoke holes are located, so we can't make an assumption that all rims without eyelets are no good.
Double eyelets should make for even stronger rims than single eyelets as the loads from the spokes are distributed through a larger area....
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Old 11-19-13, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Speaking of washers... have both stainless and brass small washers on hand that would fit right. Any cons to using either of those?
Hey - Now this is something to think about - I have Steel on Aluminium all over my bike and in a few places Brass and Copper on aluminium and all the mix - But technically speaking this is a pipe fitters nightmare - No no no says the pipe fitter - You must consider compatible metals at all times - Well I'm thinking strength and malleable abilities and just keeping things clean and looking nice - Not really considering their Galvanic factors of erosion/corrosion when using the three in a semi-electroliytic environment - Wow- Now its looking interesting - I went and checked my bikes and can't really see any unusual corrosion or erosion from the mixes - But my bikes are stored indoors in Central Texas - Could this be a real factor for consideration when near the coast and in a salt air environment...

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Old 11-19-13, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyPip
Eyelets in a rim are so much nicer when building or truing a wheel because they reduce the friction between the rim and the spoke nipple and you can closer feel the "real" tension in the spoke and not just friction. When I designed some rims for Weinman, the wall thicker of the rim had to be thicker for non eyeletted rims.

The first wheel I ever built was a 700C Weinman Concave. That rim was a benchmark in its day.

Pip
Weinmann Concaves as mentioned were not light, nor were most of the alternatives, so eyelets were not required.
But, they made a more predictable wheel build, the process of tensioning a wheel would cause some deformation of the aluminum and the friction would vary, especially on the rear wheel.
Eyelets provided a steel surface that was more predictable.

Later the "Bomb proof" rim was an Araya Aero, also a non eyeleted rim.
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Old 11-19-13, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Maybe it did have plenty of tension, and it took a side load?



(I'm sure you've seen that picture before. )
For a time Rigida rims really had a bad reputation for becoming a taco. The problem in my view was the spoke holes while eyeleted has no stagger and the rim was narrow, combine those attributes and they required a less tensioned wheel to work, and I would not build them with 6 speed spacing.
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Old 11-19-13, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Crap, now I'm worried about the three no-eyelet wheels I've built without washers. Didn't know that washers were a "thing" for these rims.
I have well over 50,000 miles and 17 years on a set of Araya VX 300s, without eyelets. I thought so highly of them that, a couple years ago, I laced one of them to a Sante hub, and continue to ride it daily.
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Old 11-19-13, 08:09 PM
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In my experience, Weinmann rims don't do such a great job holding modern tires. Velo Orange has some great rims, or the Suns you can buy on ebay, though they're not especially vintage looking.
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Old 11-19-13, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for bringing this up, should be mentioned early in any Weinmann Concave thread. The Concave is not a hooked-bead rim, so you're pretty much limited to tire pressures not over 75psi. It that meets your needs, fine, but you should be knowing you are limiting your tire pressure options, and keep in mind that just a pound or two over the limit will greatly encourage blowoffs.

Originally Posted by dbakl
In my experience, Weinmann rims don't do such a great job holding modern tires. Velo Orange has some great rims, or the Suns you can buy on ebay, though they're not especially vintage looking.
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Old 11-20-13, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Hey - Now this is something to think about - I have Steel on Aluminium all over my bike and in a few places Brass and Copper on aluminium and all the mix - But technically speaking this is a pipe fitters nightmare - No no no says the pipe fitter - You must consider compatible metals at all times - Well I'm thinking strength and malleable abilities and just keeping things clean and looking nice - Not really considering their Galvanic factors of erosion/corrosion when using the three in a semi-electroliytic environment - Wow- Now its looking interesting - I went and checked my bikes and can't really see any unusual corrosion or erosion from the mixes - But my bikes are stored indoors in Central Texas - Could this be a real factor for consideration when near the coast and in a salt air environment...
That's a thought. Though I didn't notice any galvanic, or other type, corrosion when I disassembled the old wheel set.
Let's see: Galvanized steel spokes, chrome plated brass nipples, brass nipple washers, aluminum alloy rims.
Man…that's every food group represented.
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