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Another wheel thread...tactful advice?

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Another wheel thread...tactful advice?

Old 05-19-13, 10:57 AM
  #1  
Juan Foote
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Another wheel thread...tactful advice?

As if there weren't a million already.

I picked up a set of wheels late last year for my birthday under a special program, which I will touch on later. A little searching will turn up what wheels, but for this discussion it's not really important. The short of it is that I wanted a "better" set of wheels and got a set that I thought would suit my needs for the type and style of riding I do. We also took into account the suggested max weight for the wheels. I really, really like them and rode them trouble free for near five months. I have never had significant problems with any wheel since I started riding, including OEM builds after having them trued a time or two.

The area that I moved to has worse roads by far than where I was before. Shortly after moving here the wheels needed their first truing, and have needed to be done five times since then over just about that number of rides. I am needing it done again. There have been no busted spokes and I haven't seen any sign of stress on the wheel or eyelets aside from the issue staying straight. I was unpleasantly surprised at how quickly the wheel went out and nearly unrideable the last time this happened. The wheel guy worked on it for quite a while last time. Part of the conversation revolved around "this time" it shouldn't go out again but if it does we might need to look into sending it back.

There has been instance of other of these wheel owners sending their wheels back for the same issues. As far as I know the builder is taking care of people, albeit without their wheels for a few weeks or more. I can document where other riders who weigh even less than I do are having issue with these wheels (although I cannot say how willingly the source would divulge it to one of their distributors). In spite of the manufacturer taking the wheel in and "fixing" the issue, I have no idea what is actually being done about it or how they are holding up after being returned to use. I haven't found any reading from the manufacturer or really even on forums that mention the issue. Whether this be because the problem truly is being fixed or just because owners are keeping hush hush to preserve resell, IDK. Regardless, because of the issue my confidence is down that they will continue to serve my needs.

As I mentioned before, I got these wheels on a special program. It was designed for folks to get the stuff, try it out, and give feedback about it....at a better cost, of course. Part of the requirements for getting in was that I agreed not to sell the wheels for one year and not online at all. All warranties and everything are still in effect and what leads into my question. I have had the same shop work on the wheels the whole time and they are the only ones to have touched them. I contacted the owner of the shop by email with my concerns asking him point blank if we could get "permission" as it were to sell the wheels. He is reluctant to even attempt to do anything aside from normal warranty work and just wants to send them in and return them to me.

I feel like having purchased a set of wheels under the guidance of the shop/rep and not having them hold up to real world conditions warrants discussion concerning the terms of the agreement. I asked up front if the wheels would be strong enough and they have turned out not to be. I am not looking for the shop or the manufacturer to refund my monies. The plain and simple of it is that even when the manufacturer takes it in and does whatever fix it needs I just will never feel secure that I am not too close to, or over the true (not claimed) weight limit...which is something they could have helped and have experience to know more about at this point. I don't feel like it would be ethically wrong of me to consider selling these wheels to someone who they would serve better as well as not costing the company doing warranty fixes.

The flipside of this being that I am supposed to be a "mouthpiece" for these wheels. Not a paid shill, or to go spam up websites, just to tell people my thoughts about the product. Where I have been impressed with how they ride, and think the company will do whatever is in their responsibility under warranty (while it lasts) I don't have confidence in the durability of the wheel for a rider within 1/5 of the wheels stated weight limit. In the time they are figuring out what to do and/or I am finding out if the fix was good I have a lot of money tied up that could be used towards something more durable, if a bit less flashy.

I guess the point of all that is, am I wrong in thinking that something should be done to help rectify this issue, or I am I being an unreasonable jerk with my expectations?

Last edited by Juan Foote; 05-19-13 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:18 PM
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what wheels are they even if custom built? Sounds like the spokes are too long and can't hold proper tension that the rim needs.

I'd recommend rebuilding them with new spokes and nipples. And make sure the LBS uses Wheelsmith spoke prep when building them up.
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Old 05-19-13, 01:58 PM
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Were these hand-built or machine-built wheels? The latter often need to be gone-over by an experienced wrench to make sure the spokes are tensioned and stress-relieved properly. If the former, shame on them!
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Old 05-19-13, 02:01 PM
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I dont get it, they were fine for 5 months, you got them trued, and then they went out every ride after that?

sounds to me like whoever trued the wheels the first time has issues...not the wheel.
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Old 05-19-13, 02:54 PM
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My thoughts are that they were fine for five months because I rode on very smooth roads all the time. The issues didn't start until after I started riding in an area where the roads are a bit worse. Regardless of the ability to "ride light" and miss holes, there is only so much you can do.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:53 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Regardless of the ability to "ride light" and miss holes, there is only so much you can do.
Sorry but you've got it backwards. There is only so much you can do to build strong lightweight wheels. Once the wheel is purchased and used, the longevity of the wheel depends solely on the rider. Riding "light" and avoiding holes and maintaining the wheels is the only thing you can do to keep the wheels functional. I build my wheels and ride everything from pure racing bikes to long travel suspension mountain bikes and seldom have to retrue wheels once they are finished and mounted. This includes bikes that are ridden off-road on surfaces that are far worse than any road you can think of.

Truing wheels as often as you are says to me that you aren't riding as light as you think you are. Having to true wheels over the course of 5 rides suggests that you need to work more on technique than on the wheels.
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Old 05-20-13, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
As if there weren't a million already.

The area that I moved to has worse roads by far than where I was before. Shortly after moving here the wheels needed their first truing, and have needed to be done five times since then over just about that number of rides. I am needing it done again.
Some spokes have too little tension so the nipples unscrew when you go over bumps and unload the ones on the bottom dropping tension farther.

Possibilities are

1. You've bent the rims so they can't be made true without too little tension in some spokes. While you can bend the rims back at your weight you'll be likely to bend them again and would do well with heavier rims that are harder to bend. The 400g Reflex clincher which served me faithfully for over a decade didn't last a season after I broke my leg and crossed into Clydestale territory.

2. Some spokes have too little tension because the builder didn't properly balance the tension between spokes and mechanics haven't corrected that. You could fix this without measuring average tension. No parts would be required unless the builder was stupid enough to use alloy nipples without lubrication (I like anti-seize), they've started to seize up, and aren't turning well.

3. Some spokes have too little tension because the average tension is too low. You'd need to measure average tension and the same caveats on alloy nipples apply. It probably started that way, although the builder could have neglected to set the spoke heads and elbows so things loosened as the parts settled into the right orientation.

Light/shallow rims and thicker/straight gauge spokes exacerbate these problems but are not the root cause. More flexible rims deflect more. Heavier spokes stretch less at a given tension so they loose more tension on a given rim deflection.

You'd do well to learn a little about wheels and take care of the problem yourself. If you've advanced into the smart phone era you can get an app which determines spoke tension based on tone and the measured unsupported length; otherwise the Park meter is around $50 online.

If you don't do that let the manufacturer make things right. You got a discount to be a beta tester which could expect problems and the manufacturer lives up to their implicit promise to provide usable wheels when they correct the defects you uncovered.

If they fail to fix things I wouldn't feel obligated to comply with the restrictions on resale and would do that online (otherwise how are you going to sell them? at the annual veloswap?) with a prominent disclosure that the wheels weren't staying true at your weight of X pounds after the fix and other people at Y pounds before.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 05-21-13 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 05-20-13, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Part of the requirements for getting in was that I agreed not to sell the wheels for one year and not online at all. All warranties and everything are still in effect and what leads into my question. I have had the same shop work on the wheels the whole time and they are the only ones to have touched them. I contacted the owner of the shop by email with my concerns asking him point blank if we could get "permission" as it were to sell the wheels. He is reluctant to even attempt to do anything aside from normal warranty work and just wants to send them in and return them to me.
* * *
I don't feel like it would be ethically wrong of me to consider selling these wheels to someone who they would serve better as well as not costing the company doing warranty fixes.

* * *

I guess the point of all that is, am I wrong in thinking that something should be done to help rectify this issue, or I am I being an unreasonable jerk with my expectations?
Your agreement was not to sell the wheels for a year and not to sell them online. Whatever the ethics, it sounds to me like you have a contract and violating the terms is breach.

What is the remedy for the problematic wheels, assuming that it is a manufacturer problem? Likely, it is to return the wheels and the manufacturer can repair or replace. You haven't yet done that so you don't know if the manufacturer is going to make things right or not.
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Old 05-20-13, 11:32 PM
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In my experience, as I have said many many times her on this forum, wheels should have the tension readjusted after 200-300 miles.

If not, as I have said many many times on this forum, I'll be the wheel falls apart just after 2000 miles, not much more than 3000, 4000 if you're lucky.

I've had several hand built wheels do exactly the same until I figured out that somewhere in that time frame, the wheels lose tension and must be readjusted. Yes, I've had pro wheel builders say different after adding loctite, fairy dust and other superstitions but I have never had a rear wheel last much longer than 2000 with out the readjustment.

Yes, I have had guys argue then challenge them to build a wheel for me to see if it last, they have refused the challenge.

I'd almost bet you have 2000-3000 mile son those wheels. I say the lack of tension over that time span has weakened the spokes and you are now seeing the negative effects.

On another note, tactful? I'd never sell a problem product to another rider even if it was legal. One, there are some things more meaningful than money and two, if someone broke his face because I wanted to avoid losing a few bucks, I might feel bad. If I make a bad decision trying to save a few bucks on an item, I screwed up and I wouldn't pass my mistake on to the next guy.

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Old 05-21-13, 07:20 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
On another note, tactful? I'd never sell a problem product to another rider even if it was legal. One, there are some things more meaningful than money and two, if someone broke his face because I wanted to avoid losing a few bucks, I might feel bad. If I make a bad decision trying to save a few bucks on an item, I screwed up and I wouldn't pass my mistake on to the next guy.

I would certainly never consider passing on the wheels until after they had been sent in and rectified or replaced, as the case may be. I would also be (as was suggested earlier in the thread, I think) forthright with telling prospective buyers the issues I had with the wheel as it pertains to weight.
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Old 05-21-13, 07:23 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
Your agreement was not to sell the wheels for a year and not to sell them online. Whatever the ethics, it sounds to me like you have a contract and violating the terms is breach.

What is the remedy for the problematic wheels, assuming that it is a manufacturer problem? Likely, it is to return the wheels and the manufacturer can repair or replace. You haven't yet done that so you don't know if the manufacturer is going to make things right or not.

It is really a shame that during "negotiation" to enter the contract that downright untruths have no bearing, I point blank asked if they would hold my weight. I recall being told things like "yeah, you could go cyclocross on them" and similar. I believe the companies ad for the wheel even states something similar, or did.

I have no question that the manufacturer will at least rebuild or replace the wheel. My concern is, what then?
*answering my own question- the truly ethical thing to do would be to put them in the back of the closet after I get them back and wait till the year is over and get what I can back out of them...in the meantime chalk it up to lesson learned and spend some more money. :headbang:
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Old 05-21-13, 09:52 AM
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I would send them back, get them fixed and ride them to see if they truly fixed them. If they solve the problem, you have a wheelset you like. If they don't, you'll have given them a shot at making it right. Hopefully you kept your original wheelset and can ride those while the new ones are sent back for repair.
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Old 05-21-13, 10:25 AM
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did we ever get specs on the wheels yet?
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Old 05-21-13, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
did we ever get specs on the wheels yet?
I'd like to know as well. Share the info with the Clydes so we don't get ripped.....don't get these!

Although as I mentioned earlier, could have been partial lack of maintenance (tension).
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