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Rim wear.....

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Old 10-25-14, 01:15 PM
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Mr Flibble
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Rim wear.....

I have had my latest commuter bike, a ribble audax/winter bike with a set of fulcrum 7 wheels since Nov 2012. Fantastic commuter which has been hammered through 2 winters and heading into a third. Approx mileage at present is 5000-6000. I have been through 3 chains and a cassette through general wear and do all my own maintenance.

My question is how do I tell when the wheel rims are worn to the point they need replacing? I can still see a wear marker which is just visible. Would I feel a pulsing through the brake lever if the rim is on the way out or is this too late? My commute takes me down a large hill on my way home which can see me braking from speeds of up to 40mph to zero for some lights at the bottom. Really don't fancy a failure!
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Old 10-25-14, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Flibble View Post
Would I feel a pulsing through the brake lever if the rim is on the way out or is this too late?

I've had a rim fail catastrophically without warning.



My commute takes me down a large hill on my way home which can see me braking from speeds of up to 40mph to zero for some lights at the bottom. Really don't fancy a failure!

Consider getting disc brakes. I have a similar long descent on my commute and disc brakes have more than payed for themselves by eliminating rim/wheel replacements.
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Old 10-25-14, 02:22 PM
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My question is how do I tell when the wheel rims are worn to the point they need replacing?
You Measure the remaining thickness of the aluminum where the brake pads drag.

The ring cut into the brake track is there for the visual Clue that it is time to lace up another rim when you no longer see it.
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Old 10-25-14, 02:55 PM
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I have the same problem. Only my rims have over 12k on them now and are probably good for a few more. Thats why I'm making arrangements to pick up a new set soon so when they do go, I've got a new rim in place. This new set will be my fourth set of rims. The last set was a pair of Velocity Aeroheats which were supposed to be so tough and everything and they lasted a little over 8k. I went with Sun Rhyno lites to replace those. And they are as advertised. Good strong commuting rim. If you're only getting 6k or so out of your rims then you need to get better rims. You could switch to disc brakes but you'd need a new frame. They sell kits to modify your frame to accommodate disc brakes. You'd have to replace the fork for sure though.
Wearing out three chains in that time period isn't so unusual. I've worn out plenty of chains through the years. I use a Park chain measuring tool to measure the stretch. And when its time to go then I pop on a new one.
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Old 10-25-14, 03:12 PM
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It is not really possible to put a mileage on it as there are far too many variables but leaning on the safe side, a lot of people in the bike industry go off the standard of replace when you wear away .5mm of sidewall. Obviously some rims can go much more than this so it really comes down to balancing risk vs reward.

One other trick some people like to use, although I have never really done it myself is to inflate your tires 10-20 psi over the pressure you normally ride at and let it sit overnight. The theory is, if the sidewall did not blow out overnight you have a little more life in them.

If your riding is usually slow speed and you can have someone pick you up you can run a rim all the way until your brakes pulse but once they start pulsing the end is usually very close. If you tend to ride at higher speeds or in heavy traffic I would play it safer and replace the rims sooner rather than later.

I personally will replace the rims on my bikes that see higher speeds right at the .5mm wear mark, my utilitarian commuter that is mostly ridden at slower speeds and out of traffic I run them until they start to pulse or I can see light cracks. At that point I drop the pressure as low as is comfortable to ride with and ride a different bike until I get the chance to re-lace that wheel.
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Old 10-25-14, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
If you're only getting 6k or so out of your rims then you need to get better rims.
The OP is in the UK so I am assuming a lot of those miles are in the wet, if that is the case, 6k miles is more than reasonable for a set of rims. Switching to discs is not a terrible idea though. If that is not an option, you are right with the Rhyno Lite being a great rim when durability is a must, I have a couple customers doing round the world tours on them without issue they are so strong. Another great option for dealing with quick rim wear is a rim like the Velocity NoBS, it does not have a machined sidewall so it takes a lot longer to wear it to a dangerous point and the extrusion is still very nice so your braking is still super smooth.
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Old 10-26-14, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
The OP is in the UK so I am assuming a lot of those miles are in the wet, if that is the case, 6k miles is more than reasonable for a set of rims. Switching to discs is not a terrible idea though.
Quite a few rides are in the wet, probably 1 in 5 on average. The wear markers on the rims are small holes rather than a groove which goes around the entire circumference. I can still see a small hole but obviously the depth isn't what it used to be. I have done quite a bit of research on discs for road bikes and when I next upgrade my commute bike this is the route I'll go down, however, being the tight person that I am I dislike getting rid of a bike before it is worn out or broken. It really is a great bike. I think my options will be a new wheel set (taking on board comments already made in this thread I'll look at some of the rims mentioned) or getting fresh rims for the set I have now. Given my commute terrain and the high speed descents involved i will replace wheels sooner rather than later. Thanks all for your advice.
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Old 10-26-14, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
Wearing out three chains in that time period isn't so unusual. I've worn out plenty of chains through the years. I use a Park chain measuring tool to measure the stretch. And when its time to go then I pop on a new one.
I do the same, I have chain measuring tool and replace when necessary. I put the chain through a cleaner every 2 to 4 weeks depending on the season and this ensures I get the best life possible out of them, but it is a false economy to continue using a worn chain.
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Old 10-26-14, 06:49 AM
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I couldn't agree more. Fair winds and dry roads to you
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