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Old 08-10-14, 01:21 AM   #1
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Replacement wheels for a Bike Friday? Or rebuild existing wheels?

Our BFs came with single wall rim wheels, and seem to be getting out of true pretty often. LBS suggested new rims/wheels. Should I go with that advise? Or should I get the wheels re built by a good wheel builder?

If I need to get new wheels/rims, any suggestions?

They are the 20" 406 wheel size with 32n spokes.

Actually it's not out of true as much as they are not dished correctly, so I keep getting brake rub on the rear. Had the problem since the time I got them. They were not true when we got them either. Managed to get them true to some extent but for the dishing, I think I might have to get them rebuilt.

The rims are Alex X-101. Do I really need to replace or is re building worth an attempt?
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Old 08-10-14, 04:58 AM   #2
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These are basically good rims, I have a feeling they were not trued correctly in the early part of their life as you yourself stated. If it was me, I would have them trued and possibly respoked by someone who knows bike wheels, however, you did not mention how old the bikes are and the level of use, terrain etc. Bike Friday turn out great bikes, I am a little surprised by your issue, however it only takes one loose spoke! Keep us posted with your progress, good luck.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:26 AM   #3
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I routinely take wheels to a completely relaxed state then bring them back into proper tension and true, it usually takes care of any issues. I to am a bit surprised that you are having issues with BF wheels. How old are the wheels and how many miles on them?

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Old 08-10-14, 08:52 AM   #4
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Have had issues from the time I got them. We have 3 BFs and two have had issues. Those two [wife's and mine] came together about 1.5 years earlier than the last [my daughters], so maybe they had a bad wheel builder at that time.

The bikes are 2.5 and 1 years old but we use them only on travel. I log miles on Ascent, so I have the exact mileage. 3750 kms for my bike, and maybe a wee bit less on my wife's.

Well, to clarify, my bike and my wife's bike which have issues are 2.5 years old and have 3750 kms on them. My daughters is fine and a year old.
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Old 08-10-14, 01:47 PM   #5
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Are you sure it's the wheel and not the rear triangle? That is, should we assume that you've measured this with a dishing tool? I suppose it could be something wacky like uneven spacers on the brakes -- I've never seen this myself but it might pay to think of alternatives before working on the wheel.

Oh ... you never said it was the front, rear or both. If you're having problems with all four wheels, then I'm guessing it's the rim. Hand-built wheels are built by people and people make mistakes. But whoever the person is making wheels at Bike Friday, they make a lot of them. I find it hard to believe that they'd screw up four times for the same person. Although I guess the error would be correlated ...

FWIW ... my take is that if you're going to fix the problem you might as well get it done "right". In this case, it means being confident that these wheels will be true and centered and largely worry-free given that you're touring on them. I'd get a decent double-walled "value" rim -- Sun CR-18s and Rhyno Lites are classic choices -- and hubs and get another wheelset built. In ERTO 406, I've also used Velocity rims -- AeroHeats -- when building wheels. I've been happy with them.
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Old 08-10-14, 02:40 PM   #6
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Mine is built with Sun CR18 rims .. happen to be 32 hole too ..
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Old 08-10-14, 03:04 PM   #7
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I think we need some more information in order to make any kind of recommendation:

1. Are the wheels out of true? How many times in the last 2 years have you had them trued?

2. Explain the dish issue better and in context of the brakes (V, caliper, or canti) is it always hitting on the one side in constant contact or is it only momentarily contacting at the same point on the rim? So your brake arms have to sit at a severe angle in order to clear the rim? A picture of the brake as it sits might help.

3. You only mention rub in the rear so is that to say that you don't have this issue with the front wheel on either bike?

Last edited by thugpipe; 08-10-14 at 09:55 PM.
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