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What's Crackalackin'...My Rear Wheel, That's What...

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What's Crackalackin'...My Rear Wheel, That's What...

Old 05-25-20, 07:22 PM
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BobbyG
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What's Crackalackin'...My Rear Wheel, That's What...

Three weeks ago I put the summer tires back on my old MTB-based commuter and snow bike. Since then the rear tire has had a slow leak. Losing about half its psi every couple of days. Just sitting In the shed. This morning I rode it to pick up some potting soil.

I knew from removing the winter studded tires and mounting the summer slicks the innertube had an old patch, and this may be the cause, or perhaps there was a goat-head thorn or some other breach in the tire. So this afternoon I decided to change the inner tube and inspect the tire.

I found a crack in the wheel running from braking surface to braking surface across the inner rim!

I know it wasn't there three weeks ago when I swapped tires. as I always inspect the inner rim for debris, and check the outer rim to make sure the bead is even.

I rode this bike maybe four times since then and for no more than 50 miles in all.

However, this is the original wheel that came with the bike when I bought it new in 1997...Weinmann 519 alloy wheels, but mine says Weinnann 559 (26x1.5 / 559).

Since I bike commute most days, and this was my only bike for 12 years, then one of two for 6 more, then one of three for the last 5 years, as my snow and ice bike in the winter, I'm guessing this wheel has between 60K to possibly 85K over 32 years when longer weekend rides are figured in.

The first and last time i removed the rear cassette myself I spilled the bearings across the warehouse floor at work. Amazingly, I managed to wrangle them all and took the opportunity to clean and repack them. So I think I will let my local bike shop wrench it for me.

As the bike is old I know my options may be limited, and I am open to whatever option is least expensive, except steel wheels... this bike is heavy enough!

I just spent just under $80 last fall converting it to drop bars myself using a mix of new and used parts, and the back rack is from its predecessor bought in 1987, so the bike has tremendous sentimental value, if not monetary value.

I switched this bike to V-Brakes four years ago, and I wonder if their amazing grip helped hasten the wheel's demise.

I'm 58 and still have all my original equipment...i hope there are no hidden surprises waiting for me too soon.

(with rim-tape removed)


Last edited by BobbyG; 05-25-20 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Three weeks ago I put the summer tires back on my old MTB-based commuter and snow bike. Since then the rear tire has had a slow leak. Losing about half its psi every couple of days. Just sitting In the shed. This morning I rode it to pick up some potting soil.

I knew from removing the winter studded tires and mounting the summer slicks the innertube had an old patch, and this may be the cause, or perhaps there was a goat-head thorn or some other breach in the tire. So this afternoon I decided to change the inner tube and inspect the tire.

I found a crack in the wheel running from braking surface to braking surface across the inner rim!

I know it wasn't there three weeks ago when I swapped tires. as I always inspect the inner rim for debris, and check the outer rim to make sure the bead is even.

I rode this bike maybe four times since then and for no more than 50 miles in all.

However, this is the original wheel that came with the bike when I bought it new in 1997...Weinmann 519 alloy wheels, but mine says Weinnann 559 (26x1.5 / 559).

Since I bike commute most days, and this was my only bike for 12 years, then one of two for 6 more, then one of three for the last 5 years, as my snow and ice bike in the winter, I'm guessing this wheel has between 60K to possibly 85K over 32 years when longer weekend rides are figured in.

The first and last time i removed the rear cassette myself I spilled the bearings across the warehouse floor at work. Amazingly, I managed to wrangle them all and took the opportunity to clean and repack them. So I think I will let my local bike shop wrench it for me.

As the bike is old I know my options may be limited, and I am open to whatever option is least expensive, except steel wheels... this bike is heavy enough!

I just spent just under $80 last fall converting it to drop bars myself using a mix of new and used parts, and the back rack is from its predecessor bought in 1987, so the bike has tremendous sentimental value, if not monetary value.

I switched this bike to V-Brakes four years ago, and I wonder if their amazing grip helped hasten the wheel's demise.

I'm 58 and still have all my original equipment...i hope there are no hidden surprises waiting for me too soon.

(with rim-tape removed)
That’s not a crack. It’s a joint. All rims have them. Some are pinned and welded, and some are just pinned. A single walled rim like yours is usually just pinned. The joint is a little separated but it’s likely been like that since the wheel was made. It’s not an issue.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:25 PM
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They're not as cheap as they used to be but I've been riding a pair of Shimano Deore 525/Sun Rhyno wheels since 2007 with no issues. The hubs are disc but I use V-brakes; it's kind of hard to find "normal" hubs without building your own setup.

If your hubs are still doing fine you could purchase just the rims & spokes and have the wheels built up.

Nice handlebar setup, by the way. I might give that a shot since I rarely ever use my drops.

https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-RhynoLi.../dp/B0063R1AZS
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Old 05-25-20, 08:38 PM
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26" Sun Rhynolite 32hole rims to Shimano 525 hubs. Rear spaced at 135mm so you might have to cold set the frame a few mm. $159 for the set. Can save $10 if you go with regular deore hubs.





https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...u1ot7mdit9q4q6

Last edited by ups; 05-26-20 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 05-26-20, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That’s not a crack. It’s a joint. All rims have them. Some are pinned and welded, and some are just pinned. A single walled rim like yours is usually just pinned. The joint is a little separated but it’s likely been like that since the wheel was made. It’s not an issue.
Thanks, I never knew that. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence. I have a couple of bike mechanics I trust, I will ask them. If the wheel is sound, I will do nothing and enjoy it (after fitting a new inner tube.

By the way I realize now "559" is the size.

Also thanks all for the suggestions and suggestions to come...
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Old 05-26-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Thanks, I never knew that. It certainly doesn't inspire confidence. I have a couple of bike mechanics I trust, I will ask them. If the wheel is sound, I will do nothing and enjoy it (after fitting a new inner tube.

By the way I realize now "559" is the size.

Also thanks all for the suggestions and suggestions to come...
559mm is the tire bead diameter. Its for 26 tires. If you do the math, 559mm isnt 26, its actually 22. The 26 refers to the outside diameter of the tire when mounted. But, to be even more confusing, the whole system isnt actually 26 unless the tire is 2 tall. Bicycle tires and wheels are a truly confusing system.

As for the wheel, the reason a unwelded joint works is because the rim is held in place by the tension of the spokes. The spoke are trying to pull the round rim in on itself and the rim resists that. Under tension, the joint wont fail even if it looks slightly separated.
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Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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Old 05-26-20, 10:14 AM
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I should have researched on bikeforums 1st...plenty of examples of this, and mine doesn't look bad...yet. I'm still gonna have it looked at, but I'll be more knowledgeable.
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Old 05-26-20, 11:47 AM
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My bike mechanic inspected the wheel and said it is nothing to worry about at this point...he's seen worse looking seams that held for years.

THank you again everyone!
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Old 05-26-20, 12:18 PM
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Yeah, it's pretty normal. I have a set of Sun RINO Lites that have been rode since 2004 that have had that sake issue for 10 years now. I just keep an eye on it and make sure it isn't getting any bigger.
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Old 05-26-20, 06:38 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to clean that rim up a bit, though.
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