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Bike rim exploded

Old 09-02-11, 02:48 PM
  #1  
Coyote21
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Bike rim exploded

Here are some pics of my FRONT rim that exploded yesterday. I sat the bike down in my dining room, turned away, heard a metallic "tink", looked over my shoulder and balooy.
I'd just finished 3 sprints up a steep hill in my neighborhood for exercise, where I reach 20mph or so on the down hill.
Not to mention I'd just carried it up 32 steps to my apartment, hoisted on my shoulder, with one of my favorite faces right next to the front rim. Surely it would have taken an ear or nose off. Damn.
Somebody was looking out for me.
Bike has around 400 miles on it, and I'd inflated the tires to the recommended max 90psi right before my workout. Used my Joe Blow II with the built in tire guage, which is also new.
I don't quite know what to think. Bike is a 2010 Marin San Raphael with stock brake pads. The rim separated at the "wear groove". No potholes, no curb hopping, no wrecks, no blemishes on the other side of the rim.
Any ideas?


Thanks,
Coyote
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Old 09-02-11, 03:04 PM
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Similar thing happened on my TREK SU100, which I have since sold off on Craig's List,

I bought it new in 2006 and a year ago it split at the production seam, lucky for me, I posted pictures and a short story about it on this bike forum, I found out from one of the viewers that Bontrager has a 5 year warranty on the wheels, took it to the Trek dealer, and a new rear wheel was ordered. no charge.

What's the Marin warranty like????
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Old 09-02-11, 03:17 PM
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Old 09-02-11, 03:28 PM
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Holy crap that looks awful! All I can say is get a new front wheel (or if you know how to build wheels, get some new spokes, some new spoke nipples and a new rim).
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Old 09-02-11, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote21 View Post
Any ideas?


Thanks,
Coyote
Yes ... Chinese made rim no doubt. Rims are where manufacturers can and do cheap out. They know consumers pay attention to fancy paint jobs, decals, and name brand components. They also know that the average consumer is clueless about hubs and rims and cranks, even if they are one of the most critical parts on the bike. My guess is Marin will make good on the wheel, LOL. How could they not ? They hate bad publicity, ie., Facebook, Twitter, etc.
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Old 09-02-11, 05:24 PM
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Do you ever get the impression that bike makers don't really love us, that they just want our money?
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Old 09-02-11, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Talldog View Post
Yes ... Chinese made rim no doubt. Rims are where manufacturers can and do cheap out. They know consumers pay attention to fancy paint jobs, decals, and name brand components. They also know that the average consumer is clueless about hubs and rims and cranks, even if they are one of the most critical parts on the bike. My guess is Marin will make good on the wheel, LOL. How could they not ? They hate bad publicity, ie., Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The Marin warranty is lifetime IRC, and I don't doubt they will replace the wheel, problem is I've got another one just like it on the rear.

Replacement with the same WTB DX23, Double Wall, 36 Hole with CNC Side Walls, rim will be unacceptable. That ship sailed about 5 minutes after the blowout, when it dawned on me just how FUBR'd I could have been, if the timing of the failure had been off by even a few seconds.

I'm not an avid cyclist, but I fell in love with that old childhood feeling of flying over the pavement. I'm a 59yo single dad, trying to stay in shape long enough to raise my 10yo daughter. This is the first bike I've had in several decades, and my very first "real" bike. Endo-ing over the handle bars due to a crappy product failure is not on my agenda. I'm not very pleased.

Before I posted, I searched "catastrophic failures". This type of thing is alarmingly common, and the attitude seems to be, "oh well, price of doing business, hope they replace my part". The bicycle part replacement is not the issue. MY parts are the issue, I'm a one-of-a-kind classic. You can't find replacement parts.

Even if they "upgraded" BOTH my wheels, how can I enjoy flying down that hill again, wondering when the next crappy part will fail?

IDK.

Thanks,
Coyote
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Old 09-02-11, 06:25 PM
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Marin, lifetime warranty? That's the funniest thing I've read today.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sportridertex View Post
Similar thing happened on my TREK SU100, which I have since sold off on Craig's List,

I bought it new in 2006 and a year ago it split at the production seam, lucky for me, I posted pictures and a short story about it on this bike forum, I found out from one of the viewers that Bontrager has a 5 year warranty on the wheels, took it to the Trek dealer, and a new rear wheel was ordered. no charge.

What's the Marin warranty like????
I'm sure it's covered, I've only had it a few months. It was a left over 2010, got it for under $400. Seemed like a sweet deal at the time, now, not so much.

I looked up your Trek on Bikepedia, seems to be equipped about like the Marin, with the exception of my crappy front suspension, which I realized was a mistake 2 weeks in. So now I'm getting the impression that the "entry" level LBS bikes are crap, just like the big box bikes are maligned to be.

So I wonder just what a person would have to spend to feel safe coasting down a hill? The "catastrophic failure" thread had broken cranks, pedals, chain rings, wheels, tire blowouts, forks, frames, and stems failing. And almost ALL the products were MUCH higher quality/price than mine.

Coyote
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Old 09-02-11, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
Marin, lifetime warranty? That's the funniest thing I've read today.
2010 Quad XC 52010 Quad Trail 5 2010 Quad XLT 12010Carbon Road 52010Team HT and CXR 3 2010 Dirt Jump 32010 Rentals12010 All others Lifetime.

This is from the pdf file, warranty for Marin bikes 1994-2010, from their website. But you probably know better than they do.

Oh, BTW, you seem to be a bit of an ass.

Coyote
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Old 09-02-11, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote21 View Post
2010 Quad XC 52010 Quad Trail 5 2010 Quad XLT 12010Carbon Road 52010Team HT and CXR 3 2010 Dirt Jump 32010 Rentals12010 All others Lifetime.

This is from the pdf file, warranty for Marin bikes 1994-2010, from their website. But you probably know better than they do.

Oh, BTW, you seem to be a bit of an ass.

Coyote
Check the 2004 Mill Valley. Mine was not warrantied.

Last edited by qmsdc15; 09-27-11 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 09-02-11, 08:09 PM
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If Marin has changed their warranty to lifetime, that explains why my 2010 Bobcat Trail $800 hardtail MTB weighs 35 pounds!
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Old 09-03-11, 01:19 AM
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Both Coyote's and Sport Rider's rim failures happened along a distinct line along the braking sidewalls. It almost looks too perfect to have happened from grit or debris in the brake pads. Coyote said it was a "wear groove", but how did that happen? Something stuck in your brakes?

Considering the potential damage a rim failure can cause, I've only laced up Mavic and Velocity rims. While not cheap, they're built well (assuming you get ones that use 2+ walls and real spokes instead of the exploding kind). I've also heard good things about DT Swiss rims, but can't vouch for them personally.

Last edited by `Orum; 09-03-11 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 09-03-11, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote21 View Post
Here are some pics of my FRONT rim that exploded yesterday. I sat the bike down in my dining room, turned away, heard a metallic "tink", looked over my shoulder and balooy.
I'd just finished 3 sprints up a steep hill in my neighborhood for exercise, where I reach 20mph or so on the down hill.
Not to mention I'd just carried it up 32 steps to my apartment, hoisted on my shoulder, with one of my favorite faces right next to the front rim. Surely it would have taken an ear or nose off. Damn.
Somebody was looking out for me.

Coyote
Or someone's out to get you.

KeS
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Old 09-03-11, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by `Orum View Post
... Coyote said it was a "wear groove", but how did that happen? Something stuck in your brakes?...I've only laced up Mavic and Velocity rims...
It's already in the rim from the manufacturer so you can guage wear from the brake pads. As a matter of interest, the cheaper Mavic rims also have a wear groove.
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Old 09-03-11, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote21 View Post
Here are some pics of my FRONT rim that exploded yesterday. I sat the bike down in my dining room, turned away, heard a metallic "tink", looked over my shoulder and balooy. ...
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Coyote
Ok, here's my guess. There was a small split / imperfection on the inside of the rim which wore a hole in your tube. Because your rim tape is tight covering your spoke eyelettes, the air (110 psi???) was forced back through the weakest point (split / imperfection) and blew the rim apart.

The above story happened to my carbon rim once. I too was lucky, I'd just retuned from a ride and it exploded in my garage,
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Old 09-03-11, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
It's already in the rim from the manufacturer so you can guage wear from the brake pads. As a matter of interest, the cheaper Mavic rims also have a wear groove.
Hrm, interesting. It seems like the very presence of these makes your rims so worn you shouldn't be using them in the first place!
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Old 09-03-11, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by `Orum View Post
Hrm, interesting. It seems like the very presence of these makes your rims so worn you shouldn't be using them in the first place!
A bit like the wear bar on the tread of car tyres.
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Old 09-03-11, 04:39 AM
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Uh, that puts me in a funny position. I bought a (WTB parent company) Freedom Ryder 23 rim for a rear wheel and already ordered the spokes for the front wheel so I think I'm going with a Freedom Ryder 23 as well. It does have the wear indicator. But, the rim says maximum 37mm. Do you think going with 38mm tires and lower pressure will be safer? Phew, that was weird.
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Old 09-03-11, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote21 View Post
2010 Quad XC 52010 Quad Trail 5 2010 Quad XLT 12010Carbon Road 52010Team HT and CXR 3 2010 Dirt Jump 32010 Rentals12010 All others Lifetime.

This is from the pdf file, warranty for Marin bikes 1994-2010, from their website. But you probably know better than they do.

Oh, BTW, you seem to be a bit of an ass.

Coyote
Don't tell them if you changed the factory forks out for other than stock parts and modified the steering angle, rake, and trail, though. Even though that would not cause this type of damage they would probably nullify the warranty in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-03-11, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by `Orum View Post
Both Coyote's and Sport Rider's rim failures happened along a distinct line along the braking sidewalls. It almost looks too perfect to have happened from grit or debris in the brake pads. Coyote said it was a "wear groove", but how did that happen? Something stuck in your brakes?

Considering the potential damage a rim failure can cause, I've only laced up Mavic and Velocity rims. While not cheap, they're built well (assuming you get ones that use 2+ walls and real spokes instead of the exploding kind). I've also heard good things about DT Swiss rims, but can't vouch for them personally.
Looks like stress cracking failure. They cut the wear grrove with a flat bottom rather than making the grooves rounded. Stress is concentrated at the 90 degree angles at the bottom of the wear grooves. I have seen the same thing a number of times in black powder muzzle loading gun barrels that have failed and the crack follows the 90 degree angle at the bottom of rifling grooves. Big difference in the metals tensile strength and elongation "with the grain" versus "across the grain" in the metal's microstructure.

I think the wheels are formed from extruded stock that is then formed into the circle and the ends joined. How they form the flat extruded stock into the rim can do nasty things to the strength of the metal.

Sometimes they are not very selective on alloy composition.
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Old 09-27-11, 08:47 AM
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Marin rim

Well, I finally got around to taking my rim in to the dealer. It's been a month, and initially I was ready to put my bike on CL and say eff this. But, although I don't consider myself as "avid" as most of you, man I gotta say I miss riding my bike, even though it tried to kill me. Of course, years ago, I also took that one crazy girlfriend back over and over again. Apparently some of us never learn.

Sun & Ski Sports in Austin, they were very cool to deal with. Took pictures and notified Marin immediately. I'm a bit puzzled by Marin's response, they weren't interested in seeing pics of the rim, and James with S&S told them they NEEDED to see this?

Marin's reaction was to offer to send a replacement wheel. I told James that I wasn't really interested in putting the same rim back on, nor was I interested in riding on the rear rim either. He totally understood and gave me the "super secret insider dealer only" 800 customer service number so I could negotiate a suitable resolution with Marin myself.

Since the stock hubs seem to be of reasonable quality for my needs, I'll probably be happy with just having better/different rims built back in by the Sun & Ski folks. Although I contacted them first thing yesterday morning, I haven't heard back from Marin yet . I'm confident Sun & Ski Sports won't leave me out in the cold.

I noticed on the Marin website that the stock rims have been changed from my WTB's in 2010, to Alex rims for 2011? Interestingly, neither model rim shows up for sale on either manufacturers website. I'll update when I know more.

-Coyote

Last edited by Coyote21; 09-27-11 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 09-27-11, 12:57 PM
  #23  
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If you're looking for this to never, ever happen again I am not sure you will get that satisfaction. I don't think you would've died while riding that wheel when it let go. It wouldn't have killed you if it sprang in your face, either. It's a weird problem that I haven't experienced but judging by the pics others have.

If you're looking to upgrade and want to pay the difference to something better, that might be possible but difficult. I seriously doubt that Marin would upgrade you to 'better' rims for free. You might get another rim of about the same quality, but different brand, which might make you feel better.

I wouldn't stop riding over this. What happens if you crash or get hit by a car? A rim coming apart seems annoying and surprising, but not terrifying.
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Old 09-28-11, 08:25 AM
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The WTB DX23 rim is found here: https://www.wtb.com/products/wheels/rims/xc/dx23/

The Marin lifetime warranty, I believe, only covers the frame, not including the wheel. WTB has a 24mo warranty on their products.
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Old 09-28-11, 01:39 PM
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You probably overheated the rims by braking too much on the downhill. The psi in your tires increases with temperature. Try to be a little more careful next time. You don't want a face full of shrapnel!
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