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Bontrager Race Lites & rim cracks--2nd time!

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Bontrager Race Lites & rim cracks--2nd time!

Old 05-26-05, 12:56 PM
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Bontrager Race Lites & rim cracks--2nd time!

I'm on my second Bontrager RL rear wheel--got it in February and only have around 800 miles on it.

It's my second wheel because the first wheel was showing cracks around each one of the spoke holes on the drive side of the wheel--wheel was still under warrenty and Trek replaced w/ no questions.

I thought the problem was solved and a bad rim had been found out and replaced.

End of story, right?

Nope! Cleaning my bike last night I saw the start of yet more cracking in exactly the same place/pattern as before. I've hardly ridden this wheel at all!!

Unlike my first RaceLite rear wheel, this wheel has stayed true (read, I haven't been dickering around w/ spoke tension) so I'm becoming very suspicious of the quality of these rims in general.

Anybody else have this happen or know if Bontrager had some quality control issues in 2004?

I'm hoping Trek will do the right thing and replace the wheel again, but if they hesitate, I'd like to have some ammo to use from other peoples' experiences.

-Thanks
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Old 05-26-05, 02:41 PM
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I would break a spoke a month on my rear Race Lite so I am officially done with them. As soon as you pop a spoke the wheel just goes to crap like a taco and even with the brakes opened up as wide as possible it still a struggle to limp home. My LBS swears they are tough as nails but every time I would come in they would be shocked. A team mate of mine through his set away because he could never keep them true for over a month.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:45 PM
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You just wonder why companies always underbuild the rear wheel? Who has problems with front wheels (even reduced count front wheels)?
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Old 05-26-05, 02:46 PM
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I cracked the drive side flange of my Race-X-lites. There have been at least 2 that had rim cracks like yours and 3 other broken flanges here. So I would say that YES, bontrager has some QC issues. I'm havent heard of a recall, or of anyone seriously injured yet, but Bontrager/Trek better get cracking (pun intended) on this.
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Old 05-26-05, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 53-11_alltheway
You just wonder why companies always underbuild the rear wheel? Who has problems with front wheels (even reduced count front wheels)?
Looks more like a quality/batch issue to me since this problem wasnt around before.
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Old 05-26-05, 03:00 PM
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Wow. I always though that was a good wheel. I don't have 'em. Probably won't now.
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Old 05-26-05, 03:04 PM
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My Bontrager Race Lites have been tough as nails! I'm getting a 2nd pair on my back up bike that I just ordered.
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Old 05-26-05, 03:18 PM
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I have about 1200 miles on my set with no problems so far. At 215 I do put them through alot. Hearing this will make me keep an eye on them though.
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Old 05-26-05, 04:12 PM
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are these the same wheels as on the Trek T2000 tandem? Seems like they'll fail even faster on a heavy load tandem.
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Old 05-26-05, 07:46 PM
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One reason I asked was that I (vaguely) remember reading that Bontrager had a bad run of rims a while back--wasn't sure when this was supposed to have occurred or even if it was true.

sherpa, yup, I too broke a rear spoke on my last set and could not jury-rig the wheel enough to get it to spin (short of removing the calipers)--that's when a cell phone is nice! Thought that's just how all low spoke count wheels behaved but maybe not.
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Old 05-26-05, 08:36 PM
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I had a set of Bontrager Race wheels (no eyelets), and the rear rim cracked at every spoke hole. I suppose these wheels are best for the lighter riders.
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Old 05-27-05, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Doggus
are these the same wheels as on the Trek T2000 tandem? Seems like they'll fail even faster on a heavy load tandem.
No. The RaceLite Tandem wheelset uses heavier rims & more robust rear hubset.

Compaison of weights:

640 gr front / 850 gr rear for Race Lite X-Light

700 gr front / 940 gr rear for Race Lite

995 gr front / 1250 gr rear for Race Lite Tandem
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Old 05-27-05, 08:27 AM
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Got my replacement rear x-light last night. Came with different rim stickers and silver spokes. Spokes look better then the black ones, but now I'm mis-matched!!!! I'm gonna take a poser-point reduction. /sigh

I weighed the x-light and it was 850 exactly (no rim tape, or skewer). The wheel I had borrowed was 1130 with rim tape....yes I could feel the difference on the way home. =)
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Old 05-27-05, 08:54 AM
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How big are you guy's? I have a set of Race wheels. I weigh about 190-95 and have about 5k miles on them and I've never had to true them yet. Front wheel is a slight bit out now but still...

edit: and did you hit something to cause the damage?
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Old 05-27-05, 09:06 AM
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I have been on a ride when a guy's spoke popped on one of these wheels. There is no way you can fix them in the field unless you have some sharp wire cutters and cut the oposite spoke. Just dial a ride.

I will stick with the Mavic products, thank you very much.
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Old 05-27-05, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
I will stick with the Mavic products, thank you very much.
Those have been breaking around here too. One guy finaly sold his and got a new bike after he broke his 3rd spoke on the same wheel.

I weight 192, but there are 150# guys also having breakage. Like I said, mine broke at the flange where the spokes go thru. Sure I would like to think it was all the raw power I was throwin' down...but looks more like a bad batch of alum.
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Old 05-27-05, 09:25 AM
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I weigh 195 now and 200+ in the winter and beat the crap out of my Ksyrium Elites. Half the riders around here use them, never heard a complaint or see one brake a spoke.

But if you did brake a spoke, you could ballance out the wheel somewhat with just a spoke wrench and the wheel on the bike.
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Old 05-27-05, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for your input everybody!
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Old 05-27-05, 08:14 PM
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At 2,500 miles on my Trek 5200 I had a crack appear near one of the eyelets on the rear wheel and Trek replaced it without any question. A few weeks later I was on my way home, about 15 miles to go, and I heard a loud "pop". Thougt I pinched a small rock and shot it ... but the rear wheel was wobbling. Broke a spoke and as indicated above, I couldn't do anything about it. I opened the rear break caliper and it still was too tacoed to ride. Good thing I had my cell phone.

Anyway, I am now riding Mavic Open Pros!
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Old 05-27-05, 08:25 PM
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Great. Two hundred pound rider two weeks away from taking delivery of my 1st road bike and the damn thing is equipped with self-destructing wheels.

Should I wait for them to break and negotiate a swap... or address the issue from the get-go?
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Old 05-27-05, 08:41 PM
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I bought a Trek 5200 in 2001. My Race Lite rear wheel developed small cracks next to 3 spoke holes after staying absolutely true for over 13,000 miles. The rim was out of warranty, so I had to pay for a new one.

No problems since then. I now have about 2500 miles. on the new one. I weigh 190 lbs.
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Old 06-20-05, 02:22 PM
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I purchased the Trek Modone one year ago, when the first version was released to the public...actually got the first 60cm in Washington. Anyhow, I also have a custom Litespeed with two wheelsets: Mavic Ksyriums for the dry months, and Mavic CD Ceramics with heavier non-butted spokes for the long wet Pacific Northwest winter. So when I put the winter hoops on the Litespeed, it was only natural to want to try the Ksyriums on the Madone. On October 10th I hung up the Bontrager Race X-Lite Aero's that came with the Madone and never touched them until I went to swap the Heavy winter wheels off of the Litespeed. The Race-X's had been hanging on hooks in my garage literally untouched the whole time. When I put the rear wheel on, I noticed it was way, way out of true, and when I looked closer, the aluminum hub flange had just self destructed. Several hunks had fallen off completely, and the rest was spiderwbbed with cracks and splits. Several spokes were hanging free - interestingly enough, no spokes were broken. Neither me nor any mechanic had ever touched these wheels, so it's not like someone overtightened the spokes or something. Just a catstrophic structural failure. Bontrager agreed to replace them, and after getting a call only a week later that they had come in, I went to pick them up, only to discover that they had sent me the wrong wheels (Race X-Lite's, but not Aero.) Still waiting for the right ones to come, and more than a little apprehensive about riding them.

Anyone else heard of any failures like this?

Best,
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Old 06-20-05, 02:36 PM
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I have three Trek bicycles, now obviously on my Trek 500 series bike that I wrecked I did not have Bontrager wheels on it. But my 2005 Trek 820 and my 2005 Trek 1000 have the Bontrager wheels on them, I have not had any problems with Bontrager wheels. I have around 800 miles on my 820 and I have 242 miles on my 1000 and the rest of my miles were on the 500 series which is totaled after the accident with the car. Thanks for the warning though I will keep an eye on the wheels for any damage.

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Old 06-20-05, 07:17 PM
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I've got over 600 miles on my Race Lites and have had no problems at all. Wheels are as true as the day I bought the bike (Trek Pilot 5.2). Bad batch is my guess.
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