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Wooden rims?

Old 05-18-24, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
I don't have to convince anyone, and I don't have to educate anyone.
I won't read other comments, it has been a pure waste of my time.
You self-importance is showing. You may want to tuck it back in.
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Old 05-18-24, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
I don't have to convince anyone, and I don't have to educate anyone.
I won't read other comments, it has been a pure waste of my time.
I don't know, you've stirred the pot. I doubt you seriously believed people would accept your discovery of a superior new wheel material w/o some push back. I still think you could build an eye catching coffee shop ride.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
I am not sure. You can't say anything without trying them.
Actually, you can. It's why we developed these things called science and engineering.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:43 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Trying them tells you nothing. Confirmation bias is a real thing. People used to believe that aluminum bike frames rode more harshly than steel and titanium frames. But tests showed that, e.g., a 1997 Cannondale aluminum racing frame differed from a Litespeed titanium racing frame in vertical compliance under a representative load by 0.018" - a difference that would obviously be imperceptible through the suspension provided by any bike tire.

Instead of "trying them," measure them. See the first of my links in the post you quoted for a simple test rig that would demonstrate the difference in vertical compliance between a built wheel with a wood rim and a similar wheel built with any other rim material. Once you've purchased the wood rims and built the wheels, please measure the vertical compliance and report back.
Just as I'm leery of claims of magical metals that ride like a cloud, I'm leery of claims like this, owning both a mid-90s Cannondale and a mid 90s Litespeed. "Humans can't tell the difference" assumes facts not in evidence. Not being able to disprove the null hypothesis doesn't make the null hypothesis true.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Just as I'm leery of claims of magical metals that ride like a cloud, I'm leery of claims like this, owning both a mid-90s Cannondale and a mid 90s Litespeed. "Humans can't tell the difference" assumes facts not in evidence. Not being able to disprove the null hypothesis doesn't make the null hypothesis true.
If the geometries (and the wheelbases in particular), tires, bars, stems, and seat posts of your two bikes are identical (or at least have the same dimensions), I'm at a loss to guess where the differences could be. (I mean with respect to vertical compliance; I'd expect the bikes to differ markedly in torsional stiffness, which would, of course, affect the way they feel to ride.)
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Old 05-18-24, 11:21 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
If the geometries (and the wheelbases in particular), tires, bars, stems, and seat posts of your two bikes are identical (or at least have the same dimensions), I'm at a loss to guess where the differences could be. (I mean with respect to vertical compliance; I'd expect the bikes to differ markedly in torsional stiffness, which would, of course, affect the way they feel to ride.)
Well, you're off the hook then, because I don't need you to explain it. Observations can exist without explanation. Reality does not require that I understand or explain it. I simply observe that when I'm riding the Cannondale I find myself constantly seeking the smoothest part of the bikelane, and on the Litespeed, I don't.

Another interesting, but thoroughly irrelevant difference - a sharp strike to the tubes of the Cannondale makes a *thunk", but the Litespeed rings like a bell! It's why I call it "Pinball Wizard", or "Wizard" for short. The Cannondale is "Jackhammer".
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Old 05-18-24, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
If the geometries (and the wheelbases in particular), tires, bars, stems, and seat posts of your two bikes are identical (or at least have the same dimensions), I'm at a loss to guess where the differences could be. (I mean with respect to vertical compliance; I'd expect the bikes to differ markedly in torsional stiffness, which would, of course, affect the way they feel to ride.)
Well let’s have all the specifics of what was and wasn’t taken into account, what was controlled, and what was measured, with what methods, having what margin of error in this all defining study you reference that you’re treating as the only evidence that matters. Studies are very easy to setup to prove a point, even two studies that prove conflicting things to both be true. It’s amazing how different a story data can tell when the rest of the picture is completed in different ways. This is why science, facts, etc. hasn’t remained unchanged for all of history. More data, different studies, and more thorough analysis has disproven accepted “facts” more times than can be counted. And really when it comes to bikes, how it feels to the rider is more important than any actual measurement unless you’re competing professionally and fractions of a percentage mean more than your own perception.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Well, you're off the hook then, because I don't need you to explain it. Observations can exist without explanation. Reality does not require that I understand or explain it. I simply observe that when I'm riding the Cannondale I find myself constantly seeking the smoothest part of the bikelane, and on the Litespeed, I don't.

Another interesting, but thoroughly irrelevant difference - a sharp strike to the tubes of the Cannondale makes a *thunk", but the Litespeed rings like a bell! It's why I call it "Pinball Wizard", or "Wizard" for short. The Cannondale is "Jackhammer".
Yep. That "thunk" explains why aluminum isn't used for bells, as a rule. It damps vibration too effectively.

And not trying to explain why your bikes ride the way they do for you. Just thinking about it for my own satisfaction. If the Cannonale is a Crit Series bikes, with that track bike-like wheelbase, I wouldn't be surprised that you seek smooth pavement. My mid-'80's SL/SP Bianchi Specialissima, with pretty much the same geometry as the Crit Series Cannondales, was quite a jackhammer, too.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:48 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Alright I looked up the AR25 and they are indeed that light at a very reasonable price. Not sure what the rest of the drivel is about since we're comparing rims and hubs, but I would still say ~400 is not "heavy" for a typical rim.
Yeah, 400g would be quite light for an aluminum rim. The fact that wooden rims weigh about the same as aluminum rims is not surprising. The strength-to-weight ratios are similar.

Old wooden rim anecdote: Want to know who used to ride on wooden rims? The infamous Jobst Brandt, author of the Bicycle Wheel, cantankerous engineer, and "guy who knows more than you do" about all things bicycle. He used to vacation by bicycle in Switzerland every summer, and being a big guy who liked to descend big mountain passes with crummy roads, he would heat up his aluminum rims and blow out his tires. These were the days when you pumped your tubulars to stupid high pressure, because "a hard tire is a fast tire".

Being an engineer, Jobst knew that aluminum was a great heat conductor, and he figured the rims were passing the braking heat into the tires, so the solution was to insulate the tires from the heat. Enter wooden rims, with their low conductivity. Some time in the 1960s, Jobst asked my dad to build up a set of wheels with wooden rims, which did help prevent tire blowouts, but the braking was crummy. I think those were the only two wooden rims our shop had ever built up, before or since.

Many years later, we still had one wooden rim in the shop, which by then had been relegated to stretching tubular tires before being mounted on a wheel.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:58 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Yep. That "thunk" explains why aluminum isn't used for bells, as a rule. It damps vibration too effectively.

And not trying to explain why your bikes ride the way they do for you. Just thinking about it for my own satisfaction. If the Cannonale is a Crit Series bikes, with that track bike-like wheelbase, I wouldn't be surprised that you seek smooth pavement. My mid-'80's SL/SP Bianchi Specialissima, with pretty much the same geometry as the Crit Series Cannondales, was quite a jackhammer, too.
It's not a Crit Series bike. It's a 1994 3.0 series.

Cannondale:
HTA: 73
STA: 73.1
WB: 98.1cm

Litespeed
HTA: 73
STA: 73
WB: 99.1
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Old 05-18-24, 11:09 PM
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The only wooden rims that I have seen were on a stayer bike - a specialized track bike made for moto-paced track racing. It had a smaller front wheel, with a backwards-curved fork, almost like a caster. It seemed like it was built in the '60s, maybe? Hanging up in a bike shop in Tucson, and somehow connected to Wally Summers, who went to Montreal in '74 and '76.

I have a pair of wheels with Scheeren Weltmeister tubular rims, constructed with wood blocks at each spoke hole to distribute stress, allowing their 8 oz. rims to be stronger than competitors 11 oz. rims. They are lighter than my carbon wheels, which I have never ridden, btw.
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Old 05-18-24, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Well, you're off the hook then, because I don't need you to explain it. Observations can exist without explanation. Reality does not require that I understand or explain it. I simply observe that when I'm riding the Cannondale I find myself constantly seeking the smoothest part of the bikelane, and on the Litespeed, I don't.

Another interesting, but thoroughly irrelevant difference - a sharp strike to the tubes of the Cannondale makes a *thunk", but the Litespeed rings like a bell! It's why I call it "Pinball Wizard", or "Wizard" for short. The Cannondale is "Jackhammer".
When I got my ti bikes, I had to restrain myself from finding the worst pavement for the sake of my tires. Riding over that stuff was fun! (Both are stiffer than most of my steel bikes.)
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Old 05-19-24, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, 400g would be quite light for an aluminum rim. The fact that wooden rims weigh about the same as aluminum rims is not surprising. The strength-to-weight ratios are similar.

Old wooden rim anecdote: Want to know who used to ride on wooden rims? The infamous Jobst Brandt, author of the Bicycle Wheel, cantankerous engineer, and "guy who knows more than you do" about all things bicycle. He used to vacation by bicycle in Switzerland every summer, and being a big guy who liked to descend big mountain passes with crummy roads, he would heat up his aluminum rims and blow out his tires. These were the days when you pumped your tubulars to stupid high pressure, because "a hard tire is a fast tire".

Being an engineer, Jobst knew that aluminum was a great heat conductor, and he figured the rims were passing the braking heat into the tires, so the solution was to insulate the tires from the heat. Enter wooden rims, with their low conductivity. Some time in the 1960s, Jobst asked my dad to build up a set of wheels with wooden rims, which did help prevent tire blowouts, but the braking was crummy. I think those were the only two wooden rims our shop had ever built up, before or since.

Many years later, we still had one wooden rim in the shop, which by then had been relegated to stretching tubular tires before being mounted on a wheel.
Hmmm. Seems to me - not an engineer! - that the amount of heat created by the friction required to brake would be the same no matter what the rim. Aluminum being conductive, the whole rim would act like a big heat sink, whereas wood being a poor conductor of heat would keep it all right at the pad/rim interface.

So wouldn't you be trading the risk of blowing tires for the risk of your rims catching fire?
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Old 05-19-24, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
When I got my ti bikes, I had to restrain myself from finding the worst pavement for the sake of my tires. Riding over that stuff was fun! (Both are stiffer than most of my steel bikes.)
When I first rode my Litespeed, every so often when hitting a sharp bump, the damn thing would just go *PING!!!* At first I thought it was stone strikes, but then I quickly realized it was happening at the same place on every ride. I still didn't know what was causing it. Then they dug a trench down one of my favorite short dropoffs, right down the bike lane, and patched it really badly.*PING! P-P-PING! P-PING!* for about 20 seconds. THAT was when I named the bike "Pinball Wizard".

Turns out the flared part of the handle on my Zefal HPx frame pump was striking the bottom or the top tube. I put a little piece of foam in between and no more *PING!!*
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Old 05-19-24, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
So wouldn't you be trading the risk of blowing tires for the risk of your rims catching fire?
The brake pads melt before the rim catches fire, throwing molten rubber onto your legs.

Get to the bottom of a long descent, your brake pads are done, and you have burns on your legs.
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Old 05-19-24, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
The brake pads melt before the rim catches fire, throwing molten rubber onto your legs.

Get to the bottom of a long descent, your brake pads are done, and you have burns on your legs.
The primary reason for the demise of wood rims years ago was caliper brakes. Where aluminum (except for the sidewall wear factor) rules supreme. Now that we have disc, wood will work just fine except we've given up on the tires that work so well with it - tubulars.
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Old 05-19-24, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
When I first rode my Litespeed, every so often when hitting a sharp bump, the damn thing would just go *PING!!!* At first I thought it was stone strikes, but then I quickly realized it was happening at the same place on every ride. I still didn't know what was causing it. Then they dug a trench down one of my favorite short dropoffs, right down the bike lane, and patched it really badly.*PING! P-P-PING! P-PING!* for about 20 seconds. THAT was when I named the bike "Pinball Wizard".

Turns out the flared part of the handle on my Zefal HPx frame pump was striking the bottom or the top tube. I put a little piece of foam in between and no more *PING!!*
Wish I'd thought of that foam thing before the chrome handle of my Silca pump wore through the celeste paint at the top tube/seat tube junction of my Bianchi Specialissima---and then through the chrome under the paint. Terminal rusting followed. My right thumbnail wore through the paint of the down tube next to the shift lever, but not through the chrome.
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Old 05-19-24, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Hmmm. Seems to me - not an engineer! - that the amount of heat created by the friction required to brake would be the same no matter what the rim. Aluminum being conductive, the whole rim would act like a big heat sink, whereas wood being a poor conductor of heat would keep it all right at the pad/rim interface.

So wouldn't you be trading the risk of blowing tires for the risk of your rims catching fire?
Yes, but descending mountain passes with flaming rims looks way cool.
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Old 05-19-24, 04:22 PM
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I've seen folks on HGTV take a torch to wood siding to achieve a certain look. OP could try that. OG Carbon
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Old 05-19-24, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71
The reason it fell out of favor is because it's wood.
I'm hearing Norm MacDonald delivering that line!

The reason it fell out of favor is BECAUSE IT'S WOOD
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Old 05-19-24, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
When I got my ti bikes, I had to restrain myself from finding the worst pavement for the sake of my tires. Riding over that stuff was fun! (Both are stiffer than most of my steel bikes.)
The placebo effect must be considered in the context of a titanium bicycle's smooth ride as it refers to the psychological benefit a rider might experience simply because they believe that riding a titanium bike should provide a smoother experience. If a cyclist is convinced that titanium offers superior ride quality, they may subjectively feel a smoother ride, even if the actual physical difference compared to other high-quality materials is non-existent. This perceived improvement due to belief and expectation is a form of the placebo effect.
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Old 05-20-24, 03:45 AM
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Indeed. I guess I'm not harboring any frame material prejudice, because the bike I enjoy riding the most is a fixed-gear Specialized Langster with oversized aluminum tubing throughout, including the frame and the straight-legged fork.

Sixty years of riding high-end bikes, and I still don't really understand what people mean when they say that a bike built with one frame material is more comfortable than a similar bike built with another frame material. Unless the bikes also have different wheelbases.
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Old 05-20-24, 10:09 AM
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Balsa, please let it be balsa...
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Old 05-20-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Indeed. I guess I'm not harboring any frame material prejudice, because the bike I enjoy riding the most is a fixed-gear Specialized Langster with oversized aluminum tubing throughout, including the frame and the straight-legged fork.

Sixty years of riding high-end bikes, and I still don't really understand what people mean when they say that a bike built with one frame material is more comfortable than a similar bike built with another frame material. Unless the bikes also have different wheelbases.
Reality does not require your comprehension. ;-)

I long ago gave up on assuming I knew what others could perceive. How could I possibly know?
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Old 05-20-24, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Reality does not require your comprehension. ;-)

I long ago gave up on assuming I knew what others could perceive. How could I possibly know?
Sure. That's why I prefer to look at the numbers. I've seen test results that showed only a tiny (2/100") difference in vertical compliance between an aluminum and a titanium frame. Try as I might, I haven't found any demonstrating significantly greater vertical compliance in a Ti frame.

Ti frames are great in many ways. Wouldn't mind owning one, I guess. But I suspect I'd still prefer my aluminum frame/aluminum fork Specialized Langster fixed-gear bike. Just came back from 3 1/2 hours in the hills of Baltimore County on the Langster. Again, I don't know what "comfort" means in the context of road bikes, but I get a lot of pleasure out of riding that bike.

This topic reminds me of another: the claim that the layup of the fabric in carbon forks is configured to absorb shock. Seems possible, but I'd guess that the main design objective is to provide adequate strength with minimal weight. Not sure how much wiggle room in the design there is for making them more shock-absorptive as well.

Back in the '80's, a teammate damaged his steel fork in a race and got a replacement carbon fork, one of the first I'd seen. I asked him how the new fork felt. "The same," he said.

Now, four of my six bikes in active rotation have carbon forks. How do they feel compared to the steel and aluminum forks on the other two? The same.

Last edited by Trakhak; 05-20-24 at 12:38 PM.
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