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Cracks in a Bontrager Select Wheel on My Trek 1500...

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cracks in a Bontrager Select Wheel on My Trek 1500...

Old 11-28-07, 08:50 PM
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chinotex
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Cracks in a Bontrager Select Wheel on My Trek 1500...

So I was getting ready to get on the rollers a minute ago, when I noticed the following on my rear wheel:
and this:
So, my questions are the following:
A) How long can I safely ride on a rear wheel like this? So far there are only two cracks, the ones pictured.
B) Are there warranties for things like this? I never got any warranty paperwork when I bought my bike, and I didn't register it or anything like that (That's my fault, I was a complete noob impulse buyer when I bought the bike back in May).
C) If I need to buy a new wheel/wheels, is it ok to just get a new rear wheel? What should I go with? I don't have much money to spend, and I think my parents have already bought my christmas presents, and there's no way anyone other than them would buy me a wheel. So it's all on me. I don't want anything too expensive, but I'm always weary of the cheapest thing available.

Please help.

Last edited by chinotex; 11-28-07 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:58 PM
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Your bike should still be under warranty. And if you bought it in May, the store should have a record of your purchase so you shouldn't need any kind of warranty paperwork. Because your wheel is a Bontrager, I assume your bike is a Trek. If so, you're in luck. Trek is very good about honoring their warranties. Take it back to the store and see what they have to say.

If for some reason you need to buy a new wheel, you can buy a rear wheel by itself. Hopefully you won't have to.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:58 PM
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For what it's worth....this was/is a common problem on the Bonty Select Wheels from 2006 and earlier model year bikes.

The models above the Select...like the Race Lite, Race X Lite etc...don't have this problem. How old is your bike? If it was purchased less than a year ago you should be able to get them replaced through your LBS without any problem. I had to return a set of these and Bontrager/Trek replaced them without any issues within the warranty period.

Finally....NO the wheel/rim with the cracks is not safe to ride on the road. It will probably be fine on the trainer for a while, but metal that is failing will eventually fail completely. You don't want to be whizzing down a hill at 40 mph and have that wheel fail and crrsh you do you.

If you have any other questions regarding the process for sending the wheels back..PM me.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:59 PM
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I still have the receipt in my wallet! I think...

UPDATE: Nope. I must have thrown it out when I decided that I was going to keep the bike. You say they should have it on record that I bought it there? I don't know if they would remember me, I've stopped frequenting that shop (they're not very friendly, in a "hey how's it going" kind of way.)

Last edited by chinotex; 11-28-07 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:12 PM
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my race lite did the same exact thing. mine happened very rapidly and was much worse, but only on the drive side. only had 35 miles on it since the last cleaning and I had almost pulled 2 nipples all the way thru the rim. I would not ride it on the road for sure, trainer should be OK for a little while though.

my LBS sent it back to Trek and they said they just rebuild the wheel, should be around $100. I didn't want a mis-match set, so I just went that way.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:14 PM
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I've had the same problem with Bontrager Race wheels. I phoned the LBS and they told me to bring it in for a replacement as it was a common problem. They gave me a complete new wheel.
There are some guys I race with that have had the same problem with Race Lites & Race X Lites too.
Oh, and my bike was well out of it's warranty period.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:15 PM
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Yeah, the other nipples look like they don't fit in the holes in the rim... I don't remember if it was always like that, but it doesn't look good. How long did it take them to rebuild the wheel? I've got a group ride next Saturday that I really don't want to miss.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:24 PM
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took about 10~12 working days I think.

I would try and bum a beater wheel from a bud or from the bike shop.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:53 PM
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Paired spokes? nuff said.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:42 PM
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I guess some models above the Select series do this also... My Bonty Race rear wheel developed the same cracks around 4500 miles, but the LBS Trek representative was quick to get me a new replacement.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:49 PM
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I had the same problem with my 2004 trek 1500 at about 3500-4000 miles. I'll never use bontrager wheels again.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:57 PM
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Happens all the time. I work at a Trek shop and could get a great deal on Bontrager wheels.. But I will never buy them, ever.

They are warrantied for 5 years btw.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:59 PM
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I recently worked very closely with Trek / Lemond customer service. I have a 2004 Lemond and had a warranty issue on my rear Bontrager rim. When I purchased the bike, the LBS swore that the rim was stronge enough for me - but they were wrong. After truing the rim a few times, the rim cracked at one of the spoke nipples like yours. The LBS went out of business, but another local dealer helped me get the new rim from Trek/Lemond.

I worked with Vance McCaw, Trek Bicycle Corporation, Tech Support & Customer Service, 920.478.4678x12188, Vance_McCaw@trekbikes.com

After 3 weeks I received a brand new rim - which is in my storage. I now use Cane Creek Volos XL's
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Old 11-28-07, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cycle17 View Post
For what it's worth....this was/is a common problem on the Bonty Select Wheels from 2006 and earlier model year bikes.

The models above the Select...
like the Race Lite, Race X Lite etc...don't have this problem. How old is your bike? If it was purchased less than a year ago you should be able to get them replaced through your LBS without any problem. I had to return a set of these and Bontrager/Trek replaced them without any issues within the warranty period.

Finally....NO the wheel/rim with the cracks is not safe to ride on the road. It will probably be fine on the trainer for a while, but metal that is failing will eventually fail completely. You don't want to be whizzing down a hill at 40 mph and have that wheel fail and crrsh you do you.

If you have any other questions regarding the process for sending the wheels back..PM me.

Yes, they do.
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Old 11-28-07, 11:08 PM
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i see this on bontrager rims almost weekly at our shop.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:06 AM
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Hey I'm curious to know if the 'replacement' rims that Bontrager gives as a rebuild or replacement are any different than the ones that failed? Have they reinforced the rim to handle spoke tension or is it just another ticking clock on the new wheel?

-Jeremy
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Old 11-29-07, 08:51 AM
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Always suspected Bontrager to be junk pushed by Trek. Just marketing.
Good luck dealing with this claim and let us know how it turns out. I know you're 'young', but let this be a lesson that you can't toss out receipts so lightly.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:10 AM
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Even if you get it repaired/replaced its just going to happen again. Time to upgrade/build
something stronger.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Rider View Post
Paired spokes? nuff said.
Yep. I won't even bother posting.

Oh, wait.
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Old 11-29-07, 11:14 AM
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I've had the problem w/a select rear wheel, too. Shop had a pretty good price on some close-out ksyrium equipes, so I just upgraded.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Always suspected Bontrager to be junk pushed by Trek. Just marketing.
You can't ride marketing, and lots of folks have ridden these wheels with no problems. There's not a single wheel company that doesn't have problems from time to time. The difference is Trek will handle the warranty quickly and without delay. Mavic can take weeks. Some companies, months.

I've yet to have a single problem with a Race-X-Lite or above. Not one. And we sell lots. Bottom line? Trek will handle it, and the OP will be back on the road with a minimum of hassle. If he was near me, I'd handle it personally and put him on a loaner wheel while he waits for the replacement to arrive.

Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Good luck dealing with this claim and let us know how it turns out. I know you're 'young', but let this be a lesson that you can't toss out receipts so lightly.
Receipt doesn't matter with Trek if he's dealing with the shop that sold the bike. Trek knows where all it's serial numbers go. As a matter of fact, nowhere on the online warranty form from Trek is there mention of receipt. Mavic would require a receipt and refuse to do anything until the wheel had been returned to them for "evaluation".

I can tell you in advance, unless his shop is populated by brain-dead boogerheads, all will turn out just fine.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:35 PM
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The LBS took care of everything,

I had the same problem and my LBS called Trek and now I have a new wheel with a five year warranty. I was told that a batch (has to be a pretty big batch) was heated too long during the manufacturing process and caused the wheel to become brittle. They pulled out of the drive side. I did not have to produce a receipt or even sign anything. The LBS took care of everything, no questions asked.
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Old 11-29-07, 05:48 PM
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Update: Just got back from the LBS. The guy at the counter took a look, said "let me get John" (John is the owner/manager, I think. I've dealt with him before and he's really helpful, more so than the other guy).
John took a look, asked when I bought the bike. I told him May, said I have a credit card statement if he needs it, he didn't. He had me flip the bike over, wrote down the serial number, took my name and number and said he would contact the Trek warranty dept. I'm really hoping for a call tomorrow...

I don't want to miss my weekend group ride around Lake Houston this weekend, since I didn't go last week due to rainy 40 degree weather. What do you think the chances are of me stopping by tomorrow and them having a loaner/replacement for me?
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Old 11-29-07, 05:51 PM
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Also, this paired spokes thing... what's that about? If I'm going to be getting a new Bontrager Select to replace this one, what should I look for in a future upgrade? I'm pretty heavy (230) and ride on some pretty bumpy roads often. But I was surprised how long these wheels lasted -- looking at them, I half expected them to get bent out of shape quickly, due to the low spoke count (24) and cheap-ness of them.
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Old 11-29-07, 07:31 PM
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got to love Bonty wheels.

The owner of my LBS is so pissed at Trek and Bontrager because they won't do anything about the new wheelsets. They say that the sets are perfectly ridable, but I've seen the spoke tensions on the 08 Race Lites out of the box. I'd only give them to a person if I wanted to see them die.
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