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Saavedra Featherweight Rim Problems

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Saavedra Featherweight Rim Problems

Old 03-23-06, 09:26 PM
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Saavedra Featherweight Rim Problems

Okay, so I just built a wheelset using these rims. I know there are now about five threads about them, but bear with me. I laced the wheels 3X with some Mack high flange hubs, and Wheelsmith ovalized spokes. While tensioning the wheel, the one or two of the spoke nipples pulled through the washers holding the nipple in the rim, and in doing so, messed up the washers. I replaced the washers and eased up on the tension. At this point, I didn't even have the wheel up to the tension I was shooting for (going by feel and pitch alone) and I've had wheels with much, much tighter spokes before. (Although this is my first 28h wheel, but shouldn't that make the spoke tension higher?) The wheel ended up being trued and tensioned well enough, and I've been rolling on it for about two weeks.

Tonight, I heard a knocking/clicking noise coming from the rear wheel. I check when I get to work, and about five of the spokes are loose, and the wheel is completely out of true. The spokes are not loose like the nipples unscrewed a bit, but loose like the nipples busted through the washer. I haven't actually checked yet, because then I'd have to pull of the tire, tube and tape, but I'm pretty sure this is what happened.

Does anybody know why this could have happened after riding on the wheel for so long (I did stress relieve properly, by the way) and what I may be able to use for replacement washers. The washers have a sort of a U profile, as they sit down in the rim, so I can't imagine anything that could do the same thing. Saavedras are not made anymore, so I don't think I can find replacement washers. Am I just plain out of luck?

Sorry for the length, and thanks for your help.

P.S. There's an alleycat tomorrow, so any quick fix ideas would be great.
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Old 03-23-06, 09:54 PM
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ok, first things first; i don't have a quick fix idea.

as for what happened, i don't know that either. i ride those rims (albeit 36h) and haven't had any problems.

keep in mind though, they're racing rims, and not meant to stand up to the abuse of everyday riding (how much do you weigh?).

i'm also having a really hard time imagining how a nipple could pull through a washer. the ones i have are cast alu., and when seated correctly, are bedded down in the apex of the rim wall, with no space between the washer and the rim, so the nipple would have to pull all the way THROUGH the rim to go anywhere...
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Old 03-23-06, 09:56 PM
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HI im maybe the one of the only ones that had used that brand, Saavedra Argentina. Actually they had a full set of parts in fabrication. Cranks, chains, headsets, pedals, hubsets, etc they used to be a true copy of campagnolo. Well in 1986 aprox they came out with those aerodinamic rims as the Featherweight. They look nice, but isnt a rim to use in everyday basis AT ALL. The problem is that they are too light, the construction of the rim looks fine, the finishing is quite good but U r having a problem that I saw in 1987 aprox. for the very 1st time.

Basically if u apply too much tension to the spokes u end up with problems in the washers or even bending the rim in the hole, the other thing is that apparently U r thinking that any 28 holes rims will behave in the street as the best campy or mavic in the market and thats not true at all. so basically was your fault because u simply overstimated those rims. Those rims where concieved for TT racing and thats it. 1 race time to time but not for everyday use as u might want.

U'd lern the hard way, I had a 32 spokes track wheel that I used to use only for KILO or team persuit, with 120 grams tubulars. I think the Featherweight is a clincher. My wheels simply did weird spokes noises in the banks, I mean it was understandable in a velodrome, but 32 spokes, super light rims, makes sense at least for me u know, and i understod that when i was 17 so do not surprise me that u had the same problem using 28 spokes, the rim isnt strong enough thats all. Old tehcnology thats all the problem. Maybe it was too naive from your part too... but well u have to learn and this was the hard way. Sorry a lot... my advice het a 36 spokes rims, that will be strong enough fro the street.

Sometimes what is looks cool isnt the most apropiate Well if u got into this (cicling) a few years ago u know only the new stuff and u didnt have to know that 10 years ago 28 holes where used only in short TT races... well sorry if I sounded kind'a aggresive, it wasnt my intention ok?

Good luck

Last edited by ultraman6970; 03-23-06 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 03-23-06, 09:57 PM
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Yeah, they're definitely weight sensitive... I've read reports that the washers are the weak link on those rims, and hard as hell to find replacements for.
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Old 03-23-06, 11:21 PM
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Yeah, 150 lbs. or so. The streets are mostly smooth as glass down here in Gainesville, so I really didn't envision a problem. I know adamkell runs the 36h featherweights no problem. Okay, let's turn this into a 28h safe for the street rim reccomendation thread. Go! (good thing these are pretty cheap on ebay, so I'm not too put off for wasting my money and potentially ruining a rim...)
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Old 03-23-06, 11:26 PM
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ahem. Thanks to my mad ebay skills. I'm really liking the looks of the velocity aero (not aerohead). Elliptical. Colored. Red Perhaps? And of course, some of the best customer service in the business.
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Old 03-24-06, 09:11 AM
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take the wheel apart and check it out. they probably loosened because they were undertensioned. if that's the case you could get some spokeprep or blue loctite and put everything back together.
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Old 03-24-06, 09:16 AM
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If the spokes were pulling through during the initial build, that's very fishy to me.
Crap washers is my guess...
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Old 03-24-06, 10:02 AM
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You shoulda gone with Mavics. CXP 33's are the greatest.( I've bought 4 in as many months for two different bikes) Only problem is the price.
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Old 03-24-06, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by abeyance
You shoulda gone with Mavics. CXP 33's are the greatest.( I've bought 4 in as many months for two different bikes) Only problem is the price.
And that's why I'm kicking myself. There was a set listed incorrectly on ebay a while back, and the price stayed ridiculously low, and I passed because I didn't have the cash to shell out $40 for a set of rims at the time. It was such a sweet deal.
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Old 03-24-06, 10:45 AM
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I have a set of black aeros that I love.
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Old 03-24-06, 10:47 AM
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I'm starting to think it was just my crappy wheel build, and not the rims. I sat down and actually went over the wheel this morning, when I wasn't rushed, and noticed that I could see the threads on the spoke, which I couldn't before. These spokes were pre-treated with spoke prep. The threads were covered in some sort of blue stuff. It seems slightly odd that the nipple would unscrew as much as three complete revolutions, doesn't it? They were ovalized spokes, so I am absolutely certain that there was no spoke twist. I think I have the wheel tensioned and trued properly again. I still can't figure out what went wrong though.
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Old 03-24-06, 12:23 PM
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I do not know about your rims and washers but U shaped washers for Shamals are asymmetric. You need to place them the right way, depending on which flange the spoke goes to. Placing them wrongly can result in the effects you note.

Last edited by vobopl; 03-24-06 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 03-24-06, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by vobopl
I do not know about your rims and washers but U shaped washers for Shamals are asymmetric. You need to place them the right way, depending on to which flange the spoke goes to. Placing them wrongly can result in the effects you note.
Yeah, that's what happened when the first one exploded. After that, I noticed the asymmetry, and made sure that the rest were oriented correctly.

Can you still get replacement washers for the Shamals? They might work in a pinch for the Saavedras.
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Old 03-24-06, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mikearena
Yeah, that's what happened when the first one exploded. After that, I noticed the asymmetry, and made sure that the rest were oriented correctly.

Can you still get replacement washers for the Shamals? They might work in a pinch for the Saavedras.
Yes, in sets with both nipples and spokes, straight pull and regular ones - I bought mine at allegro.pl from the guy who still has them:
https://allegro.pl/item93013050_szpry...ie_tylko_.html
I had a problem finding the right length for the Mack hub - the seller had to resend as he had send me two different lenghts. He has both sapim and campagnolo ones.

here is another one:
https://allegro.pl/item93290429_szpry...aero_2_mm.html
These are DT 2mm blades, so probably intended for newer shamals.

How many of the washers do you need - I have some used ones, coming from the vento wheel I of which I used just the rim. I couldn't reuse the spokes as they were straight pull.

BTW. Shamal rims are 550g a piece - they are robust despite low spoke count. How much do your rims weigh?
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Old 03-24-06, 03:08 PM
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featherweights at 380g (hence the problem). i think. mike?
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Old 03-24-06, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by vobopl
Yes, in sets with both nipples and spokes, straight pull and regular ones - I bought mine at allegro.pl from the guy who still has them:
https://allegro.pl/item93013050_szpry...ie_tylko_.html
I had a problem finding the right length for the Mack hub - the seller had to resend as he had send me two different lenghts. He has both sapim and campagnolo ones.

here is another one:
https://allegro.pl/item93290429_szpry...aero_2_mm.html
These are DT 2mm blades, so probably intended for newer shamals.

How many of the washers do you need - I have some used ones, coming from the vento wheel I of which I used just the rim. I couldn't reuse the spokes as they were straight pull.

BTW. Shamal rims are 550g a piece - they are robust despite low spoke count. How much do your rims weigh?
Wow, awesome, thanks. I actually still have two spare washers, I'm just trying to make sure that I have something lined up for when these will inevitably seem to fail. Yeah, featherweights are riduculouly light, (as light as a feather...) but they seem to be good enough to hold up. I'm guessing there's just a whole bunch of stress on these washers, which altogether might weigh almost as much as the rim. (I'm kidding about that.)
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Old 04-06-06, 02:05 AM
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I just build up one of these wheels tonight. I tried putting a rubino on it and damn, I couldn't get it to fit for the life of me. I threw on a michelin pro race tire and that went on slightly easier, but still a tight fit. What are you guys running?
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Old 04-06-06, 06:02 AM
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vredestein volante se's
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Old 04-06-06, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dokushoka
I just build up one of these wheels tonight. I tried putting a rubino on it and damn, I couldn't get it to fit for the life of me. I threw on a michelin pro race tire and that went on slightly easier, but still a tight fit. What are you guys running?
I've got Rubino Pro's on mine. I remember my thumbs almost bleeding, but if you stick with it (and use some tire levers) it'll go on there.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dolface
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Any difficulty putting those on? Even with levers, the Michelin tires were a *****.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dokushoka
Any difficulty putting those on? Even with levers, the Michelin tires were a *****.
i remember that they seemed a little tight, but not massively so
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Old 04-06-06, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dolface
i remember that they seemed a little tight, but not massively so
Cool, thanks! I think I'll try a set.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:39 AM
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Old 06-09-06, 01:17 PM
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w/ phils?

I picked up two sets of these rims for 34 bucks on ebay. hurray for spare matching rims.1 set is 32 and the other 36. I wanted to lace them up to my philwood high flange track hubs.the price was right and i have a 32/36 hole set of phils. I only weigh 120lbs but i will be using them for work on my track bike. I should have some insight for you guys soon
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