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Machined?Non-Machined?Terminator?

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Machined?Non-Machined?Terminator?

Old 04-08-09, 12:04 AM
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Scrotze
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Machined?Non-Machined?Terminator?

Okay, so here's my first newbie question on the forums.(Just to serve as a notice: when it comes to my knowledge on this particular issue/subject, assume the worse...please). Here goes:
In terms of wheels/rims, what are the differences between machined and non-machined? When they say (non)machined are they talking about how it is made or what? From what I've gathered, machined wheels are created for brakes as opposed to having non-machined wheels where brakes should not be applied. I'm pretty sure there is more to it than that. Am I wrong in my findings? Is there fault in my theory? Will Arnold Schwarzenegger come down from Sacramento to rip me a new one for asking a question like this? Should I just shutup now?

Debates and/or arguments, fights, insults, candy whatever you can throw this way are very welcome..with open arms. Thanks!
Oh and if you don't mind, include any detail about the process if you know it. I'm just curious is all.
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Old 04-08-09, 12:47 AM
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Check out http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_m.html#machined

Since you're just starting up, I recommend visiting SheldonBrown.com. It's basically a bicycle encyclopedia (and the guy, who has now passed away, is revered very highly among corners of the biking community).

I myself don't know a ton, but here's my experience: I have two different front rims...one which is machined, and one that is not. The machined rim has a bit of a squeal under braking, while the non-machined squeals quite a bit (perhaps because it is powder coated). The non-machined/powder coated wheel also has a nice black circle where the pads make contact with the rim. I am not sure if it will come off, but i don't really care at this point.
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Old 04-08-09, 12:48 AM
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you are correct. it is not encouraged to run a brake on a non machined rim because you do not get as much stopping power and in wet conditions the sidewalls will become really slick. there really is no more to it

edit: that too^^
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Old 04-08-09, 12:52 AM
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oh ya, I forgot to mention that I haven't really tested the stopping power (that's what brakes are for, right?), but I feel more confident with the machined walls (but that could be because the other rim has powder coating).
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Old 04-08-09, 01:33 AM
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a machined rim has been further, er, machined (put the rim through what I would assume be something like a planer). the edge of the rim where the brake would touch is shaved down flat and even so the braking surface is consistent all the way around. there's also those little grooves put in there, I assume for better performance in water or dirty conditions.

non-machined rims aren't flattened on the lip like this, and the powder coating or anodizing or paint is applied over this section. brake use will work on this type of rim, but the coating will wear off where the brake is touching. It will also make more noise as the surface is not perfectly level. The brake will eventually wear it down flat, but this will take time and it'll probably look pretty ugly during this process (the coating will probably wear off all patchy due to surface unevenness).

or something like that
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Old 04-08-09, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LupinIII View Post
a machined rim has been further, er, machined (put the rim through what I would assume be something like a planer). the edge of the rim where the brake would touch is shaved down flat and even so the braking surface is consistent all the way around. there's also those little grooves put in there, I assume for better performance in water or dirty conditions.

non-machined rims aren't flattened on the lip like this, and the powder coating or anodizing or paint is applied over this section. brake use will work on this type of rim, but the coating will wear off where the brake is touching. It will also make more noise as the surface is not perfectly level. The brake will eventually wear it down flat, but this will take time and it'll probably look pretty ugly during this process (the coating will probably wear off all patchy due to surface unevenness).

or something like that
FWIW, here's a wheel I've been riding for over 25 years. It has an unmachined, hard anodized braking surface but has presented no braking problems or noise in all the years I have used it. Nor has the anodizing been terribly affected:

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Old 04-08-09, 11:41 AM
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hmm

Yeah, thanks for all of your helpful responses! Oh and special thanks to Sina for that link! I actually have been to the Sheldon Brown site a LOT since I found out about it one or two years ago for reference, apparently I didn't look past "L" on the glossary.

So am I right in guessing that it's more ideal to ride fixed gear with a non-machined wheel and a...
non-fixed to ride a machined wheel?
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Old 04-08-09, 12:06 PM
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"So am I right in guessing that it's more ideal to ride fixed gear with a non-machined wheel and a...
non-fixed to ride a machined wheel?"

The basic rule of thumb is that if there are brakes, there needs to be a clean metal braking surface. Whether that metal is machined or anodized or not is less of a factor as long as the braking surface is metal. (Anodizing is an electrolysis process that creates aluminum oxide on the surface, which is then dyed, so it's still a metal surface.)

If you have brakes and a powder-coated/painted braking surface, your brakes will not work nearly as well, and your rims will look ridiculous in pretty short order.

The difference isn't fixed gear / non-fixed, but brakes / non-brakes, as both for speed and safety, you should run brakes anywhere but the velodrome.

Last edited by bigvegan; 04-08-09 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 04-08-09, 12:10 PM
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^ True. If your wheel is anodized don't worry about machined or non machined. If its coated get it machined if you plan on using a brake.
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Old 04-08-09, 12:22 PM
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Point well taken bigvegan, thanks. Powder-coating/painting rims never really appealed to me anyways. That last brake/non-brake point will definitely be taken into account if and when I ride fixed.

By the way, is that your bike in your avatar? Is that a bianchi sport? The reason I ask is because I was surfing the inanets one day trying to research on the sport sx and came across this pink one some dude was workin on (Flickr) and I don't know where this is going but I guess I was intrigued more by how clean (and pink) his frame was. Well, whether it was you or not here's the link http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedayh...7605160772304/
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Old 04-08-09, 04:27 PM
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Just to sort of echo what has already been said, but yeah, if the wheel is anodized, it doesn't matter if it is machined or not. Just for your information, common colors are generally anodized and not powdercoated. For example, with Deep Vs and DP18s, I think that black, red, blue are anodized. Colors such as neon green and celeste are powdercoated and MUST be machined if you want to run a brake otherwise you will ruin the cool look you bought them for. I had to get some machined celeste Deep Vs so that I wouldn't ruin the paint, turns out I don't really notice it anymore. I thought about it long and hard and now that they're on my bike, I don't even notice the small silver strip nor do I think it looks bad.
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Old 04-08-09, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrotze View Post
Now there's something..Where can you get a wheel machined? Up until now I thought that if a wheel was created, it had to be happy with who he/she was? no surgery. Hmm.
You don't. You replace the rim, or the wheel.
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Old 04-08-09, 07:24 PM
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Or you can just brake carefully for a couple of days until the powercoating wears off and you have a reasonable amount of friction, then proceed normally. The brake will 'machine' the rim in short order, and everything will be fine.
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Old 04-08-09, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dmg View Post
Or you can just brake carefully for a couple of days until the powercoating wears off and you have a reasonable amount of friction, then proceed normally. The brake will 'machine' the rim in short order, and everything will be fine.
That's horrible advice, don't listen to this comment, OP. The powdercoating will wear off in an ugly, smeared way. I have seen powder coated rims that ran brakes and it looks HORRIBLE
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Old 04-08-09, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
FWIW, here's a wheel I've been riding for over 25 years. It has an unmachined, hard anodized braking surface but has presented no braking problems or noise in all the years I have used it. Nor has the anodizing been terribly affected:

interesting, i thought anodizing would suffer the same fate as paint and powdercoats. nice to know
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Old 04-08-09, 08:51 PM
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is that true? anodize coating will survive braking?
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Old 04-08-09, 09:01 PM
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Yes.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PedallingATX View Post
....Just for your information, common colors are generally anodized and not powdercoated. For example, with Deep Vs and DP18s, I think that black, red, blue are anodized. ...
Is there any truth to this? I've been looking to get a set of black Deep V's and was trying to decide on MSW or NMSW. If all black Velocity Deep V's are anodized and doesn't compromise stopping power then I'll go with this set of NMSW V's a friend is offering me at a discounted price.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:58 PM
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I've been riding a brake on on a non-machined front DP18 for a while but RARELY use the brake. Maybe three or four times in a few months, really its there for safety. But anywho, check this out if you're worried about it:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...4&postcount=32
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Old 04-09-09, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for the images and input, i remember reading that thread. I'm not concerned with what the rim would look like after brake usage, i'm more concerned with brake effectiveness on a powdercoated rim. I use my brake quite often and wanted to get a black set of V's. Just wanted to know if black V's are indeed anod' and not powdercoated. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-09, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by adriano View Post
is that true? anodize coating will survive braking?
I don't know about forever, but my anodized, non-machined rims are still going strong after over 25 years of use. Check back in another 20 years or so and I'll give you an update.
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Old 04-11-09, 10:11 AM
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Here's my non-machined Deep V after a couple years of use with a brake. I guess if striations are considered awful looking to you, don't do it.
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Old 04-11-09, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dmg View Post
Here's my non-machined Deep V after a couple years of use with a brake. I guess if striations are considered awful looking to you, don't do it.
is that paint or an anodized layer?
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Old 04-12-09, 07:42 AM
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Okay let's separate this discussion clearly & add some gravitas. First grab some refreshments & get comfy. Oh & some of this has been posted before.

In regards to machined vs. non-machined rims Jobst Brandt said this in 2003 in response to the following question;

Just wondering if it really makes any difference. Some manufacturers don't even advertise whether the sidewalls are machined; others do. Velocity for example, makes both, but I believe they're the same price. What gives? Just marketing hype?

"What you hear and read is mostly marketing hyperbole, but machining rims has its reason, and it isn't for your benefit. If you inspect a machined rim closely, you'll find a surface that looks as though made by a thread cutting tool. The purpose is not to get a flat braking surface, but rather to produce a series of fine grooves to prevent brake squeal on new bicycle test rides.

The machined grooves, about the texture of LP vinyl record grooves, can be felt by running a fingernail across the rim. These fine grooves usually wear off on the first braking descent in wet weather, the condition that causes rim wear in the first place. Even anodizing, which is a hard ceramic, whether thick or thin, is more durable than the machined rim. However, anodizing is not the solution to wear, because it degrades braking. Anodizing being an insulator that overheats brake pads and causes brake fade.

The claim that machining is for purposes other than suppressing brake squeal is far fetched. For instance, rim joints have been made with no perceptible discontinuity almost as long as aluminum rims have been made. Unfortunately, some people in marketing believe that rims will separate if not riveted (or welded) and introduced riveting that usually distorts rim joints. Fortunately, that rims were made for many years without rivets and had flawless joints proves otherwise.

In practice, machining solves the new-rim squeal problem at the cost of a rim wall of unknown thickness. It also adds a bit of sparkle to the new product by giving rainbow reflections in showrooms. Mavic, for instance, has rims listed as having "CERAMIC2", "SUP, "CD", "UB", MAXTAL", all features that substantially increase cost over plain aluminum rims that were offered at about 1/4 the price not long ago.

The web site explains that "CERAMIC2" is an insulator that improves braking even though the rim is "UB" machined, ostensibly for the same purpose, before ceramic coating. This is a tipoff, because without special brake pads, this feature overheats pads causing them to wear rapidly while degrading performance. Not mentioned is that it's main purpose is to reduce rim wear in wet and gritty conditions."



In regards to anodized vs. non-anodozied rims in he said this back in 1998;

"Dark anodized rims were introduced a few years ago as a fashionable alternative to shiny metal finish, possibly as a response to non metallic composites. Some of these rims were touted as HARD anodized implying greater strength. Hard anodizing of aluminum, in contrast to cosmetic anodizing, produces a porous ceramic oxide that forms in the surface of the metal, as much as 1/1000 inch thick, about half below the original surface and half above. It is not thick enough to affect the strength of the rim but because it is so rigid, acts like a thin coat of paint on a rubber band. The paint will crack as the rubber stretches before any load is carried by the rubber. Similarly, anodizing cracks before the aluminum carries any significant load.

Rims are made from long straight extrusions that are rolled into helical hoops from which they are cut to length. Rims are often drilled and anodized before being rolled into a hoop and therefore, the anodizing is already crazed when the rim is made. Micro-cracks in thick (hard) anodizing can propagate into the metal as a wheel is loaded with every revolution to cause whole sections of the rim to break out at its spoke sockets. In some rims, whole sidewalls have separated through the hollow chamber so that the spokes remained attached to the inner hoop and the tire on the outer one. In contrast, colored anodizing is generally too thin to initiate cracks.

As an example, Mavic MA-2 rims have rarely cracked except on tandems, while the identical MA-40 rims, with a relativley thin anodizing, have cracked often.

Anodizing is also a thermal and electrical insulator. Because heat is generated in the brake pads and not the rim, braking energy must flow into the rim to be dissipated to the atmosphere. Anodizing, although relatively thin, impedes this heat transfer and reduces braking efficiency by raising the surface temperature of the brake pads. When braking in wet conditions, road grit wears off anodizing on the sidewall, an effect that improves braking.

Anodizing is not heat treatment and has no effect on the structural properties of the aluminum."

(These are from Sheldon Brown.)


Haven't found anything from him on powder coated rims but...


Peter White says this on his site;

"...brake pads don't work well on a painted surface. Brakes will work well on an anodized surface, so you can use the non-machined anodized rims with caliper brakes. But your brakes will work better with the machined sidewalls. The important thing is to never use a rim brake on a non-machined rim that has a painted finish. Anodized is fine. Painted is not ok. So if you're choosing a painted finish and you'll be using rim brakes, be sure to order a machined sidewall rim."


So with reference to the above the best results for braking will come from, in descending order;

1. An non-anodized rim that is non-machined or machined. / An anodized rim that is machined. / A powder coated rim that is machined.

2. An anodized rim that is non-machined.

3. A powder coated rim that is non-machined. (As has been well documented this is ill advised.)


Any issues? Take it up with those who know more.
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Old 04-13-09, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by adriano View Post
is that paint or an anodized layer?
It's powdercoated. I can't tell the difference between breaking on this or any machined wheel, in wet or dry conditions.
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