new Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheel buckled after 1 week

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by clonsingle, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. clonsingle

    clonsingle New Member

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    Last week I splashed out 450Euros on a new set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite's because I was informed of their great durability!!

    After 7 days (one 50mile road race and one 16KM TT) the back wheel now has a small (but extremely annoying) wabble/buckle:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    I did not crash or ride over any pot-holes and I only weight 70KG's.The wheel is going straight back to the shop. Maybe the spoke tension wasn’t correct when they came out of the box?? I spun the wheels around when I bought them but sometimes its hard to spot a wabble unless the wheel is on the bike (using brake pads as a reference)

    Anyone else feel that Mavic's are a bit over-rated?
    They have yet to earn my confidence!
     
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  2. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Yep.
     
  3. bobbyOCR

    bobbyOCR New Member

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    Mavics are overrated and VERY overpriced, but very well marketed. Pros ride Mavic because they are paid very well to do so. FSA, Easton/Velomax, Shimano, Campagnolo, Neuvations, ROL, and many other brands have lighter wheels at the same or less price. FSA 400s as an alternative to elites would be great. They in the same weight range but cost less if you look around and are more aero.

    Besides, a riding buddy had a set of elites with poorly tensioned spokes. Some spokes even worked their way out. They need to be rebuilt and that costs 60$
     
  4. lks

    lks New Member

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    While you shoudn't have to do it on new wheels, I always check spoke tension before I use them and periodically there after. While a spoke tension gauge is the most accurate, pinging them will detect if there are differences in spoke tension. "An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure." I have 50k miles on a multitude of Ksyriums with almost no problems. I have always wondered why there are so many bad experiences posted. I speculate that part of the reason is, there are so many in use and bad experiences get more press than good experiences.
     
  5. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    A lot of wheels that come prebuilt lose some tension during shipping etc. I agree, it is always a good idea to check a new wheel before riding it. You should also pre-stress them after adjusting tension, and check them again. I've been building wheels since '94, and I am obsessive about making sure my wheels are set right before riding them, especially in competition.
     
  6. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    What do you think the mechanism is that makes prebuilt wheels lose some tension during shipping?
     
  7. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    If you've ever worked in a distribution center for any company, packages aren't treated as delicately as one might think. Usually, for me anyway, if a spoke loses tension, it is because it wasn't pre-stressed enough. I am no expert in Mavic's wheel-building practices, but if the wheels aren't pre-stressed or if a spoke hasn't let go of it's wound up energy after tensioning, some jostling around during shipping could pre-stress the spoke. I don't think it is a significant amount of untensioning and the Ksyrium in this thread may be a rare incident, but I have from experience recieved many pre-built wheels where the tensioning is off and the wheel had to be touched up before going on a customer's bike.
     
  8. clonsingle

    clonsingle New Member

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    maybe I just got unlucky with the particular wheel I received. Anyway I'm 100% sure the bike shop will fix them ASAP.
    I agree that shipping could effect the spoke tension, but the shop owner should have given the wheels the 'once over' before releasing them to me

    Anyway, I'll be sorted out tomorrow and ready for road

    Looks like the wheel debate will go on for a long time.......
     
  9. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I worked for UPS in their Chicago area consolidated hub. I am quite familiar how packages are handled by both humans and machinery.
    I also worked at a bicycle shop and have built over 1,000 wheels.
    I agree with you that tension on most prebuilt wheels is off and there is often residual windup in many if not all spokes from most suppliers. Jim Beam often states that having the shop do any adjustments to the spokes is to be avoided. IMO Jim Beam has had bad experience, but that doesn't mean that he is wrong. However, the shop where I worked had experienced and professionally trained mechanics who know how to deal with tension balancing and spoke windup issues.
    IMO, if the wheels lose tension from shipping they are very poorly built to begin with. The exception is if the rim is plasticly deformed from handling, but that takes significant force, and is not happening in routine handling/shipping. (A fall from the "Primary Belt" to the concrete dock floor 12' below might qualify at UPS.) I think that few machine built wheels are well built. IMO the wheels you and I have experienced coming out of the box with poor/poorly balanced tension where shipped that way to begin with.
     
  10. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    I have two sets of Elites and they are fine, although you do have to tweak them with a spoke wrench every so often. Not sure how bad your wheel really is. If it is a spoke or two coming unwound that is a simple job with a spoke wrench or a fairly cheap fix for your LBS. Agreed, the wheel was mistensioned from the gitgo. I've put a couple of thousand miles on one set and aside from the occiassional tweak, has performed well. Can you get a better wheel cheaper than Mavic? Well, yeah, you do pay a tad of a premium for the name, but it's still a decent wheel.
     
  11. ScienceIsCool

    ScienceIsCool New Member

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    Vibration. Vibration is a killer and shipping by ground or air will provide lots of it at low, medium, and high frequency. That's my guess, anyways... :)

    John Swanson
    www.bikephysics.com
     
  12. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    OK, I take a wheel in a box (or two wheels packed in a box) and vibrate the box and the wheels packed therein through a range of frequencies say from 1 Hz to 20 kHz and amplitudes as much as say 6 inches (or whatever distances are sustainable in air or ground transport) in all three axis what happens to the structures of the rim, hub, spokes, and nipples that make them change?
    Please explain the mechanism.
    You can assert issues of poor workmanship such as residual windup and poor tension balance as part of your explanation if you wish. As an example, how would vibrating the wheel in a box cause a spoke with residual windup at say 50 kgf tension to unwind?
    If you think the frequency range should be expanded or the amplitude please include that in the explanation.
    I did some shake table work at TRW during the late '60s "Space Race". It can be very enlightening and show weaknesses that need to be dealt with.
    I need to be enlightened on this subject so I can have a more informed opinion.
     
  13. graphixgeek

    graphixgeek New Member

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    I think more than vibration may come into play, such as the box having other boxes stacked next to it. I remember unloading a truck at the bike shop and guess where the box of wheels were? On the bottom with heavier boxes all around it. I wish I knew all the forces involved, but I would think that other boxes coupled with vibration might have something to do with it along with quality control issues. True...machine built wheels aren't built like a hand built (I love building wheels too, sort of theraputic). Also, these wheels I've had to touch up weren't significantly out of whack leading to me to believe the Ksyrium wheel incident was isolated at best. I guess we'll never really know until wheels can speak to us.;)
     
  14. ScienceIsCool

    ScienceIsCool New Member

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    Here's my take on it. Let's say you have a screw that is done up nice and tight. You're relying on friction/stiction between the threads to create a large normal force. That's what keeps the thing together. My experience is that vibration (of unknown g's) can be enough to momentarily overcome that stiction. The screw backs off a tiny bit. Rinse, repeat. If only one in a very big number of vibrations has the correct amplitude and direction to do this, the screw will still "unscrew" itself over time.

    A spoke is just a fancy, long bolt and a spoke nipple is just a fancy nut. The same rules apply, so it's not a stretch that after hours in a plane and/or on a truck that one or more spokes will lose just enough tension to come out of true.

    I use this principle all the time at work when aligning two parts to within a micron or two. Stiction messes with the adjustment so that the parts will lurch five or ten microns at a time. So what I do is attach a pager motor with ~0.5 gram stuck to one side of the shaft. That small amount of milli-g's is enough to overcome the stiction and allow some very precise adjustments.

    Or... I could be way off base about the whole thing. Maybe vibrations induced during transport don't do anything at all.

    John Swanson
    www.bikephysics.com

     
  15. ScienceIsCool

    ScienceIsCool New Member

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    I forgot to add that the normal force exerted between the threads works against you and helps to loosen off the screw in my example. Though if you do the srew up tight enough, the friction/stiction between threads will be too high to overcome with mere vibration. Maybe.

    John Swanson
    www.bikephysics.com
     
  16. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    IMO the case of well built wheels is such that friction/stiction is too high to be overcome with vibration in a shipping box. If the wheel were clamped down in a fork (dropout) and subjected to a range of frequencies/amplitudes the story could be somewhat diffeent. Wheels in regular use also experience ranges of vibrations as well as daynamic loads from riding. When/if a spoke goes slack the nipple can unwind and or loosen. I think one of the toughest cases is off camber landing from a drop or jump where the force vector is up and to the left on the rear wheel (slackening the left rear spokes at the bottom of the rim). Well built wheels should cover the unwind issue by removing all residual windup and mitigating against totally slack spokes by making the wheels meet the intended applications including rider weight. Left rear spokes are usually the major challenge in this regard.
     
  17. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    Overpriced but not overrated. You proly have a dud. For the price I expect better quality control from Mavic. I used a set of SLs for over 3000kms w/ no tweaking. Currently running a set of Circuit SLs with almost 1K now w/ no noticeable need to tweak. It's strange how many have such problems with wheels but I cant seem to remember having any problems. Aside from the occassional 'dud' could it be with how some of us ride?
     
  18. clonsingle

    clonsingle New Member

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    I only rode with them twice on smooth irish roads!!, I dont think my racing is that agressive
    The wheel is now fixed, they tweaked a spoke of two.
    I'll know over the next two races if its a dud.

    Could Road quality could effect spoke tension???
     
  19. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    I'll also go with the simple explanation that the wheel was poorly built to begin with. My opinion is that consistent build quality is expensive to maintain but hard to market vs low gram weight, spoke count, or an aero-look...things a buyer can see.
     
  20. John M

    John M New Member

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    I agree with Dave on this one....

    Disclamer: I haven't worked for UPS, and I haven't built over 1,000 wheels, but I have worked in two different bike shops and have trued hundreds of wheels and built more than a few.
     
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