Rescuing a Velomax/Easton Circuit or EA70 rear wheel.

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by maydog, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    My Velomax circuit wheels have been rock solid over 4 years of hard riding. I have not even needed to true them up to yesterday.

    Yesterday I noticed a slight lateral blip when spinning the wheel. Plucking the spokes I found that one of the drive side was slightly low on tension compared to its neighbors. This spoke coincided with the blip. I thought this would be an easy fix; so out comes the spoke wrench. The nipple melted like butter when attempting to tension the spoke. This wouldn't do, so I started loosening the nipple. After 1 turn the nipple stripped smooth in the other direction.

    I was determined to save the spoke; since these are 2 sided spokes and the did not want to unthread the spoke from the hub. I got out the dremel and sacrificed a screwdriver to make a spoke tool that I could use through the rim. Note the notch in the tip.

    [​IMG]

    This almost worked, I got another 1 turn before the nipple stripped out inside the rim.

    Determined, I went after the nipple carefully with the dremel - this was a futile exercise and I nicked the spoke threads. Out comes the bolt cutter and I cut the spoke in half. There was still a good amount of tension on the spoke so the nipple end shot out of the hub. I heated the hub with a lighter and I bent the remaining end so I could torque the spoke out of the hub.

    After getting the old spoke out, i put in a spare with red thread locker. I threaded it in the same distance as the old spoke.

    Today, I put the nipple on the end and went to work tensioning up the spoke. The tension would get close to good but never high enough. As the tension would get close to good, I would hear a click or pop. After an hour of frustration, I noticed that the spoke was actually pulling from the hub when the tension got too high.

    Had I stripped it taking the old spoke out?
    Did I damage it putting the new spoke in?

    I don't know for sure, but suspect that the issue existed before the old spoke came out since that spoke was low on tension. At this point I considered my options. I did not want to trash the wheel since this is my favorite wheelset. I tried using teflon tape, that failed. I considered using JB weld on the threads. After looking the situation over, I came to this solution - which I think is pretty clever:

    [​IMG]

    The hub is designed such that the threaded end protrudes into the hub, there is plenty of space for a nipple. I held the nipple in place with a long needle nose pliers while I threaded a non-drive side the spoke into the hub. I used a non-drive side as it is 7mm longer which allowed me to put more threads into the nipple. I put on plenty of threadlocker on the nipple and the spoke so it should not turn.

    After doing this, I was able to bring the spoke up to tension. I did have to loosen several non drive side spokes and re-tension them as part of the process. The drive side spokes are at pretty high tension and wouldn't budge without loosening the non-drive side.

    I took it for a quick test ride, everything seems good. Time to let the threadlocker set up.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Good solution using the nipple as a nut on the hub side. I recently had my trusty Circuit rear rim fail after 30K miles without any truing. The rim developed a crack, starting at the valve stem hole and running under the next spoke hole. Didn't notice much other than a slight "bump" in the rim when on the brakes, so seing a 1" crack was a bit of a shock.

    My local LBS has rebuilt these, but said it takes a lot of time and patience to heat the spokes with a butane torch before they will release from the hub. Decided it probably wasn't smart to invest in a total rebuild (new rim, spokes, nipples) on this 30K mile hub. The twin-threaded spokes might be a pain, but if they don't break and remain stable as long as mine did, it's hard to complain.
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    If there was downside to Velomax wheels, it was that it was a pain to change out spoke or even true the wheels. A fair number of LBS mechanics and home mechanics hated working with them. Frankly, it's not necessary to use thread lock on spoke ends or nipples. I don't know another manufacturer that does that.

    Good solution on your part.
     
  4. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yes, agree the "twin-threaded" design of the Velomax (now Easton) wheels makes tuning or spoke replacement harder. But since I never needed to do either of those over the life of the rim, 30K miles), it's hard to find fault there. Seems to me the straight-pull spoke design really is should be more stable and stronger than conventional J-bend spokes, but the few wheel builders I've talked to aren't convinced there is any real advantage vs a well-build conventional hub/spoke wheel.
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Follow-on question: Is it worthwhile to just replace the rim on my 30K mile Circuit rear wheel? I'm thinking to leave the old spokes in the hub, just changeout the rim and maybe the alloy nipples on the non-drive side if needed. Opinions wanted: For just the cost of a rim and some hours of work in the garage, could I end up with a durable rebuild on the old spokes? Or is the smart thing to replace the spokes and nipples along with the rim, hoping they all come loose without stripping the hub? Or better to just toss the wheel in the trash...I certainly got my miles out of it!
     
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