Too harsh on wheels?



GuyNoir

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Jun 22, 2006
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When I picked up my used '97 Trek 1220, one of the first orders of business was to replace the rims. It seemed that the original wheels simply could not stay true. So, I had them replaced with a set of Mavic Open Pro (32 spoke, 20mm) wheels from Performance Bike.

Even with the wheel replacements, I am constantly having to have the rear wheel trued back into alignment. Meaning that I am trying to knock out the wobble nightly and having a LBS do it once a week to keep the dish right.

I am torn between two possibilities here. 1) The wheel didn't get any loctite (as I note at least 1 spoke completely slack every night) or 2) I may be too heavy and/or ride too hard for this particular make/model.

To support the 2nd possibility, I account for my current weight (227lbs and dropping), plus my backpack (10-20lbs -laptop, change of clothes, extra battery, etc) for commuting days. However, even on pure ride/training days (re: no backpack), I will see the wobble come back and need a minor true. There is a lot to be desired about Chicago bike trails and roads, too.

Now that I can detect a flat spot in my rear rim, I think that I need to get it replaced, again. But if I do, I want something that will last longer than 150 miles per week that I put on it.

So, should I take this wheel to a builder and have it completely taken apart and rebuilt, or should I pick something else to accomodate for my current body size? If latter, what wheel should I look into? I have already been looking at the Velocity Deep-V and Fusion, but want to explore all options before I toss more money at the problem.

My riding style for this summer is all about weight loss and getting fit. I am currently doing 24 miles (round trip) in my straight commutes to/from work. But do throw in some 50 mile days in extended commutes or pure ride days. I still suffer from the "Can't go fast enough" syndrome that I suffered as a kid and am all about speed. So, I am working on some intervals, too. Though not as seriously as I will be, next year.

Thanks for your time,
-GN
 

kleng

New Member
Jan 17, 2006
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GuyNoir said:
When I picked up my used '97 Trek 1220, one of the first orders of business was to replace the rims. It seemed that the original wheels simply could not stay true. So, I had them replaced with a set of Mavic Open Pro (32 spoke, 20mm) wheels from Performance Bike.

Even with the wheel replacements, I am constantly having to have the rear wheel trued back into alignment. Meaning that I am trying to knock out the wobble nightly and having a LBS do it once a week to keep the dish right.

I am torn between two possibilities here. 1) The wheel didn't get any loctite (as I note at least 1 spoke completely slack every night) or 2) I may be too heavy and/or ride too hard for this particular make/model.

To support the 2nd possibility, I account for my current weight (227lbs and dropping), plus my backpack (10-20lbs -laptop, change of clothes, extra battery, etc) for commuting days. However, even on pure ride/training days (re: no backpack), I will see the wobble come back and need a minor true. There is a lot to be desired about Chicago bike trails and roads, too.

Now that I can detect a flat spot in my rear rim, I think that I need to get it replaced, again. But if I do, I want something that will last longer than 150 miles per week that I put on it.

So, should I take this wheel to a builder and have it completely taken apart and rebuilt, or should I pick something else to accomodate for my current body size? If latter, what wheel should I look into? I have already been looking at the Velocity Deep-V and Fusion, but want to explore all options before I toss more money at the problem.

My riding style for this summer is all about weight loss and getting fit. I am currently doing 24 miles (round trip) in my straight commutes to/from work. But do throw in some 50 mile days in extended commutes or pure ride days. I still suffer from the "Can't go fast enough" syndrome that I suffered as a kid and am all about speed. So, I am working on some intervals, too. Though not as seriously as I will be, next year.

Thanks for your time,
-GN

It would be the cheapest option to get the wheels re-built by a reputable builder using a stronger gauge spoke. The Mavic open pro's are good rims.
 

daveornee

New Member
Sep 18, 2003
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GuyNoir said:
When I picked up my used '97 Trek 1220, one of the first orders of business was to replace the rims. It seemed that the original wheels simply could not stay true. So, I had them replaced with a set of Mavic Open Pro (32 spoke, 20mm) wheels from Performance Bike.

Even with the wheel replacements, I am constantly having to have the rear wheel trued back into alignment. Meaning that I am trying to knock out the wobble nightly and having a LBS do it once a week to keep the dish right.

I am torn between two possibilities here. 1) The wheel didn't get any loctite (as I note at least 1 spoke completely slack every night) or 2) I may be too heavy and/or ride too hard for this particular make/model.

To support the 2nd possibility, I account for my current weight (227lbs and dropping), plus my backpack (10-20lbs -laptop, change of clothes, extra battery, etc) for commuting days. However, even on pure ride/training days (re: no backpack), I will see the wobble come back and need a minor true. There is a lot to be desired about Chicago bike trails and roads, too.

Now that I can detect a flat spot in my rear rim, I think that I need to get it replaced, again. But if I do, I want something that will last longer than 150 miles per week that I put on it.

So, should I take this wheel to a builder and have it completely taken apart and rebuilt, or should I pick something else to accomodate for my current body size? If latter, what wheel should I look into? I have already been looking at the Velocity Deep-V and Fusion, but want to explore all options before I toss more money at the problem.

My riding style for this summer is all about weight loss and getting fit. I am currently doing 24 miles (round trip) in my straight commutes to/from work. But do throw in some 50 mile days in extended commutes or pure ride days. I still suffer from the "Can't go fast enough" syndrome that I suffered as a kid and am all about speed. So, I am working on some intervals, too. Though not as seriously as I will be, next year.

Thanks for your time,
-GN
I think that Deep V rear for your weight and riding style would work well. You could go a little lighter up front with a Fusion or go with a matching Deep V there too. I suggest DT or Sapim 14/15 DB spokes for maximum durability.
I am in the Chicago area and can assist you with a build.
 

geoffs

New Member
Sep 8, 2003
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daveornee said:
I think that Deep V rear for your weight and riding style would work well. You could go a little lighter up front with a Fusion or go with a matching Deep V there too. I suggest DT or Sapim 14/15 DB spokes for maximum durability.
I am in the Chicago area and can assist you with a build.


Seems like the main problem with the existing wheels is low tension. There is no way the wheel should go out of true that easily. I'd say you need to find a new lbs that has people that know what they are doing.

DeepV's are a great rim.
Daveornee's offer sounds good.

Cheers

Geoff
 

rek

New Member
Aug 31, 2002
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Yep, make sure the spokes are properly (and evenly) tensioned, and that they are stress relieved. The spokes should never go slack: that's inviting a spoke failure. (Having a spoke go completely slack momentarily, like it would be doing at the moment, is the fastest way to put fatigue on it)

The 'flat spot' you feel may not be an actual flat spot on the rim, but just a part of the wheel where it is not vertically true (i.e. a pair of spokes whose tension is significantly different than the others, so that part of the rim 'sticks out' or is 'pulled in' relative to the rest of the wheel)
 

carpediemracing

New Member
Jun 15, 2005
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the single loose spoke shouts out that the rim is bent. it seems like it's bent laterally (thus a single loose spoke). wheels are inherently very weak laterally. box section rims are pretty strong laterally, not as strong vertically. deep section rims (from my experience) seem a bit weaker laterally and much stronger vertically. this might be a reflection on the fact that I ride my deep section rims aggressively.

a bent rim can be forced into true by violating all the rules of spoke tension. the rim will immediately try and return to its natural (bent) state.

there are three options:
1. let the rim stay in its natural bent state if it's not too bad (say 5mm or less out of true). I've ridden/raced on wheels like this, sometimes for more than a year or two on particular wheels.
2. replace the rim. when doing so, replace all the spokes (they are like rubber bands, they don't have any elasticity after a while).
3. "bend" the rim back by using equal and opposite force. this typically involves completely loosening the spokes in the area (after marking where the single loose spoke is located), hitting the rim pretty hard on a flat, solid surface (bench, ground, rock, etc) so that you hit the rim away from the loose spoke. if you are lucky, the rim will be perfect. if not you're buying a new rim. On a wheel you're about to trash, this is a nice, no-loss situation. I've salvaged maybe 3 really nice race wheels like this (and didn't salvage maybe 30 or 40). this only works for aluminum rims.

it seems like you carry a lot of gear. I'd recommend going with a slightly wider rear tire if possible. this will cushion a lot of the impact your rear wheel sees. also verify your tire pressure daily. seems like you are, else you'd have flat spots.

finally, even on the roughest streets (I've ridden in both and Chicago is comparable to NYC), agile riding technique will preserve even the flimsiest of wheels/tires. the price is when you mess up it costs time and money. I've trained on NYC and Chicago streets on light wheels shod with light tires with no problems. there are some basic techniques to use:
1. bunny hop (even if you don't gain altitude, at least you don't drop into the potholes). smooth bunny hops put virtually no impact on your wheels when you land.
2. no extreme out of saddle action when going over bumps (you'll knock your wheel laterally out of true)
3. go around holes by asserting yourself in your lane. to do this you have to be aware of where those potholes are (i.e. eyes way up the road) and plan accordingly. this is possible even in a place like Chicago.
4. smooth pedaling (typically means doing lower rpms in bigger gears). this stabilizes your body on the bike so it puts less movement into the bike. this is recommended for dirt roads etc.
5. if you get forced to ride over bumps, relax your grip on your bars, let the bike do what it needs to do, and don't brake unless you have to. I ride on dirt roads with rocks the size of baseballs but rarely flat. it might be dumb luck but the riders I am with flat more often than I do and I haven't won the lottery yet.
Your backpack has to be snug to the body (else it pulls on you as it bounces around) and you have to be alert. no chatting on the phone, listening to your iPod, focus on what's 20-200 feet in front of you, etc.

good luck
cdr
 

ScienceIsCool

New Member
Jun 25, 2006
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Carpediemracing got it right. I would wager a few bucks that the rim itself is bent - and this is quite likely not your fault. A lot of rims come from the factory untrue and a bit out of round. I only know of a handful of builders that screen their rims before they begin a build, too. Regardless of how your rim came to be a bit bent, once it's bent your spoke tension will never be perfect and it will quickly come out of true again.

What I don't agree with is point number two. Elasticity does not change over time. The stress/strain curve for any material is constant irrespective of its history. I do agree that you should start with new spokes, though. The reason is that a portion of their fatigue life has been used up and using them again will lead to premature spoke breakage. Besides, spokes are relatively cheap.

Also, I agree that you can bend a rim back into shape, but to do it properly requires that you take it off the wheel and have some method of measuring when it's true again. Otherwise, you'll have the same problems again.

If you start with a straight, round, true rim (that is laterally stiff enough for the application) and build it with the appropriate spoke tension it should not come out of true until you have an accident.

John Swanson
www.bikephysics.com
 

rayhuang

New Member
Jul 27, 2006
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FWIW-I have been in contact with a wheel builder someone else recommended on this forum named Joe Young who builds wheels to suit you.

Hes been very responsive and I can say his prices seem very fair. I should be ordering very soon from him!! btw-anyone want to buy a new set of R550's??? lol