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Rim Replacement Rate (RRR)

This topic contains 23 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Benzo 4 mos, 1 week.

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dmtroyer

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Dec 10 2013 at 10:33am #

As of last Friday night, when I hit a monster water filled pothole on Penn Ave in Garfield, I believe I’m at a rate of 0.66 rims per year (RPY).

What’s yours?


jonawebb

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Dec 10 2013 at 10:50am #

I think you need to start using heavier rims, like the Mavic A719.


Marko82

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Dec 10 2013 at 10:55am #

I’ve replaced my a rim twice in about twenty years; First when the rim started to crack near the spoke holes, the other when the brake surface/ sidewall was getting thin. So 0.1RPY.


dmtroyer

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Dec 10 2013 at 10:56am #

Yeah, this was a Velocity Dyad, I was kind of surprised it flattened so easily.


dmtroyer

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Dec 10 2013 at 10:58am #

@marko Thanks for your response. I’m trying to get a sense if I’m an outlier or not. I’m guessing it has to do with the fact that I weigh probably 1.5 times as much as you do. The fact that you ride 10 times as much as I do seems to be a much smaller variable.


Drewbacca

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Dec 10 2013 at 11:02am #

One rim in six years I’ve been riding… IIRC, Marko called it too (Cook’s Forest), as it went significantly out of true a couple of days before the spoke pulled through the (Sun mz14) rim.

I hit lots of bumps. I weight about 190#. All of my (current) rear wheels are 36 spoke double wall double eyelet rims.

I don’t know if I’m surprised, or not, that a Dyad failed. The company seems to have a very mixed reputation.


Marko82

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Dec 10 2013 at 11:51am #

I have very little bike knowledge compared to others here, but I think it’s important to keep your wheels true. An out of true wheel will distribute the load unevenly on the spokes and thus the rim too. If you hit a hole at a “weak” spot it can’t be good. I don’t know if that’s why I’ve had so few failures, or if it’s just luck. BTW, I actually enjoy truing wheels – it has a Zen like quality that I find relaxing.


tetris_draftsman

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Dec 10 2013 at 2:30pm #

I’d say I replace a rim every two years. That is spread out over 3 sets of clincher wheels. I’ve had 2 sets of tubular wheels for 3 seasons(mostly cross) and one set for one year that I haven’t to replace any of the rims yet.

Also I tend to replace rims before failure. I have a rim that needs replaced now, in my mind, because I can noticeably feel the concave in the brake track.


reddan

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Dec 10 2013 at 4:19pm #

I’ve had three rims (a Delgado, an Aerohead, and a Dyad) fail in the last six or seven years. The Aerohead was due to incompetent wheelbuilding on my part(over-tensioning resulted in eyelets cracking after a measly 2 years); the Delgado and the Dyad both failed due to worn-through braking surfaces resulting in folding walls.

Folding is a fine characteristic when speaking of kevlar-beaded tires, not so much when referring to one’s rim.


Jacob McCrea

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Dec 10 2013 at 4:35pm #

I’ve had one rim failure in about 10 years of road riding. It was on an old Cannondale R400 that had seen plenty of miles before coming into my hands. The front rim’s brake track was thin from years of use. One morning, while climbing up my road, I heard a bang from the front tire. I looked down and saw that about 12″ of the rim’s bead had folded outwards, which allowed the tire to blow off the rim.

This reminds me that I need to check the wear indicators/dimples on my old LeMond, which has a lot of miles on the rims. Having a brake track fold over at speed would be a Doomsday scenario.


reddan

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Dec 10 2013 at 4:49pm #

Having a brake track fold over at speed would be a Doomsday scenario.

My most recent was only a couple months ago, coming down McClure @20-ish. The rear rim was the badly worn one, so it folded and jammed into the brake, with predictable results. Shockingly, I managed not to fall over until I’d gotten the speed down to nil.


Jacob McCrea

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Dec 10 2013 at 5:25pm #

Sounds like a good day to play the lottery – or buy a micrometer. All kidding aside, glad to hear you weren’t hurt. Needless to say that could have been a lot worse!


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 10 2013 at 5:47pm #

On my old Raleigh, one front rim lasted from 1977 to March 2010. The second lasted until May 2010.


Pierce

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Dec 10 2013 at 5:58pm #

I lost a Velocity Dyad to a water filled pothole about a month ago myself, although I’m still using it until I get around to finishing my other bike

I just let the rear brake out


salty

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Dec 10 2013 at 9:08pm #

I’ve replaced 2 rims in 5 years. One was a pothole, I think; no idea on the second, maybe the wheel was built incorrectly because it didn’t last long and failed like Dan described (broken eyelets).

OTOH my ’93 Bridgestone MTB still has the original Ritchey wheels. Not sure I’ve ever even trued them. That’s a bit overstated since it hasn’t had 20 years of constant use, but I’d say maybe the equivalent of 5 years. Plus I used to ride up and down steps, jump curbs (not always successfully), and generally beat the crap out of that bike. Some days I wonder why I don’t still just commute on a MTB.


cburch

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Dec 12 2013 at 1:10am #

i’m a big guy (230ish plus gear/clothes) but i don’t break rims. i just retired a 10 year old set of rims because the brake surface was so worn down. thats the first set I’ve ever had to replace, including all my mountain bikes. one of the best things you can do for your wheels other than keeping them trued and tensioned is learning to post up while you pedal. slightly off the saddle, knees and elbows a bit wide, weight off the front, pedaling but staying loose so the bike can move under you. instant suspension that will really help you not beat yourself or your bike up, plus it helps reduce bouncing and lets you spin faster.


dmtroyer

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Dec 12 2013 at 8:49am #

@cburch noted. I’ll have to work on that. I need to come to some Friday mountain bike rides and get some tips on bunny hopping, etc, as well. I generally feel pretty heavy on the bike.

To be fair, two out of four rims were for failure at the eyelets. I’ve heard from numerous people, including salty, the same thing has happened with their Salsa Delgados.


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 12 2013 at 10:06am #

Coming up on (ahem) 40 years of riding the unicycle, I’ve worn out or broken seven of them, but have never had a rim failure. Pedals, cranks, seats, bearings, spokes, can’t count how many tires, even had a seatpost snap once. But never a rim breakage or serious crimp.


cburch

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Dec 12 2013 at 10:58am #

dmtroyer wrote:@cburch noted. I’ll have to work on that. I need to come to some Friday mountain bike rides and get some tips on bunny hopping, etc, as well. I generally feel pretty heavy on the bike.

To be fair, two out of four rims were for failure at the eyelets. I’ve heard from numerous people, including salty, the same thing has happened with their Salsa Delgados.

thursday nights are mountain bike nights ($6 off with 26″ or larger wheels) at the wheel mill. its got a great beginner room upstairs thats perfect for learning.


Benzo

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Dec 13 2013 at 4:48pm #

I’ve destroyed a few rims.

Lessons I’ve somewhat learned, but ignore frequently:

1. Playing bike polo destroys wheels. Swinging a mallet at a wheel can dent a rim and destroy spokes. Riding the wheel with missing spokes bends the rim more, making it hard to ever true properly. I have since used wheel covers and 48 spoke wheels. They remain true. I’ve killed at least 3 front wheels playing polo, maybe more.

2. Hitting drain grates kills wheels. Those ones that are parallel to the road, don’t hit those. Also, don’t hit the ones that are diagonal to the road when you hop off the curb. I did, it sucked. I was able to hammer the dent out, but the wheel brakes weird now. I still havn’t replaced the rim, I can stop fine.

3. Resisting lateral force is not what a wheel excels at. Had a wheel taco on me. I had my bike loaded down with camping gear on 4 panniers and grabbed it quickly as it was tipping over. The rim bent due to the weird side force so much that it hit the chainstays even with the brakes disconnected. Had to get picked up that day, couldn’t ride home.

4. Keep your wheels true, once that rim gets bent out of shape, it is harder to keep the spoke tension consistent, and the wheel is more likely to bend more. It’s a vicious cycle. I have one wheel that just keeps getting worse. The spoke tension is totally uneven after truing. I’m pretty sure I should swap in the new rim soon.

5. Rim brakes eventually eat rims. Once the braking surface is concave, or the ‘safety dots’ or channel is gone. You need to replace the rims, otherwise they risk cracking or failing catastrophically some other way. I bought a used bike with wheels that were this bad, too unsafe for use, I replaced them. Havn’t completely worn through a set of rims myself yet, but I’m sure my cross bike should be coming close to that since it gets dirty and sandy.

6. Keep the right amount of pressure in your tires. Bottoming out can not only cause pinch flats, but it can dent your wheels. If you’re heavier, you might need to have a few more PSI in your tires for off road riding to prevent this. Tubeless will save you from flatting, but you can still mess up that rim (and then the damn bead won’t seal properly)


edmonds59

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Dec 14 2013 at 9:30am #

Benzo wrote:Had a wheel taco on me. I had my bike loaded down with camping gear on 4 panniers and grabbed it quickly as it was tipping over. The rim bent due to the weird side force so much that it hit the chainstays even with the brakes disconnected. Had to get picked up that day, couldn’t ride home.

If you are out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, 20 miles from anything, or even out in the woods, it is possible to straighten a wheel adequately to limp to somewhere. About halfway down the page. http://sheldonbrown.com/on-road-wheel-repairs.html Sheldon’s got that. Read and think about before you are in the middle of nowhere.


Drewbacca

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Dec 14 2013 at 12:37pm #

edmonds59 wrote:

Sheldon’s got that. Read and think about before you are in the middle of nowhere.

Mr. John Allen’s got that. ;)


dmtroyer

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Dec 17 2013 at 2:30pm #

My JRR (Jeans Replacement Rate) is currently close to 2.0. Blown out crotch being the number one reason. Time to buy some 511 commuters.


Benzo

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Dec 18 2013 at 9:55am #

edmonds59 wrote:Read and think about before you are in the middle of nowhere.

I learned about all this right after being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I wish I would have know I could just smack it off the ground and that might actually work.

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