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Anyone see this kind of damage before?

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Anyone see this kind of damage before?

Old 09-07-19, 09:21 PM
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Noahma
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Anyone see this kind of damage before?

I was out doing some hill climbs today, and after the last one I was thinking that the hill felt a little harder than usual. After spending a few min. I noticed the wheel was not true (it was earlier lol) I rode a few miles back home after opening the break a little to allow for the slight wobble it had. I then inspected the wheel while getting the bike in the ar to bring in to have them trued again and I came across the damage in the picture. Its on both sides of the rim equal in length. I dropped the bike off at the shop to have the repair done. I asked him if we can get the hoop replaced through warranty, and he said he would try. Was this something I potentially did? or does this look like a defect? The only sort of bumpy thing I went over today was one of those smoother rail road crossings they have been putting in everywhere here. Barely felt it after going over. The rest of the ride was pretty smooth roads and climbs.

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Old 09-07-19, 10:32 PM
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That's not from a bump, that's the nipple being pulled through the rim by too much spoke tension. Probably way too much spoke tension.
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Old 09-07-19, 10:36 PM
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I usually get 8-10K miles out of a rear wheel before it does that, unless some other failure occurs first. I recently replace the rear rim on my mtb because it did that on about 8 spokes. I think it was an inferior rim, though.
Some people say overtensioning the spokes will cause that failure but I have broken every rear wheel I've ever used ( except the ones I'm currently using or the ones on bikes I got rid of ) for more than 30 years.

How much do you weigh?
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Old 09-07-19, 10:41 PM
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The wheels have 3900 miles on them so far. I have had to have the rear trued at least once per year. The roads and MUPS I tend to stick to are generally in pretty good condition so they are certainly not abused lol. I will see what my mechanic will do. I weigh a shade over 180 lbs.
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Old 09-07-19, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
The wheels have 3900 miles on them so far. I have had to have the rear trued at least once per year. The roads and MUPS I tend to stick to are generally in pretty good condition so they are certainly not abused lol. I will see what my mechanic will do. I weigh a shade over 180 lbs.
It will be great if they will warranty it for you. See if they (or you) can put a tensionmeter on the spokes after they assemble it. If no warranty maybe look into a higher quality replacement rim. I'm using Open Pro rims from Mavic, they seem less fragile than others I have destroyed.
I have some Ksyrium Elites and after 2 warranty replacements they said no more, so I had to pay for the last one. Anything without an eyelet seems to break quicker for me.
I've also broken 4 frames, 3 pedals, a stem, 4 saddles, various other parts.

Forgot to say the builder is a big part of how long the rims last. There was a time when I carried spokes on my rides because the guys building my wheels weren't that good at it. I have built them myself but I suck at it, too. I have found some guys who do a pretty good job.

Last edited by big john; 09-07-19 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 09-07-19, 11:00 PM
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I will look into those if this happens again. The rims are Velocity A23's. The front wheel has never had to be trued, its held very well the past two years, just the rear. So far I have been lucky with my equipment, the only thing else that has broken was a front shiftier just a few hundred miles after having it installed. Shimano was kind enough to quickly send a replacement under warranty.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:25 PM
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I did that to my stock wheels on my 2017 Roubaix. The spokes started to pull away at nearly every connection point. Spoke tension may have played a factor, but sometimes it's just the wheel. It will happen to all alloy wheels in time.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:33 PM
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That happened to my rear Mavic Kysrium SL Premium. Wheel had never been worked on.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:58 PM
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I had that happen on a HED Belgium rim. I bought the wheels from a local builder and never touched the spoke tension myself. HED would not warranty the rim, said I probably hit something. But as @DrIsotope notes, the crack is most likely caused by too much spoke tension. Rocks don't pull spokes up.

I got maybe 16 months and 8-9,000 miles on it before this happened. I had to buy the rim, the local builder did the labor no charge. I wasn't thrilled with this outcome. When the same wheel broke a couple spokes a year later I bought a backup wheel online, and now I've rebuilt the first one myself. So far so good. I probably have 11,000 miles on the replacement rim and 5,000 miles on the backup wheel (same rim), so far no cracks.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
That's not from a bump, that's the nipple being pulled through the rim by too much spoke tension. Probably way too much spoke tension.
That's an extremely common failure mode of an aluminum rim, and may have nothing to do with spoke tension.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
I had that happen on a HED Belgium rim. I bought the wheels from a local builder and never touched the spoke tension myself. HED would not warranty the rim, said I probably hit something. But as @DrIsotope notes, the crack is most likely caused by too much spoke tension. Rocks don't pull spokes up.

I got maybe 16 months and 8-9,000 miles on it before this happened. I had to buy the rim, the local builder did the labor no charge. I wasn't thrilled with this outcome. When the same wheel broke a couple spokes a year later I bought a backup wheel online, and now I've rebuilt the first one myself. So far so good. I probably have 11,000 miles on the replacement rim and 5,000 miles on the backup wheel (same rim), so far no cracks.
I've cracked a couple of Flo30 rims. The first one was warrantied even though it was older than a year. I've had enough mileage on the combined wheels that I'm not going to mention it to them. I had planned to switch to HED Belgiums as I thought they were stronger. Maybe now I'll just get another Flo rim and lace it up.

I think whenever you hit a bump or jump on the wheel all the spokes briefly increase their tension. The fluctuations in tension over time add up and eventually the rim gives way. Tough to make aero aluminum rims that are strong and light. Somethings gotta give.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:13 PM
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I have Velocity A23 rims with 28 spokes front and 32 rear, with over 10,000 miles on them. I only weighed 170 at my maximum but currently 155 on a light gravity day. Those rims weigh about 450 grams which is quite light. If I weighed more than my maximum I would be looking for a heavier rim, say 480 to 500 grams.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:56 PM
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One more thought here. If you are tensioning your wheels to full with no tire on, then measuring after putting a tire on and find that the tension has slackened, then tensioned it back up to max again, the next time you take the tire off your spokes will be massively overtensioned. I experienced this with a tubeless tire that was such a tight fit that the tension dropped a lot, so I tightened the spokes back up and ended up eventually destroying the rim in exactly this way.
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Old 09-10-19, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
That's an extremely common failure mode of an aluminum rim, and may have nothing to do with spoke tension.
Agree
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Old 09-10-19, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
The wheels have 3900 miles on them so far. I have had to have the rear trued at least once per year. The roads and MUPS I tend to stick to are generally in pretty good condition so they are certainly not abused lol. I will see what my mechanic will do. I weigh a shade over 180 lbs.
when truing wheels, the trick is that they also have to be properly tensioned. a lot people will just add tension to pull them straight. a couple iterations of that, and they're ticking time bombs.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:20 PM
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So y'all are trying to tell me it's not an issue of spoke tension, but the nipple is pulled through the rim. It's not the spoke tension, it's... something else? So this occurs through some other nameless force?

Presumably, somewhere an untensioned spoke is willing a nipple through a rim.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Anyone see this kind of damage before?
Unfortunately, yes. Every year or two on the rear wheel. Your rim is toast. Time for new wheels. Or, if you're handy, time to replace that rim.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:09 PM
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Usually it’s spoke tension but it can also be:

Improperly heat treated aluminum
Inclusion or other artefact in the extrusion

Are common issues with some manufacturers and exhibit themselves as damage in that manner. I had a velocity rim that did that at 60 kgf and on the other side a Stans rim at 100 kgf. Both were wheelsets I built and serviced regularly.

The wheelset is not necessarily done right away. The Stans rim mentioned above went 7000 miles with similar damage that did not get worse and the wheel remained true.
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Old 09-12-19, 02:34 PM
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Maybe it's the angle of the picture, but the rim metal looks really thin where it cracked.

@Noahma, do you know if the spokes are double-butted? Those are generally kinder to the rim than straight gauge -- if you have straight-gauge spokes now, consider upgrading when you have the wheel rebuilt.

Ultimately, this is the risk we accept with lightweight aluminum rims. A rim that *couldn't* be made to crack would be so thick and heavy that few of us would want to ride it.
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Old 09-12-19, 02:56 PM
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The thing was pretty out of true when I noticed it, so I think the rim is done for. Not sure how it could be trued with the damage that was there. My mechanic has sent a request for a warranty replacement. I have not heard back from him yet. Either way the wheel is getting repaired, and as quick as it can be, My winter bike, which I am riding now is just not near as fun to ride.

@ThermionicScott The rim is pretty thin. Its a Velocity A23 rim, not sure of the thickness they use for their rims. I went for them to create a lighter set of wheels than what came on my Orbea.
I think the spokes are double butted. They are DT-swiss spokes, not sure the exact product off hand.

This is the first set of wheels I have actually upgraded on a bike. Other bikes I have had for such little time I did not see the need to spend a bunch of money on, but man I love this Orbea lol.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
The wheels have 3900 miles on them so far. I have had to have the rear trued at least once per year. The roads and MUPS I tend to stick to are generally in pretty good condition so they are certainly not abused lol. I will see what my mechanic will do. I weigh a shade over 180 lbs.
Find a builder and not a shop mechanic. Shop mechanics know absolute f-all about actually tensioning and truing a wheel. They just twist nipples until it's "straight enough". I fix more immensely un-tension balanced wheels than I care to admit. "Did you have someone work on these wheels?" ... "uh....yeah. I took them to a shop to be trued. Then they kept coming out of true and I had to keep taking them back."

Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
when truing wheels, the trick is that they also have to be properly tensioned. a lot people will just add tension to pull them straight. a couple iterations of that, and they're ticking time bombs.
This.

Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
That's an extremely common failure mode of an aluminum rim, and may have nothing to do with spoke tension.
Common failure mode? Correct. Nothing to do with spoke tension? Categorically incorrect.

A crap rim will exasperate failure. Material too thin around the spoke holes, poor design (Pacenti rims sl23s as an example), inconsistent extrusion, etc. The rim itself doesn't just assplode. It fails under tension form the spoke. This failure is always caused by spoke tension. Meaning the tension from the spoke is what leads to the plastic deformation and catastrophic failure of the rim.

What people aren't articulating is that this failure can happen even when the spoke is at the "correct" tension. I will go out on a limb and assume they are smart enough to understand that it doesn't always mean the tension was too high and they just incorrectly explained that as meaning it has NOTHING to do with spoke tension. Example: just about every Bontrager paired spoke rim ever. Tensions could be well within acceptable range and yet it was simply a matter of time before they crack. Combination of poor design leading to too high of a localized stress concentration on the rim. Rims needed to be thicker and/or spokes needed to be further apart. The fatigue failure was always going to happen even at low tensions. It was just a matter of how many loading cycles it would take.

Of course you don't have to take my word for it. If you did then this wouldn't be a public forum. I will simply just keep coming back and pointing my finger if I have the time that is.

OP - your rim failed. Could be that the wheel was taken up to too high of a tension accelerating the failure of the rim or it could be it's a crap rim or a poor design but the tension on the spoke and the loading cycles eventually led to a fatigue failure localized around the stress concentration that the hole in the rim creates.

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Old 09-13-19, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
The thing was pretty out of true when I noticed it, so I think the rim is done for.
This is like saying that a tree that is burned to the ground might be "dead". I assure you it is dead. Your assessment is spot on so feel free to be confident in it.

Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Its a Velocity A23 rim
This can explain a lot. In general Velocity has a much better quality record than many give it credit for but they have definitely had problems with their extruders in the past. I have a pile of Major Tom rims that were, for lack of a better term, trash. I am able to use them for stretching tubulars but that's it. I am not aware of any extruder problems in the recent past though (last 3-4 years). Not saying they haven't happened though.

I have an feeling this may be more due to the build or builder if I may. Indulge me and I will frame it for you.

1. That nipple is an alloy nipple because it is red. This screams it's a builder who either has no idea that alloy nipples are horrible or is a builder who has decided that the industry says they are fine and that's good enough for them. If any client goes with alloy nipples on any of my builds I still make them acknowledge a waiver that they will fail sooner than brass ones would.
2. Given we have established the builder either doesn't know or knows and is more of a "hey, I do what the companies say I can do" then I have a feeling the builder also used Velocity's guideline for the tension on those rims. As a general rule of thumb we don't get to that high of a tension. IMHO their rims have always carried too much of a tension rating for spokes. I believe your builder ran the initial tensions to that limit...assuming they were an actual builder and used a tensiometer. If they are the kind of builder I think they may be then they missed the part about that tension rating from Velocity being a "Max" tension. Instead thinking it should be the mean tension. Example: Speed limits actually mean that is the fastest you should be driving in that ares - not the actual speed that all must be driving at.
3. If the builder was good and did a good job but still shot for those high tensions then when you handed it to a hamfisted shop to "true" it they pushed the tension of a couple of spokes over the edge - drastically reducing the fatigue life cycles before failure for the rim.

This or Velocity made a crap rim.

Hitting a large object can accelerate this type of failure but if it was large enough to cause this then the rim around that area would also be dented/splayed/ have a flat spot or have a damaged bead.
This is the first set of wheels I have actually upgraded on a bike. Other bikes I have had for such little time I did not see the need to spend a bunch of money on, but man I love this Orbea lol.[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-13-19, 09:25 AM
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Some build wheels with high spoke tension, as high as 180kgf sometimes...
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Old 09-13-19, 09:29 AM
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So I guess my next question will change the conversation a bit. So, the wheel is getting replaced. I tend to stick to myself when riding and dont know many of the shops or reputable wheel builders in my area. I know there are some, just dont know which ones.

Does anyone have any recommendations of places around the Boulder / Denver Colorado area I can bring my wheelset to, to have someone look over them and see what may need to be changed?

And a rough idea of what I should be expecting in costs to have someone take a peak?
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Old 09-13-19, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Some build wheels with high spoke tension, as high as 180kgf sometimes...
You can build any rim to any tension you want as long as it results in a stress that is below yield. The only thing that will change is the number of cycles to failure will be reduced. Finding the balance of tension to fatigue life of both the stainless on the spoke and the aluminum of the rim with respect to the fatigue life of the rim in comparison to the life of the rim as a consumable braking surface while at the same time adequately supporting the load of the rider through the style of riding they are pursuing and giving the wheel the ride qualities one desires is what seperates builders from mechanics.

That's just my opinion though.
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