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Major Wheel Fail/Suggestion for New Wheels

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Major Wheel Fail/Suggestion for New Wheels

Old 10-12-19, 05:58 PM
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beechnutC23
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Major Wheel Fail/Suggestion for New Wheels

I was out for a gravel ride with my wife today, hoping to take in some nice fall foliage on an unusually mild autumn day here in Québec. Colours are spectacular at the moment. I set out on my Bombtrack Hook 2, with WTB STP i19 wheels. While grinding up an relatively easy grade, and taking it easy as I have a head cold, I heard the unmistakable twang of a spoke letting go. I looked down and back and sure enough the back wheel was seriously out of true. I stopped, and indeed a spoke had popped out. But it wasn't broken. It was still attached to its nipple. Then I looked at the wheel and found this:



Damaged wheel

I was pretty annoyed to say the least. I managed to limp home; fortunately I was only about 8 km out on a 50 km ride. But I got off the gravel and got onto a recently paved provincial highway which brought me within 2 km of home, riding gingerly, fortunately mostly downhill so no torque applied.

When I got home I examined the wheel further, and found a total of 13 stress cracks around the spoke nipple holes, that looked like this:



Hairline crack

The wheel is OEM on a bike I bought in July 2018; the wheel had 4660 km on it. First time I've ever had a wheel rim fail. Since this is my gravel bike, most of that has been on gravel. My part of the world, near Sutton, Québec, is quite hilly and some grades are up to 20%. Most are 10-18%. The front wheel was intact. It looks like the rim is unable to deal with the torque of serious gravel riding on steep pitches. Needless to say I'm not impressed; I filed a claim with wtb and suggested a recall, as this is a safety issue, IMHO. I'll see how WTB responds.

In the meantime, anyone have suggestions on a replacement wheel set?
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Old 10-12-19, 06:13 PM
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That looks like a wheel where some of the spokes were significantly over-tensioned. (Unless there is a problem with the rim - but I thought the i19's are supposed to be good rims.)

Assuming that the spoke tension has not been adjusted since you bought it this is a problem for the LBS and/or manufacturer to fix - and it was a danger to you.

Are these drive side spokes? If I recall correctly (from building 1 rear wheel in my life), the DS spokes can really get cranked up by the wheel builder if attention is not paid. This is done to create the proper dish on the rear given the space that the cassette occupies on the axle. Some rear rim spoke holes are 'asymmetrical' to help balance the tension on the DS and NDS.

I would have the LBS check the front wheel to make sure that it doesn't have a similar problem.

The silver lining is that you didn't get hurt.
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Old 10-12-19, 07:52 PM
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This happened to me with my American Classic Race rear wheel. Are you running tubes or tubeless? What PSI?
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Old 10-12-19, 09:38 PM
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It must be going around as I noticed the same problem with my rear about a month ago. It is the same WTB STP i19 rim.



Mine didn't get as bad as yours as I noticed it while investigating a click that was coming from the spokes. It had around 2500 miles on it and I had asked the shop to check the tension around the 500 mile mark. I never personally checked these spokes, even though I have some experience.

For now, I just threw a cheap used rear wheel on that is about the same quality.
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Old 10-13-19, 04:01 AM
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I have no input about the rims (wheels are the final frontier of bike maintenance for me) but just wanted to say that that really sucks. Glad you didn't get hurt and were able to limp home on it. Hopefully you get a satisfactory resolution to the issue.
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Old 10-13-19, 07:08 AM
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I bought a new bike in 2017 that came with the same rims, and the rear rim drive side started cracking like that at about 13 months and 2500 miles. Fortunately, the shop went to bat for me, and got the distributor (QBP) to provide a new wheelset built around different rims. I think they provided the rear wheel, and I paid to get a matching front wheel.

I don’t think I will ever buy WTB rims again after the experience.
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Old 10-13-19, 08:42 AM
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That's no good.

Some options for you -

A pair of HED Belgian+ Rims and rebuild them to your WTB hubs.

For a new wheelset HED ardennes weigh in at about 1600 grams for the pair, have a nice large inside width for your gravel tires (My 33x Terreno Drys run at 37mm wide on the rim) and have solid hubs. They are bombproof ride well and last forever.

Brand new pairs run 600-800$ and you can find take offs on craigslist and ebay for half that.
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Old 10-13-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
That's no good.

Some options for you -

A pair of HED Belgian+ Rims and rebuild them to your WTB hubs.

For a new wheelset HED ardennes weigh in at about 1600 grams for the pair, have a nice large inside width for your gravel tires (My 33x Terreno Drys run at 37mm wide on the rim) and have solid hubs. They are bombproof ride well and last forever.

Brand new pairs run 600-800$ and you can find take offs on craigslist and ebay for half that.
HED rims are way overpriced for what they are. Pacenti Forza are better option at around $60/rim https://www.bikehubstore.com/product-p/forza-disc.htm
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Old 10-13-19, 03:04 PM
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Interesting that you guys have had the problem at around 2500 miles. My rims have 4600 km on them, which is 2875 miles. Hmm. I think there may be an issue with these wheels. I bought the bike from my son's bike shop, and he built it up for me, he has a lot of experience doing wheels. I'll have to ask them if the wheels were built up when he received the bike.

For Shoota: running tubes, 60 psi (Donnelly MSO tires, 700c x 36)

Personally I think these rims need to be recalled.
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Old 10-13-19, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
HED rims are way overpriced for what they are. Pacenti Forza are better option at around $60/rim https://www.bikehubstore.com/product-p/forza-disc.htm
BHS are clearancing Pacenti as they are through dealing with them. Forzas have started having issues like their prior rims.

Pacenti blames use of CX Ray's for their rims dying...everyone else says BS.
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Old 10-13-19, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
BHS are clearancing Pacenti as they are through dealing with them. Forzas have started having issues like their prior rims.

Pacenti blames use of CX Ray's for their rims dying...everyone else says BS.
I guess you get what you pay for...
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Old 10-13-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
I guess you get what you pay for...

Actually...$60 is clearance pricing. New, they're $85/each rims.

https://pacenticycledesign.com/collections/rims

Just as much as H Plus SON and others....and H+Son doesn't blame spokes for their rim failures. In fact, H+Son doesn't have such a history of such rim failures at all.
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Old 10-15-19, 07:11 AM
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Update: got an email from WTB yesterday, they will cover it under warranty. Kudos for a quick resolution, I sent in the claim on Saturday and got a satisfactory reply on Monday.
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Old 10-15-19, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by beechnutC23 View Post
Update: got an email from WTB yesterday, they will cover it under warranty. Kudos for a quick resolution, I sent in the claim on Saturday and got a satisfactory reply on Monday.
Are they replacing it with the same rim? Just wondering if it's going to fail again if they do.
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Old 10-15-19, 07:24 AM
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I don't know yet. I can't help but notice that the same model is no longer shown on their website. One thing for sure, we will be checking spoke tension.

I rode my mountain bike on gravel yesterday, and had 2 km/h faster average speed than I normally do on the roads I used, and set a PR on a hill. Yet it's a full 6 pounds heavier than my Bombtrack. My son, who sold me the Bombtrack, was on the ride and surmised that because of the metal fatigue, the rim was flexing and causing a loss of efficiency. Anyway he said he would check spoke tension for sure this time. You can also be sure I will be checking the rim periodically for signs of hairline cracks and fatigue before it fails catastrophically.

I could get another brand, but this has aroused my scientific curiosity and I'm willing to give it another try to see if spoke tension was the issue or just poor quality.
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Old 10-15-19, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by beechnutC23 View Post
I rode my mountain bike on gravel yesterday, and had 2 km/h faster average speed than I normally do on the roads I used, and set a PR on a hill. Yet it's a full 6 pounds heavier than my Bombtrack. My son, who sold me the Bombtrack, was on the ride and surmised that because of the metal fatigue, the rim was flexing and causing a loss of efficiency.
...or its because you arent a machine and people have days where they feel stronger and faster than other days. Or the wind was with you a good bit. Either way, I wouldnt tie a 1.2mph increase on a single ride to anything specific when you dont know you for sure did something different.
Hope the new wheel works out.
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Old 10-15-19, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
...or its because you arent a machine and people have days where they feel stronger and faster than other days. Or the wind was with you a good bit. Either way, I wouldnt tie a 1.2mph increase on a single ride to anything specific when you dont know you for sure did something different.
Hope the new wheel works out.
It was a trend I had been noticing for some time. Moreover yesterday was a particularly windy day, and I have a stuffed up head from a head cold. Maybe my wife slipped something into my coffee in the morning!
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Old 10-15-19, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Just as much as H Plus SON and others....and H+Son doesn't blame spokes for their rim failures. In fact, H+Son doesn't have such a history of such rim failures at all.
I’ve read of a few H+Son failures (remember that deep V that split open down the middle?) but overall they don’t seem as interested in playing the weight weenie game, which helps. Their Archetype is about 20 grams heavier than a Forza, and I’ve heard of H+Son rims being a little heavier than spec out in the wild.

My Pacenti rims either weigh the spec amount or are a little under! Knock on wood.
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Old 10-15-19, 04:18 PM
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https://www.velocityusa.com/product/wheels/cyclocross
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Old 10-17-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Actually...$60 is clearance pricing. New, they're $85/each rims.

https://pacenticycledesign.com/collections/rims

Just as much as H Plus SON and others....and H+Son doesn't blame spokes for their rim failures. In fact, H+Son doesn't have such a history of such rim failures at all.
My shop loves the H Plus Son "The Hydra" rims, so I had them build me a new wheelset with them. 'Course, I went 32h/3x with DT Swiss Comp spokes, which should be damn near bombproof with almost any rims.
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