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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a set of DA 32 spoke hubs with Mavic Open 4 CD rims that I am about to replace. They have between 20000 -30000 miles on them. No cracks in the spoke holes or rim track but I'm worried that the rim is starting to get thin from braking. Rims will be Open pro with DT spokes and alloy nipples again. The front spokes have never had to be adjusted and the rear only a couple of times.

How long do your wheels last before rebuilding or replacing? I figure the only reason for a wheel to not last 6000 miles is a crash or unseen pothole. Am I being a retro-grouch-snob when I snicker at people who brag that their pre-builts have lasted 3-4000 miles are are still reasonably true?
 

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I have too many sets of wheels to have any idea how many miles any of them have on them. I'm guessing at least 10 wheelsets shared between five road bikes and fixed gears (I have a lot of odds and ends).

I question whether you really need to replace the rims--- but of course, mileage isn't really a factor at all. The amount of braking, type of pads, weather conditions, etc. determines rim wear. Around here, in the winter, it rains all the time, and there is a fine grit that gets into everything. Pads last a few months at best, and you can almost feel the rims wearing away (so I use old crappy beater wheels). On the other hand, when I ride fixed, I almost never need to brake.

I have some second generation Ksyrium SSC SLs with over 9K miles on them--- never been trued--- in like new condition. Prebuilts are not evil by definition.


steelbikerider said:
I have a set of DA 32 spoke hubs with Mavic Open 4 CD rims that I am about to replace. They have between 20000 -30000 miles on them. No cracks in the spoke holes or rim track but I'm worried that the rim is starting to get thin from braking. Rims will be Open pro with DT spokes and alloy nipples again. The front spokes have never had to be adjusted and the rear only a couple of times.

How long do your wheels last before rebuilding or replacing? I figure the only reason for a wheel to not last 6000 miles is a crash or unseen pothole. Am I being a retro-grouch-snob when I snicker at people who brag that their pre-builts have lasted 3-4000 miles are are still reasonably true?
 

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Rim wear

steelbikerider said:
I have a set of DA 32 spoke hubs with Mavic Open 4 CD rims that I am about to replace. They have between 20000 -30000 miles on them. No cracks in the spoke holes or rim track but I'm worried that the rim is starting to get thin from braking.
You should be able to tell if the side walls are thinning, just by looking for curvature or feeling for wear grooves. Since your local weather and braking amount are big determinants, there's no way to predict side wall life.

It seems that most people just talk about how great their wheels are rather than ride them, and then replace them before they ever get near the point of needing to be replaced. But you certainly hear a lot of "I've got 500 miles on mine and they are really holding up well," coments. It does make you wonder.
 

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My $0.02

I agree with filtersweep that prebuilts are not necessarily evil. However, if really low weight and really low aerodynamic drag are not over-riding considerations, IMHO you really need to think twice before going prebuilt. There is a tried and true formula for durability that has stood the test of time:
  • Good quality medium weight rims
  • Good quality hubs
  • 32 spokes per wheel
  • 3-cross lacing (tied and soldered if you are a real durability freak)
  • Double butted stainless spokes with brass nipples
  • Careful competent assembly
Just look how prevalent this formula is in the peloton at Paris-Roubaix. Barring accident or extreme usage conditions, well built wheels following this formula should last well over 10K miles.

FWIW, most of my hand built wheels have followed this formula (some are 36 spoke). The only ones that have not lasted over 10K miles were accident victims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a definate curve to the rim and lots of wear grooves. The anodizing is worn thru all around the rim. It's flat here so I don't brake hard or often and I rarely ride in the rain but the wheels have been ridden a lot. The rear is a trainer wheel and the front just makes me nervous. I have tied and soldered before but I don't think I will do it again unless I get bored and need a project. No need to debate the issue, I just like meesing with wheels. .
 

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yeah, know what u mean.. 3-4k is SFA to base an overall product review on... it may be useful to base a build assessment on however.... if they don't fall out by then, its likely a decent job from the start....

and sure while there are many factors to consider, i would not be dissappointed in in almost 50,000 kms of usable life outta a front rim... that's pretty decent !

best of all, i'm assuming your hubs will simply be repacked and re-used? if so, then u're already a huge up on the prebuilt crowd :thumbsup:
 
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