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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I'm going for a new wheelset without a doubt first,
I've also come across some used sets I'd like to consider.

While I'm definitely mechanically savy when it comes to bikes, I'd like to ask those of you who know more than me about road bike wheels what to look for when purchasing a used wheelset.

What kind of "cracks" do I look for (that I've read about in my research)?

Also, besides checking for trueness, bends, nicks, hub operation, etc...what else should I look for?

Thank you.
 

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be sure to check for cracking in the rims around the spoke holes, and check the brake track for wear. if it's noticeably concave, the rims either have significant good weather mileage or seen some use in rain.

check to make sure there are no loose spokes, although, if the wheel is true this would be unlikely.
 

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then the brake track should be a dead giveaway. the machining should still be pristine.
another clue for any use is to take a look at the freehub body. if it's aluminum, there will be teeth marks if the wheels have been ridden anything more than around the block. if it's steel.. not so much.

good luck - I purchased my first set of wheels a couple of years back in the same way and it worked out great for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
leadag said:
then the brake track should be a dead giveaway. the machining should still be pristine.
another clue for any use is to take a look at the freehub body. if it's aluminum, there will be teeth marks if the wheels have been ridden anything more than around the block. if it's steel.. not so much.

good luck - I purchased my first set of wheels a couple of years back in the same way and it worked out great for me!
Thanks. :thumbsup:
It's a deal that's too good to pass up.
I'll be getting them if they are what they are advertised to be.
 

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Things to check

2ndGen said:
Also, besides checking for trueness, bends, nicks, hub operation, etc...what else should I look for?
Hairline cracks forming at any of the spoke holes. Worn brake track. Any nicks or dings on the spokes, particularly around the cassette (suggests over-shifting of the chain into the spokes). Any bends in spokes (suggests a crash or something fed into the spokes). The wheel should turn smoothly on the hub bearings (turn the hub axle with a light touch with your fingers) and there should be minimum play. Same for the freehub. Check for any corrosion (white powder) around the spoke nipples. Obviously the wheel should be both true (side to side) and round (up and down).
 

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leadag said:
then the brake track should be a dead giveaway. the machining should still be pristine.
another clue for any use is to take a look at the freehub body. if it's aluminum, there will be teeth marks if the wheels have been ridden anything more than around the block. if it's steel.. not so much.
i agree 100%
one more give away is spoke tension
to measure this on the fly and easily some kind of a wrench, or a screw driver for the inspection
tap it against each spoke and listen for a noticeable tone diffrence between spokes that are on the same side of the wheel
if the difference between spoke tones is octaves then you know that the wheel was majorly out of true at one time or another
 
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