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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased a set of Mavic Aksiums from Performance last year. They have been used occasionally on a Kurt Kinetic road machine the past year with a total of no more than 200 miles on them. I was adding pressure to the rear tire earlier this week when I noticed that two of rear non-drive side bladed spokes were off by at least 30-45 degrees and had lost tension. I'm not sure if they were manufactured that way (didn't examine the rear spokes up close when I purchased them) or if this was a result of running these on a trainer.

In any case I still have the original receipt. Will Performance fix these or should I just go ahead and get a full refund if possible? I think the Mavic warranty is 2 years from the date of purchase. Would Neuvations be a reasonable alternative?

Pictures for reference:





Thanks for your input!
 

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Tension loss?

JPJR said:
Purchased a set of Mavic Aksiums from Performance last year. They have been used occasionally on a Kurt Kinetic road machine the past year with a total of no more than 200 miles on them. I was adding pressure to the rear tire earlier this week when I noticed that two of rear non-drive side bladed spokes were off by at least 30-45 degrees and had lost tension.
Just so you know, the amount of tension lost from a 1/8 turn of a spoke would be miniscule. If the spokes are low in tension, that amount of twist is not the reason. If they have lost tension (how did you measure this?) then it is because the nipples are turning in the rim. Typically, the only way this can happen is if the spoke goes nearly slack when ridden. With each revolution of the wheel, all tension is removed from the spoke, and this allows the nipple to unscrew. Do you think this is happening/has happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kerry Irons said:
Just so you know, the amount of tension lost from a 1/8 turn of a spoke would be miniscule. If the spokes are low in tension, that amount of twist is not the reason. If they have lost tension (how did you measure this?) then it is because the nipples are turning in the rim. Typically, the only way this can happen is if the spoke goes nearly slack when ridden. With each revolution of the wheel, all tension is removed from the spoke, and this allows the nipple to unscrew. Do you think this is happening/has happened?
Thanks for the quick replies guys!

I attempted to assess the flex of the non drive side spokes by just adding some light pressure on all of them individually with my thumb. Apparently all of the spokes felt tight except for the two pictured spokes that weren't aligned. By that, I mean that there is tension but not as much as in the aligned spokes. I can't tell if the nipples have unscrewed or if the bladed spoke turned the nipple a little bit.
 

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Could be a case of QC....

In my experience with truing the Aksium, I've been sold by what Mavic markets as their "self lock" technology. I'd find it weird if your nipples loosened as it takes me a padded clamp holding on the spokes to get my nipples to screw/twist independently. My Aksium (front) is from 2006, and only needed to see the truing stand once. To be honest, I'm a little too fond of the wheel as of late for being as reliable as it has for me compared to my other front wheel.

Based on that, perhaps the person/machine that built the wheel was off somewhere with monitoring/correcting spoke twist? I will have to also base on my experience, that wheels coming out of Performance aren't always coming out perfect.
 

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If they lost tension then the wheel would be untrue. Is it?
Ping all the spokes (on the same side of the wheel). Pluck 'em like a geetar string. If these two are close in tone to the others then they didn't lose tension. If they are a different tone, they did lose tension so just tighten them to the same tone as the others. A minor truing might be needed. Hold the spokes straight or twist them back into straight with a pair of pliers. The real tool for this is a simple gizmo with a slot cut in it - like a saw cut..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike T. said:
If they lost tension then the wheel would be untrue. Is it?
Ping all the spokes (on the same side of the wheel). Pluck 'em like a geetar string. If these two are close in tone to the others then they didn't lose tension. If they are a different tone, they did lose tension so just tighten them to the same tone as the others. A minor truing might be needed. Hold the spokes straight or twist them back into straight with a pair of pliers. The real too for this is a simple gizmo with a slot cut in it - like a saw cut..
Thanks Mike T.

The wheel is off a few hairs vertically but not laterally. Just finished plucking the spokes like guitar strings, one of the unaligned spokes sounds ok, the one that is at a 45 degree angle sounded relatively dull compared to all the others.

Any recommendations as to what kind of spoke tools to use on these Mavic bladed spokes? Tool companies have them in a few different sizes.
 

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Spoke sound

JPJR said:
Just finished plucking the spokes like guitar strings, one of the unaligned spokes sounds ok, the one that is at a 45 degree angle sounded relatively dull compared to all the others.
You're not listening for "dull" vs. "bright" you're listening for the pitch. Take a screwdriver or small wrench and "tonk" each spoke around the wheel. Do the same thing on your front wheel to get a feeling for the normal amount of variation in pitch. If your rear wheel is true and the spoke pitch is uneven, then it will probably also be uneven on the drive side spokes. If the pitch is relatively even all the way around, then you haven't lost tension and probably have no issues.
 
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