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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for some advice here. I have a 5 year old wheel set (Alchemy Elf & Orc hubs, Kinlin XR-270 rim, CX-Ray spokes and DT aluminum nipples) that is showing some wear on the brake track of the rim, mainly the front. The brakes are starting to pulse in time with the seam in the rim. Upon close inspection with a straightedge, you can see that the brake track is somewhat concave. There might be 25,000 or 30,000 miles on these.

Should I just keep riding these or replace them? If they need to be replaced, I am considering rebuilding them. I've always wanted to try and build a set of wheels myself but rebuilding with new rims presents some questions. If I use a new Kinlin XR-270, do I need to replace all of the spokes and nipples? If I need to use new spokes, I may want to try another rim which means I'll have to come up with new spoke lengths - how do I go about that?
 

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Should I just keep riding these or replace them?
Who knows. When a rim sidewall cracks off it can be catastrophic.

If they need to be replaced, I am considering rebuilding them. I've always wanted to try and build a set of wheels myself but rebuilding with new rims presents some questions. If I use a new Kinlin XR-270, do I need to replace all of the spokes and nipples? If I need to use new spokes, I may want to try another rim which means I'll have to come up with new spoke lengths - how do I go about that?
The info is all on my site (link below) and even though you use the same model rim, you have no idea if its design was modified as a running change. You need to know the "ERD" (info on my site) of the old rim and the new one. If they match, you can re-use the spokes but at that mileage I would replace them for sure - and the nipples.

To calculate new spoke length you need (drumroll please) a spoke calculator. Again, all the info you need is on my site. It's designed for Newbs.
 

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Throw these things away and build yourself a new wheel with all new components (do not reuse stuff that has seen 30,000 miles use).
All the info you need and step-by-step instructions on how to do it are here: Wheelbuilding book for building bicycle wheels
 

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For less than $100, you can get new Kinlin 270 rims and brass nipples from the Bike Hub Store and rebuild the wheels. A set of Alchemy hubs shouldn't be trash after 5 years, the bearings should be checked when you take the wheels apart and bearings replaced as needed. If you aren't having spoke issues, the CX Rays should have plenty of life left too. I use brass nipples on all my wheels because I live near the the Gulf of Mexico where we have salt issues to deal with and I'd also suggest them for a first time builder.

Go to Mike T's site and you'll find all the info you need to rebuild the wheels.
 

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For less than $100, you can get new Kinlin 270 rims and brass nipples from the Bike Hub Store and rebuild the wheels. A set of Alchemy hubs shouldn't be trash after 5 years, the bearings should be checked when you take the wheels apart and bearings replaced as needed. If you aren't having spoke issues, the CX Rays should have plenty of life left too. I use brass nipples on all my wheels because I live near the the Gulf of Mexico where we have salt issues to deal with and I'd also suggest them for a first time builder.

Go to Mike T's site and you'll find all the info you need to rebuild the wheels.
IMO, reusing spokes that have seen a 30,000 miles life is the wrong advise specially to somebody who is not at all familiar on how a wheel is built. Re-using old spokes comes with its own bag of problems as is reusing hubs.
In reference to the hubs; these are extralite hubs that have seen significant and consistent use (30,000 miles over 5 years). Components will undoubtly need to be changed. In addition Alchemy has drastically revised the older design to adress a series of issues with the hub generation the poster appears to have.. Reuse of these hubs on a new wheel would suggest that at least a thoroughal evaluation may be in order and a comparison of the complete refurbishment cost to the replacement cost may be beneficial in making the decision to reuse or not.

edit: typo
 

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IMO, reusing spokes that have seen a 30,000 miles life is the wrong advise specially to somebody who is not at all familiar on how a wheel is built. Re-using old spokes comes with its own bag of problems as is reusing hubs.
True. If I re-use old spokes I like to keep them in the same orientation that they were in originally - heads-in and heads-out to save re-bending the j-bend. This creates an extra level of issues for the Newby wheelbuilder.



......series of issues with the hub generation the poser appears to have.
That's not nice to use derogatory names! :D
 

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Agreed on the additional issues of reusing spokes. For less than $1.00 per spoke the OP could replace the Xrays with either a Laser or Race.

If he wants all new components and the chance to build a set of wheels with a different style of rim, this would be a good place to start: XR31T Wheelset Kit (SL79/SL210 Hubs + CXRay Spokes) - From $359.95 Brandon would be glad to answer any questions he has about suggested spoke counts, etc. or he could just go with the same # of spokes on his current wheels if he hasn't had problems.
 

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Wow, I'm shocked you have that many miles on Alchemy ALF and ORC hubs. Mine were in a landfill somewhere after about 10K.

Anyway, maybe mine were lemons and you're past the point where any flaws to be exposed would be exposed but I'd still probably call it a day and move on with new hubs too.
 

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Hearing that, I'm glad I stuck with WI hubs back when Alchemys were just coming on the market. Some of my WI wheels probably have 40K on them and are still in great condition.
 

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Hearing that, I'm glad I stuck with WI hubs back when Alchemys were just coming on the market. Some of my WI wheels probably have 40K on them and are still in great condition.
For sure, wish I was smart enough to be able to say the same. Subsequent to the Alchemy nightmare I've since gotten some WI hubs are they are fantastic.
 

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For sure, wish I was smart enough to be able to say the same. Subsequent to the Alchemy nightmare I've since gotten some WI hubs are they are fantastic.
So you feel bettter, let me remind you that at that time these hubs were considered the next best thing to sliced bread!!!! Light and stiff with extra wide offsets and bracing angles!
 

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So you feel bettter, let me remind you that at that time these hubs were considered the next best thing to sliced bread!!!! Light and stiff with extra wide offsets and bracing angles!
ouch, yeah I was pretty new to all this back then and got taken hook, line and sinker. I believe "should be extremely durable" was also touted heavy. And they required a special tool.....but they should be bombproof so you'll never need it.
It's no wonder I can still ride with 30 or whatever more grams and lack of all-world offsets and bracing angle.

I'm pretty cheap by nature and when I open the wallet it's for something that has withstood the test of time but made an exception for those hubs and boy was that a mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the advice. I may just go with an entirely new build up. Then I'll be back in the same spot when I bought these, wanting to build them up myself but finding them cheaper already built. Good thing I have some back-ups to ride in the mean time.
 

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Then I'll be back in the same spot when I bought these, wanting to build them up myself but finding them cheaper already built.
That's maybe not just a case of black & white. Building them yourself gives you the skills of wheel tune-up and repair so you don't have to rely on others and their timing.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I may just go with an entirely new build up. Then I'll be back in the same spot when I bought these, wanting to build them up myself but finding them cheaper already built. Good thing I have some back-ups to ride in the mean time.
Mike already appropriatelly answered this and I will also add that if price is the driving factor you could do very well (read: better than commercially available) by procuring the parts from cost effective sources (i.e Shimano parts from UK online stores).
Furthermore, the skill of knowing how to built your wheels and the pride that comes with it will be free for you to enjoy.
 
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