Wheel rim life

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Wheel rim life

Postby tez001 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:59 pm

Looks like my original R501 wheels are coming to the end of its useful life (around 5000kms).
Is 5000kms around what these rims can take (knowing that individual braking habits also affect rim life).
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by BNA » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:44 pm

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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Saturnstarzz » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:44 pm

So many variables here, weather conditions the have been ridden in.
How often do clean them and the brake pads.
5000kms sounds low, my RS10s (essentialy the same wheel) have done around 15,000 in all weather.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby tez001 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:02 pm

To be honest, I have never cleaned the rim or brake pads unless the whole bike is getting a wash then it gets a quick scrub. That's probably helped it wear out quicker.

One more thing for the maintenance list. What is the best stuff to wipe down the rim with?
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby reefer » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:05 pm

My RS500 rims just ticked over 13500km, for 3 years riding here in Townsville. Still half life I estimate.
Its all been city riding having not left the greater Townsville city.
I clean my bike every week. :wink:
Last edited by reefer on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby biker jk » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:11 pm

I would have thought 20,000km would be about right, unless you ride in the rain every day and continually braked hard.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby tez001 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:23 pm

I better look at my braking habits then. The wear indicator is still showing, although last time I checked it around 1000kms ago I could not see the bottom, now I can.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Tim » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:37 pm

Nearly 20,000km's on my Shimano RS80's and I never clean the rims or brake pads. Don't often ride in the rain.
The little wear indicators fill up with dirt. Dig them out with a bit of wire or a nail. I think you'll find there is tons of life left. 5000km's is nothing.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby insightt47 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:29 am

I usually go through a pair of rims every winter. Riding in wet weather plus not cleaning your pads/rims after riding in the rain will greatly reduce the life of the braking surface.

Baby wipes are a quick and convenient way of cleaning the rims, or just use a wet cloth.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby tez001 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:41 am

Not sure why these rims have died so quickly. I have only really done 2-3 wet weather rides on them.

Are stock Shimano pads ok or is the compound hard?
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Nobody » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:27 am

Looks like you just need to find some rim friendly pads. I know KoolStop dual compound and Lifeline Professional (Lifeline is a Wiggle brand) to be good in this regard. I'm sure there are plenty of others. Many original pads are hard on lower priced bikes. Brakes are often a place where manufacturers choose to go cheap.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby insightt47 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:04 pm

tez001 wrote:Are stock Shimano pads ok or is the compound hard?


Ill never use cheap Shimano pads again. I bought some for $15 from my LBS and I could tell after a couple of weeks riding that they were eating away the rims. The average rider probably wouldn't notice but when your doing a lot of km its obvious.

I always use Swisstop Black pads which are completely absent of abrasive materials which damages the rim. Theres very little difference, if any between those and the green/GHP versions. On wiggle you can get a pair for $30 or pay up to $100 at your LBS. Have a look at your pads and see if you can spot some silvery specs. If you can it means your pads are using abrasive materials.
Last edited by insightt47 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby jules21 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:58 pm

i have done about 15-20k on my WH-R500s and they are still going strong. i have ridden them in all weather and use cheapo pads (usually Clarks - they really are crap, need a handful of lever pressure and are probably chewing the rim out).

i do ride in the rain, but i don't do a lot of commuting on these wheels - they're on my training road bike so i don't brake that much - a lot of open road stuff. they will wear faster if you're riding in the city with a lot of stop-starting.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby lynskey_rider » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:30 pm

I think you will find the little silver specs are pieces of aluminium from the rim, hence why you can't see them on carbon brake pads. I do agree with the above posts about slightly softer compound brake pads, but depends on how much riding you do.
You can get a pair of shimano r501's for ~$120, so cheapy pads (compared to tge expensive koolstop ones) might not be such a bad thing.

But relating to your rim wear, 5000km is nothing!
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby tez001 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:51 pm

Ive got my hot hands on some Fulcrum 5s so once the R501s wear out I'll be more diligent in cleaning the pads too.

I agree that a cheap set like the R501s are cheap to replace.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Drizt » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:38 pm

My brother in law's Mavic open pros both dead (braking surface gave way and the tyres exploded off) at 6000kms
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Six13 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:08 pm

Tim wrote:Nearly 20,000km's on my Shimano RS80's and I never clean the rims or brake pads. Don't often ride in the rain.
The little wear indicators fill up with dirt. Dig them out with a bit of wire or a nail. I think you'll find there is tons of life left. 5000km's is nothing.


Potentially a daft question... where is the rim wear indicator on the RS80s? I can see a hole opposite roughly opposite the valve hole, but thats not on the brake track.

A photo to illustrate would be super useful!
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby biker jk » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:15 pm

Six13 wrote:
Tim wrote:Nearly 20,000km's on my Shimano RS80's and I never clean the rims or brake pads. Don't often ride in the rain.
The little wear indicators fill up with dirt. Dig them out with a bit of wire or a nail. I think you'll find there is tons of life left. 5000km's is nothing.


Potentially a daft question... where is the rim wear indicator on the RS80s? I can see a hole opposite roughly opposite the valve hole, but thats not on the brake track.

A photo to illustrate would be super useful!


There's a hole in the brake track opposite the valve hole. Believe me, I just checked my RS80 rims.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Six13 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:24 pm

Daft question... opposite side of the wheel to the valve hole? Huh I guess if I don't see it then the rim is below minimum wear?
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby biker jk » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:57 pm

Six13 wrote:Daft question... opposite side of the wheel to the valve hole? Huh I guess if I don't see it then the rim is below minimum wear?


Yes, opposite side of rim to the valve hole. If you can't see it then your rims are worn out.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Dragster1 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:34 pm

Six13 wrote:Daft question... opposite side of the wheel to the valve hole? Huh I guess if I don't see it then the rim is below minimum wear?

Give them a good wipe with metho or thiners sometimes the crap fills in the hole
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby warthog1 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:22 pm

I used to live in Mildura where it is flat and has a low rainfall. Consequently you don't need to use the brakes much, and almost never when it is wet. The brake track on my rims when I left there were still almost as new. I am now living in Bendigo and revelling in having some hills to ride. It rains a fair bit more here though.
When it rains grit sticks to the wet rims and ends up embedded in the pads. As you brake the water and grit act like a cutting compound and the rim wear is accelerated drastically. I have an all weather commuter and the rims are getting a hammering as I have a steep downhill section on my commute ridden in the dark in winter. It is well poulated with roos so I am on the brakes a fair bit. The sound coming from the rims in the wet is a shocker and the pads end up with an aluminium slurry on them.
Whilst I reckon your rims are still prob OK at 5k km, If you ride and brake alot in the wet you will wear them out.

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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby bokehbikes » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:31 am

Replacing brake pads more often is one of the keys to prolonging rims life. You shouldn't actually wait until a brake pad wears down to its wear limit before replacing, it doesn't actually save you money in the long run. You should replace them more regularly brakes pads collect fine aluminium dust and road grime which together act as an abrasive against the rim. You should also intermittently take your wheels out and file the top contaminated layer off your pads and clean your rims with metho and a rag often especially during winter.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby insightt47 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:32 pm

I might try filing down the brake surface. How often should i do it?

My rear rim is getting pretty thin. Whats likely to happen if keep riding on the wheels when its not safe to do so? ill the rim suddenly give way, or crack, or am i more likely to see a gradual decrease in stiffness?
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:38 pm

Another set of RS80 wheels here, about 10,000kms and virtually zero wear, even with doing repeats of a hill where i am on the brakes hard and almost constantly for about 5kms. I don't know how many kms my R500s have done but it would be a fair few and there's no wear happening there either. And i bought them second hand!
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Wheel rim life

Postby Duck! » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:53 pm

insightt47 wrote:I might try filing down the brake surface. How often should i do it?

My rear rim is getting pretty thin. Whats likely to happen if keep riding on the wheels when its not safe to do so? ill the rim suddenly give way, or crack, or am i more likely to see a gradual decrease in stiffness?

Cleaning & filing pads depends a bit on the conditions you ride in; wet conditions will get more crud into the pads than dry. Still probably worth popping the wheels out once a week & checking the pads for bits of grit. Pick these out with tip of a sharp blade.

Rim failure will be progressive; they'll start by developing a distinct concave face as they bulge out, then they'll crack at the base of bead hook, and eventually blow off.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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