How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

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davis
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How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby davis » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:27 am

Hi,

I've got a 2008 Specialized Sirrus Pro which came with Alex (or Alexrims, not sure of their actual name) AS-1 rims. They've worn out after 3000-5000 miles (absolute minimum and maximums quoted there, real figure is probably somewhere below or around 4000 miles). The rims are noticeably concave, and the wear indicator is worn away.

Unbelievably, I haven't even changed the brake blocks. I do keep it fairly clean, and give it a thorough clean approximately every 2 weeks, checking the blocks for stray flakes of metal etc. I've never seen or felt any crud embedded in them.

What's the expected lifetime of a pair of rims? My LBS seemed to think that 5000 miles is a feasible life, but that's probably excessive wear even for 5000 miles.

For what it's worth, I'm fairly light (65 Kgs or so), but I suppose I will have spent a fair time using the brakes (my commute isn't flat).

My brother's got the same bike, and he's had to replace his rims too. He's probably done a bigger distance, doesn't keep it quite as clean, and his wheels were more worn.
Am I expecting too much? Should they last longer? Are Alex AS-1s just rubbish?
Did someone sneak some emery board into my brakes?

Anyway, just off to put a pair of Mavic Aksiums (and new brake blocks) on it...
Expensive, this...

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supersonic
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Postby supersonic » Sat Feb 06, 2010 15:12 pm

Sounds reasonable to me - but also sounds like your brake blocks are far too hard. Use softer blocks.

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davis
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Postby davis » Sat Feb 06, 2010 17:21 pm

supersonic wrote:Sounds reasonable to me - but also sounds like your brake blocks are far too hard. Use softer blocks.


Righto, thanks. I've changed the blocks to softer ones.

I must say I'm still a little surprised; imagine if your car's brakes -- which stop a much larger weight from much higher speeds -- wore out in 5000 miles (yes, I know, bigger stronger parts, etc, etc)

I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on them.

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richara3
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Postby richara3 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 14:23 pm

I got a similar 3000-4000 miles out of a rear alex rims on my tricross.

Ive comuted 200 times on it ( guess ) 8 mile round trip. The first 2.5 miles is a steep down hill and would estimate am on the brakes for at least a half a mile each day. So thats 100 miles of fairly hard braking. Thats not including any of the other 2000 or so miles of pleasure cycling. I cycle in all weathers and the resulting grinding paste that is left on the rims wont help wear either.So I think thats quite reasonable.

I replaced the wheels with some cheapo wheels , £80 from ebay, omega rims with tiagra hubs.. Have been good so far and the fairly decent quality hubs can be used with a new rim once these wear out.

Andy

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supersonic
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Postby supersonic » Mon Feb 08, 2010 17:30 pm

davis wrote:
supersonic wrote:Sounds reasonable to me - but also sounds like your brake blocks are far too hard. Use softer blocks.


Righto, thanks. I've changed the blocks to softer ones.

I must say I'm still a little surprised; imagine if your car's brakes -- which stop a much larger weight from much higher speeds -- wore out in 5000 miles (yes, I know, bigger stronger parts, etc, etc)

I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on them.


And iron rotors ;-)

I remember an old bike of mine that came with alloy rims and Shimano M system pads - they were so hard they wore the rims out in about 1000 miles.

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davis
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Postby davis » Mon Feb 08, 2010 18:48 pm

Ok, thanks for the help; I guess it's just something to keep an eye on. Far nicer to find out this way than the alternative of a rim failure, so thanks!

/goes off to calculate the cost of cycling.... 4p per mile on rims, god knows on chain oil...etc :-)

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Postby chuckcork » Thu Feb 11, 2010 22:04 pm

Blimey, Alex rims on my bike and I've now logged a bit over 8000 miles on it, if others are getting only 4000 out of theirs I must be well overdue.

Noticeably concave too, reckon I can use this post to convince the missus a replacement is in order
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Postby stickman » Tue Feb 16, 2010 21:44 pm

I've got a cruiser with v-brakes and steel rims - they never wear out :)
Got other bikes with alloy rims and hub brakes - no rim wear :)
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Jhaines
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Re: How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby Jhaines » Tue Sep 18, 2012 15:16 pm

Hi, I know it might be a bit late to reply, but I would love to know what brake blocks you were using. I have the same sirrus pro with the Alex rims. Although the rims didn't wear(the rear wheel has cracked, bloody Leeds roads) I have been through several sets of brake blocks. I have just got a set of custom wheels with Sputnik rims, hopefully these will be stronger.

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davis
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Re: How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby davis » Sat Sep 22, 2012 16:31 pm

Jhaines wrote:Hi, I know it might be a bit late to reply, but I would love to know what brake blocks you were using. I have the same sirrus pro with the Alex rims. Although the rims didn't wear(the rear wheel has cracked, bloody Leeds roads) I have been through several sets of brake blocks. I have just got a set of custom wheels with Sputnik rims, hopefully these will be stronger.


Yeah... You're right -- it is a bit late to reply! :)

That bike's now been relegated to the "don't ride" bin following a crash.

However, in answer to your question, that was the standard OEM brake blocks. I think they were made by Tektro.

I later changed to Mavic Aksiums and Koolstops or something like them (multi-compound with a pink bit in!) and braking got a lot better, plus they didn't seem to destroy my wheels.
Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.

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Rolf F
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Re: How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby Rolf F » Tue Sep 25, 2012 08:58 am

Currently got about 5000 on a pair of Khamsins. Not noticeably worn yet but the point is that I put a pair of pads on the front a couple of months ago and have already replaced them. Better for the pad to wear than the rim.

I do also remove the metal from the pads on a regular basis.
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jejv
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Re: How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby jejv » Wed Sep 26, 2012 23:10 pm

Rolf F wrote:I do also remove the metal from the pads on a regular basis.

I know that's one of your hobbies, but what pads do you have ?

Folks with Swiss-Stop or Kool-Stop don't seem to have to do that so much.
I stopped after putting Kool-Stop on all our bikes.

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Rolf F
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Re: How long do/should wheel rims last? Alex AS-1

Postby Rolf F » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:53 am

jejv wrote:
Rolf F wrote:I do also remove the metal from the pads on a regular basis.

I know that's one of your hobbies, but what pads do you have ?

Folks with Swiss-Stop or Kool-Stop don't seem to have to do that so much.
I stopped after putting Kool-Stop on all our bikes.


It's an interesting thought. I may give it a go as the Barradine pads were bonkers for it. I'll try to remember to post a pic of what my new pads looked like after two days of soggy commuting - there was enough alloy in the rubber that I reckon pikeys might raid my pads for the scrap.

Thing is, I would tend to assume that the harder the pad the less likely it is to get embedded metal - but the harder the pad the more rim wear. Can you get Swiss or Kools that aren't in silly colour schemes? :D
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