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Cracked Rim at Spoke
#1
First of all, I know I am going to have to get this replaced, but have a couple of questions. But, for background, it is a Sun Rim M13II that I bought used. I put about 2200 miles on it myself in a lot of urban riding with bumps and potholes along with a lot of typical Portland, OR weather with cold and rain. I have no idea how many miles were on the wheel before.

I was installing fenders and noticed this as I figured I would touch true the wheel a bit since I had the bike upside down. The picture is not great, but I noticed there was a good sized crack at the spoke and the rim seems to be pulling apart as well. There is a smaller crack probably about 6 spokes away from this one.

1. How much longer can I ride on this? Am I at least safe to ride it a couple miles to the shop or to the grocery store?

2. What probably caused this so I can try to avoid this in the past?

3. Any body have a suggestion for a good replacement? I don't want to spend an arm and a leg and I am 6'2" and weigh around 200# plus do commuting with a rack and pannier. Chances are I will go to one of the bike coops here and see what they have for a decent used one, but if someone has had good luck with a certain brand or style, it would be nice to hear.

Thanks, and sorry for the poor photo, but real camera ran out of juice.
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#2
Hey Buzz Smile ,
Absolutely STOP riding now! It is very unsafe to ride on that anymore. Very glad you noticed it before it completely gave out.

Cause can be just everything you said. Pothole here, big bump there, and just genereal riding. You said it was a used one as well. I am not totally sure of this but over tightened spokes?! (Wouldn't mind hearing someone else's view on that)

As far as a good one, just one that looks safe, not rusted, and bent (tacoed) or cracked.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Nope, unless it is a very lightweight rim over tightening the spokes is most likely not the cause. The lower crack looks like it formed at the lower border of the brake surface, so the the sidewalls look like they are worn out (from braking).

Personally I'd avoid getting a used rim, at least to me rims are consumables, but I build my own wheels and thus work doesn't cost any money.

A used wheel can be bought for only a few bucks, but then watch out for damaged hubs. So far I have been lucky, I got a rear and front wheel for my old road bike last year and the hubs were still very good (a Shimano 105 front, ~10yrs old, a Campa rear ~20yrs old). Most likely it has to be retensioned and trued, so you'll end up spending money on work or have to do that yourself. As Bill said: check for cracks, flat spots etc. on the rim. Feel, whether the hub moves smoothly and has no play.

When getting a new wheel, go for something decent, mid-range. I'd prefer mid-range hub + mid-to-lower-end rim (consumables, remember?) + 32 double butted spokes laced cross 3, maybe 36 spokes in the rear.
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#4
Thanks for the feedback. I ended up getting a brand new rim today. I was wondering how much it could have been that the rim wore out due to breaking. But, I paid $20 for that rim that is now cracked and got about 2200 miles out of it so not really that bad of price considering. Hopefully, this new rim will be better at staying true. I got a mid-range, double walled Alex rim.
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#5
Have to agree with good ole Joe again (probably younger then myself), because the wheels of the Bicycle are one of the most important parts not to go cheap on. I could see maybe having a spare one or two for TEMPORARY use until you can get the broken one fixed or replaced. I just recently started the truing stage, practising on a 18" BMX china special rim lol. After I get the science and swing of that next step wheel building. What is nice about wheel building is that spokes and nipples are in abundance. Glad to hear you found a good one buzz
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
  Reply


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