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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am learning about the different good 29er wheelsets out there and want to pose a question regarding Stan's wheels in particular which are very popular. My understanding that pursuit of lower weight that Stan achieves is not without a downside. What I am trying to gage is how severe this downside is. I believe eyelets are built into many mtb rims for added reinforcement to the rim local to the nipple....I said nipple. :) I have read reports and perhaps unfounded that Stan's rims if they have an achilles heel are prone to cracking around the nipple area. I presume this is due to not using eyelets which is a weight if not cost savings measure.

My question is, should this be considered a show stopper when considering Stan's wheels?
Thanks.
 

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20.100 FR said:
no.
But if you care, get some FRM rims. Much of the same, with eyelets
I agree: No.

I have seen bulges and cracks around the spoke holes on rims with or without eyelets, but hardly any Notubes rims. Believe me, I saw a lot of those up close.

The only Notubes rim that I saw with slight bulges was a 26" Race 7000 rim, that Notubes very honestly qualifies as a one race season rim with quite low limits on spoke tension, rider weight and tire pressure.

Stick to their reccomendations and you are fine. Keep in mind that an eyeletted rim that is as light as a non-eyeletted rim (such as FRM) must have less material at some place in the rim. My guess would be you would have as much reason to trust that rim as a Notubes rim.
 

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If you are having your wheels built, be sure that the spoke holes are lubricated. Nipples, especially aluminum ones, won't turn as well against the aluminum rim as they do against stainless steel eyelets. The lube will help prevent spoke wind-up during the build. Brass nipples are better in this regard, but lube is still a must.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good comments Gasp4 about why eyelets exist over and above adding localized strength adjacent to the spoke hole. Aluminum inherently is a very poor bearing surface and prone to galling so makes sense to apply lubricant prior to spoke adjustment.
Thanks again.
 

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After two plus years on my mikesee built wheels, Arch rims on Hope Pro II hubs, I had my first spoke failures on the rear wheel when the front wheel flipped a big fist sized rock in a rock strewn trail. The rock bounced out ahead, came back and whacked my ankle, then bounced down and somersaulted into the rear wheel. I stopped at the bottom of the pitch, checked it out, two spokes a danglin'.

Knew I had to ride it home (I ride from the garage out to paradise and back :cool: ). Got home and looked. The two spokes that took the impact had pulled the heads off the alloy nipples, but the Arch rims were fine. I picked up a few alloy nipples at the shop the next day, and repaired the wheel. It was a little humbling to try and get the spokes back up to the tension of the master who built them, but thanks to some Phil's Tenacious oil, and a Park tensiometer, we made it.

I suspect that wheel will run straight and true and tough for another two years, baring my tiddly winking any more rocks into it. :p
 

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If you are looking for big bruiser rims that you are going to run with tubes maybe look elsewhere, but the reason everyone loves Stan's other than light weight is no flat maintaince. If you are going to run cheap and easy tubeless conversion they are the best as they are oversized for that purspose and harder for non-tubeless run tubless tires to burp.
Just be sure and lub the holes and threads. Use a non-petro lube and lube every year or more in wet climates and you should get some pretty good use out of them.
I would not locktight them (esp with alloy nips sidebar: never thought I would use them I guess they are better now cause i have had good luck) if you need to tru on the trail you wind up turning the spoke and not the nipple. A properly built wheel will stay correct and if you beat the hell out of it (out of round) at least you can line it up if neccesary to get home.
Oh yea, if you really care, there is some little alum washers you can get at home depot that will bend and conform to the shape of the rim under pressure and run them on the nips. (i think it is waste of time.)
 

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slocaus said:
Knew I had to ride it home (I ride from the garage out to paradise and back :cool: ). Got home and looked. The two spokes that took the impact had pulled the heads off the alloy nipples, but the Arch rims were fine. I picked up a few alloy nipples at the shop the next day, and repaired the wheel. It was a little humbling to try and get the spokes back up to the tension of the master who built them, but thanks to some Phil's Tenacious oil, and a Park tensiometer, we made it.
That is the exact reason I have preferred alloy nipples over brass...nothing to do with weight. Brass nipples probably would have pulled through and ruined the rim.
 

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I have a set of Stans Flows laced top Hope Hubs. By far, the best mtn bike wheels I have ever owned. I have been riding these wheels for 3 seasons. During that same time period I've also owned a set of Bontrager Rhythm Elite 29'er wheels. I have replaced the front wheel and rear rim on the Bontragers due to cracks around the eyelets. These rims have been ridden for much less miles but are still flexier and less reliable than the Stans wheels. If anything the eyelet-less Stans would appear stronger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ghawk said:
If you are looking for big bruiser rims that you are going to run with tubes maybe look elsewhere, but the reason everyone loves Stan's other than light weight is no flat maintaince. If you are going to run cheap and easy tubeless conversion they are the best as they are oversized for that purspose and harder for non-tubeless run tubless tires to burp.
Just be sure and lub the holes and threads. Use a non-petro lube and lube every year or more in wet climates and you should get some pretty good use out of them.
I would not locktight them (esp with alloy nips sidebar: never thought I would use them I guess they are better now cause i have had good luck) if you need to tru on the trail you wind up turning the spoke and not the nipple. A properly built wheel will stay correct and if you beat the hell out of it (out of round) at least you can line it up if neccesary to get home.
Oh yea, if you really care, there is some little alum washers you can get at home depot that will bend and conform to the shape of the rim under pressure and run them on the nips. (i think it is waste of time.)
Thanks to all for all the great advice.
Ghawk...it there any way around rotating the nipple to adjust spoke tension on any wheel and not get the dreaded spoke wind up condition (torsion) which doesn't change the spoke tension? This seems to be a problem I have when tuning wheels. (I am no wheel builder)
Is there a way to restrain the spoke (special pliers?) and rotate the nipple with a spoke wrench?
Thanks again.
 

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Thanks to all for all the great advice.
Ghawk...it there any way around rotating the nipple to adjust spoke tension on any wheel and not get the dreaded spoke wind up condition (torsion) which doesn't change the spoke tension? This seems to be a problem I have when tuning wheels. (I am no wheel builder)
Is there a way to restrain the spoke (special pliers?) and rotate the nipple with a spoke wrench?
Thanks again.
Probably I came across as pro builder (had a couple beers last nigh) but alas I am not and they should answer. That is one of the points of the thread lube. The common practice for minimizing winde-up in is turning the nip past the desired orientation by about a quarter turn, and then turn it back that quarter turn. I always do this cause I seem to always feel some windeup. Also, since I am not an expert builder I bring to tension and back down a couple of times and do sidewall flex push to get them ready for test ride where I beat heck out of em. Then bring back and check relative tension all way around expecting lube to have helped un-winde em if neccesary. Then 1 more time. Oh yea, I bring up to tension so slow (one turn all way around, over and over ad nauseam) if I usually have allot of winde up on a particular spoke (I know as the other hand is always on the spoke) I figure I must be doing something wrong. Mind you it takes me awhile to build em :D. A luxury the pros don't usually have.
I like wheelf's advice and think if needed I could use regular pliers safetly (If it requires so much clamping force that I might damage the spoke, I KNOW that something else is wrong, un-tension and relube the nip for starters). Also, for first couple of wheels find a pro that is patient and can help and u do the grunt work of building and get him to finess the tough parts at the end. Btw if you feel hurried you should not being doing this anyway imho. Btw2, I still don't use sound to determine final tension and find the park tens. essential to help "balance out" my lack of skill. (Oh yea, be sure and check twise as I have the tensiometer off sometimes and check spoke by hand at same time.) Disclaimer this advise is not meant to be a substitute for advise of somebody that actually knows what they are doing. :D When I want very perfect tru running I let a pro finish it. (Usually my weight weenie or road wheels.)
http://wheelfanatyk.blogspot.com/2009/06/wheel-building-tip-no-3-stop-spoke-wind.html
 

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mtnbiker72 said:
That is the exact reason I have preferred alloy nipples over brass...nothing to do with weight. Brass nipples probably would have pulled through and ruined the rim.
A friend of mine did the same thing with brass nipples on a set of Flow rims. One sheared off, another broke a spoke. Damage to some of the spoke holes but the rim is still in service and fine. 14/15 DT comp spokes.

One good thing about the brass ones is they will be friendlier on the spoke holes in time as brass is somewhat self lubricating.
 
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