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MEAT Engines 2023...

Jan. 1, 2023, 7:16 a.m.
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I figured with the OG thread reaching over 100 pages it made sense to start some Fresh MEAT for 2023 and keep thread size manageable. I hope all the regular MEAT heads had a great holiday season and wish you all a happy 2023!

Jan. 1, 2023, 7:38 a.m.
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Reading the latest article about reusing beat up metal rims got me thinking how well my rims have been holding up the last few years. In the past rim dings were normal, but it's been a long time since I've really had to deal with that and my rims are staying ding-free without much attention when riding. I can think of 3 things that have lead to that:

  1. Accurate Pressure Gauges - Not that this is new tech, but I stopped using my floor pump or thumb to tell me how much pressure was in my tires. I got a cheapish analogue dial gauge and I used it every ride to make sure I had the desired pressure in my tires. I know a lot of my dings were from mistakenly assuming I was at full pressure when I was in fact running low. I like these gauges because they don't need batteries and come in different pressure ranges so they are easy to read to ~0.5 psi. https://www.jensonusa.com/Meiser-Accu-Gage-Dial-Pressure-Gauge
  2. Tire Inserts - I only run these in the rear wheels on my trail hardtails, but wow I can't believe how hard I can ride these unsuspended rear wheels now without any negative consequences. Obviously not denting my rim is nice, but even better is being able to ride a hardtail without worrying about protecting the rear wheel from impacts. It just makes my riding experience 100% better.
  3. Carbon Rims - I'm mostly a metal rim guy, but I have used the occasional set of carbon rims. At first mostly out of curiosity. I learned that selecting wisely you can get carbon hoops that don't ride overly harshly and that they are very impact resistant. I've never killed a carbon rim and hits that would have dented a metal rim just get shrugged off.

Mix and matching these three options I'm really happy to be able to ride my bikes a ton and deal with flats/rim damage very very occasionally. What a great time to be a mountain biker.

Jan. 1, 2023, 10:13 a.m.
Posts: 396
Joined: Feb. 28, 2017

Happy New Year Vik!

———

Yeah, even with the front dent, if I’d have just had a rear insert since new these wheels would have gone back together much nicer. 

That knowledge actually makes my bike feel lighter on climbs. Don’t even motive the extra weight when I’m saving money!

Jan. 1, 2023, 2:06 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Which pressure version do you use Vik? Wondering if the 30 is actually more accurate than the 60?

Jan. 1, 2023, 3:09 p.m.
Posts: 489
Joined: March 16, 2017

Funny timing on the re-using beat up rims article. While not beat up and  rebuilt. Just spent the week before Christmas rebuilding three wheels that had zero dents to different hubs to eventually go on the Rootdown. 

This one our head of trail building gave to me 3 or 4 years ago. Hub was a shell and never got around to getting the internals. Rebuilt to the Hope hub and just need to get the Hope hub adapters to install later.

Jan. 1, 2023, 4:03 p.m.
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: yardrec

Which pressure version do you use Vik? Wondering if the 30 is actually more accurate than the 60?

I have the 15psi [plus tires!] and the 30psi [normal tires] versions. I don't know about more accurate so much as easier to read with old man eyes as the markings are bigger. My typical 2.6" tire pressure is ~15-19psi so a 60psi gauge would be a lot of wasted reading potential.

Jan. 1, 2023, 4:15 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: yardrec

Which pressure version do you use Vik? Wondering if the 30 is actually more accurate than the 60?

I have the 15psi [plus tires!] and the 30psi [normal tires] versions. I don't know about more accurate so much as easier to read with old man eyes as the markings are bigger. My typical 2.6" tire pressure is ~15-19psi so a 60psi gauge would be a lot of wasted reading potential.

Good points! I need to up my glasses prescription so will get the 30! ;)

Jan. 2, 2023, 6:23 a.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan. 10, 2022

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a set of Condition: Excellent DT Swiss wheels on the PB BuySell. They actually did look ok on the stand minus a few dents (one of which was disclosed)...And then I found that a quarter of the alloy nipples were deformed and not adjustable. Some effort was put into finding some 35-40mm rims that would fit the spoke length, but a 28 hole setup and residual COVID shortages made this tough. Bullets were subsequently bitten and a full teardown and rebuild was attempted. 

I tried to do as much of the ‘plastic’ work as I could with the rims unlaced. Mostly I used the corner of a table with some benchmarks on both edges to get things as flat and round as possible before relacing. I’ve no idea if this is the recommended course of action, but I was plussed to trade some residual stress in the aluminum for personal stress release at that point! After that they went back together ok with all new brass nipples and a couple of replacement spokes. I used the worse rim for the front as I thought the higher non-brake-side tension would be more forgiving. I appreciate the tip in the article to err on the side of even tension and dish rather than perfect lateral true and roundness; it’s brutal trying to get out the last few bobs from a rim with a bunch of pulled dents.

Jan. 3, 2023, 9:05 a.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb. 12, 2020

I appreciate the tip in the article to err on the side of even tension and dish rather than perfect lateral true and roundness;

And it's a good tip too - I don't think my rear rim has ever been perfect on the DH 29er. Maybe the day I built the wheel. If I was looking for lateral true and roundness primarily, my rims would not be sufficiently durable for the beat down they get.

I'm going to rebuild those wheels this winter too - the stock SRAM rear hub has finally given up enough to justify replacing it. I've always hated that rear hub, but couldn't justify the cost of a proper replacement while I could still get it working OK. Only took four and a half full park seasons to break enough for me to want to not fix it. And because of hubris, I'll replace the front too. Rebuilds build is going to be Spank Vibrocores w/ nipple washers on Hopes. Can't think of a much more durable setup.

I've definitely stood on a rim or two here and there after detensioning them to get it back to acceptable and squeeze a bit more life out of em'... so don't worry about leaning on them too much.


 Last edited by: Jotegir on Jan. 3, 2023, 9:06 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 3, 2023, 5:37 p.m.
Posts: 396
Joined: Feb. 28, 2017

Posted by: Blofeld

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a set of Condition: Excellent DT Swiss wheels on the PB BuySell. They actually did look ok on the stand minus a few dents (one of which was disclosed)...And then I found that a quarter of the alloy nipples were deformed and not adjustable. Some effort was put into finding some 35-40mm rims that would fit the spoke length, but a 28 hole setup and residual COVID shortages made this tough. Bullets were subsequently bitten and a full teardown and rebuild was attempted. 

I tried to do as much of the ‘plastic’ work as I could with the rims unlaced. Mostly I used the corner of a table with some benchmarks on both edges to get things as flat and round as possible before relacing. I’ve no idea if this is the recommended course of action, but I was plussed to trade some residual stress in the aluminum for personal stress release at that point! After that they went back together ok with all new brass nipples and a couple of replacement spokes. I used the worse rim for the front as I thought the higher non-brake-side tension would be more forgiving. I appreciate the tip in the article to err on the side of even tension and dish rather than perfect lateral true and roundness; it’s brutal trying to get out the last few bobs from a rim with a bunch of pulled dents.

My next personal wheel build will be somewhat similar - though in this case, the rims are in excellent condition. The nipples have started to corrode so I'm going to replace them with brass. Right now I'm back and forth about keeping the existing spokes - again something a shop wouldn't do, but they're for my own use.

Jan. 3, 2023, 5:39 p.m.
Posts: 396
Joined: Feb. 28, 2017

Posted by: Jotegir

I'm going to rebuild those wheels this winter too - the stock SRAM rear hub has finally given up enough to justify replacing it. I've always hated that rear hub, but couldn't justify the cost of a proper replacement while I could still get it working OK. Only took four and a half full park seasons to break enough for me to want to not fix it. And because of hubris, I'll replace the front too. Rebuilds build is going to be Spank Vibrocores w/ nipple washers on Hopes. Can't think of a much more durable setup.

Hope's reputation for long-long-long term product support is excellent. That said, another hub worth looking at in terms of min-maxing performance and cost is the Spank Hex Drive. I've rebuilt a couple of them and for the cost of entry, the quality and engagement is impressive.

Jan. 3, 2023, 5:56 p.m.
Posts: 489
Joined: March 16, 2017

Andrew, forgot to ask earlier. Dammed memory issues. You mentioned that a certain North Shore Mayor has stated something about cyclists should be wearing armour to prevent harm.  Is there any links to this? Have  an attorney friend who is archiving crap like this .

Jan. 3, 2023, 7:49 p.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan. 10, 2022

Posted by: Jotegir

And it's a good tip too - I don't think my rear rim has ever been perfect on the DH 29er. Maybe the day I built the wheel. If I was looking for lateral true and roundness primarily, my rims would not be sufficiently durable for the beat down they get.

I'm going to rebuild those wheels this winter too - the stock SRAM rear hub has finally given up enough to justify replacing it. I've always hated that rear hub, but couldn't justify the cost of a proper replacement while I could still get it working OK. Only took four and a half full park seasons to break enough for me to want to not fix it. And because of hubris, I'll replace the front too. Rebuilds build is going to be Spank Vibrocores w/ nipple washers on Hopes. Can't think of a much more durable setup.

I've definitely stood on a rim or two here and there after detensioning them to get it back to acceptable and squeeze a bit more life out of em'... so don't worry about leaning on them too much.

That’s an impressive run on a SRAM hub! I’d have expected some pawls to be spat out in that amount of time, although maybe riding in the park with smaller cogs keeps the load on the bearings.

I was looking pretty hard at the 7-cog Hope DH hub. It’s a very unique product in terms of a SS / superboost application. I wasn’t really impressed with the seals on the last Hope hub I owned - seemed to get grit in the freehub body quite quickly. Simple to clean out, however.

Any ride time on the Vibrocore rims?

Jan. 3, 2023, 8:34 p.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan. 10, 2022

Posted by: AndrewMajor

My next personal wheel build will be somewhat similar - though in this case, the rims are in excellent condition. The nipples have started to corrode so I'm going to replace them with brass. Right now I'm back and forth about keeping the existing spokes - again something a shop wouldn't do, but they're for my own use.

When it comes to reusing, I like black spokes for the exact opposite reason that you like silver pedals. Knowing the history of the last wheel they rolled around in is even better. I remeasure and clean the used ones when they come out, but I’ve never worried about them too much since they’re part of a redundant system. And, of course, the redundancy of spokes is helpful for peace of mind.

I’m not too fussed about shop practices in general. I waste all kinds of time using ‘unprofitable’ approaches and/or the wrong tools at home! I absolutely loved the anecdote of the mechanic with a stopwatch. I can imagine myself in that same scenario, debating whether I would pause the time when shaking the third errant nipple out of the rim cavity…

Jan. 3, 2023, 10:14 p.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: Feb. 12, 2020

Two seasons on the vibrocore rims. They're amazing. In the time I've owned the vibrocores I've done in somewhere between 4-6 carbon rims (and 2 'regular' alloy ones too) - praise the lifetime warranty, but it's at the point now where I am thinking of getting another set of vibrocore rims for my enduro bike. I don't feel good about committing all these rims to be thrown into the ocean.

That said, the Aurum HSP's rear axle path means it's a lot less hard on rims for damage from impacts and rim strikes than my normal axle path bikes. It's a obvious and stark difference. I skipped the DH specific rear hub because the Aurum runs standard boost spacing. A cassette and front hub end cap swap and I've got maybe one of the most reliable wheel setups available on the enduro bike in a few beers work should a particular trip or event demand it.

I'm thinking I need to set up a non-vibrocore, light-but-decently-durable alloy wheelset to run with inserts when appropriate. Carbon wheels and inserts do not mix - when I run a carbon wheel with an insert, other than my Bontrager Line Pro 40s, they manage to break almost instantly. Maybe I should do vibrocore AND insert for ultimate in durability, weight be damned. I managed to ding up a bontrager alloy rim (notably buttery, honestly) at 32 PSI through a cushcore on a fast weekend at the bike park (not on the DH bike) bad enough it's on winter bike duty now until a rebuild happens.


 Last edited by: Jotegir on Jan. 4, 2023, 10:40 a.m., edited 2 times in total.

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