rim weight- actual vs real
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  1. #1
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    rim weight- actual vs real

    I bought a pair of Ambrosio Evolution rims on Ebay to try my hand at wheelbuilding. The advertised weight (from Ambrosio) is 480 grams. When I weighed these at home (on an Ohaus scale) they were 559grams each. That's quite a difference. I know that the stated weights are always a bit optimistic but that's strikes me as deceptive. I'm not a weight weenie so I'll build them up and use them but it still irks me.

  2. #2
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    Agree.

    Bought an Aerohead rim last year and it's 50 grams over weight. The OC rear is right on the money though.

    The common claim is that the extrusion dies wear which make them oversize - thus the increased weight. I can sort of believe this but it seems strange that they don't just change their dies more often.

    In my work I went to an aluminum extrusion house one time and watched them at work. They had a nifty machine where the operator pulled up a computer program showing the shape of the die and a laser, or water jet (can't remember), cut out the shape. Didn't take very long at all to make a brand new die. After seeing how easy it is, I have no understanding toward the "worn die" excuse anymore.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Bought an Aerohead rim last year and it's 50 grams over weight. The OC rear is right on the money though.
    I always thought that was weird... the OC is a rear rim so it should be heavier. I bought an Aerohead front a couple of months ago that weighed 411g which is about right. Ligero got a silver one that weighed something like 370g! So I guess it varies a lot.

    As in many aspects of life, if you can lie about it and get away with it, it ends up being a lot cheaper than actually delivering. A light rim is more expensive to produce and also more likely to fail... better to *pretend* it is light and hope most of the customers don't weigh them.

  4. #4
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    Comparative Reference

    Bike component manufacturers allow themselves rather liberal tolerances of their advertised weights. They don't think of this as mil spec equipment....

    Here are a few recent numbers I've handy at the moment:

    Velocity Aerohead 28h- 440, 427
    Velocity Aerohead OC 28h- 414
    Velocity Aerohead OC 32h- 410, 435

    DT RR1.1 28h- 425, 427
    DT RR1.1 32h (single eye)- 432
    Qh6+!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bixe
    Bike component manufacturers allow themselves rather liberal tolerances of their advertised weights. They don't think of this as mil spec equipment....

    Here are a few recent numbers I've handy at the moment:

    Velocity Aerohead 28h- 440, 427
    Velocity Aerohead OC 28h- 414
    Velocity Aerohead OC 32h- 410, 435

    DT RR1.1 28h- 425, 427
    DT RR1.1 32h (single eye)- 432

    The 28 hole Aerohead I have weighs 455 grams – quite a bit more than the rims you other guys have. It’s the black anodized version so paint can’t be blamed for the weight – the powder coated rims are reputed to weigh a bit more. I know it’s silly to worry about a few grams but it really irks me since the specification calls for the rim to weigh 405 grams. Makes me wonder if maybe Velocity weighs the rims and dumps the porkers into the aftermarket channel and sends the “good stuff” to their OE customers like Cane Creek and Easton.

    Anyone know of a reputable shop that will sort/sell me a sub 430 gram 28h black Aerohead? I gambled and lost last time so I’d like to hedge the bet next time.

  6. #6
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    that's too much

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG
    I bought a pair of Ambrosio Evolution rims on Ebay to try my hand at wheelbuilding. The advertised weight (from Ambrosio) is 480 grams. When I weighed these at home (on an Ohaus scale) they were 559grams each. That's quite a difference. I know that the stated weights are always a bit optimistic but that's strikes me as deceptive. I'm not a weight weenie so I'll build them up and use them but it still irks me.
    My belief is that if parts makers are going to market emphasizing weight, then it needs to be that weight. At minimum, they need to state the basis for their claim, such as "average weight" (but it really needs to be the average), "nominal weight" (whatever that means), "design weight", etc. At least with any disclaimer, you're on notice that it might be wrong.

    I like the ones that state "guaranteed weight."

    I suppose you could always return something that is over weight. That's a pain, but legally you'd be on a sound ground, assuming it did not meet advertised weight.
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  7. #7
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    Ok, what if...

    they guaranteed weight? Every rim would have to be weighed and labeled. Every place that sells the rim has to post the weight for every rim on their website. Could you imagine
    large retailers like Performance or Excel having a separate listing for each of the bazillion rims they have in stock? What if an item is backordered--does the customer have to wait for the rim of his weight choice? And if the rim is a little heavier--either it doesn't sell and the retailer gets stuck with it or the manufacturer is stuck with it, generating huge waste.
    The best to hope for is that the company give a weight range, guaranteeing a max--that would be reasonable.

    What did Rumsfeld say?--"you ride on the rim you have, not on the rim you wish you had..."

  8. #8
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    exaggeration vs lying

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed
    My belief is that if parts makers are going to market emphasizing weight, then it needs to be that weight. At minimum, they need to state the basis for their claim, such as "average weight" (but it really needs to be the average), "nominal weight" (whatever that means), "design weight", etc. At least with any disclaimer, you're on notice that it might be wrong.

    I like the ones that state "guaranteed weight."

    I suppose you could always return something that is over weight. That's a pain, but legally you'd be on a sound ground, assuming it did not meet advertised weight.
    I guess I anticipate some poetic license with weight weenie parts but the Evolution is a yeoman training-type rim. If they advertise it with a range that is fine but +17% seems like more than just manufacturing variation

  9. #9
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    Ignorance is bliss

    Your problem isn't the lying manufacturer. It's the fact you've got a scale and weighed the rim. Dump that scale and you'll never be frustrated or mad at weight discrepancies again. Once you get over caring about weight you'll be a much happier person. Believe me, I know from experience.

    If you're interested in real world weights check out this site http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings.php They don't have the Evolution rims but do have a ton of weights for a ton of parts.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Anyone know of a reputable shop that will sort/sell me a sub 430 gram 28h black Aerohead? I gambled and lost last time so I’d like to hedge the bet next time.
    I bought my 411g black from aebike, but it's just a crapshoot. Look at it this way, the heavy rim will be stronger at least.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddledoc
    they guaranteed weight? Every rim would have to be weighed and labeled. Every place that sells the rim has to post the weight for every rim on their website. Could you imagine
    large retailers like Performance or Excel having a separate listing for each of the bazillion rims they have in stock? What if an item is backordered--does the customer have to wait for the rim of his weight choice? And if the rim is a little heavier--either it doesn't sell and the retailer gets stuck with it or the manufacturer is stuck with it, generating huge waste.
    The best to hope for is that the company give a weight range, guaranteeing a max--that would be reasonable.

    What did Rumsfeld say?--"you ride on the rim you have, not on the rim you wish you had..."

    Why can't they just list a weight that is conservative and will include the majority of rims they sell? For the Aerohead it would be 450 grams or so. Or what about a typical weight? They don't do this because lightweight sells and most people don't have a scale. Instead of being honest they list a silly low weight that only about 5% of the rims actually weigh - and almost none are under. More bike industry BS. I worked in the auto industry for a bunch of years and the mfg'ers do the same thing with horsepower. Most cars don't make the power listed in the sales brochure. At least that much is consistent - they all lie.
    Last edited by Nessism; 02-08-2007 at 05:10 PM.

  12. #12
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    Rumsfeld

    Quote Originally Posted by fiddledoc
    they guaranteed weight? Every rim would have to be weighed and labeled. Every place that sells the rim has to post the weight for every rim on their website. Could you imagine
    large retailers like Performance or Excel having a separate listing for each of the bazillion rims they have in stock? What if an item is backordered--does the customer have to wait for the rim of his weight choice? And if the rim is a little heavier--either it doesn't sell and the retailer gets stuck with it or the manufacturer is stuck with it, generating huge waste.
    The best to hope for is that the company give a weight range, guaranteeing a max--that would be reasonable.

    What did Rumsfeld say?--"you ride on the rim you have, not on the rim you wish you had..."
    I don't remember Rumsfeld saying that but if he know as much about cycling as he did about the military it'd be best to ignore it.

    On the original point I don't think you can hold the retailer responsible for the weight, that's the manufacturers fault. If the variation in weight are truly due to wear of the dies in the manufacturering process that is something they have control over

  13. #13
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    Is the difence of a few grams really that big of a deal?

    Anywho,,, Ya-all remember the Mongoose, Pro-Class wheels. (Back when Mongoose was good stuff, not mart stuff)
    Anywho,, Mongoose drilled big a hole in the rim between the spokes to reduce weight. Belive it or not, they were actualy stong... The only spoke wheels I didn't tear up. (Skyway mags were my wheel of choice)

    I still have a set of ProClass sit'n 'round if we need a pic...
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visitor302
    Is the difence of a few grams really that big of a deal?
    It's a big deal when you pay a premium for a 405g rim, but it comes in at 450g. They're advertising one item, but selling another. That's not very ethical.

    To me, 45g (nearly 2 ounces) of additional metal per rim is either a horendous problem in the manufacturing process, or a lying marketing department. Neither is a good situation, and either is a good reason not to buy from the company.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    It's a big deal when you pay a premium for a 405g rim, but it comes in at 450g. They're advertising one item, but selling another. That's not very ethical.

    To me, 45g (nearly 2 ounces) of additional metal per rim is either a horendous problem in the manufacturing process, or a lying marketing department. Neither is a good situation, and either is a good reason not to buy from the company.
    That's a good point. However, as someone else pointed out, the dies wear out. Nessism asked, if they wear out and the rims gradually get heavier, why not replace the dies? Well, the extrusion dies are very expensive items. Manufacturers probably can't afford to replace them as often as we'd like. Well, maybe they can afford it, but they're running a business, not a charity. We're not in the running to win the TDF either, so they won't listen to our complaints.

    I'm not saying I'm pleased about the variances in rim weight, though. I'm just saying it's harder for the manufacturers to control.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by weiwentg
    I'm not saying I'm pleased about the variances in rim weight, though. I'm just saying it's harder for the manufacturers to control.
    I can be controlled but at a price. If the manufacturer chooses not to control it, that's fine, just don't sell it as a premium product - because it's not.

    Suppose you bought a dozen donuts (or bagels, if you prefer to eat healthy) from a shop every day on your way to work. When you got to work and opened the box, somedays you found 8 donuts, somedays you found 9 or 10, and on rare occasions you found 12. Would you continue to shop there? Even if the donut shop owner told you ever day that there were 12 donuts in the box?

    I'll bet that if you were paying a premium, you'd not shop at the donut shop any more. If you were getting them heavily discounted, and the price for the random "dozen" was roughly equal to what other shops charged for 8 donuts, you might continue going there anyway.

    A rim variation of +12% or more seems way out of tollerance for "normal wear" of a die. If the manufacturing process can only be controlled that much, then weights should be published at the mid-point, and say: "rim weigh 430g +/- 6%," instead of giving a weight knowing good and well that absolutely none of your rims will ever or have ever weighted that much.

    Truth in advertising - seems like a pretty easy concept. (Not picking on any one company either, as most bike components seem unable to do this.)

  17. #17

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    Better analogy

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Suppose you bought a dozen donuts (or bagels, if you prefer to eat healthy) from a shop every day on your way to work. When you got to work and opened the box, somedays you found 8 donuts, somedays you found 9 or 10, and on rare occasions you found 12. Would you continue to shop there? Even if the donut shop owner told you ever day that there were 12 donuts in the box?
    That's not a very close analogy at all. If you ask to buy box of a dozen rims, you'll always find a dozen rims in the box; they may not weigh what they are supposed to, but the count will always be a dozen.

    Here's a closer analogy: Go to a McDonalds, and ask for a Quarter Pounder(tm) hamburger. After they give it to you, take the burger out of the bun and weigh it. Does it weight 4 oz. (a quarter pound)? It absolutely does not - in fact it is virtually guaranteed to weigh 1/2 - 1 oz less.** How many customers complain? How many even know? How many stop ordering Quarter Pounders(tm) because they get less than quarter pound of meat?

    **McDonald's literature indicates that weight is based on the burger before cooking. After cooking, it will certainly weigh less, depending on how much fats and water were lost during cooking. How much less it weighs will always vary - the variation is probably far greater than the typical weight variations in rims.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McM
    That's not a very close analogy at all. If you ask to buy box of a dozen rims, you'll always find a dozen rims in the box; they may not weigh what they are supposed to, but the count will always be a dozen.
    Yours is probably a better analogy, but I have much more expertise in the purchasing of donuts than I do in Quarter Pounders. ;)

  19. #19
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    Eat one less donut and those 2oz will seem like a plus rather than a minus.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by weiwentg
    That's a good point. However, as someone else pointed out, the dies wear out. Nessism asked, if they wear out and the rims gradually get heavier, why not replace the dies? Well, the extrusion dies are very expensive items. Manufacturers probably can't afford to replace them as often as we'd like.
    I'm not saying I'm pleased about the variances in rim weight, though. I'm just saying it's harder for the manufacturers to control.
    You didn't read my post.

    At the manufacturing site I watched a die manufactuered in no time at all. I don't know if Velocity has a similar machine but if they don't, I'm sure they can outsource die manufacturing for a reasonable price. No reason other than poor quality, or BS marketing, for the rims to be off spec the way they are.
    Last edited by Nessism; 02-10-2007 at 06:37 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG
    I bought a pair of Ambrosio Evolution rims on Ebay to try my hand at wheelbuilding. The advertised weight (from Ambrosio) is 480 grams. When I weighed these at home (on an Ohaus scale) they were 559grams each. That's quite a difference. I know that the stated weights are always a bit optimistic but that's strikes me as deceptive. I'm not a weight weenie so I'll build them up and use them but it still irks me.
    DaveG, is your Ohaus scale one of the newer ones? Where is it made?

    I have one I bought about 20 years ago when it was made in Switzerland. Some bike parts come out heavier than advertised on it, but then again, stuff I weighed on a digital Ultimate scale I recently bought is surprisingly close (considering it's designed for weighing complete bikes, not components).

    But folks, welcome to the world of bicycle components! Every Campy part I have weighed is around 3-5% over advertised spec. Maybe it's the 'grease'. Shimano parts too.

    The most flagrant example is my Douglas Precision Ti frame from CC which was advertised as under 3 lbs for a size 55. Well my size 53 weighed 3.6 lbs!

    Exceptions and surprises? My M2 Racer skewers came in at 37, one gram under advertised. And my Spin Stix skewers weigh 55 gms - right on the money.

    In addition, I was pleasantly surprised at my Ligero Wheelworks hand-made set of clinchers. I expected as high as 1390 gms, but they came in at 1330 gms (1355 on my Ohaus anyway). This is with rim tape! These are Alex Crostini 3.1 SC7000 rims, Sapim X-Ray spokes, and White Industries hubs.

    My 2006 Bora Ultras, advertised at 1305 gms, actually came in at 1349. Probably due to the larger decals in 2006 and the two round spokes to dynamically balance the wheel.

  22. #22
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    Ohaus

    Quote Originally Posted by Clevor
    DaveG, is your Ohaus scale one of the newer ones? Where is it made?

    I have one I bought about 20 years ago when it was made in Switzerland. Some bike parts come out heavier than advertised on it, but then again, stuff I weighed on a digital Ultimate scale I recently bought is surprisingly close (considering it's designed for weighing complete bikes, not components).

    But folks, welcome to the world of bicycle components! Every Campy part I have weighed is around 3-5% over advertised spec. Maybe it's the 'grease'. Shimano parts too.

    The most flagrant example is my Douglas Precision Ti frame from CC which was advertised as under 3 lbs for a size 55. Well my size 53 weighed 3.6 lbs!

    Exceptions and surprises? My M2 Racer skewers came in at 37, one gram under advertised. And my Spin Stix skewers weigh 55 gms - right on the money.

    In addition, I was pleasantly surprised at my Ligero Wheelworks hand-made set of clinchers. I expected as high as 1390 gms, but they came in at 1330 gms (1355 on my Ohaus anyway). This is with rim tape! These are Alex Crostini 3.1 SC7000 rims, Sapim X-Ray spokes, and White Industries hubs.

    My 2006 Bora Ultras, advertised at 1305 gms, actually came in at 1349. Probably due to the larger decals in 2006 and the two round spokes to dynamically balance the wheel.
    I have the Triple Beam balance. Its only about 3 years old and it checks out against some calibration weights as accurate. If you look at Camp's specs they now have a disclaimer that listed weights do not include grease

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG
    If you look at Camp's specs they now have a disclaimer that listed weights do not include grease
    Uhh, doesn't quite explain it, as Campy parts I've weighed which should have no grease (like cranks and seatposts), are still over advertised weight.

    Over at ExcelSports, couple of guys who bought 2006 Record cranks were complaining about the 500 gm advertised weight. NO WAY! That would make them the lightest carbon fiber cranks next to the Zipp 300.

    Before the Zipp, the lightest production crank arms were the FSA K-Force ISIS, and my 172 mm 53/39 comes in at 520 gms. These guys were getting 530-540 gm weights on the 170 mm Record cranks, not 500. Hell, my 172 mm 2006 Record CT weighs 555 with 50/34 chainrings (advertised as 540).

    But fibbing is a fact of life with bike parts manufacturers. It's just a matter of by how much.

    I'll let you in on one of life's best kept secrets: those $10.97 Nashbar skewers weigh in at a true 99 gms. I bought a set to jimmy rig the rear for my Mama-san bike in Japan (putting on a front basket). Compare that weight to all the $50-80 Ti skewers on the market, and you will be surprised. Those skewers come with chrome-moly axles too! Normally, OEM skewers run around 140-150 gms.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clevor
    Exceptions and surprises? My M2 Racer skewers came in at 37, one gram under advertised. And my Spin Stix skewers weigh 55 gms - right on the money.

    In addition, I was pleasantly surprised at my Ligero Wheelworks hand-made set of clinchers. I expected as high as 1390 gms, but they came in at 1330 gms (1355 on my Ohaus anyway). This is with rim tape! These are Alex Crostini 3.1 SC7000 rims, Sapim X-Ray spokes, and White Industries hubs.

    My 2006 Bora Ultras, advertised at 1305 gms, actually came in at 1349. Probably due to the larger decals in 2006 and the two round spokes to dynamically balance the wheel.
    Shimano is particularly good with their listed weights too - I've found them to be within a couple of grams of the published weights, and in many cases below the published weight.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    Shimano is particularly good with their listed weights too - I've found them to be within a couple of grams of the published weights, and in many cases below the published weight.
    I can believe their wheelset weights because they aren't impressive: 1500 gms for their top-of-the-line carbon tubulars ($1700); 1880 gms for stuff like SH550. But they would be my top choice for training wheels: durable and dependable.

    I don't have many weights for Shimano because most of the components came with my bike, so until I take them off . . . I just got a DA7800 crank and it comes in over advertised by quite a bit: 767 gms complete with BB and bolts. I think it's advertised as 740, but the BB has an awful lot of grease on it; the most I've seen on any part to date.

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