Velocity A23 rim crack
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  1. #1
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    Velocity A23 rim crack

    Velocity A23 rim crack.jpg

    I had my LBS build me a set of wheels. He used my hubs (DT Swiss 240 Hugi) laced to Velocity A23 rims, DT Swiss Competition spokes and DT Swiss brass nipples. The rear wheel is laced 32 3X on both sides. The wheels are about 5.5 years old with 14500 miles. I am about 170 pounds. I just discovered the crack in the picture. It is on the drive side. I am collecting information to try to help decide what I should do. I will stop by my LBS as soon as I have the time. Is the crack a common failure of A23 rims? Is it the build/tension? Another possibility? Thoughts? I need to decide if I should just tell them to order another A23 rim and spokes and rebuild? Or, should I try another brand of rim? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    It happens. But who know what the cause is. I can tell you that I had it happen on Kinlin rims so went to H Plus Son Archetype, everything else the same, and have not had any cracks in many more miles that the kinlin. So I'd try another brand.

    "Another possibility?"
    Not enough spokes? Kind a guessing on that being a potential cause but I think it would make sense low spokes would increase the stress per spoke hole.

  3. #3
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    We used to use A23's and Velocity's as our go-to rims for years. The started having major problems w/ the rims cracking on the inside between spoke holes. It became common enough that we switched to HED Belgium+. No problems at all w/ them.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    We used to use A23's and Velocity's as our go-to rims for years. The started having major problems w/ the rims cracking on the inside between spoke holes. It became common enough that we switched to HED Belgium+. No problems at all w/ them.
    A little online searching definitely agrees with your experience. I had hoped that a hand-built 32 spoke wheel would hold up better.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    We used to use A23's and Velocity's as our go-to rims for years. The started having major problems w/ the rims cracking on the inside between spoke holes. It became common enough that we switched to HED Belgium+. No problems at all w/ them.
    When did this problem start? I have 40K miles on a set of A23s (OC rear rim) with no issues (example of one). Spoke hole cracks are indicative of too high tension for the rim. It may be a weak rim or a too-high tension build. Impossible to tell based on a photo rather than spoke tension information.

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlg View Post
    A little online searching definitely agrees with your experience. I had hoped that a hand-built 32 spoke wheel would hold up better.
    It kinds depends on the quality of the rim, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    When did this problem start? I have 40K miles on a set of A23s (OC rear rim) with no issues (example of one). Spoke hole cracks are indicative of too high tension for the rim. It may be a weak rim or a too-high tension build. Impossible to tell based on a photo rather than spoke tension information.
    I believe we started noticing it around 2010/11. Velocity replaced a LOT of rims under warranty. I rebuilt a LOT of wheels. And then rebuilt many of them again...w/ HED rims after they cracked again. I will never build another wheel w/ a Velocity rim again.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post

    I believe we started noticing it around 2010/11. Velocity replaced a LOT of rims under warranty. I rebuilt a LOT of wheels. And then rebuilt many of them again...w/ HED rims after they cracked again. I will never build another wheel w/ a Velocity rim again.
    yup, close enough. When they started making them in Florida. I remember considering them around then, based on what I read about people's experience with pre-US production rims, and a wheel builder told me since they moved he received a few that were unusable right out of the box.

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  8. #8
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    One data point in your (the OP's) experience is not enough to come to a conclusion about the rim.

    I vote with Kerry Irons that too high tension is the likely cause, although I'll concede the alloy used could be a contributor.

    Rebuild with another A23, or switch to Velocity's O/C version, which will distribute the torque loads more evenly among the left/right spokes. I think that will improve your odds greatly.

    Rear rims are more susceptible to cracks due to torque loads.

    I use Velocity rims, specifically O/C rims in the back, and have never had a problem.

  9. #9
    changingleaf
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    The wheel may have too much tension for the rim, but other rims may be able to handle it. Aluminum rims don't last forever, but they can and often do last longer than 14500 miles. It looks like any combination of things that caused the failure resulted in rim that you are not satisfied and I recommend trying a different rim.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    One data point in your (the OP's) experience is not enough to come to a conclusion about the rim.
    Which is why he asked and he received a lot more data points. I don't know exactly how many CXwrench was talking about but I believe he works at a high volume shop that cranks out a lot of wheels so it would be enough for me to come to a conclusion.

  11. #11
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    Some rims can't reliably handle 125kgf. That's the fault of the rim, and the selection of that rim in a particular build. We've learned that the tough way a bit, but fool me once...

    It could easily be that the spoke tension on this particular build was completely overbaked, and there are certainly things a builder can do to increase the likelihood of problems like this, but the pervasive "spokes break because too much tension was used" is inaccurate.

    Below 125kgf on the drive side spokes of a build for a bike with a modern drive train and you start risking blown non-drive spokes, which are also "the builder's fault."

    Any rim that can't provide a reasonable working buffer above 125kgf shouldn't be used in a modern rear wheel, or even a disc brake front wheel.

  12. #12
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    I have had good luck with a Velocity Fusion rim based wheel set built by Velocity. With that being said, Velocity does have great customer service. Give Velocity a call and see if they will warranty the rim.
    My Bontrager Race wheels had multiple spoke cracks and I had them replaced multiple times. I finally purchased Velocity wheels
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  13. #13
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    After reading about so many problems with Velocity rims and since there are so many other good rims out there, I see no reason to use Velocity.

    HED Belgiums are good quality rims, but pricey. Other good rims worth considering are the DT R460s and H+Son Archetypes. The DT R460s are a steal.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadCube View Post
    I have had good luck with a Velocity Fusion rim based wheel set built by Velocity. With that being said, Velocity does have great customer service. Give Velocity a call and see if they will warranty the rim.
    My Bontrager Race wheels had multiple spoke cracks and I had them replaced multiple times. I finally purchased Velocity wheels
    Road Cube
    I think the only rims worse than Velocity or Mavic are Bontrager.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlg View Post
    Velocity A23 rim crack.jpg

    I had my LBS build me a set of wheels. He used my hubs (DT Swiss 240 Hugi) laced to Velocity A23 rims, DT Swiss Competition spokes and DT Swiss brass nipples. The rear wheel is laced 32 3X on both sides. The wheels are about 5.5 years old with 14500 miles. I am about 170 pounds. I just discovered the crack in the picture. It is on the drive side. I am collecting information to try to help decide what I should do. I will stop by my LBS as soon as I have the time. Is the crack a common failure of A23 rims? Is it the build/tension? Another possibility? Thoughts? I need to decide if I should just tell them to order another A23 rim and spokes and rebuild? Or, should I try another brand of rim? Thanks.
    Maybe I have low expectations but as a somewhat heavier (180-190lbs) I almost expect the see cracks in the rear drive side at that mileage. I have cracked rims from Mavic, Ambrosio, and Bontragor (within a month), but not a Velocity (although I have only had one Velocity rim (OC in rear). None of the ones I cracked seemed to have particularly high spoke tension. I have built 3 sets of wheels myself and (knock on wood) none of those have developed cracks

  16. #16
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    Could this crack be due to the LBS putting too much tension on the spokes? I think so! You only weigh 170 pounds and was using a 32 spoke rim laced 3X that's more then strong enough to handle your weight and the bike's weight.

    I took my bike into my LBS to have the whole thing gone through and they wanted to tension the spokes higher, I told them no, leave it as the factory built it, and they haven't cracked with over 10,000 miles. For some reason it's apparently the thing to do nowadays is to tension the spokes higher then needed, not sure why that's happening, but it's not working!

    Problem is getting the LBS to accept responsibility for over tensioning the wheels. You could email (or call if they have a phone number) Velocity and ask them what the proper spoke tension should be on those A23's and see what they're response is; once you have that information you can talk to the LBS that made them and ask them what they tensioned the spokes at...WITHOUT telling them that you contacted Velocity, if they say they tensioned it at Z but Velocity said it should be lower at X then they'll have to replace the rim for exceeding factory recommendation for tensioning.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
    Could this crack be due to the LBS putting too much tension on the spokes? I think so! You only weigh 170 pounds and was using a 32 spoke rim laced 3X that's more then strong enough to handle your weight and the bike's weight.


    I took my bike into my LBS to have the whole thing gone through and they wanted to tension the spokes higher, I told them no, leave it as the factory built it, and they haven't cracked with over 10,000 miles. For some reason it's apparently the thing to do nowadays is to tension the spokes higher then needed, not sure why that's happening, but it's not working!

    Problem is getting the LBS to accept responsibility for over tensioning the wheels. You could email (or call if they have a phone number) Velocity and ask them what the proper spoke tension should be on those A23's and see what they're response is; once you have that information you can talk to the LBS that made them and ask them what they tensioned the spokes at...WITHOUT telling them that you contacted Velocity, if they say they tensioned it at Z but Velocity said it should be lower at X then they'll have to replace the rim for exceeding factory recommendation for tensioning.
    Too much tension has been suggested by several posters above.
    Velocity has between 110kgf and 130kgf on the website. I definitely plan to talk to the builder about tension.

  18. #18
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    I am/was on my fourth velocity A23 rear rim. Cracks at the spoke hole. Got the wheels around 2010, first crack was on warranty the others were on me. I reused the spokes, paid for the labor and new rims. I weigh 155-160, 28 spoke rear wheel. New ride now tho

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadleg View Post
    I am/was on my fourth velocity A23 rear rim. Cracks at the spoke hole. Got the wheels around 2010, first crack was on warranty the others were on me. I reused the spokes, paid for the labor and new rims. I weigh 155-160, 28 spoke rear wheel. New ride now tho
    Yeeesh! I would have abandoned Velocity after the second one cracked. Not to say, but do you know the definition of insanity?
    Last edited by Lombard; 02-13-2019 at 05:55 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by karlg View Post
    Velocity A23 rim crack.jpg

    I had my LBS build me a set of wheels. He used my hubs (DT Swiss 240 Hugi) laced to Velocity A23 rims, DT Swiss Competition spokes and DT Swiss brass nipples. The rear wheel is laced 32 3X on both sides. The wheels are about 5.5 years old with 14500 miles. I am about 170 pounds. I just discovered the crack in the picture. It is on the drive side. I am collecting information to try to help decide what I should do. I will stop by my LBS as soon as I have the time. Is the crack a common failure of A23 rims? Is it the build/tension? Another possibility? Thoughts? I need to decide if I should just tell them to order another A23 rim and spokes and rebuild? Or, should I try another brand of rim? Thanks.
    Junk. The spoke holes in the rim aren't structurally sound enough to hold the spoke in place under tension. Sure, too tight spokes would accelerate the process, but the rim is under-built around the spoke holes. I've seen cheap eyeless rims crack from loading and unloading repeatedly on under-tensioned spokes. 32 spokes evenly tensioned should make a bulletproof wheel not requiring an especially "stiff" rim.

    Whatever happened to rims with brass spoke eyelets? They hardly ever split around the spoke holes. Learned the lesson with a cracked rear rim like in the pix. Since then, never used anything other than eyelets, and never had a problem on Weinman, Ambrosio or Campy aluminum rims.

    The brake surfaces get scored by around 20,000 miles. Almost had a rim split apart on the brake surface around 30,000 miles. A dog ran into the rear wheel once and pulled a spoke out of the hub. Never had one come out of a brass eyeleted rim. I've seen lots of rims without eyelets crack at the spoke holes, probably as soon as 16,000 miles, like the pix above. Aluminum just isn't adequate around a spoke hole on the rear wheel where torsional forces are high. Brass works much better.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 02-12-2019 at 07:34 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Junk. The spoke holes in the rim aren't structurally sound enough to hold the spoke in place under tension. Sure, too tight spokes would accelerate the process, but the rim is under-built around the spoke holes. I've seen cheap eyeless rims crack from loading and unloading repeatedly on under-tensioned spokes. 32 spokes evenly tensioned should make a bulletproof wheel not requiring an especially "stiff" rim.

    Whatever happened to rims with brass spoke eyelets? They hardly ever split around the spoke holes. Learned the lesson with a cracked rear rim like in the pix. Since then, never used anything other than eyelets, and never had a problem on Weinman, Ambrosio or Campy aluminum rims.

    The brake surfaces get scored by around 20,000 miles. Almost had a rim split apart on the brake surface around 30,000 miles. A dog ran into the rear wheel once and pulled a spoke out of the hub. Never had one come out of a brass eyeleted rim. I've seen lots of rims without eyelets crack at the spoke holes, probably as soon as 16,000 miles, like the pix above. Aluminum just isn't adequate around a spoke hole on the rear wheel where torsional forces are high. Brass works much better.
    Eyeletted (is that a word?) rims can crack too. Mavic Open Pros have eyelets and they have a reputation for cracking. Eyelets are a way of trying to compensate for a weak spoke bed. If the rim is made right, it does not need eyelets. How many HED Belgiums or H+ Son Archetypes have you heard of cracking? Use brass nipples for your build and you shouldn't have a problem.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Eyeletted (is that a word?) rims can crack too. Mavic Open Pros have eyelets and they have a reputation for cracking. Eyelets are a way of trying to compensate for a weak spoke bed. If the rim is made right, it does not need eyelets. How many HED Belgiums or H+ Son Archetypes have you heard of cracking? Use brass nipples for your build and you shouldn't have a problem.
    I had an Open Pro crack in 6000 miles. It makes the A23 look good.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    I had an Open Pro crack in 6000 miles. It makes the A23 look good.
    Oh yeah. Forgot about Mavic Open Pros. They were the only "pro" [sic] rim that cracked around the eyelets a few years ago, typical French quality control.

    Also yes, brass nipples tighten down more securely on brass eyelets, too, and won't loosen up over the miles. I've seen aluminum nipples split after being tensioned, not to mention the flats round off easily when truing, too soft a material.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    I had an Open Pro crack in 6000 miles. It makes the A23 look good.


    And the mid-2000's Bontrager Race wheels with the paired spokes make the Open Pros look good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Oh yeah. Forgot about Mavic Open Pros. They were the only "pro" [sic] rim that cracked around the eyelets a few years ago, typical French quality control.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Now, now. The Open Pros were already being made in China when they started having this problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Also yes, brass nipples tighten down more securely on brass eyelets, too, and won't loosen up over the miles. I've seen aluminum nipples split after being tensioned, not to mention the flats round off easily when truing, too soft a material.
    The main problem with alloy nipples is corrosion which can cause the threads to snap. Aluminum is more brittle than brass. I see no valid reason to use alloy nipples as you will only save 40g at most over brass.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post

    And the mid-2000's Bontrager Race wheels with the paired spokes make the Open Pros look good.

    [FONT=Verdana]

    Now, now. The Open Pros were already being made in China when they started having this problem.



    The main problem with alloy nipples is corrosion which can cause the threads to snap. Aluminum is more brittle than brass. I see no valid reason to use alloy nipples as you will only save 40g at most over brass.
    Well, Mavic has gotten some disrespect in the cycling community as having problems with quality control. Open Pros were a great example.

    Yep, those paired spoked rims concentrated too much force on the rims at the spoke holes. Spoking alternating from left and right, spreads the stress out more along the entire rim, so would take much longer to develop cracks. Have to wonder why they went with paired spokes in the first place. They thought it made a stiffer wheel, I guess, which would be BS. Nothing stiffer than a well tensioned 32 spoke wheel.

    Yes, I think my buddy said the same thing about alloy nipple threads stripping out, as well as the flats rounding off.

    I'll stick with brass eyelets, regardless that some rims wouldn't need them. How ya gonna tell which ones are strong enough and which aren't? Eyelets are like washers. They keep the thing from coming apart. Brass on brass holds up just fine. The flats don't round off and it doesn't corrode.

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