How long do wheels last

willbevan Posts: 1,241
edited April 2008 in Road beginners
Hi guys,

How long do wheels last on bikes, I realise thats a very openened question, but i am thinking of getting some nice wheels for my bike, Fulcrum racing 3s or above... ( Well for a new bike, not my current one)

Then found myself asking, how many miles (if not riden in the wet) will they last before they keel over? :S As my current wheels on my first road bike (cheap decathlon) has done around 1400miles and you can see the rims are being slowly worn (now mind you i realise there cheap and that riding over winter kills them more!)

Thanks for any info

Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
MTB - Trek Fuel 80
TT - Echelon


  • nickwill
    nickwill Posts: 2,735
    My last set of Open Pros lasted about 8 or 9000 miles before the rims were shot.
  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Depends how much you use the brakes and in what conditions. I've only ever replaced one rim on any of my bikes and that was the rear on my MTB as a precaution before I took it to tour New Zealand. OTOH my wife wears rims (and brake blocks) like they're going out of fashion because she's more profligate with her energy and uses it to heat her wheel rims :)

    I don't ride many miles these days but I regularly did 10k miles/year Summer and Winter for years and never wore out a rim on a road bike. In fact there's a front wheel in my workshop right now that must have covered 1000s of miles it'a a Campag record with a 36h Mavic MA40 rim and I've just run my fingers over the braking surface and it seems fine.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • As always it depends. I ride mainly dry road miles and I've never worn out a set of rims - 12K miles and still going on Ribble supplied Mavid Open SupCd oldest bike , 10K miles and still going on Ribble built Mavic CXP 33s 2nd oldest bike - this one I use for winter so it gets most dirt and stress , 8,000 miles on a hybrid with Mavic MA3 rims - threw them (and the bike, it was rubbish) away because the bearings went, rims were fine. 2k Miles on Campag Euros on my newest bike and they are just run in.....
  • JWSurrey
    JWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    I rode a pair of Campag. Ventos last year, which are very similar to the base end Fulcrum.
    I wore them out in about 1500 miles of gritty wet, most winter riding, hard on the brakes due to lots of hill work and me being a wuss!
    Great wheels, excellent grippy machined braking surfaces, though some have said they're a little soft.
    My Mavic OP CDs seem harder wearing, my DTs probably on a par.
  • scherrit
    scherrit Posts: 360
    As above, brake wear on the rims being the most likely cause of retirement, or having to replace a rim...

    Weirdly, I have a Mavic E2 that's done some insane distance (>20k km??) and is still going strong... but we have customers coming in sometimes with rims toasted in 1500 miles- it's tremendously variable...... some people habitually nail the back brake before the front to control speed, and it show..... likewise gritty and wet conditions eat rims

    If you are riding fairly standard wheels (say 3 cross 32's) for your big miles, at least you will be able to replace a single rim and keep the pair of wheels in service. Rebuilding a Ksyrium can be expensive for example if you need the ally spokes and a rim- but some folks can afford to train on them I guess?

    Worth mentioning that non-shimano/non-campag/non- "mainstream" hubs can be difficult to get spares eg freehub bodies for. They also die sometimes before the rest of the wheel and if they are easy to service (eg Mavic) then it's worthwhile doing what the mnf recommends in the way of the occasional strip down and re-lube.
    If you're as fat as me, all bikes are bendy.
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    on my big heavy getting around town bike, which is used in all weathers and lots of stop start stuff, the wheels do take a pounding, both the rims and the hubs. the road/mtb doesn't seem to suffer as much.
  • hambones
    hambones Posts: 407
    I've a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elites and have done around 6000 miles with no obvious signs of wear. That said I'm still on the first set of brake pads, chain etc etc. Not sure how long any of these components are expected to last but all seem in good shape thus far.
    Still breathing.....
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    I got about 4000 miles out of a pair of Rigida ZAC2000 rims before retiring them. They worked hard, commuting daily in Sheffield for 2+ years, and doing some mtb (29er pioneer 8) ) in the hills. Will probably not get as many out of the Rodi Typhoons I have now. Road wheels should last a lot longer because you don't brake as often, and there is less wet, gritty riding.
  • benvickery
    benvickery Posts: 124
    How much does it normally cost to rebuild a wheel? I need a new rim following my accident today. ( see other post)

    FCN : 4