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Ever damaged road bike wheels/how tough are they?

mossychopsmossychops Posts: 262
edited July 2011 in Commuting general
I have Shimano RS20 wheels on my road bike and think I am being over protective. Everytime I hit a small hole in the road I wince or swerve dangreously to avoid it and slow to complete stop to go up a dropped kerb because I am convinved my wheels are fragile as glass.

I have seen videos of people doing crazy jumps and tricks on roadies. So how tough are road bike wheels? Has anyone buckled or damaged their wheels on the road (or offroad) and what did it take or are they actually pretty tough and really up and down a dropped kerb or even a full kerb shouldn't matter?

Photos are also good in a thread like this :wink:


  • ex-pat scotex-pat scot Posts: 939
    Damaged my WH-550 front wheel recently - hit a large stone and it's dented the rim.
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • Skippy2309Skippy2309 Posts: 426
    only damaged one wheel and that was hitting a pot hole at 30+mph in a sprint, almost ripped the wheel out of the drop outs and bent a chain tug... the rim split but didnt fall apart, I just straightened the wheel in the drop outs and rode home, the rim came apart when I took the tire off tho :roll:

    wouldnt worry to much about dropping off kerbs, if mine takes it with my current 105kg weight i wouldnt worry :wink:
    FCN: 5/6 Fixed Gear (quite rapid) in normal clothes and clips :D

    Cannondale CAAD9 / Mongoose Maurice (heavily modified)
  • GreggyrGreggyr Posts: 1,075
    My WH-550's do a great job on my commute. They've stayed true for a long period, given the amount of South London streets they cover every week.
    however my latest back wheel currently resembles a Pringle, and I can only remember hitting a pretty small pothole. Therefore it's down to luck as well I s'pose. I'm 95kgs too, so I'm no racing snake !!! I'm on my 3rd set, but that's because the braking surfaces have worn very thin on the 1st 2 sets.
  • mossychopsmossychops Posts: 262
    Are RS30 pretty good wheels in people's opinion?
  • BelgianBeerGeekBelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,226
    No harm in trying to prolong their life by a little pot-hole avoidance - why go right over them?
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    mossychops wrote:
    Are RS30 pretty good wheels in people's opinion?

    RS30s are pretty heavy due to theiir 30mm dep alloy rim. Having said that, I have a pair and I like them.

    I think people go a bit overboard on wheel weight. The RS30 rim is fairly aero (looking at least!) as it blends nicely with the tyre. I think cup and cone bearings are an advantage too, although I am aware this splits people.

    The wheels roll really well when up to speed and seem quite robust andreasonably stiff without knocking your fillings out.

    As I said, I've had a pair for a year or so and ride on roads with loats of potholes and the wheels are perfectly true, as they were when i received them.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,962
    Damaged my front wheel this morning; got pushed into the gutter by a truck getting too close, only to find that a drain cover was missing.

    Now to talk to West Berkshire council...
  • Cycle100Cycle100 Posts: 16
    Yes - this morning! Bus cut me up and had to mount the curb or I was a gonna. Wheel now more oval shaped. Grrr
  • mossychopsmossychops Posts: 262
    Cycle100 wrote:
    Yes - this morning! Bus cut me up and had to mount the curb or I was a gonna. Wheel now more oval shaped. Grrr

    What wheels, tyres, pressure are you running mate? Hitting things like you and gbsahne could do a lot more damage, over the handlebars and lose some teeth. Lucky.

    All useful info, cheers guys. I think I dont need to be quite so overprotective and steer clear of buses. I am happy with RS30's nice looking wheels.

    First road bike so compared to my mountain bike: face so close to tyre, 23mm tyre, spoke only coming round half as often, hands no where near brake levers and centre of balance being the front hub all makes for some getting used to.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,962
    mossychops wrote:

    What wheels, tyres, pressure are you running mate? Hitting things like you and gbsahne could do a lot more damage, over the handlebars and lose some teeth. Lucky.

    Yes, lucky to stay on and not go under the arctic's wheels, a bit further on when I could stop I also found it had impacted the bolt retaining the handlebars (old bike), requiring immediate attention, as the handlebars were about to come off; that would have been fun on a busy dual carriageway

    R500 on the front, Mavic A319 touring wheel (deore hub) on back, both fitted with gatorskin hardshells 700 x 25 @ 110 psi
  • keefsloankeefsloan Posts: 29
    I'm running Fulcrum 7's and have only had one slight issue, hitting a huge pothole coming down the A3 (rohampton vale) at about 38mph. Caused the innertube to blow instantly even though it was running at 110psi (and I weigh 90kgs). Rim was OK, out of true to I spent an evening with a spoke key and put it back into alignment. Other than that I've never had any trouble, and my route to work isn't exactly racetrack smooth tarmac. A valuable skill to learn is the bunny hop. See a particularly nasty hole / obstacle and simply jump over it. Road wheels are certainly strong enough to absorb this kind of impact with not even a thought.
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