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Advice needed on carbon wheel weight imbalance

Hi,

I’m looking for some advice from the community here. Long story short, I bought my dream bike from Trek this year and despite it taking 75 days to arrive instead of the quoted 40 before I handed my deposit over, it finally arrived about a month ago. I love the bike and it’s fantastic to ride and had rekindled my love for road cycling. However, there are 2 gripes I have, both concerning the Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 wheels. The first is a relatively minor one, in that I order red decals for the rims as they match the colour of the bike, and the bike came with the plain white/cream which you can barely see. I didn’t mention this until a few days after collecting the bike as I didn’t want anything to jeopardise me getting the bike after waiting so long, and I was going back for a bike fit anyway in the coming weeks and was hoping they would simply swap them for the ones I had ordered and wanted. The Trek store manager then offered to get them painted and 3 weeks after the initial suggestion (down to him not checking with their paint bloke), has now said it would invalidate the warranty so he advises against it. He also answered my next question about getting them swapped by saying, they are made to order with the bike and do not come as a separate item, so they cannot be swapped. Not sure how they operate when a warranty replacement is needed, but anyway, that’s where I am with them now. Part of me is thinking let it lie and the other is saying email Trek’s CEO and see if they will swap the wheels.

The second issue is related and I really need to understand if I’m having the wool pulled over my eyes here as I’ve never had a set of expensive, full carbon wheels before. There is a pronounced weight imbalance on the back wheel that is very noticeable when the rear is lifted and the wheel spun around. I can’t notice it when riding though. The Trek store manager and his mechanic have assured me it’s perfectly normal for full carbon wheels to have this slight imbalance and is just part of the manufacturing process. The wheel is perfectly concentric and has no side to side alignment issue, but it almost needs a counter weight to correct the wobble. If it were a motorbike wheel, that’s exactly what it would have.
So I’m wondering whether I should push my claim on either/both counts or just live with it. I’d really like to know what others would do in my situation, and whether a £1,000 rear fully carbon wheel is normal to have a weight imbalance. All advice gratefully received, thanks in advance.

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,469
    Are these being run tubeless, if so the sealant causes a similar sensation until it's dissipated around the tyre by centrifugal force. I personally wouldn't get hung up over decal on wheels as they soon get dirty.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • mangliermanglier Posts: 839
    Strip the decals using acetone (nail varnish remover) and run the wheels stealthy then have a gander at this video:
  • Weight imbalance also caused by valve.

    All my wheels do this. Cheap and expensive.

    Decals is a pain but I swapped mine and it was surprisingly easy - and I am remarkably cack handed when it comes to this type of thing.
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    Personally, I’d push both issues. They haven’t delivered what you ordered and paid for, so it will niggle away at the back of your mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s easy to change decals, why should you do it? And also, if it might risk your warranty, tell them to order you the ones you paid for and when they arrive you’ll swap them.
    On the wheel imbalance, I’ve got carbon Zipp, Edco & DTSwiss wheels and have never noticed anything like this. If it’s a Bontrager ‘thing’ get them to demonstrate on some other wheels.
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • Flip your bike over and pedal fast then stop and let it freewheel - don't you see the bike shake or wobble ?
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    edited October 2020
    Just done it with the DTSwiss wheels, no wobble with the wheel.

    You can see that the tyre obviously has a few bits of dirt on it which can give the impression of a wobble.

    I’ve definitely had imbalances before, but on mtbs which when investigated uncovered problems with tyres or inner tubes.
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Weight imbalance with no weight on the bike is a bogus test. Yes the bike will bob. It wont when you on it unless your the weight of a fly.

    Dont worry about stuff that isnt an issue.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
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