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Rims in the rain...(6 posts)

Rims in the rain...seyboro
Nov 17, 2002 4:03 AM
I must be the only one to whom this is happening?! None of the guys from the club will admit it (or maybe they don't bother to check): My rims get soaked in the rain, and when I say that, I mean a good 3-5 ounces coming out of the cxp 30s and Vector pros, a little less out of the Ambrosios. I drain them, dry them in the house with the tires off and wait for the next downpour. Am I alone with this? Any ideas?
You are not alonePaulCL
Nov 17, 2002 7:08 AM
My speedreams pick up several ounces of water in the rain. My Mavic open pros pick up very little - but some. If this really bugs you, dab a little bit of clear silicone caulk around your nipple eylets. That should prevent most of the water from getting in.

By the way....if you buddies don't admit it, they're lying or haven't looked. Every wheel I've ever had got some water in it during the rains. If I ride in the rain, I always take off my tires and let the wheelset airdry. Paul
Common for these types of rims....DINOSAUR
Nov 17, 2002 7:39 AM
This is more or less a problem with the high rim profile "aero wheels". The inverted nipple chambers collect water. I have not tried the silicone grease around the valve stem (that's where the water comes in), but the new era Rolf wheels (before Trek dropped them) have a little hole drilled in the side of the rim to allow water to drain. MY Mavic OP's on my other bike don't have this problem. I flattened in my garage after a ride in the rain (good place for a flat) a couple of weeks ago and the inside was dry as a bone. Next time I pull down my Klein I'll take a look and see what size hole is drilled in the rim.....unless someone else knows off the top of their head...probably drilling the hole and the silicone grease should fix the problem...
I think all box-section rims suffer from this fate...Quack
Nov 18, 2002 12:46 PM
Basically any higher end rim will have a hollow cavity in the middle of it. One downside is that this hollow cavity fills with water due to the rain being slung up onto the rim surface and through the spoke holes during riding. I've never had a good rim that didn't fill with water on rain rides. If it's a huge deal, you could always build a pair of weaker wheels out of single wall rims or shoot silicone sealer around each spoke nipple in your current wheels. Me, I just ride. If I drain the water out after a rain ride, great. If not, oh well. Unless I'm racing, the water doesn't make a bit of difference.

Enjoy the rain!

Always Wetpeter in NVA
Nov 18, 2002 3:16 PM
I use aero rims for cyclocross. Not only do they fill with water, but also with mud. Never got a flat because of it.
a good reason for non-cloth rim tapejw25
Nov 19, 2002 10:47 AM
I've noticed this with many of the deep-section rims, and to some extend with the newer eyeletted rims. The deep-section, especially with hidden nipples (Vector Pro, Campy prebuilts) have to have some space around the spoke for ease of building and proper spoke angle. This gives water an easy way in, especially with centrifugal force pushing it down the spokes. Some older aero wheels (Mavic Cosmics) had a hole or two drilled in the side of the rim, right below the inner wall. This way, the same centrifugal force pushed water out about as fast as it got in.
I've ridden the Cosmics through several rains, and never had more than a few drops in them afterwards, while a friend with Vector Pros had serious sloshing.
The newer eyelets, using a piece of aluminum that presses into the inner wall of the rim, rather than a steel swaged insert, also leave spaces for water entry. My CXP-33's will also take on water, though the physical space inside is smaller. On older rims, greasing the eyelets and nipples properly sealed the rim, from splashing, at least. Non-eyeletted rims also seal well this way, though they carry a slight weight penalty.
Apart from drilling into your rims, which you certainly could do, but I personally wouldn't, the only solutions are trying to seal every spoke hole with silicone, or draining or drying the wheels after a rain ride.
Personally, I use 3m strapping tape in my rims, which doesn't absorb water or rot, so I just leave the wheels inside in a warm spot, and trust that water vapor can find it's way out as easily as liquid water got in. Seems to work, and the 3m tape has proven reliable for me (2 layers, and get the genuine article - the generic seems thinner).
You could also build some old-style eyeletted, or even non-eyeletted rims specifically for rain rides, though you can't plan for everything.