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Water in wheels(7 posts)

Water in wheelsOver-the-Hill
Aug 13, 2001 3:46 PM
I purchased a 2001 Lemond Zurich equipped with Rolf Vector Comp wheels about 2 months ago. Twice during the past few weeks I have been caught in rain during a ride. The 1st time was a brief, but heavy, downpour. The 2nd time was a light drizzle that lasted 2 hours. After each ride, there was a fair amount of water in each wheel. The only way I could remove the water was to remove the tire and tube and drain the water through the opening for the valve stem (a royal pain!).

Rolf says this problem is common to all aero rims. Although there are drain holes on the rim sidewalls, they suggest removing the tire, as I have done. Is it true that this is a common problem? Are there any other solutions, such as sealing the nipples? Rolf says the water is entering through the openings for the spoke nipples.
re: Water in wheelsLC
Aug 13, 2001 3:57 PM
Removing the tubes is the only way to dry the wheels out. It would not be a good idea to seal the nipples either.
re: Water in wheelsDINOSAUR
Aug 13, 2001 3:59 PM
I have the same wheels, common problem with the Rolf VC's. I got caught once in a heavy rain shower, then about a week and a half later I had a flat and discovered the water in my rims. The problem is caused by the inverted nipple chambers. Make sure you replace your rim tape also, otherwise they will start to harden and you will start having rim puntures. They say you can seal the nipples, I've never tried it. I avoid rain, and Rolf, as good as the have been for wheels, won't be my first choice for wheels in the future.....
Clarificationgrzy mnky
Aug 13, 2001 4:00 PM
Rolf should've said it was common to all *of*their* aero rims. There are other aero rims that don't have this problem.

The solution is to not ride when it's wet or get new wheels (not Rolf). Otherwise you've either got to 100% prevent water from entering or make damn sure it has an easy way to get out. A concept that eludes the great Mr. Rolf.
Aug 13, 2001 4:26 PM
The term "aerodynamic" is up for debate with the Rolf wheels. My solution is not to ride when it is wet. My new bike won't have Rolf or any other stuff on it that says "Icon" (the great Icon stem recall)...
This weekends wet ride...JL
Aug 13, 2001 4:49 PM
I had the same problem this weekend with my Vector Comps. I also had water in my frame (Trek 5200). See "tried first century" below.

I found water coming out of the spoke nipple area as well, after I had removed the tires/tubes and drained the water from the rims. Should I be concerned about rust? I think they're all aluminum, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.


John L.
happens with V. Pro's, but there's no drain...jw25
Aug 14, 2001 4:19 AM
and short of taking the tire and tube off, there's no good way to get the water out.
I have a set of Mavic Cosmic Pro's, and they also fill up in the rain, but at least they have a drain hole drilled through each side, low enough that it actually works.
The good news is, unless the water was particularly salty, there shouldn't be any damage done.