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Wheelset life expectancy(5 posts)

Wheelset life expectancyfiltersweep
Sep 13, 2003 9:28 AM
I'm curious how many miles a wheelset can endure. I have a set of Mavic Ksyriums SSL SC (the first year they had the SSL SC- 2001 or 2002?) that have about 7000 miles on them. They are as true as the day I purchased them- although the front creaks more and more.

There seems to be very little (if any) play in the bearings, and cosmetically they look almost new (which surprises me, considering their anodized black finish).

I'm assuming the only real "wear" item would be the bearings- and that with the proper maintenance (of which they have literally had NONE) they could last virtually forever- but I've never actually owned a wheelset long enough to ride them into the ground. Is this an accurate assumption?

What kind of mileage do people normally get on a wheelset? What determines when wheels are worn out (if ever)? What kind of maintenance- routine or otherwise- do people use for wheels?

Will they last forever? Or is there a point at which I plan to retire these?
Sep 13, 2003 9:50 AM
In the long run, the braking surfaces will wear down to the point of being paper-thin, cracking and breaking. Oftentimes, the rim will crack at the spoke holes - given the Ksyrium construction, I'm not sure how common this will be with that particular wheelset design.

The hub, with bearing replacement, will last effectively forever.
Sep 13, 2003 10:17 AM
These wheels are long lasting; however, recent maintenance histories demonstrate the need for bearing lubrication and overhaul. This is their only weak point. Most shops will tell you, if they are honest, that this maintenance requirement is more necessary than originally envisioned by Mavic. If you want them to last (and nothing lasts forever!) be sure and have them serviced every 1500 miles or every 6 months if you ride regularly.
Sep 13, 2003 10:40 AM
Your bike shop is doing something to your Ksyriums, I'm just not sure what. Mavic uses a sealed cartridge bearing system on almost all of their products (including Ksyrium), which is designed to not be overhauled. When the bearings do go bad, and I haven't seen one yet, the whole unit needs to be replaced.

Overhauling these bearings, while possible, is likely to cause them to need more frequent service and lubrication.
Your numbers are WAY off!Kerry Irons
Sep 14, 2003 5:15 PM
No decent hub EVER needs to be maintained every 1500 miles unless you are caught in the rain on a regular basis. I overhaul my Campy loose bearing hubs every 10K miles or so (once per year) and they've got about 45K miles on them. I had a bike in the 70s and 80s with Campy NR hubs that went 90K miles, being overhauled every 5-6K miles. My current Campy Electron front wheel has about 45K miles on it, the rear about 31K. IME, a good wheel most often fails at the rim, not at the hub. Back in the day with softer aluminum alloys, 20K or so miles was good for a rim. The last rim failure I had in wheels I built was at 45K miles - spoke pull through in a 350 gm tubular rim. The most common rim failure these days is cracking at the spoke holes. Reports of hub/bearing failure reflect crap equipment - except for manufacturing defects, this sort of thing doesn't happen with any reasonable frequency to good stuff. YMMV.