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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:42 am
Posts: 75
I thought I would share this experience in case anyone is looking at buying new / used Tune Schwarzbrenner 25 tubular wheels.

I bought a new set in 2011. For a while they seemed fine, but I quite quickly experienced a lot of problems with them going out of true. They were also pretty flexy, but given their weight I certainly wasn't expecting them to be super stiff. I was a bit nervous about attempting to re-true them myself, so had my LBS re-true them a couple of times. They commented that the spoke tension was very low in both wheels, but as they weren't a Tune dealer, they did not want to risk increasing the overall tension in case the rims wouldn't take it.

Because the issues with flex and remaining in true continued, I eventually sent them to Strada Wheels with the intention that they could strip them down, replace all the spokes and completely re-build them. When they looked at them however they commented that:

(i) Although the tension in the wheels was low, it was very uneven from side to side at the rear (the drive side, at around 80kfg, was significantly tighter (i.e more than would be expected) than the non-drive side)

(ii) Despite the low tension in the wheels, both rims had swelled significantly around the rim bed / spoke holes, and in places the carbon had started to crack.

Strada (understandably) were not willing to re-build them, as their view was that putting any reasonable tension in them would eventually cause the spokes to pull through the rim.

The wheels were 18 months old at this point, and had done about 3000 miles. I therefore liaised with Poshbikes (who imported them), and with Tune directly. Both of them washed their hands. Poshbikes hinted that there were known issues with the wheels and said that they had stopped selling them (but they wouldn't be specific about what the issues were), and Tune simply said they were out of warranty and they wouldn't do anything about it.

The point of the post is not to bash Tune or Poshbikes (my view is that their response didn't demonstrate a great deal of customer service, but they are both right, the wheels only had a 12 month warranty which had expired), but just to advise caution for anyone who might be thinking of buying a set. The comments obviously only apply to the specific wheel (Schwarzbrenner 25 tubular), I have no idea whether similar issues exist with the deeper wheels or the clinchers.

As an aside, Strada were brilliant. They stripped the wheels, and re-used the hubs (which have been faultless) on Enve Classic 25 rims which they did for a very good price. I couldn't be happier with the Enves which are lighter (1000g vs 1060g) and stiffer than the Schwarzbrenners, and have stayed completely true over 4000 miles of riding.


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Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:11 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:56 am 
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Posts: 560
Location: Surrey UK
da123 wrote:
but they are both right, the wheels only had a 12 month warranty which had expired

I know it's a bit too late. But they were not right. By giving only 12 months warranty, they still had to comply with the EU directive 1999/44/EC which says: "A two-year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU".

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Not going to publicly bad-mouth Poshbikes here, but yeah... had some issues myself when buying a Tune hub.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:11 pm 
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I have a pair of Schwarzbrenner 42 clinchers which I also bought in 2011 and they went out of true quite quickly. Luckily I have some wheel building experience and therefore was able to sort out the problem, but as the OP pointed out, I also found that the spoke tensions were very uneven. It's not particularly encouraging that the Schwarzbrenners were quietly taken off the market last year..... In general I find Tune products to be hit and miss in terms of both design and durability.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:34 am 
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Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
The original carbon rims were done by Xentis......all of the above issues are a problem with these rims. We had our share of problem with clinchers in our case. Tune is now doing their own carbon rims besides using ENVE rims. Sold a few of the new Skylines (2013/14 models) which at 800something grams are extremely light and haven't heard much complaining from the users so far (lets keep fingers crossed ;-) ). Also worth mentioning is that these top end wheelsets do have a weight restriction and even if you are under it by a few Kilos you will feel the flex compared to other options.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:34 pm 
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jmartpr wrote:
The original carbon rims were done by Xentis......all of the above issues are a problem with these rims. We had our share of problem with clinchers in our case. Tune is now doing their own carbon rims besides using ENVE rims. Sold a few of the new Skylines (2013/14 models) which at 800something grams are extremely light and haven't heard much complaining from the users so far (lets keep fingers crossed ;-) ). Also worth mentioning is that these top end wheelsets do have a weight restriction and even if you are under it by a few Kilos you will feel the flex compared to other options.


Interesting. I guess the lesson is not to go near them with a barge poll! I can't recall whether the Schwarzbrenners had a weight limit or not, but I'm 69 kilos. It wasn't the flex that bothered me so much (like you say, inevitable with a superlight set of hoops), more the unhappy realisation that I'd paid so much money for a wheelset that could have failed catastrophically if I'd carried on riding it!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:19 pm 
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da123 where did you buy the wheels?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:27 pm 
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Location: Surrey UK
My take on this is that the wheels are from poshbikes (uk).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:51 am 
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My guess is the wheels weren't directly from Poshbikes. If they were da123 would have said.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:06 am 
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konky wrote:
My guess is the wheels weren't directly from Poshbikes. If they were da123 would have said.


Correct, they weren't directly from Poshbikes. They were from Race Wheels. The guy behind Race Wheels set up Velo Refined, but then this changed ownership and the Race Wheels guy went to work for HED. Race Wheels has now re-appeared in a slightly different guise (hiring wheels as far as I can tell, and not selling bikes). I did manage to speak to the Race Wheels guy who confirmed that the pair he sold me were imported by Poshbikes and then distributed to Race Wheels. He then spoke to Poshbikes about the whole issue (as did I).

I didn't set out all this detail originally because this wasn't really the point of the post. I just wanted to alert people to potential issues with the wheels if they were thinking of buying them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:29 am 
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Shop Owner

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:39 pm
Posts: 65
Hi Dave

Just a quick note in defense of my company, Race Wheels, I feel that I was as helpful as possible with this issue, equally as helpful as I always tried to be when you were doing your Storck build.

If you have any issues you'd like to discuss please contact me as I would, as always, like to try and help if necessary. You have all of my contact details.

Regards

Seth


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:23 am 
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sethjkay wrote:
Hi Dave

Just a quick note in defense of my company, Race Wheels, I feel that I was as helpful as possible with this issue, equally as helpful as I always tried to be when you were doing your Storck build.

If you have any issues you'd like to discuss please contact me as I would, as always, like to try and help if necessary. You have all of my contact details.

Regards

Seth


Hi Seth, thanks for this.

As per my original post when I didn't even mention Race Wheels (quite deliberately), I'm not attaching any criticism to you on this. Like you say, you were as helpful as I think you could have been, and you tried to get a resolution for me via Poshbikes which they were resistant to (as were Tune). You also offered an alternative in terms of a reduced price re-build - it was just that when I asked Strada Wheels what price they could do the same build for, they came out at pretty much the same price and they already had the wheels with them.

For the record, I can also confirm what you state in relation to my Storck build, you were never anything other than very helpful on this, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to deal with you again.

At the risk of repeating myself, I did not post this with the purpose of impugning anyone, although I stand by what I said in relation to my disappointment with the reaction of Poshbikes and Tune (but not Race Wheels). Hopefully you can appreciate that from a customer's perspective, I'm unlikely to be happy with the way the wheels turned out, particularly when it looks like this is an actual 'problem' with the rims, rather than just bad luck in relation to a one off.

Cheers,

Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:09 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
The issue was not with the Xentis rims, it was with the poor build quality coming from Tune.
That is only IMHO.
All Xentis rims we have gotten straight from Austria have been issue free...only the old Tune builds have had problems.

Mike

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:30 pm 
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CippoForLife wrote:
The issue was not with the Xentis rims, it was with the poor build quality coming from Tune.
That is only IMHO.
All Xentis rims we have gotten straight from Austria have been issue free...only the old Tune builds have had problems.

Mike


Interesting, and as you've clearly seen a number of Xentis rims I'm not going to argue with you.

I'm no wheel builder or shop owner, so I can only go by my specific experience and the view of Strada Wheels (who obviously build wheels for a living). Their opinion was that the quality / strength of my Schwarzbrenner rims was such that even with low spoke tension (much lower than they would put in an Enve or Zipp rim for example), the spokes were liable to stress / crack the carbon (which they had done on my wheels) and eventually pull through the rim. This suggests rim issue to me, rather than build quality per se, although the fact that they went out of true so easily and were unevenly tensioned admittedly points to a poor build as well.

If the wheels had been over-tensioned, it would arguably be down to the build, but as I say, the wheels had subjectively (i.e. me squeezing the spokes) and measurably (Strada testing them) low tension. The spokes had visibly damaged both front and rear rims as well, which I think rules out the uneveness of spoke tension evidenced in the rear wheel being the culprit (the front wheel was not uneven, just low tensioned all over).

Perhaps I was just unlucky with those particular rims.

Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 300
Wouldn't an overtensioned spoke that stressed/cracked the carbon eventually become a low tension spoke as the carbon around the nipple gives way, and also throw most of the other tensions in the wheel off? Especially if there was truing done after the rim started to give way around the nipples.


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Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:53 pm 


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