Broken Lightweight standard gen 3 wheel - your take

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Martin.F
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm
Location: Norway, Drammen

by Martin.F

So I've encountered some problems with my LW front wheel. I noticed it after a ride, when I was going to park my bike. I haven't noticed it while racing, so I can't say how long it's been like this. The wheels are low mileage - sub 100hours (approx 1,5 hr of rain), used with LW's supplied pads and by me - a 67kg rider. The tallest climb I've taken them on is around 600m with a very straight decent.

The area where the spoke goes through the top spot of the rim sidewall connection has started delaminating. I can push the spoke and the sidewalls apart with very little force. This causes the two sidewalls to separate. I've uploaded a video for you to see. Notice how thin the sidewall that has delaminated is compared to a normal area on the picture.

I've sent the wheels to Lightweight for them to check, and I recieved nothing but an invoice of 450€ without tax. The invoice stated that the brake tracks are worn and thin and that the reason for the delamination is overheating or dirty pads. I must say I was quite surprised given the low mileage and gentle use. I've put both Zipps and FFWDs through quite a bit more and they looked as new.

Now, my question is. Am I supposed to just accept the repaircosts? Is this normal wear and tear? I've worked in a bikeshop for 4 years, and I've never seen something like this happen to any kind of wheels - even LW wheels used by a lot heavier riders than me that puts them through much worse conditions. I really have a hard time believing that this is my fault and that this is expected. If it is then I must say it is the most overpriced consumptiongood I've ever seen.

VIDEO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinfo/9314164965/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Normal spokeconnection
Image
normal spoke connection by Martin.F., on Flickr
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Monkeyboy3333
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:41 pm

by Monkeyboy3333

what relevance does the spoke issue have to the brake track, sounds like a load of old crap to me!! Why would your brakes affect that area?! Have you had any other correspondence from them?

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Martin.F
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm
Location: Norway, Drammen

by Martin.F

No, only some nice communication regarding shipping to them. After that it took a couple of days before I got the invoice. I sent them a mail explaining how I struggle to see how this is normal, so we'll see what they have to say. I didn't want to post anything like this in case they just repaired it no questions asked, but after just recieving an invoice without any questions regarding weight, mileage etc I want to get more opinions on this.
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justkeepedaling
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:14 am
Location: by Crystal Springs (Sawyer Creek Trail)

by justkeepedaling

Not normal, and not acceptable for a high end wheel IMO.

tinozee
Posts: 699
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:53 am

by tinozee

Ouch man, 450 euro could buy you a nice set of hubs to start some new wheels. I don't get the obsession with Lightweights honestly. The prices are just wrong.

teufelhunden222
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:16 pm

by teufelhunden222

if it was an overheat issue, the delam would be in a different spot. they are morons. They think their product is so great that it has no flaws. Push them harder. they will replace for free or repair for free.
[img]<iframe%20height='160'%20width='300'%20frameborder='0'%20allowtransparency='true'%20scrolling='no'%20src='http://app.strava.com/athletes/1677950/activity-summary/ddf436fc1ca509b20d4637cfa80c928da771d2c6'></iframe>[/img]

mike
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:42 pm

by mike

LW under the old management was great to deal with. stefan was so easy to deal with.

teufelhunden222
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:16 pm

by teufelhunden222

the wheel in the pic is extremely porus. these wheels are how much?
[img]<iframe%20height='160'%20width='300'%20frameborder='0'%20allowtransparency='true'%20scrolling='no'%20src='http://app.strava.com/athletes/1677950/activity-summary/ddf436fc1ca509b20d4637cfa80c928da771d2c6'></iframe>[/img]

boolinwall
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:19 pm

by boolinwall

I was thinking the same thing. That isn't the nicest carbon finish I've ever seen. And yeah, I get that finish has little to do with ride quality and durability. But still,, these things cost over $5,000. They'd best look like a $5,000 wheel. I'm not impressed to hear that paying that kind of premium for a quality product got you that kind of crappy support. Sad thing is, it's not that uncommon in the bike industry. You take for granted that something's going to have a warranty when you buy it, only to find it isn't worth crap when you go to redeem it.
Hopefully it turns out good in the end.

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SWijland
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Location: The Netherlands
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by SWijland

The explanation the LW sent you seems to make sense. Definitely seen to the fact that the brake tracks are thin and worn. This is something that normally only happens after loads of use. However, if it is true that these wheels have only seen some 3000-4000km of use, then LW should definitely replace the wheel.

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Martin.F
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm
Location: Norway, Drammen

by Martin.F

Got a reply from LW. They seem to have reduced the braketrack to "a little worn". They say I have "some impact" on two spokes which is supposedly causing delaminating.

Wow... Given their low-cost procedure of making the wheels and the super-high sales price they should have more than enough funds to support their product. Especially in cases like this. I get the worn braketrack, but obviously this is not the reason for delamination at the spokes. And if the brake tracks are worn before the brake pads are even slightly worn, then there are something very wrong.
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Martin.F
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm
Location: Norway, Drammen

by Martin.F

Original brakepads as supplied by LW with the wheels. They seem to outlast the rim 5-10 times, super quality rims.

Image
Lightweight brakepads by Martin.F., on Flickr
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teufelhunden222
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:16 pm

by teufelhunden222

sorry, but a spoke impact should break the spoke long before it breaks the wheel. from the video the structure holding the spoke was moving around. Carbon is not good with side impacts, they are just trying to make money off of you when they should be covering it. In regards to the porosity, that just tells me that they have poor resin penetration and do not use any kind of vacuum/pressure system which is crucial for a strong/light composite. its like these guys are stuck in the 1970's or something.
[img]<iframe%20height='160'%20width='300'%20frameborder='0'%20allowtransparency='true'%20scrolling='no'%20src='http://app.strava.com/athletes/1677950/activity-summary/ddf436fc1ca509b20d4637cfa80c928da771d2c6'></iframe>[/img]

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Martin.F
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:21 pm
Location: Norway, Drammen

by Martin.F

Lightweight discounted 50% on the brake track repair after seing the pads. Still not enough to be honest.
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Zakalwe
Posts: 433
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:15 pm

by Zakalwe

Offering a discount of the cost on review is basically admitting they're at fault here, it's a bit insulting that they would still try and charge anything at all after admitting to be in the wrong.

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