All about bicycles, electric-assisted bikes, technology and safety in the press

In our daily work as we deal with bicycle safety, technology and user manuals we come across lots of safety risks. The most frequent ones are published in articles of the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR – Europas Rennrad-Magazin Nr. 1, BIKE – Das Mountainbike Magazin Europas Nr. 1 and E-Bike – Das Pedelec-Magazin to make this information important for the sector accessible to a wider public.

For many years now the Eurobike Show Daily accompanying the annual international Eurobike Show has given us the opportunity to publish our perspective on major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent lectures about all topics relating to bicycle technology and bicycle market. In addition, we are regularly cited by further special-interest magazines or trade journals as well as more and more by radio and television and in their media reports, which shows us that we are completely right with our information. The section NEWS informs you about the latest news from our specialist fields. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to topics of interest.

TOUR 09/2011

Rim care

All road racers want are fancy and fast wheels – The fact that the rims as part of the brake system and as mount for the tyres are decisive for the safety on the road bike, is often left aside. We show you how to keep the rims in top shape.

Make rims ready-for mounting

  • The valve holes of rims are not always deburred and properly rounded by the manufacturers. Deburr or countersink the valve hole manually with a drill (?).
  • Smoothen the area additionally with fine sandpaper. Make sure not to leave any chips inside the rim chamber. Clean the area around the valve hole with a cloth.
  • We recommend endless rim tape made of plastic; place the valve holes of tape and rim on top of one another and fix the tape with a screw driver. Press the rim tape evenly on both sides over the circumference into the lower rim base.
  • If your rims have no spoke holes, you should check whether the lower rim base is really hole-free. Even smallest holes can make inner tubes burst in high temperatures and under high pressure. Cover these spots and the area of the deburred valve hole with pieces of glued on rim tape.
  • In the case of adhesiv rim tape, you should carefully clean the base with acetone. Start inserting the tape at the valve hole and make sure the holes are also matching up with one another. Pull the tape tight and turn the rim bit by bit. This will allow you to glue the tape crease free into the rim base.
  • Do not cut our or punch the valve hole, it might tear. Heat up instead a spoke or a screwdriver blade and melt a hole into the tape.


Rim care and cleaning

  • Wash the rim occasionally with water and a little liquid soap. Thoroughly brush the area of the brake surface, e.g. with an old tooth brush. Tough stains can be removed with the rough side of a sponge. Make sure not to damage the stickers.
  • Oily substances can be removed with acetone and a cotton cloth. Make absolutely sure you only treat the brake surface and to keep away harmful solvents from the tyres, the varnished rim surfaces or the stickers.
  • Some dealers offer rim rubbers, with which you can clean and work up the brake surface with a little patience. Freshly cleaned rim sides have a clearly better brake effect.
  • Remove the silvery shining inclusions of aluminium particles originating from the rim surface immediately from the brake pads. They produce awkwardly scraping noises during braking and excessively wear down the rim.
  • When mounting the second set of brake pads at the latest, you should have measured the wall thickness of the brake surface and from this moment on regularly. According to the rim type, the brake surface can burst from a wall thickness of one millimetre on due to the tyre pressure.
  • Lacquered and anodized areas of the rims, the nipples and the spokes can be polished with hard wax which is a protection against corrosion at the same time. Be particularly careful with the protection of the spoke holes and, according to the rim type, the eyelets. Make sure to keep the brake surfaces free of wax.


TIPS

Safety
Too narrow, folded rim tapes or tapes which stand up on the sides do not offer sufficient protection. In most cases endless rim tapes cannot be reused. Replace them after removal and also replace brittle or cracked rim tapes.

Aeration
When you use acetone or spirit for cleaning, make sure the room you are working in is well aerated.

Brake effect
If the braking performance of your bicycle appears too weak for you, of if the brake pads are constantly affected by aluminium particles, you should try other brake pads after consultation with your bicycle dealer. The manufacturers of brakes or brake pads have different mixtures in their program, but bicycle manufacturers not always combine the perfect matching pad with the rim.

Valve nuts
Nuts for the fixing of the valve stem in the rim are not necessary. Although pumping up is easier with nuts, this means for the valve that it is immobile and cannot move, when the tyre slips on the rim. If you use nuts, always keep an eye on the valve and make sure it is accurately in upright position.

Author: Dirk Zedler

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