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  1. #1
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    American Classic 29er race wheels 'pling' all the time

    I got these wheels a few weeks ago.



    Last weekend I went for a long ride with my buddy's and in all climbs I heard the wheels/spokes 'pling' when I put some power down. It sounds like some spokes are loose, but I checked and spoke tension seems ok. It sounds a bit when you go out the first time on new hand-build wheels from the spokes releasing tension. But after 5-6 rides on the AMC wheels I still have this plinging. Yesterday I was changing tires and I found that when inflating the tire to about 45 psi (to make the tire seat well on the rim, normally I run the tire with around 24 psi) as well as pushing on the rim and generally handle the wheels, the spokes also pling a bit. I have never had this with other wheels, so I'm wondering whether this is ok?


    I'm 175-180 lbs, so comfortably within the weight limit (which is 210lbs I think) of these wheels I would say.

    Should I get used to it, or is there something wrong with these wheels?

  2. #2
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    it does sound strange, usually that noise is from spokes unwinding. It's kinda weird coming from AC wheels, I've found them to be mostly of really high quality...

    few thing to try..
    try relieving the tension on the spokes... not loosening the nipples but by take the wheel and laying it flat on a table/bench (remove the quick release) and go around the rim with both hands pushing down on the side of the rim. kinda like you're trying to taco the rim, keep spinning around and pushing down in small segments. go around it like 4-5 times, flip the rim and do the other side. if it is a spoke twisted you'll hear it unwind... check for true after.

    also try a drop of thin oil on the nipple to spoke and nipple to rim area

    i have heard noises from wheels when they get dirt between the spoke face and the hub.. but that's usually after they get dirty/used... those look WAY to clean for that issue...

    Friggin nice looking bike by the way!!!
    Last edited by thomllama; 05-24-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    I already did what you said, relieving tension on the spokes by pressing on the rim. Still the plinging continues. I'll try to put some light oil on the nipples so see if the sound goes away.

    /edit: I also have troubles mounting Specialized tires (fast track 2.2"). They just won't seat properly without the use of a compressor. I lube the sidewalls using soapy water, but even at 50psi the tires won't seat correctly so I'm left with a big wobble in the wheel. When using an air compressor, I still need to lube the tires, but with some effort the tires seat. But when you deflate the tires again, they un-seat so I can start all over. My previous tires (Schwalbe Racing Ralph) would stay put in the beads and I had to use some force getting them off the rim. But the Specialized tires just fall off it seems.
    Last edited by zonoskar; 05-24-2012 at 07:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    Could be the spokes rubbing at the crossings or could be low tension

    I had this problem with an older set of AC 420s on my road bike. The wheels had been through an accident or two (the frames did not survive) and had been trued pretty seriously. there was pretty serious pinging going on on the rear wheel. I took it off and measured the spoke tension. A couple of spokes were effectively at zero tension.

    I spent the better part of the morning retensioning and redishing the wheel. All's well now. But I would do some "plucking" of spoke just to make sure there's no exceedingly loose spokes.

  5. #5
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbwallace View Post
    I had this problem with an older set of AC 420s on my road bike. The wheels had been through an accident or two (the frames did not survive) and had been trued pretty seriously. there was pretty serious pinging going on on the rear wheel. I took it off and measured the spoke tension. A couple of spokes were effectively at zero tension.

    I spent the better part of the morning retensioning and redishing the wheel. All's well now. But I would do some "plucking" of spoke just to make sure there's no exceedingly loose spokes.
    ya,.. plucking.. check for loose spokes. I'd get in contact directly with AC too and see what they have to say about it...
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  6. #6
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    I think your high tire mount pressure and use of very tight fitting tire beads has reduced the spoke tension (50psi on a wide rim is a lot of radial force). Lowering the tire pressure will not fully return the spoke tension to pre-tire (ie as-built) values. I think you should call AC and for sure re-tension the wheel, but not sure if you should do it with tire mounted or inflated. My guess is mounted, but not inflated. For light aluminum rims, these things make a difference.

    If the tire is new you can install with a tube and ride for some days then remove the tube - usually the bead will stretch. Or stretch it on another rim first. But you probably already know that.
    M

  7. #7
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    Zonoskar: just curious - were you running the TLR Schwalbes? At the moment I'm using the pacestar tlr rocket ron and ralph - no problems getting them sealed, and they've held air perfectly. But I am getting the "wobble" you mention. No burps or blow offs yet (but only a couple of rides so far). Just wondering if a non-tlr tire wit a smaller bead might work a bit better. The bead hook seems so small compared to a Stan's rim. I have the 26er version - impressed so far, and no plinging.

  8. #8
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    @chucky: I'm running Specialized tires right now. Don't know about the Schwalbe tires as I have not tried mine on these rims. I have a really old set, the first run with the new type decals (silver with white outline) which is probably before the TLR types.

    I suspect the tubeless tape from AMC preventing the tire to pop in the beads. But I'm reluctant to remove the tape since it came with the wheels and factory-installed.

    About the loose spokes, I checked and in the rear there are some spokes that are a bit looser then the rest, but not too bad. In the front wheel all spokes seem to have a lot of tension. I will take them to my LBS and have the mechanic look at them.

  9. #9
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    Hi Zonoskar, a spoke tension diagram would be nice :-)
    I am interested in getting these for my wife, but would perhaps rebuild them if not done right at the factory. If your LBS has no tensiometer send me a PM, perhaps we can work something out.
    Last edited by rapsac; 05-28-2012 at 04:27 AM. Reason: spelling
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  10. #10
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    My LBS worked on the wheels and they are true again (as there was a slight wobble in the rim) and the spoke tension should be ok now but the wheels stil pling. They didn't have a tensiometer and neither do I but all spokes seem to be tensioned. They did find a small dent in the rim though, oops. I put some pedros oil on each nipple to see if that would make the plinging go away but have not had a chance to ride the bike since. I did notice that a relatively large portion of the paint on the 2 red spokes had been worn away, probably from the spokes rubbing together. It was in the area of 5mm. Do spokes move around that much? I'll post a picture if you want.

    Oh, I put the tires on a ZTR rim and left them there for a few days, now they mount with little effort on the AMC rims. That's one problem down...

  11. #11
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    Last edited by rapsac; 06-06-2012 at 12:54 PM. Reason: meant as PM
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  12. #12
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    Got a Parktools TM-1 tension meter. Then I asked the LBS to true the wheels. Then I measured the spoke tension. Here's the diagrams. I'm not sure if the spokes on the left and right sides are in the correct order though. The values in the diagram are the values I read from the tension meter. They must be converted to Nm first, but since there's no formula to convert, just a table, I didn't know how to do that in Open Office. Maybe if I use Matblab at work....





    I have not ridden the wheels yet, so not sure if the plinging is over or not. Hopefully the weather is nice this weekend, but the forecast is not so bright.

  13. #13
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    Must just be a freak thing. I just got a set on my Epic and took them for a 28mi ride with 4975ft of climbing. I'm 235, currently. They pinged for about 10 seconds and then it was gone. They rolled great and I think I'm really gonna like them.

  14. #14
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    Apart from the absolute tension (must check the table ;-) it doesn't look too bad. Could be a bit better if care was taken. However, if the absolute tension is ok then it should not be a spoke tension issue.

    If care was taken to remove spoke windup during truing there should be almost no spoke "dewind" sounds during first ride.

    Max spoke tension without inflated tire should be around 100 to 110 kgf. (measurements should also be done without tire or with tire deflated)

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  15. #15
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    10 on the tension meter equals 48 Kgf, 20 equals 118 Kgf for a 1.6 spoke (which is what these AMC wheels use if I'm correct). The conversion is not linear. The average tension is around 16, which is 80 Kgf. Quite low tension you would say? 100 Kgf would be around 19 on the tension meter scale.

    Anyways, on my ride today, the wheels barely plinged, they were nice and quiet. Although, when I pull the rim and apply sideways force, some plinging can be heard, but apparently that much deflection doesn't happen during a ride. So I guess a low average tension on the spokes was the cause of the noise. Now I can start enjoying these wheels

  16. #16
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    Yes, 80 kgf average is too low. Should be 100 to 110 kgf. With maximum not much higher. I guess that could be the cause. However, I would advise increasing tension, since riding an "undertensioned" wheel can cause earlier defects. Spokes are not meant to detension during riding, this can lead to fatigue problems and spoke nipple damage.
    Still, strange that the wheels left the factory in such a state.

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  17. #17
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    I also got a reply from Ellen @ AMC that I should add 1/4 turn on each spoke to increase tension. So back to the LBS I go

    She also explained why the Specialized tires won't stay on the rims when you deflate them. It's the shape of the beads that's the cause, they're slightly too big for the AMC rims. It should be no biggie when you're using sealant. I guess I'll be converting to latex milk then....

    Is is strange indeed that they were sent like this. Oh well... if it is fixed now I don't care.

  18. #18
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    Mine Pling To

    Have you found the fix for this yet?

  19. #19
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    My wheels developed the pling after a bit, too. It happened while climbing long distances. My LBS contacted AC and they said that there was an issue with some of them, but a tension adjustment from the LBS fixed it. No problems now.

  20. #20
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    Mine pling quite a bit too. Drives me nuts! JRA is pretty quiet, but as soon as I stand or apply much torque it's like a player piano for a short spell

    Has an increased tension to around 100 kpf been the fix for most people?

    Can it be done with tires on or should they be dismounted? Or is that per mechanics discretion? - I could see either way being "proper".

    And just out of curiosity, is the noise generated between the spokes where they cross and as they rub against each other, or is it from the nipple wobbling in the rim hole
    Last edited by Noclutch; 07-29-2012 at 04:02 PM.

  21. #21
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    i had the exact same wheels with the exact same problem and i thought it was the exact same thing as everyone else on here about spoke tension.
    i had a bike shope re-tension the wheels and it made no change. i just dealt with it for a while, i was building a new bike with new wheels and i sold the wheels. the guy that bought them from me immediately asked me why they were so noisy after his first ride.

    he ended up putting a drop of oil on each spoke at the hub and where the spokes crossed each other and all the noise finally went away.

  22. #22
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    Humph... I guess at the hub/spoke interface is the one other place for stiction-friction to happen.
    I'll try that there- can't hurt.
    Thx codytaylor.

    On further examination, the paint on the hub does seem pretty soft as it is deformed/displaced where there is spoke contact- just at after the spoke head/first straight part of the J and riding against the flange. Source of sticky pling? An anodized hub wouldn't do that...
    Last edited by Noclutch; 07-29-2012 at 05:33 PM.

  23. #23
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    Noisy Spokes?

    We have tried everything,tension,oiled ,zip ties on spoke cross points and still creek and pling ?? Front makes noise also when up on the bars climbing or sprinting.Guess I will send back to AMC see if they can fix?

  24. #24
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    When I was at the Eurobike, I explained the problem to Ellen from AMC, she replied that they are aware of the problem and they should have fixed it in the 2013 wheelset. She told me to put more tension on the spokes and oil the spoke nipples really well. I asked my LBS to do this, but they were hesitant to increase spoke tension because the rim started to deform at some of the spoke holes. So they sent the wheel back. So I also am curious what they think about it.

  25. #25
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    Amc race 29 ers

    Guess Ill send mine in to hopefully they will update them or replace with the new ones.
    FYI my front wheel is doing the same noises when Im up on the bars climbing or sprinting

  26. #26
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    Couldn't be the rim is too light / low stiffness? Isn't that the main difference between the race and standard wheels? Spokes are thinner too, but thin spokes should not cause this. I wonder if 2013 race wheels will be heavier. Another solution could be to use bladed spokes.
    M

  27. #27
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    It's not the sound of a pawl going is it? The reason I ask is that my buddy had the exact same thing happen this weekend and we couldn't determine if it was one or the other at first. He has the same wheelset. After a few hours of riding, we found out it was the pawl as he started skipping if he was on a bad pawl.

    This is his third time rebuilding that read wheel too.

  28. #28
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    For my set it is definately not a pawl that is making this noise since I can also hear it when I pull the wheel sideways towards the seatstay. It definately comes from the spokes. In the old days they would tie the spokes down with metal wire at the crossing and solder it in place. I am not prepared to go that far

  29. #29
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    had the ping for a dozen rides. raised tension slowly on all spokes. Ping is gone.

  30. #30
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    I have three sets of their 29er wheels. the Race, Cross Country, and All Mountain. The all mountains are my day to day set and they were creaking and pinging. a good external cleaning and I was good for a couple thousand ft. of climbing. Then it would come back. Tried oiling the nipples and spoke crossings. Did a manual tension test and tightened up a few spokes. Even pulled the free hub and re-greased the whole thing. Nothing fixed it for good.

    Then someone asked me if I checked the drive train. I said no, but then started pulling and cleaning various parts, etc.

    Long story short, the cassette was the cause. I am a pretty big boy (250lbs) so I have found that I only get about 1000 miles out of a cassette. And at about 750 miles it starts to make that noise and I know it is soon.

    Just my 10 cents...

  31. #31
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    Thanks for sharing. I know noise can come from a multitude of places on a bike, specially one that gets dirty like an MTB should. But on my set, it was definitely not the cassette as I also had the noise from the front wheel. AMC are sending a brand new set my way, so that should fix it. I'm currently riding my old Hope/Crest wheelset and these are creek-free. Hopefully the new AMC set will also.

  32. #32
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    Besides the issue, how did the wheels feel?

  33. #33
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    I love mine. they are friggin' awesome. very stiff for the weight and i far exceed the weight limit.

  34. #34
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    Yeah, very stiff for the weight. It's a night and day upgrade over a flimsy crest wheel. It really is amazing. The width of the rim helps too.

    I can't believe i haven't killed these yet. 26 races, bunch of training rides. I'm over 200 geared up and ride like an unskilled hack. They've been flawless.

  35. #35
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    What bikes are you guys riding these on? Would they fit on an trek x-caliber with the wider rim?

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

  36. #36
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    American Classic Race 29er noise.

    Hi guys, I purchased a 29er race wheelset 2012 model and the noise from the spokes and nipples was immense. I sent them back to the suppliers and got a 2013 replacement set. The new set is making exactly the same noise. It is definately the spokes and nipples and is getting worse. Surely this is an issue that they know about? I am so frustrated as I now again have to send them back.

  37. #37
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    Raise the spoke tension. That was my problem and a few in this thread. They're tiny spokes and ping like mad when they aren't tight. They take a scary amount of tension. Look it up!

  38. #38
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    oil the nipples too. lol

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