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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MagicCarpet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    HELP!!! - Water Ingress into Rim

    Thanks in advance for hearing me out.

    About 6 weeks ago I was on a long ride with mixture of bike paths, fire roads, single trails,etc. At one point there was a section of about 100m covered with about 200mm (8") of water. I decided to crank slowly through it in order to save the feet and shoes from getting submerged or totally showered in spray.

    I was riding a Salsa Fargo and my rims were WTB i23 with Saguaro 2.2 mounted tubeless. When I got home I took them off and put my commuting wheels back on. Then on Saturday, I put them back on for along dirt road epic.

    I rode for about 30 seconds a rear drive side spoke nipple broke. When I got home I noticed corrosion around about 8 nipples and pulled the wheels down. I replaced all of the nipples where the hole had corrosion and relubed the whole wheels and rebuilt them.

    The only place the water could have entered the wheel is where the valve exits the rims. The corrosion inside the rim is worse than on the outside, so I am convinced that the wheel sat there holding water.

    I am using NoTubes valves and the play from side to side is greater than it is on my ZTR Flow rims, which, coupled with the extent to which they were submerged, convinces me even more.

    I have given the Flows a decent amount of water aswell, but there is less play and I also noticed that the area around the valve hole on the WTB rim is not as flat as on the Flow, so it bothers me that no matter what I do, there will never be a seal there and this could be a design floor.

    I am also curious about the diameter of the WTB TCS valve and whether or not it is a tighter fit and perhaps more suitable to sealing the hole.

    I have ordered the WTB TCS valves, but do not know their measurements.

    Q1. What are your thoughts generally about the fact that there is one way in for water and it's not a way out, no matter how you hold the wheel. Do you take any precautions?

    Q2. What are your thoughts about the convex rim surface and the fact there is no way the nut can seal the hole?

    Q3. Are the WTB TCS valves a solution?

    Creek crossings are a part of life here. I know it's not ideal, but that's how it is and commuting on wet roads where the wheel is going to be wet for long periods is also unavoidable. Tubeless is the law around here and by no means the exception, so something else has to change because I need this wheelset to be reliable. I plan to do a 6 day ride of 700km+ on them in a couple of months.

    Sorry about the long story.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 4slomo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Use brass nipples for increased durability, there is no effective seal between the outer surface of the rim and the valve stem.
    Hey everybody, ride my wheels! They ride good, real good.
    I'm a wheel builder. SRLPE Wheel Works. Send me a PM.

  3. #3
    Save Jesus
    Reputation: beanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Water can also get in thru the spoke holes.
    Spoke nipples can also break because the spoke is too short.

    One thing you can do is hold the wheel at a near-horizontal angle and spin it slowly. That's what I did to drain my wheels.

    I suppose you could also drill egress holes.

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