Sunday, June 15, 2014

Stupid Design: Specialized Stout Wheel

Routine tune up. Inflating the rear tire. FSSSSSSSSHHHHHH! The tube fails.  Okay, this happens. Let's go in there and see what happened.

The hole in the tube was opposite the valve on the inner surface, toward the rim, not the road. The rim strip had slipped aside because of the stupid shape of the rim floor.
Note how it has the pointless and always destructive channel within a channel design that serves no structural purpose and always leads to tube problems. In this case, the machining for the spoke holes creates a sharp edge that slices the tube when the rim strip inevitably slides to one side because the secondary channel does not provide a stable surface to hold it where you want it. 

Way to innovate. "Innovate or Die," their tough guy slogan says. So what's their excuse for crap like this? Closer examination shows the rim was made for Specialized by Alex. So, way to subcontract, guys. 

Now I have to figure out how to shim that space. The filler we use on the much worse Alex RP 15 rims is a little too chunky for this space. The RP 15 rims cause internal blowouts because their channel is so deep. These Specialized Alex disc brake rims present a slightly different problem with their built in tube slicers. 


Steve A said...

The Origin 8 rim strip has worked well on my Specialized Roval wheels.

cafiend said...

Ah, but do the Roval wheels have that silly channel within a channel? That's the sole source of the problem. When any rim strip stretches into the deeper middle part it almost never goes down symmetrically. It pulls off center, exposing spoke holes. In the case of this Stout piece of idiocy, the spoke hole drilling cuts into the the sides of the channel, exposing sharp metal if the rim strip slips...which it ALWAYS does. Aargh!

Justine Valinotti said...

This proves there's no design so stupid someone won't resurrect it. I saw a rim with such a design when I was working in a bike shop two decades ago, before Alex rims were on the market.

Perhaps you could cover the channel with duct tape and trim the sides as necessary.

cafiend said...

I was scratching this post on my tablet while I worked, so I didn't get around to adding that I stretched a layer of Renfrew clear hockey tape around the rim and then reinstalled the original rim strip for general abrasion and pressure resistance. The hockey tape combined just the right amount of stretchiness with adhesive backing and a well-fitting width to cover the sharp metal edges of the spoke holes. It won't last forever, but it's about all one can do.