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Velocity Rims: Part 3

by Tyler

Our rims are finally here! Tara and I tore into the boxes at the post office this morning as soon as they opened at 8:30 AM. We could hardly believe what we saw when we removed the cardboard packaging. Velocity has replaced our failing rear rims (their Chukkers) with a thicker, heavier, stronger, ridiculously overbuilt model: the Psycho.

Velocity Psychos Arrive 2x Velocity Psycho Rear Rims

After completing the required paperwork, we carried the long-awaited rims back to our hotel where I promptly got to work mounting them while Tara packed up our panniers.

Replacing Rear Wheels

I am entirely blown away by the bulk of the Pyschos. Our wimpy Chukkers fit inside them! I've never seen a bicycle rim like this. They are so heavy duty it feels like they belong on a motorcycle. If I had known about these before we left I would have stopped researching immediately and bought them. Wow. Now I am kicking myself for not taking Velocity up on their offer to replace all four. We've yet to have problems with our front rims so I'll just keep my fingers crossed for now.

Velocity Chukker vs Psycho

When Tara's rear wheel started failing, we thought it was the same problem I had with mine in Switzerland (the braking surface developed a nasty crack). It wasn't until I took her rim tape off to investigate that I discovered the real culprit. The Chukker is splitting in two, right down the middle! This is either a manufacturing defect or our 2" tires (@ 60 PSI) + heavy loads were simply too much for them.

Velocity Chukker Failure (Heavily Loaded Touring Bike)

Curiously, my rear rim, which carries the heaviest load of all, is fine. I had originally considered riding it until it broke too. Then I saw Tara's new beefy Psycho mounted. That plus the thought of lugging the spare rim bungied somewhere to my bike convinced me to just get it over with now. These things are seriously so hefty, and inspire so much confidence, that I am finally regaining faith that our rim problems are over.

Cleaning Up

Look at this flipping bicycle rim! It makes our 2" Schwalbe Marathon XRs look small!

Velocity Psycho & Schwalbe Marathon XR

Tomorrow, we head towards the mountains. Hopefully our month off hasn't left us too out of shape.

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Awesome! That really is a beefy rim! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this really is an end to your guys rim problems.

Now it's time to get back on the road and work off all that good food you've been eating =)
Posted by Mike on January 11th, 2010 at 8:16 PM
Thank goodness! Never has there been so much suspense about bicycle wheels!

No if I was Velocity, I would be giving you those other two wheels as a lovely gift, because your story restores all faith in customer service!
Posted by YvetteDownunder on January 12th, 2010 at 12:32 AM
Mike - seriously.

Yvette - we've missed you! hope you're ready to ride... we've got a lot of distance to cover over the next couple of days so we can make the once-a-week ferry out of Tunis. From there we'll be on our way to Greece!! Fancy some spanakopita?
Posted by Tara on January 14th, 2010 at 1:07 PM
Have recently come across your blog and enjoy it immensely. An article that caught my eye was your problems with Velocity rims. I have had a set of Aeroheats made up for touring on my mountain bike.So many deep V rims have catastrophic failures because of the narrow profile of the rim where the spokes and nipples exit and others show cracks between the holes internally. I Have a set of Araya rims that are nearly 26 years old and have used them on a number of bikes (MTB). The difference is the style of rim ,flat compared to deep V and the fact that the rims have eyelets. This gives just a smaller amount of strength to the rim through the centre line. My Aeroheats are not quiet deep V but do have a very slim v profile at the spokes , so I am hoping that they prove to be strong (without eyelets) for me (200lbs )plus my gear, also run an extrawheel trailer with the same rim tyre setup.Loaded tourers should run rims with a low profile, double wall and eyelets.This would reduce costly failures and run for a long time, at a guess my old Araya's have around 50,000 klms on them but are getting thin at the brake surface and they are steel not aluminium.
Posted by paul on March 30th, 2011 at 3:40 AM
Hey Paul,

Thanks for sharing! I've moved this comment to one of our Velocity entries because I agree with everything you're saying, and I'd like others who find our journal by searching about touring rims to see it.

I only have one thing to add: when touring with heavy loads, a rim should be appropriately wide for the tire. Ideally, as wide as possible to reduce lateral stress on the rim.

Wide tires + narrow rims = failure, when you're carrying a lot of weight. I've now spoken with at least ten different tourers who have had issues similar to ours. It isn't just Velocity either; Mavic, Sun and others are equally well represented in this type of failure.
Posted by Tyler on March 31st, 2011 at 4:01 AM