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I've got a wheelset with heavily worn rims. This was a cross wheelset used for riding in pretty sloppy conditions all the time. This was a rim brake based wheelset and used with cantilever brakes. Now the braking surface is rather concave. It's worn enough that I feel like riding on the road would be unsafe due to risk of failure.

I was considering just using the wheels on my trainer, where I would no longer need to do much in terms of braking (and won't actually be going anywhere). Do you think this is safe, or should I just go out and buy a cheap / heavy wheelset for indoor training?

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Assuming you're talking about a stand-type trainer and not rollers, the worst case would be the side blowing off and wrapping itself around the seat stays or some such. Would be a "surprise", certainly, and maybe a very slight chance of a wrenched knee or whatever due to the cranks suddenly locking up, but well short of what you'd have with a blowout on the road. –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 23 at 0:31
    
It would be a big surprise! How much do you spend on shorts? –  alex Jan 23 at 1:44
    
Actually, I do ride on rollers a bit too. I'm willing to take the risk of falling down going zero miles and hour. I mean, I've fallen a few times just riding the rollers. –  Benzo Jan 23 at 15:29
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2 Answers

I don't see why not, unless you plan on braking while on the trainer? Theoretically you could still have a rim failure because the wheel/tire pushes against the resistance wheel. However, this is a constant tension, not sudden impacts. If a spoke were to become loose though, the rim could fail and the wheel could implode, but since your on a trainer it's not really all that dangerous (besides picking bits of wheel out of your drivetrain).

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The only reason a worn rim is dangerous on the road is that you would fall of were it to fail. On a trainer your weight is held by the axle, not the rim, so a rim failure would be nothing more than a minor annoyance.

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Minor annoyance albeit super loud –  whatsisname Jan 24 at 3:37
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