Obviously the brakes do not place any wear on the rims. But are there other factors that could lead to the rims needing to be replaced? I'm excluding damage from accidents.

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    Not an accident but another form of damage: I've had a rim start to split at a spoke hole (comment as I suspect that's not what you're looking for either) – Chris H Sep 6 '19 at 16:58

Aluminum alloys have a zero or very low endurance limit (amplitude (or range) of cyclic stress that can be applied to the material without causing fatigue failure).

Aluminum rims will therefore eventually fatigue and crack, most likely from nipple holes as this is where force is applied and stress is concentrated.

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    But that still depends on the spoke tension (and the weight of the rider). A low tensioned wheel being more subjected to loading-unloading work and stress than a higher tensioned one. – Carel Sep 6 '19 at 18:05
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    Worst case is probably an odd tight spoke in an otherwise loose wheel, so perhaps a wheel that doesn't want to be true – Chris H Sep 6 '19 at 19:03
  • @carel remember the stress is application of force or load (as opposed to strain which is deformation under load), so even a well built wheel that deforms very little undergoes cyclic stress and will fatigue. – Argenti Apparatus Sep 8 '19 at 12:06

Spokes can gradually deform their spoke holes at the rim. That would eventually necessitate replacement.

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