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I need your recommendations. I have the issue with my rear rim. It was broken. And now I have a dilemma to buy a new wheel or buy a new rim and use hub, spokes from the previous wheel. One problem the model of the broken 26'' wheel is Rolf Satelite with 24 spokes. I visited the official website of Rolf and they don't produce this size of wheel.enter image description here

  • Cheaper to buy a new wheel. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 16 '19 at 12:57
  • Yes. Always do the cheapest thing. – ojs Dec 16 '19 at 13:10
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    It takes a lot of braking to wear a rim out. This can be accelerated by riding in abrasive conditions and not cleaning your bike enough. Tiny particles of metal get embedded in the brake pads and scour your wheel rims much faster - I'd suggest looking closely at your brake pads for foreign particles and pick them out. – Criggie Dec 16 '19 at 22:12
  • @Criggie - The pads should be replaced. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 17 '19 at 22:22
  • @Criggie maybe it's even worse to replace the brake for the disc one (since OP is already considering a new wheel) - this will save a new rim :) – k102 Dec 18 '19 at 9:49
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That kind of rim damage indicates over-worn brake surfaces. Whether you should replace the whole wheel is a strictly economical question which is hard to answer in general. Wheel building services and components prices differ in different countries; somewhere it is cheap to rebuild a wheel at a mechanic; somewhere buying a new wheel is cheaper.

Given that you have an "old" wheel size, less popular spoke count, and a wheel that has been in long use (meaning it may also have worn hub bearings and tired spokes), I'd recommend buying a new one.

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  • Thanks for your response. I did replace brake pads maybe 6 months ago, so I think it's not over-worn brake. – Петро Токар Dec 16 '19 at 10:49
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    @Петро Токар rim brakes wear out the brake track of a rim. Regular maintenance and cleaning helps to prolong from life, but it cannot prevent rims wearing out. – gschenk Dec 16 '19 at 11:32
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    @ПетроТокар Grigory is referring to your braking surface on the rim (the side wall of the rim which the brake pads press against when braking), this is the part that is worn, not your brake pads themselves.madegood.com/bikes/repair/check-the-wear-on-a-bike-wheel-rim – Maarten -Monica for president Dec 16 '19 at 11:32
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It's not always possible to re-use spokes in a wheel build. To do so you need a rim with the same (or nearly the same) internal diameter so that the spokes are the correct length for that rim. The same applies to to hubs and flange diameters. Sometimes it's hard to find a matching rim, but yours looks like a very standard box profile.

If the wheel is old or well-use (as yours seems to be) the spokes will have weakened through accumulated fatigue and should be replaced in any case.

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26" wheels are not as popular now, they're harder to find.

So your best option pricewise is to find a used bike as a donor, and take the best of both bikes.

You'll need to ensure the donor's wheels are 26" and ideally that both bikes have the same number of gears on the rear cassette.  

The brand of rim doesn't matter in the slightest as long as the numbers are the same, but there are variations in build quality.

Points to check on a candidate used rim:

  • Brake track wear - as you found, a brake rim thins through usage. So if you can feel a "scallop" or a dip in the brake track, then it is part-way to breaking like yours did. And should be avoided.

  • Avoid a rear rim that is wobbly already. Yes it can probably be trued, but by preference, a true wheel will likely be better.

Your existing rim has eyelets in the spoke holes. This is good for robustness - your rim wore out it didn't fail at a spoke hole. This is an optional feature but nice to have.

Also noted that 24 spokes is not a lot for a rear wheel. There are weight and aero benefits from a wheel with fewer spokes, but it lowers the strength of a wheel.

Personally I'd use a 36 spoke rear wheel, because aero is less important at the back of the bike, and I'm not small so more spokes is more robust. Also helps with imperfect landings if you're stunting and jumping. 32 is a common size too.

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