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Got a new bike and after ~1.5 month of usage, my rear wheel started make a "ping" noise, it happens when the rim joint area is touching the ground, only when the wheel is under load. Uploaded a video along with a photo that demonstrates the problem. You can see in the photo that the sticker with the Fulcrum logo is over the joint area of the rim, and also listen to the sound when the wheel rotates and the area with the logo comes right over the ground.

I suspect its a defect in the joint. i should mention that i moved the tire half a rotation and the noise keeps coming from this specific area, also removed the rim tape to check the wheel, nothing too obvious was found.

The wheel is a Fulcrum OEM, its details are listed here.

I already contacted the bike vendor, but no news from them yet.

What would you advise me do?

TIA

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  • One's first suspicion is spokes rubbing against each other, but that generally causes a clicking sound, not the pop that I hear in the video. Sep 25, 2021 at 19:04
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    @DanielRHicks Its not the spokes, i should have mentioned i checked them one by one.
    – ilias-sp
    Sep 25, 2021 at 19:32
  • The spoke noise occurs when one spoke rubs against another. Sep 25, 2021 at 21:10
  • It's a defect in wheel design. That wheel has way too few spokes so it won't be durable.
    – juhist
    Sep 26, 2021 at 9:54
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    @Criggie in the video i am pushing the saddle now with my body weight to replicate the sound. Recording a video outside with me cruising on saddle would just add un-neccessary environment noises, the sound is exactly the same. i gently shaken all the spokes, there was no sound or sign of a loose spoke from any of them. my attention is at the .. movable "components" that comprise the joint (sleeve plate i guess?). Today i ordered new wheels, after they arrive and do the swap, i will dig it one more time. Dont want to risk now and be left without a functional bike :(
    – ilias-sp
    Sep 26, 2021 at 23:40

1 Answer 1

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It's probably able to be warrantied, but who knows how long it would take given parts scarcity. Try warrantying it directly with Fulcrum.

It probably has a sleeved insert at the seam. You can usually confirm or deny that by taking the tire and rim strip off and poking something around to feel it, in some cases by simply being able to see it looking into the spoke holes.

The noise you're hearing is probably movement of the sleeve. Most or maybe all sleeves are bonded with epoxy. Sometimes you seem them also held in place, perhaps secondarily, mechanically via a set of indentations that have been punched into the rim well area under the rim tape. (I think there are some where the sleeve is only held mechanically like this, but I'm not sure.) If yours is like that, and you wanted to gamble with warranty-ability or if you got permission from the manufacturer to try it and still have a warranty, you could try punching the indentations down harder. I've seen that solve this problem before. I would approach with caution but it is possible that a little bit of that fixes it forever.

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    thank you for the answer. i didnt find any indentations on the rim bed the last time i removed the tire/rim tape. i was thinking to remove them one more time and see if i can access - somehow - the sleeve via the spoke holes, but i guess its not that loose to make it move with some plastic thing poking it. Nevertheless, i am curious to try it though.
    – ilias-sp
    Sep 25, 2021 at 19:37
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    I could imagine various things being sprayed in there masking the noise, but I'm not saying it's a good idea. Sep 25, 2021 at 23:25
  • After 1.5 month riding, the LBS should check the spoke tension. Fulcrum are identical to Campagnolo wheels and of similar quality, often used with non-C group-sets. The noise may simply be due to the spokes having settled and needing re-tensioning.
    – Carel
    Sep 26, 2021 at 19:27
  • @Carel the noise is only happening when the seam is at the ground. That isn't conclusive but it's a pretty strong heuristic for the seam construction causing the noise. Sep 26, 2021 at 22:11

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