Monday, September 5, 2011

Source of the sound

I figured it out or rather City Cycles figured it out. 20 minutes after dropping off my trike this morning, I get a call back from Hansen telling me what's making the noise. Spoke rub. Apparently the KMX front spoked wheels are built incorrectly. Rather than alternating the j-hooks of the spokes like standard, KMX built them facing all in one direction. This causes increased rubbing btw the spokes - more than normal. Over time this has started making even more noise. I'm told that eventually this could pop spokes. Not safe.

Conclusion? Well, Mike and I were already disappointed with the mag wheels. The cup of the hub on those black mags were weak. Overtightening easily snaps it causing all the bearings to come loose which makes the wheel shaky. Broken cups can't be repaired. The whole wheel was replaced. I thought that spoked ones would be better. At $240 for the set, I was expecting at least a decent correctly built wheel. Not the case! Ugh, after this rebuild of the wheel so that the spokes are facing the correct direction, I would have paid $240 + 2(85) = $410 for the set! That's ridiculous!

If I knew I was going to be this serious about riding the recumbent trike and would be putting this many miles on it and had all this information about lack of quality, I definitely would have spent more on a Catrike (assuming I wouldn't mind parting with the extra dough to acquire one).

To sum up KMX's design quality in one word? Disappointing.

UPDATE: 9/7/11
I was asked by BROL to give Utah Trikes a chance at correcting the issue. I contacted them and heard from Matt today. He offered to replace the wheels with the newer style which are laced properly. Sounded like he was glad that I brought this issue to his attention. I guess shipping will be the only cost and that'll be much cheaper than relacing at $85/each. I just hope City Cycles hasn't started on the wheel build yet. I'll call them now.

They haven't started yet. I offered to pay City Cycles for helping me identify the problem but Hansen from the shop said it's okay and they're cool with me just picking up the wheels.

UPDATE: 9/9/11
I bought the guys at City Cycle a 12 pack of Red Label Jamaican beer for helping me identify the source of the sound. I swapped the paper bag with John who built my 20" wheel last time in exchange for my original wheels back. I need it for Sunday's ALC Thank You BBQ ride. The alcohol set me back $16.60 but I figured I was saving $85 x 2 (wheels) = $180 - $14.50 (shipping to Utah Trikes) = $165.50. Not bad.

I shipped the wheels out per USPS and it should arrive at UT's door step in about a week. It'll take some time for Matt there to send me the wheels so I should be in good shape with brand new replacement wheels in about 2 weeks at the most. I just gotta be sure I have enough reflective rim tape to cover an additional two wheels. I'll probably have to hit up Ebay for another $7.99 set. No biggy.


  1. You know that 12 pack is going to pay for itself some day.

  2. @Rong

    I'm sure. It has already. I'm super glad they helped me out so far as it is. They saved me a bunch of bucks already.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this,would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

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