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How come no one changes their wheels?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by dippy9, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. I know that bikers are generally more likely to "do up" their bikes but how come no one ever changes wheels? The prices in Aus for a set of Marchesini are ridiculous but they are pretty cheap when you get them from overseas (comparable to a full exhaust system). Especially since every track bike has a good set of wheels and the advantages are so clear how come no one buys them.

    I was wondering since the first thing you do on a car is the new set of MAG wheels? And you can get a set of wheels around every corner. I have only really started getting interested into my bikes and have real problems geting competitive prices in Australia for quality parts.
  2. I know 2 people who have...

    Its just not commonly done... so no one else does it either...

    *edit* just had a shop around the net.... Most are still around the $2,000 mark... pretty expensive...
  3. Personally I'd buy CF rims over Mag's, but that's just me.

    As it stands, if you read the comments regarding the later model sports bikes, the weight of the rims coming off the show-room floor nowadays are within 0-10% of the better mag rims you can buy, and especially for the front wheels where it's most important, the factory rims weigh within a few grams of mag rims.

    You really have to go to CF rims if you're looking to save any significant weight (once the weight of the tyre itself is factored in), and even if importing CF rims, you're still looking at the $2-3K mark.
  4. dont quite know what you mean by "every track bike has a good set" and "the advantages are clear". i mean i understand that a little weightloss in the right place does wonders, but the wheels on most modern sportsbikes are feather light and there are PLENTY of people that race using stock wheels :?

    i think wheels is a bit different with cars, most cars come (or at least used to) with crappy looking, heavy steel wheels, that are easily changable and dont have a huge variation of stud patterns etc. but bike wheels vary model to model, only very popular bikes will have aftermarktet ones available and even then i dont see that there would be a massive difference.
  5. I changed mine....

    But only cause I busted it.

  6. Ball Buster as i recall for the posts!!
  7. I'm pretty sure that the latest rims on the Kawasaki 05 models are about as light as they can get, on the 03/04 model (like mine) they are still fairly solid, but the 05 model looks almost flimsy...
  8. Problem with CF rims though is that they must have a limited lifespan - CF will only take so much loading/unloading before the fibres start to separate from the resin. Fine for a track bike but probably overkill on a road bike (unless you can live with replacing the rims every couple of years).
  9. People change wheels on their cars because cars come with lousy wheels.

    Bikes come with good wheels to start with.

    Think about the comparison between a car and a bike; even a stock 250 is pretty-much like you'd make a car look AFTER modification.

    OH and welcome dippy9!!!

  10. To answer that ........ most car drivers do it for looks not performance ..and since most bike rims look pretty hot to start with nobody bothers
  11. Oooh damn so close, if you'd have said "ball buster as I recall, buster" you would have been offered membership in my rap crew for your dope ass rhymes.
  12. Yeah, I would agree, but if you're going to change your rims for weight benefits and improved handling, as the opening poster suggests, then CF is about the only way to achieve that nowadays with the advances in stock rims of late.

    Although, they do sell separate CF rims for race or road use.
  13. What I have done on a few occasions, is change the colour ( powder / caot em cos I can ) That makes a great differance to ya bike. I had a redish RF900 Suzuki a few years ago. On my sons suggestion, coated the wheels yellow.
    Every one could'nt believe the differance, me included, it looked bloody great. Except the guy who bought it , had ta change em back to ordinary black, oh well, to each there own.
    As for lighter wheels, the only thing there that is lightened to any degree, is your pocket.
  14. Magnesium would be a lighter alternative to aluminium, was used on cars in the past (be more worried about the petrol tank catching on fire than the rims).
  15. Uh, Magnesium is the metal from which the name "Mag" when talking about rims is derived from. Merchesini rims are just a brand of magnesium alloy rims. Typically mag rims are not made from pure magnesium, but from a magnesium/aluminium alloy. Strength wise the rims cannot have a very high concentration of magnesium though, and hence we get back to my original comment, modern aluminium rims coming off the show room floor are typically within 0-10% heavier than a good set of mag (magnesium alloy) rims.

    If you want to cut the rim weight by 40-60%, which would definitely be a noticable reduction, then that's when you'd need to go to CF.
  16. In terms of track bikes, I know some riders like to have a spare set of wheels with a different set of tyres e.g. wet weather tyres for when it rains.
  17. Yes currently they only use between 1 and 10% magnesium. There are however some magnesium REE/Zirconium alloys that have been developed recently for aerospace which could have potential. Incidentally the strength of magnesium is actually equal to that of steel, and it's 40% lighter than aluminium.
    Edit: many race cars and some road cars (mostly Italian) were actually fitted with magnesium wheels, usually containing no more than 6% aluminium - they do have a tendency to corrode though.
  18. Yes, high purity magnesion will corrode with hot water.

    The magnesium-zirconium alloys do sound interesting, but also sound rather expensive. Zirconium isn't exactly a freely occuring element, requiring considerable effort to extract.

    Still, in reference to the OP, magnesium-zircononium, or even just plain old high-magnesium alloy rims are still not exactly common-place.

    Magnesium has a density of 1.7, Aluminium 2.7. Could save ~37% of the wheel rim mass with a pure magnesium rim. A pure magnesium rim would be very expensive though, certainly a lot more than even a set of standard Marchesini mag-alloy rims purchased within Australia.

    CF road rims are about the same cost as mag-alloy rims, weigh significantly less, and most importantly are available to buy.

    I guess what I'm saying is that we can debate what would be nice to have, but in terms of what we can buy here and now, for about the same cost, then aside from the slight cloud over longevity for CF rims in road-trim format, they would still be the best choice that you can grab right now, at least until someone starts providing magnesium-zirconium alloy rims.
  19. Most people will just polish or powdercoat their existing rims if they want "mags"...

    I dont see any point to doing anything more... Perhaps if I had a bike with a single sided swingarm I might be interested.... but too much is covered up with a swingarm... Then again, compared to some other upgrades, it is not THAT expensive...
  20. They were factory fitted on a lot of sportscars during the 70s-80s though, my Alfa 33Ti for example has a factory set of speedline cast magnesium rims. Cost is a major factor though - interestingly one of the main reasons why magnesium is not readily avaialable and therefore expensive is that's is widely used in refining titanium (every kg of titanium produced requires an equivalent mass of magnesium).