Got an annoying rattle in your carbon wheels? Does it sound like there’s a bit of grit rolling around inside them? Annoying isn’t it! But never fear my deep sectioned aero friends, there is a way to stop this rattling. Here’s a quick video of the sound my rear DT SWISS wheel was making, it was absolutely doing my head in…
One solution is to simply cycle faster as the centrifugal force will hold it in place, but for an actual solution that doesn’t involve filling your deep sections with expanding foam or shaking them like an oversized baby rattle in the slim chance whatever is in there drops out, read on!
Most of the time this rattle is caused by a loose shard of carbon inside the rim, left in there during the manufacturing process. It’s not a structural fault, just annoying. It can also be a small rock or piece of grit that’s entered the valve hole when changing a tube. Getting it out can be a pain, but here’s the easiest method I’ve found.
Firstly, remove your tyre and tube so you can get access to the valve hole from both sides. Grab your wheel in both hands and shake those pesky pieces until they are right down near the valve hole. Now you can shake the wheel as much as you like, but getting anything to drop out of the valve hole is near on impossible. Just get it as close as you can, then break out the vacuum cleaner!
Once you think you’ve got the pieces close to the valve hole, attach the small brush-head attachment to your vacuum and jam it right up against the valve hole. The trick here is to get the best seal possible. Cross your fingers and turn that sucker up high! It might take a few repeats of the rattle-suck-rattle-suck process, but eventually they’ll get sucked out!
Another tip – use the external valve hole rather than the internal one. The internal valve hole can often have a ridge inside the wheel that makes it harder to align and suck out the garbage. Once you hear those little pieces ricochet up the vacuum tube, give it another shake to confirm, then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Now you’ll have perfectly quiet, rattle free carbon wheels!