Rim makers have discovered, especially for downhillers, that softer rims may dent easily, but that is better than a rim with sidewalls so strong that it pinches or slices a tire when impacting a sharp edge or rock. These softer rims allow riders to finish a race run without flatting, but it means rims with a lot of dings. Morningstar
Tools developed the $18 Rim ’Rench to bring the smooth back to dented rims.
Paul Morningstar, arguably the most prolific modern-day bicycle tool designer, describes his Rim ’Rench as “a cute but moderately primitive pry bar” that removes sidewall dents in any mountain bike rim that is constructed from aluminum. You can reach Morningstar at (866) 806-0898.
A hard ding actually cracked the rim. The Rim ’Rench couldn’t mend the crack, but it got the wheel true enough to finish a day of downhill runs.
Field test results:
The Rim ’Rench could not have arrived at a more opportune time. A few mistakes made on the Fontana downhill course had left our Mavic EX 729 Disc rim in sad shape. There was one major ding, and there were a number of smaller dings. Removing the tire, we went at it with the Rim ’Rench. The tool made short work of the smaller dings. No learning curve at all. Hook the tool on the rim’s edge and work the dent out. The tool’s shape and reach allow you to leverage off the lower outside rim wall, something a mere crescent wrench could not do without leaving a ding of its own. When we were finished, you could not see where the dents had been. The big dent was trouble from the get-go, because the impact had cracked the rim. The Rim ’Rench even took this major ding out of the rim, although there was nothing it could do about the crack. Still, it allowed us to ride the rim the rest of the day. It was the difference between a DNF (did not finish) and returning to the top of the hill for our race run. Downhillers or park riders should have this tool with them at all times; trail riders should have one in their toolbox. Don’t think you dent your rims? Check your bike. You are in for a surprise.
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