New Airfoil Rim - Full of Swarf

This is just a warning to anyone getting a new airfoil, got mine today and so far I’ve manged to remove atleast 20 extremley sharp pieces of metal from inside the rim, anyone of which could quite easily shred an inner tube. I strongly reccomend you check every single spoke hole for left over metal from the drilling of the rim and try and hook it out with a pair of pliers, even if you don’t cut your tyre or yourself on it, it runs round inside the rim and makes a really annoying noise.

On a more positive note, loving the airfoil, I havn’t put any tension in the spokes yet and it’s still stiffer than my old setup.

Are the new airfoil rim as big as the old one because the last batch of them was a bit smaller and could only fit the TA tire ?

No as far as I know mine is the smaller batch, it’s certainly several mm smaller than my steel coker rim. I’m really not bothered, there haven’t been any coker tyres in the UK for over a year I believe.

That’s not unheard of for a new rim. Part of the procedure when building a new wheel is to clean out shavings from the spoke holes.

What’s bad is when you find a shaving inside the rim after the wheel has been built. That means the wheel builder either didn’t check for metal shavings or happened to miss one.

What does swarf mean?
It sounds a cool word!

Swarf is the razor-sharp thin slices of metal that are produced during any machining process. Since metal is so tough, when you machine it you have to do it very gradually, effectively shaving the metal to the required shape, producing lots of very small, very thin, very sharp bits of metal.

Wood shavings, but made of metal.


how do i tell if i have the smaller or the normal size airfoil rim? thanks.

Can you dumb it down a tad?


When you machine metal you end up with metal chips from the cuttings. Those chips are also called swarf.

Here’s a video that shows what metal chips look like from machining. Drilling the spoke holes in a rim also produces swarf or metal chips. The chips are sharp. Easily sharp enough to poke through rim tape and cause a tube puncture. The swarf can get caught between the walls (hollow cavities) inside the rim. The swarf can remain inside the rim after it has been shipped to the bike shop or the wheel builder. The wheel builder needs to check for swarf still in the rim. It is not unusual to find swarf in the rim during the wheel build.

I think Mike was joking, John :stuck_out_tongue:

i think so too, but funny nevertheless.