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Thread: New Creaking Topolino Wheels

  1. #1

    New Creaking Topolino Wheels

    For anyone that has bought Topolino wheels, did they ever creak? If so, did it go away after time?


    I bought a Tilite ZRA s2 a few weeks ago. I opted for the 25" Topolino wheels. From the get go they creaked horribly. It's like I'm pushing a poorly maintained old beater chair.

    Issues: Some of the spokes were loose. I tightened them a quarter turn, but that is as far as I was willing to go in tweaking these very expensive wheels that I don't want to damage. Furthermore, the chair handled poorly, so I checked the alignment of the rear wheels and they were toe'ed out 7/8" (the minimum allowed is 1/8"). To me that speaks volumes about Tilite's lack of quality control. Anyway, I aligned the chair properly. While the chair now handles great with substantially less creaking of the spokes, some creaking still remains.

    As my chair vendor is two hours away, I asked them to let a local bike shop professionally adjust my Topolinos at their expense. (I did after all just buy a new $4730 CAD wheelchair from them and naively thought they would want to keep me as a happy returning customer.) I was wrong! The long and the short of it is they refused--stating that their Tilite rep. is telling them that noise is "normal" for the Topolino wheels. "The spokes just need a while to be broken in", they're saying. Sounds like bullsh!t to me, but what do I know. I've been running quiet, trouble-free Spinergy Spox wheels for the last 12 years. Hence, my leading questions...

    Please let me know your thoughts.

  2. #2
    mine have never made any noises and still dont, all the spokes are solid, my advice would be to speak to topolino and ask their opinion of what they think could be the cause

  3. #3
    My Topolinos are dead quiet.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    East Haven, CT
    You need to be careful adjusting Topolinos. If you break a spoke by over tightening...the whole wheel needs to go back to the factory to be fixed. Sounds like you got defective wheels.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Good News guys. Rafe Schlanger the owner of Topolinotech contacted me almost immediately after I emailed his company. He offered a few options, but in the end we both agreed that he would pay for me to get the wheels serviced at a local bike shop, which I've done. The Topolinos are now quiet as a church mouse (just loose spokes). The bike shop's labour charge for 1 hour was $60 CAD, so it probably only cost Rafe about $20 US. lol ...In the end it wasn't a big expense for him and everyone's happy. I'll vouch for the quality of the wheels and the quality of their customer service.

  6. #6
    Update as of Oct. 8, 2015.

    In a straight line no noise, but there is still some creaking with sharp turns--especially 180 degree turns. I guess I'll learn to live with it.

    On another note, I weighed my new Tilite ZRA s2 today and it is exactly 20lbs. Some weight related specs: 16" x 16" frame with no taper V-front end , Superlite Edition, 4" back rigidizer bar, Roho Jetstream Pro backrest, integrated fold down push handles, 4" Litespeed plastic softroll casters, 25" Topolino wheels with Schwalbe Speedrun tires, no brakes, no sideguards.

    While I spec'd it out as light as possible, my similarly spec'd 12 year old Top End Terminator Titanium is still lighter with Spox wheels and Shox solid rear tires and with the Roho backrest above. For those that are interested...

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