Yes, Mark. It takes a lot of holes to make a measurable difference in an aluminum part.
Pacific Coast Cycles
> Eric Keller wrote:
>> In retrospect, I'm actually a little surprised that there was no drilling
>> rims back in the heyday of drillium. Or maybe there was and I just
>> know about it.
> Yeah there might have been more of that going on than than was visible
> the outside. I doubt I'm the only person who's ever done this:
> On the race bike I made for my wife around 1990, light weight was a
> because she's light. 2.4 lb (1.1 kg) lugged steel frame! I used Saavedra
> clincher rims because she rode clinchers and the Saavedra was the lightest
> had heard of, yes even with the rim "washers". I added three more holes
> the inner wall, where the rim tape goes, between each of the big holes at
> each spoke, maybe 10 or 12 mm each? The new holes were the same size as
> existing holes. Made the rims significantly lighter, though I forget how
> much exactly, I just remember being pleased with the number at the time.
> And I don't think I weakened them one bit! Unless I'm not thinking this
> through correctly -- but it seems a chain is as strong as its weakest
> and adding more weak links equal in strength to the existing weakest link
> doesn't make the chain any weaker -- right? I only added more holes the
> same size as the ones that were already there.
> We replaced those rims after a pretty respectable number of miles when the
> rear was starting to get little cracks at each nipple -- but that's in the
> outer wall, nowhere near where I drilled 'em. Such a light rim with only
> spokes (rear) can be expected to crack at the nipples eventually anyway,
> I don't think my holes in the outer wall caused the cracks she got.
> In theory this could be done with tubulars also, but probably not a good
> idea since you'd be reducing the surface area for glue.
> Hmm let's see, 28 x 3 = 84 "extra" holes. If we assume 10 mm holes and
> wall thickness = 1.0 mm, then the volume of aluminum drilled away is Pi x
> x 84 = 6597 mm^3. Given a density of 2800 kg/m^3, that gives us a weight
> for the drilling chips I made of 18.5 g per rim. Hmm, I'd hoped it was a
> bigger number than that, for the amount of time it took! Actually I think
> the holes were probably bigger than 10 mm and the wall was probably over
> mm thick, so maybe I got 25 or 30 grams shavings/savings per rim, big
> "Normal", visible drillium isn't about the weight of course, it's about
> style and flash. Super Record perforated brake levers being heavier than
> N.Rec. and all that. But if it's hidden inside to where you have to take
> the tires and rim strips off to see it, it'd better be actually reducing
> Mark Bulgier
> Seattle, WA