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Old 11-07-07, 08:48 AM   #1
catapultkid
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can anyone give me a quick run down on the history of the disc wheel?

what were they made of before carbon fiber?
how were they made, things of that nature
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Old 11-07-07, 10:34 AM   #2
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mavic had an aluminum one, very heavy and loud. there weren't really any other disks before carbon fiber. tioga made a disk for mountain bikes called the tension disk that was basically had each side of spokes contained in a plastic disk that was tensioned and trued similar to a normal wheel
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Old 11-07-07, 10:40 AM   #3
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ok heard somewhere that some of the first were wooden, thin wood of course, but wood none the less
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Old 11-07-07, 03:03 PM   #4
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I am the original disc wheel.



It is me.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:05 PM   #5
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I know Renn made his first disc wheel out of aluminum.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:20 PM   #6
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hmmm thats cool, i was thinking of replicating a old wooden dics, but since there is no such thing this is going to be really hard to replicate

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Old 11-07-07, 04:28 PM   #7
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hmmm thats cool, i was thinking of replicating a old wooden dics, but since there is no such thing this is going to be really hard to replicate
I'd never use wood. I'd go for stainless if I had to get a new one.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:30 PM   #8
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yeah i was thinking cheap, and i have all the stuff to do it. but i was looking for some plans or some ideas
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Old 11-07-07, 05:38 PM   #9
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I'd never use wood. I'd go for stainless if I had to get a new one.
Funny in and of itself (lmao) but then the OP misses it completely (rotflmao). Too good!

For the guy who wants to build a wooden disc (not dics) consider using old surfboard technology, like a sheet of turned balsa (probably have to glue it up out of boards before turning it on a faceplate) skinned with hand laid fiberglass or carbon fiber. Try to design the hub so that the outer CF or FG skin is what's transmitting the torque from hub to rim. Probably not too hard to cut a final profile for sew-ups on the same lathe after lay-up.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:01 PM   #10
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makes sense i guess, i was thinking alittle simplier
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Old 11-07-07, 06:25 PM   #11
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what were they made of before carbon fiber?
how were they made, things of that nature
The FIRST disc wheel and the FIRST wheel are one in the same.
I seriously doubt that Krog, the caveman, had spokes laying around with no use for them. No, he most likely saw a fallen tree roll down a hill and the old uninvented lightbulb came on.

So he whiped out his trusty chain saw and sliced off a section of that tree trunk. Being solid....THE FIRST DISC WHEEL
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Old 11-07-07, 08:26 PM   #12
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ok jokes aside, ill figure it out sometime
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Old 11-07-07, 08:29 PM   #13
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Here is a picture of my buddies early 80's TT bike with disc.


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Old 11-07-07, 08:43 PM   #14
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thanks, pic are always good
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Old 11-07-07, 10:08 PM   #15
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Didn't Sugino make discs too? FWIW, there are still some guys making wooden rims. I believe they are called Ghisallo. They showed up on a Colnago (?) at Interbike...
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Old 11-08-07, 12:18 AM   #16
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Here's the crazy Sugino disc on eBay.
http://tinyurl.com/2uht74
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Old 11-08-07, 10:03 AM   #17
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wow thats crazy
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Old 11-08-07, 04:03 PM   #18
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that's the one i was talking about, most of them were mountain bikes wheels, don't remember seeing a 700c tension disc
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Old 11-08-07, 06:08 PM   #19
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I was under the impression that a lot of discs pre-1995 were a carbon shell on a wooden core with an aluminum rim... I could be wrong, but that what I think I've seen.
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Old 11-09-07, 11:14 AM   #20
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First discs used in racing was Moser's hour record wheelset in 1984. Until then any disc wheels were actually covers. Moser's team argued successfully that since the disc provided structural support for the rim (i.e. if you removed it the wheel didn't work anymore) that it was not purely an aero aid.

I believe the wheels weighed around 5 pounds for the rear, less for the front, but I'm probably off. They might have been fiberglass - whatever, some reinforced plastic, just like nowadays.

For a while there were only one-off wheels. A Danish pro built his own set with aluminum and broke the 5k pursuit record and won the World Championships, exposed rivets and all. I think Sugino marketed an aluminum disc - I think that's what was used by Eric Vanderarden (front and rear wheels!) in the Tour prologue of 1986.

1984's US Olympic track team had Excel disc - tensioned skin disc wheels, super light, super small (24" wheels for fronts, 700c rears, team pursuit had twin 24" wheels). Apparently very expensive and not that strong. Their quest, the first at that level, for the best bike ended up spiraling into a huge, costly tech war to build the fastest bikes out there - tempered by the UCI's ruling for things like a diamond frame, equal size wheels, etc.

Mavic made one of the first widely available discs, the Comete. It had a hole in the side for the valve (round) and matching round holes all the way around. The idea was you could put specially shaped weights in the holes (seriously) to increase the flywheel effect for flat/track events. Weight fully loaded was something like 5 or 6 pounds, empty it was like 3. I remember Sean Kelly using one and the locals who raced for Cannondale (Cannondale sold a full Mavic TT bike one year)

Campy made the Ghibli - another tension disc I think but I'm not sure. Supposed to be more like a spoked wheel. Heavy but used widely by 1986 by pros.

Sugino came up with the tension disc - it used 32 little bolts on the rim side and 32 little pins or something on the hub side. This enabled you to use a tension disc kit instead of spokes and you could still true your wheel.

Zipp came into the picture early on with their flat disc - they still sell something like it now. HED also started making their hollow disc - two lenticular sides bonded to a rim and hub. It was totally empty between the two shells (except the hub) - you could put a lot of stuff inside the wheel lol.

One disc manufacturer, I forget which, made special wheels for the Secret Service - they were bullet proof and designed to be used as shields in case of an attack on a protected person. The Secret Service people would ride the bikes equipped with such wheels with whoever was being protected.

At some point there was a rule made that aero wheel fairings were legal for racing, at least at the amateur level. This way a poor racer could get a cover for his wheel without spending thousands of dollars on a real disc. The JDisc was the best - it was a heat shrink plastic type cover for spoked wheels. Paul Curley, 'cross master, uses one even now. They glued to the rim (required some v-shaped rim so you could stick the cover on a non-brake surface) and being reinforced, they were pretty strong. Coors Light used the JDisc extensively, notably in the Tour Du Pont ('92? 93?) when Stephen Swart and Dave Mann led the race till LeMond won it. Swart and Mann used the JDisc rear coupled with a faired deep section JDisc front in the TTs and kicked some serious butt.

Another cover was the UNI disk - a tensioned hoop popped into clips attached to the spokes. The fabric would stretch though (esp when it rained), ballooning out at virtually any speed. In the dry they were acceptable.

Since front discs were hard to control (using a 24" front disc, I was tossed across a full lane of road when "practicing" for a TT - I never used the front wheel again), various attempts were made at getting them "open". 4 holes (Campy), the whirling trispokes (Zipp, usually mounted backwards by racers), and deep section rims (not sure who started them but suddenly there were tons of them). Specialized and DuPont teamed up to make the Trispoke (now HED3) which set the standard for aero wheels, even now. I think that was in 1986 or 1987 since the 1988 olympics were raced on Trispokes (Bob Mionske got third to Olaf Ludwig and some other German, maybe Uwe Ampler).

With "fairings" legal, deep section rims that use fairings became more popular - the first I recall are Mavic Cosmic Carbones, now there are a lot - the HED, the Bontrager Aerolus (sp?), etc. Since deep section rimmed wheels are usable in most conditions, that's what most people have.

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Old 11-09-07, 01:06 PM   #21
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At some point there was a rule made that aero wheel fairings were legal for racing, at least at the amateur level. This way a poor racer could get a cover for his wheel without spending thousands of dollars on a real disc. The JDisc was the best - it was a heat shrink plastic type cover for spoked wheels. Paul Curley, 'cross master, uses one even now. They glued to the rim (required some v-shaped rim so you could stick the cover on a non-brake surface) and being reinforced, they were pretty strong. Coors Light used the JDisc extensively, notably in the Tour Du Pont ('92? 93?) when Stephen Swart and Dave Mann led the race till LeMond won it. Swart and Mann used the JDisc rear coupled with a faired deep section JDisc front in the TTs and kicked some serious butt.

Another cover was the UNI disk - a tensioned hoop popped into clips attached to the spokes. The fabric would stretch though (esp when it rained), ballooning out at virtually any speed. In the dry they were acceptable.
Also possible was making your own covers out of mylar like the RC aircraft people use. IIRC you can buy big sheets of it, glue it to the rim and hub (solid high flange helps), and shrink it with some heat. Adds nearly no weight. I had a teammate and some friends do this in the mid 90s. It was all fine until they hit some of the bumps in the banks at Marymoor, at which point the wheels made noises like a slightly muffled crash cymbal--BWAASSHH! I like to say that I never did that (mylar disc) because stealth was what I was all about and that bump was where I launched my attacks, but that would be BS. Just too lazy to spend an afternoon doing it.
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Old 11-09-07, 03:00 PM   #22
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i used to build the mylar discs for the track. it comes in rolls and lots of different colors and couple of types of fabric. both are heat shrink, you use a heat gun and iron to tension them up. never had a prolem with them coming apart, i used one for two or three years on the track and did a couple for the road which was tougher as there were not a lot of aero rims at the time to give you a gluing surface separate from the braking area
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Old 11-09-07, 04:16 PM   #23
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thanks a million for the posts, this helps and gives leads. thanks
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Old 11-11-07, 07:40 PM   #24
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i know what your thinking....
i wanna see this
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Old 11-14-07, 10:41 PM   #25
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From a post today in the mechanics thread

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Originally Posted by stokessd View Post
Sure, bamboo is a great material and can be adapted for all sorts of uses. Some very expensive fly rods are still made of bamboo.

In the mid 80's when disc wheels were starting to show up, I built one from plywood. I screwed a tubular rim to it. I cut an old hub in half and screwed the flanges to each side of some wooden spacers at the center of the plywood. I actually did a 10 mile time trial on it. It wasn't uber light, but it worked really well. I was waiting for it to grenade on me, but I ended up tossing it in the trash still functioning perfectly.

The point is that you can build functional things out out unlikely materials if you are careful and understand what the limitations of the material are and how you are using it.

Watch your lug regions where you will have stress concentrations.

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Here's the thread
Bamboo Frames
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