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Why did I wreck?

Old 12-31-20, 05:06 PM
  #1  
semroc
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Why did I wreck?

Hello all. I hope this is okay in the vintage forum. I was riding an 1979 or 80 Rossin Record. Fifteen miles into my ride yesterday, I was about a mile from my favorite bike shop. Stoked to get there and talk shop. Going about 15 miles per hour, I got out of the saddle to get going a little faster, and boom I'm down hard on the pavement. I get up, find my rear wheel is about 5 feet away from my bike. Get out of the road and collect myself. How did my wheel come off? I know my skewer was real tight. Checked before I left. And rode pretty hard before the wreck. I limped to my buddies shop. He put the wheel back on while I bandaged wounds. He's a top notch mechanic, and thoroughly went through my bike. Straightened out bent brake lever and rear derailleur, trued wheel. No charge. I rode home, but never got out of the saddle. Has this happened to anyone? How did my rear wheel come off. Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-31-20, 05:12 PM
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I had something similar happen a few lifetimes ago, but I wasn’t as lucky as you.

it’s weird the wheel actually came out. I’d look for an older but for the skewer that might have a better gripping surface
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Old 12-31-20, 05:38 PM
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Were you riding in or near Roswell NM? Did you see Rod Serling wearing a suit with a skinny tie talking in hushed tones? Those are the only two explanations I can come up with.
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Old 12-31-20, 05:42 PM
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what kind of skewer do you have mounted. I had that happen and found out that not all skewers are equal, for instance, shimano have a ratchet style gear driving the skewer when tightened and are much better than the one I was running, which I think was just a roller type, so take a peek. Just wondering
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Old 12-31-20, 05:45 PM
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Not enough photo detail of the rear wheel setup. With an older frame with minimal or no redundant safeties ("lawyer lips"), the weaker external cam QRs might not hold securely enough.

A few possibilities, based on stuff I've done myself through neglected maintenance and safety checks (although none has resulted in any problems)...

When inserting the rear wheel, it doesn't seat properly in the dropouts for various reasons. Maybe a bit of debris on the dropout or axle. And when I lock the QR it's not really secured. I discovered the booboo soon after starting a ride when I noticed the rear wheel had shifted askew, signaled by brake rubbing, or visible when I glanced down and noticed the tire nearly rubbing one chainstay. Once I found a bit of what resembled broken plastic or something jammed between the inside of the dropout and axle. Probably stuck to the wheel when I set it down in the grass during a flat repair.

A few days ago I noticed a seldom-ridden errand bike's rear wheel had a loose nut on the drive side. That's an oddball bike, an early-mid 2000s Globe Carmel. Globe was the bargain lineup from Specialized that had a brief surge of popularity during the 2000s hipster era. Most of the Globe lineup was functional city cruisers or single speeds. The Carmel appeared to have been intended for an early ebike, with a massively heavy aluminum frame, long wheelbase like a cargo bike (the Carmel resembles one of the Yuba cargo bikes, minus the permanently attached rack), and ridiculously wide rear dropouts (nearly 150mm wide). Apparently Globe intended the Carmel to be adapted to their plans for ebikes but the whole Globe project was phased out before that happened (per interviews with the former engineer assigned to that project).

So instead of a heavy duty, wide wheel, the Globe was fitted with a standard 126mm wheel on an inexpensive Alex Z1000 single wall rim, freewheel, longer axle, and a kludge of extension nuts to fill the space. That resulted in a rear wheel too flimsy for the intended purpose and it began popping spokes after about a year of riding.

I replaced it with a heavy duty affordable Wheelmaster wheel built on a Weinmann Zac-19 double wall rim, heavy duty Weinmann hub, massive spokes, etc. But it still needed that ridiculously long axle and filler nuts.

I noticed the other day the filler nuts were loose. Chances are it wouldn't have caused problems immediately. The bike has hefty safety lugs on front and rear dropouts (again, presumably the frame was intended for an ebike), so even the cheap exposed cam QR lever was still adequate as long as the skewer didn't snap or the retaining nut didn't strip out and pop off.

I'm planning to sell or give away that errand bike, so I'm going to switch to a proper QR, and use a bit of moderate strength Loctite on the filler nuts.

Anyway, now I try to be a bit more diligent about pre-ride safety checks. And if I forget and then remind myself after a ride has started, I'll pull over, undo the QRs on both wheels, set the frame firmly into the wheels, relock, check, etc.
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Old 12-31-20, 05:58 PM
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Heal fast.

Suspect the skewer or team "Cinzano"

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Old 12-31-20, 06:18 PM
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Miche skewer and hub. My mechanic couldn't find anything mechanically wrong. But just got a text from him saying maybe my size 12 feet, heel hit the qr and popped it open. I just moved the skewer lever to the rear. Thanks for the responses. The hub and skewer are about 30 years old, or more. I did just put a new freewheel on.
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Old 12-31-20, 06:32 PM
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Yup, that toe-verlap and heel overlap can be a problem with big feet and some bikes. I get some of that with a couple of bikes.

Usually I'll position the QR lever alongside the frame, making it less likely to snag. But then it's harder to flip open, so sometimes I'll need a plastic tire lever from the saddle bag to pop open the QR lever. I'm definitely more worried about that with the newer, lighter exposed cam QRs on my carbon fiber bikes. Doesn't take much effort to pop those open.
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Old 12-31-20, 06:39 PM
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OP: Does that Miche skewer have knurling on the end nuts? If not, I'd bet that's a contributing factor; horizontal dropouts need a proper interference fit and without knurling they slip - and in extreme cases such as yours the wheel can actually come out. Scary. Glad you're okay and got lucky with little damage to you or that lovely machine

DD
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Old 12-31-20, 06:47 PM
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Check the shoes you were wearing along with the bike, especially if using toe clips. I wear size 13, and if I pair certain shoes with certain bikes the combination of shorter stays and larger feet can cause this if I donít place the skewer at the correct angle. Iíve yet to actually open a skewer with my shoe but Iíve rubbed one while pedaling before.

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Old 12-31-20, 06:58 PM
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So, when I was researching a Miche hubbed wheel set from Velomine one thing I found was several other instances of people having the Miche QR's slip. I figured it was no big deal if I just made sure it was tight. First ride on the brand new bike I put those wheels on I had the rear slip, jam the tire, and I fell over in the middle of the intersection. Needless to say, I chucked those Miche skewers. That is the only time in all my years of riding I've had a QR skewer fail, wheels are still working great by the way.
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Old 12-31-20, 07:18 PM
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No knurling Drillium dude. Thank you jamesdack. Great sleuthing y'all. I think I'll put a different skewer on. After I got up out of the road I looked for my team car to get a new bike as fast as possible. Never did see them .
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Old 12-31-20, 07:30 PM
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Well that is a strange and unfortunate mishap. Glad you're OK. An acquaintance once told me about the time he got to go on a ride with Francesco Moser. He had his rear quick release lever oriented, like most people do, at an angle between the the seat stay and chain stay, and Francesco, not speaking any English, wagged his finger and had him set the lever to point directly aft, parallel to the ground (like a flag waving). He told me he's set the quick release like that ever since. Maybe Moser has big feet like you.
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Old 12-31-20, 07:35 PM
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Any chance the axle protrudes further than the dropout, enough that the Q/R could be bottoming out on the axle before the dropout?

-Kurt
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Old 12-31-20, 08:23 PM
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I'm on the side that your big feet hit the end of the QR lever and flipped it open. Since things were apparently fine once the mechanic put things back together there's probably nothing mechanically wrong with the bike.

FWIW: I have size 13 feet. I checked one of my shoes against a bike in my garage. The heel counter is exactly the right distance to catch the QR lever if it's pointing forward.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:37 PM
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Maybe that is it Jeff Wills. I'm definitely pointing the qr to the rear from now on. Great info spaghetti legs. If Moser says that, then that's good enough for me.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
OP: Does that Miche skewer have knurling on the end nuts? If not, I'd bet that's a contributing factor; horizontal dropouts need a proper interference fit and without knurling they slip - and in extreme cases such as yours the wheel can actually come out. Scary. Glad you're okay and got lucky with little damage to you or that lovely machine

DD
My thought also. Another thought - that skewer rod isn't aluminum or titanium is it? Both of the materials are bad news for horizontally dropped bikes because they stretch 2-3 times more than steel. A third thought - are the dropouts chromed? Chromed dropouts are harder and slipperier than plain steel and need more clamping force or more aggressive knurling.

Another place to look for knurling - on the hub locknuts.

Modern Shimano steel quick releases are very good. They develop more clamping force than many of the pre late '80s quick releases.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:50 PM
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I did have the rear wheel come around once 45 years ago. Out of saddle, rode through wet patch just before, tire got loose, tried to meet the front. I inspected the tire, was not too old but tread had worn off at centerline. Vulcano- won at a race- tossed it right after.
wheel did not depart, but I have much smaller feet size 41.5
the skewer to the front- nah, to the rear, and by Campagnolo. Tullio invented them ya know.

my error in the mishap was to not replace my toe strap on the side I fell on- got bent slightly.
Would loosen up then stopped.
in the sprint at the district championships - I pulled out my foot. I did not defend my title that year. Lesson learned.
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Old 12-31-20, 09:04 PM
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I took off the non knurled miche, and put on a knurled maillard. The maillard feels Moore beefy. And its knurled. Its now pointed to the rear like Moser says. Thanks everybody. I was stumped, and wrecking doesn't feel too great. Hopefully this works. I'll go pull some faces tomorrow and check it out.
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Old 12-31-20, 09:42 PM
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Glad you're O.K. Crashing is the worst. Is that a tubie or a clincher under the seat? If tubie, check the tire glue job. Could have been a rock or so many other things.
Oh BTW, what a sweet Rossin!
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Old 12-31-20, 10:17 PM
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On some of my bikes I took out the drop out adjuster screws and shove the wheel all the way back in the dropouts. Without the adjuster screws there is more surface area for the skewer/locknut to grab onto. On my Lemond this seems to have solved the issue with the rear axle slipping in the dropout.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:49 PM
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Wheels can get loose, I get that. You can kick the QR with your heel, yes. It's happened to me... the wheel slides forward in the dropouts and stops turning, and the it becomes difficult to stay upright. No surprise there.

But getting the wheel five feet away from the bicycle, i don't see that. I cannot explain how that might happen.

Sometimes it is hard to figure out how a crash happened. Still... completely removing the wheel from the bike, that's unusual.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
But getting the wheel five feet away from the bicycle, i don't see that. I cannot explain how that might happen.

Sometimes it is hard to figure out how a crash happened. Still... completely removing the wheel from the bike, that's unusual.
I agree - most unusual. But it's happened before to at least one other member - the wheel coming completely out - and then it's just a matter of how far it rolls, right?

Hoping that member reads the thread and chimes in because there were questions that (I believe) were answered later on. I'd look, but the search function here, well...you know.

DD
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Old 12-31-20, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryFrankie View Post
Glad you're O.K. Crashing is the worst. Is that a tubie or a clincher under the seat? If tubie, check the tire glue job. Could have been a rock or so many other things.
Oh BTW, what a sweet Rossin!
It's a tubular. It seems to be glued pretty good. Never had problems before. It stayed fully inflated. Rhm, ya I was really surprised to see my wheel apart from my bike. Very strange. I walked to the side of the road with wheel in one hand and bike in the other. I didn't have a lot of confidence in my bike on the way home, after the bike shop, but it made it, no problems. But I didn't drop the hammer at all. Thanks for the insight everyone. Much appreciated.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:06 PM
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About 40 years ago I had my rear wheel come loose, twice. The hub was a Miche Competition, sort of a copy of a Campy Record. The skewers were also Miche. It was a new wheelset to that bike. I had the wheel slip twice, luckily all it did was turn sideways enough to drag the bike to a stop. Only the right side moved forward, and it never came out of the dropout. What I eventually found was that the hub was spaced a bit on the narrow side, something like 115mm, which likely was contributing in me not clamping the skewer down hard enough. I respaced the hub by adding a few spacers under each lock nut and all was fine after that.
I did eventually replace those skewers but not because they slipped, but because the rear skewer snapped about two years later. I think I bought a pair of Cycle Pro skewers at the lbs back then.
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