Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Exploding wheel!

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Exploding wheel!

Old 06-02-13, 09:56 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AZORCH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Posts: 3,120

Bikes: 1966 Paramount | 1971 Raleigh International | ca. 1970 Bernard Carre | 1989 Waterford Paramount | 2012 Boulder Brevet | 2019 Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 40 Posts
Exploding wheel!

I rode in the Tour de Cure this morning. In the staging area a guy showed me his rear wheel that had, in his words, "simply exploded." No joke, either! He was wheeling his bike from the parking lot when he heard what sounded like a shotgun blast; he looked down and saw this:



I've never seen a rim disintegrate like this before, literally splitting down the center. As I checked over the rest of the rim, there were other stress fractures (I guess they were stress fractures!) all around the rim, in a line with the segment that burst. Anyone else ever seen something like this?
AZORCH is offline  
Old 06-02-13, 10:32 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Stillwater, OK
Posts: 7,827
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1872 Post(s)
Liked 692 Times in 468 Posts
Thank God he wasn't riding it, that's crazy!
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2019 Salsa Warbird
shoota is offline  
Old 06-02-13, 10:45 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
More common is that the brake track gets worn so much that one side of the rim pulls away. Usually that gives some warning in advance from the brake getting grabby as the rim edge bows out in spots.

But in this case it appears that cracks at the spoke holes propagated between holes until the rim split down the middle. Surprising that the wheel wouldn't have gone way out of true from uneven spoke tension long before the cracks got that extensive.
prathmann is offline  
Old 06-02-13, 11:30 PM
  #4  
Trek 500 Kid
 
Zinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 2,562

Bikes: '83 Trek 970 road --- '86 Trek 500 road

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2904 Post(s)
Liked 382 Times in 307 Posts
Besides cracks in the rim, I've got to think it must've took a beating over RR tracks or something to make it give way suddenly like that. Never saw anything quite like that myself. I guess it pays to put a tension gauge on those spokes after all.
Zinger is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 02:52 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
ftwelder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 3,081

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 10 Posts
That is interesting. It must be a single-wall rim run with extremely high pressure. What type of bike was it?
ftwelder is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 02:54 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
BruceHankins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Charles Town, WV
Posts: 348

Bikes: Shogun 400 ('83), Kuwahara Newport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Never on a bike, but I've seen alloy wheels on cars blow out.
BruceHankins is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 05:03 AM
  #7  
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,434

Bikes: 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1222 Post(s)
Liked 645 Times in 232 Posts
Hmm, offset spokes, and the crack didn't involved the opposite-side spoke hole right in the middle of the tear. Well, it must have been fatigued. A neighbor noticed longitudinal cracks in a rim he'd been tightening, and probably over-tightening, for years. If it had let go it might have looked just like that, but that's just a guess. FWIW, Jobst Brandt's book says that the rim is the weakest part of a well-built wheel and this it will eventually fatigue. This wheel looks to have given all it had to give, lived a long life.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 05:18 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AZORCH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Posts: 3,120

Bikes: 1966 Paramount | 1971 Raleigh International | ca. 1970 Bernard Carre | 1989 Waterford Paramount | 2012 Boulder Brevet | 2019 Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by ftwelder
That is interesting. It must be a single-wall rim run with extremely high pressure. What type of bike was it?
I didn't pay much attention to the bike - some kind of hybrid, if I recall correctly. I also didn't check to see what rim it was either but it strikes me that it might've been CR-18. Jeez, can you really put that much pressure in a tube to blow apart the metal?
AZORCH is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 06:05 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 9,579

Bikes: '65 Frejus TDF, '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1607 Post(s)
Liked 2,213 Times in 1,103 Posts
Doesn't look like a "box" rim. The two spokes at the end look like they are the drive side, higher tension. There must have been a stress riser somewhere along the break. If were able to examine the surfaces of the failure, you might be able to see where it started and if there was a any propagation prior to the failure.
SJX426 is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 06:17 AM
  #10  
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,434

Bikes: 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1222 Post(s)
Liked 645 Times in 232 Posts
Originally Posted by AZORCH
I didn't pay much attention to the bike - some kind of hybrid, if I recall correctly. I also didn't check to see what rim it was either but it strikes me that it might've been CR-18. Jeez, can you really put that much pressure in a tube to blow apart the metal?
We don't know what pressure it was running, but 120psi means exactly that, 120 pounds for every square inch! That it pushed the rim apart once the crack formed isn't surprising. We could question how it went that far before blowing the tube, but the explanation is simple. The rim strip did its job. Probably a wide strip of thick rubber or strong cloth. The loud bang would have been the tube finally finding an opening.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 07:49 AM
  #11  
Pedo Grande
 
Popeyecahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 872

Bikes: Cervelo C3, Serotta Legend Ti, Vitus 979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shouldn't the title of this thread be: "Asploding Wheel!" ?

Nice Instagram image by the way...
Popeyecahn is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 08:41 AM
  #12  
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,793

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1390 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 835 Posts
Fortunately, I have never experienced this first hand, but I have heard similar stories from others. This is one reason I avoid carbon rims, which are even more sensitive than aluminum rims to stress risers from surface scratches and material fatigue.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:08 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,305
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3464 Post(s)
Liked 2,826 Times in 1,994 Posts
Originally Posted by ftwelder
That is interesting. It must be a single-wall rim run with extremely high pressure. What type of bike was it?
Looks like a double wall rim to me. My guess is that if one were to look at the extrusion die there was part of that die that would show why that area could have been a weak spot. Any extrusion die that has a hollow cavity at some point has webbing to place that cavity, the metal flows around the web and under heat and pressure is "welded" back together. My view is a "cold" fusing of the metal happened, and over the years those micro voids became enlarged under pressure from the tire tube and oxidation. Lack of review by the owner and or mechanics let this percolate to the point of failure. Who knows how much pressure the fellow had in the tire too.
repechage is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:11 AM
  #14  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,495

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 511 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7341 Post(s)
Liked 2,440 Times in 1,424 Posts
Someone gave me some wheels where the rear rim has longitudinal cracks, though they're not in the center. I plan to replace the rim eventually. I have not ridden it, and I don't plan to ride it as it is. I guess this is a good argument in favor of using spokes that are gauged right for the weight of the rim. Excessive tension probably played a big part in this.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:16 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ruidoso, NM
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by AZORCH
Jeez, can you really put that much pressure in a tube to blow apart the metal?
Only if the metal is already about to fall apart... which it was in this case.

A rim can get fatigue cracks at the spoke holes, which typically propagate along the center of the rim... just like the big crack in this rim. It looks like cracks at two adjacent DS spokes eventually got so big that they "joined up" when extra stress was added.

Unless you are in the habit of ignoring your equipment, I wouldn't worry about this happening to you. There should have been ample warning.
rruff is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:17 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
AZORCH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Posts: 3,120

Bikes: 1966 Paramount | 1971 Raleigh International | ca. 1970 Bernard Carre | 1989 Waterford Paramount | 2012 Boulder Brevet | 2019 Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider
I guess this is a good argument in favor of using spokes that are gauged right for the weight of the rim. Excessive tension probably played a big part in this.
Tom, I'm not a wheel builder myself so forgive my ignorance. Given that the bike was a major brand hybrid, it's a fairly safe bet these are (were!) the original wheels. In your experience have you seen other examples of incorrect gauge spokes paired up on factory built wheels? The thought of experiencing this sort of wheel demise while riding simply scares the ****ake mushrooms right out of me!
AZORCH is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:27 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20,305
Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3464 Post(s)
Liked 2,826 Times in 1,994 Posts
Originally Posted by AZORCH
Tom, I'm not a wheel builder myself so forgive my ignorance. Given that the bike was a major brand hybrid, it's a fairly safe bet these are (were!) the original wheels. In your experience have you seen other examples of incorrect gauge spokes paired up on factory built wheels? The thought of experiencing this sort of wheel demise while riding simply scares the ****ake mushrooms right out of me!
This is an outlier in my book. That said, test, don't guess. Big thick spokes, even typical ga. spokes can allow a wheel to be over tensioned, the typical spoke tension of yesteryear is far less than the new modern stuff, which most often has fewer spokes to take the load. Also, a fresh rim, NOS or new production is always the safest bet. That said, I have some wheels built with cheap cad plated spokes and used rims that I built decades ago that are still in service.
repechage is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 09:49 AM
  #18  
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Posts: 13,434

Bikes: 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

Mentioned: 189 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1222 Post(s)
Liked 645 Times in 232 Posts
This reminds me of the Calvin & Hobbs strip where Calvin asks his dad how they know the maximum weight of a bridge. Dad says they drive heavier and heavier trucks over it until it collapses. Then they weigh that truck and build another bridge exactly like the first one.

What is the stress limit of a suspect wheel? Ride it until it breaks, then build another exactly like that one and just don't ride it quite that much or that hard the next time.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 10:40 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
gaucho777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 7,236

Bikes: '72 Cilo Pacer, '72 Gitane Gran Tourisme, '72 Peugeot PX10, '73 Speedwell Ti, '74 Peugeot UE-8, '75 Peugeot PR-10L, '80 Colnago Super, '85 De Rosa Pro, '86 Look Equipe 753, '86 Look KG86, '89 Parkpre Team, '90 Parkpre Team MTB, '90 Merlin

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 830 Post(s)
Liked 2,110 Times in 553 Posts
I agree with others who suggest this wheel likely had cracks at the spoke holes which propagated into this failure. I was given an old wheel with a (super lightweight) Mavic OR-7 rim. Every DS spoke hole had a .2-.5 cm crack on each side of the spoke. If I had ridden the wheel for an extended amount of time, I'd bet it would have met a similar fate. In the OPs example, I believe regular inspection of the wheel would have revealed cracks in advance of this failure.
__________________
-Randy

'72 Cilo Pacer • '72 Peugeot PX10 • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Equipe 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90 Parkpre Team MTB • '90 Merlin Ti

Avatar photo courtesy of jeffveloart.com, contact: contact: jeffnil8 (at) gmail.com.
gaucho777 is online now  
Old 06-03-13, 10:58 AM
  #20  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,808

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 584 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1908 Post(s)
Liked 574 Times in 339 Posts
Something similar happened to a friend of mine while he was riding. Afterwards the wheel looked like this:


Full story here.

This was not a matter of brake wear.

Rims more commonly fail on account of brake wear. That has happened to me twice, where my rear rim wore to a point where it started to crack and bulge. Both times I felt a whumpwhumpwhump when I hit the brakes and on inspection found a section starting to give way. Nothing catastrophic.

Last edited by rhm; 06-03-13 at 12:11 PM.
rhm is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 11:41 AM
  #21  
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,776

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3582 Post(s)
Liked 3,394 Times in 1,928 Posts
Originally Posted by gaucho777
I agree with others who suggest this wheel likely had cracks at the spoke holes which propagated into this failure.
Hard anodized rims with high spoke tension contributes to this type of failure.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 11:47 AM
  #22  
Hogosha Sekai
 
RaleighSport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: STS
Posts: 6,669

Bikes: Leader 725, Centurion Turbo, Scwhinn Peloton, Schwinn Premis, GT Tequesta, Bridgestone CB-2,72' Centurion Lemans, 72 Raleigh Competition

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 15 Posts
Just to hazard a guess.. the wheel was probably quite worn on the brake tracks and chances are the spokes were overly tensioned for the amount of abuse the wheel had withstood.. and if the wheel had been left sitting there deflated and he suddenly aired it up to a high PSI, that could easily happen. But this is all just speculation on my part.
RaleighSport is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 12:10 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,464

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 954 Post(s)
Liked 1,619 Times in 1,039 Posts
Rats Azorch - Now I gotta go check all my rims...

Thanks Man Good Post...
zandoval is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 12:20 PM
  #24  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,495

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 511 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7341 Post(s)
Liked 2,440 Times in 1,424 Posts
AZORCH, no I don't typically see oversized spokes on factory-spec'd wheels. So thank you for asking, because it makes me realize it could be something else. Perhaps the spec was for spokes that typically aren't tightened quite that much. Maybe there is a bad assumption about how much tension will be put into the wheel. When I build a wheel, I make it absolutely as tight as I can.

Could riding hard create excess tension, if only momentarily? I suppose, but I don't know enough to say so.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 06-03-13, 06:19 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ruidoso, NM
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Cheap wheels usually have straight 14g spokes, and they are not highly tensioned because that is more difficult. Torque will increase the tension on pulling spokes, but a wheel with that many spokes and all of them crossed would see only a miniscule increase. Vertical loads only decrease detension.

Most likely either the rim was faulty, or there was serious corrosion.
rruff is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.