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newly built wheel taco'd by bus! (pkn10 content too)

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newly built wheel taco'd by bus! (pkn10 content too)

Old 09-15-13, 08:47 PM
  #1  
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newly built wheel taco'd by bus! (pkn10 content too)

this is what i get for selling my car.

so my friend that sold me my grand jubilé frame wanted to sell me his '81(ish) pkn10 for $100 that just needs a wheelset. it's a pretty, metallic red frame with gold and white decals. i'm excited about restoring it.

so i took two wheels down to his place using a seattle metro bus, planning to mount them on the peugeot so i could mount the bike in the metro's front rack on my return. (bus drivers hate it when i've tried to bring a frame on board.) i find a seat in the bendy part of this articulated bus, facing forwards with the sideways seat right in front of me that moves due to the bendy part of the bus. can you see where this nightmare is going?

my front wheel from my falcon (sun m13ii rim with a campy record hub) was in front of me and the rear wheel was in the seat next to me. the bus turned after a stop, the sideways seat moved toward me, all too quickly trapping the wheel between that seat and mine. it happened so fast, i couldn't move it in time. by the time it was trapped, it was perfectly stuck, like in a moving vise, with the seat continued to move into mine! it kept coming and coming, like that compactor scene in 'star wars,' but this wasn't a funny kid's story. it seemed to all happen in slow motion. at least ten people were there watching this and the frozen horror on my face. the wheel basically crumpled in on itself between the two seats. the bus straightened up, the sideways seat moved back where it was previously, and i was left with a perfectly warped wheel, which ten seconds before was brilliantly new, shiny and perfect.

i just stared at it for about thirty seconds, saying nothing. i couldn't even look away. everybody was real sweet about it. i heard many condolences and tips for the best bike shops in town. a hobo said he could fix it. and then i saw this hippy kid smiling a nervous smile, shaking his head, and he got me laughing about it. i was glad my leg or hand wasn't a part of the fiasco. and my mind wondered what other more cruel acts of destruction had happened to others like this. was i really 'lucky'? pshaw.

so, right away, the wheel popped back into more of a normal looking shape, but still warped. and here's my question: how should i go about rebuilding it? i plan on unlacing it, and straightening out the rim if possible. i've never done this before. i assume the spokes can be reused. the sun rim is kind of inexpensive, and i have to buy two others for the peugeot anyway (if i can find some hubs for that bike). should i not even try to straighten it or reuse the spokes? i'm a little worried the rim wall is now uneven that will cause poor front braking.

so watch out for those articulated buses. for god's sake, don't leave an occupied baby carriage in between that sideways seat and yours.

i added a photo of the wheel here and the bike here.

Last edited by eschlwc; 05-15-14 at 12:10 AM. Reason: added photo links
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Old 09-15-13, 08:58 PM
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Hate to say it but the rim is probably toast and all you can do is rebuilt on that hub or simply buy a new wheel (or get one from Craigslist or 2d hand in some fashion). A Peugeot PKN 10 (assuming that this is what the bike is) has a Reynolds 531 main triangle; nice bike in any case. You have 1200 plus posts here; you know you need to post some pics of the wheel and the bike or people will say this never happened.
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Old 09-15-13, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
...You have 1200 plus posts ... pics of the wheel and the bike or ... this never happened.
if only today didn't go down like it did...

yeah, i know -- pics. i'm a bit of a perfectionist about my photos, so it'll take me a day or two to clean up the frame and post some photos.

in better news, the previous owner worried me i couldn't use a standard crank puller on the peugeot's stronglight triple, but i did, and it worked like a charm. i think he was just going on hearsay.

i tried to remove the fixed cup, but couldn't in either direction. fine by me, i guess.
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Old 09-15-13, 10:29 PM
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If there are any sharp bends in the rim it seems unlikely that you'll ever get nice smooth braking from it so probably best to replace it. I'd do the same thing that I do when I wear out the brake track and need to replace a rim. Tape the new rim alongside the old with two or three pieces of tape and then transfer the spokes over one at a time from the old rim to the new one. This preserves the position of the spokes in the hub where the spoke heads have already settled into small grooves thereby minimizing stress on the spokes.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:19 PM
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^ a good tip. i'll be careful about transferring spokes.

there aren't any sharp bends in the rim. after it popped (literally) back into shape, it now just looks like it needs a major true. of course that wouldn't work. but i wonder if i tear it down, ensure the rim is good, and rebuild it, maybe it would be good as new.

i guess "taco'd" is the wrong word to use, although at the time, it looked it. "tragic" is a more appropriate word. or "tragic f@#$ up."

what about reusing the spokes? should i lay them flat and reuse only those that meet a certain criteria?

this might be a good time to invest in a digital caliper to ensure the rim (brake surfaces) is the same width all the way around. have any of you used a clamp or vise grips to 'true' a rim's width back in shape?

Last edited by eschlwc; 09-15-13 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:22 PM
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At my co-op that I work at, we recently got in a nice enough Campy rim with 105 hub. Only issue was that once the wheel was trued up, there was too much tension on one side and nearly slack spokes on the other.

So I figured the rim was toast and broke it down to save the parts (we like to recycle good stainless spokes). Once the rim was naked, I put it up to a window and it wasn't bent too bad, about an inch worth of bend. I then bent it back straight as much as possible. The end result is a Campy rim that actually is nearly flat when placed on the window. There is now about 2mm worth of gap at the worst part of the bend when placed on the window.

I imagine that the rim will be plenty usable and true out just fine once built up.

Delace it and see how bad the rim is when placed on a flat surface.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:27 PM
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^ ok. just trial and error using you hands and holding it up to the window?

this is a first for me. i've only built five wheels also.
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Old 09-15-13, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
^ ok. just trial and error using you hands and holding it up to the window?

this is a first for me. i've only built five wheels also.
Well by holding it up to a sheet of glass, I was able to figure out where the bends were and how bad the bends were. I then placed the rim on a sofa and pushed hard using my weight (you will be surprised at how much weight is needed) on the rim. I placed the rim with the bends on the arm of the sofa and pushed hard to reverse the bends. It works but it is trial and error. Works best if the wheel has a single bend.

Push,tweak, check. Over and over for a bunch of minutes.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:23 AM
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That sucks so bad. I could picture the whole incident happening in my mind. Sorry.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:54 AM
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Yeah I would say go ahead and unlace the rim and see if you can straighten it you don't have anything to lose. You would be surprised how bad a wheel rim can be and still be saved with a little owrk. If not you should be able straighten to re-use the new spokes on a different rim.
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Old 09-16-13, 01:14 AM
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^ thanks, tejas. sympathy feels good right now.

but it was just a wheel. if i had had my falcon frame in the same awful spot, i might think about serious self abuse.

i loosened all the spokes and the rim looks pretty bad.



online, i just priced this rim, a sun m13ii 32h, shipped for $35. not the most expensive
mistake i've ever made i guess.

i should probably find hubs for the peugeot and buy two or three rims all at the same time (if i determine this bent rim is toast). what inexpensive hubs should i buy for an '80s pkn10? it would be nice to find a 32h front and 36h rear spaced at 126mm.

Last edited by eschlwc; 09-17-13 at 04:35 PM. Reason: added the photo
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Old 09-16-13, 03:22 AM
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Aw man, that sounds horrible. like others have said rebuild from the ground up.

Oh, and check the axle. I recently rebuild pulled a taco'ed rear wheel apart to rebuild and true, had all the spokes loose before I got round checking the axle
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Old 09-16-13, 06:33 AM
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I suppose their are worse ways to have a bus wreck your wheel! I feel for you as I also trashed a rear wheel on Friday. At least you escaped unscathed (excluding mental trauma that is!) Here's my wrecked wheel story for those interested: I was speeding now I'm bleeding.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:57 AM
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Look at it this way, at least it was a modern replaceable rim and not something that has been out of production since the 70's!

I might re-use some of the spokes, but I'd make sure they didn't get damaged by the indecent.

Having never been on a transit bus, this certainly makes me have second thoughts about the whole idea.



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Old 09-16-13, 07:54 AM
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I would definitely try to reuse the rim and all the spokes. Spokes usually fail due to fatigue; being under tension or getting bent one time shouldn't do them much harm.
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Old 09-16-13, 07:59 AM
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^ cache, thanks for the poetics.

wes, you're not missing anything. though, had i more experience with sitting in the middle of an articulated bus, this thread would only be about my new peugeot.

i overhauled both simplex derailleurs last night in lieu of attempting to straighten the rim. i'm not exactly sure how to load the hanger bolt spring on the rd, if anyone has any tips...

why can't all derailleurs be more like campy and suntour, free of this extra spring? my old shimano 600 had one too. seems like overkill.
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Old 09-16-13, 08:36 AM
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Wait, did you say you don't want to show us the damage until the bike is clean?
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Old 09-16-13, 11:03 AM
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I've also had an articulated bus (here in SF Muni-speak they are called "Artics" and the drivers have an igloo patch on their uniform, they don't seem concerned about spelling) do a similar number on a Coleman lantern I had picked up at a garage sale. These are quite dangerous and though they have the "pinch points" pretty well covered against hand and foot loss, the places where you put parcels (and on a crowded bus this is crucial) are traps! My mint-condition Coleman was a total loss in seconds, not a thing I could do but watch it crushed...I learned the hard way.
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Old 09-16-13, 11:51 AM
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Years ago probably around 1986-87 Bicycling Magazine had an article on taco'd wheels and what I remember is that shortly after reading this article I was helping lead a group of high school guys on a bike trip a kid rode into another near the end of the day with the result that one kid had taco'd his rear wheel. Because I read the article I knew what to do. I removed the wheel from the bike gave it a good whack against the road and voila it straightened out. It needed truing which I did with the wheel back on the bike I remember telling the kid the wheel was toast but should be alright for the rest of the trip but when he got back home he should have the wheel rebuilt. I think for some reason the article did not think a taco'd wheel would last without a rebuild and possibly a new rim.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wait, did you say you don't want to show us the damage until the bike is clean?
i didn't want to take pics of the peugeot until i cleaned it up. yeah, i'm not all that practical. look, i allowed a bus to crush my wheel... from the inside! i should post pics of the wheel already, and i apologize. my phone camera must be the worst on the planet, so i need to get the big slr out and be done with it. i'm still in mourning, wearing black today.

Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I've also had an ... "Artic" ... do a similar number on a Coleman lantern... I learned the hard way.
thanks a lot for sharing that. i really had never heard of this before. the grim curiosity in me wonders about the worst of these incidents. i can imagine someone's pet mastiff getting an unwelcome squeeze.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by callig View Post
... I ... gave it a good whack against the road...
i did this too. after the wheel popped back, it still wasn't straight enough to push back to the bus stop mounted inside the front calipers, so i slammed it in the grass a couple times. i had seen a builder do this in his shop with a bent wheel against a rubber floor mat, so i tried it. hope i never have to do that again. it doesn't feel good.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:49 PM
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The tire was still inflated and on the taco'd wheel when I gave it a whack on the road I was surprised that it worked but that was what the article said to do.
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Old 09-16-13, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by callig View Post
Years ago probably around 1986-87 Bicycling Magazine had an article on taco'd wheels and what I remember is that shortly after reading this article I was helping lead a group of high school guys on a bike trip a kid rode into another near the end of the day with the result that one kid had taco'd his rear wheel. Because I read the article I knew what to do. I removed the wheel from the bike gave it a good whack against the road and voila it straightened out. It needed truing which I did with the wheel back on the bike I remember telling the kid the wheel was toast but should be alright for the rest of the trip but when he got back home he should have the wheel rebuilt. I think for some reason the article did not think a taco'd wheel would last without a rebuild and possibly a new rim.
happens on the polo courts all the time, but a more apt description is potato chipped. One well placed smack on the asphalt and viola you can keep playing with a bit of a wobbly wheel... keeps the game going at least, but the wheels never last long after that.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:49 PM
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Ya I think your right they called it potato chipped wheel
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Old 09-16-13, 05:46 PM
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[QUOTE=eschlwc;16072176 the grim curiosity in me wonders about the worst of these incidents. i can imagine someone's pet mastiff getting an unwelcome squeeze.[/QUOTE]
I have seen a lot of dogs brought on board these busses (from little purse-size lapdogs to genuine *legal* duty dogs like guide dogs for the blind) and never seen one in any danger from the artic bus pivoting or bending. Dogs have good instincts and move away quick when there's some threat...even little yappers with pea-brains.
It's the inanimate objects that get crushed...no chance for them.
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