Catastrophic wheel failure?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by BHOFM, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I had a catastrophic wheel failure last week, lost most of the spokes, some
    at the hub, some the threads broke. Schwinn Avenue, 24 spoke aerodynamic
    wheels. I had the wheels done when I got the bike in Oct. and checked at
    about 500 miles because of some loose spokes. I checked them every
    time I aired the tires, just spun the wheel and used a pop sickle stick to
    listen for loose spokes. Two days before they were fine, I left the house
    and got about a block and thought I had a low tire and when I slowed to
    turn the wheel collapsed, damaging the rear derailleur and breaking both
    brake arms.
    I am about 220lbs and the bike is used on streets and paved trails and
    treated for the most part very carefully.
    Schwinn has no explanation, but was very willing to replace the bike. A bit
    too willing maybe??
    I returned the bike and got another Schwinn, Aluminum Comp, regular wheels
    this time.

    I had a sore toe, and some how managed to jam my thumb but it was very
    minor.

    I am posting this just to let you know what happened, not a rant, as it was
    taken care of very quickly and everyone was very willing to do what needed
    to be done.

    I really think they just tried to make the bike too light? I really liked the bike,
    it rode sweet. I had about 1700 miles on it.

    The new bike is a lot lower geared, but OK for the way I ride, I use 21st gear
    now and then, about 30, 35 mph.
     
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  2. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Sorry to hear that mate, wheel failures have a habit of ending very badly. 220lbs shouldn't be to heavy for all but the lightest wheels.
     
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  3. Scotttri

    Scotttri Member

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    Good to here you got off relatively lightly on the injury front and good to here the bike company looked after you
     
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  4. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    They were a little too good and too willing to take care of it, makes me think
    they know they have a problem.

    I wanted road tread tires and they said do what ever it takes. I had to return the
    original tires and not ride the bike till I changed them, but that was fine with me.
    The new bike only has about 100 miles but I am happy with it so far. It does not
    have a place for a second water bottle, so I used the unused disc brake mount
    to fab a bracket for the extra bottle and tire pump. Worked out well and cost
    nothing but a little time. Might not work for some one riding off road, but for
    me it is fine.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Careful grabbing your bidon while you're riding, you could easily end up like me with a missing finger thanks to a bike wheel /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  6. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    That's the spare, the main one is in the normal location. I always stop
    to get a drink anyway. Not steady enough to do it riding.

    Thanks for your concern..
     
  7. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    AASHTA. (As Always, Sheldon Has The Answer):

    http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

    Scroll down to the section titled, "How many spokes?"

    If you're 220 lbs, 24 spokes is simply not enough.

    Jason
     
  8. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Schwinn rates the bike up to 250lbs, but I think there is a problem there...

    Now I just need some decent weather!
     
  9. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Besides, if you have $20M, you should be able to afford a few more spokes on your wheels! ;)

    Jason...waiting on better weather AND a new bike!
     
  10. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I am not spending money on what looks like an on going problem. Not
    when I could get a new bike with the tires I wanted and regular wheels,
    and a mountain bike that should hold up to a bit rougher use.

    The damage was a lot more than a few spokes.
     
  11. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Heh-heh. I meant that you could afford more than 24 spokes per wheel--as Sheldon Brown says in his article, fewer spokes has been marketed as "better", but the only ones its been better for is wheelbuilders and retailers.

    Hope you find suitable bikes!

    Jason
     
  12. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Thankfully your injury's are minor to what they could have been. I am surprised that Schwinn agreed or offered to replace the entire bike. One would only think that they would be obligated to replace the wheel and any damage resulting from the failure. I too would be suspious of thier motive.
     
  13. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    BHOFM, are you sure you want to risk injury again on another $200 Wal Mart bike? The ones I've tried to tune up for our local "Toys for Tots" over the years have all had poor quality wheels and brakes and drivetrains; certainly nothing I'd want to trust on any long or hilly ride with speed involved. They do look like amazing bargains from a distance, but when you get up close and try to adjust something, the lack of quality is obvious. Of course, that's not a surprise considering the retail price.

    Believe it or not, the reason many of us here spend $2000 or more on bikes is for safety, reliability and durability, not snob appeal. EG, my wheelset cost around $300 back in late 2003. It's seen 28K miles under my 180-195 lbs and has never needed truing. Even if you're willing to put up with the poor shifting, braking and handling, not to mention being stranded on the road with a failure, I'll bet the cost-per-mile is no less than if you'd invest in a quality bike.
     
  14. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I just looked at the figures, total cost, I keep close count of everything I spend.
    Having gotten my hands on some older bikes, fixing them up and selling them,
    I can do everything but wheel truing, I am about $20 ahead and just over 10k miles
    of riding. Of the three new bikes, all Wal Mart, The wheel is the only problem I have
    had.

    I still have two of the bikes I fixed up. I plan on keeping them as of now.

    One is a 1975 Spalding All Terrain Bike, $10 salvation army store, and
    one sweet ride. For the most part, my bike of choice.. I have ridden it
    about a thousand miles so far.
     
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