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What happens when a carbon track disc wheel fails?

When carbon fails, it usually does in dramatic and spectacular style

Carbon fibre is an amazingly strong material, but sometimes (thankfully very rarely these days) it can fail. But when it does, it usually goes in dramatic and spectacular style. Such as this moment when a carbon disc wheel disintegrated during a 200m flying track sprint.

The spectacular crash happened to Team GB's Matthew Crampton at the Coupe de France Fenioux Piste event held on the Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines velodrome recently. We don't know the details of the incident and what actually caused the rear wheel to fail. Was it a puncture that initiated the total destruction of the wheel, or was it another cause? It looks like hthe aluminium rim separates from the carbon disc, which could perhaps suggest a delamination has occured.

Thankfully Matthew was okay and he's seen picking himself up off the track, presumably a bit bemused at the whole incident.


David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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