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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 road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com 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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8 comments

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whobiggs | 7 years ago
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You know, the more I see, the more nervous I get about this new fangled plastic stuff! 

 

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fixit | 8 years ago
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I wonder where the 5k euros mavic asks for this wheel go... items of that price cannot fail!!

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Gkam84 | 8 years ago
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Other image

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Gkam84 | 8 years ago
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If you look at the images of the wheel, I'd say the carbon has somehow come away from the rim at one point and then it has let loose.

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davebinks | 8 years ago
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It looks like the rim came off first, and after a few metres, the rest of the wheel followed suit.

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bikebot | 8 years ago
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Surprisingly safe, managed to stay upright whilst losing a lot of momentum. I wonder what it did to the track surface.

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benborp | 8 years ago
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Although imagine being a visually impaired rider on a tandem when the front wheel fails in the same way!

https://youtu.be/Ngv7Iu3y1o0

Impressive that the captain kept the bike upright for so long.

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levermonkey replied to benborp | 8 years ago
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benborp wrote:

Although imagine being a visually impaired rider on a tandem when the front wheel fails in the same way!

https://youtu.be/Ngv7Iu3y1o0

Impressive that the captain kept the bike upright for so long.

Is that Barney Storey (Sighted Pilot) and Neil Fachie (Blind Stoker)? Not that it is that important, but, it would be nice to know who to applaud.

Exceptional skills on display to mitigate the consequences of the event. Bravo!

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