• Things that break - Part 2, A Black Museum

    First - an example of a crank about to fail. This is a Campag Strada, and I think I was lucky to spot this crack before it caused trouble - shows the virtue of cleaning your bike!

    I hope the photo is good enough for you to be able to see the crack, which is between the two black marks.

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  • Next we have a hub flange on the point of failure. This is also Campag, but I wouldn't want to suggest this brand is more prone to breaking than any other - it's probably just that I have tended to favour this maker over a long period.

    Again the crack is between the two black lines, and this one is easier to see.

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  • And now we come to the really dangerous one:

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  • Wow what happened to that?

  • exactly where my TA failed

  • Of all the breakages that can happen, this must be one of the worst. It happened when I was climbing, rather slowly, up a hill near Beaconsfield - by a miracle I managed to stay upright with no connection between the bars and the front wheel. I'd just done about twenty hilly miles, so if it had broken on a descent I probably would not be here to tell you about it.

    It's not obvious from the pic, but this steerer has rather thin walls at the top, and you may be able to see that a little way below the break there is a 'step' where the wall thickness is reduced. Another factor which may have contributed was that I was using a relatively modern handlebar stem which had an outside diameter of 22 mm. At that time I hadn't realised that the correct English size is 22.2 mm, which is,' as any fule kno' (Molesworth) seven eighths of an inch. I suspect that although the difference is small, it does cause so additional stress on the steerer when the headclip bolt is tightened.

    If I'm right about this, it's another example of an imperial to metric cock up. Some one who had been in the bike repair trade long enough to remember when headclips were still fairly common said this fracture wasn't all that rare then. I wonder how many injuries have been caused by this?

    A possible safety measure here is to use an expander bolt stem, so even if the steerer does break you will still have some control.

    I've run out of time for now, there's a bit more to follow on other frame failures.

  • Same happened to my 1970s Ofmega crankset last summer. Spotted whilst cleaning after riding some Yorkshire hills.

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  • Well spotted, No nowt.

    An excellent example of the wisdom of cleaning your bike!

  • reminds me I must clean and inspect EVERYTHING in good light.

    @clubman any sign of a photo or two of the Dursley Pedersen?

  • Happy new year all..
    Its time to clear out those unwanted vintage parts that you've been meaning to re-auction...
    With this in mind does anybody want to part with a good set of 50s sprint wheels.
    The rims need to be tubs with good braking surfaces and round and true.
    Hubs will be Airlite, Harden or similar and 32/40h.
    What have you got?

  • I spoke to the DP owner yesterday and he has promised to send pics. They will be needed for the VCC advert in any case, but I'll share them here when they arrive.

    I have more to add to 'Things that Break' but I managed to destroy a long post on the subject and this left me disheartened, but I'll probably recover soon.

  • I haven't got exactly what you're asking for, but there must be literally shed loads of wheels like that. I know a man who is in charge of some of these sheds - I'll ask him for you.

  • You would think so, but the count down is on to get my bike finished for the 'hard day in January ride' and i still haven't found a suitable set.
    The originals were damaged after I went over a pot hole and squared off both the front and rear rim.

  • You could borrow my set of fiammes if you get desperate, although I'm in a similar situation to you now r.e the Hard Day in January ride. Just bought a jrj track frame (scruffy and with 80s Bob Jackson decals) of ebay, so will swap the wheels, seat etc over from my Pearson. (which may be going to a friend as his frame snapped). However, this leaves me without a built up bike for the ride, so I will need a suitable late 50s/early stem to fit some 70s Cinelli Campione del Mondo bars I have that will get used for now, and a suitable chains. I have some TA pista cranks but would need a 112mm axle for these, or a set of Stronglight 49d Cranks that should fit the TA 344 axle I have (I think)

    So, if anyone has either of these-a 112mm axle (or even better a very rare TA 314 axle) or a set of Stronglight 49D cranks going, I could do with them quick smart, to be ready for the Hard Day ride! Thanks all.

  • Jeff I think I have a couple of TA 314s knocking about iirc. How quick are we talking? Could rummage for it this evening.

  • That would be great if you have. The frame arrives on friday, all being well, but other than that anytime at the weekend or next week is fine-I just want a usable bike built up again before the 22nd Jan for the Hard day in January ride.

  • thanks for the offer on the wheels however i have some short term options as a last resort.
    i gave up looking for the elusive 314 axle and changed to a cottered Stronglight competition cranks, so i have a set of 49d cranks knocking around and a couple of stems that maybe of some use.
    i say set of 49d cranks however they are not a set, one has a bevelled edge so i suspect it is a later model but it would get you going.

  • ok, well if Skully can't find the 314 axle I may take you up on those 49D's. Just need to get something (re) built up in time for the 22nd!

  • I think I have found suitable wheels for you. I will send a pm with name and phone number.

    I think my friend has a number of sprint wheels to dispose of if any one else is in the market, let me know.

    Whether it's wise to use sprints for this sort of winter 'training ' run is another question, which I'll deal with later.

  • Falconvitesse

    I think it will be worth your while to get in touch with the contact I have given you.

  • Sprints and Tubs on Winter Training Runs

    Here's a photo - yes, it has been on here before, but it's still worth another look. It is one of my all time favourite cycling pics. It was taken by Bernard Thompson on a 'Bern and Eth Run' about 1976.
    It's worth mentioning (for those who haven't seen it before) that this group had done 100 miles the previous day and were about 10 miles into their return trip, so they had another 90 to do.

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  • I was 16 ish at that time and had a fixed winter bike too :). I can see a bike with gears though lol

  • You will notice that of the six riders whose wheels are visible only two are on light tyres, the others are on 27 x 1 and a quarter pressures (and single gears, although you can't see that). I don't know about the young rider on the right, but I do know that Jeff(light sweater, black and white cap) used to spend his lunch hours repairing his tubs (note for young readers: it used to be normal for workers to have an hour's break at lunchtime).

    My point is that most of the group preferred reliability to speed, and they thought light tyres were not suitable for this type of riding.

    About ten years after this picture was taken, I was going on these rides. One that I vividly remember, because I took a terrible packet, involved a lot of snow going through the Chilterns. One of us punctured a tub in that snow, he changed it quickly, but quickly punctured the same wheel again, and again and so on. I think he destroyed about nine tubs in all (we had a following car with spares).

    The next day we re-glued the rim and had no more trouble - the explanation seemed to be that after the first puncture the rim had got wet and this allowed the tub to move on the rim and tear the valve out of the tube.

    Within a year or so after this we were all using wired on 700's (and gears, I'm afraid) so the problem didn't re-occur. In fact it became difficult to carry on using tubs for this sot of riding because everyone else was on wired ons so no one else would have a spare to lend you if you ran out. That is likely to be a problem in 2022, although if I manage to come on 'The Hard Day' in the car (not guaranteed) I'll try to bring some spares.

    Let's remember that the puncture bogey is far more active in the wet, and it's hard to keep water away from the rim when changing a tyre in the rain.

    So my search would be for a 40 hole 700 rim to go on the Airlite with the damaged sprint rim.

  • Yes, you're quite correct about the gears - Jeff (who was on the original Forum hard day in 2009) and the young rider (Tony Cosstick) were on gears, although that wasn't really normal at that time. The seventh rider (partially obscured, extreme right), as far as I can remember would have been on a single gear and pressures.

    By the time I was good enough to be invited to ride (1986) everyone had gone over to gears. As has been noted many times, a group moves at a different rhythm on fixed as opposed to gears, so it's not really satisfactory to combine the two in the same group.

    In the picture, the strongest rider was Martyn Roach (third from the left) although Jeff might have had cause to dispute that, but the others certainly would not have done. So Martyn could set the rhythm on his single fixed and not be challenged.

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Pre 1950s rides of LFGSS: old bikes, vintage rats, classic lightweights

Posted by Avatar for luckyskull @luckyskull