Tandem rims are surprisingly robust

The expansion joint on the bridge over the river Aln presents itself as a steel girder, and, alas, has a reasonably deep pothole in front of it.

Hitting this at 30+mph on a tandem is perhaps the worst case scenario for a rim.

Having tested this a couple of days ago I can report:

1. The immediate consequence was both rims suffered dents. The rear was much the worst affected.

2. Remarkably, neither was put out of true whatsoever, despite both having loose spokes, the rear one so loose I initially thought it had snapped.

3. More remarkably still, neither wheel punctured.

4. The bike was rideable, the front brake grabbing a bit, but the rear displaying an alarming "bang - bang - bang" on brake application.

On gathering our wits, with a further 50 miles planned, we decided to ride on. The tandem has a rear drum brake, so the rear brake isn't essential (and still worked in extremis), and no significant hills were on the itinerary.

Ride successfully completed, a post ride inspection showed the last 50 miles had fatigued the rim somewhat further!

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There's a similar crack the other side. Still, the wheel remains perfectly true.

Walking rather than cycling for the rest of the week - and need to source new 48 spoke rims now.
 

Alex H

Guru
Location
Alnwick
The expansion joint on the bridge over the river Aln presents itself as a steel girder, and, alas, has a reasonably deep pothole in front of it.
Location?

Lesbury?
 
OP
R

roubaixtuesday

Veteran
Location?

Lesbury?
Yes, heading North. I didn't spot it at all, thinking we'd just roll over the expansion joint like a cattle grid. A post collision inspection revealed the culprit, but it's not obvious when riding. I think the steel girder presents a much sharper edge than a typical pothole.
 

gasinayr

Senior Member
Location
Ayr Scotland
If the rim is 26" try the local post office for wheels off some of their old postie bikes, I got a set for my old tandem both front and rear have drum brakes.
 
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