is this thing safe to ride?

recently i was going about 15 mph and a car pulled in front of me and i had no choice but to go head-on into a pretty big curb…i was riding in the street.

it was a lil while back…i’ve already rode this thing about 100 miles like this. however, the only way i like riding the 36, is like sprinting around as fast as i can …and i constantly worry basically… that the rim is just going to crack and split in half, or taco randomly and i’m gonna go flying foward. it feels solid and smooth, and the spokes don’t creak at all. but my gut feeling when riding the thing is like a terrible crash is nearing…

the thing is pretty badly out of true in 2 places now, the spot right where the spoke is missing wobbles about half an inch to one side, and basically on the other side of the rim is another wobble thats about 1/4 inch.

the spoke was ripped clean out of the rim. it didn’t even break, it just broke the rim and ripped out. i don’t even really remember what happened, i was pretty freaked out cause i thought i was gonna get hurt badly. when i initially crashed it made a very loud noise that turned a lot of heads - i thought the rim was surely destroyed and i’d have to walk the thing home…but when i turned around it was intact, except for the spoke…i unscrewed the nipple and pulled the spoke out…hopped back on and went on my way.

the spoke really won’t go back in, the hole is way too big. could i maybe like…use a washer or something?

should i discontinue riding this?

anyway - pics

also, it’s a pretty old rim…its that steel rim when this frame first came out.

I think you could true it again, and then that wouldn’t be a problem.

Looking spoke stuff up for you, bike web sites said not to ride it or you’d hurt it more. Also said that spokes breaking could be caused by them being old, and you said yours was old.

Spokes take a lot of pressure from bikes, apparently, and I’d figure the pressure would be more on one wheel than two. So, technically you shouldn’t ride it/should fix it. But unless you have a second uni…

hope some of that helps.

my $0.02

I don’t know much about big rims like that but I think you could do fine with a washer inside it. If you try to shape the washer a bit, it should even stay centered within the over-sized hole.
While you have the air out of the tube you could inspect the inside of the wheel for other unseen damage. That green paint may hide cracks as it appears to already be separated from the steel.

If you’re not using a brake, and not doing drops/MUni with the thing, it’ll probably remain rideable indefinitely. Tighten the two closest spokes on the same side of the wheel, and loosen the two closest spokes on the other side.

But don’t worry about it too much. I finished a MUni ride in Moab with three broken spokes. You’re at a somewhat increased risk for tacoing, but only in contexts where the wheel might taco anyway (significant sideways pressure on that portion of the rim). I doubt the rim is likely to fail other than by tacoing.

YOu need to get that spoke back in there. Using a washer and a long nipple (the washer will hold it further away) should do the trick.

Old steel rims are much better at going back into the shape they used to be after a crash than aluminum ones so you should be able to make the wheel strait again.

Whatever you do do the work yourself. A bike shop will probably refuse to do work on damaged equipment like that and if they do decide to take it on it they will likely charge you an arm and a leg.

Probably the best option would be get a new rim and build up a new wheel. Weld a subframe into your steel rim and make a 36" Ultimate Wheel.

The washer idea sounds like the best low-cost solution for that old steel rim. I know some washers are pretty soft, which would leave you where you are now. If possible, get washers that you know are hard and durable. Ask at the hardware store or whatever. Maybe double up on them to make it harder for the new nipple to break through.

Those old steel rims weren’t elegant, but it seems they could take quite a beating. But definitely replace the spoke for the longest life of the wheel.

alright, thanks guys.

yeah, bikeshop already refused it. i’m gonna replace the spoke, and ride it till it dies.

and when it does…that is a great idea for a 36" uw…i don’t know how i’d go about making it, but i’ve always wanted a 36" uw.

I don’t know how big a difference it will make in the long term, but…

Seeing that there’s rust on the rim you might want to clean that up with a mild abrasive and spray it with some primer. Rust leads to more rust leads to… metal failure, especially at thin cross-sections.

Of course, I should talk… my homemade handlebar has a baked-on rust finish and it’s been holding up for a good 1,000 km.

Take it to a machine shop, have them tap that mound of metal back into place and put a bead of braze around it so that the nipple cant pull back through, clean up all the metal, paint it, true it and presto you have a newer looking uni!

i would just hammer the “blowout” back in (carefully, if the rim could take it), put a new nipple on with a washer if you can find one, and keep riding