Rim Failure (Just For Cyclists)

Today was supposed to be fourth in a series of short mountain bike rides to gently get my foot/ankle working properly again. (On a mountain bike but largely on-road.) Less than 10 minutes out, there was an immense ‘bang’ the like of which I’ve never heard from a bike before, and I was riding on a flat back tyre.

I have never experienced a rim failure before. The strip of metal in the photo is a chunk of Mavic rim side wall. The photo of the wheel shows the missing portion. It just blew off – the strip of metal was on the road. Whether that was some kind of impact-related failure – but no pot-holes were involved on the day – or a result of longer term wear and tear I don’t know. That wheel set has only done about 4,000 miles.

I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m glad it wasn’t a front wheel, glad I wasn’t far from home, glad that a neighbour happened to be just along the road and he could give me a lift home (thanks Roger). But should it have failed? Is that reasonable?

A chunk of rim, blown off the wheel

The missing piece

Wheel, with missing section of side wall

Wheel, with missing section of side wall

The Mavic rim in question

The Mavic rim in question

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