[CR]Broken Ergal Rim


From: "Rick Verhoeven" <tjg@ltlink.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 22:46:33 -0700
Subject: [CR]Broken Ergal Rim

I kept meaning to bring this up during the "28 hole hub" tread that went along last month, but I missed it.

I experienced my first broken rim a couple of months ago. Having heard many raves about the ride quality, I acquired a set of 36 hole NOS Fiamme Ergal rims to use on my "new" '71 Masi. I had them built by a well known wheel builder who has much experience with vintage wheels including Ergals. After about 200 (easy but wonderful) miles, I noticed a very small crack along the top edge of the side of the rear wheel. Over the course of the next few days, I watched the wheel gradually pretzel itself. Even after I completely loosened the tension of all the spokes, the wheel continued down it's self-destructive path eventually popping a 1.5 inch piece of rim sidewall completely off the rim!

I was well aware of the liability riding the Ergals (especially at my winter weight of 185 lbs.) before I ever purchased them. I have been in touch with the builder, and he graciously offered to re-build the wheel for me if I supply the rim. I do have one more NOS Ergal, as well as, a cosmetically matching NOS Fiamme Red label. Should I even consider using the new Ergal or just be safe and use the Red?

In addition, though my weight stays in the 180's I've never had wheel problems at all including many, many hard miles on a set of Mavic GL 330's (36 hole). Also, I know that I didn't hit anything hard during the 200 miles I used the wheels. Any thoughts? Opinions?

Rick VerHoeven with drippy nose and a cold in a drippy and cold Twin Falls, Idaho.