[CR]tying a soldering wheels

(Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor)

Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2007 21:21:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: <thteach@sonic.net>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]tying a soldering wheels

I did one pair in the mid-1970's.

It was for a set of wheels for use on the newly built Detroit area Madison Velodrome - now gone. It was a 160 meter, 50 degreee banked indoor wood track. The wheels I built were Campagnolo Record high flange hubs (pista version), Fiamme Red Label (350 gram) alloy rims, and Robergel "sport" (zinc plated high carbon steel) spokes.

It was mandatory that the wheels be tied and soldered. I used a real fine gage copper wire and then used Sears "stainless steel" solder using a propane torch to do the heating.

The tie wire doesn't need to be particularly strong. The principal is that the tie reduce the free length of a column (the spoke). The horizontal forces on a buckling column (spoke) are pretty low. By nearly halving this free length, the rigidity of the wheel goes up a lot. The tie reduces wheel failure due to spoke buckling. Failure due to rim fracture, or hub flange fracture remain the same as an untied wheel. Indeed in the years after I finished riding on the board track I finally damaged the wheel by hitting a pot hole. The rim buckled, not unlike an untied wheel, and had to be replaced.

Replacing a rim with tied spokes is easiler in my experinece, too.

With the 50 degree banking of the Madison Veleodrome the loads on the wheels increase a alot as compared to riding on the road or on a outdoor velodrome with 15 to 35 degree banking. You have the normal rider weight plus the centripital acceleration forces.

In addition to tieing and soldering the wheels, riders were instructed to lock elbows going through the turns to assure a reasonable amount of streering control.

Tires had to be glued on extraordinarilly well, too.

One guy talked his way onto the track with inadequately glued tires. The officials cleared everyone else off the track. The rider mounted his brand new black custom schwinn paramount with the curved seat tube/short coupled frame on the infield. He went through the first turn on the apron, he rode onto the track on the back side straight away. He then went into the second bank. His tire started rolling. He got through the turn without crashing but drove down the track to the apron of the straight away where he started, out of control. He continued and drove, head-on into the first bank, like it was a wall. His fork bent back, his frame buckled, his wheel was bent and he may have broken his collar bone. He barely completed 200 meters before destroying the brand new bike that he waited almost a year to acquire. We all watched in shock and in awe.

Riding short indoor tracks is much different than outdoors.

Todd Teachout
Hercules, CA