Speedlines,fragile or not ?

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wrinklygit
Mariana
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Speedlines,fragile or not ?

Post by wrinklygit » Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:42 am

Hello again world,are all 5 spoke speedline wheels prone to failure or just the 6 bolt brake rotor type,are there any early warning signs to look out for,are the 4 bolt type more robust,am I becoming paranoid,will the sun ever shine again in SW England,thanks,MIKE B.

Peter Mille
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Post by Peter Mille » Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:57 am

I have the same question on the Campagnolo wheels from 1978!

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Craig in France
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Speedlines and Campagnolas

Post by Craig in France » Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:45 am

OK, this is what I understand to be the situation – most of this comes from Mick Walker, btw.

The problem with the Speedlines was, in essence, a temporary manufacturing fault – not a fault in the basic design or the specification of the material. It only affected some within a particular batch; but, not least because no-one could tell by the time they were fitted to bikes, which wheels were from which batch, the whole lot was recalled and replaced under warranty – in the UK, Mick was contracted to do the work. Many bikes got through the net, however ...

What happens at worst when Speedlines go wrong, btw, is a section of the rim between two spokes breaks away. If this happens to you at speed, may Allah be with you. But, as indicated above, many wheels were and still are fine – but are you prepared to take the risk?

The problem with the Campagnolas is different. The fault is in the material, a magnesium as opposed to an aluminium alloy, which degrades, especially over time. It is for this reason that, in Mick’s opinion, they are potentially much more hazardous that Speedlines. I know some people maintain that the wheels can be non-destructively tested, but I’d have to ask, why risk your life for the sake of a pair of wheel when FPS replacements - as fitted at the time - can be had relatively easily?

Obviously, others will now correct much of the above :-D

Craig in UK

wrinklygit
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Speedlines,fragile or not ??

Post by wrinklygit » Wed Nov 10, 2004 12:13 pm

Thanks for the reply Craig,interesting comments,to add some more to the subject,I have just read in Mick Walkers Ducati Twins Restoration Guide a note that only refers to 6bolt wheels,also the bike I have just aquired was certanly Dealer serviced for at least the first three years & probably more,origional owner bike for nearly 23 years with no change of owners address,so had a recall been received,the bike would certainly have been returned,finaly Speedline are still making automotive wheels,have they ever commented on the issue.Anymore out there,regards,MIKE
p.s. its still raining here.

Roland Elworthy
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Post by Roland Elworthy » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:22 am

Speedlines and Campags are both made from a magnesium alloy and so will suffer oxidisation and degradation over a period of time, especially if the paint has been chipped and not touched up properly. This, if left, can easily render the wheels unsafe in the same way as any other magnesium wheel that is old. Speedlines also suffer from cracks that appear between the valve aperture and the spokes but more commonly the cushdrive housing and it's respective fasteners can come adrift from the main body of the wheel. I would recommend that the cushdrive housing bolts are regularly checked and that every 24 months the wheels are X-rayed for cracks. I would not shy away from using either make though if they were sound.

The other alternative is, as you say, to fit FPS wheels which are inherently stronger. They are also much heavier being aluminium alloy which will increase unsprung weight but this is fairly academic on a road 'bike.

Stay clear of 'big rim' racing Campagnolas though. They are exquisite but lightly built and I would say were safe only for show nowadays!

Hope this has been of some help?

Roland
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wrinklygit
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Speedlines,fragile or not ??

Post by wrinklygit » Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:05 am

Hello Roland,thanks for your reply,the situation is now becoming clearer.I would suggest to all other viewers out there,treat your wheels with respect,examine on a regular basis & avoid any potholes/obstacles at any cost (or if you live in the westcountry dont leave the safety of your shed).Also remember Roland's foot note,I used the same phrase when I was stopped for speeding in the distant days of my youth & got away with it.Mike B
note: It hasn't rained today !!

Peter Mille
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Post by Peter Mille » Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:42 pm

Roland,

The wheels in my 1989 Mille MHR Special are Campagnolo's from a 1978 Darmah.
They look very close to the wheels Mike Hailwood had in his winning Sports Racing Ducati, so that's the reason I bought them.
Anyway, after buying the wheels back in 1989, I hade them coated with gold colour paint, but after a few years, small "bubbels" apeared on the surface, with white powder in them, the magnesium started to corode!
Then, in 1996, the wheels were blasted and powder coated, no more "bubles" anymore, they look good now!
What do you think about the remaining strenght of my wheels?
I emailed Campagnolo in Italy, but they couldn't say anything about the wheels, too long ago, they replied.
I don't want to ride on a ticking time bomb, breaking a wheel would be a disaster, even more now, since I'm the father of a 10 months old boy!!
(who will get this bike when he's old enough...!!!)

Peter.

Roland Elworthy
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Post by Roland Elworthy » Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:00 am

Hullo Peter,

My apologies for the delay in replying but I have been busy eating and drinking to excess during the Christmas period!

Your Campags' are behaving in a fairly normal way for ageing magnesium. At least you have addressed the cosmetic problem which will hopefully mean that your wheels are sound though. To be sure you should still have the wheels subjected to an X-ray crack test and have this repeated every 24 months.

Wonderful wheels but caution is called for!

Best,

Roland
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Rules are made for the obeyance of fools and the guidance of wise men.
Rules are made for the obeyance of fools and the guidance of wise men.

Peter Mille
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Post by Peter Mille » Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:49 am

Roland,

Thanks for your reply.
Where should I go to have wheels x-rayed?
I have even been thinking of switching to good old spoked wheels!
But that will hurt the looks of the bike a lot i.m.o!
Right now i'm trying to find non magnesium 18" cast wheels, and keep the Campagnolo's for show purposes only!

Roland Elworthy
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Post by Roland Elworthy » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:07 am

Good morning Peter,

Look through your yellow pages and find a development company who deal in metallurgy. They should have the facilities you need. If your wheels pass then I personally would not shy away from using them but treat them with the deference that anything old deserves!

There is a chap in Japan who bought the rights and casts for Campagnolo but I'm not sure who he is or what he intends to do with them.

Hope this helps?

Roland
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Peter Mille
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Post by Peter Mille » Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:58 am

Thanks Roland, I will try to find such a company.
In 2000 we visited the WDW in Italy, at the Marchesini stand we saw brand new, old fashioned, 5 spoke Campagnolo's (labeled as Marchesini), very, very expensive, and only made on special request!

Peter Mille
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Post by Peter Mille » Sun Apr 30, 2006 1:41 am

Well I bought two brand new aluminium 18" Oscam wheels for my bike, a Mille front 5 spoke and a wider 750 F1 rear 3 spoke wheel, both gold color.
The Campagnolo's are out and only for show purposes now!

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