Dr John Morgan, senior lecturer in materials science at Bristol University made the claims at the Institute of Physics Congress in Brighton.
He claimed that the fashion for lightweight components on mountain bikes and kids bikes could be resulting in as many as 25,000 wheel collapse accidents a year. His ‘sensible solution’ would be a “return to the steel rim, since they would almost never wear out -on the other hand, no self-respecting biker would be seen dead using them”.
The points he seems to have missed are that wheels very rarely collapse without a good deal of rider input and also that steel rims are legendarily poor as a braking surface. So while all his iron wheeled disciples will be rolling unhindered through the boulders, they stand a good chance of running straight into the next unavoidable object or sailing majestically past stop lines and into speeding traffic as soon as it starts to rain.
We look forward to watching him trying his theories on the Ashton court and Clifton Gorge descents, but reckon he wouldn’t be around to revise his opinions in time for next years Congress.