Serious problem with Solex

I finally got the fuel leak stopped,and got a new tube in the rear tire,and thought my problems were over for awhile.This morning,I got up at 5:00,while it was still nice and cool,and went for a ride.I went to a little town about 20 miles away,stopped at the cafe,had a cup of coffee and a donut,and headed back home.About halfway back,I noticed what felt like a flat rear tire.This time I had plenty of flat fixing supplies,and a cell phone.I got off the bike,expecting to find a flat tire,but it wasn't flat.I got to looking at it,and found seven spokes broken in the rear wheel.The wheel was so far out of true,that the tire was hitting the frame on both sides,so I couldn't even push it.While I was replacing the tube (yesterday),I noticed that some of the spokes were a little loose,so I tightened them properly,made sure the wheel was true,and checked spoke tension.(I've been a bicycle mechanic all my life) I have no idea what caused this,other than poor quality materials.I did not hit anything,and the bike has never been crashed.I called for help,and had to wait almost three hours for him to arrive.I have been riding road bikes and mountain bikes all my life,I've bent rims before,from hitting things,but I have NEVER broken a spoke.The rear wheel is virtually ruined,and I am not going to buy another $150 wheel,which wouldn't be any better than this one.By the way,it still has less than 300 miles on it.Needless to say,I am very disappointed with the quality of this bike.It looks really cool,and it's fun to ride,when it's ridable,which isn't very often.Has anybody else had problems like this with the Hungarian made Solex's?If so,what did you do about it.Thanks.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Hi Jerry,

I've never broken a spoke and never heard of anybody breaking a Solex spoke.

I've e-mailed this post to Velocruz.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Jerry,

I'm more of a Solex newb than yourself, but I did notice something that disturbed me, when I got my boxful of Solex parts from Ilya. The parts included two wheels, one front and one back.

I was inspecting the spokes on the rear wheel, and saw that there was an issue with the angle of the spoke nipples with respect to the spokes. It's almost like the drillings for the nipples were at the wrong angles - the nipple stuck straight out of the rim, and then the spoke commenced at an angle. I know this is NOT GOOD, as the forces are not distributed correctly, and it introduces fatigue both during assembly, and in operation.

Please tell me, what brand are your rims? I believe that mine are from a Hungarian bike, as all the other parts appear to be Hungarian. Don't recall the brand at the moment, but the tires are Hutchinson.

Another thing I noticed, is that the chrome is really poor. The kind of chrome you'd see on an Italian bike from the 70's, like a Guzzi (they are famous for having crappy chrome). The chrome on my wheels is peeling off in places, and seems thin as rice paper, or thinner.

Sorry to hear about the difficulties.. that really, really sucks.. at least you are under warranty, I'd hope. It's a major safety issue, so I'd hope that the folks at Velocruz are tripping over each other to get you a new one, immediately.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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The brand name on the rim is RADAELLI.All 7 spokes broke at the hub.They probably didn't all break at once,I didn't notice it until enough of them broke to weaken the wheel,which is why it was wobbling so bad,causing me to think I had a flat tire.I've heard of people breaking spokes while mountain biking,but I never have,and this time I was just cruising down a nice smooth asphalt road.I have no idea whether it's under warranty,or how that would work,since I ordered it directly from Velocruz in Utah.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Hi Brian,like I said in my post,I've never broken a spoke,even while mountain biking.I couldn't believe it when I found out what happened.I put the new tube in it yesterday,and none of the spokes were broken then.By the time I noticed it,7 of them had broken,all at the hub.I was riding on smooth asphalt,and never hit any noticable bumps,potholes,or anything like that.There are no broken spokes in the front wheel so far.Thanks for your reply.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Jeff Matthews - VeloCruz /

Jerry,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems. We have seen broken spokes in the past, but nothing that seemed like an alarming trend. I'm wondering if the earlier flat tire may be part of the cause for this problem. Either way, we'll work through this with you and find a solution.

Sorry for the inconvenience!!

Jeff

VeloCruz

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Brian,I just got back from my local bike shop with the wheel,and I found out what happened to it.First,the quality of the materials used in the rim,spokes,and hub are of very poor quality,even compared to a Walmart bike.Second,there is way to much play where the spokes go through the hub,which makes it impossible to tighten the spokes properly.They will always flex as the wheel turns,and eventually break.If you have a rim like mine,you can loosen one of the spokes just a little,and see how it slides back and forth at the hub.It looks like the spoke was designed for a much thicker flange than this hub has.Third,these spokes seem to have no tensile strength at all.The bike shop,which has been around longer than I have,compared the spokes to clothes hangar wire.Needless to say,I'm feeling pretty foolish for having bought this thing in the first place.Having been around for so long,and having so many people so passionate about them,tells me that the Solex is indeed a very special machine.But this is apparently just a cheap copy,made out of inferior materials,and workmanship.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Hi Jerry,

You should call or e-mail Jeff and deal directly with him. I'm sure he will try his very best to solve the problem.

BrianSolex

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Thanks Brian.Also just to let you know,the fuel leak is back again.It is not the fuel line connection,there is actually a crack in the tank at one of the screws that holds the metal V shaped mounting bracket to the tank.If you're looking at the tank right side up from the back side,it's at the lowest screw on the upper right.Thats what made it so hard to track down.It wouldn't leak if the fuel level in tank was below that point.By the way,despite my earlier post,I really do like this bike,and hope it can be properly repaired.This morning,before the wheel fell apart,I was really enjoying myself,like I hadn't in a long time,just cruising down the road through farmland.There is something relaxing about the Solex that other mopeds just don't have.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Jerry,

Sorry to hear about your frustrations. I have not heard of or read about similar problems from other owners of these bikes. Velocruz has been in business many years and has sold many bikes and parts worldwide. I'm sure that if you contact Jeff, he will do his very best and be as fair as possible in dealing with the situation.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Do you know what the brand name on your rims is?I also noticed a couple of places where you could see the copper plating through the chrome,But it was fairly minor,and didn't really bother me.I am working things out with Velocruz right now on how to deal with the other problems.I think it is important to point out however,that Velocruz did not make the bike,they are only a dealer,and if there are quality control issues,this lies with the factory.I apologize if I made it sound like I was blaming Velocruz for these problems.It appears they intend to do the best they can to make things right.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Jeff,I received the parts you sent me,I had both the front and rear wheels rebuilt by a bike shop,and I installed the new gas tank.The Solex is up and running again,I have put about 50 miles on it since completing the repairs.The gas tank does not leak anymore,and the wheels seem fine so far.Thank you for all of your assistance in this matter.It was sincerely appreciated.Jerry.Once again a happy Solex rider.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Glad to hear it Jerry.. keep us posted.

My Solex project is moving along, somewhat slowly. Should have something to show in a couple of weeks.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

if you are a bike mech(i am too)send the rim to a shop like wheelsmith or your local mtb rim builder and have them upgrade it.ive done that on heavy mtb riders,it cost more but they dont break as often.just my 2c

Re: Serious problem with Solex

I have Solex which is I think mainly a 3300. The roller is in need of replacement and I am not sure how to get one. Also the roller doesn't disengage as it should. Does anyone know of a Solexpert in England who might be prepared to take a look?

Re: Serious problem with Solex

The roller is generally changed as an assembly with the drum. Velocruz has the part and will ship to England. Go to:

http://www.velocruz.com/store/clutch.htm It is part number SPM91287 Ref.1

For Solex questions in England ask the Professor on this site:

http://www.weronika.freeserve.co.uk

These folks should also be helpful: http://www.buzzing.org

If you have any Solex questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them. Solexly, Brian

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Re: Serious problem with Solex

Many thanks for that Brian. I have asked the people at the NACC for help and they put me in touch with Bryan Hollinshead who has made helpful suggestions. The trouble is he is in France, not England. I will try the Professor!

Re: Serious problem with Solex

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Prof.Auguste BALLS has some excellent information,I have emailed him twice,and both times he got right back to me.But I still say that if it has to do with Solex,and Brian doesn't know the answer,nobody does.Jerry.

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Jerry, Thanks for the very kind words, but there are many people that know more than me about Solexes, and there is much that I don't know...yet. Solexly, Brian

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Re: Serious problem with Solex

By the way, what is the projected life of a Solex drive roller? The roller on my 3800 motor is a little on the smoothish side, and I think I might try and change it out for one of the rollers on the parts engines.

Difficult job? Special tool time?

Re: Serious problem with Solex

Bill,

You are supposed to change the whole assembly, that is the drum/roller assembly. If you look at the MBK S 3800 parts catalogue, on the galet-embrayage page (roller-clutch), http://solexin.free.fr/medias/acrobat/sws_doc_solex_3800.pdf ,the individual pieces aren't even listed, just the whole assembly, 61287, rep. 1 in the diagram.

To change just the roller is not the easiest job, and you need an eight-point, thin-wall 37mm socket to loosen the drum nut. (see attached photo)

I don't know the projected life, but I've never had to replace one. If you use incorrect tires, you will wear it away. I've read about one that cracked into a few different pieces and was glued back together and had some carborundum grit glued to it.http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pattle/nacc/arc0108.htm

So, I recommend swapping the whole drum/roller assembly. It will be very easy to do.

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