Carbon fiber wheels are a hot topic in the cycling world. The “fantastic plastic” delivers a high level of stiffness, low weight, and often comes with manufacturer warranties should your wheel fail. Carbon critics point to lofty price tags and question the toughness of these rims. With aluminum rims, you can often bend back major dents. In addition, aluminum is recyclable and a replacement rim is quite inexpensive. When carbon fails… it’s ugly.
Whatever your stance on carbon fiber wheels, have a look at this video of tandem racers competing in track racing in an arena called a Velodrome. There is quite a lot to unpack here. First, it is worth addressing the fact that tandem track racing is a thing. Second, the rider in the rear is essentially resting his face on the buttocks of the rider in front. Third, the carbon wheel fails at a very high speed. It is interesting to see it reduced to a smaller and smaller diameter before completely disintegrating.
Images from: Fixed Gear Rotterdam Facebook Page