I took my son (14 years) for his first ride of the season. I checked his 2003 Merlin
Agilis beforehand - checked the tires, the brakes and lubricated the chain. We were cycling on
the flat about 1 mile from our house when I heard a noise behind me
and saw him down on the ground. He sustained injuries to his face,
legs and hands. He was mildly concussed. His helmet saved his head.
He broke 3 teeth and damaged his lips. A CT scan showed nothing else
was damaged. He was courageous throughout.
I have attached a few images I took with my cell-phone camera (I
didn't have time to charge my camera up this evening). One spoke was
broken. Another bent. Both blades of the carbon fiber fork (has a
Merlin logo on it) were broken/fractured. I don't know if todays accident was caused
by a mechanical failure of a spoke, or if somehow the front wheel came
out of the front fork - tho' he was riding on the flat and I think I remember
tightening the front wheel release. I haven't seen enough bikes after
similar accidents to be able to reconstruct what caused this accident.
I note the rim looks fine. However, I am alarmed at the way the
carbon forks just fractured. I wonder if they were steel if this
would have made much difference - he would have been thrown anyhow.
But it makes me less certain about the wisdom of carbon forks. It
may be that this was a hard impact that would have crumpled a steel
The wheels on his bike have Oxus rims (I have never heard of them) and bladed black spokes,
with a hub I can't identify. I note he had a spoke failure on the back wheel at the end of the season and we were advised by our trusted bicycle mechanic to just replace the spoke and not the wheels.
My son was rated the first triathlete in the 14 years and under class in 2006 and is keen to ride again. My wife is less keen. Any advice about replacements for the fractured fork and broken wheels? I am looking for a combination that is less likely to fail.