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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-08-09, 11:10 PM   #1
tadawdy
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Problems from an accident

I was in a minor collision this evening. Guy on a bike decided to go into the intersection while I had the green light and was pushing 25mph. Needless to say, I wasn't pleased. I did manage to brake and steer enough that I only clipped his back wheel. Still sent me flying, but could have been much worse.

I was surprised that my front wheel wasn't even flat afterward, as I thought we hit quite hard. I was expecting it to be severely deformed. It still spins true (very slight deviation, but i may have been there before) and smoothly. But something just doesn't feel right. My forks and stays are steel, so could the front fork be bent? Or would this be quite obvious? It seems to still ride fine, just feels a bit different, even after readjusting the bars and seat. Maybe it was because I was hopped up on adrenaline and bleeding. Or could the alignment be off? How would I check that? I guess the overall question is: what are likely mechanical problems from hitting something?
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Old 06-08-09, 11:13 PM   #2
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You can perform some home remedies by applying a measuring tape and/or string to assess proper alignment, but if you are truly concerned and perhaps need to assess damages for recouping monetarily from an insurance company, it may be best to consult an expert. If you can find one willing to generate a report, all the better.
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Old 06-08-09, 11:31 PM   #3
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where would be the easiest and most likely place to check for misalignment? How? Since the wheel still spins freely, I assume it is unlikely the axle is damaged...
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Old 06-09-09, 05:51 AM   #4
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if the steel in the fork has moved a significant amount, it will have chipped the paint.

Painted steel can bend, paint cannot. If you see any loose missing paint chips or flakes, you have suffered a bend.
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Old 06-09-09, 11:54 AM   #5
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Maybe the alignment of the bars to the wheel got knocked out a tiny bit. Loosen them and realign them. I dislike playing with my car's wheel alignment - just when I get used to it - someone changes it. Yuk. Bike handlebar alignment though seems less problematic. As a kid I seemed to be adjusting it all the time. If this is beyond your realm, then definitely take it to your LBS for a quick eyeballing.
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Old 06-09-09, 05:14 PM   #6
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thanks, guys. felt ok today, no chips or obvious problems. I guess I was just rattled and the bars and seat were slightly out of adjustment. Mostly, I was surprised it wasn't damaged. The Big Blue Roadbeast survives!
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Old 06-09-09, 05:24 PM   #7
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rule of thumb: you want it tight enough that it won't move while riding under heavy torque, but loose enough that it will move on an impact.
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