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Old 09-21-11, 09:50 PM   #1
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A friendly reminder

so i know that some of you fix and flip bikes on here a lot. i'm guilty of it as well. It's fun and great to support your C&V addictions.

Anyways on with my story. I was just putting the finishing touches on a bike today. It's probably around the 45-50th bike i've done this year. I just finished tuning the gears. I pulled it off the park stand and checked all the screws to make sure they were tight and whatnot and away i went on a quick test ride around the block.

The ride was going fine and all until i decided to do the "give'er test". I stood up and just pedaled really hard and put some muscle into it, i usually do this to make sure everything still works under load and whatnot.

The next thing i know it, i flew onto the pavement, tucked my right arm in and took most of the fall on my knee and right hand and knuckles. A little bit of blood and a really swollen knee was the outcome. But when i fell i ended up on my back with the bike perfectly ontop of me as if i was riding upside down, so i was kinda lucky, they bike was still fine no scratches, unlike me on the other hand. I ended up throwing the bike over onto the grass boulevard and then rolled and hobbled off the street and onto the grass and laid there for about 10-15 mins until the pain in my knee would go away. Good thing no one saw cause it would be kinda embarassing. then i got up and walked home with the bike.

Anyways so how'd this all happen?! I remember checking all the screws like the brake cables and derailleurs and whatnot. But what didn't i check?! the rear quick release. I remember now that i took off the wheel to put new tires on the bike, it looked like it was tightened, but i wasn't enough. So when i got up to stand pedal and give her hell, the rear wheel came loose and locked up inside the rear trangle and the next thing i knew, i was on an Air Canada flight, destination pain/pavement. Let this be a reminder to all of you! check everything!! twice over if you have to. This is the first time in my career of bike flipping anything this bad has happened on a test ride so it shows that anything can happen, I used to be like, "yup, another awesomely fixed/rehabbed bike job done once again", I guess i was getting a little cocky, but now i'll be a little more alert.

that's about all i have to say, i'm gonna go shower now, it's gonna be fun cause of all the cuts on my right hand, knuckles and knee, this may sting a little, then i'm gonna hobble my ass into bed and go to sleep. that is after i go and do a CL and ebay scan

feel free to share some embarrassing stories as well..

Last edited by mapleleafs-13; 09-21-11 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 09-21-11, 09:53 PM   #2
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wow.. we're all guilty of forgetting something at some point in my opinion.. I'm just glad that as bad as it sounds you could get up and walk away, and with the bike intact no less!
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Old 09-21-11, 10:00 PM   #3
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i always figure it could always be worse, i'll probably be hobbling around for the next few days, but i've had way worse injuries in my skateboarding "career", this is kinda a walk in the park, well more like a hobble in the park
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Old 09-21-11, 10:04 PM   #4
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A few years back I was riding along, carefree as can be, not paying attention to my surroundings and quite possibly looking at the ground, then BAM! I hit a curb full force and off the bike I flew. Tore up both hands and one knee (the one I landed on) this all happened by an elementary school when school was getting out...yeah, kids laughing and pointing.
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Old 09-21-11, 10:21 PM   #5
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Point well taken. There have been occasions on my initial test ride where I have found some "slight" oversights:
eg;
Snugged (vs secure) stem
Seat post pinch bolt too loose

I've not lost a wheel yet but I suppose it could happen, and if it did, frankly I would prefer it happen to me that to a customer. (WAY too embarrassing!)
A check list like the airlines use pre-take-off has crossed my mind from time to time. I think I will do one, based in part on your post.
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Old 09-21-11, 11:37 PM   #6
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Point well taken. There have been occasions on my initial test ride where I have found some "slight" oversights:
eg;
Snugged (vs secure) stem
Seat post pinch bolt too loose

I've not lost a wheel yet but I suppose it could happen, and if it did, frankly I would prefer it happen to me that to a customer. (WAY too embarrassing!)
A check list like the airlines use pre-take-off has crossed my mind from time to time. I think I will do one, based in part on your post.
After having all of these things happen to me, I have started using a checklist. Maybe we could compile a checklist of the simple, essential things to check before riding a "fresh" bike and maybe include photos/video links for beginners buying their first bike off craigslist etc. Just a thought
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Old 09-22-11, 03:34 AM   #7
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I once started off with the stem not tight enough. Pretty hairy, since I live in the city centre and discovered my mistake going down a steep bank.
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Old 09-22-11, 05:00 AM   #8
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Been there and done that! But my crash occurred at very slow speed. And the bike that dumped me was an early eighties Olmo Grand Prix that I had purchased earlier that day at a local bicycle shop.


These days, I spend the last part of a build checking everything just before I start my ride. And the torture tests are always conducted at slow speeds, out of traffic, and within walking, or crawling, distance from home.

I should add that this advice is for mom and dad also. Do not think that the so called mechanics at the local department store don't miss things also. Those dept store bikes are, sometimes, very poorly assembled. Check everything before the kids apply their own torture tests.
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Old 09-22-11, 05:45 AM   #9
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Well, a few things here.

1. I'm not flipping... not yet.
2. I don't have an embarrassing story to tell yet.
3. I'm pretty good about checking and double checking stuff, but a checklist would be very useful.
4. I couldn't think of a nicer guy this could happen to.

PS The Peugeot cranks are sweet! Now I need a bike to put them on...
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Old 09-22-11, 05:47 AM   #10
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I did something similar once to one of my bikes. I was leaving the shop and just down the block I flatted. I walked back, and instead of grabbing a different bike, I fixed the flat. well about 3/4 of the way home while sprinting to make a light the whee cockec in the frame just like mapleleaf's. I tumbled bum over handlebars. my knapsack likely saved me from serious injury. after getting to the curb I noticed the bike was not so lucky. the rear wheel was severly tacoed. I di the stand on thing to be able to get home, and hopefully straighten it more. wheel the wheel was toast but I had to ride it to work anyway te next day. (no car) when I put a spare wheel on the bikeI discovered the frame was bent! that was one heck of fall!

gad you OK mapleleafs.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:28 AM   #11
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But what didn't i check?! the rear quick release. I remember now that i took off the wheel to put new tires on the bike, it looked like it was tightened, but i wasn't enough. So when i got up to stand pedal and give her hell, the rear wheel came loose and locked up inside the rear trangle and the next thing i knew, i was on an Air Canada flight, destination pain/pavement.
I have heard of folks leaving the rear Q/R not locked down on purpose when they do not have a bike lock with them and have to run into a store or something.

As explained to me the thinking was if someone jumped on the unattended bike to steal it they would also become a 'bike flipper' not the good kind but the 'endo' kind.

I would not try that tactic myself as I might forget to lock the Q/R back down when I got back on the bike and be doing the 'endo type flipping' myself'.

I know of an instance some years back where a very experienced cyclist forgot to secure his front wheel Q/R ,took off down the road and soon came upon railroad tracks which he tried to bunny hop over. Not a good outcome. If I remember correctly he had a concussion, broken collar bone, several cracked ribs, and lots of road rash.

He later was told that even though he was 'out of it' he strongly resisted the ambulance drivers until they put his bike sans the missing front wheel in the ambulance with him. As I recall he never recovered that front wheel.
I expect ever since he is fanatical about checking his Q/R's b4 a ride.

I guess stories like that are the reason for some of the 'lawyer lips' & front wheel retention devices are on some forks.


May you heal quickly.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:48 AM   #12
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At least it didn't happen on that Bianchi. Hope the knee heals quickly.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:54 AM   #13
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I should add that this advice is for mom and dad also. Do not think that the so called mechanics at the local department store don't miss things also. Those dept store bikes are, sometimes, very poorly assembled. Check everything before the kids apply their own torture tests.
So true, my Dad got a cheapish MTB at a department store last year and I took it for a spin around the block in which I realize the bar's weren't tightened at all and when I tested the rear brake the pads ripped right off (also not tightened) luckily I was near home
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Old 09-22-11, 11:19 AM   #14
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Wow the exact same thing happened to me last spring on a Trek 620 that I just acquired. I hadn't done anything to it yet but wanted to try it out and was about 15 miles from home. I turned a slow corner and had to stand on it for a hill and the next thing I knew I was on my back holding the bike up. I was fortunate with no injuries or damage other than feeling like an idiot.

Thanks for bringing it up and I hope you heal quickly.
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Old 09-22-11, 02:42 PM   #15
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Old 09-22-11, 02:45 PM   #16
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Karma's a b*tch.....
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Old 09-22-11, 03:03 PM   #17
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I've done the same thing. It's not fun.
The first time was on my Peugeot, the release was loose.
Second couple times was my Stumpjumper. I can't seem to get it to stay in the dropouts no matter how straight, clean, tight, etc. things are.
My Gazelle has done it a couple times, none recently though. I blame the modern quick release here.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:40 PM   #18
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I'm glad you're not seriously hurt.

I proud myself for being anal about attention to details. I've not had such a self-inflicted accident yet. Knock on wood. But I realize we're all human, and I'm not improving with age when it comes to recalling what got done properly.

I had an experience this Summer that opened my eyes. I usually am a careful shadetree mechanic. I had to replace my wife's car's front brakes and rotors. It's insanely hot during the Summer months. I got up at 4am to tackle the job promptly while the temps are around 80 F. I finished the 1st side and was quite winded due to rising temps and lack of sleep. I started the 2nd side and stopped for a caffeine break. Boy did I needed it. After the espresso kicked in, I started to question whether I had torqued down the brake caliper bracket. The torque wrench was out, but I just couldn't recall. I dropped the jack and went back to the 1st wheel, and sure enough...the darn bolts were only finger tight!!
Talk about a major disaster if I allowed my wife to drive off on that!
I humbly brought it up to the lack of her amusement. Only to point out it can happen to anyone, even myself, the omnipotent one. LOL!

There are reasons why checklists exist. I firmly believe in them and will create some so I don't do another bonehead mistake.
It's easy enough to do...make an Excel spreadsheet template. Use it for all your flips and rides.
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Old 09-22-11, 03:42 PM   #19
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OH man, that sucks buddy - I'm really sorry. The good news is I guess nothing is broken, although joints can take as long to heal. Take care of that knee and let me know how it's going, maybe you'll heal up in time for a ride before the snow sets in!
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Old 09-22-11, 03:45 PM   #20
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This thread has made me really glad that I test ride every bike a few miles in my driveway (not an intown one obviously) before I ever hit the road on them... although some times minor problems don't rear their ugly heads until you can take the bike out and really mash on it..
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Old 09-22-11, 03:51 PM   #21
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Sorry about the mishap, glad you are OK.

I have developed a set "test route" for my completed projects. It starts right in my driveway, around the corner, up a hill where I mash it pretty hard to make sure the freewheel/cassette is good (no skipping). Then I go down a flat street a ways, turn around, go down the hill, test the brakes really well (no squeaking, at least I hope not!!), then back up the driveway, into the shop, to make whatever adjustments I forgot. There is absolutely no traffic on my test route, so I am pretty free to have at it.

Finding a good test hill around here is easy. Finding a flat spot is hard....

Typically I end up needing to toe in one brake just a tad, or change a freewheel, or adjust a high/low limit on the FD just a touch. And sometimes I have it just right to begin with.

When I started flipping, I didn't do an adequate test ride, and had some embarrassing moments with potential customers. Lesson learned.
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Old 09-22-11, 05:53 PM   #22
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I have waking nightmares about such things.
Knock on wood.
Heal quickly.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:05 PM   #23
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maybe it was because of the "screws".
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Old 09-22-11, 06:42 PM   #24
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Karma's a b*tch.....
Oh, I think it caught me before I posted that- you know, with the whole "falling down at a stop sign and having 2 12 packs of Diet Coke fall off my rack and rolling all over the intersection and then another one break open on the way home" thing. Or maybe it was my first commute on my Trek 620, trying to ride up onto a bridge, misjudging my speed and having the front wheel come down just as I was hitting the bridge- stopped me dead cold from 5 MPH and slamming my lower abdomen right into the stem- but I didn't go over the bars (and the stem struck just "north" of the "tender" area). I had witnesses both times. That was cool. I'm sure on the inside, they were all pointing and laughing.

However, unlike those incidents, aside from some very minor bumps, my pride was bruised the most. In all seriousness, I hope your knee gets better quickly.

But that's not as funny as the pointing and laughing Simpsons kid.



To state it clearly- it was intended to be funny, not rude- my apologies if you were offended.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:11 PM   #25
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I did the "halfway threaded the pedals in and I'll tighten them later" thing a few months ago. Stood up to catch a light, and Wham! I was on the ground before I knew what hit me. I am glad it was only an old repainted Raleigh with moustache bars, and not something nicer. I limped to a local business, and they let me borrow a 15mm. Been checking all pedals ever since, on everything.,,,,BD

The threads were fine too, amazingly enough!
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