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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-09-08, 08:01 PM   #1
Sam Wade
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Bike fell off rack onto a busy highway today.

Since it was installed for me at the bike shop and I wasn't outside for them to show me how, I didn't know the correct way to put my bike in my new XC Swagman hitchmount rack, and as a result it wasn't ratcheted down properly and the bike hit the highway at 50mph this morning. Luckily no one had to swerve to miss it and I was able to get back to it in less than a minute. Amazingly after tumbling end over end for about 30 or 40 yards the only damage was a slight road rash on the grips and the seat, and the chain came off the small front sprocket. These Electra Townies are TOUGH !!
I am so thankful it didn't cause an accident, or wasn't run over and crushed by an unsuspecting motorist, this could have turned out very, very bad.
Incidentally, earlier in the morning when I got to the Greenway and started to unload my bike I noticed something on my front tire, closer inspection revealed it to be a screw in the tire. I was able to drive to a tire store and get it patched before it went flat.
Seeing as how I avoided having to change a flat tire and avoided a serious accident and loss of my bike I thought it might be my lucky day, and promptly bought a lottery ticket on my way home. I'll let you know how that turns out.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:07 PM   #2
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Damn that sucks.
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Old 08-10-08, 05:08 AM   #3
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YIKES!!!!!!!!!!! and stuff.
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Old 08-10-08, 05:51 AM   #4
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Hey I had a huge fear of this happening unitl I cruised over to the You Tube sites and watch a great video on how to adjust my bike rack - but the rack is a Saris rack not the one you have.

Glad you and the bike are ok.
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Old 08-10-08, 06:42 AM   #5
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I have a Saris Thelma and love it for the easy of putting the bikes in and never have a problem with them.

Glad to hear you were able to save the bike.
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Old 08-10-08, 05:43 PM   #6
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My wife didn't clamp my son's bike to the hitch rack, and it bounced off at 55 MPH. I went back to look for it, but it was already gone. (It gave me a chance to get him a better bike - more of a flat-bar road bike, instead of a heavy hybrid).

I also showed her the proper way to make sure it was clamped on.....
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Old 08-10-08, 05:48 PM   #7
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That was my biggest fear as I drove home from the bike shop. 20 miles on the highway. I still get nervous about it even though I am well versed in how to put it on now.
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Old 08-11-08, 07:37 AM   #8
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Damage to the bike is nothing. You're very lucky that it didn't injure someone else. Always know how to secure a load properly. Never drive with a bike on the rack that you haven't properly secured and checked. Always stop after driving a mile (or less) to check the load. Never fail to check the load every time you stop.
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Old 08-11-08, 08:39 AM   #9
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I wonder what would happen if you dropped a car off a truck going 50 mph and it didn't land on its wheels. Anyway, glad your bike survived.
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Old 08-11-08, 08:58 PM   #10
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So, If you hit the lottery, do we all get new bikes?
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Old 08-11-08, 09:57 PM   #11
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The straps on my aging rack failed and dropped both bikes at 70 MPH. I had to replace both wheels on my bike. A CHP put on her lights behind me while I took the bikes apart and stuffed them inside the car. The new REI rack has detachable support arms that wobble so the wife is thinking of adding a trailer hitch to her new car so we can use that type of rack.
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Old 08-11-08, 10:38 PM   #12
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So, If you hit the lottery, do we all get new bikes?
+1 for this one.

Glad to hear no one else was damaged by your bike and it is not to bad.
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Old 08-12-08, 08:44 PM   #13
Sam Wade
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Well I didn't hit the lottery, but I appreciate the concern (and the strict instructions on what NEVER to do)The bike sat right in the wheel wells, the clamp zipped down on top, I gave it a good shake and gave the clamp that ratchets down on the bike frame a tug in all directions, practically lifted the car up a coupke of inches to make sure it was set. it seemed tight as could be, and it had traveled 20 miles like that on the way over but made it less than a mile before it came undone.
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Old 08-12-08, 09:04 PM   #14
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a ha ha ha....


a few weeks ago i was comin' back from surfing and had to quick swerve around a hitch-mount bike rack in the fast lane of the 605 here in l.a.. there were 2 kids bikes and 2 adult bikes. they looked like huffy's or some other low end crap, an' knowing how heavy those things are, you know that rack was waaaay overloaded. hitting them woulda been ****ed.

hollywood bike racks. i swear by 'em. never lost a bike, and i drive miles to find places ta ride. had one stolen off the back of my car while i was on a ride once. luckily my bike broke down small enough to fit in the back seat of my kia.

oh well, **** happens.







glad yer bikes are ok
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Old 08-12-08, 09:54 PM   #15
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glad it turned out all right! i am so anxious driving around with my bike on my car. i have a rack almost just like yours (the performance bike one, the xport flatbed), and there are so many closures, bolts, and pins that i have a phobia of forgetting one and dragging my bike down the highway. i really wish the rack didn't tilt backward. another worrisome variable.

how did your bike get out, exactly? you tested the rack but the bike fell out anyway?
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Old 08-12-08, 10:40 PM   #16
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Yikes!! I'm really paranoid about having my bike on a rack - I once rode an extra 15 miles because the bridge was out and the free shuttle was a guy with a van and a rack on the back. Just couldn't bring myself to do it.
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Old 08-13-08, 06:17 AM   #17
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whoa

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Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
My wife didn't clamp my son's bike to the hitch rack, and it bounced off at 55 MPH. I went back to look for it, but it was already gone. (It gave me a chance to get him a better bike - more of a flat-bar road bike, instead of a heavy hybrid).

I also showed her the proper way to make sure it was clamped on.....
I am glad I have a wife who can do things like flush the minivans transmission and all. If a bike wan't clamped down right in our household it would be because of me not her. She is the one who installed the hitch reciever for the rack in the first place.

My wife is one of those gals who decided that women needed to be smarter mechanically than men...that way they wouldn't get screwed at the car dealership.
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Old 08-14-08, 01:23 AM   #18
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yeah I made the mistake of pulling under a carport with a yakima roof rack and two mountain bikes on it. It caused $2500 worth of damage to the car and only damaged the seat of one bike. I now have a hitch on both cars and a Saris Thelma rack. That has been the best rack so far I can drive however fast I want and not worry about the bikes
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Old 08-14-08, 01:50 AM   #19
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Guess I forgot to lock the jaws on the arm of my THule Roof rack once. I was tooling down the freeway at about 55. My bike must have rolled back and fell out of the 'jaw.' It remained attached to the rack by the straps that secure it to the track.. Luckily the bike only had a minor dent on the seat tube. And it did not shatter the window on the rear drivers side. / I do a double check to be sure I secure the jaws' lock. And, I now pull the bike forward on the track in into the 'jaw' by using bungie cords to apply pressue on the bike and not permit that to happen again.
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