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  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Nearly died today.

    See the following thread in the mechanics forum:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post2621005

    Now my wife is convinced that bicycling is "too dangerous" and that I need to give it up completely. My only hope is to find out what happened, why, and how to keep it from happening again.

    HELP!

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    That is just plain ole scary. Glad you survived it. I'd contact Mavic to see what they have to say about it. Maybe they can shed some light on what happened. Tell your wife you're still much more likely to be killed at home than cycling... although I'd anticipate some skeptiscism from my wife if I had to tell her the same thing. In terms of the other wheels, that might be the ticket to get Mavic to take some action. Tell them you want to know if the wheels are safe. Not sure how they might respond, but it would be worth finding out.
    Last edited by NOS88; 06-07-06 at 03:14 PM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Wow, that is pretty scary stuff, good thing that you didn't get hurt badly.

  4. #4
    Member Dockside97's Avatar
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    Boy, that is kind of scary. I'm new to biking and it really bothers me when I see something like this. When I was in St. Petersburg, Fl. this passed winter it was reported in the St. Pete Times that an experienced biker had a fatal accident on his brand new cannondale. He bought the bike from a woman in Germany I believe it was and paid $3,000. The bike was worth $5,000. The woman shipped it in a sealed carton the way it came from the factory. He brought the bike to his local LBS to assemble it. He brought it back several times complaining that it didn't feel right or was making a noise, I forget which. Anyway, he was riding with his bicycle club on the Pinnelas Trail which is a 36 mi. bicycle path when the witnesses said they heard a cracking sound just before the fork broke propelling the rider over the bars and killing him. The fellow was 62 years old.

    It just makes you wonder how safe these new bicycles are today.

    Glad you're okay but you have to get to the bottom of what happened.

  5. #5
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    that's a scary break, glad you're all right!!!

    I'm also concerned now, because I'm running Mavic Open Pro, is that what you have?

  6. #6
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    Take the secure thought
    that the chances of that
    ever happening again are
    remote and get on another
    bike tomorrow and do 50 miles.

    I broke a hip when my EZ-1 went
    down at mile 26 of the Acura Bike
    Marathon Ride in LA in 2002
    and could have quit, but 2 weeks after
    I got off a walker I did 85 miles on
    a very warm day.

    Buy a new bike and forget the
    incident. And ride man... ride!
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    A lack of excercise and being fat is the second leading cause of death in the USA - bike accidents don't even get close.

    Of course, you might not want to listen to me - I want to go bike riding and thunder is just a rumbling around. Since we are in the mountains, I think I better not...

  8. #8
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    WOW - I am glad you are OK.

    I would not want to go on a similar wheel without finding the cause of this failure!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 06-05-06 at 04:50 PM.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Scary stuff, Far. Keep us in the loop -- let us know what happens. Wow. So glad you're OKAY!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  10. #10
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    If I was going to guess I'd say that you had a crack develop in the V between two spoke nipples. I would expect that if this was the case there would be some darkening of part of the long failure points.

    Failures like this should have been somewhat failsafe - for instance, how did the seatpost break? The back wheel should have locked up and the bike stopped in a very short distance with perhaps a very high heartrate on your part but not a fall. I would say that the failure of the seatpost was at least as significant as the failure of the rim.

    This sort of failure occurs OCCASSIONALLY. Inspections should be part of everyone's usual process of getting ready to ride. It only takes a minute to go over your entire bike looking for that sort of thing.

    I have never seen a wheel fail like that before but I have seen a lot of cracks in rims. The rim alloys have to be very strong to withstand the spoke tension. They are also made to be as light as possible. This implies that the alloys are as strong as they can be and such alloys generally lack ductility and so have fracture failures as their most prominent fault. But prominent isn't really accurate since it is rare at best.

    What I believe happened is that your rims weren't wide enough for the 37 mm tire. That placed the spreading forces of the tire perpendicular to the sidewall. The problem was with your selection of rims and not the rim itself.

  11. #11
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Glad you are alright! That looks like quite a dynamic failure. Quite a few years ago I had a new Cannondale ST1000 touring bike and was pedaling along with no problems, no pot holes etc. and the rear wheel collapsed. Not as violent as your experience, but it bent the frame and really upset me. Cannondale and the LBS were at a loss. I got a new bike and wheel.

    I vote for getting back in the saddle. In Sept '05 I crashed my mountain bike and impaled myself on the bar end: Shattered Sternum, Giant Hematoma now scar tissue and a 1" x 3" tear into my abdominal cavity - hernia. Will be having surgery to fix it and get mesh reinforcement.

    Within a month I was back on my bike wearing padding, but riding. I'm still riding and will continue.

  12. #12
    Senior Member turtleguy54's Avatar
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    That is just awesome! I can't imagine what you thought when this happened. I saved the photo.
    Give me a location of the incident. I am taking my two sons from my first marriage to Baton Rouge (my birthplace) in August to meet the relatives, still living, they have not seen since they were toddlers. I will show them the picture and the site along with less impressive Civil War stuff.

    Lesaiz le bon ton roulet!

    Rick

  13. #13
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Far H,

    +++++ you have my prayers that you are ok and survived unscathed on this rim. I have an engineer in my church who investigates such things as an expert witness. I sent him the link to the Mechanics post so he could look at the pictures. I'll let you know what he thinks.
    Bob
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  14. #14
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    ...it was reported in the St. Pete Times that an experienced biker had a fatal accident on his brand new cannondale. He bought the bike from a woman in Germany I believe it was and paid $3,000. .
    Actually, it was a Trek Madone (not sure of the exact Madone model) and he bought it from a lady in Hawaii via eBay--at least, that's what I read. The rest was pretty much as I read it, including the multiple trips to the LBS to try to fix the noise.

    Trek recently sent out a bunch of literature on how to check your carbon for cracks, and about how their low-cost replacement program for damaged carbon items works. I've always wondered it all this was a direct reaction to that accident and the resulting lawsuit

    So glad you are okay!
    Dagna

  15. #15
    Wheee LilSprocket's Avatar
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    yeesh... Glad you're here to tell the tale...

    as for your wife... just living is dangerous...

    you can go out and be a part of life or
    you can hole up inside and wait for danger to find you...
    and don't think it won't

    be safe, be cautious, be considerate, be careful... be healthy and happy... have fun
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
    http://www.myspace.com/qwtrailbuilders
    rip sydney

  16. #16
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Glad you're OK FarHorizon
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  17. #17
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Be glad you don't live in NYC, otherwise you'd most likely be dead right now. *Shudder* makes me think about my stem, handle bars, and wheels...

  18. #18
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    See the following thread in the mechanics forum:
    Holy crap, Far! That is just TOO scary for words! Thank god you weren't seriously hurt. I cannot imagine the fright that must have given you.

    Sheesh!

    Steve

  19. #19
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Thanks for all the consolation. After reflection, I'm about to conclude that this happened because of my own stupidity. Here's my best guess:

    Catastrophic Wheel Failure Analysis!

    Now all I have to do is convince my wife...

  20. #20
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    FH,

    Pretty rational explanation--- but I agree with several of the posters--- a tire should fail (or self dismount) if it is not the correct size. A rim should always be a stronger link than a tire in the wheel system. If it had seperated at the joint due to a blowout in that exact location, then maybe. But the rim should not fail. Don't let Mavic off this easy.

    Last year after I restored my '79 Traveler, I bought new Michelins marked 27 X 1 & 1/4 for the Araya steel rims I used to run. I was amazed when they came how much bigger they were than the original Schwinn Puff tires. They just barely cleared the chainstays (less than 1/8 inch on either side). About 10 days into using them with less than 100 miles, I checked the pressure and went for a ride. They were about 5 psi over the recommended amount at 80 psi. I pedaled my 260 lbs. about 7 miles and as I was downshifting to go up a long hill, the rear blewout- KABAM! The force ripped the wire bead out of the tire for about 10 inches. The rear rim was also pushed out of alignment in the dropouts and twisted away from the blowout. The tires, though marked the correct size, were oversized for those rims.
    Bob
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  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Far Horizon....you may be considering this anyway, but if you have any question I would recommend

    1) take the wheel to a reputable metallurgical analysis firm to determine the metallurgical condition and quality. There should be at least one good firm down there in the refinery country. If not, try the Lake Charles/Beaumont area.

    2) afterwards, get he manufacturer involved. I'm certain they would want to know and render an opinion on the failure. This isn't the kind of stuff they want going around the forums.

    Thank goodness it was the rear and not the front.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Thanks for all the consolation. After reflection, I'm about to conclude that this happened because of my own stupidity. Here's my best guess:

    Catastrophic Wheel Failure Analysis!

    Now all I have to do is convince my wife...
    My GUESS is that you are correct about the cause of failure. However, increased inflation would have only made it worse and not better.

    Here's why - If you install the CORRECT size tire on a rim the inflation forces and the subsequent road shocks occur in plane with the rim and in an outward direction.

    If the tire is too wide for the rim the sidewalls are trying to be pressed apart by tire pressures and road shocks. Since rims are made as light as possible you can see that they simply cannot be stressed for spreading forces.

    You'll need wider rims if you intend to use 37 mm tires.

  23. #23
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    FH:
    You know that we are all celebrating that you did not get hurt.

    Here is what I would do:
    Go to Mavic and tell them that such a failure is NOT acceptable. Demand that they make an INDEPENDENT laboratory analysis to be given to you. If they do not do that, tell them that you will do it and will go after them for consequential damages.
    Suggest they got lucky that you did not get hurt and they should investigate and come up with a solution so this does not happen again.
    In defense of Mavic: They may determine that your weight was excessive or that you have the wrong tires on these wheels. If that is the case, OK, lesson learned.
    I would have a lawyer advising me but not confront Mavic yet with that lawyer.

    I have experience with such things in my Automation business. This is the procedure we follow, always.

  24. #24
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    Glad you were not seriously hurt. Because we enjoy riding out bikes, we sometimes forget they are fairly complex machines, with lots of ways to go wrong.

    Fred DeLong, in his '70's classic on bikes, did not underestimate how many things can go wrong on a bike. He included in his book a "checklist" for inspecting a bike that covered several pages. It was a checklist that he felt owners should work through on a regular basis. He had a shorter checklist for a daily bike inspection.

    If you put a 37mm tire on a rim that was designed for 25mm tires or 28mm tires, that could put extra stress on the rims. If the bike was designed for 23mm tires and 25mm tires, as many current road bikes are, using 37mm tires would greatly reduce the clearance between the fork and the front tire and between the rear tire and the chainstays. If a rock, or other road debris wedges between the fork and tire, or chainstay and tire, something is going to fail. If the "wedge" is against a carbon fork, that fork may fail. If the "wedge" is against a sturdy chainstay, the rim may give way and fail.

    We assume that the bike manufacturers are making unbreakable equipment. THEY are assuming that we carefully read owner's manuals and read the warnings that manufacturer's post on their websites. We are probably over-estimating them, and they are probably over-estimating us.

  25. #25
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    We assume that the bike manufacturers are making unbreakable equipment. THEY are assuming that we carefully read owner's manuals and read the warnings that manufacturer's post on their websites. We are probably over-estimating them, and they are probably over-estimating us.
    I believe the assumption by the manufacturers is that they have placed enough verbage in their manuals to shield themselves from as much liability as possible. They don't care if anyone reads them or not. However, in civil actions, they would claim that they assumed the manuals were read.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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