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Thread: 75mph crash

  1. #1
    Man about town
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    75mph crash

    OK, so I wasn't on the bike at the time. It happened like this: coming home from a ride out east of town, cruising up I84 at 75. Halfway zoned out, and I hear <pop!> <creak> <thud>, and look into my rearview to see my brand new Anthem cartwheeling down the fast lane, still locked into my forkmount bike tray. It took a good ten seconds to process that that had, in fact, happened, before I started swearing as load as I could and looking for someplace to pull over. Walked back down the interstate in my flipflops. About halfway back, a silver WRX has pulled over, and the girl in the passenger seat rolls down the window as I walk by: "You lose a bike?". A few hundred yards back, the driver has my bike (tray still attached) over his shoulder, and I hustle back to him. It was lying in the middle of the freeway, and he said it almost got run over at least a couple times while he was trying to get to it to pull it off the road. I don't know how he did it without getting hit himself, but he has my enternal gratitude.

    Anyway, I thanked him and hoofed it back to my car to inspect the damage. My car uses Thule "aero bars", which require you to secure everything to a little bolt the fits into a track in the bars. That bolt just snapped, letting the bike pull up and back and bending the aluminum tray out of the plate securing it to the rear crossbar. The jaws of the tray took most of the damage, I think - a few ounces of metal shaved off, and at some point the lock cylinder gave up and let the jaws open. A half inch of the left pedal (crank bros candies) is ground off, ditto the rear quick release. Front brake bled to death on the ride home in the trunk. Saddle has a good chunk missing, and the front fork is a little flatter and shinier than it used to be in one spot. The rear triangle and/or linkage may be bent a little too, but the lbs guys weren't sure, and weren't sure how much it would matter if it was.

    Anybody else ever have something like that happen? The local rack dealer said he's never quite trusted the aero bar setup, and showed me some Rocky mounts stuff that looks a hell of a lot beefier. I'm just gonna trunk everything for now, but what do you all use?

  2. #2
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Geez, that's scary. I think about that kind of stuff every time I run on the highway with a loaded rack, how all that wind force is straining against a few little bolts and pieces of plastic.

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    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Good thing there was a good samaritan to drag your bike & rack off the road eh? I would have been eternally grateful too, stopped your bike from receiving more damage and stopped a car pileup.
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
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    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    before I started swearing as load as I could
    Heh

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    that's a shame - Anthem's are sweet. Sounds like it cud hv been worse though.

    I use a Saris Bones 3 - seems to be very safe - I also use a long ratchet srap that goes around & thru the bike and then strapped inside my car - tight - therefore if anything comes loose it shouldn't fall off.

    Don't use a Saris if you don't want small scratches on you car (doesn't bother me) - I also had to cut the additional bike holders so I cud get the Santa Cruz FS on there - so it only takes one bike now..

  6. #6
    Senior Member nmn25's Avatar
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    A similar thing happened to me. Me and my friends went up to mount hodd to do some free ride. We loaded 4 DH bikes onto a 4 crosscountry bike rack. The road to the top had massive ruts, and we were bottoming our SUV. Anyways, my faith was the outermost bike, and I was scared to death it was going to fall off, so every 2 minutes I would look back to make sure it was still on. Anyways, the rack was bouncing like no other (we were late, and going like 10 mph, which on these roads, is insane), I look back and my bike wasn't there. It was half a mile down the road, and had some nasty scratches, but nothing severe. We did bend the rack/all the monting bolts as well though.
    If it works...... do it!

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    This is why I never use a rack. My bike goes in the back of my truck under the fiberglass cover (protected from weather, theft and falling off).

  8. #8
    Wheee LilSprocket's Avatar
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    Holy Crap!

    Quote Originally Posted by superstator
    he has my enternal gratitude.
    yeah, no kidding.

    I have a Saris bones 3 too... It works fine, though scratches both my car and my bike.
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
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    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I'd like to see some pics of that bike and the bolt that broke. How old was the rack? Any chance of a warranty on the rack.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

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    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    My friend Simon had something like that happen to him. He had his Norco Torrent on the roof of his car (he has roof racks) and he pulled by one of those cables that hook onto telephone polls (the ones that go from the top of the telephone poll to the ground) and it ripped the bike and rack off of his roof.

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    KGB Style dirtyamerican's Avatar
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    Man, hope you get 'er fixed soon!

    This has happened to me also. I just met a new local rider. We threw our bikes on my bike rack on the back of my van. On the way to the trail, we crossed a bridge and the next thing I know I see bikes cartwheeling in the rear view mirror. His rear wheel tacoed. My Banshee Scream (worth big bucks) was just fine besides a scraped seat, pedals, and handlebar end (which I eventually covered with lock-on grips). The seat was already junk before this anyway.

    Talk about a sinking feeling in the stomach, you know what I'm talking about! Well, to make a better impression on my new biking buddy, I took a spare rim of mine and rebuilt his wheel. Had his rig ready to roll within 24 hours. I've since replaced my seat and the old battle wounds on my pedals are eroded away by newer scrapes.


  12. #12
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Hmmm, when you overthighten bolts they break bub. I have had a (the same) Thule rack on my last 4 cars and have never had any problems.

  13. #13
    ...all of 'em? NuclearParanoid's Avatar
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    Aww, that sucks. Was this your only bike? Did wheels or frame got damaged? Hope you fix it soon

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    The only time I ever transported a bike on a car instead of in a car was when it was in a giant box, unassembled, straight from the factory.

    I was paranoid the whole trip home.

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    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw addict
    Hmmm, when you overthighten bolts they break bub. I have had a (the same) Thule rack on my last 4 cars and have never had any problems.
    If its a problem with an overtight bolt it most likley will snap when your putting pressure on it. This sounds like a malfunction due to stress.I worked for 12 years as a industrial mechanic and saw it happen quite a few times.The bolt may have had a defect when it was made.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  16. #16
    old guy v2.1 voodoochile's Avatar
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    That's a huge bummer, man.
    Can you imagine if there was a Miata tailing you?
    [the stiffy] |||||||||| [the softy]

  17. #17
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    That's why whenever I take my bike somewhere in my truck, I put it in the fork mount then secure it with a couple of rachet straps through the frame just in case.

  18. #18
    [CTRL Z] ponchotempest's Avatar
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    My Thule trunk rack has also failed in a way which could've resulted in losing a bike. Thank God for duct tape, but not for Thule, they suck.

  19. #19
    Man about town
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    I'd like to see some pics of that bike and the bolt that broke. How old was the rack? Any chance of a warranty on the rack.

    They replaced the tray on warranty - it was less than a year old. If I can find a decent camera I'll post a pic of the bolt - lbs has the bike now.

  20. #20
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superstator
    They replaced the tray on warranty - it was less than a year old. If I can find a decent camera I'll post a pic of the bolt - lbs has the bike now.
    If it was a defect in the bolt,would they do anything to the bike under warranty?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  21. #21
    Man about town
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    If it was a defect in the bolt,would they do anything to the bike under warranty?
    I doubt it. I'm talking to my car insurance now to see if they would cover any part of it...

    The bend in the frame isn't visible, but once you put a gauge against it it's pretty obvious. The more I think about it the more depressed I get - just keep picturing the weakened frame breaking in the middle of nowhere on a solo ride six months from now. But replacing it is going to mean no cross bike this fall .

  22. #22
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    That sucks! I just got back from an 1100 mile trip with my bike loaded up on my Yakima fork mount on my Scion xB. At first I was nervous, but after rechecking it at gas stations and such, it seemed fine. I like the idea of the tie downs as well though.....I'll have to do that next time.

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