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  1. #1
    Fuzzy logic
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    Catastrophic fork failure @ 25mph

    Was going about 25mph downhill, started braking when SNAP! My front fork sheared right in half and I face planted into the pavement. Didn't hit a pothole or anything, just normal bumps in the road.I got the wind knocked out of me pretty good. Nice lady stopped and called 911 but I told her to cancel once I realized nothing was broken. 2nd nice woman drove me and my bike home, but by then my neck and upper back pain was so terrible I showered and went straight to the ER. Xrays showed my vertebrae are ok so I got my road rash cleaned up, and got out with vicodin and muscle relaxant.

    Unfortunately the down tube got bent so my frame is totaled. It's a 2002 Lemond Buenos Aires. Never been crashed before and I'm kind of paranoid about this sort of thing happening so I inspect my fork regularly and there were never any cracks or signs it was about to fail. It's out of warranty, but do you think I can get Trek to replace my frame or at least pay my hospital bills? The fork shouldn't fail like that for no reason so it must be a defect.

    Any suggestions for how I should proceed?














  2. #2
    Go, Dog. Go! learnmedia's Avatar
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    I dunno man. Right now, just be glad that you're okay. I am. That's some scary sh*t.

  3. #3
    Gimme back my gears!
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    Woah.... there is my argument for helmets right there... cranial damage aside (don't want to get into that) looks to me like you would have a lot less skin on your face if the helmet wasn't there and thats good enough for me to wear one.

    Your frame and fork are out of the question on being replaced...sorry about that, but you can get that frame repaired for 300 or so....

    I fell @ 25 taking a turn... my clothes took most of the damage, but I feel your pain... wait until you wake up tomorrow... yeesh
    Last edited by CyciumX; 03-18-10 at 11:18 PM.

  4. #4
    abandoning fly:yes/land:no's Avatar
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    i wouldn't have expected your downtube to fold like that if you hadn't hit anything. are you sure there was no pothole? you might have confused that with the feeling of the fork breaking.

    glad you are relatively okay. good luck navigating the warranty road. i have no experience or else i would comment on that.

  5. #5
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    if you are the original owner, i believe trek will replace the frame/fork with no issues

    they even replaced a frame for one of my coworkers who was owner #2 (sorry WR)

    the good thing is that you are ok

  6. #6
    Senior Member corbett1010's Avatar
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    Wow. Glad you are still here to tell this story. Hopefully a Speedy recovery. Now you got me all worried about my bikes fork and I will be checking it all the time

  7. #7
    Cat 666 fatallightning's Avatar
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    that's a pretty gnarly rim dent, the kind that usually happen from hitting a square edged bump or curb at speed.
    Oh man, its going to take days to kill all these people! - jens voigt
    Current: Calfee Tetra Pro/ Tiemeyer Signature Track/ Cannondale CAADX/ Trek T1/ Giordana Capella TT
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  8. #8
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    Holy crap.

    Well, I broke a fork on a Trek actually, but it was from hitting a large pothole. Trek has lifetime warrantees on their stuff if it breaks due to product defect. Take it to a Trek shop and they'll send it to the factory where they will inspect it and determine wether to replace it or not. I really don't think they will pay your hospital bills though, you might need to get a lawyer for that one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Copperhed51's Avatar
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    Wow man, very glad you are ok. Helmet ftw. That's all I got...just wow.
    2009 Cannondale CAAD9 w/ SRAM Rival & a SRAM Red FD
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  10. #10
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    first thought was "why wasn't this dbag wearing a helmet?" then I saw the helmet . your a lucky man. I crashed at about the same speed a couple days ago. it happens too fast to even be scared. it's scarier after the fact. I'm okay but my body got pretty damn tight as the day progressed. I made the mistake of playing golf the next day and today as well and my whole body is just tight as hell.

  11. #11
    Fuzzy logic
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
    that's a pretty gnarly rim dent, the kind that usually happen from hitting a square edged bump or curb at speed.
    Good eyes, didn't notice that. That definitely wasn't there before, maybe I did hit a bump somehow. I didn't notice anything on the road after the crash though.

  12. #12
    abandoning fly:yes/land:no's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatallightning View Post
    that's a pretty gnarly rim dent, the kind that usually happen from hitting a square edged bump or curb at speed.
    i thought the same thing...

  13. #13
    Senior Member KiuBWhy's Avatar
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    Glad you are okay man. Good luck, and recover fast!
    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    So Nair will melt my fingernails off so I don't have to cut 'em? Sweet!

  14. #14
    Senior Member sebo2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribble222 View Post
    Was going about 25mph downhill, started braking when SNAP! My front fork sheared right in half and I face planted into the pavement. Didn't hit a pothole or anything, just normal bumps in the road.I got the wind knocked out of me pretty good. Nice lady stopped and called 911 but I told her to cancel once I realized nothing was broken. 2nd nice woman drove me and my bike home, but by then my neck and upper back pain was so terrible I showered and went straight to the ER. Xrays showed my vertebrae are ok so I got my road rash cleaned up, and got out with vicodin and muscle relaxant.

    Unfortunately the down tube got bent so my frame is totaled. It's a 2002 Lemond Buenos Aires. Never been crashed before and I'm kind of paranoid about this sort of thing happening so I inspect my fork regularly and there were never any cracks or signs it was about to fail. It's out of warranty, but do you think I can get Trek to replace my frame or at least pay my hospital bills? The fork shouldn't fail like that for no reason so it must be a defect.
    Hollly, good that you are ok. I can't give you any advice, but I want to thank you for showing picture of the helmet. I got myself helmet long time ago and never wear it, it seats brand new in the closet. Im going to wear it for tomorrow ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
    i wouldn't have expected your downtube to fold like that if you hadn't hit anything.
    I feel like the wheel probably hit the down tube when the fork snapped.

    I mean, it's weird circumstances anyway, so that sounds kind of viable to me.


    I'm glad that you're OK man. That is really scary.

    Edit: Holy crap! You're in Oakland and somebody stopped for you? The last time I took a digger (in San Leandro, though) on the roadie, I was passed by the like 5 joggers without a single word.
    Last edited by DRietz; 03-18-10 at 11:50 PM.

  16. #16
    Needs the magic spanner knowledgdropper's Avatar
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    ^ +1. I'll be showing this thread to my "recently converted from fixed gear" nephew, who always seems to "forget" his helmet. Some of his habits have been tough to break.
    "Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way- turn." - Charles DeMar

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    That fork looks like someone took a hack saw to it, it is just sheared off. It is a fairly even break as if you hit a low lying wall and flew over it. Not saying you did but that is most definitely product failure if your story is true. Also did you get the name of the lady who helped you, might come in handy if she saw the crash as far as bills or even the warranty goes.

  18. #18
    Fuzzy logic
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRietz View Post
    I feel like the wheel probably hit the down tube when the fork snapped.

    I mean, it's weird circumstances anyway, so that sounds kind of viable to me.


    I'm glad that you're OK man. That is really scary.

    Edit: Holy crap! You're in Oakland and somebody stopped for you? The last time I took a digger (in San Leandro, though), I was passed by the like 5 joggers without a single word.
    I think you're right. If I line up where the wheel would have hit the downtube it's in the exact spot it bent. That makes sense.

    I actually had TWO people stop for me and one gave me a ride home!

  19. #19
    Fuzzy logic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacking View Post
    Also did you get the name of the lady who helped you, might come in handy if she saw the crash as far as bills or even the warranty goes.
    Bah I didn't get her # (wasn't thinking clearly) but I know her name and where she works so I should be able to find her if I need to.

  20. #20
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Rock/debris/pothole would cause rim failure/dent which then willl transmit to fork. Downtube bent like that wtihout hitting anything . . . ?!!!
    Have crashed at 38 mph (harmonic vibration) and frame did not get damaged at all.
    Heal and call Trek . . .

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribble222 View Post
    Bah I didn't get her # (wasn't thinking clearly) but I know her name and where she works so I should be able to find her if I need to.
    how the hell you get her name and where she works and not her #? was she hot? def shoulda got the number!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPFITNESS View Post
    how the hell you get her name and where she works and not her #? was she hot? def shoulda got the number!
    He probably crashed right in front of her place of business...

  23. #23
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    My advice -- if this sort of thing happens in the future -- don't cancel the 911 call. Relax, wait for the ambulance and let the paramedics check you out check you out. Adrenaline and shock from the incident can do funny things. Since you hit your head, you also may not be thinking clearly. You may be more severely injured than you think. Better to be on the safe side and get yourself checked out by professionals.
    '12 Scott Foil Team Issue, '08 Carl Strong Titanium, '07 Cervelo R3

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric01 View Post
    My advice -- if this sort of thing happens in the future -- don't cancel the 911 call. Relax, wait for the ambulance and let the paramedics check you out check you out. Adrenaline and shock from the incident can do funny things. Since you hit your head, you also may not be thinking clearly. You may be more severely injured than you think. Better to be on the safe side and get yourself checked out by professionals.
    He went to the hospital afterward.

  25. #25
    abandoning fly:yes/land:no's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRietz View Post
    I feel like the wheel probably hit the down tube when the fork snapped.

    I mean, it's weird circumstances anyway, so that sounds kind of viable to me.


    I'm glad that you're OK man. That is really scary.

    Edit: Holy crap! You're in Oakland and somebody stopped for you? The last time I took a digger (in San Leandro, though) on the roadie, I was passed by the like 5 joggers without a single word.
    apply occam's razor:

    option A)
    1. fork randomly fails while on a decent
    2. rotating wheel turns sideways but stays under bike
    3. rotating wheel lodges between bike and downtube
    4. force of rider pushes downtube into wheel causing massive fold in tube and dent in wheel rim

    option B)
    1. rider hits object
    2. object causes dent in rim
    3. object causes fork to shear
    4. object causes downtube to fold

    i'm thinking option B is a 100 to 1 favorite. maybe i am wrong, but i have seen this exact same thing happen many, many times before. it has happened to me. every time, including mine, it was caused by an impact to the front wheel. in fact, if i were charged with the task of listing the results of a front wheel impact, they would include a dented front rim, a sheared fork, and a folded downtube.

    like i said, i am very glad to hear that the op is okay, but i would be shocked if there wasn't at least a large pothole on the road that caused this.

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