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Why does no one talk about mechanical failure accidents?

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Why does no one talk about mechanical failure accidents?

Old 04-09-20, 03:17 PM
  #26  
Gresp15C
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I had a fork end break off. Fortunately I was barely moving when it happened. The other fork end was still hanging on by a thread. Judging from corrosion in the crack, it had probably been getting progressively worse for some time, but it was a bike that was so reliable that it was too easy to neglect. I do think that periodic inspection is worthwhile.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:21 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
This entire forum seems to be about accidents caused by vehicles.

But I was having a virtual dinner party with cycling friends and all six of us seemed to have had far more accidents due to mechanical failure (broken bars, stem, chains etc.) Sure they werent as serious as the car accidents but much much more prevalent.

Yet, I don't see hardly any threads due to mechnical failures.

Why?
You and your friends are not necessarily a representative group.
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Old 04-10-20, 08:10 AM
  #28  
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I've never had a mechanical accident, apparently lucky. Knock on wood...the only accident I've had was when I hit a wooden planked bridge that was slick as snot after a week of continuous rain. I was still in the drops and clipped in as I hit the deck and slid.
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Old 04-15-20, 04:46 AM
  #29  
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Because they mostly involved me being too fat and heavy?
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Old 04-15-20, 07:43 PM
  #30  
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Working as a mechanic for 40+ years, I can say that crashes due to parts failures are extremely rare. Knock on wood, most liability crash cases in the bike business are either quill stem past safety line or misused quick release related. No need to wonder why threadless fork and through axles were so widely adapted. Mechanics make mistakes, too--but we find failures in progress more than that; cracked stem.front plates, loose dropouts wiggling in aluminum forks, disc brake pads worn to metal-on-metal braking, you get the idea.

Last edited by Feldman; 04-15-20 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:40 AM
  #31  
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Because they're rare. In tens of thousands of miles over many decades of riding, I've never had an accident due to mechanical failure. I've had flats and broken spokes, I've had a pedal come off of the spindle, I've dropped chains, had chains skip, had a crank arm loosen, had a down tube break at the head tube lug (used bike), had a rear dropout break - but no mechanical problem has resulted in an accident. Even when the mechanical issues are secondary to another incident (like blowing out both tires/denting both rims during a fast descent in the dark when I rode over an unmarked trench in the road) they have not caused accidents.
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Old 04-22-20, 06:13 AM
  #32  
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Not just catastrophic failure

Sorry for lack of replies. This Covid thing ...

I meant not just things breaking but also other minor mechanical failures. Eg chain slipping whilst out of the saddle or unclipping whilst riding hard etc.

My friends and to a lesser extent me ride hard. So any small problems result in crashes.
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Old 04-22-20, 06:33 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
Sorry for lack of replies. This Covid thing ...

I meant not just things breaking but also other minor mechanical failures. Eg chain slipping whilst out of the saddle or unclipping whilst riding hard etc.

My friends and to a lesser extent me ride hard. So any small problems result in crashes.
"Ride hard" being code for not riding under control? Different issue. Because I've had chains slip under load, and unclipped while pulling up on the pedals, and those haven't caused crashes.

Not that I haven't done stupid stuff resulting in crashes, because I have - cornering too fast and washing out the front wheel, not seeing gravel in a corner and doing the same, riding too fast on a wet curve and doing the same, braking too late and overcooking a corner, etc. So I suppose if a mechanical happened at the wrong time it could be a contributing factor in a crash. Still not a common occurrence, and not one that I remember ever happening to me.
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Old 04-26-20, 10:06 AM
  #34  
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Let me give you an example. I was climbing an 8 degree pass. It's about one mile. Normally I just spin up it but yesterday I thought, lets attack it and see how far up I can get before my legs give out. So I was out of the saddle and stomping away and the back cog ghost shifted (5800 RD so very rare but it does happen) and down I went.

Maybe I get into these situations because I've ridden nice gear for too long and I don't *expect* it to fail. My 5800 groupsets have barely mis-shifted in 5+ years but when they do and you don't expect it ....

Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
"Ride hard" being code for not riding under control? Different issue. Because I've had chains slip under load, and unclipped while pulling up on the pedals, and those haven't caused crashes.
.
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Old 04-26-20, 10:53 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
Let me give you an example. I was climbing an 8 degree pass. It's about one mile. Normally I just spin up it but yesterday I thought, lets attack it and see how far up I can get before my legs give out. So I was out of the saddle and stomping away and the back cog ghost shifted (5800 RD so very rare but it does happen) and down I went.

Maybe I get into these situations because I've ridden nice gear for too long and I don't *expect* it to fail. My 5800 groupsets have barely mis-shifted in 5+ years but when they do and you don't expect it ....
The term "mechanical failure" implies a failure that resulted from a defect in a part. That's not what happened in your example. You rode the bike until the drive train consumables (chain, sprockets, possibly chainrings) had worn to the point where they were no longer reliable or neglected to keep the derailleur adjusted correctly or both. That's operator error.
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Old 05-03-20, 02:18 PM
  #36  
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Unless you are really into vintage I'd think this would largely happen to more casual riders not people on forums who presumably keep their bikes in good shape. Aside from breaking chains and flat tires I never had anything like that, though I do have one aero bar that comes loose at times I keep an eye on it to make sure it's always tight so it won't lead to a sudden disaster.
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Old 05-05-20, 12:25 PM
  #37  
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Nearly 82 and have never had an accident due to mechanical failure.
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Old 05-08-20, 04:39 AM
  #38  
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I've had one near miss (snapped handlebar but managed to stay upright) and one fall (derailleur or chain in the back wheel) that I could put down to mechanical failure. That said the fall could be put down to my error in shifting at the wrong moment rather than a component failure, and the handlebar breaking ( thread about that is here) was mostly due to a component failing due to its age.

In more than five years of racing I didn't have a single accident from mechanical failure, in spite of repeatedly pushing bikes very hard in training and racing. I did have a few offs due to my own, or someone else's, tendency to ride too fast for the road conditions but I can't recall being involved in a single crash due to a component failing.
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Old 05-08-20, 05:48 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
A bit off topic but related - I wonder what is the proper course of action to avoid an accident in case of a front tire flat during a fast descent? No amount of maintenance can really prevent it but judging by the responses in this thread such event is either extremely rare, or there are no survivors to tell about their experience, or, hopefully, people manage to handle the situation gracefully and avoid an accident. Suppose there are a few seconds until the tire loses all the air but how to stop the bike fast enough? My understanding is that braking with a front wheel (the one with flat tire) is a very bad idea and braking hard at speed with rear wheel pretty much guarantees skid and crash on a side.
Not OT, IMO. I just went through this just one week ago. Was riding in very hot humid weather, the first hot day of the year, to which I hadn't made my yearly adjustment to yet. I think this affected my level of awareness to a degree. I had gotten a flat tire earlier that day (first of the year) so I rode home and got a replacement bike.

Headed back up the hill for a second time with the new bike, and mustíve picked up a thorn in the front tire on the way up, that started a slow leak that I did not detect. I was on a new bike I had just set up and was still fine-tuning the fit, and was not 100% familiar with how itís supposed to feel, which probably also contributed to me not noticing the slow leak. I was really suffering in the heat, since I wore long sleeves that day. I was really hatin' it. So I decided I would cut the ride short and turn around where the sign that says ď2000 feet elevationĒ, which I did. This is what happened on my descent:





I got to a slightly off-camber turn at around 35 mph, countersteered to lean the bike a bit (boy, did it ever lean) and the front tire suddenly rolled completely off, after going through several previous turns without difficulty. Having a front tire roll off during a turn, is like a magnet that immediately pulls your head, face and and shoulder straight down onto the road surface. I had my camera going, slid on pavement for 3 Ĺ seconds before I came to a stop (animation is sped up slightly). I wonít bother describing the injuries, just extremely painful, especially the healing process.

I would list the contributing factors to the crash as follows, not necessarily in order:

Hot weather

New bike

Not noticing the leaky front tire

12% descent

Fast off-camber turn

No warning of low tire on previous turns

In the past I have avoided this happening by noticing the front tire ďalmostĒ washing out on a corner and catching it in time. Or riding on the flats where flat tires arenít as dangerous. I got no advance warning this time, so I guess itís probably prudent for others to also expect little or no warning. Last crash I had that was this bad was in 1988, 32 years ago. So bad crashes are fairly rare occurrence for me, but they do occur.

In the future to prevent this from happening again, Iím not really sure sure thereís much I can do other than watch my tire pressure much more closely.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 05-08-20 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 05-09-20, 02:56 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
............................12% descent. Fast off-camber turn..............
Going down Hogpen during Six Gap a few years ago the rider in front and to my left had a front blow out. Crossed in front of me and managed to NOT GO DOWN. Speed was 40+mph.

Nursing my cracked scapula, 2 cracked ribs and punctured lung, NOT from a mechanical but a 150lb wild hog sideswiping me 12 nights ago.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:12 PM
  #41  
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Ouch! Those hogs are tough as tree trunks. Sorry to hear about that. A human is never gonna get the best of it in that situation. I think you'll probably agree that the initial injury is almost nothing, compared to the painful recovery. At least that's how mine was.

If I had been checked out medically, $100,000 later, I'm sure they would have found some quite interesting injuries, but I prefer to stay ignorant about such things, as long as I feel healthy enough to recover on my own, which I do fortunately.

Recovery going well?
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Old 05-09-20, 04:53 PM
  #42  
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  • My front brake on my road bike came loose from a poor managed council road - I think due to all the bumps and pot holes on a long fast decent and not checking the brake before a rode that day. The calliper got lodged in the front spokes and caused the bike to stop still. Was only doing about 15kms p/h but it caused me to flip over the bars and land on my face. 7 stitches and my second collarbone brake for the year. Not to mention the worst part - 3 months off the bike!
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Old 06-18-20, 06:22 PM
  #43  
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I wiped out once due to a freewheel letting loose under power. Riding along, came out of the saddle to pump, next thing I know my chest is on the bars and knee scrapping the ground. It was 5 AM and pitch black, I had no idea what was happening, just me weaving all over the road with telephone poles and fence posts flashing in front of the headlight. I finally steered for the ditch and went off the far side of the road. If traffic had been coming the other way they would have hit me.

Bad thing is I had no idea what happened. Wasn't until 2 weeks later when crossing an intersection that the freewheel slipped again. Threw that wheel away that day.

I still have a visual from when I was a kid of my brother riding down the driveway and popping a wheelie. Up goes the front end, off comes the front wheel than races out in front of him. Still remember the look of terror on his eyes before he hit.

Good times
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Old 06-18-20, 10:51 PM
  #44  
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I've never crashed due to a mechanical failure on or in any type of vehicle. The only person, that I've talked to, that did, wasn't riding a bicycle, but while riding a professional racing motorcycle, with the motorcycle's engine deciding to grenade under full throttle, locking up the rear tire while dowsing it with motor oil at the same time.
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Old 06-20-20, 06:52 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by roundypndr View Post
I've never crashed due to a mechanical failure on or in any type of vehicle. The only person, that I've talked to, that did, wasn't riding a bicycle, but while riding a professional racing motorcycle, with the motorcycle's engine deciding to grenade under full throttle, locking up the rear tire while dowsing it with motor oil at the same time.
I'm pretty sure that I've fallen off my bicycle and been dowsed with Gatorade from my drink bottle.

Not nearly as exciting as oil, but a sticky mess all the same!
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Old 06-21-20, 09:15 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
I'm pretty sure that I've fallen off my bicycle and been dowsed with Gatorade from my drink bottle.

Not nearly as exciting as oil, but a sticky mess all the same!
The motorcyclist said that he seldom gets hurt in a crash, since most crashes, he has time to prepare for them, and minimize any injury. When this crash occurred, it was during a factory test session of a new engine design, and the engine failure occurred so suddenly, that it caused an injury with a lengthy recovery and rehab, due to it catching him completely off guard.
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