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Assessing carbon integrity after crash

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Assessing carbon integrity after crash

Old 08-07-22, 02:05 PM
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Assessing carbon integrity after crash

It would help me to hear opinions from some more experienced people in this topic: can a bike repair shop securely assess whether a carbon frame and fork are safe or not to be used after a crash? The bike in discussion is a light construction rated as total 6.6 kg without pedals.

The event: frontal bump at 32-34 km/h in the lateral part of a car that suddenly turned from the opposite direction. Apart from scratches of prominent parts (shifters, pedals, quick releases, bar tape), the visible damages at a fast look are:
Front wheel severely bent and spokes pulled out from the hub (obviously totally damaged, although it is a sturdy DT Swiss wheel).
Rear wheel hardly bent (cannot rotate, as it touches the rim brake pads even with the caliper fully opened).
A shifter (carbon fiber) twisted severely on the handlebar.

Thanks
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Old 08-07-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
It would help me to hear opinions from some more experienced people in this topic: can a bike repair shop securely assess whether a carbon frame and fork are safe or not to be used after a crash?
"Bike repair shop" is a little vague. Most regular bike shops aren't going to have the tools or experience to give you an authoritative answer. Are there carbon repair shops out there that are fully qualified? Absolutely.
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Old 08-07-22, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
"Bike repair shop" is a little vague. Most regular bike shops aren't going to have the tools or experience to give you an authoritative answer. Are there carbon repair shops out there that are fully qualified? Absolutely.
If you are talking about ultrasound or related technologies, then: no, there are not such repair shops in my area. I need to assess whether it would be possible or not to get a repair with safety assurance. I'm trying to recover the damage and get a reasonably safety assurance up to the level you get when you buy a carbon bike from a reputable company.
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Old 08-07-22, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
I'm trying to recover the damage and get a reasonably safety assurance up to the level you get when you buy a carbon bike from a reputable company.
"Reasonable" safety assurance is going to be a matter of personal opinion - everyone is going to have a different threshold. If you're comfortable with someone visually inspecting it and/or tapping on it with a coin or something along those lines, go for it. I don't personally think that anything less than getting it scanned is going to be as reassuring as a factory-new bike, though (but I wouldn't necessarily need that level of reassurance, either - it depends).
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Old 08-07-22, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you're comfortable with someone visually inspecting it and/or tapping on it with a coin or something along those lines, go for it.

That is my challenge that I have to solve somehow, in the circumstances that it was not my fault. Having wheels and some other parts replaced as new should be accompanied by assurance that I can ride safe the whole system. It looks that the bike is well constructed and it stands well with normal use and "normal abuse". But since it is very low weight system (including frame and fork), I doubt they could provision for hard crashes resistance...
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Old 08-07-22, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
...I'm trying to recover the damage and get a reasonably safety assurance up to the level you get when you buy a carbon bike from a reputable company.
I think a damage recovery with a reasonable safety assurance would mean a new bicycle, and nothing less.
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Old 08-07-22, 04:06 PM
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Has the driver of the car admitted fault? If yes, I would not settle for "assurances" rather I might suggest taking the following position with their insurance company:
  • The bike is visibly damaged. According to manufacturer guidelines, the bike is no longer safe to ride due to the likelihood of internal carbon fiber damage
  • Replacement cost for a bike this quality is $5,000 for the frame, $4,000 for the wheelset, and $2,500 for the groupset
  • I am reasonable, and am open-minded to having the frame inspected for damage to try to save you the full replacement cost. The price for this is $300 labor for the bike to remove the groupset, $200 for shipping to a reputable carbon repair facility, $XXX for their xray diagnostic, $1,500 to repair as needed, $200 to ship it back, and $300 to reassemble
  • Or you can just pay for a new frame. How would you like to proceed?

A local bike shop won't be able to properly diagnose the frame's safety. There are a couple of shops (IIRC one in California, one in the Northeast) that have a reputation for proper assessment via xray and sufficient expertise to actually repair it. You really want to take it to that level.

Edited to add: Fredo76's answer much better. Damaged carbon ain't safe. The insurance company's client hitting you cost them the price of a new frame. Maybe if enough insurance companies have to pay that bill they'll start contributing to bike awareness campaigns.
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Old 08-07-22, 04:58 PM
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I would not ride that fork or frame, period.

The costs to strip it down, pack it, ship it, ultrasound and/or dye penetration inspect, repair, ship, and reassembly would be quite expensive. The bike would NOT be good as new. And what about the loss of consortium? You need a better attorney.
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Old 08-07-22, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
That is my challenge that I have to solve somehow, in the circumstances that it was not my fault.
Okay, so is this inspection what the other party (or their insurance) is offering to right the situation? If so... no.
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Old 08-07-22, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I would not ride that fork or frame, period.

The costs to strip it down, pack it, ship it, ultrasound and/or dye penetration inspect, repair, ship, and reassembly would be quite expensive. The bike would NOT be good as new. And what about the loss of consortium? You need a better attorney.
Loss of consortium has to do with your relations with your spouse, that is, your sex life. Are you suggesting that that is affected by a loss of a bike?

Some would say that the loss of a bike might improve that.
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Old 08-07-22, 07:45 PM
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Given the amount of damage and where is occurred, I would just not even bother... going thru the x-ray exam process worth all that?
Either the car driver's insurance will pay up or you might need to lick your wounds and go shopping...
Rebuild with the remaining good stuff, or part out and get a complete machine...
You have a backup bike? Are you injured to the point of not being able to ride? Do you want to stop riding, for whatever period?
I'd be OK with being off the bike a WHOLE week... any longer and I would have to react...
Buy a bike, and present a bill to the Insurance company (+ med costs) - I'm sure it would be more acceptable for them than going thru litigation.
Ride On
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Old 08-07-22, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
I think a damage recovery with a reasonable safety assurance would mean a new bicycle, and nothing less.
At least new frame and new wheels; groupset may or may not be salvageable. Hard to tell given the lack of photos.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Loss of consortium has to do with your relations with your spouse, that is, your sex life. Are you suggesting that that is affected by a loss of a bike?

Some would say that the loss of a bike might improve that.
Oh sorry, I thought I was posting in weightweiners, they all sleep with their bikes. Apologies.
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Old 08-08-22, 08:50 AM
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The most rest for your mind should be a new bike. If you can't get that, then get what you can. I might want to insist on at least a new fork and the obviously damaged stuff.

The problem with any bike shop or place that doesn't do carbon fiber repair is that they are very unlikely to be able to do anything but give you their best guess based on visual clues. Other types of inspections can be quite costly. So their usefulness over just getting new is maybe questionable.

However if you are on the hook for all the repairs, then do what you can afford and simply keep a good eye on all the rest for cracks and stuff.
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Old 08-08-22, 09:16 AM
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If this is for an insurance claim, then I doubt many insurance adjusters would distinguish between a damaged bike and damaged components. The fact that the wheels are damaged, the shifter and other parts scratched up, and the shifter twisted on the bar would demonstrate that they should pay you for the value of your bike.

The downside is that most insurance will only pay fair market value and not replacement cost. I would start thinking about how you are going to convince the insurance company of the fair market value.

Once you settle up, you can decide to either buy a replacement or repair this one.
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Old 08-08-22, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
If this is for an insurance claim, then I doubt many insurance adjusters would distinguish between a damaged bike and damaged components. The fact that the wheels are damaged, the shifter and other parts scratched up, and the shifter twisted on the bar would demonstrate that they should pay you for the value of your bike.

The downside is that most insurance will only pay fair market value and not replacement cost. I would start thinking about how you are going to convince the insurance company of the fair market value.

Once you settle up, you can decide to either buy a replacement or repair this one.
Fair market value is what they'll use for a claim on your own collision insurance. I'm not sure that liability is so restricted. Hiring an attorney after my motorcycle crash was, in retrospect, smart. Mine was reasonable and soft-spoken, and really helped getting a fair settlement. I got some right of it away, and for the rest, we just waited until they wanted the case off their "to do" list, and met halfway. In my state, uninsured motorist coverages on several insured vehicles are combined, so if you have $25K coverage on three vehicles, you have $75K of coverage. Only an attorney would even be aware of that, for example.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for the answers, I really appreciate. It looks that almost everybody assesses that safety assurance (for frame and fork) can not be obtained. I assume that a bike repair shop will issue a similar statement.

Given that carbon does not bent to show its weaknesses after crash, I will need to fight with insurer to obtain a new (and somehow similar) replacement bike. In the meantime, despite the pain, I still contemplate the huge luck of not being crippled after such an impact.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
Fair market value is what they'll use for a claim on your own collision insurance. I'm not sure that liability is so restricted.

Just to highlight the challenge: what would be the market value in this case? "Second hand" price can solve it for cars. But a second hand similar bike can not be the solution here, because it is likely to hide a similar crash and there is no instance that can state that it is safe to be used...
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Old 08-08-22, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Just to highlight the challenge: what would be the market value in this case? "Second hand" price can solve it for cars. But a second hand similar bike can not be the solution here, because it is likely to hide a similar crash and there is no instance that can state that it is safe to be used...
The dilemma you will have is that there is no way you can prove that your bike was never crashed before and was actually safe to ride. You'll likely just have to go with Bicycle Blue Book and anything else that you can find showing what similar bikes are selling for.

I'd push for a new bike, but I doubt you get an insurer to go for that. If you don't take what they offer with some reasonable negotiation, they will just tell you to file suit. In most, if not all states, the fair market value of your bike is the measure of your recoverable damages.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
Fair market value is what they'll use for a claim on your own collision insurance. I'm not sure that liability is so restricted. Hiring an attorney after my motorcycle crash was, in retrospect, smart. Mine was reasonable and soft-spoken, and really helped getting a fair settlement. I got some right of it away, and for the rest, we just waited until they wanted the case off their "to do" list, and met halfway. In my state, uninsured motorist coverages on several insured vehicles are combined, so if you have $25K coverage on three vehicles, you have $75K of coverage. Only an attorney would even be aware of that, for example.
You have to look at how the state's law defines the measure of recovery with respect to actual damages. In virtually every, if not every, state, the measure of recovery on property damage due to negligent actions is the fair market value of the damaged goods or the reasonable cost of repair. Liability policies will only pay out the legally recoverable measure of damages. You won't ever get replacement cost out of an accident unless someone just wants to be extra generous (yeah right), and will have to figure in some depreciation due to the bike being used, just like you won't get a new car if someone runs into you.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post

Once you settle up, you can decide to either buy a replacement or repair this one.
Just use TheProsCloset for reference. Their used bikes are sometimes higher priced than new.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
The dilemma you will have is that there is no way you can prove that your bike was never crashed before and was actually safe to ride.
Sad... With such measure we should all be at least arrested at home, if not in jail, since we can't prove that we never killed a person...
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Old 08-08-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
You have to look at how the state's law defines the measure of recovery with respect to actual damages. In virtually every, if not every, state, the measure of recovery on property damage due to negligent actions is the fair market value of the damaged goods or the reasonable cost of repair..
They state "fair market value", but they don't define it. You can reasonably assess safety of a second hand car from a reputable shop and you are also obliged to certify its secure use with official bodies before driving it on public roads, but nobody takes responsibility to assess and certify safety in operation for second hand carbon bikes.
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Old 08-08-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
They state "fair market value", but they don't define it. You can reasonably assess safety of a second hand car from a reputable shop and you are also obliged to certify its secure use with official bodies before driving it on public roads, but nobody takes responsibility to assess and certify safety in operation for second hand carbon bikes.
"Fair market value" is a term with a pretty standard definition from state-to-state. Do a search of your state's appellate court opinions and you will find that it's definition is commonly accepted. That definition is uniformly used by real and personal property appraisers throughout the country as well. It is essentially, “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts."
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Old 08-08-22, 04:10 PM
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Don't y'all have some of those ambulance chasing attorney's that advertise on TV all the time? Consider consulting them. It's free usually.

For certain you also need to be talking to your insurance agent or agents to see what your various policies will do for you if needed because you can't squeeze the other persons insurance enough.

Check both your motor vehicle insurance and homeowners or other property insurance. Sometimes with some insurance companies, their policies also cover you when on your bike or perhaps for loss or damage to your bike.

But they are all different. So you have to ask your agent, not us.
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