Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Close Call

I'm contemplating racing a duathlon this weekend although my allergies have been on fire the past few days leaving me a bit drained. I finally finished building up my race bike and thought I should get out on it at least once or twice before racing on it. Today was a gorgeous weather day and I had a small window to sneak in a ride, so I took advantage and headed out. Up untill now, I had only been on my road bike outdoors. Indoors on the computrainer, I ride in a time trial position. I find the combination of switching back and forth between positions suits me well. Plus, when I do get on my tri bike outside, it feels fast! I headed out over some rolling hills at first and the bike felt great - my position felt comfortable, yet powerful and I felt very aerodynamic. About 20 minutes into the ride, there is a steep, short hill that I usually jump out of the saddle and jam up over. I wanted to see how solid this bike was with some serious torque on it, so I hit the base of the hill with some speed and as my right pedal came over the top and was in the 1 o'clock position, I jumped out of the saddle and applied a great deal of force to the pedals. Immediately, I heard a big CRACK as my right leg jerked downward and I slammed my inner thigh into the top tube. Two inches to the left and I would have been castrated. My bike dropped quickly to the left and I swerved and leaned to right myself. I still don't know how I stayed up. The axle on my pedal snapped in half, as you can easily see in the above pictures. The return trip turned out to be a killer left leg workout! Next time you get a chance, try riding uphills with one leg unclipped and you'll see the challenge here.
Thankfully, I came out unscathed. I just had a conversation with a buddy of mine this weekend - he was checking out my bike and asked why I was using the heavier chromoly pedal set instead of their light weight titanium one. I mentioned that I don't trust some light weight products. He came back with the fact that their is no rider weight limit on their titanium ones, to which I replied that I didn't care, I still didn't want to take the chance. Three days later, my steel pedal snapped! In all fairness to the pedal company, I have been riding these pedals for three seasons now and I am pretty abusive on my equipment. Recently I gave up on carbon seatposts and stems, just not wanting to take a chance of these two components breaking. When they go, the accident caused is usually quite severe. The funny thing is that you can get stronger aluminum stems and seatposts that are actually lighter than carbon - but carbon is "sexy", carbon sells. I will definitely analyze my equipment more thoroughly and more often from now on.


Anonymous said...

hodska. badger here. glad you are ok.

i thought for sure you would of cut your leg on "big" 46 chainring you have.

carbon vs ti vs steel....its a tough call on components. i agree that reliability is the most important aspect, but its hard to tell which composite is more reliable for a given function. there are 100's of studies that show that some have fatigue life and others dont. you really have to research which companies have the proper testing facilities.

most importantly.. inspect your equipment often.

i have a friend that we say the only tool in his tool box is a cell phone..... pretty funny.

Eric said...

Badger, you've been riding forever - have you ever heard of this happening with this pedal company? I've been using them for years.

Anonymous said...

mr speedo. badger here. my first though on the steel spindle was that it was already cracked. (hence, inspect your equipment) steel is not known for catostrophic failure. after 3 years of lubes, cleaners and water.... who knows what happens to our delicate equipment. A simple google of "look keo pedal failure" got me 247 hits.

i have heard that simple green cleaner on shimano chains makes them break/crack.

maybe david millar should of asked his mechanic what they are using to clean his chain. (go to youtube and search david millar giro)

Eric said...

Saw DM toss his Felt at the Giro in frusttration.

The thing is Mr. Cat 3, I do inspect my gear pretty good. If you look at where this failed, it would have been very hard to notice anything beforehand.

Then again, you wouldn't have any idea on generating power to actually cause something to break, or even generating power for that matter!

Anonymous said...

mr. Kleine Hoden.

Certainly not calling you out for not inspecting your equipment. too many times i have heard people have creaks in their bikes that go uninspected until the failure.
"oh!... i was wondering what that was"

what is your MP20?

-Kategorie ein der Dachs

triguyjt said...

eric....glad you came out of the "possibly catastrophic" incident un-scathed..

Eric said...

Thanks JT. Still trying to figure out how I didn't crash.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I had the left crank arm snap off the bottom bracket spindle as I was standing to accelerate up a small hill. Left leg went straight to the pavement at 20 mph. I went down hard and received some good road rash, a small crack in my shoulder and a smashed helment. I had absolutely no idea at the time how I got to the pavement - I even thought lighting strike(which it wasn't). Inspect often and replace questionable gear is the best advise. Glad you survived a close call.

alan said...

Wish I had your balance, EH ! Having recently face-planted after getting that same type of wobble going, what you did isn't easy...