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.