Don't you hate it when your bike develops a creak ?

Mine did this week, somewhere on the left hand side of the handlebars. It stopped if I took my hand off the brake hoods, so I figured it was there. Nothing serious, I thought I'd spend a few minutes this weekend to check it out.

So Thursday night I was riding home from work....creak....creak... getting pretty annoying but whatever. I hit Enmore road, and as I accelerated up the hill past a car I felt the bars move a bit.

"Ahhh, the stem needs tightening, no problems".

I kept riding, crossing Stanmore Rd and down the hill, "creak....creak".

Some parked cars on the left, so I move over to the center lane, I'm going to turn right into Addison in a moment anyway.


I cross the Llewellyn st intersection and brake as there are some stopped cars in front.


From there, what I believe happened it this.

The left side of my bars snapped off at the stem, causing me to put all my weight on the right hand bar, which of course caused me to swerve right, lock up somehow (pedal strike maybe) and go down HARD, landing on my right side, slamming my elbow, shoulder and head down on the pavement, and sliding and rolling on my shoulder. I ended up sitting on the wrong side of Enmore road, in front of a car waiting to turn right.

As the waiting cars started to beep their horns (yeah, fuck you VERY Much) I stopped up and tried to pick my bike a detatched handlebar and a right arm that couldn't lift. Ouch.

I tried again with my other hand, and a different part of the bike and got myself to the footpath. A couple of people walking, and a guy on a motorbike stopped to see if I was ok and to find out where the driver was, and being somewhat surprised that it was a solo effort.

I sat there for a few minutes, assuring people I was fine while bleeding from both elbows, knees, shoulder and hands trying to figure out what happened before starting to walk home, I ended up calling Sam who bundled the kids in the car and came to pick me up.


I got home, had a very painful shower and decided to get to the doctor. My shoulder and ribs were hurting a lot, and I really couldn't move my right arm much. He checked me out and said he didn't think anything was broken, but gave me an xray referral and a tetanus shot.

I'm slowly starting to regain movement and strength in my arm, so I think I'll be OK, but damn it hurt.

Moral of the the words of Weiyun on Twitter "respect the creak".

Here are some pics.

The culprit.

Wear a helmet kids!!!! I can feel the bruise on the side of my head, and I suspect my face would have felt this.

Views: 395

Comment by Nic on September 6, 2009 at 11:33am
Damian, sorry to hear.

Got to ask though, how many days are you going to be off the bike?
Comment by DamianM on September 6, 2009 at 12:00pm
don't know, my initial estimate was a month but that gets shorter every day. Maybe a week ? We'll have to see.
Comment by Susan on September 6, 2009 at 12:20pm
can we please submit your bike to busted carbon for non carbon Wednesday? you could be famous on the internets?

hope your getting better and can be back on the bike soon!
Comment by Terry on September 6, 2009 at 2:19pm
Glad to hear that you are OK.
Lucky that the car was waiting to turn right or things may have ended differently.
Comment by Doddsy on September 6, 2009 at 4:52pm

Gotta spend the extra pennies on some quality bars and stems dontcha?

Can't believe the low range stuff that most bike shops sell (and that gets sold on brand new bikes).
Bloody dangerous.
Comment by cafard à deux roues on September 6, 2009 at 7:38pm
Yow, hope you're feeling better and back on the bike soon. Glad it wasn't any worse. This brings back memories; almost identical thing happened to me a few years back at the intersection of George & King Sts, CBD. I started my crossing after most of the peds were mostly across, and the right half of the bars snapped off at the stem when I was halfway over. I was on the deck before I knew what was going on. It was damn lucky on that occasion that I was crossing illegally (while cars were stopped in both directions). A couple of people stopped the traffic and helped me to the kerb - though I was not badly hurt, just shaken up mentally.

Your pic shows no evidence of corrosion - and there was none in my case either. Though I *had* been doing a lot of kerb jumping in the previous month. Metal fatigue is a nasty thing.
Comment by DamianM on September 6, 2009 at 8:16pm
Good point Adrian, the main thing that I can think of is that I've been commuting on this bike, and it gets parked every day in the carpark of a building in the cbd. The exit ramp is pretty steep, so every night the bars face an overweight me, plus loaded bag, standing up with full force down on the bars. I can see how that would cause some metal fatigue.

Doddsy, yep I'm going to buy something solid to replace them, possibly steel.

Terry, yep that scares the crap out of me, I'm feeling VERY lucky.
Comment by Dan on September 6, 2009 at 8:27pm
Ouch ouch ouch. One of those freak accidents; glad it didn't lead to you being thrown under a car.

Glad you are OK. Get well soon. And get riding again sooner...

When I banged my shoulder and ribs in a stack, it made laughing very painful. For some reason that make Mrs Dan into an ace comedienne for the duration of my recovery. She could have been on stage; she was sooooo funny. Everything she said was a comedic gem. Once I'd got better, the jokes dried up.

Are they zoom bars? I remember seeing somewhere a recall notice for some zoom models recently.
Comment by baa baa on September 6, 2009 at 9:55pm
Sounds nasty, looks nasty.
Hope the bruises turn dark and deep green so you can get some good mileage out of the story.
I agree with Doddys, should be some duty of care in cycling and I would be sending at least the photos to Masi or Pacific Brands (the importer??, maybe??)
I had the offer, and took it up to have my flash orange Salsa (cr moly) stem recalled because two or three people had them fail, so Masi should have the chance to log a product failure.

I feel safer with T6 graded aluminum stuff as it tends to bend not snap….
Comment by DamianM on September 6, 2009 at 10:16pm
I've been in contact with the brand manager at Masi actually, He's never seen anything like it ever and was very freaked out.
I'm not going to pursue it, it's well over a year old, I've crashed it before, I've also adjusted the bars myself so couldn't even point at the shop for overtightening.

I'm calling it a freak occurrence and moving on.

I will buy some nice solid bars to replace this though, open to recommendations.


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