Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Is it fatal?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    548

    Is it fatal?

    Is It Fatal?


    Three weeks ago I suffered a major crash. I was riding on a single track on a hillside. It was steep up on the left and steep down on the right. I must have gone a bit far to the right.


    From what I recall, my bike and I parted company very quickly, perhaps after only 2 or 3 feet. I then slid approximately 100 feet. My bike slid quite a bit further. I was airlifted to the hospital. Someone managed to get my bike home for me.


    My bike suffered two pinch flats. The saddle was bent. The handlebars were bent. One of the shifters may have also been damaged. Both wheels were tweaked.


    There are no dings or dents in the frame or fork. I suspect that this is largely due to the fact that I was not aboard it for most of its ride down the hillside.


    The bike is a 2012, Cannondale Trail SL-4. It is a trail bike, not a downhill or freeride machine meant to take huge abuse.


    Now the big question: what is the chance the frame has been compromised and must be replaced?

    thanks for any insight.

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,315

    Is it fatal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    Is It Fatal?


    Three weeks ago I suffered a major crash. I was riding on a single track on a hillside. It was steep up on the left and steep down on the right. I must have gone a bit far to the right.


    From what I recall, my bike and I parted company very quickly, perhaps after only 2 or 3 feet. I then slid approximately 100 feet. My bike slid quite a bit further. I was airlifted to the hospital. Someone managed to get my bike home for me.


    My bike suffered two pinch flats. The saddle was bent. The handlebars were bent. One of the shifters may have also been damaged. Both wheels were tweaked.


    There are no dings or dents in the frame or fork. I suspect that this is largely due to the fact that I was not aboard it for most of its ride down the hillside.


    The bike is a 2012, Cannondale Trail SL-4. It is a trail bike, not a downhill or freeride machine meant to take huge abuse.


    Now the big question: what is the chance the frame has been compromised and must be replaced?

    thanks for any insight.
    Without dents or other obvious damage the frame is likely just fine. I would inspect it carefully during a full overhaul/rebuild of the bike.

    How are you doing?
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    548
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Without dents or other obvious damage the frame is likely just fine. I would inspect it carefully during a full overhaul/rebuild of the bike.

    How are you doing?
    Thanks for your thoughts on the frame.

    There is no telling when I can ride. I'm hoping no longer than another month or two. No broken bones, but there is a lot of tissue damage. I'm going to have a show-stopper of a scar. There is a big "void" in the flesh that has to be filled with gauze. It gets replaced twice a day. There is minimal pain due to nerve damage.

    BTW, my hydration pack probably saved my life. It was between me and the ground for most of the slide down the hill. It saved my back and helped keep my head off the ground.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mark in Baltimore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    153
    Wow. I don't have any insight to offer on your bike, but it sounds like you had a scary crash where you could have been easily paralyzed or killed. Best of luck with a full recovery.
    '12 S-Works Stumpjumper carbon HT
    '13 Specialized Carve Comp
    '94 S-Works M2

  5. #5
    passed out in your garden
    Reputation: cmg71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    619

    Re: Is it fatal?

    Whoa........l thought my crash was bad.......


    About the bike, l would take it an LBS to check it properly.
    2012 Trek Rumblefish Elite
    Frankenbike (Pump/BMX track bike)
    1993 Colnago Elegant

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    548
    LBS is unsure about the frame. They say there is nothing obvious, but they can't be sure there is nothing latent.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    LBS is unsure about the frame. They say there is nothing obvious, but they can't be sure there is nothing latent.
    Smart answer, and probably the best you will get. No one will say "this is totally fine" after a crash like that. If they did, the lawyers would get after them!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    548
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyeM View Post
    Smart answer, and probably the best you will get. No one will say "this is totally fine" after a crash like that. If they did, the lawyers would get after them!
    I know that there is no sure answer. I just need a best guess and need it subject to the understanding that it is only a guess.

    I need a best guess on whether I can fix and ride my bike or must replace it. I'd really rather not have to replace it, but will do so if a best guess by experienced bikers says that I could find myself getting hurt in a frame failure. Note: I do not do "jumps" or drop-offs bigger that 1 foot.

  9. #9
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Good chance that your frame and possibly fork are ok, because as you said in your op, other parts took the beating. Unless the bike hit the big rock at the frame or fork on the way down, the components that stuck out would get all the abuse, handlebar/grips, cranks, brakes, shifter, wheels/tires, and saddle.

    I'd do a detail inspection, just look and feel every inch of the frame, check the alignment. The frame may be free of cracks but out of alignment.

    Personally, I would not hesitate to ditch the bike at the last possible moment by throwing it to the grown if it would help me recover my balance or the ability to run off the momentum. It's much cheaper to replace any components on the bike than to fix the rider

Similar Threads

  1. Questions about the fatal accident at McDowell
    By The Prodigal Son in forum Arizona
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 02-20-2012, 06:18 AM
  2. Injury and fatal accident study by ADOT
    By Birdss in forum Arizona
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-24-2011, 08:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •