Normally I get to commute both ways to work 5 days a week. I say "get to" because I love my morning and evening bike commutes. They usually help me feel truly awake and energized in the morning, or wind down from a hectic day at work in the evening. So I was bummed last week when I didn't get to ride for a couple days, for a variety of reasons. When I finally got back on the bike, I felt the stress of my busy workweek start to vanish. I was feeling more relaxed and at ease with each pedal stroke when all of a sudden I was thrown violently forward on one side. I looked down to find my bars completely snapped in half!!! So much for a relaxing ride.
I was able to gingerly coax myself a few more blocks on the sidewalk to the bar I was meeting some friends at for happy hour, but only because I'm too damn stubborn to walk my bike. The trickiest thing was holding the left side of the bars, so that they didn't swing down and get caught in my spokes.
Grace showed up at happy hour with our car (which we cleverly always keep a bike rack in the trunk of), and she drove me and my busted-ass bike home, where I took some shots of the wounds:
These bars happened to be on my beater/commuter singlespeed so it's not like it's any great loss, but it's still a little unnerving the way they just failed like that. I hadn't noticed any cracks or other obvious signs on wear on them. Granted, I do torque on these bars quite a bit since it's a singlespeed, and I live in a hilly place, but STILL.
I'm just glad that this happened while I was on a bike path, going about 10mph, rather than while I was bombing down a huge hill (of which there are many in Seattle). Looks like I'll have to add "check aluminum bars for signs of impending catastrophic failure" to my mental pre-ride checklist.
Three cheers for metal fatigue!
Stock NFE FAQ
2 months ago