Had a crash...

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Had a crash...

Postby acw » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:44 pm

Thanks to the 2 cyclists who stopped tonight after my sensational stack on Catherine St in Leichhardt. I'm ok but will be rather sore and stiff tomorrow. No thanks to the guy in the car behind me who swerved around my broken bike lying in the middle of the road and kept going.

I cames off after my handlebars snapped. Not a good feeling when you're at 30kph and your handlebars break. Over the front wheel I went taking most of the force with my right hand and face. Only minor damage to the stackhat but glad I was wearing it.

I'm going to take the bike back to the shop in Stanmore - they can keep it. I don't want it fixed or replaced. I'll be getting something more expensive - and hopefully more robust - next time.

Pictures here...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewwoods/3772031156/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewwoods/3772031108/
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by BNA » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 pm

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby kennyrocks » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Wow, looks like shear failure. Did the failure come out of the blue or with a sudden jolt or impact?

Hope you're alright mate, those wounds look nasty. Heal quickly.

What bike/stem? Out of interest, just because of you r comments at the end.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby xavdav » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:51 pm

A Cell is aCell :shock: It is the stem rather than the bar that snaped. Is it a cell specific stem? Looking at your hands, you were not wearing gloves. They are also designed to protect your hands in case of falls.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby ruscook » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:54 pm

Geez mate hope you heal quick! What brand head stem is that?

BTW if you face planted, go to your Dr. you could have damaged your neck (don't ask how I know!)... It would make sense to get it checked.

Good luck with the replacement parts/bike and injuries.

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby acw » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:56 pm

xavdav - i was wearing gloves actually. Thank god that I was otherwise i'd be in more of a sorry state. They saved my hands - but are now trashed as they have holes on the palms.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby Chaderotti » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:56 pm

Absolutely, don't bother getting it repaired just get your money back.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby Chaderotti » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:57 pm

acw wrote:xavdav - i was wearing gloves actually. Thank god that I was otherwise i'd be in more of a sorry state. They saved my hands - but are now trashed as they have holes on the palms.


Just like a helmet, who cares if its trashed from a crash.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby oldplodder » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:08 pm

You are so lucky with the injuries. I was hit by a car which turned left into me. My speed was 30kph. I flipped over in mid air and landed on my back. A few abrasions but the biggest hit was the back of my head. The helmet shattered and I was unconscious. That was in March of this year. I am still undergoing treatment for my loss of balance. Can't drive or ride yet. Mine happened so quickly I had no time to react except to swear profusely at the driver as I sailed past him! Then I came to in the ambulance. I spent a week in hospital then struggled to walk again. It has affected my job and my family. My better half has to drive me and I'm a bad back seat driver!!
I hope that your abrasions don't cause you too much grief. There is a spray on skin which is used on burns and available from chemists that may give you some relief. A warm bath with olive oil and even honey will also ease the pain while everything is healing.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby casual_cyclist » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:17 pm

Ouch! Bad news :(
I had a off a couple of weeks ago, so you have my sympathy. Heal well and look after yourself.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby fitz » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:44 pm

SSSSSSSSSSSSore. heal well. old friend of mine is deaf from a stem break back in the 80's... banged his head on the road...pre-helmet days.
On the bright side this gives a whole new meaning to STEM CELL :oops:
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby wombatK » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:54 pm

xavdav wrote:A Cell is aCell :shock: It is the stem rather than the bar that snaped. Is it a cell specific stem? Looking at your hands, you were not wearing gloves. They are also designed to protect your hands in case of falls.

Looks like a Cell Blade - but the stem is different brand to my Cell Blade. The stem on mine is a Promax, looks longer, and after 2 years and 14000 km still looks okay.

The failure you've had is alarming. You were lucky to escape with so little injury. Whether it's a one-off manufacturing defect, or a fault with a batch of stems etc.,. you'll never know. But you do know the stem supplied on your bike was clearly not up to scratch if it can fail like this.

If the bike is still under warranty, you would have a clear cut case against Cell. You might have a case even if the warranty period has expired - goods have to be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose (ie. safe to use). I think that has to remain the case beyond the warranty period. You may well have rights to claim damages from Cell if there are any complications to your injuries.

Talk to fair trading to clarify your rights before going back to Cell, and make sure you talk to the manager (John C), as other forum posts suggests some of Cell's staff can be unhelpful in matters like this.

But get well first, of course. Hope nothing gets worse in the next day or two.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:01 am

Bloody hell.

Heal quick ACW, good luck with Cell.

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby danielt » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:37 am

Man! Hope you get well soon. Agree with wombatk, you got a case against Cell regardless how they see it!!
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby rustguard » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:50 am

looks like a fair bit of meat on that stem that sheared, I want to know the brand too. Any sign that it started to crack before it sheared off?
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby Max » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:17 am

Holy crap! Glad you're OK. I know it's the stem that broke, not the bar.. but your bike isn't one affected by their handlebar recall is it?

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:00 am

I don't know that I would be giving that back to the shop...if it is a reasonably new bike I would be talking to someone....don't hand over your evidence!.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:08 am

Hope you are a bit settled now and glad it wasn't worse.

As we all know, this type of fracture shouldn't happen under normal circumstances, regardless of whether it is the cheapest or most expensive stem. I would seriously consider a report to the ACCC (Australian Consumer & Competition Commission) - these are the guys who put out recall and defect notices. I personally could contact them first to discuss the appraoch. The reason for contacting them is that the parts can be scrutinised and the same accident avoided if infact the stem has a inacceptable failure rate. Please don't get me wrong, this is completely independent of returning the bike and is not intended to pressure the retailer - rather is for preventing someone else having the same accident.

I would be firm when taking the bike back to the shop however remember that the sales person themself is not the cause of the problem. It will be best if you can avoid anger and my approach would be to take in the bike, a photo of your injuries (and maybe even a printed out version of what happened) and ask to leave it all there for them to decide on what to do. They will usually need to check with their superiors or maybe even discuss this with the manufacturers. Give them a fair chance to come up with a satisfactory solution - I would expect a typical bike shop to understand the issue and work with you rather than against you. In the case that this approach doesn't get you far, then you can get tough.

My tip is document everything including times you have visited or called and with whom you have spoken too plus if any one makes a promise, get them to confirm it in writing. In my view, warrantee doesn't play a role - the product should not fail under normal use in a way that causes injury or worse.

Keep us posted on this.

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby JV911 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:01 am



holy crap!

what brand stem is that??

hope you're ok this morning
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby wombatK » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:38 am

Max wrote:Holy crap! Glad you're OK. I know it's the stem that broke, not the bar.. but your bike isn't one affected by their handlebar recall is it?

Max

acw got his Blade in Feb 08 - see viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13185&start=12 - and it looks like the recall was for a fault with the handlebars, rather than the stem.

Cell's warranty (for my July 07 Blade) is a little unclear about what has 5 year warranty and what has 12 month - "front forks and parts are covered by 1 year warranty" - stem probably should not be regarded as "front fork and parts".

Agree with TLL - don't hand over the evidence - and the suggestion that you contact ACC is good too.

Given how close in age my Blade is to yours Andrew, I'm very keen to learn what brand the stem was and whether there was any hint of trouble coming ! I've been over the handlebars once on my Blade - not at all keen to do it again.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby im_no_pro » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:32 am

+1 to Wombatk and AUbicycles comments. Both have taken the emotion out of it and have suggested a factual approach. Much more appropriate than some of the other comments here. Wombatk's comments in regard to items being of merchantable quality and so on are 100% correct.

Fixed warranty periods dont hold much weight with the ACCC, there is no black and white period. The product needs to function for a reasonable life expectancy. Example being, if you bought a $500 premium brand commercial quality power drill and they only offered a 3 month warranty and your broke after 7 months, you would have a case for replacement/repair as a reasonable life expectancy would be more than 7 months. On the flip side, if you bought a $30 domestic quality drill (for anyone who buys cheap power and/or air tools as a tradie, read the fine print it often says domestic use only) and used it every day as a tradesman for 7 months (not used for intended purpose, is a domestic not commercial grade product) and it broke after a 6 month warranty period your case might not be so solid.

Evidence is key, make sure you have plenty of photos, written records etc as AUbicycles suggested. Ensure you communicate clearly with Cell at all times so they dont feel like you are shafting them by going straight to ACCC/consumer affairs. Give them a chance as a reputable retailer to address your concerns and work with you to achieve an outcome.

Disclaimer: I have no association with Cell other than having bought a bottle of lube from them once. I do however work for a large retailer alongside our compliance department. I have also completed several training courses with regards to ACCC compliance
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby m@ » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:01 pm

Glad you weren't injured any worse - could've been very nasty indeed had the driver been tailgating you! :shock:
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby bowie » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:16 pm

Just get your money back.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:25 pm

Sorry to hear about your OTB, Andrew. Glad you're relatively unscathed and hopefully you'll be OK to rock and roll in no more than a couple of weeks. Danged scary, though. :shock:

+1 for not surrendering the evidence, and involving ACCC in parallel with your discussions with Cell. I'd language it (and treat it) in terms of "keeping ACCC in the loop" because of your "concerns about the wider safety implications of the failure". I'd also go straight to the shop owner instead of dealing with minions. If he/they get narky I'd be interested to hear.

As to the type of failure, I can't see the photos from my present location but if any of the fracture surfaces are shiny then there's been a fatigue failure. The shiny bits are where there was fatigue cracking prior to the final failure, which is represented by the rough, crystalline surfaces where the metal has parted. I'd expect there to be a mixture of both. If there are no shiny bits it indicates a sudden catastrophic failure ... which would prompt questions of 'what did you hit? :shock: ', and which would probably be reasonable in the circumstances.

Hope this is gives you some clues as to what the guys at Cell will be looking at. It would be worth googling "fatigue failure in metals" to educate yourself further. Keep us posted on your progress.

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Re: Had a crash...

Postby goneriding » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:03 pm

Dude, that's freaky. I had the steering tube on my Cell Blade shear through above the forks on the way home last night. Luckily for me the steering started going wonky before the failure so I was able to stop.

Mine is the 2007 model with the CF forks.

I rang Cell this morning and they are keen to sort the problem out. Give them a call.
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Re: Had a crash...

Postby grosry » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:21 pm

thats crazy and unlucky mate... hope you heal up soon :wink:
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