Bicycle Accident Attorney and Avid Cyclist Warns Of An Insidious Danger Of Carbon Fiber Forks and Frames On Bikes
As an avid cyclist for over five decades, as well as an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Pennsylvania, I wish to alert my readers of potential dangers inherent in the construction of carbon fiber bicycles.
Twenty some years ago, I had a bike custom made and fitted for me made of extremely lightweight carbon fiber and composite fiber material. Today the price of carbon fiber and composite bikes has dropped drastically and the technology has advanced and many aluminum frame bikes are manufactured with carbon fiber forks which hold the front wheel and absorb most of the weight of the rider and force of pressure from the road.
While I was riding my bike at a low speed last week, one of my carbon fiber forks broke apart causing me to take a fall, which further fractured the stem of the bike. Luckily, I avoided serious injury. However many others are not as lucky. Many carbon fiber bicycle forks and frames are manufactured in China with poor quality control standards and specs. Poor manufacturing conditions can create dangerous and latent defects in the bicycle frame or fork. While I admit that carbon fiber offers a light and more pleasant ride, it is important to inspect a carbon fiber frame and fork regularly to evaluate for potentially dangerous structural defects. Inspect for scratches, chips, or gashes in the material.
If it looks like there is concern at least with the outer lay of carbon, make sure to take it to a highly qualified bike shop to have the situation checked out carefully by a certified mechanic. There is no such thing as a self-healing carbon fiber frame and the most dangerous place to have an insult to the carbon fiber is the seam where tubes are bonded together. As chance favors the prepared mind, it is best to take a questionable situation to a certified inspector/mechanic with great familiarity repairing and manufacturing carbon bike frames or forks. Most the higher end bicycle manufacturers take safety pretty seriously and certify mechanics to perform carbon fiber inspections.
If you or a loved one has sustained a bicycle injury due to the negligence of another component failure or due to a defectively designed or manufactured bicycle, give me a call and I will always offer you a free, no obligation consultation and put my years of experience to work in order to properly protect your legal interests.