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I had an interesting ride to work the other morning. . . my handlebars sheered off whilst I was doing 20MPH!

 This sounds dramatic but in reality it was no where near as bad as it could have been. 

I was holding the hoods of the drop bars and happily riding along through the Norfolk lanes I use for my cumute to work most days when suddenly one of tri-bars began to move. At first I thought this was just some bolts coming loose, but having stopped to inspect and correct the problem it was evident there was a little more to it. The whole right side of the drop bar that the triathlon extensions were mounted on had basically snapped.

Cue a very fun 4 miles riding one handed over speed bumps, train lines, roadkill etc. I made into to work in one piece but then thought to myself what would have happened if I hadn’t realised what the problem was and got out the saddle? It could have been pretty nasty and maybe even been the end of my bid to retain the World trithlon and duathlon championships in September. My work collegues just thought it was funny!

I can’t complain, the bars were made for me 12 years ago by my old tandem partner who also made parts for the Olympic rowing boats, so they have done pretty well to last this long.

So a lucky escape, but it got me thinking about all the other things I have managed to break over the years including: –

  • Chainring bolts – too many to count.
  • 2 Chain rings  – crumpled up into a little pieces of scrap metal!
  • 3 snapped chains
  • Seat post bolts – rather a lot of these i’m afraid.
  • 1 seat post – this had to be hacksawed out of a frame unfortunately.
  • Various training wheels – broken spokes, stripped hub threads etc. etc.
  • 2 carbon fibre tri-spoke wheels – the last one I managed to relieve the wheel of it’s aluminium rim!
  • 1 shredded carbon cycling shoe – don’t ask.
  • 1 tandem frame – snapped it in half!

There’s probably more, but I’m sure those who I race and train with will remind me of them in due course. In fact I have probably broken enought bike wheels, frame and other parts to make some sort of modern art sculpture.

Now I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here and think I just go round breaking bicycle equipment! I like to think that lasting a year or more in my care is a kind of industry standard for strength and durability. My equipment really takes a pounding, especially on the tandem!

Hopefully I can get through to the end of this season without any more incidents like the other morning!!


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