On 21 February a young Chinese student was cycling to his first day of school for the year. It is a day students look forward to as one of hope, learning and new experiences.
An unfortunate incident of fate caused the bicycle’s seat to bend, exposing a steel rod which penetrated the boy’s buttocks. The rod was unable to be removed.
Firefighters were called to the scene and used the jaws of life to detach much of the bicycle from the boy’s rear end.
He was then taken to hospital by ambulance with a large portion of the bike still emerging from his bottom. Medical staff were able to remove the rod and the boy was released without serious injury.
I'm glad I can't afford a carbon fiber bike, that happens all the time on them. http://www.bustedcarbon.com/ contains a selection of photos of bikes which (as carbon fiber is wont to do) failed catastrophically.
I had no idea that happened.
I thought carbon fiber was supposed to be strong.
It's got a very high strength to weight ratio (much better than metal bikes) however if you (say) over-tighten the bolt holding the seat post in, the post won't buckle like it would if it was made out of aluminium, it'll simply crack. Or if you're unlucky, it'll crack invisibly and then shatter later on.
Similarly, if you go over a bump too hard (and on road bikes, there's no suspension and the tyres are 100+ PSI compared to 30-odds for mountain bikes) you run the risk that the front forks or the wheel itself will simply fail.
In http://www.ciclo-news.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/cavendish-223x300.jpg apparently someone clipped his front wheel and it simply folded in half.
Aah right, thanks for explaining that!
So how do they connect the various bits of F1 cars without the same things happening?
There's always a problem when you're connecting dissimilar materials. On fancy bikes you're supposed to use a torque wrench to make sure you don't over/under tighten things.
I suspect for F1 they do something similar and have machined everything to insanely tight tolerances. The engines are so carefully made that they actually have to pre-heat them to get the cylinders in as you need to take into account the thermal expansion of all the parts. Also, the parts themselves (whilst expensive) aren't as bowel-looseningly expensive as the initial design of the thing.
Many thanks for going to the time to explain that.
Going to the time?
I meant going to the trouble.
Or spending the time. :)
Were the pictures added later or something? The picture that go with the story show a cheap steel or aluminum bike (a carbon frame wouldn't pinch off cleanly like that when cut with a hydraulic cutter) with the issue being the plastic seat detached from steel seat rails (one of which end up in the poor guys butt). Yes, carbon can fail just like other materials, just no carbon on a ~$300 bike.
Anonymous: My implication wasn't that that was a carbon fiber bike, but rather that arse impalement happens on them due to their unexpected breakage.
As a cyclist, this reminds me of one occasion when my bike came to a sudden, unexpected halt & I received a very nasty injury to my butt; only a few cm from the perinium, it would have put a man in hospital. I didn't realise how bad it was until I got up and carried on into work. Couldn't sit down or stand for a few days. Bruising (black) went around the thigh & up to the fundementals. These pics bring tears to my eyes. Poor kid.
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