Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bent Fork

or The Bike that Doesn`t Ride Straight

About a month ago, I was hit by a car while riding the Yuba Mundo.  The car pulled out of a side-street suddenly and hit the right front of the bike at a 90 degree angle. To make a long story short, I wasn`t hurt, but the bike`s wheels were both bent and obviously totalled.  The police came, the driver apologized profusely and told me her insurance company would pay for any damage. 

I carried the heavy beast about a kilometer to a shop I had done business with in the past, and the following day the shop assured me that there was no frame damage and the bike required only two new wheels and a set of cranks.

Well, I picked up the bike today and was very impressed with the nice new Salsa Gordo rims and Shimano cranks, but after a couple minutes of riding it became apparent that something was very wrong. The bike which used to be very stable (I used to be able to ride this bike with no hands!), now wanted to pull off sharply to the left if I didn`t hold on firmly with both hands.

When I got home, I stood looking straight down at the fork and I could see that it was bent - only 2 -3mm perhaps, but definitely enough to effect the ride. What`s more, I noticed it is even worse with weight on the back, essentially making this cargo bike useless. Now, I have to bring it back to the shop and hopefully won`t have to fight the driver`s insurance company. What a PITA!


  1. Sorry to hear about the accident but glad you are ok. You may need a new fork altogether. Not sure if Yuba sells just the fork...maybe they can order one for you. You may also be able to replace it with another fork granting it is hefty enough to carry the weight.

  2. Yeah Joe, pretty sure I need a new fork. Already, sent an email to Yuba but I doubt if they will sell the fork separately.

    I think the moral of the story is, if your bike is hit by a car, it`s probably best to assume that the bike is totalled. Damage to the frame is difficult to detect.

    The driver`s insurance has already shelled out about 50,000 yen(about $600USD) and now I need a new fork. Plus no guarantee that`ll be the end of it.

    Also, I read about your recent close call. That was a lot like how I was hit - a driver pulling out of narrow street, obviously in a hurry, scanning for traffic, but oblivious to all else. Crash.