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Old August 5th 19, 09:03 PM posted to
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Default Handebar broke off - nasty cash

On Monday, August 5, 2019 at 9:54:04 AM UTC-7, Joerg wrote:
On 2019-08-04 22:37, James wrote:
On 4/8/19 4:31 am, Joerg wrote:

Had a nasty crash about three months ago. Long story short my
handlebar broke without any warning. There was no cause such as a
speed bump or pothole.

The handlebar was not cheap, an ITM Mondial. It seems they botched the
design in that they used a non-coated steel stiffener tube in the
center. This corroded the aluminum from the inside out, interestingly
in riding direction. Possibly because that's where the headwinds are
hitting it and maybe cause condensation:

Luckily it didn't happen 1/2h earlier where I was coming down a steep
hill at more than 40mph, with a rocky drainage ditch. It happened at a
leisurely travel speed of 15-17mph. Thanks to the fact that it was a
very wide bike lane I had space to roll and at the end I skidded to
avoid traffic. In the lane I'd have crashed into the path of vehicles.
About the only body part that wasn't hurt was my head, thanks to the

I am back in the saddle. I no longer trust aluminum and certainly not
any kind of plastic stuff so the road bike now has a flat steel MTB
handlebar. Put MeetLocks ergo handles on it, rides nicely.

As a side note I cycled by the crash site a week ago. I still saw the
scrape marks on the asphalt and debris from my bike which I cleaned
up. Interestingly all the blood was gone. Maybe a wild animal has
licked it clean.

Glad you're ok, Joerg.

I broke a steel steerer once, and in a separate incident a steel BB
axle. Both broke without any warning. Thankfully I didn't crash either
time. Oh, I've also broken a few steel axles and my wife broke a steel
bicycle chain.

My dad once broke a steel frame, bike separated into halves. That
resulted in some road rash.

Having also broken aluminium handle bars, a rim or two and a pedal, that
I remember, I'm at a loss to know what is safe to use.

I think steel is still the safest bet. There is a reason why most
hardcore bikepackers will not use anything other than a steel frame.

Though I've heard lots of stories about broken carbon fibre reinforced
plastic parts, I haven't broken any of that stuff yet personally. I
guess that's why I happily go on using my CFRP forks, cranks, brake
levers, and so on.

One day though, there won't be a material left to make safe bicycles from.

Steel mostly fails in a slower fashion, not in a sudden snap. You feel
things becoming mushy, like after a spoke broke.

Yes and no. I've broken steel pedal spindles catastrophically. Spokes go all at once. Steel fasteners snap -- axles, too. Lots of steel things will snap, including bars after enough high energy fatigue cycles.

-- Jay Beattie.


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