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cyclist dies from faulty bike part

ben-----ben----- Posts: 573
edited June 2016 in Commuting chat
This is shocking, interesting and very sad:

Faulty component in Jonathan Weatherley’s bicycle caused death of top Sudbury cyclist, inquest hears ... _1_4559423
More than 1,700 bicycles with a potentially dangerous flaw are still in the public domain, a coroner has been told, after the death of a top Sudbury cyclist.

Architect Jonathan Weatherley, 43, from Sible Hedingham, died from multiple injuries after a crash that has been directly attributed to a faulty component – supplied by UK firm Upgrade Bikes – in his Kinesis Racelight TK2 bicycle, his inquest heard yesterday.

I remember that accident being reported on that paper's website at the time, and initially the article said something like he fell off his bike and was found dead; that was the only reason, falling off. It just didn't seem right to me, worried me, because I thought you generally don't die from falling off a bike. And having Google street viewed where it happened, it was a very narrow lane, just wide enough for a car, with high banked sides (so impossible for bike or car to veer off road out of the way of each other should the need arise) and a bit twisty-ish so possible blind corners. I couldn't help but be suspicious and imagined it must have involved another vehicle. It niggled at me enough to post a link to it, on here a few days after, with something along the lines of, "people don't generally die from falling off bikes for goodness sake". But then, straight after posting, I noticed EADT had changed the wording of the article to say he'd had a heart attack, so I deleted my post quick sharp because it made me look like an idiot. I know it was the same accident because I've still got a bunch of Lorkin’s Lane browser history entries, from when I was googling it. I had just cycled not too far from there so that was another reason it stuck out to me at the time.

I'm really glad it was looked into. The paper entirely failed to report that was possible or happening. I'm glad they've got to the bottom of it, because the heart attack reason didn't strike me as particularly plausible either because it also mentioned, the original article, that he was a frequent or serious cyclist.

I do still find it astounding and shocking that it's possible to die from falling off a bike though (unless it involves other vehicles). Also wouldn't be that surprising if flying down the side of a mountain at god knows what mph, but normal roads at not amazing speeds (he was going 20mph). Shocking. And very sad.


  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Very sad - life sometimes deals you a very unlucky card. It is unusual for a for a tumble from a bike to kill like this - but it happens; my brother died through tripping on a small flight of stairs and just hitting his head on the wrong spot. On the other-hand I once met someone on CS2 for whom the forks had similarly catastrophically come away from the crown whilst he was really flying; he was sitting at at the kerb laughing at his broken bike thoroughly relieved to be unscathed. You can take every precaution and come an awful cropper - all we can do is mourn; or you can walk away healthy - and all we can do is thank our lucky stars
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Its possible to die from falling over and banging your head on hard object while walking.

    Still on BBC iplayer is 'me and my new brain' which is a very interesting watch, while the main subject was injured in a snowboarding accident, the injuries sustained by a young lady who fell over while walking and banged here head on the pavement is really eye opening.

    Having fallen 8foot off a flat roof and landed on concrete on my head I can only assume I have a small brain (more rattle room) or am incredibly lucky....or is that the same thing? (I landed face down on my forehead which is the least worst impact for brain injuries).

    As a coincidence a friend had the alloy dropouts come loose in a pair of carbon forks. Meanwhile there is the Trek/Rocky Mountain QR recall due to one victim damaging their spinal chord resulting in quadroplegia.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,161
    There are all sorts of wonderful ways to die or be injured to the point of disability, and most are far from dramatic!

    it's best not to dwell on it and keep thinking one is immortal, life is risky.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    edited June 2016
    Well as a rider of a 9 year old Racelight Tk I'd be curious to know exactly what failed :shock:

    Anyone know??

    ETA Panic over; I read the article in the link and it's the fork that failed. Mine has an ITM fork. Mind you, I'd be buggered if they start failing, the company went bust.
  • kayodotkayodot Posts: 143
    Recording the narrative verdict, coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said: “Jonathan Weatherley probably applied braking through his front brakes for an unknown reason.

    “This caused the bonding between the carbon-fibre blades and aluminium fork crown to fail. The bonding material hadn’t adequately bonded the two components.”


    Represented at Mr Weatherley’s inquest was Upgrade Bikes, a West Sussex-based firm which has issued a recall notice for all bikes fitted with a Racelight T Carbon Fork 2003-2009.

    According to law firm Leigh Day, representing Mr Weatherley’s family, Upgrade Bikes supplied the frame and forks to the UK market.

    The fork is the part of the bike frame from below the handlebars down to the carbon fibre leg blades that holds the front wheel in place.

    According to evidence presented at the inquest, when Mr Weatherley braked the fork’s bonding broke, causing his front wheel to detach.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    keef66 wrote:
    Well as a rider of a 9 year old Racelight Tk I'd be curious to know exactly what failed :shock:

    Anyone know??

    The fork. It's here: ... ALL-NOTICE

    Are you one of the unaccounted for?
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Seems I'm safe; my bike was built up using an ITM Visia fork.

    I'll still be giving it a very close looking at during it's summer strip down and rebuild though
  • godders1godders1 Posts: 750
    Sent my 2006 full carbon Racelight T fork back yesterday. A bit miffed that the replacement isn't equivalent spec (alloy steerer) but I guess that's offset by the fact my 10 year old fork is being replaced by new!

    And of course the underlying reason behind the whole thing puts these things into perspective anyway.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    A modern carbon/alloy is probably lighter than your 2006 fork* anyway, plus no need for a heavy expander bung!

    *If your fork was 'full carbon' it wasn't recalled, it was the alloy crown that was the issue!
  • godders1godders1 Posts: 750
    It was the 2006 Racelight T model which was marketed as "full carbon" but as you say has an alloy crown. It's definitely one of the forks recalled.

    Yes you're right about weight, should be a bit less faff to trim too.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    The Rookie wrote:
    A modern carbon/alloy is probably lighter than your 2006 fork* anyway, plus no need for a heavy expander bung!

    *If your fork was 'full carbon' it wasn't recalled, it was the alloy crown that was the issue!

    Having read the recall it's clear the affected forks had carbon legs and steerer but an alloy crown. So three lots of bonding to potentially go wrong...
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