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BIKE TOURING
IN CASE YOU TAKE A TUMBLE


bike fall




The above picture is my light attempt to portray a fall off a bike but falling isn't really funny. Even when it looks like everything is okay after you take a tumble, it's best that you don't just ride away. Instead, please inspect your bicycle from front to back. Look for any bends, cracks, or stratches. Spin the wheels to check them for either bent or warped rims. Make sure that the quick-releases are secured. As you check out your tires, inspect for cuts in the sidewalls or treads that could possibly result in blowouts. Push and pull on the handlebar, bar-ends, and brake levers to make sure that they haven't loosened.

Chances are that the bicycle is okay but it is still best that you had taken the time to check. Here are some things that you can do in the case of different falls. With a fall where you hit a loose spot, lose your traction, and slip out sideways, there is a good chance that you bent the frame badly. It can also cause the handlebar to slam into the top tube that will either bend the bar or dent the tube. Fortunately, frame dents rarely cause excessive structural failure even though they look unsightly.

You need to make sure that the parts are not bent. Please check for cracks or stress marks (little lines) by the handlebar or the stem. Check the bar-ends and levers if they are loose. Sight the handlebar from both sides to see if the ends are still aligned. If they are not, please ride home carefully and replace the handlebar as soon as possible.

Inspect the brake levers, pedals, seat, and rear derailleur for any scrapes. Make sure that there is plenty of metal left on the part and that it is not bent and works okay. If there is a bend in the rear derailleur inward, there might be a problem of it shifting into the spokes. Test this out by pressing on the derailleur body to test it. Pull the derailleur out by hand so that it is aligned with the cogs. Go gently with your pulling and check as you go. Sight the angle of the derailleur from behind and stop pulling when an imaginary line through the cogs bisect the pulleys. Have the derailleur checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

In the case when you somehow don't see a pretty good-sized hole in front of you and the front end of the bike drops in and you fly over the handlebar, there is a different set of check out things to do. The front end could be pushed so far back that the front tire could be pushed into the down tube. Minor fork and frame bends are hard to spot but they can affect handling and lead to the frame's breaking.

To spot any damage, you need to sight along the frame from the side. Pretend that there is an imaginary line that passes through the head tube and fork. If the line doesn't go through, the fork might be pushed back.

You need to closely inspect the down and top tubes where they meet the head tube. Cracks that can be seen in the frame and paint or bulges in the tubes will probably indicate that the bicycle frame has been bent. If you see any of these cracks, it is best that you do not ride the bicycle any more. If the frame is slightly bent, there is a good chance that you could safely ride home.

If the fork of the bicycle is bent in, you can pull the front end out enough to ride. Sit on the ground in front of the bicycle and put one foot on either side of the crank set. Grip the fork with both of your hands and pull. This action should get you home but with this kind of damage it is best that should pitch the frame and get a good one.




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