Just Riding Along: Snap, Crackle, Pop!

A risk analyst likely has a formula to determine the rate of failures based on amount of bikes ridden and for how long – we’ve got a fleet of bikes at Hugga HQ and ride them almost daily.

What I know is after two ride-stopping failures in a week, I’m even more diligent about checking my equipment before a ride. Like a pilot of a plane; especially when I’m heading out for a long ride or race. Both of these failures are unusual, but they happen. In the past year, I’ve been in two races where I rode through the shrapnel of an exploded tire.

First a fork cracked at the tip.

jra one

Crack starts middle of the fork at the tip

Maybe it was from stresses induced by the roof-top rack or something else happened either when riding it or when it was manufactured. Heard it snap and carbon makes a very distinctive crackling sound when it goes.

Then this tire sidewall ripped apart. Never seen that happen before.

Did a snake bite that?

We were just riding along and POP! That fork is out of warranty and Reynolds doesn’t make them anymore. I’ve shared the tire photo with the manufacture and remembered the “tubeless incident” from last year.


Hot tar, earthquake zone, will burn a tire…

That tire was already showing signs of failure with the exposed cords along the sidewall.  One thing that can help this failure come early is storing the bikes near a big motor (like in the same room as your furnace).

The fork one is a bit scary and I’m glad that you caught it before the ride instead of on the ride.

@alex I’d like to think it was showing signs of wear, but it wasn’t. Has probably 100 miles on it max and one of the best tires the company makes. Not rubbing the brakes either or scraped in a rut or hole. The cords blew out and unlike anything I’ve seen.

That tire was DEFINITELY seeing abrasion, most likely from either a wheel that isn’t stiff (and flexes under pedaling load), a wheel that isn’t properly dished, or a QR that isn’t tight enough.  You need to inspect the insides of your seatstays, chainstays, or fork (can’t tell if that’s a front or rear wheel).  You will see the abrasion evidence there.


Would’ve mentioned that if any damage was seen on the frame, but none or if the tire had gone through a rut in the road. Also, not. The cords appear to have unwound.

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