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Let my mind wander while riding: 10 Stitches and a new frame(7 posts)

Let my mind wander while riding: 10 Stitches and a new frameMeDotOrg
Jul 11, 2001 12:12 AM
Going North along the Great Highway in San Francisco, somewhere past the Zoo and before Golden Gate Park. There is a solid line demarking the right side of the road, and a nice shoulder makes for a good bike line.

There is a metal plate that bisects the road shoulder between the line and the shoulder's edge. Usually I'm careful to give the area a wide birth, but today my mind must have been elsewhere. I found my front tire stuck in a crack paralleling the metal plate and the bike was beginning to go down. I pulled up and left on the handlebars, which lifted me out of the crack and into the back of a stopped Lexus at about 18 miles an hour.

Cracked my chin against the back of the car. The really weird thing was the bike. The fork was fine. The front wheel was true. The steel top tube now has a big knuckle in it. The brakes and headset (Chris King) were fine. The handlebars not exactly symmetrical, but worked okay.

The frame is toast, but the bend in the top tube was dead straight up and down. I actually rode the bike home.

The big was (sob!) a Bianchi Veloce. The fork was stock carbon fiber. The rims are 32-spoke Mavic Open Pros, built by in Britain. Give those guys their props: They built a tough wheel.

My chin was not so tough. 10 stitches.

Now I'm in a panic because I've got no bike. Will Bianchi give me anything for my old frame? (The bike is less than a year old).

If not, what do you recommend $800-$1100, frame. It doesn't have to be steel, but it has to be comfortable. I'm 50 years old, I don't race, and I like a comfortable ride. The components are Campy Veloce, 1 year old, so I think I'll keep them on the new frame.

And hey, let's be careful out there! I wasn't doing anything dangerous, I just let my attention wander. (Sorry if this post is rambling, but the pain killers are starting to kick in. It's been a long day.)
re: Let my mind wander while riding: 10 Stitches and a new frameCliff Oates
Jul 11, 2001 1:23 AM
Sorry about the crash. It could be worse. My bike is more or less fine, but my wrist will have 4 steel pins protruding from it for the next 6 weeks and my doctor says I can't break a sweat until they come out (due to the danger of infection).

Bianchi does have a crash replacement policy, but I don't know specifically what it is. My Veloce was struck and killed by a pickup truck a year ago while it was hanging on a hitch rack, but I let the other driver's insurance company buy the bike from me. Bianchi USA is over in Hayward, so give them a call. I've called them a few times and they've been very pleasant and helpful.

If you are not in a burning rush to replace your bike, then you might want to check with Steelman down in Redwood City or Mikkelsen over in Alameda and go the custom route for your next frame. I think Mikkelsen's are around $800 while Steelman frames are more.

FWIW, I learned after my Veloce died that it is useful to have 2 bikes.
re: Let my mind wander while riding: 10 Stitches and a new frameDougal
Jul 11, 2001 3:23 AM
If ou think that Sdeals make great wheels, then why don't you check out their frames? If you know your size then their shouldn't be a problem ordering a frame on the 'net.

I must stress I have no connection to them at all. I've just been very happy with their service over the past year or so.
re: Let my mind wander while riding: 10 Stitches and a new frameMike Prince
Jul 11, 2001 3:02 AM
Sorry 'bout the bike (and your chin). Could have been worse, though. I'll second the recommendation for Steelman. They have 2 "stock" steel road frames as well as a custom option. Their SR525 is under $1000 and they also make a 853 frame (which I have) that I believe is a bit over $1200. At no cost you can specify lots of options and have your choice of a steel (awesome) or Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork.

They are great to deal with and the frame is wonderful. I've had mine on the road for almost 3 weeks now (550 miles) and can't imagine riding anything better. They have a website at

Hope you heal quickly and get back on the bike soon.

Talk to Gary Hobbs . . .DCW
Jul 11, 2001 5:49 AM
See He's usually got a few Steelmans as well as a good selection of other steel (and a few alu, carbon) frames at discount.
sorry: accident! glad you're ok! congrats on new frame hunt. NMHaiku d'état
Jul 11, 2001 7:02 AM
re: Let my mind wander while ridingcyclopathic
Jul 11, 2001 10:03 AM
've been there done it.

1) checking computer and trying to reset it: ran into stopped car (at ~8mph, not a big deal)

2) going against head wind head down @ ~19-20mph, hit temporary road sign /those idiots put in on shoulder and block it completely!/. Casualties: new rain jacket, long sleeve jersey, gloves, shorts, bent TTT Hbar, scratched frame, left shifter /badly/. About 15sq inches of skin. When I hit the sign I flew ~20-30 ft before hitting ground, I was a superman. My Bell Nemesis Pro survived the crash with a few surface scratches.