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Hi,

I just got my first full carbon bike-a pristine, near new 2010 Wilier Mortirolo (with upgrades!) that I bought for a bargain price from the original owner who bought it then had 'back problems' (I think he preferred playstation to real exercise) so had literally ridden it to the shops once. It was beautiful, and I'd been keeping my eyes open for literally months to find the best deal possible.

Then some muppet drives into me after I had a couple of rides. I've yet to see the bike so I don't know the extent of any damage, but I've been told the back wheel, rear mech and hanger are fubared, and that it is scuffed and scraped on the frame, fork and ergos.

I've read that shops will never say crashed carbon is ok to ride, but for the purpose of insurance (which will take a long time to actually get) what is the procedure? If that's the case I don't think it would be fair to give me even what I paid for it as it was in NOS condition and worth a lot more if you know what I mean? Even if it is still rideable (which I hope it is), in my eyes it is in much worse condition than before even if it is just cosmetics, and has no re-sale value as if you tell someone it's been in a major crash they're not going to touch it with a barge pole ;(

I've got the original purchase receipt, and also a receipt for how much I paid.

Anyone had to deal with this kind of thing before and has some wisdom to share?

6 comments

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dhague [22 posts] 4 years ago
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The principle of insurance is to put you back to the position you were in before the insured incident. Therefore, what you paid for the bike is immaterial - what matters is what you'd have to pay to get the same spec of bike again. This could be the cost of a new bike, less a small deduction for wear & tear given that yours was not completely new.

Also, take it to a bike shop and get a quote for repairs - if that includes a new frame because the old one can't be trusted, it will add weight to your argument for the cost of a replacement bike.

I assume you've contacted one of the specialist cycling accident legal firms to follow up on your case? They can handle a lot of this - worked well for me many years ago when someone turned across the path of my motorbike.

Best wishes,
Darren

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Trev Allen [132 posts] 4 years ago
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I have some knowledge of composites having just finished my masters on this kind of stuff, but I dare say there are some people on here who know more than me - anyway here is my two cents:

Damage to the carbon is most likely to be delamination of the layers which make up the frame. This, like most impact damage to composites, exist under the surface so are not visible to the eye. In industry you assess composite damage through a range of techniques but most common is ultrasound.

I doubt that any bike shop has an A-Scan Ultrasound machine, knowledge of how to use one or knowledge of what one is. So I would personally take any advice from you LBS with a large pinch of salt.

I would also say that most composites are designed to be damage tolerant - i.e you can loose some integrity in the structure and it will still do its job. Bicycles are a stiffness critical structure - if you have the stiffness then you more than likely have the strength from the nature of the material.

I would check the frame alignment (something your bike shop CAN do) but personally am not of the opinion that one crash makes carbon bin material. The more you learn about the material you realise its not the black magic most people think it is.

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Gregoire500 [104 posts] 4 years ago
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ta for the input-I'd be gutted if it was a write off, and surprised, but have read a lot of folks saying the 'better safe than sorry' thing is more important. Another way of selling more bikes perhaps?

Will have to have a look and see myself first I suppose.

If there was enough force going through the rear wheel and mech to pringle them then I would have misgivings about the stays-that said I have an old steel bike that's stays were damaged and bent back that I rode for ages quite happily, though the mechanic that re-aligned it only did it with the caveat that I shouldn't ever race it and that he wasn't to be held responsible if the frame ever failed.

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TrekBikesUK [128 posts] 4 years ago
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G500, wasn't it you that wrote that post about getting hit? That was a great read.

Anyhoo...Not that this is totally conclusive, but you could try doing a 'tap test' on your frame' As Trev says, a lot of damage to carbon occurs out of eye sight, but a tap test can reveal that something is not quite as it should be.

If you take a coin and tap it on the tubes, any damage will sound like a 'dead spot'. It's a noticeable change in tone to undamaged areas of the frame.

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Trev Allen [132 posts] 4 years ago
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tap test = ultrasound for dummies  1

Should work..

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Gregoire500 [104 posts] 4 years ago
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Tap test? Sounds like a winner,

Will wait till I get the poor beast back before trying it out... Still makes me feel a bit sick imagining what state its in-newest, nicest bike I have ever owned and the most I've ever spent on any object of leisure!

This was it when I bought it, changed the upright stem and blanked out the logos with tape for a more understated look and it climbed so much nicer than my 30 yr old mercian!

She will ride again..