The number of bike accident lawsuits are on the rise as more and more consumers are reporting failure of carbon fiber components, resulting in serious injuries for bike riders. Though bikes being built with carbon-fiber parts is not a new practice for bike manufacturers, the wear and tear over time is typically what causes the ultimate failure of any part made with this particular material.
While any material used on bikes has the ability to bend and break, the danger of carbon fiber lies within the inability for the consumer to see any visible signs of damage like you would with other materials. The tiny cracking and splitting of the carbon fiber is frequently undetectable beneath the paint. When a carbon fiber part fails, it has the ability to completely shatter, which can lead to catastrophic destruction. Bike parts made out of this material can include forks, the handlebars, the bike frame itself, or seatposts, and all pose the same risk of ultimate failure.
Carbon-fiber bike accident expert, Luke Elrath, states, “There is an old saying in bike manufacturing: It can be lightweight, durable, or cheap – pick two. A lot of these carbon-fiber components are lightweight and cheap, but they are not durable.”
Though carbon fiber can be an extremely strong and durable material, the manufacturing of the product is where the breakdown in material lies. In addition to manufacturing issues, there is still testing being done to see just how long carbon fiber is able to last.
Since most mountain bikes undergo lots of wear and tear throughout their lifespan, consumers are encouraged to research the manufacturer before purchasing a bike made with carbon fiber parts in addition to getting it inspected by a specialist in carbon fiber materials on a regular basis. Most warranties from bike manufacturers are only applicable to the original buyer, so it is also recommended that secondhand buyers of these bikes get it tested with an ultrasonic scan to check for damage within the carbon fiber parts.
The Ammons Law Firm is committed to protecting consumers from defective products, and is vastly experienced in representing parties who have been injured by a wide range of product defects and failures. If you or a loved one believe you have been injured by a defective product, please contact our office by calling (866) 783-5403 or click here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
Source for article: “Why Carbon Bikes Are Failing” by Eric Barton