The danger of a bicycle crash on a carbon frame bike

Having a bicycle crash on a carbon bike is not like having an accident on a steel or aluminum bike.  Steve Harrelson of the Harrelson Law Firm knows about bicycles.  Having competed in numerous century rides around the country (including multiple finishes in both the Big Dam Bridge 100 and the Hotter’N Hell 100), Steve has been involved in and has seen numerous crashes.

Carbon frames and components

Unlike steel or aluminum, carbon does not bend in crashes. While carbon is lighter, stronger, and more flexible, the bikes will shatter in a violent collision, hurling the rider to the road and exposing the rider to more serious injuries.  Further, even if the carbon does not shatter in a crash, it may have cracked, causing the rider to be riding on a ticking time bomb.  That’s not something you want to think about while riding downhill at 40 mph.

Carbon components

Secondly, consider foregoing carbon spokes on wheels.  If a piece of gravel flies up off the road from the car or rider in front of you and hits a spoke, it can cause a catastrophic chain reaction that could lead to serious injury.  Carbon components are lighter and stronger, but you also need to consider safety.  Carbon spokes are one component that you should definitely pass on.  While carbon forks may be a more difficult issue to consider, they also are susceptible to cracking in accidents, and the fork is one of the most important components on the bicycle for safety.

The lighter the bike

The goal for most cyclists is to have the lightest bicycle possible.  Lighter generally means thinner carbon walls on the frame and components.  While ultra-light bicycles are enticing and attractive to help shave time off your next 100-mile ride, you should also consider safety issues in the event of a crash.  Yes, carbon is stronger than aluminum or steel, but thinner carbon walls in ultra-light bikes can translate to shattering in lower-impact crashes.  Further, we still do not know the perils of issues carbon frames may face after being exposed to the elements over extended periods of time.

For these reasons, if you have been involved in a bicycle accident due to the fault of someone else, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced personal injury lawyer Texarkana trusts who has been involved in representing cyclists.


SHThanks to Steve Harrelson from Harrelson Law Firm P.A. for his added insight into the dangers of carbon frame bicycles in bike accidents.