A Freak Occurence

For the July 4th holiday, my wife and I spent the day doing yard projects — building a better compost bin and doing some landscaping. I had moved my Xtracycle up onto the back deck to get it out of the way of some of these projects, and when we wrapped things up and made our way inside for my customary afternoon nap, everything was kosher…

When I went to let the dog out later in the afternoon, I saw a HUGE tree limb laying on top of my bike.

tree limb

That sucker weighs a good 400 lbs. Apparently, when it broke and fell 25 feet to the ground, it landed squarely on the bike’s saddle — utterly destroying the saddle (bending the rails like taffy), bending and ovalizing the seatpost and shearing the leg off the kickstand. My Xtra’s Snapdeck was thrown about 10 feet away from the impact, too.

Once I pulled the limb off, I was greeted with this sight:

saddle destroyed

Here’s a clearer shot of the damage once I got the post out of the seat tube:


And a shot of the kickstand, which sheared off right at the hinge pin:


Although I haven’t been able to ride the bike to see if the frame or FreeRadical got bent, it appears that everything else is OK. Sure, the bike is covered with scratches and dings now, but here’s a testament to both the “parent” KHS Alite 1000 and the Xtracycle’s frame — to withstand such an impact, both frames must be incredibly strong. The top of the seat tube shows no sign of bending or warping, even though the seatpost itself bent right at the top of the seat tube collar. Even the kickstand mounting plate welded to the FreeRadical is undistorted. Absolutely amazing!

I’ll run out to the bike shop tomorrow to get a replacement seatpost and give the rig a test ride to see if everything else is OK.

Well, at least we got a little extra firewood out of this event — our fireplace will avenge this damage come wintertime!

About the author

Bicycle commuter since 1989, bicycle enthusiast for 30+ years. I am a Bookmobile/Books By Mail librarian at a large library system and the proud father of two wonderful boys.