After three years of cycling the crash that I feared of having finally happened. Nobody wants to crash obviously but after more than 22,000 kilometres and 500 rides, you’ll have a bit of a tumble one way or the other. Unfortunately for me, it was a pretty bad crash. An unavoidable one during the ride but it could have been prevented. I’ll get to the cause of the crash later.
Two weeks ago today, Dante & I crashed hard on the M7 cycle way near the Rooty Hill bollards. We were briefly knocked unconscious and was lucky enough to have been found by a couple of good Samaritans who called the paramedics for us and we were quickly taken care of. We were taken to Blacktown Hospital Emergency where we were stabilized. Dante was discharged the following morning but I wasn’t as fortunate. I was transferred to Westmead Hospital due to a trauma to the hear and the head which they were not able to fully support as they did not have a trauma team. After a number of scans and blood tests, the team found an elevated levels of Triponin which lead them to believe I was either having a heart attack or sustained a trauma to the heart during the accident. Along with this injury, I broke my left clavicle, suffered nine fractures to my ribs mostly on the left hand side, a tiny brain haemorrhage, a broken tooth and a collapsed lung. Sounds horrific I know but I’m optimistic and hoping to be back riding again in a few weeks. I spent 5 days in hospital and was given a PCA (patient-controlled analgesia) or fentanyl on tap. The pain team kept insisting I use it more often than what I was but I wanted to feel exactly how painful my injuries were without the medication. I wanted to see how I was improving and it was hard to gauge this when I’m consistently on pain medication. Eventually the pain management team gave me the all clear to be discharged as I was managing my pain levels well and the rest of my injuries were not progressing.
So what exactly happened? A mechanical issue! an aftermarket OSPW bought from eBay caused me to crash at around 50km/h when the chain jumped off the pulley wheels which resulted in me losing balance during a sprint. The crash happened so quickly that I couldn’t even recall hitting the pavement.
Two weeks before the accident I purchased an aftermarket OSPW from eBay for just over $120. I wanted to try this oversized pulley system and see for myself if there are any benefits before deciding whether to invest into a CeramicSpeed or the Token version. When the item arrived I was concerned that the pulley wheel was not centred in the cage so I immediately asked the seller to explain whether this was normal. The seller assures me that this is normal and he has sold hundreds of this pieces and it was normal. I sent him photos prior to installation as well as post installation, I made sure I used a brand new chain as I wanted to make sure I used the correct length chain for the new system.
After number of rides using the new system, I was initially surprised how quiet the shifting had become and was feeling pretty good about my purchase especially after my initial concerns. I was able to test it during a 3 km sustained climb and it shifted fine under load even on a steep gradient. The seller on eBay advised me that they are going to send me new bearing caps to offset the distance between the cage and the chain. What I didn’t realise at the time during those test rides is that the pulley was untested under heavier loads, mainly power outputs during a quick explosive sprints. I’m a heavier rider at around 82 kg and I can produce and sustain over 900 watts for 10 seconds, this ride I didn’t need that much for the OSPW to fail. At just over 650 watts the chain came off the pulley which caused me to lose balance while out of the saddle and deviated into my training partner who was immediately to my right. I collected the power output data and overlaid it onto a Cycliq Fly6 video footage on the night of the crash. There is no doubt in my mind that this is what caused the crash. In the attached photo below taken by a friend who collected the bike on the night of the crash shows the position of the chain after the crash.
I contacted the seller on eBay and advised them of what happened, their response was that they’ve been selling parts on eBay since 2007 and I’m the first one that has reported having an accident. That may be the case and it’s not something to be proud of, as a matter of safety, I am one too many and it’s certainly not a statistic I’m confident he can prove. I sent the seller the video on YouTube which I’ve uploaded as “unlisted” until we settle the matter but I’m not sure they are interested in viewing or have watched it. As a matter of principle, I have provided this feedback to him to give him the chance to make amends and recognise that there is perhaps a safety issue associated with the OSPW he is manufacturing and selling. If there is no design issue and it was simply caused by a faulty OSPW that I was sold, I believe that I should be entitled to a refund as a bare minimum. My bike and components has been damaged during the crash, the seller made a comment that they are shimano/sram dealer and may be able to send me parts as goodwill gesture which I thanked them for. When I sent them an email and advised them of my plans of rebuilding my bike, they responded that they do not stock Shimano groupsets… ??? What the!
I’ve been at home for almost three weeks and all I’ve got at the moment is time. Time that I can spend pursuing this matter until we can come to a resolution. I’m unable to work and I’m unable to even dress myself without assistance from my wife who has been amazing throughout this entire ordeal.
I’ll continue to update this blog with updates from the seller on eBay to see what kind of resolution we agree on, that’s if we even get there. Stay tuned.
It has been a three days since my collarbone surgery and it felt like I was back to day one with the pain but it does also feel like I’m well and truly on my way to a full recovery. I have an appointment with the surgeon in two weeks time and I’ll know then how well it’s progressing. My Emonda is currently being stripped down and my plan is to send it to the Philippines to have it repainted by Teban Pintura
I contacted the seller again and apparently he has had surgery and is unable to work 1-2 months, this is according to his wife who answered the eBay message. I told her to read through the history and get back to me. I really didn’t have any confidence that he was going to follow through with his offer of letting rebuild my bike.
I’ve stripped the Emonda and have found impact marks on the fork and while I don’t see any delamination of the carbon fibre I’m not entirely sure what the state of the material underneath. It goes without saying that I have lost confidence in the structural integrity of the bike and have no choice but to retire the frame or use it as a Zwift bike.
After almost 12 months since the crash, it’s sad and frustrating to say that beside getting a refund for the flawed OSPW, I never got any assistance or any other resolution from the eBay seller. I guess the lesson here is, assess the risks of using third party upgrades on your bike and if it looks like it may cause any issues, remove it immediately. There’s always an element of risk when upgrading any part of your drivetrain, especially the chain, cranksets and this instance the jockey wheels.
J&L OSPW Sold on Amazon
I tried to reach out to this seller but he has gone silent, I’ve also had a number of hacking attempts to this site presumably trying to take down this post. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET SERIOUSLY INJURED. This product does not meet quality control and should not be sold, any feedback regarding the defective product is not taken seriously. Do not deal with manufacturers that have no regard for your safety.