It seems right when I thought I was going to clear the driveway my front wheel nestled perfectly into a shallow drainage ditch at the edge of the driveway. Guess I shouldn’t ride through yards while going downhill. The bike compressed smoothly and perfectly, first the front wheel shattering with a beautiful metallic popping sound. The forks were next, bending, folding and then snapping. The wheel and the fork that were now crushed and compressed under me served like a springboard to my forward momentum. As the knuckles of both hands just touched the pave’ I was shot across the driveway superman style landing on the far side of the drive and rolling to my feet in a sitting position. I was too stunned for words, only looking at my slack jawed mates on the road brought me back. My only physical harm was three or four mildly scraped knuckles and small rips on the shoulder blade area of my jersey. What happened to the fork is pictured below.
- The Guerciotti/Alan frame was an excellent ride; very light, extremely smooth and tracked as if on rails. Some called it whippy, I called it smooth (65lbs ago…).
- The areas of the fork bent during the crash became lighter in color and developed a rippled textured surface where the Aluminum actually stretched.
- I truly believe that with a steel fork my fortunes might have been entirely different! (as in not good).
- The replacement fork which was a Criterium(?) was not nearly as beefy or plush riding as the original Road(?) fork. It also cost $175.
- Tried to sell the bike in Chicago, only got one inquiry. It was an older man from Evanston Illinois who told me where the bike was made, what run it was from, the years that frame was made… He said he was not connected in any way to racing, European cycling or making frames, he just seemed to want to talk and happened to know a lot about Guerciotti frames.
I obtained the frame from Bikesmiths in Bloomington, In. I was looking for a bike to replace my Cannondale and they had one. An almost brand new Guerciotti with Campagnolo parts that a student had spent his tuition money on in the summer and had to sell it fast and cheap so he could attend fall classes. I raced on the bike for two years before crashing it.
I ended up keeping the frame and using it as a fixed gear commuter bike on the streets of Chicago. After a few years the down tube began to squeak where it connected to the head tube but the frame is still around…
This is what a Guerciotti (Alan) Aluminum fork looks like after heavy load testing.
* all images shot hand held with Kodak DC290 and on camera flash.