We recently did a downhill mountain biking tour with Elemento Outdoors with disastrous results.We were having problems all day with the bikes (slipping gears, falling seats, brakes not braking well) and the guides admitted that the bikes needed a round of repairs. They have OLD BIKES in need of replacement, not just repair.
About half-way down the mountain my WIFE'S BIKE LITERALLY BROKE! The fork that holds the front tire simply SNAPPED (see photos)! Her bike collapsed from under her at greater than 25 miles per hour, she pitched forward onto part of the paved road, and was injured badly though it could have been much worse.
I have ridden 10's of thousands of miles and know dozens of cyclists and I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF A FRONT FORK BREAKING. We paid the company for a fun and SAFE adventure but got inferior equipment. The bikes are too old and in disrepair and the management never once bothered to apologize or even take responsibility.
To make it worse we A) Had to alter our trip plans, missing out on the Ciudad Perdida hike due to the risk of infection of her injuries (see photos), B) Lost money on hotel reservations we had to cancel and C) All management had to say was since we had taken the tour (though obviously not all of it) we had to pay them. They offered no apologies or recompense for our messed up trip, lost hotel payments, etc., all they were worried about was getting their money.
BROKEN EQUIPMENT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. My wife could have literally been killed (yes, people get killed in cycling accidents). The company should have had some sort of vehicle nearby in case of an accident (she had to climb on with a passing motorcyclist who had stopped and ride with him to a clinic in the nearest village), taken responsibility, offered apologies AND compensated us for having to alter our once-in a lifetime trip.
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