Parrot destroys cyclist’s carbon wheel

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French carbon-fibre wheels as parrot food? Maybe (Photo: Vanessa Wallace)
French carbon-fibre wheels as parrot food? Maybe (Photo: Vanessa Wallace)
  • Having pets and bicycles in the same space can have unpredictable consequences.
  • Most pet owners know what can happen when their animals are left unsupervised.
  • But pet mischief can become rather expensive when it applies to bicycles.

There is always a risk of the unpredictable, for cyclists who are also dedicated pet owners.

When bicycles are parked, the risk of damage is low. In theory. But with pets around, that is never a guarantee.

Most pets don’t show much interest in bicycles. Although some might target them as an object of jealousy, receiving too much attention from owners who regularly go out riding. Instead of paying attention to their pets.

That balance is usually managed with some choice treats, but having a dog naughtily chew through a R1000 mountain bike tyre, isn’t unusual. An Australian cyclist from Queensland, recently had a much worse experience. With her pet parrot.

Gypsy trying to hide. Behind the evidence (Photo: Vanessa Wallace)

Polly want some carbon?

Vanessa Wallace's ten-year-old female eclectus parrot, Gypsy, showed a keen interest in her road bike’s carbon-fibre wheels. Those beautiful, deep dish aero wheels. With a large profile carbon-fibre rim.

Gypsy managed to escape her cage at night, while Vanessa was asleep. Keen on a midnight snack, Gypsy thought the Mavic CXR 60 Elite Exalith carbon-fibre wheels on Vanessa’s BMC road bike, looked rather tasty.

When Vanessa eventually discovered Gypsy’s interest in her road bike, the front wheel was destroyed. Parrots have powerful beaks and Gypsy used her’s to full effect, munching the Mavic CXR 60 Elite Exalith front wheel to ruin.

Never underestimate the power, of a parrot (Photo: Vanessa Wallace)

Not an easy fix

Carbon-fibre might be terrifically strong as a load-carrying material, when bonded into a stable structure, but it has weaknesses. And one of those is point loading on along a leading edge. Just the kind of thing that a parrot’s beak is capable of.

The cost of this damage on Vanessa’s road bike? The issue is sourcing a new Mavic CXR 60 Elite Exalith front wheel, is nearly impossible. Mavic no longer produces this model and Vanessa can’t imagine riding her bike with two different model wheels.

She is currently trying to source a secondhand replacement. And no, Gypsy isn’t being replaced. Although a dog would have struggled to do similar damage to a carbon-fibre wheel.

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