A TEENAGE off-road biker died after losing control of his bike whilst riding it along a street in New Tredegar, an inquest hearing was told.

Dylan Williams had intended to ride across the mountain to a friend's, but bad weather meant that early in the afternoon of Sunday October 1 last year, he rode along Duffryn Terrace, in the Elliotstown area of New Tredegar, as part of a shortcut.

But Mr Williams, 19, of Elliotstown, came off his bike and sustained head injuries from which he died.

Senior coroner for Gwent Wendy James was told by Gwent Police forensic collision investigator PC Christopher Goddard that Mr Williams' bike was unregistered and had no headlights, lights, or speedometer.

"It was designed and built solely for off-road use," said PC Goddard, adding that it had off-road bike tyres that were "less than optimum" for riding on tarmac roads.

There were also problems with wear in the rear braking system, making them "far from efficient", while loose wheel spokes would have made the bike less sound.

"There was an inherent level of instability," said PC Goddard.

Witness Richard Street described in a statement that he had turned his car around in a car park off Duffryn Terrace as he had lost his way, and was easing out onto the road when he spotted a bike coming from the right. Parked cars were partly obscuring his view.

He said it came at speed and he saw it wobble and the rider was "catapulted" off. There had been a "split second" between him seeing the bike and its rider coming off.

Another driver, Ian Watkins, parked further up Duffryn Terrace, had heard a bike behind him that sounded like it was accelerating and decelerating. It then passed him and he saw it in a 'wheelie' position - the front wheel three or four feet off the ground - for a few seconds before the bike hit the ground.

He said neither the rider or the driver coming out of the car park had time to react.

CCTV from a house 160 metres back from the crash site showed Mr Williams standing up on his bike and travelling at around 25mph.

Mr Watkins saw he thought the bike was going too fast for the surroundings as it passed him, and PC Goddard estimated its speed as 32-38mph at the point it hit the ground.

PC Goddard said Mr Williams' loss of control must have happened some distance prior to the car park entrance, and out of sight of Mr Street's car.

"If it had both wheels on the ground, it could have stopped quite easily," said PC Goddard. He could not say what caused the loss of control, but said Mr Street's car had no influence on what happened.

Ms James concluded that Mr Williams died "as a result of a road traffic collision."

"It is clear his bike was not safe for him to be riding on tarmac, even though it was only a shortcut," she said.

Reiterating that the presence of Mr Street's car did not influence the loss of control, she added that Mr Williams "suddenly and unexpectedly lost control of his machine."