Simon Cowell broke his back when his powerful new $21,500 electric bike ‘flew up in the air and did an accidental wheelie’ after he tired to change gears.
The media mogul, 60, underwent six hours of surgery to insert a metal rod into his spine on Saturday night after falling from his new Swind EB-01 electric bike, which has previously been called the ‘fastest bike on earth’.
After the accident, the music boss is believed to have been ‘surprised by the power’ of the bike and knew immediately that he ‘was in trouble’.
On Sunday night, Cowell tweeted: ‘Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.’
Painful: Simon Cowell broke his back when his new $21,500 electric bike ‘flew up in the air’ after he tried to change gears while riding it in the courtyard of his Malibu home
From his hospital bed: Simon broke his silence after breaking his back in an accident at his Malibu home, posting an update to his Twitter and Instagram feeds
He went on: ‘I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.’
Hen then added in a second tweet: ‘And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone Simon.’
Explaining what happened, a source told MailOnline: ‘He was testing the new bike pretty slowly just in the turning circle in the courtyard of the house.
‘And as he changed gear, the bike flew up in the air in a huge wheelie and he fell off backwards landing on his back.’
A review of the high-tech Swind EB-01 bike called it ‘the fastest electric bike on earth’ which they said was perfect for ‘thrill-seekers’, reports The Mirror.
The 2018 review in Wallpaper Magazine added that ‘the EB-01 has an official top speed of 60mph. With a bit of tuning and tinkering, says its designer Raphaël Caillé, it could go as fast as 80.’
Power: The Swind EB-01 is said to have an official top speed of 60mph but able to go up to 80mph with ‘a little tinkering (stock image of the electric bike)
Accident: Cowell, 60, underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his spine Saturday night after falling from his new electric bike. Pictured in April with girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 43
While a description on the company’s site said: ‘Delivering a staggering 15kW of electric power, this is the most technically advanced and powerful electric bicycle on the market.
They added that the bike’s ‘scintillating power can be delivered in three modes low, high and boost’ and explained that it had a 1.75 kw.h lithium-ion power pack with intra-cell forced air cooling.
It had earlier been reported that Cowell came very close to being paralysed in the fall which happened in the courtyard of his home in the presence of his son Eric, six, and stepson Adam, 14.
It’s believed his girlfriend and mother of his son Eric, Lauren Silverman, 43, had been able to visit him in the hospital.
A friend of the family told MailOnline that Cowell was in ‘shock and massive amounts of pain’ after the accident.
New: Simon was testing out his new bike when he accidentally fell and broke his back (stock image of the Swind EB-01)
‘Lauren went with him to the hospital and has been allowed in briefly to see him. He’s doing OK in the circumstances,’ the insider said.
A source told The Mirror: ‘Simon fell flat on his back and the doctors say the impact missed his spinal cord by about a centimetre and it could have been a lot, lot more serious.’
Discussing the TV star’s recovery, another source told The Sun Simon had suffered ‘three breaks in his back’ and it could take ‘several weeks’ before it is know if Simon will have any long lasting effects from the fall.
They said: ‘It’ll be several weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down and then we’ll know how serious the lasting effects could be.
Family: He was outside in the courtyard of his Malibu home with son Eric, six, and stepson Adam, 14, when the fall happened (pictured together in Barbados in December)
‘He’s lucky to be even in the state he is in with a metal rod in his back and multiple breaks… He could have been looking at a life in a wheelchair.’
A source told The Sun Simon was ‘surprised by the power’ of the new bike and knew straight away that he ‘was in trouble’.
Sources told MailOnline he did not lose consciousness after the fall and was able to chat from his hospital bed – even asking for his iPad before surgery in order to keep up with messages and emails.
On Sunday afternoon he was in recovery, awake and doing well. Lauren has been waiting outside hospital, mostly in the car, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but was allowed to see him briefly before surgery.
Close call: A source told UK’s The Mirror: ‘Simon fell flat on his back and the doctors say the impact missed his spinal cord by about a centimetre and it could have been a lot more serious’
Meanwhile, Deadline.com reported Sunday that Cowell will miss the first two live shows in the new America’s Got Talent season, set to air this coming Tuesday and Wednesday.
New judge Sofia Vergara posted a photo to Instagram showing her and fellow judges Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum on set of the reality show during a rehearsal.
The trio are pictured pointing to Cowell’s empty chair while sending him well wishes.
His close friend Amanda Holden, 49, also posted about Simon on social media.
His Britain’s Got Talent co-star wrote: ‘I’ve been thinking about my dear friend all day and luckily I’m able to write that he’s had his operation and he’s doing really well.’
‘Missing Simon: Sofia Vergara posted a photo to Instagram Sunday showing her and fellow judges Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum on the set of America’s Got Talent during a rehearsal
‘My family and I wish you a speedy recovery and send you, Lauren and Eric all our love.’ (sic)
The media personalities have been close pals ever since he hired her to star as a panellist on the ITV competition series’ inaugural edition in 2007.
Cowell is regularly seen on bike rides with his family around his Malibu home. Silverman was spotted enjoying a cycle on Saturday before news of Simon’s fall broke.
The mogul, who is worth £385million, started his health overhaul by buying two homes, each of them more a family residence than a bachelor pad.
The first was a huge house in the south-west London suburbs, which will in time replace his Holland Park pad in west London and is being fully refurbished.
ELECTRIC BIKES: AN OVERVIEW
While electric bikes are seen as a modern wonder, they’ve actually been around since the late 19th Century. In 1897, Hosea W. Libbey of Boston invented an electric bicycle, which was was powered by a ‘double electric motor’. This model was later remade by Giant Lafree e-bikes in the 1990s.
What sets electric bikes apart from their manually powered counterparts is that they have an integrated electric motor that can be used for propulsion. Over the years, many varieties have made it to the market, from e-bikes, which require the rider to pedal them to be powered, to more powerful models, similar to mopeds.
They have become hugely popular in countries such as India, where larger cities often deal with heavy congestion. While they were a hit in the US in 1990s onwards, sales have started to slow in recent years, primarily due to lower petrol prices.
Electric bikes range in price from an accessible £1,000 to an eye-watering £14,000 for more high-end brands.
He also bought the huge mansion in Malibu – where this weekend’s accident took place – for £19million. It has already replaced his mansion in Beverly Hills.
The latter, familiar to many from being featured in the Judges Houses section of The X Factor, was due to sell for £18million this week.
A source told MailOnline that he prefers the more ‘relaxed vibe’ of living by the beach and was finally ready to wave goodbye to his old bachelor quarters.
‘He loves the Malibu house so much that he started living there full time right away, even though the plan was for it to be refurbished first,’ a source said.
The new house, where he has spent lockdown, has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms spread over 10,000 sq ft, with wonderful views over the Pacific.
Time off: Meanwhile, Deadline.com reported Sunday that Cowell will miss the first two live shows in the new America’s Got Talent season, set to air this coming Tuesday and Wednesday
The record producer turned reality show guru has embarked on a healthier regime in recent years, leading to a 60 lbs weight loss.
It’s said that his ‘family friendly’ lifestyle and weight loss will help him recover quicker from his accident.
His new health regime has seen him committed to a diet of white meat, fruit, and vegetables as well as regular exercise.
He decided to improve his health after he injured himself in a fall down the stairs at his London home in October 2017.
The star blamed his injuries on his unhealthy lifestyle where he ‘lived like a vampire’, staying awake until 8 a.m. every day and vowed to take better care of himself.
‘He’s doing really well’: Amanda Holden sent well wishes to Simon on Sunday as he recovers from six-hour emergency surgery after breaking his back (pictured earlier this year)
He told The Sun at the time: ‘Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock.’
Revealing the incident had been down to an underlying health problem, he continued: ‘They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.’
Before adding of his son Eric: ‘After all I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.’
Back in 2017, Simon sung the praises of electric bikes, after spending a whopping £60,000 on seven of the vehicles, which he used in both the US and UK.
He told the Mail: ‘I’ve been told to exercise more. Cycling’s quite boring so I decided to buy an electric bike and they’re literally addictive.
On the mend: A friend told MailOnline: ‘Lauren went with him to the hospital and has been allowed in briefly to see him. He’s doing OK in the circumstances’. The couple are seen in 2018
‘So I’ve bought three in America, and four in England, and now cycle to work every day. You do still have to pedal them – my legs have definitely got stronger – but they’re just a bit easier.
‘They’re going to be huge these things because you can’t really drive a car in London now.’
The mogul also admitted that he’d already had a few closes shaves, including one incident where he clipped a vehicle’s wing mirror with his handlebars.
Indeed, he likened his daily commute from west London into the Syco offices on High Street Kensington to Death Row 2000 – the famous 1975 satirical film about the murderous Transcontinental Road Race.
He added: ‘I’ve had a couple of near misses and you do have to keep your wits about you. I call it Death Race 2000, trying to get to work, what with all the vans, lorries and cars everywhere but it’s fun.
‘I actually hit a car a couple of weeks and hit the wing mirror. This guy went crazy and then he recognised me and was like ‘It’s fine, it’s fine’. It’s an adventure.’
What is a ‘broken back’?
The 60-year-old music mogul has broken his back after falling from an electric bicycle while at his home in Malibu, California.
It is not currently clear exactly what kind of back injury Cowell has, but a ‘broken back’ often refers to a fracture in a part of the spine.
This involves a break in at least one of the vertebrae that make up the back bone and protect your spinal cord.
The spinal cord sends transmits signals from the brain to the rest of the body, and any damage to it can cause paralysis.
A number of medical conditions such as osteoporosis or spinal tumours can naturally weaken the back.
There are different types of fractures you can suffer such as a Chance fracture which involves the pulling of the bones in the vertebrae.
This is a common back injury for people who have been in car accident where the upper body is moved forward rapidly but the lower body stays in place.
Patients who suffer from bone weakness associated with osteoporosis can often get what is known as a compression fracture in which the vertebrae collapse.
Fractures in the back can often cause severe pain and can severely restrict movement, with some patients needing a back brace while they recover.
If the spinal cord is also damaged the injuries can have more severe long term consequences.
The higher up the spinal cord the more movement will be restricted.
Damage to the spinal cord in the back will result in paraplegia in your legs and potentially your stomach muscles.
And damage in the spinal cord in the neck will result in tetraplegia which can impact upon all of your limbs.