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Old 04-09-08, 07:00 AM   #1
JonathanGennick 
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Bike and stand fell over -- is frame ruined?

My bike frame took a hard fall on the weekend. Picture the frame in a fully-extended, Ultimate Stand. I had the bottom-bracket up at about chest height. All parts off the bike for cleaning. Stand and bike out in the driveway. I remounted the front wheel (and tire) and walked back inside to clean some of the parts. I came back out to discover that the wind had (apparently) caught the front tire like a sail, spun the bike in a way that threw the stand off balance, and the frame and the stand had gone crashing to the ground. The biggest paint chip is at the bottom of the seat-stay, just two inches from where the derailler hanger mounts. Other scratches make it obvious that the rear-triangle on the right-side took most of the hit.

Now I can't get the rear wheel back into the dropouts. When I insert the wheel into the left dropout, the right-side dropout wants to come down onto my smallest cog.

Is the frame hosed?

Frame is aluminum, leading me to think that bending the frame back into position is a bad idea. Dropouts appear to be forged, but they are awfully thick -- bike is a mountain-bike.

I'm going to try and get in to my not-so-local bike shop tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm interested in any opinions or suggestions from people more familiar with frame problems than I am.
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Old 04-09-08, 08:47 AM   #2
flyingcadet
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I'll call my mechanic to ask what tools are required. Take it to a bike shop and ask them to straighten out the frame. Ask them if they have gauges that show frame alignment. a typical frame alignment gauge is a straight bar that goes from headset to seat tube. At the seat tube, it will bow out for judging dropout position with a little swing arm to make comparing the right and the left easier. If the Mechanic doesn't have them or isn't willing to show you how far from alignment your frame is, go elsewhere because the might get the dropout spacing back, but if the dropouts aren't aligned with the frame, you'll have some weir wear and tear on you tires and drive train.

After the frame is fixed, I'd suggest that you keep a close eye on the the seat stay and chain stay joints, mainly looking for cracks. The frame may be fine after straightening, but tis better to be cautious sometimes. Why buy a new frame if you don't have to?

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Last edited by flyingcadet; 04-09-08 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Forgot some key points (all of the second paragraph)
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Old 04-09-08, 11:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcadet View Post
Take it to a bike shop and ask them to straighten out the frame. Ask them if they have gauges that show frame alignment. a typical frame alignment gauge is a straight bar that goes from headset to seat tube. At the seat tube, it will bow out for judging dropout position with a little swing arm to make comparing the right and the left easier. If the Mechanic doesn't have them or isn't willing to show you how far from alignment your frame is, go elsewhere ...
That sounds like good advice. I'm going to make some phone calls before I make the drive into the city.
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