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Catastrophic Carbon Fibre Frame Failures

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Catastrophic Carbon Fibre Frame Failures

Old 07-02-20, 12:47 PM
  #26  
badger1
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Apparently slightly less famously, it was the aluminum steerer tube of Hincapie's fork that broke, after a previous hard fall.

Equal amusement can be had by looking up "broken steel bike" and "broken titanium bike."
D__n, beat me to it!

Oh well.
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Old 07-02-20, 01:43 PM
  #27  
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I was at a gravel race, at a corner near the finish line. The leading 4 or 5 riders entered the corner together, there was a crash and 3 came down. One of them had his TT and DT broken, only the cables kept the 2 pieces together. The rider crossed the line with the folded remains of his bike over his shoulder.
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Old 07-02-20, 02:34 PM
  #28  
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It only counts if aluminum or steel or titanium or bamboo would have survived. So, no it doesn't count.
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Old 07-02-20, 02:35 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Ubie View Post
Pretty serious, indeed.
This wins the internet in my opinion!
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Old 07-02-20, 02:48 PM
  #30  
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The only ones I know about in real life are crash related.
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Old 07-02-20, 02:59 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
My avatar bike has had several cracks, but no asplosions. The frame originally came to me as a warranty-replaced cast-off, so I was prepared to fix it up. It's been trouble-free for about 7-8 years now so my patches must have been good enough.
Did you do the repairs yourself?
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Old 07-02-20, 04:02 PM
  #32  
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I know a guy in my Strava feed who got a wicked bubble in the chainstay just aft of the bottom bracket. Cool pictures. It might have something to do with his 400 mile weeks though. From what I hear the frame was replaced under warranty.

My frame was replaced under warranty due to a water bottle boss that loosened up. The jury is out whether I caused it or not.

A guy in my cycling group broke a crank arm 40 miles into a 70 mile ride. He finished by riding with the one good leg. My heart goes out to him for that ride. He refused to get dropped. He said it was "A bit tired" by the time he got done.

I talked with a guy that owned a Scattante (Nashbar/Performance rebranded Fuji.) He had brought the bike into the shop to try for a replacement. The down tube was cracked clean around the midpoint & severed clean. He claims he has never put it on a roof carrier with the hook that secures the bike by grabbing the downtube. I had/have no way to verify his statement.

I have a set of older ZIPP 404's with a few spokes that have pulled from the spoke bed with cracks radiating up towards the brake track.

In spite of my previous experiences (above) I think it's necessary to inject some perspective here.

Like anything, everything has it's limits. Overall, I think consumer products are the highest quality & safest they have ever been. Take any 1950's "high quality" bike...They didn't even have sealed bearings or more than a coaster brake. Meaning constant maintenance, frequent rebuilds & repacking, in spite of their technological simplicity. Constant maintenance, frequent overhauls was just an accepted part of owning anything.

Even the cheapest big-box bikes of today have sealed bearings, a wide range of gears & maintenance is little more than cable tension &/or setting a limit screw. A complete overhaul 1950's style doesn't even enter the equation for modern products like the days of yore. The cost of manufacture & execution is so ridiculously low now, there is little point in going to the expense of repair. Even if cones & bearing balls cost in the single digit number of dollars. You can obtain a new bike that will be servicable for many years for less effort than the time it takes to earn the money required for a shop mechanic to do the task.

I'll take carbon any day of the week. Failures are so exceedingly rare that I fear the risk of becoming jaded by all the modern advances in technology.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:21 PM
  #33  
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I do. I plowed directly into a curb and it tore the headtube clean off. Note that this impact would have definitely buckled or broken a Al or steel frame as well.

Show your Bianchi

Last edited by caloso; 07-02-20 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:44 PM
  #34  
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Had a racing partners carbon bike get blown off the roof rack in Santa Ana windstorm while driving down the fwy leaving the carbon fork dropputs in the rack. Not a big fan of full carbon dropouts.
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Old 07-02-20, 04:57 PM
  #35  
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I got a 2012 carbon fiber Team Fuji free. The bike shop threw it away because it had a scratch on the seat stay tube. I picked it up at the county dump. I cleaned & polished the frame. Couldn't find anything wrong with it. Fixed it up with some new wheels. Wrapped about a yard of white electric tape over the scratch. Got about 2000 miles on it. No problems so far. (This is a true story. No sh&t).
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Old 07-02-20, 05:04 PM
  #36  
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This is a bit of a misleading question as out-right catastrophic failures are rare.

The better question for carbon frames (and components) would be how many carbon frames have:
- a crack down the seat tube
- a crack on the top tube
- a crack on the down tube
- a crack on the bottom bracket
... all this in many cases where the onwer doesn't even realize it what might have caused it until he happened to discovered said cracks by chance
all these sort of cracks, while not catastrophic failures, are effectively causes of concerns for failures that the owners will have to fix them to have peace of mind

- what about cracked stem due to overtightenng?
- what about cracked carbon handlebars from a simple bike tipover?

- what about imperfect finish, ie., the dreaded "wavy" seat tube or down tube due to crappy molding process?, or the "bubbly paint'?

A buddy had his Specialized fork broke cleanly at the steerer tube while he was riding at ~20 mph on good pavement, but that was enough to send him to the ER room and spent a few days in the hospitals with a busted up face. He quit cycling after that because his wife made him.
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Old 07-02-20, 05:20 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
So based on the responses in this thread, there is no evidence that CF frames fail catastrophically unless involved in a crash or subjected to some other external force.

this,

and now Lets see a show of hands from the BF members that knows people that don't take care of their bikes. Or better, don't ever inspect their bikes or check skewers before riding.
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Old 07-02-20, 05:32 PM
  #38  
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Actually, I used a bunch of CF on my custom steel tour bike. For my lesson, I wrapped 2 legs off a broken fork with 2 or 3 layers of CF with a real hard setting epoxy. Let it set 2 days and then torture time... Put it on the cement floor and hit it harder and harder with a hammer. I barely made a dent in the surface. Pretty sure the cement and my hand suffered more. LOL. Even hitting it where the CF ended wouldn't crush the steel. My vice couldn't even do that much either.
Later with the skinny part of a 70% split fork, I wrapped it with 3 layers and rode 80 miles I think. The CF ripped a few miles from home when I was rocking it at a stoplight. This was the same fork I welded 3 times, so no loss. I wanted to wrap the thing right from the start, but changed my mind.
The seat tube came with a bit of a dent and I was making a pouch anyway, so I wrapped the ST all up to the top.
That part is guaranteed to survive any crash.
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Old 07-02-20, 05:42 PM
  #39  
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There are thousands of carbon frame, forks and components failures out there...we will never know the exact numbers because all those people who had those failures don't post on bikeforums….People who never had a carbon bike or component fail is because they don't ride their carbon bike hard enough and often enough.
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Old 07-02-20, 05:59 PM
  #40  
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Does user error count? A friend had to replace a Cervelo S5 because he dropped the chain and sawed through the bb shell. I'm guessing he may have dropped it more than once but I didn't ask
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Old 07-02-20, 06:13 PM
  #41  
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This is from a buddy of mine who dropped his chain and cracked the downtube. He wasn't aware and kept pedalling a bit, and then kept riding so he could limp home.
While you could say it's user's error, but how many steel frames have you seen cracked like this from a chain drop?

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Old 07-02-20, 06:16 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
I worked in bike shops long enough ago that the only catastrophic failures that come to mind were failures of steel frames and (especially) forks.
Must be a Walmart.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:21 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are thousands of carbon frame, forks and components failures out there...we will never know the exact numbers because all those people who had those failures don't post on bikeforums….People who never had a carbon bike or component fail is because they don't ride their carbon bike hard enough and often enough.
Exactly.

Then those w carbon for brains post endlessly about how 'safe' and 'infinitely fatigue resistant' plastic.. err.. car-bon bikes are.

Truth is.. lots of bikie's have something to eat & a root of sorts over their head--> because of the plastic bike.. which does not make it a safe choice.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:56 PM
  #44  
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I had a crack on my Langster bottom bracket, that is aluminum and I have seen cracked carbon a few times but not directly saw what caused it. We had an aluminum bike in recently that was dented to hell and I hope that our tech headed my warning not to work on it.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:22 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’ve seen a fair number of them at my local co-op. It seems carbon doesn’t stand up to garage doors very well. But then, neither does the number of aluminum and steel bikes I’ve seen that have been run into garage doors.

Riding asplosions? Not seen a single one.
I saw a cf frame that was ruined when a guy decided to jam the wrong size seat post into it. While not a splosion, it was ass-adjacent.

Last edited by livedarklions; 07-02-20 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:26 PM
  #46  
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if you think Carbon Fiber bicycles are bad at exploding, you should see the automobile salvage yards across America that are full of cars that randomly Exploded, and they are steel. Far more steel cars in them than plastic corvettes.

So yeah steel is bad apparently.....

/sarcasmoff
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Old 07-02-20, 07:55 PM
  #47  
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you should see the toilets in the workplaces. Those are not made of CF, steel, Ti, or aluminum.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:20 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Equal amusement can be had by looking up "broken steel bike" and "broken titanium bike."
The question was whether people had heard of actual carbon fiber bike failures, not whether carbon fiber is inferior or superior to other materials.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:29 PM
  #49  
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The only carbon asplosion I personally witnessed was this one time I decided on colonoscopy without anesthesia
(true story)


barrrumpsh
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Old 07-02-20, 08:30 PM
  #50  
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And then, there is the grave danger that carbon frame bikes pose to car owners who forget to remove their bikes from roof racke before driving into their garage
https://www.******.com/r/Wellthatsuc...ur_bike_still/
I mean, after seeing this picture I would never buy a carbon fibre bike, I value my car too much
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