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Trusting your road bike after crash

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Trusting your road bike after crash

Old 02-12-21, 09:05 AM
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ADAM31
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Trusting your road bike after crash

In December I was hit by a car, yesterday I got my bike back after about 400.00 dollars of repairs. The bike was taken to a shop for post crash inspection and to fix the damage caused by the accident. Their comments are their is no visible impact damage caused by the accident but cannot guarantee problems won’t surface in the future, and that their was damage to the front right shifter and brake levers, both were fixed and replaced.
I have a Felt AR4 bought back in 2013, I have about 60,000 miles on the bike. How much trust would you put into going back out and riding again on that bike?
Would it matter even to go get a second opinion? Or strip my bike and put the components on a new frame?
I should say also their is a chip on the front of the frame right where the head tube and down tube come together on the underside near the forks

Last edited by ADAM31; 02-12-21 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:21 AM
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Iride01
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An opinion is just going to be that, an opinion. It may reassure you, but it won't tell you if anything is wrong with the frame that can't be seen. To do that will take some very expensive testing. And even that will not be totally conclusive.

I'd ride it and just keep a warry eye on it. Familiarize yourself with all of it intimately so you'll know whether any marks, bulges, cracked or scratched paint is something new or old.

But if you are looking for an excuse to get something new, then trash that old bike.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:23 AM
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Koyote
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I'm glad you are alright -- apparently well enough to consider riding again.

It's pretty standard for a shop to not be able to guarantee a carbon fiber frame's integrity after something like this, as there can be hidden damage which only manifests later; it's rare, but can happen. To protect themselves, the shop has to give a disclaimer. In such a case, I would try to get an insurance replacement - either from the motorist's insurer (assuming s/he was at fault) or from your homeowner's policy. They generally will cover such things, as long as the shop attests that the bike's safety is iffy.

However, assuming a thorough inspection -- which included pulling the fork to examine the steerer tube, and unwrapping the handlebar to look for damage under the tape -- the bike is probably okay to ride. (But I'm not guaranteeing that - just like your shop.)
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Old 02-12-21, 09:52 AM
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ADAM31
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I was injured broken clavicle, concussion, L1 non displaced fracture...so technically it would seem my bike is in better shape! Mentally I am slowly moving forward physically I am still a month out from riding
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Old 02-12-21, 12:37 PM
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Most shops will not have an ultrasound machine (except maybe carbon repair places or combo bike shop/gynecologists) so it will be hard to say for sure but if you feel confidence in it, then ride it. If you are worried, then don't ride it and find a different frame and move parts or buy something new entirely. This is about you and if you just had a bad crash on that bike you have to look inside yourself and see what you would do. Without having inspected the frame myself and looked over it I couldn't say much and if I did see it I would probably not guarantee anything either.

I personally probably wouldn't ride a carbon bike after a really serious crash without getting it full inspected by a carbon frame repairer but then again I probably wouldn't ride a carbon frame. Steel is real, Ti is fly, Wood is good and Aluminum and Carbon don't rhyme. Certainly though if I did decide to ride the bike I would be more cautious with it and not push anything and I would probably be looking at a new bike (because I am generally looking at a new bike much of the time because N+1, no?)
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Old 02-12-21, 01:44 PM
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UCantTouchThis
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I had a friend who crashed during a race. Then a month later, his carbon handlebars snapped on a mountain descent hitting a crack in the road. He somehow saved it avoiding injury. The bars snapped at the stem. He had the bike inspected after the crash as well.

But because of that, if it were me and I had carbon bars, that would be something I would replace. That is just me though and I do not use carbon bars.
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Old 02-12-21, 03:06 PM
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cbrstar
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Are the bars carbon fiber? If the shifters were damaged I'd be concerned about damage under the tape or under the stem.
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Old 02-12-21, 03:15 PM
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TiHabanero
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I work in a shop and we have a policy about qualifying frame damage. There is no way to assure the owner the frame has not sustained damage that is hidden. My personal experience with carbon has taught me to always be skeptical of the integrity of the thing after any type of crash. Broken steerers, handlebars, and down tubes well after a crash have all passed through my hands at the shop.

Case 1, fella came in with a busted carbon hbar 1 year almost to the date after a bad crash that damaged the right brifter. The bar broke exactly at the brifter hbar clamp. Leads me to believe the damage was there, but unseen.

Case 2, fella contacted me about a broken carbon steerer. 1 year prior he had crashed quite badly and twisted the handlebar. Loosened stem and rotated back into position and has been riding it since then. About 10000 miles later the stem broke as he shoved off from his house to go on a ride. It broke exactly at the bottom of the stem clamp.

Case 3, fella ran into a parked car. No apparent damage seen so he thought nothing of it, but brought it in for inspection. 1 year later almost to the day the down tube split the entire length on the underside and he crashed and was badly hurt. Fortunately we were astute enough to have recorded the inspection and comments associated with it. In the comments we specifically told the guy there can easily be hidden damage in the frame tubes and he must get it inspected by a qualified repair center. He never did; We know this because he sued everyone who ever touched the bike. Settled out of court.

Case 4, 5, 6, 7, 8...there are plenty more. I just cut up a Giant Defy fork with a paint chip at the crown. Had been involved in a crash. Looking at the cross section where the chip is reveals the carbon is crushed and no longer whole. Happily we were able to convince him to replace the fork a week earlier rather than send him out on it.

Ride it if you desire, just be well aware that what you don't see can harm you.
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Old 02-12-21, 03:16 PM
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Regardless of the actual condition, I suspect after an experience like that it would help your confidence to have a new frameset.

scott s.
.
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Old 02-12-21, 04:30 PM
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In the park a few block from where I live, there are some speed bumps rumored to be part of the nearby Siskiyou range. Last May, I wasn't paying the attention I should have and hit one of these monstrosities at speed. Blew me right over the handlebars and onto the pavement where I broke my pelvis. The bike appeared to be unscathed except for some torn handlebar tape, a scuff on the right side of my saddle, and some superficial scrapes on the right chain stay. During my convalescence, I decided to replace the bar tape only to discover a spiral fracture on the right side that went clean through the bar. So long as it was taped up and the shifter clamp was on tight, the flex was all but completely unnoticeable. While waiting for the replacement bars to show up, I decided I ought to give the wheels a once over. Found a relatively minor wobble in the rear wheel, so out came the nipple wrench. Put maybe half a turn on one spoke and immediately heard a loud crack. The part of the rim opposite the spoke I was tweaking suddenly developed a serious hop caused by a radial fracture right through a spoke hole.

Long story short, I now have a new bike and the crashed bike has taken up permanent residence in my direct drive trainer. As others have said, once it's taken a significant impact, carbon isn't to be trusted.
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Old 02-13-21, 12:56 AM
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not worth the risk of another hospital visit, 60 k is good enuff for one frame, Sean Kelly use to get a new frame every month, but that was a Vitus he was riding. i did a hill jam last summer on my Vitus Carbone last summer, the bike started to feel loose, i look down and the down tube is hanging off the bottom bracket lug by 1/2 inch, who knows how long it was hanging by a drop of glues, i did not have a spare bike yet so i just stuck some locktite on there and hammered it back together and rode easy, the locktite lasted maybe 20 miles so we hung the bike up and revaluated our thinking process.
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Old 02-13-21, 02:18 AM
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blame yourself !
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Old 02-13-21, 05:43 AM
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I've crashed my Felt AR probably a dozen times, but none of them were impacts (though I guess you could call flipping down the road a bit of an impact), which has the potential to greatly change things.

For a frame that old and with that much use, I'd just get a new one after a car incident. You got a lot out if and the peace of mind would be more than worth the cost of a new frame.

I've seen two brand new 2018-2019 AR1 frames on ebay for less than $1400 in the last two months. Massive bargain.
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Old 02-13-21, 07:21 AM
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Whenever I've considered buying a used CF this is an issue for me. I have nothing against CF except for cost. But, I would have a better chance at detecting damage in a metal frame. My ability to see damage (other than the most obvious) in a CF is zero.,

Last edited by bruce19; 02-13-21 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 02-13-21, 07:54 AM
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In my opinion, at 60,000 on a composite bike, you should hang that frame on the wall, for all to admire, and replace it. Crash or no crash.
Tim
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Old 02-13-21, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
In my opinion, at 60,000 on a composite bike, you should hang that frame on the wall, for all to admire, and replace it. Crash or no crash.
Tim
Carbon fiber doesn't fatigue. If a frame has not been crashed, there is no reason to retire it after 60,000 miles...Or twice that distance.
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Old 02-13-21, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Carbon fiber doesn't fatigue. If a frame has not been crashed, there is no reason to retire it after 60,000 miles...Or twice that distance.
Never said anything about fatigue, and oh yeah, he did crash it, and they do fail.
Tim
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Old 02-13-21, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Never said anything about fatigue, and oh yeah, he did crash it, and they do fail.
Tim
You said, "crash or not."

If NOT, then no, there's zero reason not to continue riding it.

Silly assertion.
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Old 02-13-21, 10:16 AM
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If you got the information on the driver that hit you, get a lawyer. Put in a claim against his insurance for a new frame. If they balk at paying for a frame, just use the "pain and suffering" payout and get one yourself. My 'pain and suffering' paid for a new CF bike with Di2 upgrade.
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Old 02-13-21, 10:19 AM
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Silly assertion that you think you can ride a carbon frame forever, carbon fiber pretty much does have an infinite life, the resins bonding the carbon fibers, not so much. Time is still the enemy.
Tim
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Old 02-13-21, 10:27 AM
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Koyote
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Silly assertion that you think you can ride a carbon frame forever, carbon fiber pretty much does have an infinite life, the resins bonding the carbon fibers, not so much. Time is still the enemy.
Tim
No one asserted that "you can ride a carbon frame forever," but you did assert that a frame should be hung on the wall after 60k miles.

I'd like to see your evidence that suggests a cf frame somehow loses its integrity at 60k miles.
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Old 02-13-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Silly assertion that you think you can ride a carbon frame forever, carbon fiber pretty much does have an infinite life, the resins bonding the carbon fibers, not so much. Time is still the enemy.
Tim
60,000 miles = forever? So now you're resorting to simply making things up?

How nice.
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Old 02-13-21, 12:41 PM
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You're the Man. Rest up and be safe.
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Old 02-13-21, 12:43 PM
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This bike or a new bike stay safe!
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Old 02-13-21, 02:30 PM
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get a steel frame bike, i paid 275 for mine, you can crash it all you want and everything. well, depends on the severity of the impact, jus sayin...wtf? spend the savings on pizza.
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