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Broken Colnago C50 carbon fibre/fiber frame

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Broken Colnago C50 carbon fibre/fiber frame

Old 07-05-05, 12:48 PM
  #1  
strawpanda
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Broken Colnago C50 carbon fibre/fiber frame

A few days ago I got it a bit wrong and had a slow speed crash into a soft hedge. The result? A few scratches on me from the brambles, both wheels undamaged, and my lightly used 9 month old Colnago C50 frame snapped in two places like a few, cheap matches. I am astonished that such a light impact could cause such devastating damage. Like the frame, my confidence in Colnago is shattered. Had the frame been steel I am in no doubt that I would have been able to continue cycling without a second thought. In case youíre wondering Iím only 160 pounds.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:07 PM
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That sucks. Have you talked with the dealer where you bought it... Can they help you out at all?
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Old 07-05-05, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by strawpanda
A few days ago I got it a bit wrong and had a slow speed crash into a soft hedge. The result? A few scratches on me from the brambles, both wheels undamaged, and my lightly used 9 month old Colnago C50 frame snapped in two places like a few, cheap matches. I am astonished that such a light impact could cause such devastating damage. Like the frame, my confidence in Colnago is shattered. Had the frame been steel I am in no doubt that I would have been able to continue cycling without a second thought. In case youíre wondering Iím only 160 pounds.
Man, something isn't right here. They ride those frames on cobbles and then ride them the rest of the year with no problem. Back to dealer...
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Old 07-05-05, 01:25 PM
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Care to post some photos?
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Old 07-05-05, 01:33 PM
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Sounds like an unfortunate accident.

If you landed sideways mid-way along a frame tube on something hard and pointed, then it is not unlikely that the tube would brake. Steel or aluminum frame may have crumpled. The frame is not designed to take hits from the side.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:46 PM
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*COUGH* TROLL *COUGH*

I'd have more confidence in titanium being able to take a hit like that, even aluminium, steel frames tend to be pretty thin. Had the frame been steel, it would've dented to the point where the next pothole you hit would've folded it up like a beer can.
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Old 07-05-05, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
*COUGH* TROLL *COUGH*.
Heh, it's always hard to say. I've seen people register on forums before for the sole purpose of bashing carbon fiber anything, but we usually give them the benefit of a doubt until it becomes obvious.

But if the above incident really did happen, it sounds like a manufacturing defect. I'd definitely call the shop about it. Tell them the frame broke first, and the crash was caused by it.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze
Heh, it's always hard to say. I've seen people register on forums before for the sole purpose of bashing carbon fiber anything, but we usually give them the benefit of a doubt until it becomes obvious.

But if the above incident really did happen, it sounds like a manufacturing defect. I'd definitely call the shop about it. Tell them the frame broke first, and the crash was caused by it.
I usually give em the benefit of the doubt too until they say something stupid like, "I am of average weight, I was in a low speed crash and my ultra expensive ultra light carbon frame CRACKED IN TWO PLACES, SPLINTERING MY BUTT, but this would NEVER happen with my STEEL bike and my butt would not be bleeding like it is now. My confidence in carbon is totally shattered, along with my bike, which shattered, like glass."
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Old 07-05-05, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by strawpanda
A few days ago I got it a bit wrong and had a slow speed crash into a soft hedge. The result? A few scratches on me from the brambles, both wheels undamaged, and my lightly used 9 month old Colnago C50 frame snapped in two places like a few, cheap matches. I am astonished that such a light impact could cause such devastating damage. Like the frame, my confidence in Colnago is shattered. Had the frame been steel I am in no doubt that I would have been able to continue cycling without a second thought. In case youíre wondering Iím only 160 pounds.
I'll believe this when I see the photos and even then I'll have my doubts that the accident happened as described.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:26 PM
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After holding the cut portion of my fork steerer tube in my hands and trying to crush it I have a new respect for carbon fibre's strength. Heck I can't even squeeze a 5mm CF headset spacer to a significant degree.

If a crash broke a CF frame then (barring any manufacturing defect) it likely would have done serious damage to a high-end (read: thin walled tubing) steel frame as well.
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Old 07-05-05, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I usually give em the benefit of the doubt too until they say something stupid like, "I am of average weight, I was in a low speed crash and my ultra expensive ultra light carbon frame CRACKED IN TWO PLACES, SPLINTERING MY BUTT, but this would NEVER happen with my STEEL bike and my butt would not be bleeding like it is now. My confidence in carbon is totally shattered, along with my bike, which shattered, like glass."
hah, well that's a very good point. LOL!
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Old 07-05-05, 03:19 PM
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Say 'crash' and they don't want to know.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by strawpanda
Say 'crash' and they don't want to know.
Say, "I've got a personal vendetta to settle and I'm trying to ruin someone's reputation on the internet or anyway I can." and reasonable people will ask reasonable questions.

By the way, where are the photo's you had to take for insurance/warranty purposes? Post 'em.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I usually give em the benefit of the doubt too until they say something stupid like, "I am of average weight, I was in a low speed crash and my ultra expensive ultra light carbon frame CRACKED IN TWO PLACES, SPLINTERING MY BUTT, but this would NEVER happen with my STEEL bike and my butt would not be bleeding like it is now. My confidence in carbon is totally shattered, along with my bike, which shattered, like glass."
+1
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Old 07-05-05, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by waltergodefroot
Say, "I've got a personal vendetta to settle and I'm trying to ruin someone's reputation on the internet or anyway I can." and reasonable people will ask reasonable questions.

By the way, where are the photo's you had to take for insurance/warranty purposes? Post 'em.
+2
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Old 07-05-05, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by simplyred
+1
Bikeforums, meet slashdot. Slashdot, meet bikeforums.
Mod points for everybody!
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Old 07-05-05, 03:51 PM
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To break the mold here... I have seen a C50 break in 5 places... in a crit crash. The frame shattered along the seat stays and the frame collasped on itself and broke the head tube. I tried to get a photo (it was at Redlands) but someone from medical got mad when I approached with a camera...
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Old 07-05-05, 03:51 PM
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We want to see the carnage for ourselves.
give us pictures.
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Old 07-05-05, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Bikeforums, meet slashdot. Slashdot, meet bikeforums.
Mod points for everybody!
Dude, I've crashed my Tarmac more times this week than most people crash in a year...
Some paint job knicks and scuffs... that's all... no odd cracks or crap like that... it's a tank...
If a carbon bike was REALLY that fragile...
Companies wouldn't sell it and customers wouldn't buy em' like hot cakes...
Do I get another mod point?
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Old 07-05-05, 03:57 PM
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OK, a few points:

1) I'm 51 and this was my first crash. It was on a single track road with a car coming the other way. Neither of us were going very fast, he stopped, I didn't, not quite sure why, but I think it was to do with my not having been out for a while and thinking too much about twisting out of my Look pedals and not enough about braking. Thus I have a witness who I can contact for a witness statement if necessary.

2) I bought the bike 'as new' - but s/h - in February while I was working away in France from a thoroughly reputable Italian seller on eBay. He bought the bike in October in Italy and got the size wrong. It was in beautiful condition when it arrived and when I set off on Friday morning for a spin here in the UK.

3) The Colnago warranty says it's not transferable. I've no idea if that is legally defensible but I don't have the resources to take on that battle.

4) I didn't have the bike insured as when I've looked at that in the past I've always found it to be an uneconomic option.

5) I haven't taken photographs yet but I will and I will post them on here - assuming that's a straightforward task!

6) The accident happened precisely as I said, I'm not interested in posting false information and, having spoken to a reputable Colnago dealer here in the UK, I don't expect anyone but me will be bearing the cost/loss.

7) My aim here is to alert anyone interested in top end carbon fibre frames to the potential risks.
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Old 07-05-05, 05:26 PM
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Sorry that had to happen to you Mr. panda. Sounds like you just got some raw luck. It most certainly had to be a manufacturing defect, as I have a great number of miles on my CF road bike, and I also have a CF mountain bike that has literally been crashed hundreds of times with no ill effects.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-05-05, 05:33 PM
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please post on my broken bikes thread when you get some pics

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/89780-broken-bike-parts-post-your-pics-frames-wheels-forks-etc-long-s-broke.html

thanks
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Old 07-05-05, 05:33 PM
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I don't believe for a minute that a "slow speed crash into a soft hedge" will break any bike, much less a Colnago. Not unless the frame was seriously damaged in a previous incedent.
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Old 07-05-05, 05:40 PM
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I'll put my experience in here.

My Kuota, which I've posted pictures on this forum many times, was crashed a few weeks ago. The impact shattered the cf fork steerer, but the frame looked OK. On closer inspection though, a hairline fracture was found in the frame at the joint. The impact was something to the effect of 25mph into a brick wall so it isn't too surprising.

My overall inclination at this point is to replace it with another CF frame, maybe even the same one. That assumes the other parts that broke will heal cleanly, namely my wrists. Those were reinforced with metal, the CF parts were too expensive.
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Old 07-05-05, 07:12 PM
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I believe his story

it might have been defective - or it might have not been defective.

But I don't understand why people attribute god-like status to Colnago. They're just expensive frames, smaller company, limited R&D development budget compared to the large companies. They don't make the lightest standard road frames, don't make the cheapest. Why'd you think they'll be the strongest? Esp with those funky chainstays.
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