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Carbon Frame Integrity After Crashing

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Carbon Frame Integrity After Crashing

Old 02-21-08, 03:13 PM
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ACE123
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Carbon Frame Integrity After Crashing

I recently took the plunge and purchased a full carbon road bike which is or should I say was a dream to ride.

Last week a motorist decided to pull out in front of me....thanks. I hit the front wing of his car at around 30 kilometres ph went over the bonnet/hood and hit the tarmac. I got away with 9 stitches in my left fore-arm and some other cuts and bruises.

My new cf bike, I have been told, needs new forks and wheels and a few other bits and pieces. The frame is showing no signs of a hairline crack and, according to the local bike shop, is ok to ride in the future.

I have heard, as most other roadies probably have, about various horror stories of cf frames that have been in a crash cracking at a future date.

Any advice on what I should be doing re the insurance claim? The local bike dealer is reluctant to write off the bike and I'm not looking forward to riding a bike that might break at any moment.

I want my bike to be in the perfect condition it was in before this accident!!!!
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Old 02-21-08, 03:21 PM
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merlinextraligh
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Get a representative from the Frame manufacturer to look at it . (The LBS should have contact for the local rep.)

If anyone is going to say it needs replaced it will be the manufacturer. If they say it needs replaced, get it in writing and send it to the insurance carrier. If they say it doesn't need replaced, ride it and don't worry about it.
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Old 02-21-08, 03:35 PM
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Riding crashed CF components is a very good idea. The good news is that if your fork broke instead of your frame that means your frame may have been saved by it's sacrifice.
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Old 02-21-08, 04:24 PM
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Is the motorist covering any of the costs?
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Old 02-21-08, 04:43 PM
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i still can't figure out what kind of car hit you, and where you were riding.

this car has wings, you say? I'm intrigued.
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Old 02-21-08, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by xthugmurderx
i still can't figure out what kind of car hit you, and where you were riding.

this car has wings, you say? I'm intrigued.
Nothing to be intrigued about - a ricer.
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Old 02-21-08, 05:47 PM
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I got hit by a car on my carbon TCR. THe shop looked it over and declared it fine. I was a little skepical but I've put probably over 10K on it since then without any problems. Had to replace the bars, seatpost and wheels though.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:22 PM
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I had a similar incident a while ago - forks snapped and the frame looked OK. My LBS said it was Giant's policy to write off the frame after a crash of that severity and gave me a quote for a new bike. The bike mechainic contracted by the car drivers insurance company said that the frame was fine and that they would give me a 1 month warranty on the repairs! This was on a 9-day old frame which had a 10 year warranty.



After a lot of fighting with the insurance company, I convinced them that they had to satisfy Giant that the frame was OK so that my original warranty was valid, since Giant's authorised rep at the LBS said that the frame was written off. The frame was sent for some kind of X-ray and/or UV analysis by a specialist, and the frame was found to have a severe internal crack (at least 4 cm long) in the down tube just behind the head tube. This would be likely to produce a catastrophic failure (shatter completely) in the short to medium term with no warning.

My advice - get your frame checked by an expert. Take it to a shop authorised by the manufacturer so that they can check it. A visual inspection CAN'T detect damage within the CF layers, which is where it is likely to occur.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:40 PM
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I'm surprised the dealer isn't willing to write it off...
He should be enthusiastic about being able to move a new frame,no?
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Old 02-21-08, 06:46 PM
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Something you should keep in mind is riding confidence. I feel terrible riding on a bike that I'm not 100% confident of.. plus just today the LBS had a cutaway of the headtube and downtube of a Scott CR1 frame and I never realized how incredibly thin the carbon walls are - looked like .6-.8mm. That's not something to gamble with!
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Old 02-21-08, 07:29 PM
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Man that sucks. This is why I'm too afraid to buy a bike with a carbon frame.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:32 PM
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You will never say my steel bike "was a dream to ride." Because steel is a dream to ride.

Get a real bike and not some fad crazed POS plastic toy made in Taiwan. Your LBS is telling you the bike is fine because they sold it to you.

Carbon fiber requires expensive technology to see structural flaws. It is highly unlikely your bike shop has an electron microscope in the tool box.
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Old 02-22-08, 01:22 AM
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Thanks for all your advice.

The motorist is paying for all the damage via his insurance company.

I live and work in Spain, my Spanish is ok but not great, so somethings can be lost in translation.

Back to the LBS to see if they can send the frame back to the manufacturers for a closer inspection.

Will let you all know the outcome

Adios amigos
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Old 02-22-08, 04:15 AM
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sore feet: it's highly unlikely that an electron microscope will be of any use in looking for cracks in a CF frame, as it can't see through the frame either. perhaps you mean some kind of X ray or ultrasound inspection device.

OTOH, electron microscopes are very nice for looking at sub-light microscopic stuff.

and you think CF is a fad? steel bikes break too, and they're generally not worth the cost of pulling them apart and brazing in new tubes, though it is possible. it's also possible to repair carbon fibre, just not very pretty or recommended.

you'd think they'd keep building planes out of steel if it was so good.

hey, i've got one bike of each frame material so I'm not biased. I love them all. they're all real bikes.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by urodacus
sore feet: it's highly unlikely that an electron microscope will be of any use in looking for cracks in a CF frame, as it can't see through the frame either. perhaps you mean some kind of X ray or ultrasound inspection device.

OTOH, electron microscopes are very nice for looking at sub-light microscopic stuff.

and you think CF is a fad? steel bikes break too, and they're generally not worth the cost of pulling them apart and brazing in new tubes, though it is possible. it's also possible to repair carbon fibre, just not very pretty or recommended.

you'd think they'd keep building planes out of steel if it was so good.

hey, i've got one bike of each frame material so I'm not biased. I love them all. they're all real bikes.
+1

Sorefeet, you, sir, are an idiot.



OP - I'd be concerned if the wreck was bad enough to snap the fork. I've wrecked my CF bike (in a race) but there was minimal impact, mostly just a slide w/ a little bounce. I've never given it a second thought, but if I'd cracked the fork, I WOULD be concerned.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by operator
Riding crashed CF components is a very good idea.
It is?
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Old 02-22-08, 10:16 AM
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While there are lots of sarcastic jokes on this forum about carbon "exploding", it is worth taking a close look for damage or dings on your frame once in a while, even if you haven't crashed. Slices, crushed areas and "dents" are what to look for with the naked eye. These areas can fold inward creating a tube failure. After all, it's just fabric and epoxy.

I build graphite fly rods and you'd be surprised how a little nick can result in rod failure. Fly rods are obviously smaller tubes but the materials are similar.

FYI: I ride a carbon bike.
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Old 02-22-08, 12:50 PM
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Why aren't you sueing the piss aout of the ******* that hit you for personal injury? The property settlement will cover a new bike. The personal injury settlement will cover a new car,
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