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Broke two old roadbike frames, need help picking new frame

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Broke two old roadbike frames, need help picking new frame

Old 03-02-14, 11:12 PM
  #1  
andydean
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Broke two old roadbike frames, need help picking new frame

Hello everyone, new to the forum and needing a little help. I bought an old road bike someone converted to single/fixed gear and rode it as a freewheel for about a year pretty casually, then started riding fixed gear and more frequently. Then I broke that frame around the lugs one the tube that the fork stem goes into(not sure what the technical term for that is). I then found another old road frame and built it myself into a fixed gear with a lot of the components from the previous bike and after riding a few months, broke that frame in the same place.

Now my bike has become my only transportation, don't have a car, just ride everywhere. I live in Austin which has okay road surfaces. My daily commute is just over thirteen miles and then there's plenty of extracurricular riding for errands and fun and what not and I'm a fairly big dude, about 6'2 215 lbs. I need a frame that's tough and I can spend 500 on one, I don't care if it's rough riding or whatever, tough is priority number one and then speed is two, I'm not too wealthy and if I drop 500 I can't afford to have it break in two months. Right now the Leader 735 is leading the pack, I like its looks and it seems like a pretty solid frame and I'm just kind of skeptical about thin flexy steel frames after breaking two even though they're supposedly stronger than aluminum (my hardtail mountain bike is aluminum and it's tough as nails). Then the Affinity metropolitan is another I'm thinking about, though the steel thing is holding me back. I'm also even considering going a little deeper for a super pista frame if the extra 250 would mean a significantly more durable frame.

What's everyone's thoughts on this? Which bike do you recommend, honestly I'm leaning pretty hard towards the Leader 735, but I could change if there's a better option.

Last edited by andydean; 03-03-14 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:01 AM
  #2  
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Something like a Kilo WT or a Surly Steamroller would be a good for a bigger guy. They're both steel, I don't see either one of them breaking and I would put them over a 735 in strength anyday. My Steamroller won't dent no matter how rough I am on it. And with both those frames I named you can run up to like 38c tires for extra cushion on ****ty roads. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-03-14, 06:24 AM
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at your size, and intended purpose of the bike, steel is your friend. it wouldnt be surprising if you cracked older lugged steel racing frames, but a modern lower end steel tig welded fixed frame is going to be much, much more durable than those frames of old with questionable history. people have literally toured around the world on surly steel frames, and almost any serious touring bike you'll find will be made of steel for its rugged durability.

do yourself a favor if you're mostly commuting and errand running on the bike - find something that can take a rack and fenders, that makes all the difference when you need to ride every day. i personally own a windsor clockwork, in addition to 100 other bikes, and i think it would be perfect for what you describe. heavy, bombproof tubes, plenty of tire clearance for bigger tires and fenders, and dirt, dirt cheap.
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Old 03-03-14, 09:49 AM
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I'm kind of interested in what you were doing to damage the frames. I'm a heavier guy myself and most common steel frames hold up fine under me. Have you've been bombing some curbs and stuff cause then I can then understand why frames are being damaged?

Like said by others you will likely want to invest in a steel frame instead of an aluminum one. The properties of steel will be more forgiving then aluminum.

Last edited by ThimbleSmash; 03-03-14 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 03-03-14, 10:02 AM
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my first response is quit ramming into things.
where the frame is failing is in a area that gets weakened after a front end crash (ramming into a car that gets in your way) usually causing the frame to bulge at the headtube
which at your weight would cause the frame to fail quicker than most
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Old 03-03-14, 11:45 AM
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Are you riding freestyle? tricking, fakies? Or just riding? Seem strange to brake two steel frames from normal riding
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Old 03-03-14, 04:22 PM
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andydean
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No freestyle, trick or anything just riding. I try not to go over curbs much but do occasionally and when I do it's very slowly, and I haven't wrecked either bike. I'm hoping it was just that those two frames were old lugged frames that were wore out and maybe not too quality either. I don't know what make the first frame was and the second was a motobecane, though from what I understand they were a little better quality when that frame was made then they are now.
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Old 03-03-14, 07:57 PM
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I dunno man somethings not right. I'm 6 foot 250lbs right now and my Langster steel (Taiwanese made frame) has held up fine after two years. That's with a 20 spoke front wheel too.
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Old 03-03-14, 08:11 PM
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Don't break bikes, bro.
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Old 03-09-14, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by andydean View Post
No freestyle, trick or anything just riding. I try not to go over curbs much but do occasionally and when I do it's very slowly, and I haven't wrecked either bike. I'm hoping it was just that those two frames were old lugged frames that were wore out and maybe not too quality either. I don't know what make the first frame was and the second was a motobecane, though from what I understand they were a little better quality when that frame was made then they are now.
Frames don't wear out.

Can we see the damage? Has the frame bent, head tube come off, etc?

Two in a row is absurd.
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Old 03-09-14, 07:34 AM
  #11  
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He bought two old frames that had probably been abused and left to rust long before he got his viscous claws into them, then he abused them until they failed and is now using that as an excuse to defame older frames

Oh okay, methinks I dost exaggerate in a feeble attempt to make a point.

OP, steel frames are good, strong and reliable ... until they are abused and neglected though you should understand that aluminium and crabonfibre are far less forgiving. You're either monumentally hard on frames (in which case you should only buy Surly steel frames) or incredibly unlucky (in which case sticking to Surly isn't a bad move either). Regardless of what the causes are, only a fool would decide that steel frames are not up to the job, they are actually far more forgiving than any other material.

So, before making decisions about what to buy, work out WHY you broke two frames. Hint, the frame material is not the answer. It's probable that you simply bought much abused frames in the first place - buying new will negate that problem. It's also probable that you abused said frames, even if you didn't realise it at the time. Bikes are not tanks or bulldozers and resent being treated as such.

I think you're on the right track in buying a new frame, though I'd urge you to expand your choice of frame material before making a decision (it's not the material that matters, it's the design and construction of the frame that matters). There's nothing wrong with the Leaders, they've got lots of followers on here, but so have Surly, Wabi and other brands.

However, I'd also strongly suggest you review how you treat your bikes - it's possible you aren't hard on your bikes and were just unlucky, but it's bloody hard to break a frame, even when trying to. Avoid potholes. Don't go kerb hopping. If you like pulling wheelies, don't slam the front wheel down hard. And so on.

Just my thoughts but hey, what would I know, I weigh 110kg (240 pounds), commute on roads that could be generously called 'okay' and ride a bike I bought new in the eighties ie, it has one of those ghastly flexy steel tube frames and is now 30 years old. I'm also a grumpy old sod
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Old 03-09-14, 09:13 AM
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I knew a guy that had a lugged conversion with a cracked head tube. He didn't crash or abuse it. Europa pretty much stated it all.

My vote is for a steel frame as well.
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Old 03-09-14, 12:26 PM
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andydean
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I found a new bike, a Windsor that someone had for sale on Craigslist and went with that. After looking around for some bullhorns for it, it dawned on me that the old risers that I had on those two previous bikes were extremely wide. They were some bars I took off an old mountain bike, and when I would stand up to climb a hill which is something I do a lot of on my commute, I must have just been torquing the **** out of the front end with all the leverage of those bars and my weight on the front end of the bike. I think this might have been the cause of them breaking. Does that sound feasible?
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Old 03-09-14, 12:42 PM
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Yup, that doesn't make sense at all.
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Old 03-09-14, 01:30 PM
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I'm glad everyone's advice helped you out.
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Old 03-09-14, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by andydean View Post
Does that sound feasible?
Nope.
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Old 03-10-14, 11:41 AM
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That's impossible.

And it still doesn't answer what I asked. Hell, if it's just a crack circling the head tube and not going through the lugs, I'd ride it.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Cute Boy Horse View Post
That's impossible.
Yer not wrong there.

And it still doesn't answer what I asked. Hell, if it's just a crack circling the head tube and not going through the lugs, I'd ride it.
But this does have me confused ... so I'm probably suffering old phart's syndrome complicated with the top half of a bottle of red.
I can't see how anyone would be happy with a crack circling any tube, unless one could be sure it's only in the paint (and hence a warning of horrors to come). Fuggit, rather than me just being rude and completely missing the point, could you explain this again in different terms because there's something that I'm not understanding the way you do.
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Old 03-11-14, 03:38 AM
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Architecturally speaking, I guess a cracked head tube is the least awful kind of cracked tube you can have, since there's another (presumably not cracked) tube inside it.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
rt's syndrome complicated with the top half of a bottle of red.
I can't see how anyone would be happy with a crack circling any tube, unless one could be sure it's only in the paint (and hence a warning of horrors to come). Fuggit, rather than me just being rude and completely missing the point, could you explain this again in different terms because there's something that I'm not understanding the way you do.
The real danger is a) the head tube coming off, or b) the head tube splitting open and your fork falling out.

Option A is cracks at the joints between frame tubes, B is a vertical crack.

So if it's just a crack circling the tube, not going through the lugs in any way, it doesn't really matter all too much. At this point, you've now got two head tubes stacked one on top of the other, squished closed by your headset and steerer tube.

It'd probably creak like buggery, invite rust, and look awful, but it's not going to suddenly fail under you unless you're getting ten feet of air or something.

Last edited by Cute Boy Horse; 03-11-14 at 04:25 AM.
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