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Catastrophic Carbon Fibre Frame Failures

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Catastrophic Carbon Fibre Frame Failures

Old 07-02-20, 08:30 PM
  #51  
alcjphil
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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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Old 07-02-20, 09:35 PM
  #52  
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This reminds me of a guy I saw at our biggest LBS about 8 years ago.
He brought in a average beginner bike that had been DRIVEN over in his driveway. LOL
He was begging them to make it rideable. hahahahaha
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Old 07-02-20, 10:04 PM
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About 12 years ago a friend of mine was on a "B" pace ride with other club members. He was riding a relatively new full CF bike, a model that has been used in the pro peloton. It had never been crashed. He was a conservative rider who weighed maybe 170. While slowing down for a red light, not a panic stop, the head tube instantaneously broke free from the top and down tubes, and Jay was over the bars. The impact of his head (yes, helmet in use) on the pavement broke his neck, and he was rendered a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. He died of complications related to his paralysis a few months after the accident.

Data point of one.
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Old 07-03-20, 07:27 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
About 12 years ago a friend of mine was on a "B" pace ride with other club members. He was riding a relatively new full CF bike, a model that has been used in the pro peloton. It had never been crashed. He was a conservative rider who weighed maybe 170. While slowing down for a red light, not a panic stop, the head tube instantaneously broke free from the top and down tubes, and Jay was over the bars. The impact of his head (yes, helmet in use) on the pavement broke his neck, and he was rendered a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. He died of complications related to his paralysis a few months after the accident.

Data point of one.
W my very sore sacroiliac back joint.. riding is a PITA of late. Yet I will give it a light go this morn.. stopping at a favorite spot to remember this rider.

I see this thread now is failing silent... above incident sez it all. My MAIN ***** w carbon junk is it's sold MINUS the warnings up front... buried in super fine print gibberish.. most consumers have not a glue for the potential consequences.

THAT.. is no way to do business in this USA. We in reality have FEW bike companies anymore.. just 'marketing' concerns using names earned from the past.
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Old 07-03-20, 08:41 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
About 12 years ago a friend of mine was on a "B" pace ride with other club members. He was riding a relatively new full CF bike, a model that has been used in the pro peloton. It had never been crashed. He was a conservative rider who weighed maybe 170. While slowing down for a red light, not a panic stop, the head tube instantaneously broke free from the top and down tubes, and Jay was over the bars. The impact of his head (yes, helmet in use) on the pavement broke his neck, and he was rendered a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. He died of complications related to his paralysis a few months after the accident.

Data point of one.
man, hate to hear that.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:26 AM
  #56  
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I cracked one carbon fork (Enve) on my Moots. Discovered the crack while cleaning up my bike. Enve replaced it in under warranty. I mainly ride on Diablo (East Bay, California).
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Old 07-03-20, 11:21 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
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?


chain catcher didn't work then? this is crazy
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Old 07-03-20, 11:39 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
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
I "carported" my roof-mounted Ti frame/CF fork ~7 years ago. Roof rack was a fork-clamp model, so the saddle was the highest part of the structure. Fortunately I wasn't traveling fast into the carport - probably travelled a further 6"-1 ft after hearing the "crunch". Saddle was twisted to one side and ripped a bit, the bike tray was twisted and shoved back, and a couple of the pillars for the factory roof rails (and one the rails itself) were cracked. I repaired the rails by various means, and manually untwisted the tray, so the front and rear were largely parallel. The Ti frame looked OK - straight and no visible damage - my main concern was the fork, on which the force pulling the rack off the car had operated. It looked OK, but who knew? Given to it was ~13 years old (Reynolds Ouzo Pro), I figured that replacing it as a cautionary measure probably wasn't a bad idea (probably would've done it even if the fork had been newer, but the age of the fork made the decision easier). I found an NOS uncut Ouzo Pro on eBay (Independent Fabrication clearing out their old stock) for a relative bargain. Frame, saddle (with strategically located duct tape) and seat post still on the go - original fork cut up and consigned to the trash, replaced for way less than the cost of one dentists visit. My one regret is that I forgot to retrieve a perfectly good Chris King crown race before I trashed the old fork.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:55 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
.... While slowing down for a red light, not a panic stop, the head tube instantaneously broke free from the top and down tubes......Data point of one.
Excuse me for quoting myself, but the last 4 words here are important. This is a RARE event. I know A LOT of riders, the overwhelming majority riding carbon, and have never heard of an event remotely similar to Jay's disaster. I have and ride a 21 year old Trek OCLV. I check the tube junctions regularly and it will be retired if it ever emits the slightest creak or if I crash it. I replaced the CF fork immediately when one of the legs was scored by a piece of wire I didn't see on the road.

A mutual friend of Jay & myself had an identical frame to his. The LBS who sold both frames called her up so the frame could be "inspected" and then quietly replaced it. I don't know if this was at the behest of the manufacturer and I don't know what the legal disposition was regarding Jay's case.
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Old 07-03-20, 04:20 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
About 12 years ago a friend of mine was on a "B" pace ride with other club members. He was riding a relatively new full CF bike, a model that has been used in the pro peloton. It had never been crashed. He was a conservative rider who weighed maybe 170. While slowing down for a red light, not a panic stop, the head tube instantaneously broke free from the top and down tubes, and Jay was over the bars. The impact of his head (yes, helmet in use) on the pavement broke his neck, and he was rendered a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. He died of complications related to his paralysis a few months after the accident.

Data point of one.
Okay...that's horrible! I'm sorry to hear that.
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Old 07-03-20, 07:12 PM
  #61  
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Catastrophic failures have happened with many other frame materials, too, such as my friend's steel fork snapping off at the crown on a fast downhill. He didn't die, but he was in the hospital for quite a while.

Maybe such problems occur mostly with frames made of any material that are built to be as light as possible. I know that I'd be more inclined to buy a carbon frame or a steel frame that's a couple of hundred grams heavier if it came with a lifetime warranty.

Which reminds me of a story I've told in a similar previous discussion. In the mid-'80s, a customer brought a steel high-end Italian-made Bianchi into the bike shop where I worked. The frame had a crack at the seat lug. Open-and-shut warranty issue.

I showed the frame to the Bianchi sales rep, who agreed to cover it under warranty and arranged for a free replacement frame to be sent to the shop. I said, "So what happens now? Do you send the frame back to Bianchi in Italy?"

He said, "No---we just throw it away." I was surprised and asked, "So how do you get reimbursed for the replacement frame?" He said "We sell them in the U.S. with a lifetime warranty because that's the standard practice here. Bianchi doesn't warranty any frames, anywhere."

In fact, he said, Bianchi's Italian management found the whole idea of warranty coverage of racing frames amusing. They once told Bianchi USA, jokingly, that "We can sell you racing frames with a lifetime warranty if you like. They'll weigh a kilo or so more, though."
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Old 07-03-20, 07:20 PM
  #62  
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My 87 Bianchi cracked at the front derailleur braze-on (in 1989). They warrantied it, but it took about a year. They replaced it with a heavier frame. It has been fine, and I considered it an upgrade (SLX vs. SL).

Last edited by wgscott; 07-03-20 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 08:21 PM
  #63  
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Someone wasn’t breast fed.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:20 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
chain catcher didn't work then? this is crazy
apparently it didn't, looks like the chain chew into the catcher itself a bit too.
This is a Trek Emonda frame, their weightweeini frame, probabaly 800g, but that's what you get for light weight anything.
He now bought another frame, a steel Cinelli Vigorelli, it's about 2000g, and honestly the Vigorelli feels more supple and absorb road imperfections with a resounding "thump thump".
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Old 07-03-20, 10:49 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Someone wasn’t breast fed.
riding "good" CB frames is a good substitute
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Old 07-04-20, 09:21 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
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.
I’ve seen a number of those in nearly every other material as well.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:31 AM
  #67  
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Just wondering how durable a sub 800 gram frame would be when made from metal. Or correspondingly how strong a carbon frame would be when made to equivalent weights of metal.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:42 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by velopig View Post
Just wondering how durable a sub 800 gram frame would be when made from metal. Or correspondingly how strong a carbon frame would be when made to equivalent weights of metal.
My wife's Specialized Sirrus Carbon Comp. weights about the same as my steel bike. The frame seems extremely robust.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:47 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I "carported" my roof-mounted Ti frame/CF fork ~7 years ago. Roof rack was a fork-clamp model, so the saddle was the highest part of the structure. Fortunately I wasn't traveling fast into the carport - probably travelled a further 6"-1 ft after hearing the "crunch". Saddle was twisted to one side and ripped a bit, the bike tray was twisted and shoved back, and a couple of the pillars for the factory roof rails (and one the rails itself) were cracked. I repaired the rails by various means, and manually untwisted the tray, so the front and rear were largely parallel. The Ti frame looked OK - straight and no visible damage - my main concern was the fork, on which the force pulling the rack off the car had operated. It looked OK, but who knew? Given to it was ~13 years old (Reynolds Ouzo Pro), I figured that replacing it as a cautionary measure probably wasn't a bad idea (probably would've done it even if the fork had been newer, but the age of the fork made the decision easier). I found an NOS uncut Ouzo Pro on eBay (Independent Fabrication clearing out their old stock) for a relative bargain. Frame, saddle (with strategically located duct tape) and seat post still on the go - original fork cut up and consigned to the trash, replaced for way less than the cost of one dentists visit. My one regret is that I forgot to retrieve a perfectly good Chris King crown race before I trashed the old fork.
That's how I got back into biking. I had an old Paramount (drunk hit me when riding, it was a custom frame, Schwinn on strike when I asked them to repair it, they sent me a standard frame which was too big, didn't ride for a long time). I was in the Philly airport garage. Someone had driven their BMW with a CAAD 3 or some such under a concrete beam. Frame bent, fork bent, saddle trashed, handlebars bent. They left it next to the trash can, still affixed to the car-top carrier. I was getting home, walked past the wreckage, threw my stuff into the car and thought "I wonder what kind of bike that is". Ended up taking the wreckage home. Took me a bit to figure out those new-fangled brifters. Anyway, sparked my interest and a trip to the Bike shop. "You rode a Paramount, eh? Try this Domane, you'll like it!". I did, but I couldn't afford the 3K at the time. And I'm really snooty about stuff so I wanted the highest series (6) at the time, and Dura Ace. Found one on eBay. A former Trek team guy was selling his Trek kit. Bought a 2014 Series 6 Domane, all Dura Ace. It's the bike I ride most. I also got rid of the poorly sized Paramount and got an LeMond Zurich frame (853, carbon fork) that I spread, aligned, and installed Ultegra R8000. They both ride really nicely.

The shifting cables are getting a little fidgety on the Domane, and experience indicates that they need replacing (and that its a rough row to hoe to replace those things after they've broken). So today I plan on taking a 4th of July ride on the Lemond. One reason I got the Lemond was my skepticism about the durability of CF. It may be that in 100 years there are still viable CF frames from today around. But my LeMond frame will still be around if I don't crash it. BTW, I do intend to replace the front fork with a Ritchey at some point soon. And since its a 1" steer tube, I've been vultching (watching like a vulure) eBay for a 2001 or so Maillot Jaune or Zurich - 853 frames with a 1-1/8 inch steer tube. Anyway, I need to put red, white and blue crepe paper in the spokes for my ride so I've got to get cracking.

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Old 07-04-20, 09:54 AM
  #70  
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So the things I have learned from this thread

· There are fewer carbon frame bikes in use than other types

· Racing bikes can’t be expected to have the same lifespan as types made for other uses

· Manufactures are still updating designs to improve durability when something fails

· Carbon bikes need to be handled with more care. Common issues like throwing a chain has rendered bikes unusable

· There are people on this site who have first hand knowledge of “unmolested” carbon frames “asploding”

The fact carbon bikes are less common yet account for the majority of the warranty repairs is telling. Carbon technology is still in its infancy when compared to other technologies. There aren’t any 40 year old carbon bikes to draw conclusions from. The longer a bike is used the greater the chance of it being "molested". Statistics concerning carbon durability might be biased by early technologies that are no longer used today.

As with all items concerning risk one needs to weigh the probability of something failing to the potential consequences of failure. Most carbon failures listed here were not life threatening. Some were. But without hard numbers of failures per mile it is impossible to quantify the relative risk of carbon vs. other materials.

The last thing that seems apparent to me at least

· Some people will ignore all of the above to avoid the perception of losing an internet argument
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Old 07-04-20, 11:27 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by velopig View Post
Or correspondingly how strong a carbon frame would be when made to equivalent weights of metal.
The worst of both worlds!
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Old 07-04-20, 05:19 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’ve seen a number of those in nearly every other material as well.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but how do they actually do this? Pound it in with a hammer?
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Old 07-04-20, 05:21 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Did you do the repairs yourself?
Yes I did the work myself. Cracks in the fork crown and the headrest area were fixed, I stiffened the power idler area, and cut the adjustable boom so far back for my shorter legs that I had to permanently bond it in place. I think the fork came out pretty nice.

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Old 07-04-20, 05:33 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Yes I did the work myself. Cracks in the fork crown and the headrest area were fixed, I stiffened the power idler area, and cut the adjustable boom so far back for my shorter legs that I had to permanently bond it in place. I think the fork came out pretty nice.

Yeah, that looks great! Well done.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:00 PM
  #75  
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1994 or so, a group of us freshmen were jumping our bikes at a hump near the parking spot of a local MTB trail.

Tall lanky guy lands and I think it was the headtube failed on him. **** was eaten. I think he got a few stitches and maybe a concussion.

1990's Giant Cadex with a 180-200lb rider catching air.

I think those were bonded to aluminum lugs if I remember correctly. I can't imagine something like that happening on even the cheapest open mold modern carbon frame.
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