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Has anyone actually broken a road bike?

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Has anyone actually broken a road bike?

Old 01-10-18, 04:59 PM
  #1  
baribari
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Has anyone actually broken a road bike?

I'm something like 50 pounds over the rated rider weight for my bike, whereas before I was 20-30 pounds over it. Now I'm starting to worry if I will eventually crack the frame...

Should I be worried about the frame, or is the rated weight more about the wheels?
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Old 01-10-18, 05:13 PM
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Don'r sweat it unless you ride miserable roads with potholes every 20 yards.

There's plenty of safety margin because builders have to factor dynamic loads, ie. hitting a pothole at high speed, without getting out of the saddle.

The reality is that how you ride is far more important than what you weigh, and that applies to everything including the wheels. Your higher weight only means that there's less forgiveness left, so you need to exercise more care than a 110# ballerina would. (but not a whole lot more care).
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Old 01-10-18, 05:38 PM
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I went through 4 BMC carbon seat posts on my GF01 three years ago. Frame held up fine but I cracked seat posts like it was my job. I put about 6000 miles on the bike over the course of the year and weighed about 270 pounds when I started and about 240 when I sold the bike. Ironically the Dura Ace 9000 C24 wheel set that came with the bike was rock solid and I rode on some terrible Sonoma county roads.

But the frame was fine.
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Old 01-10-18, 05:47 PM
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what frame?

frame warnings are generally written by lawyers not the engineers
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Old 01-10-18, 06:02 PM
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I broke a steel frame when I weighted 170 lbs.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:26 PM
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Smooshed the top tube where it was butted to the head tube on a Panasonic (hit a car that pulled out in front of me from a side street)-- didn't even know it'd happened 'til later.
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Old 01-10-18, 08:32 PM
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The fatigue limit is real. This took something like 20k miles on some genuinely horrific roads, but break it I did. Usually the wheels go first-- I've killed 3 rear wheels.

Drive-side chainstay. NDS was also cracked, but not all the way through. Rode it for no less than 3 miles saying, "What is that knocking sound? Is something loose?" Even still shifted just fine.

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Old 01-10-18, 09:02 PM
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Crazy! When I asked my lbs he told me at 330 I would never see a frame failure unless it was over a massive amount of miles . Most bike mfg do a cover their ars number limit from a lawyers advice. I have a cannondale cross bike, rated for 330 by mfg but tested at over 1000lbs of force so yeah doubt frame is concern. We all know our real issue is always the darn wheels, gets us every time
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Old 01-10-18, 09:31 PM
  #9  
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Get out of the saddle when going over holes/bumps

I used to break posts and get pinched flats.
Originally Posted by softreset View Post
I went through 4 BMC carbon seat posts on my GF01 three years ago. Frame held up fine but I cracked seat posts like it was my job. I put about 6000 miles on the bike over the course of the year and weighed about 270 pounds when I started and about 240 when I sold the bike. Ironically the Dura Ace 9000 C24 wheel set that came with the bike was rock solid and I rode on some terrible Sonoma county roads.

But the frame was fine.
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Old 01-10-18, 09:47 PM
  #10  
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I fatigue-failed a Raleigh Grand Sports. I bought it 1973 and found a downtube/headtube crack in 1990 after a lot of miles. I think the lug maybe wasn't fully wetted during brazing. They warranteed a new frame to me, my son fatigued it at the seatstay-dropout joint. My other son uses a bike exclusively for transportation in Burma and has fatigued several aluminum Trek suspension frames, which they nicely warrantee-replaced. He's now on a Surly non-suspension frame, but also rides more paved roads than in the past, so easier on bikes. My Klein Adept never fatigued on me before I put it out to pasture after 24 years and a lot of miles, but probably because it was so overbuilt for my 140 lb.
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Old 01-11-18, 01:43 AM
  #11  
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i have fatigue failed 1 frame and several forks over my life. My Fuji road bike made it to around 12k miles before the dropout failed(aluminium)
https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdal...26-2014-a.html
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Old 01-11-18, 08:00 AM
  #12  
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I've killed a lot of rear wheels, but no frame breaks yet thankfully.

Although, I personally know a bunch of people that have broken frames. No all of them are clydes either. It's mostly carbon fiber frames that have broken, but a few aluminum ones as well. No steel frames that I know of, but very few people I know ride steel.
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Old 01-11-18, 08:40 AM
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I broke a Reynolds 501 butted steel frame once, hitting a pothole on my new Centurion road bike. It was around 1980 and I weighed around 200↑↓. The break was about 3 or 4 inches down the downtube. The bike shop replaced the bike for free. The front wheel was not damaged, so I think it was a poorly made frame.
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Old 01-11-18, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
I used to break posts and get pinched flats.
I've yet to get a pinch flat in over 10,000 miles of riding and commuting, I always make sure my tires are properly inflated. Sidewall failures, yep. Debris, yep.

Getting out of the saddle for obvious holes and bumps, sure, no brainer. But there's only so much avoidable riding one can do on terrible roads.
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Old 01-11-18, 12:50 PM
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As others have said, I'd be more concerned about the wheels than the frame, but there are variables that we don't know about such as what frame, what wheels, etc.

I have had aluminum bars fail due to fatigue after around 10-15k miles, had a carbon crank arm fail, and I've had pulled some spokes through the rim on some aluminum wheels, but I've never had a frame fail on me. I would say if you have decently built wheels that aren't low spoke count, ie: 28 or more, you're probably fine being that close to the recommended weight.

FWIW, I know they were different components, but the distinct difference in how the carbon crank failed and how the aluminum parts failed has given me a lot of faith in carbon components. The crank arm cracked right at the spindle (NDS), it got kinda soft felt kinda weird, but I was still able to ride it gingerly 3+ miles home. Upon arriving home I tried several times to stomp on it hard enough to separate the arm from the spindle but was unable to do so. After removing it, I tried by hand to bend and twist it in a way that would completely separate it and was still unable without resorting to mechanical assistance.

When the spokes pulled through the rims, it was loud and the rim immediately deformed and became unrideable. Thankfully it was the rear and I was come to a controlled stop. Admittedly, it was relatively low spoke count, but I was also sub-200lbs at the time. The aluminum bars failed catastrophically, snapping clean in half at the stem causing me to go down, which cracked my frame.

Given these experiences, when I replaced the bars, I did so with carbon.
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Old 01-18-18, 09:43 AM
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As an engineer I wouldn't be too concerned about a sudden failure on a bike unless it was due to a crash. These frames are engineered to well above whatever the rating is. Like said above lawyers overrule engineers in this kind of stuff all of the time. At 250 lbs I've never broken a road frame but I have snapped an aluminum mountain bike frame during a crash. And even then I was able to line the frame up and get it home without much concern.
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Old 01-19-18, 12:25 AM
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I egged out a couple of bottom brackets, had a few cracked chainstays over the years, and broke one frame where the seat tube goes into the bottom bracket casting.
I've broken or bent my share of cranks and pedals over the years too.
Wheels have never been a problem though. Tires are another story lately.
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Old 01-19-18, 07:26 AM
  #18  
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I've had two frame failures after 30-years of riding, but I tend to think both were just a result of something faulty in the construction; however, on my first failure I do wonder if it had anything to do with me putting my seat post too high (past the mark on the post), but I don't know...

All in all, I agree with post #16 above. If your weight is a problem, you'd probably see the first signs in popping spokes, but the frame should be just fine...

P.S. What's interesting is that I've never looked up the weight rating of any of my bikes, but I've been a Clydesdale for all my cycling life.
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Old 01-19-18, 07:09 PM
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I have broken, 2 cannondale mountain frames, 1 Cannondale road frame, 1 Trek Mountain frame and the the swingarm, steel Trek fork thankfully I noticed the crack, 1 Bianchi steel frame at the BB, snapped an early Race Face crank, and wheels. It has been a while since I broke something but I have slowed down. Cannondale always was good for replacements I usually had a new frame in a week but that was the made in USA frame days.
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Old 01-24-18, 07:01 PM
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Never broken a frame at 240ish.

A related question, the weight limits on frames, presumably they're to limit liability, but are they also to limit warrantees? Anybody heavy break a frame and been told "sorry, we're not responsible for fixing that because you rode it over the weight limit"?
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Old 01-24-18, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Never broken a frame at 240ish.

A related question, the weight limits on frames, presumably they're to limit liability, but are they also to limit warrantees? Anybody heavy break a frame and been told "sorry, we're not responsible for fixing that because you rode it over the weight limit"?

I asked my dealer the same question, he said don't worry about it. We would have you covered. I think that would be a store by store deal though. I buy all my gear and bikes from one place so I think i would be well served there if I ever had a frame issue. BUT if I was a one and done buyer of same said store and never supported them I can see a LBS saying sorry, you too heavy bro!
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Old 01-29-18, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Nuthin' a little duck tape won't fix.
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Old 01-29-18, 05:13 PM
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Just slide that leather chainstay protector up a few inches, you'll be good
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Old 02-04-18, 11:35 PM
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Had the seat stays split off my old steel frame. Crappy braze job in 1984, it was obvious when I looked at it.
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