Poll: How often have you broken a frame?

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  1. #1
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    How often do you break a frame?

    I broke my 5th aluminum mountain bike frame a month ago, and I'm kinda surprised by the state of the sport. I've broken almost a frame per year of consistent riding, which just seems unacceptable. I want to believe it's just me- i'm a large guy that relies on a good sense of self-preservation; but my riding buddies seem to go through them similarly. What i've seen of carbon is even more pessimistic- I've been on 4 rides with friends on demo'ed carbon bikes, and seen 2 cracked frames. I just can't believe the mountain biking public tolerates so much broken; please show me that everyone i know is an abusive hack.

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    I like cheap stuff that works great and is very sturdy.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I broke my 5th aluminum mountain bike frame a month ago, and I'm kinda surprised by the state of the sport. I've broken almost a frame per year of consistent riding, which just seems unacceptable. I want to believe it's just me- i'm a large guy that relies on a good sense of self-preservation; but my riding buddies seem to go through them similarly. What i've seen of carbon is even more pessimistic- I've been on 4 rides with friends on demo'ed carbon bikes, and seen 2 cracked frames. I just can't believe the mountain biking public tolerates so much broken; please show me that everyone i know is an abusive hack.

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    Are the bike companies replacing your broken frames at no charge?

    I'm more of a XC type rider and have never broken a frame. I'm not that hard on my stuff though and am not out there taking big drops or doing lots of big jumps. I do ride a lot of miles, though. Broken and gone through wheels and most every other part, but no broken frames.
    Are you really sure about that?

  3. #3
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    20 years and the only time I've broken a frame is running into a car while riding on the road.

    I'm not sure how big "large" is (I weight ~90kg so I'm no featherweight), or how you and your buddies ride, but that certainly does seem like a heck of a lot of broken frames.

  4. #4
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    Are you saying these bikes have all just failed suddenly? No warning whatsoever?

    I don't think I would have gotten past frame two if that happened to me...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    Pics?
    ...

  6. #6
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    I ride just XC, but I'm pretty strong. I break a frame every other year. Always at the bottom bracket/right chainstay junction. I've broken steel, aluminum, and carbon frames. I've never owned a ti bike, but I doubt that material would fair any better.
    Supply Side Jesusnomosist

  7. #7
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    I have yet to break a frame.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  8. #8
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    Luckily, I've never broken one... but I'm also not a mad man like some of the younger riders.

  9. #9
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    1 broken chainstay in 6 years riding.
    No moss...

  10. #10
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    Just cracked my first one. I'm a clyde but don't do anything remotely crazy. Can't afford the time off or medical bills.

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  11. #11
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    Re: How often do you break a frame?

    When I was a kid (1987) cracked my kuwahara bravo team pro. Funny part is I do but know how to do freestyle tricks or other stuff. Just rode it around.

    Seat tube cracked straight down the relief cut.
    CRAMBA Chairman

  12. #12
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    OP a little more info is needed.
    1] What frames have you broke? Manufacturer,models and years.
    2] What kind of riding do you do.
    3] What kind of terrain.
    4] How often do you ride on average per week or month.
    5] How much do you weigh.

    ?????
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  13. #13
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    I broke the same Ellsworth frame 3 times in as many years...in 03, 04 and 05, they replaced all 3 times under warranty though. I switched to Santa Cruz in 05 and haven't busted a frame since...I like Santa Cruz better then Ellsworth!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I broke my 5th aluminum mountain bike frame a month ago, and I'm kinda surprised by the state of the sport. I've broken almost a frame per year of consistent riding, which just seems unacceptable. I want to believe it's just me- i'm a large guy that relies on a good sense of self-preservation; but my riding buddies seem to go through them similarly. What i've seen of carbon is even more pessimistic- I've been on 4 rides with friends on demo'ed carbon bikes, and seen 2 cracked frames. I just can't believe the mountain biking public tolerates so much broken; please show me that everyone i know is an abusive hack.

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    The one constant factor in your frame-breaking scenario is you and your riding buds.
    I don't rattle.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLKauai View Post
    Are the bike companies replacing your broken frames at no charge?
    Yes, when i have been the original purchaser. 3 of them i bought second hand in unassembled or nearly new condition though. All failures have been cracks next to welds, or caused by pinholes in welds.

    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    I'm not sure how big "large" is (I weight ~90kg so I'm no featherweight), or how you and your buddies ride, but that certainly does seem like a heck of a lot of broken frames.
    I'm 6'3 and 230. Big, but i'm not going to invade Tokyo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Are you saying these bikes have all just failed suddenly? No warning whatsoever?

    I don't think I would have gotten past frame two if that happened to me...
    Yep, no warning at all. JRA, or found a crack while doing a maintenance inspection, usually. When they've failed while riding i have been doing something unremarkable- tapping the brakes on some doubletrack, climbing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Pics?
    It's a canfield balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    OP a little more info is needed.
    1] What frames have you broke? Manufacturer,models and years.
    2] What kind of riding do you do.
    3] What kind of terrain.
    4] How often do you ride on average per week or month.
    5] How much do you weigh.

    ?????
    I use them in the manner they were intended, no abuse. I've tried to pick models that suit my size and weight, and ride once or twice a week for 3 seasons.


    It's starting to look like it's me and mine that are the cause; that's surprising. We're pretty average riders who have been doing this a while.
    I like cheap stuff that works great and is very sturdy.

  16. #16
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    Neither I nor anyone I ride with has ever broken a frame as far as I know. I did just snap a derailleur hangar for the first time though so I guess anything's possible!
    buzzes like a fridge

  17. #17
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    I cracked the downtube on my dh bike late last summer. The frame was 4 years old. I'm happy with my replacement

    I never cracked an all-mtn frame
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  18. #18
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    MTB no, though like others have mentioned I have burned up just about every other part.
    V-Brake mounts have snapped, bent and cracked bars and stems, seats, rims, spokes, hubs, skewers, etc. I used to ride aggressively-jumps, drops curbs logs rocks etc. Never with any finesse and that might have been the issue. when I used to ride lke that I rarely felt smooth but I did it because it was fun.

    Now BMX, yes. Again, I would ride hard. Growing up in Detroit we had the Rouge River that flows through the city (don'tdrink from it-in fact dont touch it) but there was a trail network that followed the river. So we would take shovels rakes and wheelbarrows to move dirt and we would make our own dirt jump trails. Not like that what is around now but we had fun. and there was always somebody cracking a frame and taco-ing a rim.
    I have cracked a hutch pro street, mongoose californian and a haro master. Again not the smoothest rider when trying to get air.

    Now I like flow on a nice smooth single track.

    Sorry for the long reply

  19. #19
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    This is all you dude. I have never heard of anybody breaking that many frames unless they are a full time downhill racer. You need something burlier.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  20. #20
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    I don't beat my bike up, but I am not always as easy on my bike as I could be.
    I am trying to break my Kmart bike but either it's too tough or I am not trying hard enough.

  21. #21
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    I'm 200lbs, cracked the chainstay on my Stumpjumper HT. Flying down a hill, small rocky gully at the bottom and then immediately back up the hill. Some impressive G's when you start up the other side. Hit it particularly hard one time rear end caught a rock - cracked frame, pinched the back tire, broke some spokes, soiled my shorts, but stayed on the bike. I am sure I stressed the frame beyond it's design.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    OP a little more info is needed.
    1] What frames have you broke? Manufacturer,models and years.
    2] What kind of riding do you do.
    3] What kind of terrain.
    4] How often do you ride on average per week or month.
    5] How much do you weigh.

    ?????


    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I use them in the manner they were intended, no abuse. I've tried to pick models that suit my size and weight, and ride once or twice a week for 3 seasons.


    It's starting to look like it's me and mine that are the cause; that's surprising. We're pretty average riders who have been doing this a while.
    Sorry but that's too vague of an answer for us to continue with this ridiculous thread. There are just too many variables that you leave blank. It makes me wonder if your intent is SPAM and at any moment your going to reveal the best bike out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  23. #23
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    Breaking frames is the ONLY way I get new bikes.
    And as a clyde, I break frames often. I even broke the frame on my SS commuter bike.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  24. #24
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    Riding 30 years, only 1 complete frame failure. Head tube seperated on a chromo frame. Among riding buddies I can recall a couple cracked aluminums, one unbonded cantiliver bosses on a carbon, bent aluminum (to be fair this was a Mantis Profloater that took a 30+ foot drop off cliffside). I am a lightweight though, about 120-135 lbs. Cracked frame was subjected to trials riding so it was trashed pretty good.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Sorry but that's too vague of an answer for us to continue with this ridiculous thread. There are just too many variables that you leave blank.
    I don't need some random internet dweller to analyze me. I already know why i break frames; they're almost always under-built for my uses, and/or have QC problems. The purpose of this ridiculous thread was to see how normal my experience was.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    It makes me wonder if your intent is SPAM and at any moment your going to reveal the best bike out there.
    That would be a Ti 36'er, obviously.

    How often do you break a frame?-black_sheep_36er-850-65.jpg
    I like cheap stuff that works great and is very sturdy.

  26. #26
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    150 lbs, been riding almost 20 years. I bent a dropout on steel Kona Unit, it was warranteed. I also broke 2 Jamis Dakar FS frames, warranteed both times. I think the Jamis was a bad design, they had a history of breaking and after the 2nd one I got a completely redesigned chainstay assembly.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I don't need some random internet dweller to analyze me and fluff his ego. I already know why i break frames; they're almost always under-built for my uses, and/or have QC problems. The purpose of this ridiculous thread was to see how normal my experience was.
    Hey we can do this all night long but you still haven't answered "any" of the above questions. Answer those or even a percentage of those and maybe we could determine why you're breaking so many frames.

    With all the information you've provided so far all we can do is make assumptions. Like maybe you've been buying Huffys and riding BC log jumps.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  28. #28
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    Back in the 70's, as a teenager, I broke the bottom tube from the head on a Columbia kid's bike that was being used for something it was never intended - quasi-BMX. Made a jump and snap! My dad took it to the LBS and they welded the tube but it was never the same. But I still used it on my paper route!

    Yeah, I said paper route - us "older" folks remember the fun of those days, being a paper boy!


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    With all the information you've provided so far all we can do is make assumptions. Like maybe you've been buying Huffys and riding BC log jumps.
    You can assume whatever you want. I'm not interested in your opinion.
    I like cheap stuff that works great and is very sturdy.

  30. #30
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    Hey scottzg, that sux that you are breaking frames so frequently. I'm 30lbs lighter than you and tend to overbuild my stuff and I have broken 2 frames in the last 20 years. One was replaced under warranty and one was partially covered.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    You can assume whatever you want. I'm not interested in your opinion.
    Hey you started the thread I'm just trying to help you in figuring out why you break so many frames. This is a discussion forum lets discuss.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  32. #32
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    Easy DJ,

    The OP is one bad shredder yeah, he bust his stick he shred so bad.


  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajdonner View Post
    Easy DJ,

    The OP is one bad shredder yeah, he bust his stick he shred so bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    You can assume whatever you want. I'm not interested in your opinion.
    I laugh at this.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  34. #34
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    Mid eighties I snapped mongoose moto-mag from jumping garbage cans. But never a mountain bike. When i bought my santa cruz two years ago I was 280 large hitting jumps with much grace and never cracked my frame. A frame made of iron I believe is your only choice!

  35. #35
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    6 frames I think in roughly 25 years of riding. Steel frames were all crash damage or abusing them in ways they weren't designed for and the aluminum ones all cracked apart at the right chainstay near the BB from regular use.

  36. #36
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    No one I know breaks a frame a year. In 22 years one cracked frame due to a poor weld. My guess you are either doing something wrong or buying cheap/crap bikes.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
    No one I know breaks a frame a year. In 22 years one cracked frame due to a poor weld. My guess you are either doing something wrong or buying cheap/crap bikes.
    Yep he's buying Huffys and hucking them off log jumps in B.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
    No one I know breaks a frame a year. In 22 years one cracked frame due to a poor weld. My guess you are either doing something wrong or buying cheap/crap bikes.
    Sometimes you need to step outside of your own universe. I break frames every other year. Had it not been for some periods of time that were light on riding due to work and/or family obligations, I would be a lot closer to every year.
    I typically run around 250lbs. I have been as light as 205 and still broke a road frame. I mostly ride XC, with around a dozen races a year. No DH. Limited AM. No drops. No hucks. No logs.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  39. #39
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    Cracked a chainstay on my trek, and they gave me a warranty replacement 7 years later, quite impressed.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Yep he's buying Huffys and hucking them off log jumps in B.C.
    hey, weren't you warned about that already??? you rebel!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  41. #41
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    I would love to break a frame so I could say I have.

    I think I've broken every other part of a bike.

  42. #42
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    How often do you break a frame?

    6'3", 230lb - if you're strong, young, ride frequently, and hard, you're going to break frames. I broken a few including a road frame. Personally, I'm a fan of Ventana and Pivot, although I just picked up a Trance. We will see how the Giant holds up.


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  43. #43
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    How often do you break a frame?

    I break a frame once every 12 years
    My Rides:
    Mountain Cycle San Andreas VPS
    Mountain Cycle Rumble Ltd.
    Mountain Cycle Battery
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    GT LTS

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I broke my 5th aluminum mountain bike frame a month ago, and I'm kinda surprised by the state of the sport. I've broken almost a frame per year of consistent riding, which just seems unacceptable. I want to believe it's just me- i'm a large guy that relies on a good sense of self-preservation; but my riding buddies seem to go through them similarly. What i've seen of carbon is even more pessimistic- I've been on 4 rides with friends on demo'ed carbon bikes, and seen 2 cracked frames. I just can't believe the mountain biking public tolerates so much broken; please show me that everyone i know is an abusive hack.

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    Hope that tank frame solves the problem.

  45. #45
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Currently 275, have been 325... Only do about 1000 miles a year (XC mostly) although people tell me I ride pretty smooth. I get a ton of frame flex when I mash, but frames (7000 and 6061 series aluminum and CrMo) are still going strong.

    I started out road biking and learned to spin real well in HS.

    My $0.02


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  46. #46
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    My weight is usually right around what OP states his is. Ive broken three frames in 20+ years.

    200lbs + does bad things to bikes when the rider is aggressive on even normal XC terrain.

    In my experience, all three of my frames broke in the same spot. I assume this has something to do with my riding position and the stress i put on the frames from the way i typically ride. I have heard of other people experiencing a similar consistency in where they break their bikes. When shopping for my current bike, i made sure to look very closely at the design and welds of the rear shock mount (my "stress" point) to find a brand/model beefy enough to hold up to the abuse i know i inflict.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    My weight is usually right around what OP states his is. Ive broken three frames in 20+ years.

    200lbs + does bad things to bikes when the rider is aggressive on even normal XC terrain.

    In my experience, all three of my frames broke in the same spot. I assume this has something to do with my riding position and the stress i put on the frames from the way i typically ride. I have heard of other people experiencing a similar consistency
    in where they break their bikes. When shopping
    for my current bike, i made sure to look very
    closely at the design and welds of the rear shock
    mount (my "stress" point) to find a brand/model
    beefy enough to hold up to the abuse i know i
    inflict.
    Well I chased the OP away with my snarkey attitude. He alrady stated he doesn't want my opinion but he's going to get it anyway. All I asked is for him to answer a few pertinent questions so
    we could all determine what he was doing wrong
    to break so many frames. He refused to answer
    any of them and got hostile towards me.

    I'm quoting off Big Ring because my experience is similar. I've been riding for 14 years aggressively
    the whole time. My weight is 200 - 210 lbs and I've
    only broken 2 frames. And that was because it was
    a flawed design. One broke at the seat tower and
    then the new identical replacement frame broke
    exactly 6 months later in the same spot. Come to
    find out the design was flawed and hundreds of
    customers broke theirs in the same spot. The
    company went bankrupt and most were SOL for
    any replacement or reimbursement.

    My point is that the OP is either a spammer or doing something seriously wrong. Look at every post in this thread and the poll. Nobody has a broken frame track record like the OP. But he
    refuses to discuss the issue / s or answer any of
    the list of questions I asked him. I was just trying
    to help him determine why he's breaking so many
    frames. Something is a bit odd on his responses.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  48. #48
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I don't need some random internet dweller to analyze me. I already know why i break frames; they're almost always under-built for my uses, and/or have QC problems. The purpose of this ridiculous thread was to see how normal my experience was.



    That would be a Ti 36'er, obviously.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Black_Sheep_36er-850-65.jpg 
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    Is this enduro?


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  49. #49
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    No, it has a loud chainguard thinger, def not enduro (doesn't have a fire extinguisher mount either)
    ...

  50. #50
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    ^^At least they made the chainstays short. Should be cake to ride a wheelie.

    I've trashed frames to an unsafe condition five times, but when someone says 'break' I think of something actually 'breaking', i.e. a 'catastrophic' failure. Your dropout breaks, your rear wheel might be toast, your rear derailleur gets wrapped up, whatever. You come in nose first and your headtube snaps off, much worse. I think of pain when I hear 'break', not "aww look, now my frame is f$#ked up".

    Sounds like you could use a burlier frame and some handling lessons...

  51. #51
    hands up who wants to die
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Never in 20 years.
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  52. #52
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    7 broken frames in 20 years.
    Pro-Flex 855
    Santa Cruz Tazmon X2
    Santa Cruz Superlight
    Titus Switchblade
    Yeti 575 X2

  53. #53
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Never in my 3 months of mountain biking have I broken a frame

  54. #54
    meh... whatever
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    not counting encounters with cars i've broken:

    early 70's schwinn stingray
    late 70's diamondback bmx
    hutch trickstar
    karate monkey (twice)
    niner one9
    gary fisher mt. tam
    gt rts3
    voodoo azian

    the azian was the nastiest. while ripping down some singletrack at about 25mph there was a loud "pop" sound which resulted in this:

    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  55. #55
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    Nasty

    Bent DT JRA??

    All the beheadings I've seen are @ HT welds. That looks,, not good.. tuck and roll out?
    ...

  56. #56
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    Right? That is a hell of a break. How did you fare on that one?

  57. #57
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    @deerhill - yeah, JRA. it was at the transition of rolling singletrack. there was a small runoff trench at the bottom and i had a rigid fork on the bike. loud POP and the front end disintegrated under me and tossed me more or less OTB about 10 ft out. the people behind me stopped and i hopped up and said, "i think i just broke my fork". mike smirked and said, "i've got some good news and some bad news. the good news is you didn't break your fork. the bad news..."

    @zowie - walked away with minor scuffs and all my teefs.

    here's another angle:

    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  58. #58
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    I keep hoping that I'll break my cheap nashbar frame but it won't break :-(

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

  59. #59
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    Jra

    Designer should be castrated for those cable guides too
    ...

  60. #60
    meh... whatever
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    yeah. they caused "interference" on a couple of occasions.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  61. #61
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    17 years and one hairline crack in a chainstay (which was a known problem with that bike and replaced the rear triangle by the mfgr). That's at 220-255#, plenty of DH, bike park/lift days, 4-6 ft drops, and rough, rocky trail riding.

    I'm not sure how people break so much stuff around here -- that break above looks nasty -- but I'm glad that my mechanical issues are usually pretty minor.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  62. #62
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    Is thread desertion a crime?
    To start a thread then desert said thread when asked any questions. Seems very strange to me and something's not quite right.

    I'm going to start a thread with a poll asking:

    Have you ever started a thread then deserted the thread once people started asking you questions.

    Poll options:
    Option one: No / once I start a thread I stick with it through thick and thin answering as well as asking any pertinent questions.

    Option two: Yes / once I start a thread I'm afraid to field questions so I turn tail and run.

    Option three: I start threads with a fake story line then run like hell just for the fun of it. It's what I do.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 06-09-2014 at 01:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Is thread desertion a crime?
    no. but then again neither is being an abject idiot.

    resultant to both we end up with some "unique" threads and posts.

    be sure to desert your poll thread after starting it...
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  64. #64
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    I've never broken a mountain bike frame. I would say that I ride pretty hard and have no problem sending 4-6 foot drops (usually to transition) and hit up to 15 foot gap jumps. That said, I think I'm pretty smooth.

    I broke several Titan titanium bmx frames growing up. That was mostly because I was hitting dirt jumps on them when I wasn't racing.
    All good things in all good time

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    no. but then again neither is being an abject idiot.

    resultant to both we end up with some "unique" threads and posts.

    be sure to desert your poll thread after starting it...
    True!
    True!
    &
    Finally true, be sure to desert any thread not just poll threads that you start.

    Sorry I'm sick in bed and a little irritable.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 06-09-2014 at 01:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  66. #66
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    I have broken 4 frames in the last 7 years. 3 of those in the last 2 years. Warranty replacement on 2 of them, so not too bad. It's tough being a clydesdale.
    Keep your head tube up!
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Is thread desertion a crime?
    To start a thread then desert said thread when asked any questions. Seems very strange to me and something's not quite right.
    I've been reading the replies. Thanks to everyone who has shared their experience, keep it up!

    It sounds like my experience is typical for about 15% of the folks active on this site, but for everyone else it's ludicrous. My interpretation is that frames are built to tight strength tolerances, generally QC on frames is quite good, (or else everyone would be having some breakage) and that some riders, particularly clydes, consistently load their bikes with larger loads than the frame was designed for. I'm a younger (31) clyde who isn't afraid to crash occasionally (never had a break from deformation or crashing, though), so it's not surprising I'm in the 15%, even if i'm not a great rider.

    I've broken 4 production frames, i broke one of the ones i built (which i counted accidentally and was definitely poorly constructed), which puts me at 1 every other year. Still way too much, but for a manufacturer there's probably not enough of us to justify building heavier frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg
    Hope that tank frame solves the problem.
    Me too! It sucks finding a frame you think will work out, getting all the ancillary parts to get it going, spending a half-dozen rides twaddling with knobs and adjustments... just to have to go and do it all over again. So far I'm happy with it and haven't been bothered by the extra weight.
    Last edited by scottzg; 06-09-2014 at 08:27 PM.
    I like cheap stuff that works great and is very sturdy.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I'm not sure how people break so much stuff around here
    I used to ride in ways that voided manufacturer's warranties. Frequently. As in nearly every ride.
    I was pretty reckless in my youth, my balls were often too big for my skills.

  69. #69
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    How often do you break a frame?

    8 mountain frame failures and 1 road in 14 years. 1 carbon frame that developed an ovaiized seat tube - who knew? Yes, it is tough being a Clyde. Frames are better and I'm getting older so I have high hopes.


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  70. #70
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I was pretty reckless in my youth, my balls were often too big for my skills.
    Me too. It's more balls than brains at that age
    My favorite was hucking off loading docks. That works wonders for frames, forks and wheels.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  71. #71
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    How often do you break a frame?

    Broken 4 frames I'm the last 9 years. 7 of those years are in Phoenix. Been riding MTB for 15 years.

    1 - Kline Mantra, broke weld by rear detailed. From what I read a design flaw.
    2 - Fisher Cakes, XL. Top tube broken just in front of seat tube. Again design flaw.
    1 - RIP 9, broke chain stay just past the weld behind the crank. This break was a surprise as I thought going with an all mountain type bike, and a smaller company would prevent this.

    All were warranties except the RIP. (2.5 years after purchase) I now ride a big name brand with life time warranty. I find it hard to drop 4k plus on a bike that I can break in 3 years and have to walk away from.

    I ride at 240 to 250 w/gear. And my riding style is sit and spin over 80% of what I hit so I am a little rough on things. The terrain in PHX is very rocky so between weight and riding style I stress a frame almost every ride.

    Also no major drops or air time I'm fat, getting old, and gutless. If it were not for bikes I'd be the typical heart diseases American.


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  72. #72
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    In over 14 years have only broken 1 frame, head tube crack from the bottom headset cup up.

  73. #73
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    I've broken a few but through different ways.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I've been reading the replies. Thanks to everyone who has shared their experience, keep it up!

    It sounds like my experience is typical for about 15% of the folks active on this site, but for everyone else it's ludicrous. My interpretation is that frames are built to tight strength tolerances, generally QC on frames is quite good, (or else everyone would be having some breakage) and that some riders, particularly clydes, consistently load their bikes with larger loads than the frame was designed for. I'm a younger (31) clyde who isn't afraid to crash occasionally (never had a break from deformation or crashing, though), so it's not surprising I'm in the 15%, even if i'm not a great rider.

    I've broken 4 production frames, i broke one of the ones i built (which i counted accidentally and was definitely poorly constructed), which puts me at 1 every other year. Still way too much, but for a manufacturer there's probably not enough of us to justify building heavier frames.


    Me too! It sucks finding a frame you think will work out, getting all the ancillary parts to get it going, spending a half-dozen rides twaddling with knobs and adjustments... just to have to go and do it all over again. So far I'm happy with it and haven't been bothered by the extra weight.
    Welcome back I'm glad to see you're not a deserter.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    at about 25mph there was a loud "pop" sound which resulted in this:

    my worst nightmare...

    I've been mtbing for 20 years steady, and though I've only had 5 frames in that time, I've never broken one. Broken bones, but not frames.... I weigh btw 215 - 230 lbs, and though I'm not hucking big drops to flat, I'm always catching air and generally mistreating my bikes. One of my frames was pretty notorious for cracking on the chainstay and/or seatstay... never broke it, but I did completely taco a wheel on a landing with that bike. Guess I'm just lucky, or need bigger mountains to ride.

  76. #76
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Welcome back I'm glad to see you're not a deserter.
    and with a thoughtful, reasoned response too.

    pity...
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    My favorite was hucking off loading docks. That works wonders for frames, forks and wheels.
    And bottom brackets. We bent the crap out of them all the time until Shimano's Octalink and ISIS BBs came out, and that just spread the bending to the cranks and pedal spindles.

  78. #78
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    How often do you break a frame?

    I broke 3 Ti frames and a Specialized M2 in the mid 90s. Haven't broken anything since. Back then it was all XC but I am sure plenty of those trails are now considered All Mountain or some other stupid name.

  79. #79
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    Re: How often do you break a frame?

    Literally never in over 15 years of riding (except a Wal-Mart bmx after repeated 4ft drops to flat concrete, trying to break it for fun, when I was 285lbs). Broken everything else, but not frames, even riding rigid aluminum back in the day.

    I'm sure part of it is that I'm about 185lb geared up and very light on my feet, always trying to "float" over the trail rather than plow through. The other part is the fact that my frame isn't the weak point, I've always had pedals, cranks, bars, seat posts, and rims give way before.

  80. #80
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    Try as I might, I could never exercise the warranty replacement on my '89 steel Stumpy.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    6'3", 230lb - if you're strong, young, ride frequently, and hard, you're going to break frames. I broken a few including a road frame. Personally, I'm a fan of Ventana and Pivot, although I just picked up a Trance. We will see how the Giant holds up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    What if you're 175-185# and not so strong?

    You can still break frames. I broke 2 Univegas (downtube, seattube) and a SJ M2 (chainstay) in the 1990's (of course, everything from the '90's broke), and an '07 Niner MCR9 (drive side rear dropout). I think they were all mfg defects. Univega gave me an aluminum frame and $400. The big S gave me a free SJ M4 frame. Niner gave me a hard time.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    I broke 3 Ti frames and a Specialized M2 in the mid 90s. Haven't broken anything since. Back then it was all XC but I am sure plenty of those trails are now considered All Mountain or some other stupid name.
    ^^^This is funny! It describes my experience exactly (except for the Ti parts).

    I have found that 180#(+/-) is the magic weight in MTBing.
    If you are heavier, you need to beef up from stock parts.
    If you are 180 and ride hard, you need to beef up.
    If you ride light, but make mistakes, you need to beef up.

    ...and it always seems that strengthening one part only transfers stress to a weaker part. I'd rather trash a wheel than a fork or frame, so I build my wheels not quite as strong as the rest of my bike. That didn't help the MCR9, but the engineer in me likes to think it helps.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    and with a thoughtful, reasoned response too.

    pity...
    Zactly!
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  83. #83
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    I have broken a frame about every other year (or so) maybe every 3-4 years is more realistic. I don't ride super aggressively, but I do ride very technical trails and I ride a lot (3-4 times per week). Two of my breaks were manufacturing defects, but all the others I consider to be from fatigue and I'm ok with it. After 3 or 4 years I'm ready for a new bike anyway.

  84. #84
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    Been MTBing since the mid 1980s and have never broken a frame or any other component, other than a few spokes on my current '09 Spec Epic rear wheel. Still have my '88 Klein Pinnacle, which strangers and friends said would last 1-2 years at most. That bike has 10k-15k miles on it- mostly in Annadel.
    Back in the 1970's I did break one or two Webco BMX frames, but no breakage since.
    Oh... I weigh about 225 currently and while I don't "free ride", I'm not the most gentle out there.

  85. #85
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    In 21 years of riding, I've broken 5 frames:
    '94 M2 Stumpy, JRA and cracked it at bb/downtube.
    '99(?) Ellsworth Sub 22, Urban riding in G.G. Park, cracked at headtube/downtube.
    '96 Fisher Y22 carbon, hucked it in a drainage ditch and it shattered like a 3 day old cake doughnut
    '02 (?) Fisher Sugar2+, I have NO idea, it just broke at shock mount.
    '04 Heckler, I got out of control on Toads and SNAP! Done for the day.....

    I would say they were ALL me riding like a bull in a china shop... Oh, and I'm a 200lb rider.

  86. #86
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    22 years of 3-4x a week riding in the 170-210# range. I didn't break anything when I was heavier but I also wasn't riding more than 1-2x/week and rode heavier duty bikes like the SC Bullit and SC Heckler both with beefy parts. Since being in the 170lb range I've broken:

    '04 Stumpy FSR (crash)
    '08 Santa Cruz Nomad gen 1 (cracked at pivot)
    '09 Fisher Paragon (crash)
    '10 Fisher Paragon (crash)

    I lived for 20 years in very rocky conditions so broken bikes were generally from crashes resulting in twisted/dented/crushed frames but I found the better quality bikes could handle some wrecks whereas the light aluminum frames could not. Not sure what happened on the Nomad but I was doing quite a lot of jumping with it so I think it just wore out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I have found that 180#(+/-) is the magic weight in MTBing.
    If you are heavier, you need to beef up from stock parts.
    If you are 180 and ride hard, you need to beef up.
    If you ride light, but make mistakes, you need to beef up.
    -F
    I'd agree with this. If you are over 180 run slightly heavier duty parts. Over 215 and you better beef way up. Over 250 and you really need to beef way up, like DH quality wheels/bars/stem and a very stout frame if you plan on doing anything other than straight XC. "Grams" should not be in your lexicon!

  87. #87
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    I broke an aluminum Jamis frame when i was 14. Just normal XC type riding, not typical 14 year old shenanigans. Started as a hairline on the down tube and just opened up on a ride. Frame was only a year old so they replaced it, really made me question the build quality though.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaythePedaler View Post
    ...

    I'm sure part of it is that I'm about 185lb geared up and very light on my feet, always trying to "float" over the trail rather than plow through. ...
    This is what I was thinking. I don't break frames (yet), and I don't bend rims (well, rarely). When I am flying through a gnarly rock garden I use my arms and legs to take the impact, not my bike. At 210 lbs I like to think of myself as taking a 4' drop pretty gracefully.

  89. #89
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    This is a timely thread for me, seeing as I'm currently riding a Trek 69er waiting on a warranty for a cracked frame.

    Since 2007, I have broken every frame I owned minus the one that was stolen (the one that got away).

    2008 - cracked Gary Fisher Pirahna where seat tube and seat stay meet
    2010 - cracked V1 Transition Covert where head tube and top tube meet
    2013 - broke across the weld of V1 Transition Covert chain stay
    2014 - cracked Transition Bandit chain stay near the bottom bracket

    I weigh ~200-210 lbs. and like to ride fast. I hit jumps and drops to transitions, but generally ride my bikes well within the limits that are marketed. Luckily Transition takes care of their customers.

  90. #90
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    Looking over some posts here I've been lucky. in the late 90s/early 2000s I broke a KHS mountain pro frame, which was replaced by KHS with a higher end model, and my brother still uses as a commuter. A few years later broke a Norco Bomber frame, which I had re welded and heat treated at a machine shop because Norco couldn't be bothered. Frame is still kicking around somewhere.

    Since then, riding 4-7 days a week I've managed to break very little. A few taco wheels here and there, and an R der or two a season. No frames or forks. Though I do tend to sell off my bikes after a year or two, so they dont have time to accumulate too much abuse.
    2015 Scott Foil Team Issue
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I broke my 5th aluminum mountain bike frame a month ago, and I'm kinda surprised by the state of the sport. I've broken almost a frame per year of consistent riding, which just seems unacceptable. I want to believe it's just me- i'm a large guy that relies on a good sense of self-preservation; but my riding buddies seem to go through them similarly. What i've seen of carbon is even more pessimistic- I've been on 4 rides with friends on demo'ed carbon bikes, and seen 2 cracked frames. I just can't believe the mountain biking public tolerates so much broken; please show me that everyone i know is an abusive hack.

    I've replaced my latest frame with a 12lb steel full suspension tank...
    I've been riding since the mid 80's (started out as just cross training for motocross),and have ridden since (including a few years racing),I've never not once ever been so hard on my equipment as to break a frame...yer doing something wrong,buying the wrong tool for the job you're asking them to do,or buying too light-weight a frame for too heavy a rider...there's only one common denominator there,the rider. IDK Probly not helpful,didn't mean any offense,but 5 frames is kinda excessive
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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  92. #92
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    I destroyed 5 or 6 bmx frames in my younger days. And I have broken 3 aluminum frames and 1 steel frame in 14 years of mountain biking. Not counting the 2 I have totaled in crashes. I don't trust ***** steel (carbon fiber) on the mountain.
    I don't do drugs. I am drugs.

  93. #93
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    Generally speaking most aluminum mountain bikes have a 3-5 year life span when being used by an "advanced rider" according to trek, and a few other big names.
    I don't do drugs. I am drugs.

  94. #94
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    How often do you break a frame?-image.jpg
    I don't do drugs. I am drugs.

  95. #95
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    Lol!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefat1981 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    • Trek Stache
    • Giant XTC
    • BMX

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefat1981 View Post
    I don't trust ***** steel (carbon fiber) on the mountain.
    can't say i blame you. they use that worthless trash to build f1 race car chassis and other parts that are subjected to well over 1g. not to mention extensive use in the aerospace industry, fighter and jumbo jets, motorcycle and other protective helmets, helicopters, supercar bodies, and many other high stress applications. it's an inferior material that has no place anywhere on a bicycle.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  97. #97
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    Kona Lavadome steel HT 16 years, chainstay next to derailleur hanger.
    Motobecane aluminum HT about 3 years of racing, derailleur hanger.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  98. #98
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    7000 views and 60 frames "broken." Some big boys and hard riders. I think they are pretty durable.

    12 seasons and 2 racing teams of 15-28, 1 rear triangle cracked.
    I don't rattle.

  99. #99
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    How often do you break a frame?

    I've had issues with carbon fiber frames and seat posts. I now have a Pivot 429 carbon and Syntace posts. Carbon applications like with any other materials can be poorly designed. I'm built like a bull and ride like one one east coast trails hence my history of frame failures. My solution to the OP. Study the mtbr forums. There are manufacturers out there that produce produces with higher than average durability. I just made the mistake of going with a dropper post that a gut feeling told me to pass on. Now I'll probably have to ante up for a expensive post from a company that's fanatical about its reputation.


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  100. #100
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,732
    I rode with a guy for 5 years who went anywhere from 235-265, from his first day. We watched as he broke things; shocks, bars, seatposts, seats, frame, wheels.... and gradually built up a bike that would hold together. No light-weight XC weenie stuff, no bargain basement stuff, just the right stuff.
    I don't rattle.

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