What frames have you broken?

What frames have you broken, and how? I’ve broken two:

1995 Trek 8700 (bonded carbon and aluminum) at a BB bond in 1999 or so. This was warrantied by Trek. Shortly afterwards, a friend had it on his roof rack and drove it into a garage. The rack was a Yakima Lockjaw. Ouch. The frame did not survive and was replaced with a 2000 Litespeed Pisgah, which started my downward spiral into Tennessee Ti.

2005 Lemond Poprad. I’m not 100% sure, but it may have been the result of previous damage, or maybe just fatigue from all of my watts (joke). The drive side chainstay behind the the crank cracked. This was in 2015, and Trek replaced it free of charge with a Crockett frameset.

I still have the broken Trek 8700 and the replacement Litespeed. I rode the replacement Crockett for a year or so, decided I didn’t like it, and sold it. Come to think of it, I bought a 2020 Crockett frameset, kept it for a year, and sold it. I guess I’ll do the same in 2025.

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How is the experience with the Ti bikes?

A 1984 Peugeot Touriste Tandem frame riding the Paris Roubaix sportive a few years ago in the forest of Arenberg (?sp). We tied together with a tube and zip ties and completed the last 60 miles! Probably my best cycling anecdote hence why I’m wheeling out here.


Several steel bikes in my youth/teens, 5 or 6 aluminums a bit later on, 30+ carbon bikes in the last two decades (I build, ride, sell)–zero breaks to date, though I have repaired a few for others who have not been so lucky.

My experience with titanium has been good. Thousands and thousands of miles, a couple of decades, and zero frame-related issues*. As I mentioned, I’ve stuck with a Tennessee builder (Lynskey), so I don’t have experience with others. I will say that they seem to have gone down a little in finish quality vs. their older frames. Nothing huge (welds aren’t quite as consistently pretty on my 2020, mostly), but then again, these aren’t $5k Moots frames we’re talking about here.

*I bought a used R230, and upon delivery, noticed that the chainstays were cracked. The PO used it as a trainer bike and was not a small person. He agreed to pay for the surprisingly reasonable 2x chainstay replacement ($275 all-in, if I recall correctly). Lynskey repaired it with oversized stays, refreshed, and delivered it with a $0 bill, even though as a second owner, it technically had no warranty. David Lynskey did that repair, and the welds are great. Ha.

Clever repair on the Peugeot.

I broke the only carbon road bike I’ve had which was a Boardman SL-R. Derailleur hanger snapped near the bottom of the Col Du Granon and it chewed a big chunk out of the chainstay and dropout. Fortunately I was staying in Briancon!

Ever since I only ride metal frames which is probably being over cautious.

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I broke a Trek 2300 road frame back in 1990…this was one of the frames with aluminum lugs and carbon tubes.

Went off course in a crit, trying to avoid a crash…but one of the riders ended up in front of me, on all fours, facing away from me. I literally placed my front wheel in the crack of his a$$…headtube ripped out of the carbon tubes. Bike was only ~1 month old. There is a video somewhere of me getting to my feet, walking back to look at my bike and then screaming in anguish. :rofl::rofl:

Bumped into the back of a braking car with a Faggin steel frame in 1983 or 1984. Nous etions jeunes et insouciants, but the frame was done, the downtube badly bent.
Fell into a little river a year later with something that had Reynolds tubing, wore Eddy‘s portrait and sold cheap in a Geant Casino in Brittany. Single track with drop bars wasn’t a thing back then, so I didn’t get a lot of applause when the chainstay took a bad hit on a rock and never looked really good again.

In my bmx days I broke two. One at the end of the seatube where the join was and one I jumped some stairs and landed real front heavy and it bent the downtube where it joined the headtube. Was scary that was

Nothing, actually.

I came off my Emonda pretty spectacularly on 2 occasions and it simply bounced, though there was one mark on the chainstay I was a bit suspicious about. My wife ultimately finished it off, however, when she didn’t secure it to the roof rack properly. As I drove off… well, it’s painful to recount. I actually thought it had survived until a closer examination revealed quite a serious crack to the seatstay. Full marks to Trek, who actually offered to repair the frame at cost, but I’d been eyeing up a new bike for a while by then, so passed. Suffice to say the whole affair was not a recipe for marital harmony (come to think of it, we were only engaged at the time).

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Wait…you still married her after that??? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Funnily enough, the argument that was brewing about buying ‘another f-ing bike’ suddenly disappeared entirely :rofl:

Had it been a brand new bike, mind you…


My broken frames are all clustered around 2001-2003, when superlight aluminum alloy frames were becoming popular.

Rocky Mountain made a road frame back then, the Turbo. The regular one used Easton 7000 series aluminum, but they also did an Easton Scandium version circa 2000-2001. This frame was super light, had a nice ride quality, but unfortunately Rocky did not have much luck with them. They welded a chainstay bridge, and I had 2 frames crack at the drive side of this bridge, both at about 3500 km. There was clearly too much heat on the relatively small chainstay leading to brittleness.

The only other frame I broke was a team issue frame from a big company, but it wasn’t built by the big company, but instead by a local framebuilder Dion Cycles (long gone, but had some fame in the triathlon world briefly). This was 2003 and I was riding on an elite amateur team. The frames were Easton 7000, but they had an Easton carbon rear seatstay and used Easton dropouts. Problem was Easton made the dropouts way too light and used countersunk bolt holes for the replaceable rear derailleur hanger that were too big for the amount of material there. The frame would start to crack at the holes, then propagate forward and eventually crack circumferentially where the chainstay was welded to the dropout. Mine let go in a race, every time I would freewheel I would get a loud clank that I thought was a freehub issue. Got a wheel change, still made the same noise, then had a couple of instances where I blew the chain off the big ring for no reason so I stopped and then noticed the rear chainstay was completely detached and only chain tension was keeping it together. The banging I was hearing when coasting was literally the stay smashing into the dropout as it flexed. I think of 6 of the 8 frames failed in the same fashion.

My only other frame “failure” was a Colnago C60 rim brake frame from 2014 that developed a small crack at the exit of the rear brake cable in the top tube by the seat cluster. It was mostly cosmetic, and I had it repaired and then sold it. I honestly disliked that bike on every level and it was the last carbon bike I have ever purchased.

FWIW I have never had a steel or titanium frame failure in 30+ years of riding and owning many of both.

Both my steel frames.

The first was a Raleigh Competition mk II (R531 tubing) bought new a very long time ago, the headtube developed a fatigue crack after many years. A colleague who is a gun welder repaired it for me but I stll bought a new race bike.

This was a custom build in Reynolds 700, builder’s name redacted to protect the guilty: worst bike I ever owned but that is incidental to the story. I tried to realign the rear triangle and promptly put a bloody great crimp in the DS chainstay. I “fixed” this by pushing it out from the inside and reinforcing it with a wood block, rode it like that before replacing it with my first prototype.

Re the story above with the SO and the roofrack: we were returning from a trip to central Vic with two bikes on the roofrack (both with my frames) when we decided to make a quick trip to the supermarket. Yep, straight into the unyielding concrete overhead.

Both the bikes were fine: on one the bike tore out of the roofrack, on the other it stayed attached and tore the roofrack off the car.

One of those bikes eventually lost to another roofrack incident: this time it wasn’t attached properly and it came off the roof rack at 100k on the highway. Not survivable. No, it was not I who put the bike on the rack, but again I shall protect the guilty.

We replaced the Whispbar roofracks with Thule 591 and so far no lost bikes.

Surprisingly, none. I have been riding for about 20 years.

I broke the same 2009 Kona Unit (steel) frame three times in the same place. I used a frame builder for the first two repairs, and did the third myself with the help of a friend with a torch. Details and repairs here: Broken Kona Unit

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As a teenager I rode my MBK Super Mistral too fast/too wide around a blind corner and ended up on the windshield of a Nissan Micra. The repairs for each (a new frame for the MBK, a bit of dent removal and a paint touch-up for the Nissan) cost about the same.

More recently (about 7-8 years ago) my rear derailleur got tangled in the spokes on my Cannondale Criterium series, and snapped the hanger; the bike has been a perfectly serviceable around-town single-speed commuter ever since, but I’ve never been able to find a solution to get gears back on it.

I broke this Fuji Roubaix earlier this year, Looks like it might have been a bad weld but we may never know for sure.

What was wrong with the C60?

My Mekk Poggio has had two frame replacements via crash replacement deals. One crack to the seattube (low speed crash), one incident of a frame-mounted tool box slipping between the wheel and frame at 70ishkph. Terrifying, and my first ride on the crash replacement frame! At least I learned how to put a bike together. And not to mount things on my frame.