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December 15, 2017
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  • Todd E

    To point out the obvious – You have provided no objective evidence to support the assertion that it is an ‘all too common’ issue for carbon frames to be susceptible to impact damage either in an absolute sense or relative to other frame materials. Further the comments from the sole (evidently) industry engineer you spoke to don’t seem to support this assertion. He suggests that poorly designed carbon frames (too light) aren’t as impact resistant as better designed ones (heavier). While it certainly may be true that the industry chases the wrong goals because frame weight is easily marketable, you haven’t provided anything to suggest current carbon frames are not sufficiently durable. I have ridden frames of all the popular materials so I wouldn’t characterise myself as a carbon partisan, but I would have thought we had moved beyond this sort of scaremongering.

    My anecdote – I have experienced impact damage far more readily on steel and aluminium bikes and it has been short of catastrophic breakdown with all three materials. I Guess if I wanted to draw a conclusion from this it could be: only ride ti or better designed frames are more durable than poorly designed ones…

    • Mike

      You may be right Todd, I guess failure figures for the three main materials are hard to come by. Like you, I have no axe to grind in respect of carbon frames and my evidence is purely anecdotal, but nevertheless evidence it is. Over the last ten years or so I know, or have heard about, more frame/fork breakages in carbon than I did in the preceding thirty years, when metal ruled the roost.
      One particular complaint I get is that after a hard knock the owner ” no longer trusts” the bike despite a lack of visible damage. And yet these people would probably continue to ride a metal bike that showed a sizeable dent in an important tube.
      Perhaps, as in most areas of life, we are becoming fussier but no more knowledgeable?

      • jules

        “Over the last ten years or so I know, or have heard about, more frame/fork breakages in carbon than I did in the preceding thirty years, when metal ruled the roost.”

        I think you’ve got to be careful here.

        1. cycling is more popular now so there is a larger sample size to draw reports of failures from than in the steel days.
        2. ‘social outrage’ tells us that when there is a risk of something that is associated with significant uncertainty and that people struggle to assess, we tend to exaggerate the magnitude of the risk. examples are air travel (people are paranoid, but it’s statistically very safe), cycling on the road (same – particularly for non-cyclists), terrorism and… carbon bike components.

        • DaveRides

          The other aspect is that frame/fork breakage was never a topic of discussion before, it was just a fact of life.

          It is the ‘steel is real’ crowd which have successfully turned carbon fibre failures into a topic of discussion.

        • Steve S

          Good point. I haven’t heard of a single carbon failure first hand from someone I know*, but I’ve seen a lot posted online.

          I have no opinion on this either way but social media gives us a deluge of outrage when anything doesn’t go to plan.

          * Apart from the usual windup of broken seatposts and carbon splinters not showing up on rectal x-rays :)

        • Wisco

          to your point about cycling being more popular: that is not a correct statement. Bike production and bike miles ridden peaked in the 70’s. Racing is more popular today but riding as a whole is down.

          • Daniel Alan Mabie

            Riding as a whole is down? Where did you get this data from?

    • highrider

      I had a new Seven ti frame crack around the top tube/seat tube weld after just a few rides. My Moots has held up much better.

      • That’s a straight up warranty issue due to a bad weld…

        • highrider

          And they did replace the frame, immediately.

    • Telstar11

      Who’s defining what’s sufficiently durable? You suggest that the carbon frames that you own or have owned are more durable, from an impact damage perspective, than steel frames that you have owned. That doesn’t track with any real world measure that compares the two materials. Does that suggest then that you are harder on your steel bikes than your carbon bikes? Or you went down harder on your steel bike than your carbon bike? You see where I am going here…..your anecdote’s are YOUR anecdotes and not indicative of the various materials in general, and your comments do actually suggest that you are a carbon partisan. Heck, no two carbon bikes are the same and an infinite number of variables can come into play when looking at one structure vs another. It is a fact, though, that, in general, newer lighter carbon race bike frames are easier to damage to the point of failure and have less impact resistance than do frames made from other materials and, in many cases, older and/or heavier carbon frames. The question is, where is the line and to what extent should that line be considered when building and selling bikes. I am certain that most MFG’s think about that question a lot. No one really talks about it, though, and I think that’s one of the main points of this article.

  • Il_falcone

    I agree with you on that one 100%, James. But you started with the assumption that most of your readers know about the vastly bigger numbers of carbon frames being crushed after crashes or simple mishaps and I would have thought that, too. But as you can tell from the first two comments, this is not true. The marketing guys have obviously reached their target to define carbon as the new standard material superior to all the other materials in each discipline.

    And that’s why, I think, the time for a change of thought is long gone, if there ever was a perfect time for it. You know what the results were if all those high end frames were also tested for impact resistance or if there would be some ISO industry standard with minium requirements for impact strength for things like a handlebar crushing into the top tube during a fall. While those frames typically reach high scores in performance-related disciplines their bad scores with regards to impact resistance would create a dilemma for each prospective buyer and the producers obviously, too. People wanting to buy a new bike because it’s supposed to be lighter, stiffer, faster don’t want to know that it might also be even less crash-resistant than their current (carbon) steed.

    So at least for road bikes the development you’re proposing won’t happen. If you look very closely you can see some companies (Specialized e.g.) moving away from the competition for the lightest frames or best STW values, though. But they do it without marketing that move in any way. Knowing how important weight is to the average buyer that leaves only one possible conclusion. They were facing so many “warranty” claims, justified or not, especially because their bikes are also ridden by so many racers (which crash way more often than non-racers), that they wanted to considerably reduce that flow of product coming back to them. For no matter if those claims are rectified or not they create a lot of work for them and for their dealers and also move customers away from the brand especially when their claims were not accepted because the damage was explicably caused by a crash / mishap and not by some design or manufacturing failure (other than the general lack of build-in crash protection).

  • Dude pedalling

    Ernesto Colnago would concur

  • highrider

    I remember when I was younger (30 years ago or so) watching a slow speed collision between a rider on a nice steel Pinarello and a runner. The fork folded and so did the front wheel. I’ve seen steel bikes crack, rust, bend, and break, however, when I damaged my carbon mtn. bike I was able to bring it to Ruckus composites here in Portland and they fixed it right up beautifully. They showed me frames they had repaired and frames that were in for repairs- frames in pieces that looked like garbage at that point. I’m now convinced that carbon is the most easily repairable frame material. Don’t worry about breaking these frames because Ruckus can probably fix it well and cheaply too.

    • Peter

      Ruckus don’t have a shop in Mongolia, highrider.

      I agree with the thoughts in the article and would further say that it would be nice to see bike companies making more of an effort at marketing different frame materials for different purposes. Ultra-stiff, lightweight carbon for racers, heavier carbon for non-racers who love to ride Grand Fondos or put heaps of miles of riding in each year, but still want to go relatively fast, Aluminium for budget conscious riders who still want performance (and Alu bikes are much more comfortable these days), steel for carrying loads, and when you need to get a crack repaired in Mongolia, Ti if you want to be bad ass ;).

      If I was only riding in and around Portland, I could buy carbon, knowing I could get it fixed if I needed to. If I’m riding in Mongolia I will choose steel.

      I’m not a racer, but I love to ride bikes, and I’ll take whatever material you give me and have fun on it. But I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford to buy a new bike every three years. Whatever bike I buy has to last 5-10 years over tarmac and some gravel (with a few refreshes to the components).

      • Chris

        Probably need to cut back on all the trips to Mongolia – then you could loosen the budget a bit.

        • Peter

          Ha ha. I wish I could ride in Mongolia. Maybe next year…I’ll ask Ruckus to open a shop there before I go.

          • Chris

            No need! I just searched facebook for shops and found Giant, Connondale, Trek, Merida in Ulaanbaatar. They seemed to have a large range of bikes of different types and materials. Not sure how their trail side assistance might be once you’re a fair way out of town, though…

            • Peter

              And they all have lifetime frame warranties, so swap ‘n’ go if I crack my carbon!

  • Teezy

    “But don’t make something that’s so light that it isn’t as strong as it should be for all scenarios and then add some toughening material just to hold it together.” For me, this is the key point in the article.

    It is interesting that the very idea of claiming to make frames out of varying modulus fibres ‘…for added strength only where it is needed and to keep weight down…” etc, is often used as a selling point by companies such as Cervelo and others. Given that the weight of a frame matters most only when you are accelerating or climbing, whilst the strength of a bike matters 100% of the time, it would be nice if the industry published comparative strength figures.

    Unrelated side note: of the six carbon frames I have broken, one was from repeated derailleur strikes to the chainstay (Scott mtb), four were from bond failures (Bianchi Reparto Corse, lol ) and one from an over tightened seat post clamp (Hong Fu). FWIW, the Scott frame was ridden off road with zero issues for a number of years whilst sporting a 40mm hole in the chainstay.

    • jules

      “it would be nice if the industry published comparative strength figures”

      the problem with this is that there is no recognised measure of strength for a bike frame. a material may have strength ratings, but even those are complex – ultimate strength, yield strength (for metals), strength in compression, tension and bending. for composite materials, strength is heterogeneous(?) as it varies with the directions it’s applied.

      further, arguably the biggest problem with composite components (frames, etc.) is the variability in a given product’s strength. the manufacturing process of forming composites allows for flaws such as resin voids and weak bonds. you can have a Pinarello Dogma frame with strength X and another off the same production line with strength X/5.

      • Teezy

        “arguably the biggest problem with composite components (frames, etc.) is the variability in a given product’s strength. the manufacturing process of forming composites allows for flaws such as resin voids and weak bonds.”

        Yes, I mentioned that I’ve had four bianchi frames fail at a bond, but thanks ; ) There’s a good article about that topic on the ibis website (http://www.ibiscycles.com/support/technical_articles/all_about_carbon/)

        Valid point about standard measures of strength for composites. A starting point might be for manufacturers to publish the results of their destructive testing upon their frames, then consumers can decide for themselves.

        Santa Cruz have done this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreZdUBqpJs

        • jules

          no manufacturer will publish those results unless their competitors do the same and they believe that their results are better. in practice has to be done by an independent 3rd party, who is also more likely to tell the truth.

          • Teezy

            “…no manufacturer will publish those results…”

            Lol, Jules, see above for a video of a manufacturer publishing those results.

            I’m reasonably confident you don’t closely read other peoples posts. For examples, see our entire comment thread.

            • jules

              yeah they’re not going to publish stuff that’s proprietary information. it would be good to see one manufacturer actually come out and do it but I’m not holding my breath

    • Greg

      “whilst the strength of a bike matters 100% of the time”

      I’d argue just the opposite – we almost never test the strength of a (good) frame. I’ve beaten the HELL out of my carbon road frame, using it as mountain bike, gravel bike, doing jumps, etc. And it shrugs at me. And when we buy a bike we expect to never test the strength (in the context of impact resistance) because we never expect to crash. And most probably never do crash. In my experience, however, those who do buy a bike with crashing in mind, e.g. those who buy a second “crit bike” tend to buy with cost in mind rather than impact resistance. They’re buying aluminum frames out of cost consciousness rather than the material properties of aluminum.

      Personally, I’m more intrigued by the first article than the first. I’d like to know a fork is less likely to fold up on me at 30MPH. I did have a steer tube snap on me headed to a crit start once, causing great comedy as I tried to stay upright at 2MPH with my bars held over my head. It wouldn’t have been comedy 2 minutes later if I’d been doing 30MPH into turn 1.

  • Josh Baltazar

    The thing is i think there is a massive market for a higher weight, high strength carbon road bike. I know plenty of people who will only ride metal frames because they are on tight budgets and can’t afford to be replacing a sub kilo race frame after a couple crashes or bangs. These are people who want a performance bike but want it to last, so they turn to steel, ti and aluminium instead. Say you built a high strength carbon frame with thicker tube walls that was half a kilo heavier than normal, say 1.4kg as opposed to 900 grammes, you still have a frame that is lighter than steel and comparable to most ti and and aluminium frames, yet with all the obvious stiffness and aero benefits of carbon bike design, whilst also being incredibly strong. It’s a no brainier really, the frame is place you feel weight the least as it’s static and evenly distributed. If marketing people really wanted people to go faster and hit a price point, bikes would be specced with heavier, stronger mid level frames and groupsets and a set of light race wheels and tyres, where weight really matters. You can turn a boat anchor of a frame into a rocket with the right wheel choice, but we now have the strange situation where bikes are being sold equiped with pro level “SL” frames that weigh in the reigion of 700 grammes yet bolted on to some sluggish heavy training wheels with crap tyres, negating the performance benefit of the light frame, whilst still being a fragile bit of equipment. it’s a loose, loose situation for the buyer, especially if that buyer is a casual cyclist, not too knowledgeable about gear, who just wants to lay down a couple of grand for a bike and ride it without being concerned to upgrade it. That buyer is being misinformed by the marketing department, as they always neglect to mention that a bike is a sum of its parts, a light frame on mavic aksiums is still gonna be a slow bike, but it’s all I see a certain demographic of rider pedalling about on around here.

    • jules

      they’re already selling heavier carbon frames. it’s only the relatively higher end of the market at which they’re shaving grams. most of the entry-to-mid level carbon bikes fit that description.

      • Josh Baltazar

        Even those mid level frames are still fragile in comparison to what they could be though, typically they are only a couple of hundred grams heavier than the pro version. I bought the slightly heavier, supposedley stronger version of my bike and still managed to put a hole in the chainstay because of a dropped chain. We’re talking about designing frames reinforced to a level where this kind of damage wouldn’t be possible.

        • Il_falcone

          Given the big surface a carbon frame has and the many places on that surface where impacts can occur I doubt that a carbon frame resistant to all those impacts would still ride nicely. It might become very, very stiff. So why not ride titanium if you want to have both, durability and tunable ride comfort.

          • Josh Baltazar

            Personally I like the characteristics of a carbon frame over anything else. There are ways around increased stiffness and comfort implications, things like elastomers, leaf springs and pivot points designed into the bike. See trek domane, specialised Roubaix etc. Even then not every tube would have to be beefed up to a crazy degree, but in key areas, like the chainstays, and underside of the down tube some extra reinforcement would be nice. Plus with the move to wider tyres vibration dampening in the frame is mattering less and less, give it 5 years and I reckon most people will be on 28-30c rubber as default using very wide rims.

    • Stephen J Schilling

      A Cinelli steel frame costs more than all but the highest of high end carbon.

      • Josh Baltazar

        Theres plenty of other options for cheap decent steel out there. Italian stuff is always overpriced.

    • TheTallCyclist

      Custom (emphasis on that part) aluminum frames in size 61 (big) come to around 1300-1400g already. The equivalent titanium frame is 1400-1600g range and you can get steel in the 1500-1700g range. Especially with the new heat treated steels handlebars dinging top tubes is much less of an issue (ask a framebuilder about trying to dent Reynolds 953…). I am heavily biased towards made-to-measure frames since geometry at large sizes rides like absolute and utter crap due to whatever cost saving measures, though my point is: whether unfounded or not people are freaking out about ‘hidden damage in the composite matrix’ for every little thing with carbon frames (light or heavy) and the marketing departments of companies will have to work hard to remove those fears and concerns.

      A sometimes overlooked fact is that the move to carbon was due to the fact it takes much less skilled labor force to turn out many frames = profit. In addition since the begining of the sport marketing model of cycling was to sell stuff (newspapers) and today it is equipment – aka “if the PROs ride it, it should be good enough for me.” For that last part just look around at what reitred pros ride when they are not bound by contracts. Yes composites have advantages, though, like you mention it is a package. The frame is only one part of the weight and performance equation that is a bicycle. It is easier to churnout marketing slogans than make a more informed/educated customer. The weight weenie wars have always been there, regardless of material (drillium, ultrathin steels, sub 1kg aluminum frames, 500g carbon ones, etc.), there durability was not a (major) concern and the appropriate warnigns came with the products=).

  • MattF

    It seems stunning to me that this conversation is still necessary, but kudos James for raising the issue. Ten years ago I purchased, with excited anticipation, the latest super light carbon fibre frame from manufacturer x. Ringing in my ears now is the sage questioning from my wife about the durability of said bike. I figured if the bike was good enough for a pro team then how could you go wrong. Four cracked frames (in 4 years) later I had my answer.

  • dcaspira

    Congrats & thanks to James, and the Publishers, for challenging the status quo !

  • “Thankfully, the industry has mostly moved past the full-blown weight-weenie wars”
    Isn’t the UCI considering lowering the weight limit? Seems like the industry is still moving the opposite direction.

    • mcalista

      The trend towards disc brakes (a slight weight hit compared with rim brakes) and wider tyres suggests that some buyers and some manufacturers are willing to look beyond weight if it offers other performance benefits

      It’s worth remembering that an 800g frame is just 12% of the UCI 6.8 kg limit – I’m sure that changing technology has allowed the weight of a range of components to come down as well. If pro teams are having to add ballast to frames to meet the requirement, you know it’s time for a review.

      • DaveRides

        I think the 6.8kg limit should stay, but not for the safety reason it was originally introduced.

        The rule has (in conjunction with the equally important 3:1 rule and bike dimension rules) proven effective as a ‘line around the court’ which preserves the sport from being dominated by a costly bike tech arms race. You also have to wonder about the effect it has had on incentivising the development of other more nuanced aspects of bike tech.

        If the weight limit rule must be removed or revised downwards, the change should apply only to WorldTour races. If it must apply to the lower levels of the sport, it should be accompanied by a ‘claiming rule’ for cost control forcing a competitor to sell their bike to any other competitor making a claim on it for a fixed low price.

        • TheTallCyclist

          Short of those weight weenie frames/flexy climbing wheels and if you are a GC conteder at a grand tour, most PRO frames come in the 6.9-7.1kg range (i think GCN made a video about it). I still don’t understand why ‘team mechanics have to add extra weight to frame to meet the minimum weight” gets repeated as gospel, while it is simply not true. Especially if you go down to the PRO Continental/Continental level. Without wanting to open that can of worms, adding furher 500g for disc brakes for sure won’t make the 6.8kg rule obsolete. There is much more (competitive) cycling that is NOT ProTour. With the curent state of affairs at UCI, the 6.8kg rule should not even be on their list of things to discuss (aka there are bigger more improtatn fish to fry such as max team size, budgets, TV rights, etc).

          • DaveRides

            And that’s exactly why it is a candidate for discussion, because the UCI under Brian Cookson will not deal with the big issues.

        • Jobu

          Well, that weight limit, which has been met for many years by the PRO teams, has pushed for the only other way for racers to be faster: aerodynamics. We have seen more and more frames become more “aero” over the last decade. Which, while true, has little real effect while in the group. Remember when it was rolling resistance and tire manufacturers were trying to make tires “roll ” faster? James has it right, a lot of carbon frame design has become about weight, and now aero, but it has come at the expense of real world durability, and in some cases crazy complexity (looking at you madone 9 series).

  • Stephen J Schilling

    The greatest humor I find in this is that the tech guy at another pub would swear up and down about the strength/durability of carbon, yet posted a photo of his own snapped handlebar, then wrote it off as an exception because the bar snapped when his bike was blown over in a stand by the wind. To him it didn’t count because it wasn’t a type of “typical” impact that might happen on the road.

    Which, to me, is worse. Wind once blew my trunk (boot) lid shut, and it closed onto my own handlebars. My Aluminum handlebars. The bar tape was cut through…but the integrity of the handlebars are still good 4 years later.

  • Lawrie Cranley

    I’ve been riding since steel bikes and love carbon BUT I do think there is a problem with the fragility of lightweight frames. My personal experience is that in the last 12 months I have broken a seat stay on 2 bikes because of a stick being flicked up by the back wheel. This has been with 2 separate bikes from different mainstream manufacturers so either I am very unlucky or there is a problem. I have had them both repaired at Paint My Bike and the guys there tell me it’s common in recent times. So I think this article is accurate and has highlighted a growing issue.

  • Cal C

    Even when you buy an aluminium, steel or titanium bike, in nearly every case it now comes with a carbon front fork, which exactly the part of your bike you don’t want to snap.

    • Il_falcone

      Carbon forks can be and are actually build very strong also with regards to impact resistance. Impacts that come through the front wheel and direct impacts to the surface of the fork blades. It’s the steerer that is actually still the weak spot if users don’t pay attention to what kind of stem they use and the torque of the clamping bolts. Could probably be adressed with better (=heavier?) expanding plugs.

  • David Beckwith

    Carbon composites and impact resistance are not mutually exclusives concepts as anyone on this forum who pays (field) hockey would know. All mid to high end hockey sticks are carbon composites (usually reinforced with Kevlar) and cope with impact just fine. Anyone here feel like trapping a hockey ball with any part of their carbon bike frame? No – I thought not, and nor would I. But this is what hockey sticks are built for, so the material can do this. There is a downside and that is weight. When I still played I was using sticks in the 630gm range – at the heavy end of the scale, 200gms lighter than a good carbon frame but in a much more compact package.
    For what its worth, at 196 and 85kgs I’m yet to bust a carbon frame, but have cracked half a dozen aluminium frames.

  • Alan Walker

    The longevity of a carbon frame is not particularly important. Most of them will gather dust long before they break, either because it has gone out of fashion or because spares are no longer available.

  • DaGoose

    If stiffness, weight, and aerodynamic drag are now passe does that mean ductility, elastic/Young’s modulus and fatigue will become the new buzz words? They haven’t got the same marketing ring to them unfortunately. I guess modulus is used a bit, but what’s the bet 95% of the people don’t actually know what it means.

    • James Huang

      The meaning of “modulus” has definitely been warped almost beyond repair, at least as far as the cycling industry is concerned. “High modulus”? “Ultrahigh modulus”?? Totally meaningless terms.

      • Jobu

        Kind of like High and Ultrahigh in the Colorado “green” industry :)

  • Rob Biddlecombe

    I have an observation from personal experience. I had a small crack in a titanium frame which had a lifetime warranty. That company also makes carbon fiber frames (in Tiwan) . They didn’t want to honor the lifetime warranty on a six year old frame. Because , they said the lifetime of a titanium frame was five years. They also stated the lifetime of a carbon fiber frame was three years. Frames older than that were unsafe. That was the opinion of a major manufacturer. Expert opinion or just an excuse to avoid the warrantee ? Something to think about.

  • Joseph Morley

    Non quantifiable fuctionality and durability certainly aren’t an easy sell against an awestruck consumer who just lifted a 12 pound bike in the store.
    With that said…. Steel is real.

  • Luke Bartlett

    Has anyone had experience with Giant regarding cracked frames?

  • Mark Sondag

    My first proper road bike was a Cannondale CAAD 9. It meant something to me that the frame said, “Made in the USA” on the seat stays. It was, and still is a great bike. Now, after doing 3 months of research, I’ve ordered my next bike, an alloy Mason Definition. There are a lot of reasons why I chose this bike over all the others, be they carbon, steel, or titanium, but one of the main reasons was the frame is made in a small shop in northern Italy by craftsmen that have been building bikes for decades. I know I’m an idealist but I like the idea that the person the built my frame loved what he did and transmitted that love to my bike. I could have bought any bike (within reason) but I wanted a bike from Dom Mason. I can tell that he feels the same way about cycling that I do. He’s not building bikes down to a price point, but building them up to his high standard of what a bike should be.

  • Luke Bartlett

    Manufacturers love being able to blame ‘impact’ on an obvious defect failure to deter warranty claims….

  • James

    Wood. Impact test pieces from 9:10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBC7NEJwZ5U

  • Jermagesty

    Is there a way for the cycling press to push this issue without biting the hand that feeds? So to speak.

    I don’t know the full details of the damage that required Froome to run up part of the Ventoux. I know his bike broke and others didn’t. I don’t want to get in to the right and wrong of what happened, I suspect that if it was a Pinarello failure and he ended up losing the race we’d see some slight changes to future Pinarellos. I’ve seen no name put on the failure though. A few years back Andy Schleck also experienced a very untimely mechanical and threw a chain at about the worst possible time you could, the teams can’t point at Shimano and lay blame but that time it actually cost the racer some real time. There are many other examples.

    It seems like if you want the vendors to include durability maybe there needs to be a spotlight on their failures. You don’t want to push them out of the sport but maybe something like a constructors title in F1. Maybe points for good mechanical finishes and penalties for mechanicals. You don’t need to be associated with a team to score this stuff, you just need to know some details about mechanicals. To be really fair you’d want to know about specific part changes, like I’d give special points to a top pro’s bike that made it through the entire season with only wheel changes or something.

  • Coach

    Maybe I’m just a born heretic. However after I had problems with my carbon frame I started asking around and found out that a great many of the people I ride with were riding on replacement frames. I believe it’s far far more common that most people know.

    I think the problem with CRP is that life is not perfect. Bikes can be built to withstand known stresses, but life isn’t like that. For the pros, they just grab another but for end consumers it can be far more complex. Frames often fail on their own, but other times it’s a fall, a piece of debris flicked up, a pothole or whatever and then your bike is broken.

    And yes, there is no data out there, and everyones usage varies. Plus the bikes change yearly, so by the time you realise one make and model is dependable the industry has moved on. So, as a consumer trying to work out which bike is durable is just impossible.

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