? asked in SportsCycling · 8 years ago

When to replace a road bike frame?

Is there a point when to replace a road bike frame? My frame has scratches, and I think a few very very tiny dents the size of a thumbtack point. Do those tents mean replacement? What happens if a frame has big dents? Would it just brake without warning?


EDIT: I dont even know if i could even consider those "tiny dents" dents, they are unoticable unless sticking your face up to it, and they are literally the size of a thumbtack point. They are also located on the top tube of the bike

8 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    It's difficult to say when a frame needs replacing. Minor scratches or even dings in the frame aren't sufficient. If you ever have a major accident the frame may be suspect, but it really depends on the specifics of the accident and the type and quality of the frame. The only time I would say a frame definitely needs to be retired is if there are actual cracks or bends.

    Quality bike frames are remarkably strong and resilient. I crashed a bike with a CrMo steel frame and put myself in the hospital, and the only damage to the bike was a few scratches to the paint and a bent rear rack, on the other hand I've heard of frames broken or bent in relatively minor collisions (keep in mind the frame might not be broken but it could be bent in such a way as to be unsafe to ride and unrepairable).

    That said, frames will eventually degrade due to flexing. Any frame will only hold up to the continual flexing due to use so long ... but typically this will be 20 years or more for most frames. Finally, frames can be weakened by corrosion (steel frames are arguably the most susceptible, but carbon for example can be weakened by salty water, or may be subject to "notch failure" if seriously scratched).

    It sounds like your bike is probably fine, but if you have reason to believe it might not be (e.g. creaking, visible cracks, misaligned forks, serious crash) take it to a bike shop and get a professional opinion.

  • 8 years ago

    I agree with wle. Those "dents" sound like paint chips. Any actual dent will visibly suppress both aluminum and steel, and the area of the depression will be at least dime-sized.

    Dents, even large ones, aren't critical to the structural strength of the frame in many areas of the frame. A few areas are prone to buckling, though, if frame integrity is compromised by any sizable dent.

    If a dent is large enough and deep enough to crease or crack the metal, then the frame is most likely too damaged to ride again.

  • 8 years ago

    Those dents don't sound like a problem at all. If you ever have a lot of serious damage then take it to a bike shop and have them look at it, but scratches in the paint and super small dents like that aren't going to cause you any problems.

  • 8 years ago

    The only time I would ever replace a road bike frame is if the frame itself was bent so that it didn't line up straight or completely worn and rusted out.

    All the bikes i have ever owned have gotten deep scratches in the paint and a bit rusty and I never had any problems with any of them.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    those sound like rocks chipped the paint

    it;s fine

    they can go 100,000 miles


    metal frames are fine with dents and chips

    carbon, not so much

    they can break in many ways



    anywhere in between

    more likely for a weld to come loose or crack than a tube just break or bend


  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. If it's an aluminum frame, it will last for a long, long time. If it's steel & has a lot of rust, you may have a problem. But I doubt it.

  • 5 years ago

    sophisticated aspect. lookup with google and yahoo. that can help!

  • 8 years ago

    When it breaks.

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