Bent alu frame - please advise!

Scotsken Posts: 19
edited December 2012 in Workshop
Hi everyone,
I took a bit of a spill last Sunday. Another cyclist landed on my frame and the impact has bent my left seat stay. As far as i can tell there are no cracks anywhere on the frame and the drive train and wheels are still as good as they were. I haven't tried to bend the tube back as I know that aluminum has a low fatigue point. I have attached a pic so you can see the extend of the deformity.

This is my only bike at the moment and I was hoping to use in in a crit on Saturday till my new carbon dream machine arrives and i can relegate it to commuter/training use. I guess my questions are;
1. Can I race it on Saturday?
2. Can I use it in the long term for commuting/training on?
3. Could I even use the frame for rollers/turbo workouts?


I know the photo is rubbish but I'll post a better one when I work out how to reduce the file size..


  • Here's a better photo..
  • rozzer32
    rozzer32 Posts: 3,897
    Take it to your LBS and get them to inspect it properly. Difficult to tell without actually looking at the bike. But if it is bent then I wouldn't ride it.
    ***** Pro Tour Pundit Champion 2020, 2018, 2017 & 2011 *****
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Firstly, there's very little you can do to rectify this, so I'd simply get the frame alignment checked to ensure that the wheels are still tracking straight. If a careful visual inspection doesn't reveal any cracks or creases in the paint or metal, then you can probably carry-on riding it. Like any bike frame, give it a regular inspection for cracks or faults, particularly if it start making creaking noises or handling oddly. It's very unlikely that it will just suddenly fail.
    Don't try and straighten it though as that'll likely lead to problems - aluminium has very poor tolerance to repeated deformation.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thanks, thats helpful. I have been on the rollers on it and it seems to handle as normal though the gears are not shifting as well. I think I will carry on using it in the short term but start shopping for a new frame to replace it asap.

  • I'm not sure that I'd race it as you may find out the handling is effected in a way which you only notice during your first tight corner.

    If there aren't any noticeable cracks though I would probably continue to ride it until I got a new frame (gently) and pull over the moment I hear any odd noises. I wouldn't be all that surprised to find the welds at the BB fail at some point (they might not but there's clearly been a lot of stress put through the rear triangle).

    I'd be buying a 2nd bike and keeping this one for the turbo.