New posts

Tall/heavy riders: How long do your frames last?

June 19, 2022, 8:33 p.m.
Posts: 1300
Joined: May 11, 2018

On the flip side of frames that break is this one

It has been through many incarnations. I previously had a camp stove green one (the original karate monkey) that was my daily commuter. I bought it in 99 and it left us when a car decided it was going to make a left while I was going through the intersection the opposite way. It was replaced with a skid mark brown version back around 2005. I used that as my main trail bike for about 10 years before the downtube snapped. Surly actually replaced it no charge with this one, which has been a mountain bike, a gravel bike and now a commuter. It's heavy and no one likes the bent seat tube but man do these things last.

June 20, 2022, 8:50 a.m.
Posts: 9235
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I have broken every full suspension I have owned (except for the OG Transition Dirtbag), my last bike (Banshee Prime) lasted 5 years, it lasted the longest! I figure it didn't owe me anything by that point...lol. Every 1-15 years I go back to HT for a few years because I get tired of breaking FS bikes...I just recently got back onto a FS bike and it's so good! The other thing I break often is freehubs, I have no luck with any design that uses pawls, I ponied up for CK hubs about 8 years ago and am still on the same pair...they are on their 4th bike now I think...lol.

June 20, 2022, 11:37 a.m.
Posts: 1802
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

/\Cypress.

-----------------------

I used to break stuff pretty regularly, but I think since running air suspension I haven't really broken anything much? Lots of tokens, pretty low sag, it just never seems to hit bottom hard anymore. Could be I'm a wuss. I used to run enormous springs, I had 900# on one bike hahaha

My buddy goes through tires and rims like crazy, but doesn't use a tire gauge. I'm like if you had 35psi in there you sure as hell wouldn't be breaking so many rims...


 Last edited by: Hepcat on June 20, 2022, 11:37 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 20, 2022, 2:23 p.m.
Posts: 1260
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

^lol I remember sourcing a 1050lb spring for a Rocky RM6 for my 180lbs. Fun times

June 28, 2022, 2:27 p.m.
Posts: 68
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Hepcat

I used to break stuff pretty regularly, but I think since running air suspension I haven't really broken anything much? Lots of tokens, pretty low sag, it just never seems to hit bottom hard anymore.

You're onto something ^^ that's worth repeating. I suspect OP is breaking frames due to hard bottoming or the super-long seat post like already mentioned.  Run something with lots of ramp or bottom-out control. MegNeg with tokens, Cascade Link, progressive spring or whatever other method you can find to keep from bottoming too often or too hard. Frames with a good amount of progression are key, but MegNeg will make a lot of frames ramp up nicely.

I'm only 6'2" and around 200 lb riding weight and I've broken a lot of frames. Partly because once I have a bike I like, I keep it until there's a really compelling reason to upgrade. I've broken frames at a slower rate now that I'm dialed in to setting up my suspension so it doesn't bottom. I wish I understood this better in 2005, holy crap I killed a lot of frames around that time.

I'm also done with aluminum unless it's a tank due to welds failing at about the 3 year mark. Not that carbon can't break... done a few of those too, but usually a manufacturing defect instead of being weak.

June 29, 2022, 5:16 a.m.
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov. 20, 2020

I am neither super tall (188cm) nor super heavy (75kg) but I've still managed to break a frame twice. The first one took 2 years, the 2nd (warranty for the 1st) took 9 months. I'm going to tell myself it's my massive quads. 

June 29, 2022, 2:49 p.m.
Posts: 346
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Boo sneaky chainstay crack! What frame?

June 30, 2022, 5:29 a.m.
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov. 20, 2020

Posted by: velocipedestrian

Boo sneaky chainstay crack! What frame?

It's a Surly Ice Cream Truck, first a 2020 (pink) and then a 2021 (green). I wonder if it's just a bad weld, and if I could get a framebuilder to grind it down and weld it back up, or if it's a fundamental problem with the frame.

June 30, 2022, 2:17 p.m.
Posts: 346
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: TristanC

Posted by: velocipedestrian

Boo sneaky chainstay crack! What frame?

It's a Surly Ice Cream Truck, first a 2020 (pink) and then a 2021 (green). I wonder if it's just a bad weld, and if I could get a framebuilder to grind it down and weld it back up, or if it's a fundamental problem with the frame.

Ooh, I have a friend with an Ice Cream Truck, I'll get him to check that spot, cheers!

Oct. 12, 2022, 6:35 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct. 12, 2022

I am not a huge rider by any means but I do ride hard and people have called me the plow. Im currently struggling with a cracked frame / warranty situation for a Santa Cruz nomad. Has anyone here had experience with welding or repairing a cracked frame?

Oct. 12, 2022, 11:30 p.m.
Posts: 43
Joined: Nov. 20, 2020

Posted by: benporteous

I am not a huge rider by any means but I do ride hard and people have called me the plow. Im currently struggling with a cracked frame / warranty situation for a Santa Cruz nomad. Has anyone here had experience with welding or repairing a cracked frame?

Aluminum? Aluminum is tough to weld up because you have to heat treat it after to restore the material properties. The welding heat makes some microstructure changes that get reset during the heat treat process. It's possible, though.

Carbon? I have a friend who has an Otso Voytek that's got at least three carbon repairs on it, he rides hard and they're holding up.

Oct. 13, 2022, 6:59 a.m.
Posts: 983
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

I tend to replace mine before that happens. Usually after two seasons I start to get itchy for something new; at the end of 2 is a bit early, at the end of season 3 is a bit late. I think I put a special kind of wear on frame from a weight/leverage perspective so I try to swap them out early. My last few swaps have seen my bikes go to (obviously) bigger guys but they tend to be buying a bike like this for the first time (i.e. boutique frames like a Geometron in XL) and so are at a different point in their riding journey on the shore. I feel good selling a frame that's two years old versus 4 years old when it's super sketchy and clapped out. All these timelines would be a bit different for a hardtail in full time rotation.

I haven't broken a frame in ages. I think my gear attrition is naturally a bit higher because I'm big and strong and ride hard. But I'm also a pretty precise rider - I like my speed to come from accuracy not recklessness so in that way my gear tends to not fail. My gear tends to age gracefully - super high end, tons of loving wear from lots of mileage and daily rub, very little catastrophic failure. In the new era the gear is pricey as hell but it sure is tough.

I make sure to rebuild my dropper, shock and fork every season to minimize disappointment - also a good reminder to service stuff at Suspensionwerx to get the little running internal upgrades. I probably end up rebuilding my rear wheel every season too, front wheel as necessary.


 Last edited by: craw on Oct. 13, 2022, 7 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 13, 2022, 9:06 p.m.
Posts: 1802
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: TristanC

Posted by: benporteous

I am not a huge rider by any means but I do ride hard and people have called me the plow. Im currently struggling with a cracked frame / warranty situation for a Santa Cruz nomad. Has anyone here had experience with welding or repairing a cracked frame?

Aluminum? Aluminum is tough to weld up because you have to heat treat it after to restore the material properties. The welding heat makes some microstructure changes that get reset during the heat treat process. It's possible, though.

Carbon? I have a friend who has an Otso Voytek that's got at least three carbon repairs on it, he rides hard and they're holding up.

Aluminum... that's a tough one eh.

My buddy somehow managed to shear the down tubes on two different brand's carbon frames a few years ago, had them both repaired and is still riding them problem free.

Oct. 13, 2022, 9:41 p.m.
Posts: 1300
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: craw

I tend to replace mine before that happens. Usually after two seasons I start to get itchy for something new; at the end of 2 is a bit early, at the end of season 3 is a bit late. I think I put a special kind of wear on frame from a weight/leverage perspective so I try to swap them out early. My last few swaps have seen my bikes go to (obviously) bigger guys but they tend to be buying a bike like this for the first time (i.e. boutique frames like a Geometron in XL) and so are at a different point in their riding journey on the shore. I feel good selling a frame that's two years old versus 4 years old when it's super sketchy and clapped out. All these timelines would be a bit different for a hardtail in full time rotation.

I haven't broken a frame in ages. I think my gear attrition is naturally a bit higher because I'm big and strong and ride hard. But I'm also a pretty precise rider - I like my speed to come from accuracy not recklessness so in that way my gear tends to not fail. My gear tends to age gracefully - super high end, tons of loving wear from lots of mileage and daily rub, very little catastrophic failure. In the new era the gear is pricey as hell but it sure is tough.

I make sure to rebuild my dropper, shock and fork every season to minimize disappointment - also a good reminder to service stuff at Suspensionwerx to get the little running internal upgrades. I probably end up rebuilding my rear wheel every season too, front wheel as necessary.

That all sounds really reasonable. I'm surprised at the once annual rear wheel build though. I find wheels are pretty predictable when they are going to start to fail. My rule is first spoke replace, second spoke rebuild. I can always ride out with a single broken spoke, really no big deal. 

It sounds like your maintenance is really top notch, your friends are lucky to buy your bikes from the sounds of things.

Oct. 14, 2022, 7:03 a.m.
Posts: 983
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: craw

I tend to replace mine before that happens. Usually after two seasons I start to get itchy for something new; at the end of 2 is a bit early, at the end of season 3 is a bit late. I think I put a special kind of wear on frame from a weight/leverage perspective so I try to swap them out early. My last few swaps have seen my bikes go to (obviously) bigger guys but they tend to be buying a bike like this for the first time (i.e. boutique frames like a Geometron in XL) and so are at a different point in their riding journey on the shore. I feel good selling a frame that's two years old versus 4 years old when it's super sketchy and clapped out. All these timelines would be a bit different for a hardtail in full time rotation.

I haven't broken a frame in ages. I think my gear attrition is naturally a bit higher because I'm big and strong and ride hard. But I'm also a pretty precise rider - I like my speed to come from accuracy not recklessness so in that way my gear tends to not fail. My gear tends to age gracefully - super high end, tons of loving wear from lots of mileage and daily rub, very little catastrophic failure. In the new era the gear is pricey as hell but it sure is tough.

I make sure to rebuild my dropper, shock and fork every season to minimize disappointment - also a good reminder to service stuff at Suspensionwerx to get the little running internal upgrades. I probably end up rebuilding my rear wheel every season too, front wheel as necessary.

That all sounds really reasonable. I'm surprised at the once annual rear wheel build though. I find wheels are pretty predictable when they are going to start to fail. My rule is first spoke replace, second spoke rebuild. I can always ride out with a single broken spoke, really no big deal. 

It sounds like your maintenance is really top notch, your friends are lucky to buy your bikes from the sounds of things.

I try :) I find broken spokes to be the biggest pain. Like, why do you have to remove the cassette and break a perfectly good tubeless setup and tape to replace a spoke? Surely we could put our heads together to come up with something less intrusive. But yeah same for me: first broken spoke incident I just replace, but on the second one I replace all of them. 

Inserts have really helped in this regard. Previously I would have to choose between support/survival and traction. Any pressure that prevents pinch flats or rim strikes was too high to ride well. Any pressure that rode well inevitably flats/pinches/snakebites/burps. Inserts mostly solved this. I found Cush Core Pro really good but excessively heavy. Tannus Tubeless is really good but not ride-flat at my size so I'm phasing them out too. I'm looking to try Octamousse next. 

I think I'll try the Oct50S for ebikes on the rear and the Oct50 enduro for the front. Their site is a nightmare of inconsistent information. All the weights are on the home page and the rest of the details under Shop. In theory these should offer functional ride-flat capability and even lighter than Tannus Tubeless. Plus they're relatively inexpensive and relatively easy to install. Plus Cam liked them. I love the idea of not carrying a tube on rides, just water, a multi-tool, plugs and a small pump/CO2. I don't even know how you'd get some inserts out of a tire on the trail TBH.

Forum jump: