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My bicycle went from this when I bought it:


To this when I crashed (note the front fork bent where it attaches to the stem; front wheel almost touches the down tube):


Update: Just looked at the frame and saw cracks in the paint on top tube and down tube.

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It's not as bad as this one.… from – Kibbee Nov 22 '12 at 13:54
EDIT: just looked at the frame and saw cracks in the paint on the TT and DT going to get a friend to look at it saturday. I've braced myself for the news that is could be "good night sweet prince" Warning downtube toptube – Will Nov 22 '12 at 18:09

3 Answers 3

Well, that second image is a little too small to see what the bike's condition is, but I knew a guy back in the 70s (a fairly avid biker) who bent his fork rear-ending a parked car. (Yeah, he was a bit sheepish about that.) The fork was bent back to where the tire just barely cleared the down tube. He rode it like that for at least 4-5 months, probably doing 200 or more miles a week.

(Note: This was a steel bike -- if that wasn't obvious from the date.)

Clearly, handling will be affected -- that's for you to assess. And I wouldn't trust a bent fork with aluminum or composite components.

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Now that I can see the picture, it looks like the fork itself is not terribly bent, but the clearance to the downtube is so tight that you could have the tire hit the tube and grab when you hit a bump. You need to determine how serious this risk is. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 22 '12 at 13:53

Good LBS can straighten steel fork, but it would be a good idea to replace it when you can.

But in your picture top tube also seems to be bent. If that is true than the frame has also been compromised which is much more serious problem.

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The top bar might be bent, might be an effect of the camera lens. Probably best to check it with a straight edge. – Kibbee Nov 22 '12 at 14:10

besides the structural issues, looks like this crash has changed your bike geometry rake, head angle, tail, and wheel base. This will likely result in much more sensitivity to handlebar input.

If you can, I would advise against riding the bike, particularly on low traction surface since a small jerk can put it a handle-bar lock and you into an endo.

As others noted, the clearance from the down-tube is also cause for caution. The steel fork can likely be bent back, provided that there are no frame fractures and wheel damage (hard to imagine the wheel being perfect with forks bent).

otherwise, it doesn't seem likely that the steel bike would disintegrate as you're riding.

good luck

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