My 2007 Ghost AMR 5700 developed a crack or fissure at the upper end of the headtube. I do not know whether it developed over time or whether there was a specific event leading up to it; it looked like that when I discovered it first.
Still, everything else on it is in good condition. The bike obviously is not worth its weight in gold, but it would be a bummer just to throw it away.
How on earth can a crack develop at that point (it's about 10:30 o'clock when viewed from the sattle)? I am riding slow and methodically on single trails, I don't race downhill, and am pretty sure that I never once "punched through" the front suspension (sorry, don't know how you would call that in english); I do tend to not put my full body weight on the handlebar anyways for the sake of my wrists. The location just seems a bit arbitrary. Or is that a common place for these kinds of injuries, for some reason?
The bike is the entry level of the AMR line from Ghost, it cost about 1700€ (?) in 2007, and the parts are certainly not high-end, but appropriate to my needs; I like the bike as much today as in the past, and have not tried other fullies since then, so have no comparison anyways. That said, would you say it makes sense economically to look for a new frame (Ghost or different brand) and move everything over? I do have a family member who built his own road bike for a world tour from scratch, so the necessary know-how and maybe even most of the tools should be around, although he has no experience with suspension.
But I have no idea how to select a proper frame, and frankly don't want to make this my "project" for the next year. I guess I'm asking how hard it is to find a fitting frame, or how easy it is to botch the choice. It would only make sense if the result would be able to run single trails again (not crazy downhill with lots of jumping, I'm not getting younger).
I don't even dare to ask, but will do so just for completeness: would a competent welder be able to fix that crack, and would you trust your own life to it afterwards?