4

I purchased this Bottecchia full-carbon frame a a few years ago and built it up using Shimano 105 components. Shortly after the build was done it came off the rear mounted rack on my car and went under a U-Haul truck and was dragged for at least a few hundred feet. Upon inspection there appeared to be zero damage to the frame itself...not one scratch. However, the crankset, front fork, handlebar, one shifter, seat, both wheels and rear derailleur were destroyed. I replaced the 105 group with Ultegra, new seat, replaced the crankset, upgraded the wheelset and upgraded to a Easton EC70 fork and bars.

That was 6 years ago and due to rotator cuff issues I have never ridden the bike. Now I am interested in getting back on it, but am concerned about the integrity of the frame. If needed I'll replace the frame and swap over all of the components, but I'd really like to use this frame if possible.Any suggestions on inspection and/or testing the strength of the frame would be appreciated.

enter image description here

11
  • 4
    There's a previous question about assessing damage to a carbon frame but you say there isn't even a scratch on it. Most articles I can find talk about determining if a frame is cracked vs. scratched, but the same applies... Honestly, if there's no visible damage, and no squishiness when applying riding forces to it, I'd be inclined to at least give it a test ride.
    – DavidW
    Jul 30 '19 at 19:19
  • 1
    I'd think it would be difficult if not impossible to damage a carbon fiber frame without causing visible damage, but you can always do a "tap test" over the frame, trying to find areas that sound "mushy", especially when compared to a part that should sound exactly the same (left side of downtube vs right side of downtube, for example). See some of the results at google.com/search?q=carbon+fiber+tap+test Jul 30 '19 at 20:07
  • 1
    There are services that will perform x-ray inspections (or other nondestructive penetrating techniques) on carbon bikes. My concern is that because carbon has a catastrophic failure mode, one day it seems fine and the next day you're eating pavement.
    – Adam Rice
    Jul 30 '19 at 21:54
  • 1
    @AndrewHenle I'd agree, but I'd also think it would be impossible to drag a frame under a truck wrecking both wheels, the fork and handlebar, the crankset, and the seat without at least putting forces on the frame that it wasn't designed for.
    – armb
    Aug 30 '19 at 15:27
  • 1
    Yes, there is lots of expensive testing out there, but this is not an aircraft.. Most good bike shops do a visual and tap test. Lot of vids out there to show you how Dec 12 '19 at 15:40
3

The adage, "If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident applies here. While visual inspection may reveal no cosmetic damage, there is no safe way to verify the integrity of the carbon layup after the aforesaid crash.

You've mentioned you've came from an injury and are looking to get back on the saddle. It would be a wise and pragmatic idea to invest on a new frame or a second-hand one which you could verify for issues. The amount of money you'd have to spend to get the frame assessed along with the hassle of doing so is just not worth it when decent and affordable frames could be had for the cheap these days.

At the end of the day, cycling is your hobby and not your source of income. If something happens to you on the bike because you skimped on safety, your personal life would definitely be affected.

2
  • @DavidW. Yes, my apologies for that oversight! Thank youu!
    – Lien028
    Nov 15 '20 at 17:30
  • I guess this question is probably no longer relevant to the asker 15 months later.
    – thelawnet
    Nov 15 '20 at 18:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.