Today while riding on a trail, the frame of my full-suspension MTB broke. It's been a long time coming, and at this point I'm happy that it didn't 'catastrophically' fail / I didn't crash.

I think what I would like to do is to find a frame that will take most, if not all of my old parts, and I have two main questions:

  1. How feasible/easy is it to find a frame (be it used or new) that fits my old components? What are the variables to look out for? I'm assuming breaks and cassette/gear system should be transferable basically all the time, and the same is true for fork. I am assuming finding a frame that fits the shock is harder. I'd be happy to hear some of your advice.

  2. What about used frames? This seems like a gamble to me, because I can't envision someone selling a frame (and a frame ONLY) unless the guy has crashed on the frame and wants to get rid of it? Would be happy to hear your opinion on this one, too.

  • 2
    Wow, very glad you're OK. Sorry to hear about the bike. Can you tell a little more about the bike- model, year, etc? Or if you have a photo that might help. You mention both fork and shock- this was a full suspension bike? Used frames can br cause for concern, and you're right to be more wary, but don't write them off completely. Sometimes someone just decides they want a different frame, or that they'll never finish that project they started, or they outgrew an otherwise great bike, etc. Have someone you trust look it over carefully.
    – Andrew
    Sep 5, 2020 at 14:55
  • "because I can't envision someone selling a frame (and a frame ONLY) unless the guy has crashed on the frame and wants to get rid of it?" - FYI, thats not at all true, frames are bought and sold used all the time in great shape. Plenty of people buy a frame intending to make their dream bike and never get around to it, or it doesn't fit. Sometimes people race and upgrade every year because they are made of money, and others Sep 5, 2020 at 18:32

3 Answers 3


You may be able to find the same frame new from the manufacturer if your bike wasn't too old. Most bike manufacturers sell bare frames, so even if your frame is no longer available, It might be likely you could find a suitable frame new that all or most of your components fit. Without much info on the frame it is hard to get closer to an answer for you, but compatibility checkpoints would be: the head tube/headset style, seat tube diameter, rear dropout and fork end spacing and axle compatibility, bottom bracket shell size, depending on what kind of suspension your frame has, the rear shock pivot type. You may also have to contend with cable mounting issues depending on how different your new frame is. Did I leave anything out? Those will be the most significant things to look for.

Used frames are a great option, but as you are saying, There is a potential risk that you end up with a frame that is near or beyond tthe end of it's life. It can be difficult to know looking at a carbon frame what kind of damage if any, and warping or fatigue can be hard to spot on steel and Aluminum frames until you've already spent you money and built up you bike and gone riding. I've purchased a few used frames and had good experiences though. I would try to find a new replacement first for sure, and be open to having to also buy a few new components if not all of your old gear is compatible.

  • Agreed on this. Most large manufacturers will keep a supply of warranty replacement frames around. Definitely worth checking out. And that seems like a pretty complete list of measurements to check. Basically, anywhere something that's not frame interfaces with frame. The only addition would be brake mount type.
    – Andrew
    Sep 5, 2020 at 14:41
  • I knew I left something out
    – bradly
    Sep 5, 2020 at 14:48
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    Oftentimes a full suspension frame set will include the rear shock as part of the package. Well maintained, functional, used shocks and suspension forks the likes of Fox (especially), Rockshox, X-Fusion and Ohlins still fetch a very good price in the online marketplace. Thus, one can offload parts that may not be compatible with a proposed new frameset.
    – Jeff
    Sep 6, 2020 at 18:50

Looking through various bike manufacturer websites it obvious that the bare frames offered are all high-end and relatively expensive. If your bike is similar that may be what you are looking for. If you bike is not high-end you may be able to find a replacement frame by talking to local dealers or contacting manufacturers directly.

An alternative is to buy a whole new bike - bypassing all the compatibility headaches and getting unworn, new components - and selling the components from the broken frame to offset the cost.


If your components are in good working order and are actually worth keeping then there are only a few measurements you need to worry about.1 frame size,2 headtube length and diameter 3,bottom bracket type and dropout spacing ,4 maybe seatpost diameter but you can buy shims to make your old post fit.Its not hard .I switch components between all my bikes.very few issues

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