Carbon frame post-crash

I was recently in a head-on collision with a turning car at 22 mph. My carbon front wheel (and my head) took all the force. The only visible changes to the bike were that my shifters folded in and my steering tube was a little off kilter. Everything with the wheel is fine. There is no visible damage that I or an LBS could find. What are people’s thoughts on continuing to ride the frame?

Get that checked by someone who can xray it. It might have survived fine but potential sudden failure from something unseen would always be in the back of my mind.

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Or, if you can’t find a place that can check it thoughrougly I would not ride it.

You have no idea what damage is on the inside, or cracks that might have formed, or weak areas etc.

Since you are not only risking your own life, its not worth risking others as well due to a sudden catastrophically break or failure due to unseen damage from the crash.

Much of that force that hit the wheel, has also been transferred into frame.

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Not to mention hopefully the driver’s insurance will replace the damaged bike.


I hope this is a terminology issue…if your actual steerer tube is “off kilter”, your fork is trashed and needs to be replaced and your frame absolutely must be inspected thoroughly.

If you are talking about your stem being rotated out of place (off kilter), you are probably OK, but should still have the bike inspected.

this makes me nervous since it’s high speed and you’re not really sure. If you didn’t get the driver’s insurance and file an incident report, it might be too late for that. While eating the price of a new frame stinks, crashing hard if this breaks will be even worse.

really sorry you are experiencing this!

I highly doubt there is damage that you can detect by xray, but not by eye (or tap test etc). At the size of a bike frame, x-ray resolution is not good enough to see anything but major damage.

Sounds like we have a split opinion, which is about where I’ve been. Regardless, I’ve had the bike appraised and have submitted to insurance, filed an incident report, etc. Unfortunately, my drivetrain was deemed to be functional. :sweat_smile:

This was the case…indeed a terminology issue.

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If the wheel was significantly buckled than I’d be a bit less concerned about the frame. Only because it’s a decent sign that it absorbed a chunk of the energy from the crash.

I’ve gotten left hooked twice, at 24 and 19 mph. The former the fork snapped and everything else was fine (except me). The latter the fork was fine and the frame buckled.

Also, hopefully the shop did this but pull the fork out and look for damage at the bottom of the steer tube.