Is my bike safe to ride? (Dent in down tube - MTB)

Hey all,

I got in a car crash (someone crossed the freeway without looking while I was on it) this spring with my MTB hanging on a frame rack on the back of my car. The bike (2016 Rocky Mountain Altitude 730 alu.) swung forward, hitting the rack, leaving a big dent in the down tube. The down tube largely sees tensile forces, so it’d be hard to believe that it is highly prone to failure. How safe is it to ride for another year or two? Any mechanical engineers in here? Anyone with similar experience?


I’m not going to comment on the safety of the dent.

But did you try including the bike damage in your insurance claim? From what I understand this should be able to be included in the claim and you may receive enough money to buy a new MTB (or at least contribute a good chunk to a new one).

If you are looking to continue to ride this frame then I would start by sanding off the pain in that area so you can get a better idea of the damage. If there are cracks then I would avoid riding it.

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Mechanical engineer here—


Hate to say it, but that frame is trash. That’s a significant dent, and the tube shape has been changed/stressed and will probably crack if it hasn’t already.


Maybe can be fixed?
(if there are no cracks on the tube elsewhere.

Luckily insurance covered both the car and the bike. Paid $1500 for the bike, got $2200 from the other party’s insurance.


In that case definitely ditch the frame.

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Good to hear!

Ha! Danger! Danger! :smiley: I would ride that bike down to the Kwik-E mart with a clear conscience but I would not ride that bike down any single track. But then I never would ride a pristine Slingshot bike either.

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Yeah if I had a need for an easy commuter then I might use it for that. But nothing even remotely serious.

I know this isn’t apples to apples, but I raise you all this:

My point is that it’s a round tube in tension.
I’d be less adamant about wanting to continue riding the dented frame if I wasn’t ballin’ on a college student’s budget. This is under the assumption that the aluminum hasn’t cracked, which I’ll want to determine one way or another.

Personally, I’d ride that if the tube is not cracked in anyway. But keep your eye on it.
Note bene: when I mountain bike ride I don’t do jumps or anything extreme.

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