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titanium and crashing(12 posts)

titanium and crashingweiwentg
Jan 5, 2004 11:03 AM
how well do ti frames hold up in crashes (the type that occur in racing, not the type that occur when motor vehicles collide with bikes)? the reason I ask is that I am considering spoiling myself by getting a Seven Axiom, which I will use only for road races. I require a steep seat angle (75 or 76 degrees), steeper than is usually found on bikes my size. however, I am not keen to destroy a $2600 frame. I remember bill had his Pegoretti destroyed in a crash - I know this is pretty rare, and I would use my bike only in road races, not crits, but it's a big investment and I don't want it wasted.
some of you will remember that I just got a Colnago Dream Plus. well, it got destroyed, along with my helmet, when I got hit by a pickup. I, fortunately, escaped death. nonetheless, I have several broken bones and a brain injury. I was fortunate that it was not worse - I probably get to walk next week, and while my memory was slightly impaired, my marbles are more or less intact (although you could take the fact that I'm thinking of Seven as evidence of insanity). and my insurance company (Michigan is a no-fault state) will be compensating me for my property damage as soon as I submit the information.
Very well,TJeanloz
Jan 5, 2004 11:08 AM
Ti frames are pretty indestructable. I have a Merlin Extralight that was on the business end of a bicycle-car collision - it has a dent ~.5" deep, ~1" long in the top tube, and the frame remains perfectly aligned and otherwise ride-able.

I've never seen a ti frame that was destroyed, to an unrepairable state, from a crash. The worst is are 6/4 ti derrailluer hangers that get bent and are hard (but not impossible) to bend back.
I had an Extralight too, but managed to tweak itColnagoFE
Jan 5, 2004 2:03 PM
Same car interaction. Out of spec after that. Probably still ridable, but the misalignment was noticable when the bike was put on a table. Bottom line is nothing is indestructable, but I'll agree that TI does take a pretty big impact before breaking.
pretty much like steelcyclopathic
Jan 5, 2004 11:13 AM
Ti has higher elongation (can be bent more b/f deformed) then steel, so it will resist dents better, and you don't have to worry about scratching paint.
Cant testify about ti, but Im glad you will recover...koala
Jan 5, 2004 11:49 AM
sounds like a frightening crash, to involve a brain injury. Heal fast and I hope nothing like this ever happens to you again.

crashing my tiPaulCL
Jan 5, 2004 11:55 AM
Doing 35-40mph, hit a dog, endoed, bike flipped after I went off. Bent steel fork, tacoed wheels, crack in right crankarm, broken, bent body. The Colnago Ti came out unscathed. A few minor scratches. I was shocked that the headtube wasn't bent since I destroyed the fork. Luckily the fork (and my body) took all of the impact. Ti is wonderfully strong stuff.

I agree, I would never ride such a nice frame in a Crit. Maybe I would ride my $110 Tsunami frame in a crit, but not a Seven.


P.S. I think you are perfectly sane. But then again, there are very few on this board who would be considered sane when it comes to bike purchases.
re: titanium and crashingrogue_CT1
Jan 5, 2004 12:53 PM
I crashed twice on my Colnago CT-1. The first one was a year ago yesterday when I hit a Doberman head-on. I hit the ground hard enough to break my helmet and it twisted my bars pretty good but the all crabon fork and the frame were fine. Then I crashed a month after that when my stem broke. I ended up with a broken finger but once again, the frame and fork were fine. I changed out the bars as a precaution since they had been wrecked twice in one month.
"Veteran Crasher" 2 centsNunzio
Jan 5, 2004 2:54 PM
I have been at the unfortunate end of several crashes, none of which I caused, but I don't guess fault matters once the damage is done.

I have raced for 7 years, and have smoked 1 frame completely in a crash (a De Rosa), and have damaged 3 others. These did not all happen in the same year, but over time.

The first crash involving damage was with the De Rosa, in a 3.5 mile circuit race. After losing this frame, I took the advice of a veteran racer friend, who noted "don't race on a frame that you would weep buckets over losing in a crash".

The guy who caused the crash noted afterward "it's a shame about your bike, but that's part of the risk you assume when racing", which is true.

I can't speak for Ti being crashworthy or not, but I do believe that any frame can be damaged if the physics are just so in a given circumstance.

Even road racing has its inherent risk, as with all mass-start racing. I think most guys are caught between wanting to race on a cool rig (which has a high fun factor, let's face it), and not wanting to potentially lose $2600 because some guy loses it in a downhill curve. It's a tough call.

I have since raced less expensive frames (one of them being a Tsunami, actually). Ironically, I noticed no difference in performance or results from frame to frame - I either sucked or did OK as a result of my fitness or skill, but not the frame.
axioms- takes a licking...CritLover
Jan 5, 2004 4:03 PM
... and keeps on ticking (cliche, but true). Mine has been in maybe 10 race related crashes (and one car impact) in the last five years and rides perfectly. No need to save it for racing only, these things are indestructible. If they can survive cat5 crits, they can survive anything!
re: titanium and crashingtuscany
Jan 5, 2004 5:52 PM
I know you said you were not referring to a car crash but as I had a Seven Axiom that broke in an accident I had to reply. I hit the back of a parked car doing about 10 miles per hour climbing a hill and it buckled at the top and down tubes.

The rim was not even knocked out of true so it was not a huge impact. I also weigh 150 pounds so I am not a large guy.

Not bad mouthing Seven or anything as it was a nice bike but it did break very easily and I was disapointed. Seven looked at it and it and said it was unrepairable and made no offer of any discount or any other adjustment on a new frame.

Just wanted to tell you my experience.
Possible reason whyFez
Jan 6, 2004 7:20 AM
This is drifting from the original thread, but I took note of how your rim (I assume you meant the front) was not even knocked out of true, yet the frame was damaged.

I have seen this before and my guess is the front wheel is not in a fixed position (can deflect upon impact) and is not bearing much of the total weight, so it usually escapes major damage. The frame, which was probably under full load, didn't deflect upon impact and received the full force of the impact.

What was surprising is that most failures occur at the weld and not on the tubes.
high end framescyclopathic
Jan 6, 2004 8:17 AM
usually made out of thinner tubing, and on 2.5lbs Ti frame you're pushing envelope. Cheaper heavier frame would withstand crash better. Yes it is easier to screw up Ti welds, but better builders used double pass welding, which creates wider and more uniform welds.