Inspecting A Bike Frame…Sometimes Even The Pros Can Miss Something

By Justin Bolinger, Owner, I Know a Guy Bicycles

Oh Man, Another One!!!
I bought this bike thinking it would be a great entry-level road bike. Didn’t look too bad, needed a new chain and new cables, and would be a good little bike.
But as I stripped down the bike (like all of my refurbished bikes) and cleaned all the grease off the frame, I found a crack on the Head Tube. Keep in mind the original owner didn’t know. (at least, I hope so) I’m glad I bought this bike. Because to even an expert like me, I missed it. And someone else could’ve bought this one, and how the crack is set, failure would be certain. I’m more than happy to take this one off the market for safety reasons.
So be careful out there when looking at used bikes. Something as small as this crack could put you in harm’s way. Request a full inspection, if possible, by a professional mechanic. Or at least have a shop take a look at it before you ride it. What you pay for the extra service will save you at the Emergency Room.
How To Inspect A Bicycle Frame (Frame Damage Inspection):
Here are some things to look for in bicycle frame damage:
✅ Cracks: Any cracks, no matter how small, can indicate serious damage to the frame.
✅ Bends: Any bends in the frame can also be a sign of damage.
✅ Gouges: Deep gouges in the frame can weaken the structure and make it more susceptible to cracking.
✅ Delamination: Delamination is the separation of carbon fiber layers in a carbon fiber frame. This can be caused by a hard impact or by over-tightening the frame.
✅ Looseness: Any looseness in the frame can indicate damage to the joints or welds.
✅ Squeaks: Squeaks or creaks can be a sign of wear and tear on the frame or of damage to the bearings.
If you find any of these signs of damage, it is important to have the frame inspected by a qualified mechanic. Even if the damage is not serious, it is better to be safe than sorry. Riding a damaged frame can be dangerous, leading to further damage or even a crash.
Here are some tips for inspecting your bicycle frame for damage:
✅ Look for cracks, bends, gouges, delamination, and looseness.
✅ Pay special attention to the head tube, bottom bracket, and seat tube. These are the areas that are most likely to be damaged in a crash.
✅ Use a flashlight to inspect the frame for damage that is not visible to the naked eye.
✅ If you find any damage, have the frame inspected by a qualified mechanic.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your bicycle frame is in good condition and safe to ride.
By Justin Bolinger, I Know a Guy Bicycles
iknowaguybicycles@gmail.comjustin, i know a guy bikes
970 290-5375

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