RE: dented top tube safety?

Kirk Willett

December 29, 2004 at 8:48 PM


I would definitely have an experienced mechanic inspect the dent and do

an alignment check.

Having said that, I have had teammates and team-riders race on some

pretty ugly top-tube dents which sound similar to what you have

described, and finish the season on those frames if the alignment was

not significantly out of whack. Crooked aluminum frames were retired.

Of course, we were privileged to have professional mechanics...

So, there is a reasonable chance the frame is still OK, at least in the

short-term, but I'd have it looked at!

Good luck,


Chris Brandt wrote:


Hello out there,

I'm inquiring for my little (bigger) brother who crashed on Christmas

eve while running over a weiner dog, folding his front wheel and

denting his top tube w/ his handlebar.

Bike is an '03 Specialized S-Works 58cm. Dent is in middle left side

of top tube, it probably is dented in 1/2 an inch or so. Width of dent

is probably 2" or so. No visible cracks, except for paint in the

immediate dent area. Looking down the top tube from the rear along the

right (non-dented) side, it appears to be straight still. He thought

it felt a little squirrelly, but I noticed his headset was loose and I

tightened that.

I'm just looking for input from the OBRA crowd who have experienced

this situation before... how do you determine when the frame is

dangerous, etc? I imagine this is a pretty common type of dent from

crashing. If it were my frame, I'd replace it. He's putting in the 400

mile weeks down in LA and I'd personally prefer that he wasn't doing

that on an unsafe bike.

Thanks for your ideas and happy holidays!

Chris Brandt