Fractured frame

While washing my mountain bike after an epic 20km ride a few Sundays ago, I noticed a crack developing in the aluminium frame! It appears to have been slowly growing for some time.

Below is the back side of the same crack, which had worked its way almost half way across the frame. I was lucky to spot it before it failed completely during a ride – potentially it could have ended very VERY badly!!

On closer inspection, I also noticed two other cracks developing in some welds further down on the same section. I’ve been really enjoying this bike and had no plans on replacing it just yet!

I don’t do massive jumps and this is classed as an “enduro” bike, meaning it should be strong enough to take moderate hits from jumps and drops beyond my current capabilities.

I bought this 2017 Avanti Competitor S2 Plus second-hand about one year ago. With the bike being only four years old, I decided to look into Avanti’s warranty online. While the frame has a “lifetime warranty”, it only applied to the original purchaser.

Below is a side view of where it fatigued, in a rather thin piece of aluminium that has no lateral support. There are only two unsupported thin pieces between the bottom bracket and the rear swing arm pivot, a part of the frame that is subject to the most aggressive and repetitive forces of pedalling and suspension movement.

On previous models of this German designed frame, the bottom rear shock mount was welded to the failing section, which would have stopped it flexing, but for some reason, they altered the design and welded the bracket to the lower frame without bracing the upright section.

After considering my limited options, I decided to try my luck with the local retailer for Avanti given that the failure appeared to be a direct result of inadequate engineering. No harm in trying right?

Find out what their response was in the next post … in the mean time, I’m left without a ride 😦

8 thoughts on “Fractured frame

  1. Wow, your darn lucky that you caught the cracks before they failed and slammed you to the ground! Can an automotive shop grind the paint off, then re-weld the aluminum? But then you’ve got a bad paint job! 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, yes, extremely lucky! My thought is to strip the bike right back and sand-blast it all myself, then have it repaired and re-inforced by someone with a TIG welder and leave it all bare aluminium – I think it would be cool. I’d either keep it as a spare or sell it – it really only owes me $1000 but I have had a year of fun from it. If I decide to part it out, I can use some parts to restore my old Trek Fuel EX 5.5, but that makes less sense as that bike is less capable. I’ll sit on it for a little while to let my depleted funds recover first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funds, it’s always about that isn’t it? That’s a really good idea to strip the paint off and leave the aluminum bare.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was $1000 short so wrote a list of how to get the funds. I even raided my coin collection, but did the market yesterday and all square again now 🙂

        Like

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