The frame is the solid, angular skeleton of your bicycle. It provides your bike's overall structure and its strength. You should check your frame regularly for dents, bulges, wrinkles, cracks or any other structural damage caused by accidents. Also check the paintwork for corrosion, nicks and general damage. Make a quick check of your frame every time you wash it and after all serious crashes.
Structural frame damage is typically caused by accidents, fatigue or collisions. It usually appears as a "wrinkle", crease or crack in the frame tubes or the joints where they meet. Scan your frame carefully, paying special attention to joints, drop outs and the area around your bottom bracket. Paint damage can lead to rust and corrosion over time.
Each time you wash your bike, check your frame for any areas where the frame metal has been exposed by wear or damage.
Common Frame Problems and Solutions
Damaged frames should be taken into a cycle retailer for evaluation as soon as any damage is noticed. Dented, bent, or cracked frames can be serious safety hazards, even if they still "feel" solid.
Bike frames suffer nicks, cuts and gouges all the time as a result of normal use. These minor scrapes and dings will have little to no effect on immediate riding performance. However, if left, they can expose your bike to rust and corrosion problems over time. The best way to avoid any corrosive damage to your bike frame is to keep it as clean and dry as possible. To repair scratch damage, simply paint over any nicks, cuts and gouges with durable touch-up paint every six months or so. Touch-up paint is available from most CoBR members.
To keep your frame in good shape, wash or wipe it down frequently. If the dirt on your frame is dry, wipe it off with a clean rag or soft brush. If it's wet, use a sponge and soapy water being careful to keep the water away from your bike's bearing systems as much as possible (this includes the headset, bottom bracket, wheel axles and pedals). For an added layer of frame protection, seriously consider the use of a high quality Cycle Polish, visit our shopping area. Not only will this offer some protection to your paint finish but your bike will continue to look like the day you bought it.