CAAD12 - dented top tube: thoughts?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by 573

I recently bought a CAAD12 Disc as a winter bike. I bought it used, so don't have any kind of guarantee or warranty. I was riding it yesterday and had the strangest thing happen; a conker (horse chestnut) fell out of a tree and hit the top tube as I rode under.





The chances are so ridiculously slim.. how the conker didn't hit my head, or my legs and hit the toptube so accurately and how a conker can actually dent a top tube??

A quick Google shows loads of CAAD12s with dented top tubes. I guess they're pushing how thin they can make the tubes and in all of the areas it needs to be strong to cope with stress and cycling forces it is but seems to be compromised in its ability to deal with blows (albeit small ones from conkers!) at the thinnest parts of the tubes. Having seen how easily this is dented, I'd imagine clamping one in a workstand would crush it like a coke can.

So, I'm now not sure what to do with it. Should I treat this as just cosmetic, or should I be concerned that the frame could now crack or fail in a catastrophic way while riding it?

by Weenie

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by ross

Hmm bad luck indeed. Conkers can fall from pretty high so can be travelling fast when they land. I used to have an allocated parking space under a horse chestnut and accumulated a dozen dents in the car roof before I noticed, so yes no doubt could cause this.

I would still ride that and just keep a close eye on it for any changes / worsening

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by rothwem

Its hard to tell from the pictures, but I don't really see any creases. You might be able to pull it out with a suction cup.

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by 573

I was just speaking to a friend about it and he said his car roof took a dent from a conker yesterday too. To hit a toptube of a bike seems to be such a freak accident though!

It isn't really creased, the dent has soft edges and the paint isn't even cracked. I'd already considered attempting to pull it out with a suction cup, like a paintless-dent-removal on a car body panel. I'll give that a try and go from there...

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by 53x12

Guess you got yourself a new indoor trainer bike.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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by kgt

Obviously there is a reason these alu frames are so light.

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by mrfish

Unfortunate. It would be nice if you could pull that out with a suction cup as the dent will affect the strenght of the tube in compressive bending, such as when you land a 10' bunny hop over a sleeping policeman. Personally I would ride it as my experience is that unless you weigh 120kg and ride your road bike like it's a DH MTB small dents won't make a difference. Just don't sit on it though as you could make it worse.

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by stockae92

53x12 wrote:Guess you got yourself a new indoor trainer bike.

yep, that's what I thought too

it sucks to have a dent on the bike, but i wouldn't trade that with my head / helmet / face / or cause a crash.

count your blessing ... and replace the frame :)

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by RussellS

573 wrote:I recently bought a CAAD12 Disc as a winter bike. Having seen how easily this is dented, I'd imagine clamping one in a workstand would crush it like a coke can.

Can't speak to the CAAD12 frame. But I clamp my toptube in my Park clamp on my CAAD7 and CAAD9 frames just fine. The dent won't have any affect.

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by topflightpro

You're fine to ride that as long as it isn't cracked.

Aluminum doesn't like to be dented, and it really can't be hammered or sucked back out, so the dent is going to stay there. As someone else noted, there doesn't appear to be a crease, which is a good thing.

The frame was likely weakened by the dent, but not so significantly you need to worry. Really, aluminum will form a crack and tear, but it's not catastrophic. So, go ahead and ride the heck out of it until you see it crack.

Lastly, yes, the aluminum is very thin, and has been getting thinner as they strive for lighter frames. Still, it was possible to dent and break heavier aluminum frames. I lost an 03 S-Works E-5 to a dent. I went down in a crash, and my bar slammed into the top tube. The frame survived about six more weeks of racing before it cracked. I'd still put it on a trainer though if I needed to.

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by srshaw

I would imagine the tube is so thin there because there is little stress in that area. I would ride it if it were mine, but keep an eye on it. Any sign of cracking or getting worse then there is an issue.

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by Rascal

I have a similar dent in my CAAD5 top tube. My paint is not single color in the dent area, so it's harder to see. It's been there for years with no changes or negative effects. For the most part, I have forgotten that it's even there.
"You can't get there from here"

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by ntb1001

Should be fine for a long time

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by Bliquid

I'd ride this without concern.

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by Rascal

Also, if it's any comfort my CAAD5 as well as my 1987 Cannondale Crit Racing Frame have an "engineered dent" in the drive side chainstay for chain/chainring clearance. I suspect your CAAD12 has one also...
"You can't get there from here"

by Weenie

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