Cracked Cannondale Frame = Sad Rider

I absolutely love my Cannondale Scalpel!  It’s what I consider my first “real” mountain bike.  Full suspension – awesome Lefty fork – and a sexy schoolbus yellow (it really was an awesome color – guess I should have picked a sexier model to use as the

My first Hitch Mount Rack.  Note the swing arm (also good to hold Gatorade).

It’s not a good photo – but you can see my yellow Scalpel hidden behind my friend’s bike at an event.


That Scalpel has been my “go-to” bike since I’ve had it (which is well over 10 years).  A few years later – when the group started the cycle-of-upgrades – I purchased a Specialized Stumpjumper.  The Stumpjumper is a great bike; however, I never liked it as much as my Scalpel.  I’d keep finding reasons to pull out the Scalpel when we went for a ride – that’s true bike love.

Well, after years of riding, the frame on that bike cracked.  I didn’t realize it until I took it in for service at my favorite bike shop.  The mechanic noticed it and I had to get it fixed (or risk a catastrophic break in the middle of a ride – and, by break, I mean both the bike AND some part of my body).

Cannondale stepped up to the plate and offered me a complete replacement of the frame.  The bonus:  they had no more of the original frame style, so they sent a full carbon frame.  Oooooooh!  It was sweet (though I do admit it was a bit sad saying goodbye to the sexy schoolbus frame)!

Like a new father, I took pictures of my new "baby" - you send to my biking buddies

Like a new father, I took pictures of my new “baby” – you know…to send to my biking buddies

It took a little bit of warming up to it – but I grew to love the new lighter frame.  It has a sexy cop-car black-and-white finish (again, I need to come up with better models of sexy colors).  I found every opportunity to take this new and improved Scalpel out on my rides.  It was essentially a brand new bike – no need to upgrade for quite some time.

This past weekend, the bike was skipping all over the place when I was pedaling along on relatively flat surfaces.  The rest of the group had to hear me make Yeti-like noises every time it skipped.  I’m sure they were quite sick of hearing the grunts by the end of the ride.  I knew it was time to take my bike in for its annual pre-Spring service.  At the end of the ride, I was going to take the bike to the shop immediately.  I thought I should clean the bike before taking it in, though (and my post-ride stinkiness probably wouldn’t have been appreciated either).

Today, I took the time to clean up my bike to prepare to take it in for service – when I spotted a crack in the rear part of the frame.  Now this cracked section was very easy for me to flex with my bare hands.  I know it’s ready to break completely in two at any time.  Will be taking the cleaner bike into the Cannondale dealer to have them look at it.  Cannondale, I believe, has a lifetime warranty on their bikes (that’s how the last frame was replaced).  Hopefully, I don’t need to go that far (and have a

Note the crack in the center of the photo.

Note the crack in the center of the photo.

courtship with a new frame/bike – maybe in a sexy garbage truck green color).

I also hope that I don’t get tagged as a serial frame breaker and get blacklisted.  We do some pretty intense riding – not dropping off cliff riding, just a lot of roots and rocks.  When a lot of my non-riding friends hear I go mountain biking, they envision me out on the rails-to-trails.  That’s not quite what we’re doing.  Maybe that’s the reason we have so many once-and-doners with folks decide to join us for a ride (will need to post about that in the future).

Will report in when we see where this goes.

How has your bike company responded when you had a cracked frame?

7 thoughts on “Cracked Cannondale Frame = Sad Rider

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  3. I am having not such a good experience with my Rize One carbon. Cannondale does not have any type of Rize frame anymore. So they are replacing with an aluminum alloy RZ 120 instead and I am very upset about the whole deal. It will now be mismatched colors with a lesser travel shock. And to top that off they tell me pretty soon I will not be able to get rebuild parts for the Lefty so they have a very limited lifetime… Beware.

    • Sorry to hear of your troubles. My most recent experience with my Scalpel was very close to the same thing – said one bike shop. I was persistent enough to find another shop that could help me out.

      I know exactly how you feel. Once you have a bike you love, you hate to give up on it. Good luck to you!

      • Thanks for sympathizing, I will get over it somehow. “Once I’m riding again is the best bet” I love cannondale bikes very much, respect the local shop. I’ve had 3 cannondale bikes. A little turned off from prices skyrocketing in last few years and no more 26″ wheels. But hey I LOVE my Rize and will hang on with cannondale as long as I can.

        • Holy cow! Sounds like I’m talking to myself. Tried a 29’er but didn’t like how bulky and clumsy it was. And something tells me the manufacturers are making it too easy to go over obstacles.

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