Sometimes a carbon frame is trashed in a crash and it’s obvious it has to be replaced. But what about those situations where there is no obvious frame damage? Let’s assume you’ve looked it over and had it inspected by your shop and nothing obvious was found. Let’s also assume the driver was at fault and they have insurance.
We know carbon is stronger than metal in many ways. But along with its advantages come some disadvantages. When it fails, it can fail suddenly and catastrophically.
Most claims adjusters have relatively little experience with carbon bike frames. They just don’t see them in great numbers like they do crushed cars. Therefore, they are more likely to rely on the opinion of a knowledgeable expert.
Some bike shops will tell you the frame is safe to ride when they can find no evidence of damage. But, depending on the forces and circumstances of the crash, others are of the opinion the frame should be replaced regardless. The problem is, they may not express that view unless you ask them specifically. Sometimes it’s necessary to ask them “given the circumstances of my crash, would you ride this frame again?” You will often get a completely different answer.
When we can get that opinion in writing expressing why the frame should be replaced, we have our best shot at convincing the insurance company to do just that.