About two months ago I snapped the frame of my mountain bike near where the rear wheel inserts into the frame. I was riding at the Chesterfield Gorge in Huntington Massachusetts on an old dirt road paralleling the gorge and my tire started rubbing for no apparent reason and after about 15 minutes of curious investigation I found a the snap very discreetly hidden in one of the joints . After a nervous ride back 3 miles to the parking lot without a blow out, I embarked upon an epic quest to remedy the situation.
My bike is a GT Karakorum and I have owned it for fifteen years and like it a lot. It is a steel framed bike and I have upgraded most of the components several times over by now. I took the bike to numerous bike shops none of which would or could weld it. Most would not even recommend welding it and of course highly recommended I buy own of their fine products, which if I was not about to buy a house. By the way I test road a Santa Cruz Superlight dual suspension and it took all my will power not to buy it on the spot, what a sweet bike.
Eventually I out my thinking cap on and brought my bike to a major motorcycle dealership figuring one of their mechanics must be able to weld. Such was not the case unfortunately but they did refer me to a guy who welds aircraft at the Westfield airport named Pete Most.
Pete was super helpful and cheap, the welded bike looked flawless, if it were repainted no one would be the wiser. He charged me 20 bucks for all the work, which compared to the $700 for a comparable steel framed bike or 1200 for an entry-level competent dual suspension bike is the bargain of the century.
But will the weld hold?? The answer, so far so good. I rode the new rail trail in Southwick immediately when I got home without incident. I was worried that maybe when he welded it, he did not line up the frame correctly, but this was not the case and there was no rubbing or other signs of ill performance.
Next I took the bike out to ride the tobacco fields around my house for a true dirt experience. Now the tobacco fields are pretty flat with only a few small hills but they are certainly no rail trail either and most importantly they are local. The bike performed flawlessly and while this ride really isn’t a full test of the welds strength it is certainly a This site does not support embedded trip maps. View the trip here instead.
I am super happy to have my bike back and will probably ride Robinson state park or the gorge again to fully test its metal.
So the moral of the story is next time your bike shop tells you that some repair isn’t worth it or is too complicated think outside the shop and you could save yourself a ton of money