Despite our fanatical efforts to prevent frames from breaking, despite passing rigorous laboratory tests, despite our conservative joint designs that minimize inherent stresses, and on top of all that, buying only from manufacturers who are equally conservative (careful)....our bike frames can still break. You can still break them, at least in theory.
But we use only steel, and one thing steel cannot do is break suddenly. It can dent or buckle in a crash, but it can't snap...like carbon or a champagne glass.
Most frame "failures" are material failures caused by repeated flex leading to fatigue...like bending a paper clip until it fails. Steel is good at withstanding repeated flex, but if the flex is in an injured area, a crack may form, grow slowly about halfway around the tube, and then "suddenly" rip through the last half. It's up to you to inspect your frame, pay attention to creaks and squeaks that are probably coming from unlubed or maladjusted parts, but might be in the frame. We can't tell from here. Don't be paranoid, just pay attention.
your frame brakes despite all this, we’ll work with you privately to resolve it in a way we think is fair to both. Privately means what the dictionary says it means. If you blast images on the internet and ask for speculations from the experts out there, we don't consider that "private." In any case, a fresh frame free is unlikely even with stellar behavior, but we'll be our most sympathetic and helpful when you're understanding, polite, private, and flexible.
Road bikes: Roadeo, Roadini, and Roaduno pass road bike tests. These are for riding on roads, not trails. Even if it fits a 2-inch/50mm tire, it’s a road bike. It makes sense to ride fattish tire on pavement in town, so some of our Road bikes fit tires the mainstream bike industry considers too fat for roads.
Country bikes: A. Homer Hilsen, Sam Hillborn, Platypus, and other geared bikes that we designed for tires 35mm to 48mm (even if they’ll fit bigger) are for paved and dirt roads, not rocky trails. They pass cross bike tests—tougher than road bike tests, not as tough as mountain bike tests.
Hillibikes: Clem, Atlantis, Appaloosa, Gus Boots-Willsen, and Susie Longbolts/Wolbis Slugstone...all pass mountain bike tests.
Our bikes are for riding, not showing off, not stunts, not "riding pushed to the limits" antics that are technically still riding, but have nothing to do with travel. Our bikes are for rolling over ground as part of travel, not jumps and stunts.
Here's another older-but-still-relevant page about frame breakage and what we can do about it.
Questions? Call us: 800-345-3918