Commencal Crack – Paint or Frame?

Whilst cleaning my 2009 Commencal Meta 5.5 bike lately I’ve noticed some cracks in a odd place on the frame.

The cracks appear to be radiating out from a drainage whole on a brace between the two sides of the main rear swing-arm. I’ve circled the drainage hole in the image below.

Cracks in rear swing-arm brace

Cracks in rear swing-arm brace

I’m not sure if they are just superficial cracks in the paintwork or if they are actual cracks to the frame. Hopefully the former, but I guess I’m going to have to get them checked out properly as they seem to be getting worse.

Cracks in rear swing-arm brace

Cracks in rear swing-arm brace

I do hope the frame isn’t cracked as I can’t afford a new one.

21 Responses

  1. Jason (Al bro) says:

    I recon thats just the paint. Cracks like that in an Aluminium frame would have been catastrophic by now. The Saracen frames that I used to crack on a regular basis were miniscule by comparison, and they didn’t hold up for more than a week. I could hear the frame creak too as the metal started to split. Only way to be sure though is to strip the paint off. Something Commencal should do FOC, especially considering the age of the bike.

  2. Stuart Tevendale says:

    Try tapping the area where the “cracks” are with a coin – if they are really cracks, there should be a distinct difference in the sound between that area and an “uncracked” area.



  3. Alan says:

    Now that I’ve had a closer look there is also a small hairline crack (possibly) just above the weld between the seat tube and the top tube.

    I contacted Merlin (where I bought the bike) and they told me to contact the Commencal Warranty people via Madison. I e-mailed them but hadn’t heard back so gave them a ring yesterday. They said to send another e-mail which I’ve done and I’m now waiting for a reply.

    I’ll keep you updated with any progress once I get an answer from them.


  4. Alan says:

    I’ve just heard back from Commencal and they say that the cracks are pretty strange and they’ve never seen anything like it before but that they’d like to replace the swing arm just to be safe.

    I’ve replied to let them know about the crack on the main frame as well.


  5. cherouvim says:

    Mine cracked as well and I’m waiting for a replacement (2010 frame).

  6. Alan says:

    Just heard back from Commencal who say:

    Your Claim has been accepted and agreed with Commencal, we are just waiting for a replacement frame to be shipped over

    Wonder if it will be a 2010 frame as well?


  7. Scott Harrison says:

    I’ve just found a crack by the weld on the joint by the top tube and down tube – very worrying as the bike is a fantastic ride. Aim to try the tips as suggested by Stuart and also have a chat with Madison see if I have the same luck as your self.

  8. cherouvim says:

    @Alan: is the new frame white or green? (model 5.5 of year 2010)

    • Alan says:

      It should have been the white one with green graphics but they didn’t have any of those so I went for the red one – It’s actually the colour of the next model down in the range but the frame is the same, just the components that change and as it was just the frame they were replacing that didn’t matter.

      Not quite as nice as the green but not too bad.


  9. Alan says:

    New frame arrived. Colour is actually OK.

    It took me less than two hours to strip the old frame down and rebuild everything on the new on – And it is now covered in the best of Welsh mud!

    Seat tube diameter is wider so Commencal are going to send me a new seatpost and collar. They’ve been pretty helpful with it all so far.


  10. cherouvim says:

    Really? Are the seatpost diameters between 2009 and 2010 meta 5.5 different?

  11. cherouvim says:

    I think there wasn’t a “Team” and “Pro” distinction in the 2009 model. Do you know which one is your 2010 one?

    • Alan says:

      I originally had the Team but the replacement was the Pro – I was told that there was no difference in the frame other than the colours – The only difference between the models are the specs of the components.


  12. cherouvim says:

    Just got my replacement (meta 5.5, 2010 VIP, white with green graphics) as well.

    Seatpost/seatclamp size is wider so I have to get a new one as well.

    It was worth the wait.

  13. Scott Harrison says:

    Finally got my replacement frame, a 2011 Pro white with blue graphics. Now not sure what to do, loved the old 2009 frame but with it cracking after a relatively easy life and then delays with Madison – lack of communication etc. Not sure whether to stick with the brand. How are people finding the new bikes?

    • Alan says:

      From what I’ve read it was only the 2009m frames that had a problem and the 2010 frames have been fine. I haven’t had mine that long so I can’t comment really but so far I don’t think there have been any problems with them so you should be fine.


  14. Scott Harrison says:

    Cheers, will have a think about whether to keep the frame or sell and go for an Orange 5 they seem to be bomb proof.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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