Wilder Muni--dust to dust

My beloved Wilder 24 Muni frame broke totally in half this weekend–ripped the seat post tube right off the frame. We were on Tunnel Trail, in Santa Barbara and I was dead tired and riding poorly but it would have blown out eventually. Hate to see the old workhorse go, though it’s hardly a mystery for all the abuse I’ve put it through over the last year. I have an '06 KH frame to immediately to to, but that Wilder was a good friend for many rides. Josh has a picture of the damage and maybe he’ll post it.

RIP, Wilder. We’ll never see those frames again, and I think I had the last one ever made.


Actually, Eyal has the photo.

It was unfortunate - over a bump and plink, the Toucan snapped…or maybe ‘ripped’ is a better term. Either way, definately beyond repair.

that sucks

Sorry to hear that John. But the KH is also aluminum, right? So you shouldn’t be giving up much weight, hopefully. It’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t able to join you all, since it sounds like that particular trail was on the super advanced side! :slight_smile:

Did you get this diagnosis from a reputable welder or is this just a “layman’s estimate” of the damage? A classic frame such as this shouldn’t be laid to rest unless it’s absolutely hopeless…

I will take the remainders of the frame if you dont want them.
I can try to weld them

ps sorry bout your frame man

dang… ben beat me to it.
I need welding practice. but i’m pretty decent at in now though…


thats is the fate of aluminum, tough loss… i fear a few of the of KH frames will have a similar fate over the next couple years…most will last a long time.

the new KH’s with the knurled crown have me paticularly worried since AL is so fatigued by stress rizers…

btw,that did happen to another Wilder frame awile ago.


u have a pic of ur dead one???

Layman’s estimate. It probably can be “fixed” to a certain point.

The only other Wilder frame that was used regularly on SB trails (different rider) failed in the same place - seatpost tube at the fork. It was re-welded several times by the manufacturer but continued to fail in the same spot. The manufacturer finally refused to repair it. It was sent to another welder, but the new repair has yet to be tested on the trails. People just get sick of having to walk back to the car from the halfway point.

John, that sucks. I’m not surprised, though. You really spank those muni’s.

I’m willing to give it a try re-welding it, for whatever it costs to ship it back to you. I get free time on TIG welding machines, and if you want a more reputable welder to do the job, my boss is always happy to lay the actual welds on these sort of projects (for free, since I do all the hard stuff, like setup, layout, and clamping). He’s been welding aluminum for about 25 years. Pm me if you want to try. I’ll be in Santa Barbara next weekend.

Was a reinforcement plate added following previous welds? I would imagine beefing up the area would help signifigantly.

Edit: Matt, these wouldn’t be easy welds, and would not be forgiving to practice on. You would want to use a TIG welder, for starters, and also it would be best to lay the bead as fast as possible, so as to avoid damage to the heat treat of surrounding metal. Beginners (myself included) are notorious for welding slowly and making a large heat-affected area. On steel this is no big deal, but on aluminum this can further weaken the metal due to loss of heat treat, etc.

Thanks, guys, for all the offers. But I’m sending it back to Scott Wallis, who assembled it, so he can deconstruct how it broke for furute reference (rumor says Scott is working on a Monster Garage Muni design). Fact is, I really and truly shreaded this thing–a huge circular piece of the alum. tore off around the seat post. And this, the last Wilder model, has an internal tube that was busted off deep into the frame. Like Bevan said, the big problem is heat, and in all four attempts to fix Han’s Wilder (broke at the same place), even extra plates and shims and so forth didn’t help. The “fix” would last a few rides and then would bust again. The alum., once heated and rewelded, got brittle as fine china.

Fact is the new KH frames are probably better anyhow. I must had done about ten miles of drops on that Wilder and mile upon mile of hard tractoring over nasty boulders up in SB and in Simi Valley. And at 210 pounds, with a style Jesse R. describes as tank demolition, it’s a wonder I didn’t bust it earlier.

But I took that baby down the hardest rides we have in this area so it’ll always have a place in my heart.


thanks for the info, gerbleman. i didn’t know that.

can’t you use a MIG, too? i thought i saw some aluminum wire at the hardware store i work at…

MIG has a lot of problems with it. Generally you want to use a “spool gun” which has the spool of aluminum built into the MIG gun, rather than at the machine. This is because aluminum will kink in the MIG line easily and have feed problems (read: jam, and be a royal pain in the ass).

Theoretically, you could use MIG. At work I use a regular Hobart MIG welder (no spool gun), but I only do it for tack welds, and I do it heavy stuff, meaning 3/16" and 1/4" plate, not 1/8" and lighter. The welds are ugly, and not something I’d like to see on a frame. When I shattered my aluminum pedal, I re-welded it with the TIG welder, since I wanted to fuse in some cases, without adding filler rod. you can’t do that with MIG.

Matt, my advice is learn TIG and if possible O/A and everything that those do. Get a job at a welding shop, and ask if they can teach you to use their machines. Don’t just buy a machine and fool around, but really have someone teach you.

Here they are. Sorry for the delay. One closeup of the damage. One comtemplative moment. Both by the great Morgan (Macrocycle).

that sucks, if i break my frame, im stabbing 8 people and pouring papaya juice on there femurs

Whoa, settle.

The “contemplative moment” one is almost tear-jerking… my condolances to all parties involved… the rider John, the Wilder, the coroner Scott…

It’s merely a flesh wound, John! It will live again.

On Sunday I was telling a muni friend that now that I know more about how and where you ride I was surprised you hadn’t had any frame problems. I spoke too soon.


The “contemplative moment” wasn’t so much about the busted frame–I expected that to eventually break. It’s that I didn’t expect to get so tired that I start floundering around and couldn’t ride for s@#t at the end. Santa Barbara is more fittness than anything else and once you get tired you’re just done. Josh and I had been riding shortish tech trails for two months and toward the last mile of Tunnel (many miles long and continuous) I was hosed.

And Scott, if that’s a flesh wound, I’m a monkey’s uncle. It’s toast.