3rd broken rear axle - please help

  • Thread starter Justin Brookman
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Justin Brookman

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Hi all

I could really do woth some advice

I have a ridgeback comet (23" Aluminium Hybrid bike cost 250 pounds) which is 3 years old, it has a
checkered history however.

After 2 years I was riding and discovered that the frame had broken at the droppout. ON
investigation the rear axle had snapped also.

The frame could not be repaired , so Ridgeback provided another frame under warranty, the components
were moved over.

The new bike worked well until after 6 months I discover the rear axle had broken again, this
was repaired.

And then this week, 3 years since buying the original bike,and 1 year into the life of the new frame
I discover that the bottom bracket needs replacing and the the rear axle has snapped again.

I weigh 12 stone and only cycle an; average of less than 20 miles a week over the period.

Whats going on, have I been provided with 2 flawed frames?

BTW I am going to get the frame checked by a bike shop tommorrow, however would like to be
forearmed.

Many thanks

Justin
 
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GearóId Ó Laoi

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Justin, I used to break rear axles by the newtime until about 12 years ago I resolved to never again
buy a bike without a Shimano cassette system. I've never broken one since. This system supports the
right side of the axle much further out than in the older system which your bike must have. The bike
is cheap and cheap bikes give a lot more trouble than deared bikes as the componentry is not of good
quality. This holds until a certain level beyond which you do not get what you pay for.

It has been my experience that rear-drop failure did follow previous broken rear-axles on 2
occasions. Frame failure can happen any bike, though it is not that common. I've had about 25 bikes
in the last 25 years, not riding all into the ground or anything like that and currently have 6.
I've had about 6 failures.
 
J

John'S Cat

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On 8 Jun 2003 16:51:29 -0700, [email protected] (Justin Brookman) wrote:

>Hi all
>
>I could really do woth some advice
>

>
>And then this week, 3 years since buying the original bike,and 1 year into the life of the new
>frame I discover that the bottom bracket needs replacing and the the rear axle has snapped again.
>
If you keep snapping axles, it's possible that the faces of the rear dropouts are not parallel.

Re bottom bracket, check that it hasn't just worked loose. Otherwise, replace with a UN52 or 72 and
it should last a bit longer than 1000 miles.
 
J

Justin Brookman

Guest
"Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> Justin, I used to break rear axles by the newtime until about 12 years ago I resolved to never
> again buy a bike without a Shimano cassette system. I've never broken one since. This system
> supports the right side of the axle much further out than in the older system which your bike must
> have. The bike is cheap and cheap bikes give a lot more trouble than deared bikes as the
> componentry is not of good quality. This holds until a certain level beyond which you do not get
> what you pay for.
>
> It has been my experience that rear-drop failure did follow previous broken rear-axles on 2
> occasions. Frame failure can happen any bike, though it is not that common. I've had about 25
> bikes in the last 25 years, not riding all into the ground or anything like that and currently
> have 6. I've had about 6 failures.

Thanks Garry

That sounds like good advice however I'm not convinced (money is an issue) that if I spend 150-200
pounds on new wheels plus cassette & chain that it won't break again.

The bike shop thinks its my riding style, but 3 axles over two frames seems to me to indicate that
the maufacturer is to blame.My bike shop don't have the frame alignment checking tools so I'm going
to check it with a length of cotton. I seems my only option if aligned is to upgrade to stronger
wheels, as you say (freehub and cassette instead of old freewheel), but I'm not convinced that it
will not happen again!

will decide after checking alignment...

Thanks

Justin
 
T

Tony W

Guest
"Justin Brookman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> That sounds like good advice however I'm not convinced (money is an issue) that if I spend 150-200
> pounds on new wheels plus cassette & chain that it won't break again.
>
> The bike shop thinks its my riding style, but 3 axles over two frames seems to me to indicate that
> the maufacturer is to blame.My bike shop don't have the frame alignment checking tools so I'm
> going to check it with a length of cotton. I seems my only option if aligned is to upgrade to
> stronger wheels, as you say (freehub and cassette instead of old freewheel), but I'm not convinced
> that it will not happen again!
>
> will decide after checking alignment...

There is a significant difference between the mounting arrangements of a freewheel -- which is,
in effect, overhung outside the bearings which are, themselves, quite close together and a
cassette arrangement where the back cogs are, in effect between a pair of bearings that are
spaced further apart.

The second version is MUCH stronger and more stable.

The first (and older) version is liable to break the axel if your riding style puts high forces on
the cogs. This deflects the freewheel, putting large stresses on the axel leading, typically, to
some form of fatigue break.

To put such stresses into the system you would need to regularly cycle 'out of the saddle' or in too
high a gear -- or have maintained your rear bearings poorly allowing above average deflections for
lower forces.

Since most of us go years between back axel failures (I've had one in 40 years of cycling) and since
back axels are pretty much standard commodity items it would seem that either:-

1. Your maintenance is not good enough

2. You enjoy lumping away with high force

3. You are unlucky

4. Any combination of these.

Changing to a cassette based wheel would definitely help. So would using a lower gear, less beef and
a bit more grease.

T.
 
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