Cracked Fork - Possible replacement - whisky road fork?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by biserker1, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    My fork (on a 2010 trek madone 6.5) started to separate where the carbon meets the aluminum dropouts that hold the wheel. LBS said there is no damage to the carbon. He has seen this before when that joint gets stressed. Honestly, it's making me extremely nervous! Trek is looking into it now, may or may not replace under warranty.

    Has anyone tried or heard any reviews on whisky road forks?

    http://whiskyparts.com/

    I am looking at the No. 7 Straight blade full carbon. The matte black would actually match my current color scheme.

    thanks.

    PS - just to answer the questions: this bike has never been crashed, dropped, smacked, etc. Never on gravel, cobbles - No more abuse then a regular road bike would take.
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    What you're describing sounds like just a normal manufacturing tolerance. I seriously doubt that the dropout has unbonded and is progressing to seperate from the fork. If you grab the dropout with your fingers and try to pull it out or push it from side-to-side, do you detect any hint of looseness? Did you inspect any other Madone 6.5 forks to see if they have a similar gap? Can you post a pic?

    My first thought is that you should trust the opinion of your Trek dealer and tech rep. If they say the fork is undamaged and structurally sound, go with it. Trek, as a major US corporation, certainly is concerned about the safety and integrity of their forks, and the legal liability and bad press they face in the event one fails due to a manufacturing defect. If the fork proves defective, Trek has great motivation to make it right.
     
  3. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    dhk2 - thanks for the info. Will take and post pics when i get home from work.

    I took the front wheel off, and pulled, pushed, grabbed, the dropout. No movement at all. the LBS said this could be from using a roof rack system. My bike is transported on the back of my car (no roof rack), also said it is weird that only one side was effected. I did notice this after i got caught in a rain storm. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.
     
  4. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    Pictures sent to Trek - Trek confirms what my LBS said - it is a stress line in the paint and no carbon fiber has been damaged. Apparently this is common on the 2010 madone with the matte finish. uploaded a picture - you can see the paint starting to chip off.

    I am happy that the fork does not need to be replaced - a little pissed at the cosmetic flaw - guess it gives it character..

    [​IMG]
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Thanks for the photo and update. Looks scary at first glance, and not at all what I had pictured from your first description. Good it's just cosmetic, and a known flaw, but can understand why you're a bit pissed about it.

    Checking the current Trek warranty on their website, was surprised to find that only the frame has a "lifetime" warranty; the fork is warranted against defects for just 2 years. Regardless, defects in the "paint and decals" are only covered for 1 year.
     
  6. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    That's what he said - only 1 year for paint and decal. He also said -

    1. It is a perfect circle completely around the fork. - if it was cracked there would be jagged edges
    2. It is located where the aluminum meets the carbon
    3. the paint is peeling off almost like a decal.

    they did a stress test and it passed. he pretty much said to put a piece of electrical tape around it to keep the water out....
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thank God you didn't buy one of those cheap Chinese forks with a fiberglass infusion!

    Paint stress cracks in perfect circles because...the substrate has separated or moved/shifted along the same line. I would hide it under three layers of tape. No way would I want to keep tabs on that defect. It passed a stress test, afterall.

    Really...electrical tape?

    Maybe clear nail polish as a seal coat, but no way would I cover that up.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    So, to wrap this up......are you still thinking of replacing the fork or not? Frankly, I'd not worry about replacing it.
     
  9. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    not going to worry about it now. Will use some clear nail polish or something to seal the paint...otherwise it's just a cosmetic flaw.
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    So, to wrap this up......you have a fork with the dropout clearly moving in relation to the fork blade. As in...failure of the joinery/adhesive likely occurring.

    Frankly, I'd not worry about replacing it.

    Or increasing my death/disability insurance benefits.

    As a guess, do you see the this movement decreasing, staying the same or increasing over time/miles/shocks/impacts/vibration?

    Regards,
    Campy, the make me your primary benificiary, please...Bob
     
  11. Dr Lodge

    Dr Lodge New Member

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    What kind of temperatures has this fork been subjected to? It looks to me like an expansion crack, where the metal of the drop out has expanded/contracted at a different rate to the carbon fibre of the fork. You see this kind of crack in new houses where the plaster has contracted, or where a metal girder supports the ceiling as the girder contracts in cold weather more than the decorative plaster board and such like around it.

    If its due to expansion then fine, don't worry. If not I would worry a little since something has caused the movement between drop out and fork which has yet to be explained.
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    It was inspected and tested by the manufacturer and given the ok. I think that pretty much puts the topic to rest.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    It was inspected and tested by the manufacturer and given the ok. I think that pretty much puts the topic to rest.

    Morton-Thiokol: "Sure! It'll be just fine! Go ahead and launch!"

    "Challenger, you are 'Go' for throttle up!"

    Scientists...
     
  14. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    I normally keep it my basement which is very cool. Rode outside in high heat, into a cool storm, back into high heat. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

    Either way, Trek Rep said he has seen this before with this model and finish, mostly on bikes carried by roof rack. It has my attention before and after every ride! I was out yesterday and stopped by my LBS to have them check it again. He said, no movement, looks normal other then the paint chipping.

    Part of me wants to replace it for the pure psychological angle! it does weigh on my mid when riding....
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    It is not the thermal coefficient of expansion that caused the movement between the aluminum and the carbon. Mechanically stressing the joint did. Hence the roof rack comment by the Trek representative.

    Ther 'should' be a mechanical backlock designed into the joint to keep the dropout from exiting the blade. This in no way negates the fact that the joint has moved. Please do keep a very sharp eye on it and I recommend using a 2X-5X magnifying glass under good lighting conditions.

    Good luck and safe riding to you!
     
  16. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Stop worrying. Trek knows something about their forks, and I'll bet they even know why this finish defect is occurring in a certain production lot or batch. The last thing they want to have happen to you is a failure because the cost to Trek in liability and bad press far exceeds the cost of a replacement fork.

    Just as a free opinion, I agree with Dr Lodge that this crack occurred due to the differing thermal expansion rates of the dropout internal plug and the CF fork end. As Alienator said, there are plenty of "experts" around here, but the decision of the Trek tech rep is the one that counts.
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Trek knows something about their forks...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All Trek...no crash damage. Go to busted carbon and check it out.

    Yes, Trek/Bontrager certainly are 'experts' when it comes to design and manufacturing...just ask George Hincapie. They couldn't even keep aluminum touring steerers in one piece.

    If there is another company that has suffered more fork/frame failures than Trek, I haven't heard about them. One of my local LBS has a pile of sawed up Treks they've replaced (sorry about those medical bills...hope you were insured.).

    Forks are cheap. Hospital vists are not. Time off work and life due to injury, pain and recovery...what's the price tag for that?
     
  18. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    Not to beat a dead horse.....but....went riding with a new club this morning. Had the same make/model/year bike as another guy. He starts telling how pissed off he is because he has a crack forming in his fork!

    I showed him mine, and told him the back story. Took a picture for everyone. Look right above the "B" in Bontrager...hard to see in the pic. the paint is starting to "stress" right at the drop out connection.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. biserker1

    biserker1 New Member

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    PS - it goes completely around the fork - just hard to see from the picture.
     
  20. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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