Cracked litespeed frame?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Nate Woodhams, Apr 19, 2003.

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  1. I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.

    During an inspection of my bike last weekend I noticed a very small crack on the non-drive side
    seatstay near the stay/dropout junction. The frame is a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa mountain frame with
    about 6500 miles on it. You can view a picture of the failure at:

    http://pages.sbcglobal.net/nwoodhams/

    When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very skeptical. He spent
    a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound different if it was
    cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed? I don't know much about the shop, the only
    reason I took the frame there was because it was on the Litespeed webpage as a dealer. Now the shop
    is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it in for warranty work. I
    feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop. My only consolation is they
    cannot possibly screw it up more. I understand the failure is small, but it certainly looks like a
    failure to me.

    What can I reasonably expect to happen in a situation like this? Is it possible for failures such as
    this to be repaired or will it be more cost effective for Litespeed to replace the frame? I
    originally purchased the frame because of the ride and general durability of titanium. I was hoping
    the frame would last a bit longer than it has.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    -NW
     
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  2. nwoodham-<< When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very
    skeptical. He spent a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound
    different if it was cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed?

    Litespeed will determine if the frameset is cracked, not the shop guy. Cracked titanium doesn't
    'sound' any different.

    << Now the shop is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it in for
    warranty work.

    Better idea as long as the rep knows what he is looking at.

    << I feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop.

    Deal with the rep, or take it to another LS shop.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  3. I had a Litespeed separate at the right chainstay/dropout junction. It wasn't a big deal -- I rode
    on it like that for at least several weeks without be very aware of it (I just felt a clunking under
    certain conditions -- generall when coasting over bumps) and did some very severe racing on it in
    that condition. Mine was completely separated (but pedalling pulled the whole thing together, so as
    long as I was pedalling it performed 100%) so as soon as I took it to a shop they sent it to
    Litespeed. Litespeed either repaired the frame or gave me another one (I don't know which). THe only
    problem was I was out of a bike for a couple weeks, and had to go through the chore of removing all
    the parts and building the frame up again.

    JT

    --
    *******************************************
    NB: reply-to address is munged

    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    *******************************************
     
  4. Nate, That's an interesting location for a crack. it looks like the tube had a crack before it was
    welded (is that a possibility?). If there's no finish on it, you could probably touch it up with a
    TIG torch in 5 minutes, but the Litespeed people will probably want to do a little more.

    Steve.

    Nate Woodhams wrote:
    >
    > I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.
    >
    > During an inspection of my bike last weekend I noticed a very small crack on the non-drive side
    > seatstay near the stay/dropout junction. The frame is a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa mountain frame with
    > about 6500 miles on
    > it. You can view a picture of the failure at:
    >
    > http://pages.sbcglobal.net/nwoodhams/
    >
    > When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very skeptical. He
    > spent a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound different if
    > it was cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed? I don't know much about the shop,
    > the only reason I took the frame there was because it was on the Litespeed webpage as a dealer.
    > Now the shop is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it in for
    > warranty work. I feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop. My only
    > consolation is they cannot possibly screw it up more. I understand the failure is small, but it
    > certainly looks like a failure to me.
    >
    > What can I reasonably expect to happen in a situation like this? Is it possible for failures such
    > as this to be repaired or will it be more cost effective for Litespeed to replace the frame? I
    > originally purchased the frame because of the ride and general durability of titanium. I was
    > hoping the frame would last a bit longer than it has.
    >
    > Thanks in advance for your comments.
    >
    > -NW
     
  5. Mikeyankee

    Mikeyankee Guest

    FYI, 2 years ago I had the right chainstay of my Merckx AX (built by Litespeed) fail at the
    dropout weld. It didn't simply crack but fractured completely, all the way around. The bike had
    ~15k miles at the time. The LBS shipped it to Litespeed for warranty repair. Litespeed did a
    beautiful job, including brushing out some small scratches and replacing all decals. I had to
    check the serial number to be sure it was the same bike. The fracture was probably caused by
    oxygen embrittlement of the weld.

    Mike Yankee

    (Address is munged to thwart spammers. To reply, delete everything after "com".)
     
  6. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

  7. Jim Beam

    Jim Beam Guest

    orientation of the crack does not look like it's service induced to me, and definitely not one
    likely to be opened by use. think about the direction of the stresses - cracks grow at 90 degrees to
    the stress, not in line with it as this is. probably something pre-existing before welding, and it
    mak not even be a "crack", just a surface finish problem.

    i wouldn't hesitate to ride that thing from coast to coast. just keep it under close observation.
    mark the location of the current "crack" tip and see if it grows. if it does, take it to
    litespeed. if, as i suspect, it doesn't, just continue to observe every few months.

    jim

    Nate Woodhams wrote:
    >
    > I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.
    >
    > During an inspection of my bike last weekend I noticed a very small crack on the non-drive side
    > seatstay near the stay/dropout junction. The frame is a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa mountain frame with
    > about 6500 miles on
    > it. You can view a picture of the failure at:
    >
    > http://pages.sbcglobal.net/nwoodhams/
    >
    > When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very skeptical. He
    > spent a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound different if
    > it was cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed? I don't know much about the shop,
    > the only reason I took the frame there was because it was on the Litespeed webpage as a dealer.
    > Now the shop is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it in for
    > warranty work. I feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop. My only
    > consolation is they cannot possibly screw it up more. I understand the failure is small, but it
    > certainly looks like a failure to me.
    >
    > What can I reasonably expect to happen in a situation like this? Is it possible for failures such
    > as this to be repaired or will it be more cost effective for Litespeed to replace the frame? I
    > originally purchased the frame because of the ride and general durability of titanium. I was
    > hoping the frame would last a bit longer than it has.
    >
    > Thanks in advance for your comments.
    >
    > -NW
     
  8. But if you've got a spare bike, and can deal with a couple bikeless weeks, there's nothing wrong
    with getting it fixed, either. Thats most definitely a quality control issue, even if it wasn't due
    to welding - thats a strange orientation for a crack! Let them fix it, so it's not in the back of
    your mind nagging you.

    Jon Bond

    jim beam wrote:
    > orientation of the crack does not look like it's service induced to me, and definitely not one
    > likely to be opened by use. think about the direction of the stresses - cracks grow at 90 degrees
    > to the stress, not in line with it as this is. probably something pre-existing before welding, and
    > it mak not even be a "crack", just a surface finish problem.
    >
    > i wouldn't hesitate to ride that thing from coast to coast. just keep it under close observation.
    > mark the location of the current "crack" tip and see if it grows. if it does, take it to
    > litespeed. if, as i suspect, it doesn't, just continue to observe every few months.
    >
    > jim
    >
    >
    > Nate Woodhams wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.
    >>
    >> During an inspection of my bike last weekend I noticed a very small crack on the non-drive side
    >> seatstay near the stay/dropout junction. The frame is a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa mountain frame with
    >> about 6500 miles on it. You can view a picture of the failure at:
    >>
    >> http://pages.sbcglobal.net/nwoodhams/
    >>
    >> When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very skeptical. He
    >> spent a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound different
    >> if it was cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed? I don't know much about the
    >> shop, the only reason I took the frame there was because it was on the Litespeed webpage as a
    >> dealer. Now the shop is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it in
    >> for warranty work. I feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop. My
    >> only consolation is they cannot possibly screw it up more. I understand the failure is small, but
    >> it certainly looks like a failure to me.
    >>
    >> What can I reasonably expect to happen in a situation like this? Is it possible for failures such
    >> as this to be repaired or will it be more cost effective for Litespeed to replace the frame? I
    >> originally purchased the frame because of the ride and general durability of titanium. I was
    >> hoping the frame would last a bit longer than it has.
    >>
    >> Thanks in advance for your comments.
    >>
    >> -NW
    >
     
  9. Bob

    Bob Guest

    It does not make sense to keep riding a bike that has a flaw reguardless of how small it is. If you
    don't take care of it now it will cost you much money later. Beside, the price we pay for these
    bikes, they should be flawless. A crack like that is not good.

    "jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > orientation of the crack does not look like it's service induced to me, and definitely not one
    > likely to be opened by use. think about the direction of the stresses - cracks grow at 90 degrees
    > to the stress, not in line with it as this is. probably something pre-existing before welding, and
    > it mak not even be a "crack", just a surface finish problem.
    >
    > i wouldn't hesitate to ride that thing from coast to coast. just keep it under close
    > observation. mark the location of the current "crack" tip and see if it grows. if it does, take
    > it to litespeed. if, as i suspect, it doesn't, just continue to observe every few months.
    >
    > jim
    >
    >
    > Nate Woodhams wrote:
    > >
    > > I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.
    > >
    > > During an inspection of my bike last weekend I noticed a very small crack on the non-drive side
    > > seatstay near the stay/dropout junction. The frame is a 2001 Litespeed Toccoa mountain frame
    > > with about 6500 miles on
    > > it. You can view a picture of the failure at:
    > >
    > > http://pages.sbcglobal.net/nwoodhams/
    > >
    > > When I took the bike into the shop for a warranty return to LS, the guy was very skeptical. He
    > > spent a lot of time tapping the frame with his fingernail saying that it should sound different
    > > if it was cracked. Is this accurate or is this person misinformed? I don't know much about the
    > > shop, the only reason I took the frame there was because it was on the Litespeed webpage as a
    > > dealer. Now the shop is having the Litespeed rep come to examine the frame before they send it
    > > in for warranty work. I feel as I have made a mistake in taking my beloved frame to this shop.
    > > My only consolation is they cannot possibly screw it up more. I understand the failure is small,
    > > but it certainly looks like a failure to me.
    > >
    > > What can I reasonably expect to happen in a situation like this? Is it possible for failures
    > > such as this to be repaired or will it be more cost effective for Litespeed to replace the
    > > frame? I originally purchased the frame because of the ride and general durability of titanium.
    > > I was hoping the frame would last a bit longer than it has.
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance for your comments.
    > >
    > > -NW
     
  10. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 23:21:47 GMT, "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >A crack like that is not good.

    Depends how much a Merlin shop would offer you for it ! It looks awfully like a crack that was there
    before the welding, which suggests that Litespeed's QA isn't up to much.

    On a frame at that price, I'd be _most_ unhappy.
     
  11. Woogoogle

    Woogoogle Guest

    Nate Woodhams <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I have some questions concerning a possible crack in my titanium mountain frame.
    Don't know anything about metallurgy except what I've read on this newsgroup. :)

    I give Litespeed a thumbs up in backing up their products warranty. Have two Litespeed mountain
    frames that got in warranty and out of warranty service. One I got in 1990. At this time they only
    had two year warranties. It cracked in the downtube in 1997 and Litespeed repaired (and repolished
    my frame and added stickers at NC )for what I believe was a very reasonable price. I got a second
    one in 1996 ( for shock compatibility). The head tube separated from the downtube and toptube
    earlier this year at the end of a long road ride. There was obvious discoloration from bad welding (
    my non technical term) around the broken tubes. They replaced this frame with a new frame pretty
    quickly after I returned the frame to the dealer.
     
  12. Tim McTeague

    Tim McTeague Guest

    Wow, you have had 100% failure on you Litespeeds. Two frames, each broke. While I can see where
    you would give their warranty service high marks I would be surprised if you bought a 3rd
    Litespeed in future.

    Tim

    "WooGoogle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > I give Litespeed a thumbs up in backing up their products warranty. Have two Litespeed mountain
    > frames that got in warranty and out of warranty service. One I got in 1990. At this time they only
    > had two year warranties. It cracked in the downtube in 1997 and Litespeed repaired (and repolished
    > my frame and added stickers at NC )for what I believe was a very reasonable price. I got a second
    > one in 1996 ( for shock compatibility). The head tube separated from the downtube and toptube
    > earlier this year at the end of a long road ride. There was obvious discoloration from bad welding
    > ( my non technical term) around the broken tubes.
     
  13. swoo-<< I give Litespeed a thumbs up in backing up their products warranty. Have two Litespeed
    mountain frames that got in warranty and out of warranty service.

    A well made ti frameset should never break, unless it was welded together improperly..if you had two
    fail, I wouldn't buy another...

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  14. Woogoogle

    Woogoogle Guest

    [email protected] (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > swoo-<< I give Litespeed a thumbs up in backing up their products warranty. Have two Litespeed
    > mountain frames that got in warranty and out of warranty service.
    >
    > A well made ti frameset should never break, unless it was welded together improperly..if you had
    > two fail, I wouldn't buy another...
    >
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
    Dunno. The first one cracked on the underside of the down tube with a sort of 4 inch lengthwise semi
    spiraling about halfway between the water bottle bosses and the head tube. One ride I thought I
    heard a bit of creaking, examined the frame didn't see or feel anything wrong, then used it to go
    the Post Office and then it *felt* like I had suspension, hopped off and felt the crack and walked
    it home. I had used it off road on very rocky stuff sans suspension in central Texas at least two
    and sometimes five times a week as my main mtb bike for years IIRC. Still use it as a rainy day bike
    with the transplanted

    was Specialized) returns, the company sent out a rep to check out why, and he rode around on the
    trails and then said something to the effect of "now I understand". OTOH, that could just be the
    shop employee spreading an urban legend....
     
  15. H. M. Leary

    H. M. Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Qui si parla
    Campagnolo) wrote:

    > swoo-<< Dunno. The first one cracked .
    >
    > Flew lots of aircraft that had lots of titanium. Wonderful and very durable material, as I zoomed
    > around at over 1000 MPH...and pulled 9g, and landed and took off from aircraft carriers.

    How does one land on a carrier??? I¹ve only done this once as a GIB and my impression was that you
    fly over the deck at full power and grab one of those cables with the hook. I think most of my guts
    are at the bottom of the South China Sea...:)

    > For a bicycle frameset, the word 'overbuilt' comes to mind. Ti should not fail on a bicycle
    > frameset, unless it was welded poorly, IMO-

    Gotta agree with this. Thats why I ride a Moots. Wish I could go fast enough to pull a few
    g¹s with it.
    >
    > Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    > (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com

    Apologies, Peter.

    I just love to bust you swab jockeys... What¹s the plural of Moots?
    > "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"

    --
    ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³

    - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  16. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > swoo-<< Dunno. The first one cracked .
    >
    > Flew lots of aircraft that had lots of titanium. Wonderful and very durable material, as I zoomed
    > around at over 1000 MPH...and pulled 9g, and landed and took off from aircraft carriers.

    Not on the same plane, I hope. I thought the only U.S. combat plane rated to 9g was the F-16.

    ....

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  17. H. M. Leary

    H. M. Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Qui si parla
    Campagnolo) wrote:

    > Ns-<< Not on the same plane, I hope. I thought the only U.S. combat plane rated to 9g was
    > the F-16.
    >
    > That is correct, flew the F-16N, as an adversary in VF-126 in Miramar.
    snip

    I knew you were the top bicycle mechanic, but a Top Gun too??

    I AM impressed!

    HAND

    --
    ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³

    - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  18. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Ns-<< Not on the same plane, I hope. I thought the only U.S. combat plane rated to 9g was
    > the F-16.
    >
    > That is correct, flew the F-16N, as an adversary in VF-126 in Miramar.

    Thanks for reassuring me that my memory hasn't totally failed <GGG>! What were flying off the
    carrier, tomcats? And which carrier(s)? I spent many an hour in plane guard when I was on CGN's.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  19. Matt Locker

    Matt Locker Guest

    Peter:

    A friend had his Litespeed Vortex crack on the rear of his seat tube
    (ie: at a point near the tire) at a point app. level with the lower bottle boss. I have heard of
    other TI bikes failing in other odd spots such as on the downtube, the middle of a chain stay,
    .... Those failures all seem to be in places that should be considered low stress. Do you have
    any explanations of why these occur? Improper welds do not play a part in these regions.

    Thanks, Matt

    Qui si parla Campagnolo wrote:

    >swoo-<< Dunno. The first one cracked .
    >
    >Flew lots of aircraft that had lots of titanium. Wonderful and very durable material, as I zoomed
    >around at over 1000 MPH...and pulled 9g, and landed and took off from aircraft carriers.
    >
    >For a bicycle frameset, the word 'overbuilt' comes to mind. Ti should not fail on a bicycle
    >frameset, unless it was welded poorly, IMO-
    >
    >
    >Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    >(303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  20. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > archer-<< What were flying off the carrier, tomcats? And which carrier(s)?
    >
    > F-4J/S in VF-33( USS Independence) and VF-151(USS Midway)
    >
    > F-14 in VF-31 onboard USS Forrestal.
    >
    > Have landings on about 5 other CVs.

    Unless you got to the Right Coast at some time, I probably wouldn't have been watching you tail
    strike <GGG>. Most of my time on the Virginia and the Bainbridge (CGN's) was spent behind the
    Saratoga and a couple of the Norfolk-based CVN's.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
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