Look equipment failure

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Yojimbo_, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I laugh at that article because every thing he said about carbon fiber can be said of steel. And the reason his precious Ti frame came away from that T-bone is because of the carbon components and his unmentioned, but you-know-it-was-demolished front wheel absorbing energy and/or the extreme luck of that particular crash.

    This one was at 'about' 20 MPH and wasted wheel, frame and fork. Carbon, Ti, aluminum, steel or any combination of those materials and the result would have been the same. A full garbage can. Yeah, that's me in 1985 with a year old SL Pinarello Treviso ready to be made into a lamp. I didn't even dent the Buick that made a fast left in front of me.

    upload_2017-12-15_19-0-22.png

    Before my run of 'death bike' luck was over with Pinarello, I wasted three of that model, 2 red ones and that blue one.

    I also had a steel aero fork with Columbus lags catastrophically fail. The left blade collapsed just below the crown with unseen damage from a prior fast stop into a mutt. 3 stitches to the eyebrow and a pair of $200 prescription sunglasses trashed.

    Like I said, all of it fails and when you ride it fast enough and far enough it will happen sooner rather than later.

    Frankly, we are ALL lucky to still be wasting oxygen after what we've been through, no?
     


  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yeah, agree anyone riding a light road bike with CF fork should be aware of the chance of failures, and pay attention to any creaks or flexing, or evidence of cracking. Take care in avoiding crashes, potholes and other abuse, and the frame should last a long time regardless of what material it's made of.

    Question though how can you tell what's "statistically relevant" based on internet photos? Of course there are lots of broken CF frames posted on the internet, but can you count the number you've seen, subtracting out those crashed or abused, and then compare that to the number of CF bikes sold over a similar timeframe? Seems to me that would result in a very small failure rate overall. Of course, if a manufacturer produces frames with sub-par strength or defects, all bets are off. A major name selling expensive frames should have expensive design, test and manufacturing quality processes....otherwise you're just paying for a brand name. Anybody can make a frame lighter if they are willing to sacrifice strength and durability.

    I ride a Lynskey Ti bike currently, with CF fork. I know there are pictures of broken Ti frames all over the internet as well. But that doesn't cause me to worry that my frame is going to break in my lifetime.
     
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  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Should read: Columbus legs
     
  4. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I've broken three CF forks and one frame cracked on me and four broke on three of my friends from JUST RIDING. Most of the pictures on the Internet shouldn't be used for statistics since most have hit cars.

    I really don't know where CampyBob is coming from but I don't count running into cars or walls as proof of a material's strength.

    I have never seen a good grade steel frame fail from riding though I'm sure someone could find one somewhere. I have had a titanium frame crack and a brand new Linskey titanium crack at the intersection of the head tube and the top tube for another man which I pointed out to him. Both of the Ti frames were rideable (carefully) back home.

    upload_2017-12-19_9-7-0.png
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Man, you've seen a bunch of failures. Seems to me it would take a lot of heavy impacts from potholes and rough roads, or hard braking to break a high-quality CF fork. I suppose I'm careful with equipment, stuff just doesn't seem to break. Maybe old, weak and over-cautious is a better description of my riding style....

    Since I own a Lynskey, less than two years old, suppose I'd better keep an eye on things!
     
  6. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    One of the forks was improperly manufactured at the factory. The rest were fatigue failures. This is why Colnago only offers a three year max warranty.
     
  7. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Few manufacturers offer any fatigue warranties though. The major brands I looked at years ago offered "lifetime" warranties, but specifically excluded fatigue damage (wearout, or normal wear and tear). Maybe this has changed now.

    My custom bike back in 2003 came with both the usual lifetime warranty against defects in materials and manufacturing, as well as a specific performance warranty against fatigue. The fatigue-free period was two years for ultra thin-wall tubeset bikes (in both steel and aluminum) and three years for "r

    egular" frames. My frame was built with the Columbus Zonal (7075 triple-butted) Megatubes so three years on fatigue.
     
  8. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    They cannot get out of replacing a frame that breaks by calling it a fatigue failure. They have gone out of their way to imply that carbon fiber does not fatigue.

    The titanium failures I saw were a bad weld on my Colnago BiTitan which I considered as Italians not knowing much about titanium and the crack on the Linskey was at the intersection of the head tube and the top tube weld. It is extremely easy of overheat and harden titanium at the welds but any failures show up almost immediately.
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Any reputable manufacturer should inform their customers that their frames can be fatigued and broken. Why would a manufacturer have to replace a frame when their warranty specifically excludes fatigue or wear out? They aren't "getting out" of anything by refusing to cover fatigue damage since they clearly inform customers upfront that they don't.

    For example, here are the relevant excerpts from the Cannondale warranty clause:

    This limited warranty is not meant to suggest or imply that the bicycle cannot be broken or will last forever. It does mean that the bicycle is covered subject to the terms of the limited warranty.

    Damage resulting from normal wear and tear, including the results of fatigue, is not covered. Fatigue damage is a symptom of the frame being worn out through normal use. It is one kind of normal wear and tear, and it is the owner's responsibility to inspect his/her bicycle.
    .
     
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  10. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Can YOU identify fatigue failures? If not then the company cannot call a two year old frame failure fatigue.
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Don't understand your statement. In every bike warranty I've read, the manufacturer reserves all rights to make the final judgement on what's a fatigue failure or not. Since the determination is up to the company, not me, my opinion really doesn't count.

    You might want to look at the Cannondale Owner's Manual (online). They clearly explain in several places that their CF and aluminum road bikes are designed lightweight for high-performance, and will not last forever. They state their frames will fatigue, and that fatigue is a normal wear out function. Further, just like tires on a car need replacement, inspection and replacement of the frame and components is the responsibility of the customer. Not sure how they could make it much clearer. Every customer needs to read their owner's manual and warranty to be informed.

    As a practical matter, I've heard that some failures are covered under customer goodwill programs, even if they are fatigue failures.
     
  12. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    That stupid article you linked...that's where.

    The writer said he broke a carbon fork T-boning a vehicle while his precious and strong Ti frame came out unharmed.

    Yeah. Whatev's.

    ANY frame can survive a crash and any frame can be spaghetti after a crash. Proves. Absolutely. Nothing.

    My pic of the Pina after a chance meeting with a Buick proves only that the best steel is no better or stronger or crash 'worthy' than any other material.

    I've seen a metric shit ton of split steel and aluminum an Ti, lugs pulled apart, tubes cracked completely in two pieces, corrosion, glue bonds fail, welds yield...you name it.

    Pick your poison.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Still waiting to hear exactly 'what' broke on Jim's bike, the bars or the steerer tube.
     
  14. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Don't you think that a bike breaking when you are simply riding down the street is more important that not being able to avoid crashing into a wall or whatever? I don't know about you but I avoid crashing into things and seem to have been successful for many years save when I had component failures such as a CF fork cracking and then not allowing me to steer around a corner properly. I have one more physical therapy session because of that.

    Your showing a picture of a steel bike broken because of running into a car hardly qualifies as material weakness don't you think?
     
  15. vinay121

    vinay121 New Member

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    I have a lot of curiosity about the mechanics of fatigue failure, but not at the expense of becoming a crash-test dummy.
     
  16. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    This is what I've been trying to get through to people. Firstly, people who have spent a fortune on carbon fiber bicycles simply deny any danger. We end up with people like CampyBob saying that "any material can fail". That is true enough. But CF failure rates are rampant. Steel frame failures are so rare that you can go to Ebay and buy 40 year old frames that test like new.

    You have to be careful googling CF bike failures. Most of them on the net aren't from honest unpredictable failures but from hitting some stationary object or being hit by faster objects such as a car sideswiping you and you losing control and crashing into a parked car or some such. People with expensive CF bikes usually do NOT advertise it, especially after they've been arguing that there is nothing wrong with the material. They will sign it off as one in a million and get a warranty replacement and continue riding the stuff.

    I know I did. But there comes a time when you have to ADMIT that ultrastrength material being used to achieve ultralight construction is NOT a good idea. It is so bad that in the Tour de France they are so light that they have to carry lead weights to meet the minimum weight. The bikes are custom made for each rider and the sponsor asks them not to publicize any failures.

    Somewhere a man - I think a Frenchman - said that when he looked in the back of the support vehicle on one stage they had several bikes so severely broken that they were in a plastic garbage bag and the crew said that they dump these in private garbage containers so that people remain unaware of how often they are breaking.
     
  17. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    That's why you want to learn how to work on your own bike - no short cuts.
     
  18. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    I have built every single bike I've owned since I started riding again 45 years ago. Literally dozens and dozens of bikes. Road bikes, time trial bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes both no suspension, front suspension and full suspension. I have all of the special tools and each time a new tool comes out that I need I buy it. The few tools I don't buy is because of the rarity they are used and their expense - such as headset presses. I can still spoke a wheel in 30 minutes from start to finish even though building wheels has become a thing of the past with relatively cheap high end wheels.

    And this avoids the point that most mechanics do not use torque wrenches because the manufacturers specifications are meant to prevent failure of nuts and bolts and not to prevent handlebars from rotating in the stem or the stem from rotating on the fork. Or the brifters from slipping downwards as you're riding your bike over bumpy ground.
     
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  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Steel bikes failed at at the same rate carbon bikes fail at now...when steel bikes were actually being ridden by just about everybody. I had one crack a dropout and one split a tube. Like I said, I've seen a metric shit ton of failures in aluminum, including the real deal Scandium alloy models.

    I can point you to plenty of antique carbon Kestrels that are still rolling and even a bunch of Vitus and Alan frames.

    We get it. You fear carbon. I've broken both steel and carbon frames. I fear neither.

    I guess that after busting an aluminum crank arm into two pieces I should never turn an aluminum crank arm again...because I've never busted any of my carbon cranks. Amiright?
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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