regarding frames rumoured to crack easy



dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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I'm looking to replace my 1970's Zebrakenko road bike that was given to me for free by a friend, only because it really is too big for me, it's a 60 frame and I'm only 5'8". I've gone to a couple of bike stores and heard rumours from some of the sales people, mostly people dealing in Treks, not to buy a specialized carbon frame as they crack very easy and are frequently in the shops being repaired. I really like the Roubaix bike, but I don't want to dish out a few thousand dollars on a bike that the frame is going to crack on it within a year or two. Has anyone else heard this rumour or is this just propaganda from the bike shops, so that I purchase a trek bike instead of a specialized bike. Please help as I'm new to road biking and any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated. My little town only has one local bike store and they only deal in Treks. When I was visiting a friend out of state I had a chance to try out a roubaix and fell in love...but not if the rumours are true!
 

davereo

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Jun 17, 2010
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Hey I heard rumours at the Specialize dealers that not to buy a trek frame because they crack easily.

You are being sold a load of baloney by the trek dealer. But hey they do what they have to in order to sell more units. Ask them to back up their claims in writing.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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davereo said:
Hey I heard rumours at the Specialize dealers that not to buy a trek frame because they crack easily. You are being sold a load of baloney by the trek dealer. But hey they do what they have to in order  to sell more units. Ask them to back up their claims in writing.
Yup. It's a complete load of BS.
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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Thanks for your input. I can't imagine that Specialized would be as respected as they are, if their frames were of poor craftsmanship, cracked easily, and fell apart as often as these guys said they were. I was just a little hesitant to dish out a couple thousand dollars, if the frames on this particular bike were known to crack easily. Does specialized offer any good warranties on their bikes. Trek likes to advertise that they have a limited lifetime guarantee. Any thoughts?
 

alienator

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dirtygum said:
Thanks for your input. I can't imagine that Specialized would be as respected as they are, if their frames were of poor craftsmanship, cracked easily, and fell apart as often as these guys said they were. I was just a little hesitant to dish out a couple thousand dollars, if the frames on this particular bike were known to crack easily. Does specialized offer any good warranties on their bikes. Trek likes to advertise that they have a limited lifetime guarantee. Any thoughts?
All that information is available at Specialized's website.
 

Dave Pace

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Aug 3, 2012
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All I can say is this. I see Trek Carbon Frames on the utah race on TV, The Tour de France, The olympics Mens 155 mile. Seeing them all being used in the main events seems to tell me that they are trust worthy. That and this sales men/bike shop sounds like they have a vendetta. As others have said, ask him to put that in to writing. If not just walk out of there since you know he is not honest.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Zebrakenko! There's a name I haven't heard in decades. Usually, those were heavy, durable bikes about a notch above the typical C. Itoh!

The fact is that all brands have structural failures and all brands have examples that last well beyond any reasonable life expectancy. If you are concerned with frame failure (as you rightfully should be when it comes to something as critical as a frame), buy from a reputable shop or online seller and research how the manufacturer handled warranty claims.

A "Limited Lifetime Warranty" may not be worth the paper it's printed on and I've seen manufacturers go well beyond the legal requirements of their warranty to take care of a customer.

Trek, Specialized, Cannondale are all GTG as far as I'm concerned. Buy the bike that fits you best and get it from a shop you can work well with as you WILL be back for service, sundries, clothing, etc.
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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Thanks! That's great advice. I'm going to go to minneapolis in a couple of weeks to try out a colnago and Pinarello. Then I can say I tried out a couple different brands of bikes, and decide which I like best. It does seem that everyone has something negative to say about their competition, and we all have our personal favorites, so are going to promote those bikes. They all seem like great bikes, so I'll keep an open mind and find a bike that best suites me, as I'm not a PRO rider, so don't need the most advanced bike, just one that feels great and powers up the winding, multiple, high rolling hills of northern wisconsin. Thanks again. Just trying to stay away from a bike that is going to be in the shop more than on the road ;) Happy riding to all of you who responded!

Steph
 

jpr95

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Oct 11, 2010
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Originally Posted by Dave Pace .

All I can say is this. I see Trek Carbon Frames on the utah race on TV, The Tour de France, The olympics Mens 155 mile. Seeing them all being used in the main events seems to tell me that they are trust worthy. That and this sales men/bike shop sounds like they have a vendetta. As others have said, ask him to put that in to writing. If not just walk out of there since you know he is not honest.
When someone else is paying for your frames, longevity doesn't matter much--as long as it makes it through the race.

I don't think you'd want an IndyCar engine in your vehicle--it MIGHT get to 500 miles...
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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jpr95 said:
When someone else is paying for your frames, longevity doesn't matter much--as long as it makes it through the race. I don't think you'd want an IndyCar engine in your vehicle--it MIGHT get to 500 miles...
And yet broken frames are not an issue for pro's right now, even though some of the teams don't have to pay for the frames. More importantly, most of the frames and/or manufacturers supplying pro frames are popular frames sold in great numbers to the public, and none of those manufacturers are producing frames with failure issues (excluding the odd failure that every manufacturer can expect).
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by dirtygum .

I'm going to go to minneapolis in a couple of weeks to try out a colnago and Pinarello. Then I can say I tried out a couple different brands of bikes, and decide which I like best. It does seem that everyone has something negative to say about their competition, and we all have our personal favorites, so are going to promote those bikes. They all seem like great bikes, so I'll keep an open mind and find a bike that best suites me, as I'm not a PRO rider, so don't need the most advanced bike, just one that feels great and powers up the winding, multiple, high rolling hills of northern wisconsin. Thanks again. Just trying to stay away from a bike that is going to be in the shop more than on the road ;)
Colnago vs. Specialized is like Ferrari vs. Honda

They both obviously make good cars but jeez louise, if you have the budget for an Ernesto what would possess you to go all Honda Accord on us? There may be some upside to riding the same exact bike as everyone else, I just haven't figured it out yet. Just kidding and all in good fun. Sounds like you are going to end up with a beaut regardless.
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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Originally Posted by danfoz .


Colnago vs. Specialized is like Ferrari vs. Honda

They both obviously make good cars but jeez louise, if you have the budget for an Ernesto what would possess you to go all Honda Accord on us? There may be some upside to riding the same exact bike as everyone else, I just haven't figured it out yet. Just kidding and all in good fun. Sounds like you are going to end up with a beaut regardless.
wow.....that puts a little perspective on things...price wise at least for me :) A friend of mine said I should just try a colnago or pinarello, as they are really nice bikes to ride with a slightly shorter head tube making it a more female friendly bike ( aside from the WSD bikes that specialized and Trek have)....At least I'll be a little prepared when I see the price tag and not go through sticker shock ...lol. When I was at the colnago web site, they didn't list any prices...maybe now I know why :) By the way, I'm more of a toyota fan myself....but kidding aside...thanks for the heads-up :)
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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hmmm.....CAMPYBOB, are you telling me that I might want to rethink a pinarello purchase? That's a lot of frames there. They break easy, hey ? Thanks for the warning!
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by dirtygum .

...with a slightly shorter head tube making it a more female friendly bike ( aside from the WSD bikes that specialized and Trek have)
Many of the Colnago's feature an agressive geo (w/shorter headtube) but they have a number of different models, and yes without prices, just like the most expensive restaurant in my parts. Make sure the sizing is good on whatever you try as a shorter headtube usually has one more leaned over and in the case of WSD would have the rider, or more specifically the riders ahem ladybits, creating more friction with the saddle. Sometimes manufacturers use shorter top tubes or stems to compensate but just something to keep in mind. My ex would experience such a problem on longer rides and it took a combination of a slightly shorter stem and a different saddle to remedy which put her a teeny bit more upright minimizing un-needed friction.
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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Originally Posted by danfoz .

Many of the Colnago's feature an agressive geo (w/shorter headtube) but they have a number of different models, and yes without prices, just like the most expensive restaurant in my parts. Make sure the sizing is good on whatever you try as a shorter headtube usually has one more leaned over and in the case of WSD would have the rider, or more specifically the riders ahem ladybits, creating more friction with the saddle. Sometimes manufacturers use shorter top tubes or stems to compensate but just something to keep in mind. My ex would experience such a problem on longer rides and it took a combination of a slightly shorter stem and a different saddle to remedy which put her a teeny bit more upright minimizing un-needed friction.
Thank you. That was very insightful information that I will pay attention to when I'm trying out a bike. I do like riding longer distances, as opposed to short fast sprints, so having my "ladybits" :) lose circulation and feel lots of unwanted friction, is definitely something I want to avoid. I do like to ride in a slightly more upright position, so riding in a very aggresive geometry won't be very comfortable for me. I'm not opposed to buying a men's bike and altering it for me, as I've heard WSD's are for the average sized woman about 5'4", with short torsos and small hands. I'm 5'8 and lanky with a longer torso and longer arms. I have a 32" inseam, so I'm hesitant to buy a catch all WSD bike. Thank you for your wisdom. I'm learning a lot here! Please continue to add your thoughts as I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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hmmm.....CAMPYBOB, are you telling me that I might want to rethink a pinarello purchase? That's a lot of frames there. They break easy, hey ? Thanks for the warning!

Some of those are crash damage...some just broke.

As I said above, they all suffer some percentage of structural failure and a lot of that has to do with how the bicycle is cared for and maintained, the roads it is ridden over, the weight of the rider, the power output of the rider and the type of riding the bike is used for. Racing exposes the frame to greater stresses than sport riding. Jumping RR tracks and race training will kill a frame faster than doing leisurely 15-mile club rides twice a week.

Pinarello are as good or bad as any other racing frameset. I'm quite sure there's plenty of them on the ProTour that have made it thru a couple of seasons of hard use.
 

dirtygum

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Aug 14, 2012
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Thanks Campybob. I ride everyday, sometimes 2-4 miles, sometimes 15-20, depending on how I'm feeling :) I haven't as of this date, ever entered a race. I'm not ruling it out, but I'm a newbie who's a little hesitant to go up against people who've been riding for a while. So far I just ride for fun and as a stress relief. The only LBS in town doesn't have any club rides, so I'm on my own or with a friend when we can schedule a day to ride together. I'm always learning though, and always appreciate everyone's advice! I certainly couldn't get this from a book, so your input is always welcome.
 

Dave Pace

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Aug 3, 2012
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Originally Posted by jpr95 .


When someone else is paying for your frames, longevity doesn't matter much--as long as it makes it through the race.

I don't think you'd want an IndyCar engine in your vehicle--it MIGHT get to 500 miles...
I'm sorry but that is a lousy logic. Just because someone may or may not be paying for the frame does not mean it is any less safe. Seriously they still have a standard that they have to follow when making the frame. If not then the bike can not be approved for use in the competition. Also what rider in their right mind would ride a bike that they know the frame would crack ofter 50 miles.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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In truth, pro bikes take a huge amount of abuse and still hold up well. They're certainly not disposable, and you rightly pointed out that these are frames that are also purchased by regular folk. It likely needs to be emphasized again that frames made of any material can fail given the right circumstances. There is no magic material, no material that is more real than others. Here's a Ti frame that failed:
1000
Look around the intertubes and you'll find pictures of steel frames and aluminum frames that failed, too. For that vast majority of riders, frame failure is something that is never experienced.