Third broken rear axle - please help

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Justin Brookman, Jun 8, 2003.

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  1. 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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  2. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    Justin Brookman at [email protected] wrote on 6/8/03 4:49 PM:

    > 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?

    If you are breaking rear axles, I'd have them (the shop) look at the alignment of the rear dropouts
    - especially since one of them already failed on an earlier frame.

    3 years for an OEM BB isn't unheard of - especially if it was a cheaper model. But, how did you
    discover the BB needed replacing if you haven't been into the shop yet?

    The stone to kilos part of my brain isn't functioning well this morning, so I'm guessing your
    around 200 lbs. That alone should have you busting axles, unless you are dropping off a lot of
    curbs while seated
     
  3. Jim edgar wrote:
    >
    > If you are breaking rear axles, I'd have them (the shop) look at the alignment of the rear
    > dropouts - especially since one of them already failed on an earlier frame.
    >
    > 3 years for an OEM BB isn't unheard of - especially if it was a cheaper model. But, how did you
    > discover the BB needed replacing if you haven't been into the shop yet?
    >
    > The stone to kilos part of my brain isn't functioning well this morning, so I'm guessing your
    > around 200 lbs. That alone should have you busting axles, unless you are dropping off a lot of
    > curbs while seated

    Thanks Jim

    I weigh 168 pounds.

    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
     
  4. On 11 Jun 2003 06:39:35 -0700, [email protected] (Justin Brookman) wrote:
    >
    >I weigh 168 pounds.

    Justin, I weigh over 250 lbs, and I never did break a a rear axle when riding a 6sp freewheel. I
    should note though that I'm a fairly sedate rider and didn't ride much when I had that bike,
    because other things would keep dying on me. One of the cones in the rear wheel died from
    misadjustment of the axle within weeks of a replacement -- the only part of the bearings that was
    carrying any load at all was a short run on one cone, apparently, and that wore down several
    millimeters. I suspect that that was also when the cups in the hub got pitted and cracked, and I
    only replaced that a lot later. Too bad, since I suspect that that really impacted the amount of
    riding I did. The axle itself wouldn't do any more than do a slight bit of bending over time,
    usually, but it's a $5-6 component and you've pretty much got it free when you're doing the yearly
    overhauling of bearings anyway.

    >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.

    Well, I think it's a fair bet that with a casette freehub, with bearings fairly close to the
    dropouts, you won't break axles any more. You might conceivably break other things -- primarily
    being the attachment hub/freewheel body --, but I have never heard of anyone breaking one of those.
    Including people who are heavier and ride harder than me.

    By the way, why do you wanna replace the front wheel? Apart from esthetics, there's no real
    reason to do so.

    Jasper
     
  5. Eric Salathe

    Eric Salathe Guest

    [email protected] (Justin Brookman) wrote about cronic axle breakage and then follows up:
    > 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!

    In my experience, it is the hubs, not the frame alignment, that is at the root. Breaking the
    axle puts the dropouts out of alignment. Any of the current Shimano cassette hubs, even the
    cheap ones are more than adequate, will do the trick. Freewheel hubs just weren't designed for
    more than 5 cogs.

    Eric Salathe
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, Justin Brookman
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Jim edgar wrote:
    >>
    >> If you are breaking rear axles, I'd have them (the shop) look at the alignment of the rear
    >> dropouts - especially since one of them already failed on an earlier frame.
    >>
    >> 3 years for an OEM BB isn't unheard of - especially if it was a cheaper model. But, how did you
    >> discover the BB needed replacing if you haven't been into the shop yet?
    >>
    >> The stone to kilos part of my brain isn't functioning well this morning, so I'm guessing your
    >> around 200 lbs. That alone should have you busting axles, unless you are dropping off a lot of
    >> curbs while seated
    >
    >
    >Thanks Jim
    >
    >I weigh 168 pounds.
    >
    >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.

    Well that may be over-kill but the strength advantage of the cassette design really is a huge
    improvement over a traditional freewheel hub with a 10mm hollow axle that may or may not be cromoly
    depending on quality. I think you would find it significantly more reliable.

    On the other hand you should be able to fix the bike for less money without replacing the hub. I
    would not really expect a rider of your weight riding city streets to break that many axles.

    >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.

    You also need to check the dropouts to see if their inside faces are exactly parallel. There are
    gauges for checking this, all bikes shops should have them.

    It is not a good sign that your shop lacks basic alignment checking tools. Those tools are required
    for doing good work on bicycles.

    > 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!

    I am more confident than you - the cassette hub is much stronger.

    If you buy an axle to fix this wheel, make sure it is a high quality cromoly steel axle, if they
    give you a blank stare when you ask for it, go somewhere else. Also, you could use a solid nutted
    cromoly axle for extra beef.

    --Paul
     
  7. On Wed, 11 Jun 2003 06:39:35 +0000, Justin Brookman wrote:

    >
    > 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!

    Rest assured. I weigh considerably more than you, and had a plague of broken axles. Went to
    cassettes -- on the same frame -- and voila. Never a problem since. And my wheels, using Campy hubs,
    are not as strong a design as Shimano. Try a cassette wheel. It will fix your problem.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | You will say Christ saith this and the apostles say this; but _`\(,_ | what canst thou say?
    -- George Fox. (_)/ (_) |
     
  8. Jim Edgar <[email protected]t> wrote:
    >Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" at [email protected] wrote on 6/12/03 4:48 PM:
    >>Well, I have no concept of how much a "stone" is, but when I first got my MTB, I weighed 165
    >>(US pounds)
    >11.7857143 stone Knock yerself out.... ;^) http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_all.htm

    Such a figure would never be quoted. A stone is exactly 14 pounds. British people still measure
    weight to the nearest pound, but would express such a weight as "11 stone 11".

    A US pound is a UK pound.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Kill the tomato!
     
  9. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    David Damerell at [email protected] wrote on 6/13/03 9:38 AM:

    > Jim Edgar <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" at [email protected] wrote on 6/12/03 4:48 PM:
    >>> Well, I have no concept of how much a "stone" is, but when I first got my MTB, I weighed 165 (US
    >>> pounds)
    >> 11.7857143 stone Knock yerself out.... ;^) http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_all.htm
    >
    > Such a figure would never be quoted. A stone is exactly 14 pounds. British people still measure
    > weight to the nearest pound, but would express such a weight as "11 stone 11".

    Crikey, I've become a west coast numbers geek. I'm guessing that there are a whole bunch of dead
    relatives in the old country a-spinnin in their graves...Oh, the horror. Oh, the horror.

    ;^)

    -- Jim
     
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