Your Carbon Failure ?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jp111, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. jp111

    jp111 New Member

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    There is a great deal of information concerning the life expectancy of carbon bike equiptment. I was wondering what actual experience forum subscribers may have had with failure of carbon frames and forks, due to normal riding, not accidents. Am considering buying a carbon frame, but, due to poor road surfaces, have already repaired a crack in my aluminum frame, and am a little concerned about my carbon fork's prospects.
     
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  2. old&slow

    old&slow New Member

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    One experience only - a Trek 5500 which cracked where the right hand chain stay plugs into the bottom bracket. It moved just enough to crack around the top half of the stay only. Was a '96 production and, as a racebike only, had done maybe 15,000 km. I was always a big carbon frame fan until then, replaced it with Ti, bit heavier but you can always give a few pizzas a miss instead. Having now experienced Ti I'll never have anything else again.
     
  3. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    I built my OCLV frameset (wiith Kestrel EMS fork) back in the early 90's (93 or 94 I think) and it's still going strong. I threw a new gruppo on it last season, and it rides like a new bike. No problems with the frame or fork at all. The frame/fork probably have close to 30,000 miles on them by now, and I weight 180-190, so I'm pretty happy with the results.
     
  4. anerobic

    anerobic New Member

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    it's reassuring that there aren't many replies to this thread.....yet
     
  5. cachehiker

    cachehiker New Member

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    A buddy's EC70 seatpost clamp come loose on the post. I'll bet it had been on the edge of failure for more than a few rides. For once, I actually kept up with him on the downhill. Not being able to work the frame back and forth with the nose of the saddle makes a big difference. I guess hemorrhoids do too.
     
  6. jp111

    jp111 New Member

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    THANK YOU for your replys so far. Carbon seems to be holding up pretty good.
    jp111
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I've had two carbon frames - one road, one mtb, and numerous carbon components. No failures.
     
  8. Sprint2Win

    Sprint2Win New Member

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    Carbon is becoming more popular, and therefore the number of posted failures will increase.
    Have you read the many installation instructions that come with carbon components? For something to be advertised as so strong and durable, the instructions and warnings give another impression.

    Failure?
    ITM Millennium Seatpost
     
  9. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    Oh, I forgot to mention that I also have an OCLV mountain bike that's been crashed countless times (I'm really a miserable mountain bike rider). No problems with that either, although it does need a new suspension fork. The one that came with it didn't hold up very well.
     
  10. Sprint2Win

    Sprint2Win New Member

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    and to give credit where credit is due. I have a 2000 Trek 5500 and haven't been able to crack, break or otherwise the frame or fork and I weigh 198 lbs.
     
  11. malcomm

    malcomm New Member

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    I have had a Kestrel talon totally carbon road bike and a Giant MCM team carbon composite mountain bike with carbon seat post for years. I'm 92Kg so am a reasonable load on the bikes. Never had a problem and have no intention of getting rid of either.
    Theres too many reputations on the line for crap products to last long.
     
  12. StillRiding5500

    StillRiding5500 New Member

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    I have had my Trek 5500 OCLV since 95 and haven't had any problems with it at all. I keep thinking of reasons to buy a new frame but this one has lifetime guarantee on it so I'm going to keep it forever! I replaced the fork with a Reynolds full carbon and that was an improvement. The components are Record BTW which is a dream to ride on. I love my bike.
    I work in aerospace as a structures designer and have done some work in the area of carbon design, but not enough to make me an expert. One of the programs that I worked on, now defunct, was a semi-heavy lift rocket, Delta III. I was working on the design, production and installation of the tunnel covers (don't ask), of which some of the components were carbon. Well, on one of our launches we had an anolomy and the rocket had to be destroyed shortly after launch. As many parts were pulled out of the ocean as were feasable. The items were sent back to our facility and lo and behold, one of the composite components, a good sized piece that I had been part of the design team on was in perfect condition. The oygen tank , (aluminum, pricey aluminum) that it was attached to didn't fare nearly as well.
    The story doesnt mean anything really, just as an aside of one of my experiences with carbon fiber objects. I haven't worked on any other carbon product since except for Space Shuttle components. Actually, I was involved with the investigation of Columbia's demise. That is a very famous case of carbon failure. But that was a wing leading edge component that was hit by a chunk of foam at very high velocity. Put a big hole in a $1,000,000 component and allowed 3000 degree F plasma to burn up the wing from the inside out. But I digress....

    I love carbon!
     
  13. jp111

    jp111 New Member

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    Thank you for your response, SR5500, it looks like a great material. Interesting comments !
    jp111 :)
     
  14. smittycb10

    smittycb10 New Member

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    Thinking of buying a carbon frrame? My advice is check the warrenty. I just got screwed by Kestrel.

    July of last year I brought a Kestrel Talon, I loved the bike, it rode well and saw service as a roadie and tri bike. Late March of this year I was cleaning it down after a group ride and noticed a series of hairline cracks along the left chainstay. They covered a area the size of a quarter.

    Of course I was worried but seeing as the bike was still under warrenty, had less then 1000 miles logged and had never been crashed I was convinced it would be covered under the warrenty. I was so wrong.

    I had the bike stripped and sent to Kestrel at my expense, two weeks latter they told me that I would need to pay $800 for a crash replacement. They said the frame had failed due to a no fault impact???
    Three weeks past and still no bike, eventually they sent a bike but the head tube was cut so crooked that it could not be assembled. Another two weeks latter and I finally got a frame, 8 weeks after the original was sent out. It cost another $200 in labor costs to get the bike reassembled. Final bill $1000 plus 2 months without a training or racing bike.

    So if you are thinking of getting a carbon bike, do not purchase a Kestrel and check the manufacturers warrently. Go with a Trek or Specailizied, someone with a good reputation.

    After this experience I now train on a all steel Lemond and race the Kestrel in triathlons. I love the Lemond!!!! Its a tank but it rides smooth and has a great paint job.
     
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