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dbb
06-29-2012, 03:10 PM
My trusty steed has fallen. It left on a high point however. Rode downtown this morning for coffee, had a great ride in, outstanding company at Swings and a fine ride home and then … the discovery.

I was adjusting the rear derailleur and noticed one of the seat stays had cracked. Thinking that rapid care might have some benefit, I immediately got the bike into the truck and up to Freshbikes.

There was no dallying in the Freshbikes emergency room and the bike was seen by a healer immediately. Alas, my speed was for naught. The wound was fatal.

The good folks at Freshbikes have the bike so they can perform the autopsy for the Specialized warranty review. I hope those karma credits I earned earlier in the week are there for me. If all goes well, Specialized will provide a replacement frame, which will virtually assure all my future bikes will wear the Specialized badge.

A friend is loaning me a bike so I can continue to earn points for the A team in the National Bike Challenge and keep my 100% for the year bike commute record intact.

Here is the damage:

http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w490/dbb-bike/Bikes/BikeFrameCrack201206291.jpg

The lesson is one worth repeating. Inspect your bike more frequently than you probably do now.

Dana

eminva
06-29-2012, 03:21 PM
Good advice, Dana, and thanks to your friend for helping keep the streak alive. Sorry about your bike.

When the frame cracked on my old (too big) bike, I had no trouble whatsoever getting a replacement under warranty through the LBS. They even upgraded me. It was a different manufacturer, but I suspect they are all good with warranty service. Good luck.

Liz

DaveK
06-29-2012, 03:21 PM
Glad you caught that early! Provides a pretty good rebuttal to the "carbon = glass" folks - your carbon stays are in perfect shape and it cracked at the (presumably aluminum) dropout.

So... Roubaix in your future?

KLizotte
06-29-2012, 03:33 PM
Ouch, so glad the wound didn't lead to a calamity. Could going over a pothole or really large bump cause that to happen? Weird place for a crack to occur.

Hope they ship the new frame quickly.

Wow, 100% commuter rate. That's impressive!

dbb
06-29-2012, 03:43 PM
Thanks for your thoughts.

To Klizotte's question, the dropout at that point has the smallest cross-section as the rounded end has a hole drilled through it. That is where the stress (and possibility of fracture) is likely to be highest. Almost anything could have caused it, like potholes, etc. and it might have been a latent weakness in the metal that I was able to bring out.

Using it for commuting probably created some kind of mileage multiplier. I am solidly in the Clydesdale category, which likely contributed as well. To it's credit, it had 7400 miles on it, virtually all of them inside the beltway.

If Specialized honors the warranty, which seems likely, they will probably ship a more recent frame for the same model. So in that respect, there will be some upgrade element.

KelOnWheels
06-29-2012, 04:14 PM
Oh sad! Speedy wishes for your new bike!

brendan
06-29-2012, 04:21 PM
The lesson is one worth repeating. Inspect your bike more frequently than you probably do now.

Indeed! I've twice had my handlebars shift positions after hitting road debris. Luckily the one high speed incident was on a road bike and at the front of the stem, not the rear (bars rotated down, but still centered and steerable). The flat bar incident was much more dangerous (rotated out of alignment with the wheel), but happened at low speed and cause a very surprised me to fall over at about 5mph. And then amusedly nearly fall over again when trying to re-mount before realizing that the handlebars and steering tube had shifted relative positions...out came the multi-tool.

Also: recalling these, as well as my more recent and more serious crashes...clearly I really really really need to be more careful about exactly where I put my front tire. But yes, inspect, adjust and re-torque as needed.

Brendan

jrenaut
06-29-2012, 04:22 PM
Better on the way home than the way out, though I imagine it was broken then, too. Good luck with the new frame, and glad you noticed before it broke completely.

dbb
06-29-2012, 04:23 PM
Better on the way home than the way out, though I imagine it was broken then, too. Good luck with the new frame, and glad you noticed before it broke completely.

That's true. I would have had a broken bike and gotten screwed out of the Friday Coffee Club! If it broke completely while I was riding, it would have been exciting. Lucky for me I don't ride very fast.:)

Greenbelt
06-29-2012, 04:24 PM
Good advice, Dana, and thanks to your friend for helping keep the streak alive. Sorry about your bike.

When the frame cracked on my old (too big) bike, I had no trouble whatsoever getting a replacement under warranty through the LBS. They even upgraded me. It was a different manufacturer, but I suspect they are all good with warranty service. Good luck.

Liz

Me too -- I crashed my bike, so it wasn't a manufacturer defect or warranty issue, but the manufacturer was really good about sending an (upgraded) replacement frame at a very reasonable cost.

PotomacCyclist
07-01-2012, 01:34 PM
I do a quick safety check before every single ride. I'm used to the routine now so it doesn't take long at all.

- Check that brakes are working
- Turn handlebars to check that it's secure
- Tug gently on seat to check that it's secure
- Scan frame for cracks, especially at stress points

I pump up the tires before each ride on the tri bike. (Not as often with the mountain bike, which may be why those tires need replacing.) After each ride, I slowly spin each tire and look for cuts and divots. Then I pick up the end of the bike and slowly spin each wheel while brushing off debris with my gloved palm.

The pre-ride routine takes less than 30 seconds, except for pumping up the tires. The About.com Bicycling guide recommends this pre-ride safety check, which is why I started doing it. I think it's a good idea. Very small time investment with no monetary cost, and potentially very significant benefits (accident avoidance).

vvill
07-01-2012, 06:36 PM
Sorry about your bike, dbb, but glad to hear you caught it in time.


A few months ago I noticed a creaking noise from the front of my bike whenever I was climbing out of the saddle... an inspection and trip to the store where I bought the bike confirmed there was a crack in the dropout of the fork that was starting to propagate up the fork leg. The dropout was aluminum and the leg was carbon. The store put in a replacement full carbon fork with the same dimensions for me,as that was the only warranty option they had without a long delay.

Definitely glad I investigated that.

Rootchopper
07-02-2012, 08:04 AM
I had teh same kind of failure at the drop out on my Bike Friday. I shipped it back to the mothership in Oregon and they repaired it.

As for tales of woe, my old faithful Raleigh Grand Prix had a wobble in its front wheel. I stopped at the top of the hill that I had just climbed out of Rosslyn on the Custis Trail, bent over to see what was wrong, and the right fork blade fell off with a clang.

Need less to say, I look for cracks every now and then.