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Old 05-03-08, 09:24 PM   #1
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Cracked Head Tube (with pics). I Need Advice!

I was just pulling my bike off of my trunk rack, and I noticed a small crack in my head tube. I can't tell if it's just the paint, but it looks like it's through the frame. It's aluminum, btw. I bought the bike used about 6 months ago (it's a 2004), so I think there's no warranty since I'm not the original owner. Does anyone have any advice as to what I should do. Is the frame completely done, or should I just keep riding it till it gets worse? Thanks for any replies, and sorry the picture isn't great.

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Old 05-03-08, 09:51 PM   #2
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Out of warrenty or not, I would contact Raleigh. They might replace it.
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Old 05-03-08, 09:58 PM   #3
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Out of warrenty or not, I would contact Raleigh. They might replace it.
The warranty applies to the original owner only...or are you suggesting fraud?

Personally, I'd either start shopping for a frame or an entire bike with a warranty.
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Old 05-03-08, 10:09 PM   #4
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The warranty applies to the original owner only...or are you suggesting fraud?

Personally, I'd either start shopping for a frame or an entire bike with a warranty.
+1 Stop riding it. It's toast.
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Old 05-03-08, 10:55 PM   #5
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...or are you suggesting fraud?
I don't think fraud was being suggested at all. Many manufacturers stand behind their products, in or out of warranty. Contact Raleigh, be honest about your situation. What's the worst they can do?
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Old 05-03-08, 11:16 PM   #6
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The warranty applies to the original owner only...or are you suggesting fraud?

Personally, I'd either start shopping for a frame or an entire bike with a warranty.
I would suggest fraud.
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Old 05-03-08, 11:30 PM   #7
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I don't think fraud was being suggested at all. Many manufacturers stand behind their products, in or out of warranty. Contact Raleigh, be honest about your situation. What's the worst they can do?
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Q: Can you send warranty items/parts for my Raleigh directly to me?
A: For your convenience and safety, all warranty service is performed by professional bicycle mechanics at Raleigh dealers. For more information on the warranty of your Raleigh, refer to page 32 in your owner’s manual or download it by clicking here

Q: I bought a Raleigh bicycle from a friend, is my bike still covered by a warranty?
A: Unfortunately the warranty that originally covered your Raleigh is nontransferable. It was for “the original retail purchaser” of the bike. To read more about the warranty policy refer to page 32 of the owner’s manual or download it by clicking here.
From the Raleigh USA website
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Old 05-03-08, 11:34 PM   #8
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Before you freak out, if you have the technical knowledge... pull the handlebars and the fork and check the inside to make sure its not just a crack in the paint... which by that pic it very possibly could be.
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Old 05-03-08, 11:52 PM   #9
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The vast majority of bike owners don't have the original receipt for their bike. Warranty technicians will deal with it regardless, as long as it has an RMA number attached to it.
I find that there are 2 types of manufacturers out there: those that take care of all issues that aren't a result of blatant abuse, and those that will warranty almost nothing but offer "crash replacement" product at a discount price.
It's always worth trying.
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Old 05-04-08, 12:18 AM   #10
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The vast majority of bike owners don't have the original receipt for their bike. Warranty technicians will deal with it regardless, as long as it has an RMA number attached to it.
I find that there are 2 types of manufacturers out there: those that take care of all issues that aren't a result of blatant abuse, and those that will warranty almost nothing but offer "crash replacement" product at a discount price.
It's always worth trying.
The point isn't whether he has the original receipt. He doesn't, he isn't the original owner.

Whether you can defraud/deceive/evoke pity from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer is beside the point. If you don't purchase a warranty, you aren't entitled to one. Knowing this, asking for one is fraud.
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Old 05-04-08, 12:41 AM   #11
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The point isn't whether he has the original receipt. He doesn't, he isn't the original owner.

Whether you can defraud/deceive/evoke pity from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer is beside the point. If you don't purchase a warranty, you aren't entitled to one. Knowing this, asking for one is fraud.
Outside of his admission here, there's no proof that he isn't the original owner. Bottom line: It's a cracked frame made by Raleigh.
You gonna call the cops? Come on.
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Old 05-04-08, 12:50 AM   #12
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If you don't purchase a warranty, you aren't entitled to one.
Unless the manufacturer decides you are. Which is exactly why the OP was told to contact Raleigh.
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Old 05-04-08, 01:20 AM   #13
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The point isn't whether he has the original receipt. He doesn't, he isn't the original owner.

Whether you can defraud/deceive/evoke pity from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer is beside the point. If you don't purchase a warranty, you aren't entitled to one. Knowing this, asking for one is fraud.
No fraud was suggested here, asking a manufacturer for a new frame whilst truthfully relaying information isn't fraud. I don't know why you would suggest as much.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:28 AM   #14
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Before you freak out, if you have the technical knowledge... pull the handlebars and the fork and check the inside to make sure its not just a crack in the paint... which by that pic it very possibly could be.
I'll have to disagree. There is practically no way to crack paint on a head tube like that. The head tube is cracked and the frame is only worth what you can get for the recycling.

ChunkyB, I hate to say it but you've learned a lesson about bicycles...especially used bikes. You saved a little money by purchasing a used one. It broke. Not much you can do but look for a new one. Try the suggestion from CharlesC but don't be too hopeful. Be honest about it being a used bike and if the shop owner treats you well...even if they can't get you a new one...consider buying a new one from them.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:36 AM   #15
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OT, but since this involves an integrated headset maybe Chris King would pay you for some photos to use in their campaign against integrateds

After Raleigh turns you down (I'd ask truthfully, anyway. Maybe something good could come out of it), if it's a 6xxx series AL, isn't welding a possibility? 7xxx are heat treated after welding so if the frame is made from a 7 series - you can now make a shop stool.
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Old 05-04-08, 09:46 AM   #16
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No fraud was suggested here, asking a manufacturer for a new frame whilst truthfully relaying information isn't fraud. I don't know why you would suggest as much.
Are you saying that asking a manufacturer for a new frame when you know full well you didn't pay for nor are entitled to a warranty isn't dishonest?

Whether the manufacturer decides to protect their brand and send a frame to a "customer" as a public relations gesture is beside the point. Sure, you can brag to your friends about how you received a brand new frame in exchange for a broken used one, but it smacks of taking advantage of a company trying to protect its public image. Meanwhile the costs are absorbed by the real customers paying for a warranty.

The honest thing to do is to buy a new frame, not beg for one.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:08 AM   #17
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Are you saying that asking a manufacturer for a new frame when you know full well you didn't pay for nor are entitled to a warranty isn't dishonest?

Whether the manufacturer decides to protect their brand and send a frame to a "customer" as a public relations gesture is beside the point. Sure, you can brag to your friends about how you received a brand new frame in exchange for a broken used one, but it smacks of taking advantage of a company trying to protect its public image. Meanwhile the costs are absorbed by the real customers paying for a warranty.
Yet a warranty was paid for by the original purchaser and never used. What's so bad about our guy here seeking some previously unused redress? Worst they can do is say no.

Raleigh has a chance here to have the OP running around saying "I had a Raleigh once. It was a sweet ride, but it didn't last." OR the OP can be a guy who says "Raleigh really gives a $#!+ about the reputation of their product. Even though I wasn't the original owner, they (cut me a deal, warrantied the frame, etc.)"

Assuming they have a frame compatible with all the parts of the OP's bike (you think they would) their only cost is the maybe $50 that those Chinese AL frames run these days. I'd make the deal, if I were the rep.

That said, my experience with Raleigh (admittedly, pre-Derby era) is that they were sticklers for the exact terms of the original purchaser's warranty and wanted to see a receipt. Once the receipt was produced, they were great. Had a friend break a dropout on a Japanese Competition and end up with a British 531 Pro frame.

The thing that really amazes me is all the frames that are cracking their headtubes! Seems like there's at least one posted here every week. I used to work for a shop with an in-house framebuilder and we never saw cracked headtubes. Once in a while we'd see one that was ovalized (heck, my Viscount is) but never cracked. Of course, these were all steel frames.
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Old 05-04-08, 11:10 AM   #18
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Yet a warranty was paid for by the original purchaser and never used. What's so bad about our guy here seeking some previously unused redress? Worst they can do is say no.
Wasn't it used? The original owner was covered by warranty during the entire time of ownership. Just because no claims were made (which we really don't know if that is true) the warranty still protected the buyer. That buyer also made money back when the bike was sold as used.
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Raleigh has a chance here to have the OP running around saying "I had a Raleigh once. It was a sweet ride, but it didn't last." OR the OP can be a guy who says "Raleigh really gives a $#!+ about the reputation of their product. Even though I wasn't the original owner, they (cut me a deal, warrantied the frame, etc.)"
That is a great example of the extortion issue of holding a company's reputation at stake, in essence blackmailing them with the potential of bad press, even when no warranty is implied or deserved.
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Assuming they have a frame compatible with all the parts of the OP's bike (you think they would) their only cost is the maybe $50 that those Chinese AL frames run these days. I'd make the deal, if I were the rep.
I wonder how long you would hold that position. Considering how many Raleighs are out there, you'd have a fulltime job handing out free frames to people reclaiming them from dumps and turning them in for "warranty" once the word got out that Raleigh carried it through several owners.

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That said, my experience with Raleigh (admittedly, pre-Derby era) is that they were sticklers for the exact terms of the original purchaser's warranty and wanted to see a receipt. Once the receipt was produced, they were great. Had a friend break a dropout on a Japanese Competition and end up with a British 531 Pro frame.
Agreed, Raleigh is a great company that stands behind their word and their product...which is exactly why it offends me to see them getting taken advantage of.
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The thing that really amazes me is all the frames that are cracking their headtubes! Seems like there's at least one posted here every week. I used to work for a shop with an in-house framebuilder and we never saw cracked headtubes. Once in a while we'd see one that was ovalized (heck, my Viscount is) but never cracked. Of course, these were all steel frames.
Certainly, but with aluminum there is a finite fatigue life. I have no doubts part of Raleigh's warranty policy is calculating just how long the average buyer keeps a frame before selling it and buying another, as well as how much use a particular frame is expected to endure. I can't fault them for this as just about every manufacturer out there does the same thing. That is why they offer a 5-year warranty on some frames and a lifetime on others...as long as the original purchaser owns the bike.
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Old 05-04-08, 03:45 PM   #19
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I wonder how long you would hold that position. Considering how many Raleighs are out there, you'd have a fulltime job handing out free frames to people reclaiming them from dumps and turning them in for "warranty" once the word got out that Raleigh carried it through several owners.
You're assuming that all of them have some defect that would make them warranteeable, if in the hands of the original owner. Those would be few and far between. OP has a shiny bike, for which the chance of a 'policy adjustment' (that's what we always called it--happens more than you think) is high.


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Certainly, but with aluminum there is a finite fatigue life. I have no doubts part of Raleigh's warranty policy is calculating just how long the average buyer keeps a frame before selling it and buying another, as well as how much use a particular frame is expected to endure. I can't fault them for this as just about every manufacturer out there does the same thing. That is why they offer a 5-year warranty on some frames and a lifetime on others...as long as the original purchaser owns the bike.
I should probably have used some winking smilies for that section. Here they are .

I got out of the industry 'round about the time that Trek announced that OCLV and suspension bikes would only have a five year warranty. We who sold and serviced them were sorely disappointed.
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Old 05-04-08, 04:31 PM   #20
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You're assuming that all of them have some defect that would make them warranteeable, if in the hands of the original owner. Those would be few and far between. OP has a shiny bike, for which the chance of a 'policy adjustment' (that's what we always called it--happens more than you think) is high.
No, I'm not assuming that. I agree that defects are few and far between, something calculated into the warranty policy and the length of time it covers, but you said it again, this is not the original purchaser we're dealing with here. Sure, I'd go out of my way to help an original purchaser to get his bike warranteed if the matter was just a lost receipt. Heck, I've done it, and when it was refused took care of it in-house via a deep discount on a new bike (the customer had purchased the bike from his son...we felt bad and helped the guy out).

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I should probably have used some winking smilies for that section. Here they are .

I got out of the industry 'round about the time that Trek announced that OCLV and suspension bikes would only have a five year warranty. We who sold and serviced them were sorely disappointed.
You're not the only one disappointed there. I'd love to tell customers that they have a lifetime warranty, especially one that they can actually collect on, not be "coached" by the vendor in how to ask questions calculated to deny them a claim. I'm up front about warranty policies, and it may lose a few sales but at least I'm putting a reasonable expectation out there and doing my best to serve my customers with integrity.

The sad truth is, with as light as some modern bikes are made, they just don't last like an old Schwinn did, Schwinn being the first bike manufacturer to offer a lifetime warranty, and creating the expectation in the consumer. I understand how financially dangerous it would be for many vendors to offer one, especially extended to multiple owners.

To the OP: Forgive my going on about calling Raleigh directly. Obviously my position is from the other side of the counter, and I have seen many, many attempts to defraud vendors with which we have a symbiotic relationship. By all means call them or stop by a dealer, especially one with which you have established a relationship, but keep in mind that by their stated policy, you can expect nothing, nor can you be upset if denied. My point was merely to be honest about your position with yourself. If they offer a new frame at a discounted rate, I'd take advantage of their "policy adjustment" and be sure to tell your friends they treated you well.
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Old 05-04-08, 05:00 PM   #21
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Nobody is hurt if Raleigh is asked if they will warranty a frame, even if the person who currently owns it is not the "original" owner. Perhaps they will be nice, create some good-will and warranty the frame for him. Who knows?

Why are you so against this? It isn't fraud, nothing is being mis-represented here. This is totally besides the extremely ridiculous notion that the instant the bike is sold that warranty should be invalid. I see no tehcnical reason, only financial (for the benefit on the manufacturer even) to not honour warranty once it has been transferred.
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Old 05-04-08, 06:50 PM   #22
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Bring it to you local technical college metal shop. This looks like a good project for them. They might be able to test it to see if it is indeed cracked.

If it is, they can weld it and clean it up. Looks like a good project for an advanced metals shop class.

If it is cracked and you decide to have it welded, be sure to drill a hole at the very top of the crack before doing the welding repair work.
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Old 05-04-08, 07:02 PM   #23
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Mike, good idea. But I think ChunkB outta be a redneck an' hose clamp it. Just kidding.
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Old 05-04-08, 07:46 PM   #24
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Mike, good idea. But I think ChunkB outta be a redneck an' hose clamp it. Just kidding.
That's what I'm thinking. Then I can hold onto it while I'm riding and get really aero.

Honestly, I'm planning on taking it to a shop to see if it's really cracked, but I'm pretty sure it is. I'm going to call Raleigh and see if they can do anything for me. I'm kind of amazed at the amount of discussion oh whether or not this is unethical. I don't plan on lying, even though I know the guy that sold it to me and I could just have him return it, but if they want to give me a new frame or give me one on the cheap, then that's their decision. It's not dishonest to ask. In fact, the thought is pretty preposterous if you ask me.

Thanks for all the input. I'll definitely not ride until I know exactly what's going on, and luckily I have an old bike that will serve me just fine until I get it all figured out.

If anyone has a frame collecting dust that they would like to get rid of, PM me. I'd like to learn how to build a bike anyways.
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Old 05-04-08, 07:47 PM   #25
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Are you saying that asking a manufacturer for a new frame when you know full well you didn't pay for nor are entitled to a warranty isn't dishonest?
Morally questionable =/= fraud.
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