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  1. #1
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    I just crunched my carbon fiber fork. Will I die if I ride?

    I am all dressed to go on a ride and I decided last second to take one of my spacers out.

    I was tightening my stem to the fork tube (its carbon fiber) and I heard the slightest of crunching noise. I dont see any damage and I tried to really rip my bars off and it felt normal.

    I know I should have used a torque wrench, but I didnt and now I need some advise.

    will I survive my ride today unscathed?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Let us know and best of luck.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Let us know and best of luck.
    What the....

    Is a tiny crunch something I should be worried about? Should I even go on this ride?

  4. #4
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Is the risk worth it to you? I wouldn't ride it but then, Ive been injured a few times taking risks and would rather save time and expense as well as disconfort of the emergency room visit vs. the cost and time to fix my error. YMMV
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

  5. #5
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    The problem with answering your question is that we don't know how "tiny" the crunch is. It could be nothing and it could be an incipient catastrophic failure. No one can tell without seeing it. You certainly aren't going to get unanimous approval to ride it,

  6. #6
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    ugh....

    I hate this crap....

    Im just gonna change it for an aluminum tube fork.

    This is the first time this is happening to me and I was half hoping to hear someone say, "dude dont worry, a crunch is totally normal and your fork will not break while crossing a 6 lane highway."

    Thanks for the dose of reality.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Did you use a torque wrench to bring the bolts back up to, but not exceeding, the torque specification?

    as no one can physically inspect your work over the Web , go to somewhere,
    a professional bike shop, that can see what you have done...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Did you use a torque wrench to bring the bolts back up to, but not exceeding, the torque specification?
    The OP specifically said he didn't use a torque wrench but tightened the bolts "by ear", quite literally in this case.

  9. #9
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    If it was me, I wouldn't ride it. But then again you won't find carbon on any of my bicycles, so I may be a bit biased.
    1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)

  10. #10
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    if I may inquire... why were you suddenly moved to take a spacer out? and what did you put in place of it?
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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  11. #11
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    Whether or not you ride with the fork in question, you will die. It's just a matter of time. Consider riding with a damaged carbon fork just hastening the inevitable.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Hearing crunch and crack noise's is not good for sure what you do after is at your own risk!
    Good to hear you are going to replace it make sure your stem is alright also or if that was the noise you heard.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Did you use a torque wrench to bring the bolts back up to, but not exceeding, the torque specification?

    as no one can physically inspect your work over the Web , go to somewhere,
    a professional bike shop, that can see what you have done...
    I hate to say it, but even at a great LBS, a physical inspection would not help. The damage could be in a layer of CF that is below the surface- not detectable, until the whole thing failed (worse case scenario).

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I would say hearing a "crunch" when wrenching on a CF bike in the least, is nothing to ignore. Only the OP can make a good enough diagnosis by dismantling the front end of the bike and track down the sourch of the crunching sound....then take a pic and maybe show us all so maybe someone here can be knowledgable enough to examine the pic and forward an opinion......that's all.....
    As for the invincibility of Aluminum forks, I would not think it's the "end all" for assuring a problem free front end forever......I think you have better chances getting that with Steel or Ti forks.
    JMOs

    Chombi

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Give up on the gram counting , get good old reliable steel ,
    until the team sponsors supply their gear ,
    that can be replaced in the privacy of the support van when needed ,
    maybe on a weekly basis.

    The Pros start out each year with new stuff, some of it still won't last a day ,
    on the route between Paris and Roubaix, for example.

  16. #16
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    You must have applied lots of pressure to get a crunching sound just by tightening stem bolts. Obviously you over-did it way too much. Take the bike or fork into a good and experienced LBS. If it's damaged (either visably or by sound from tapping), it's probably not worth getting repaired. Get a new fork. Nashbar and some other places have them very cheap.

    I wouldn't ride it at all until you get in inspected. Think about the stem and bars snapping off going down hill at 40 mph
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  17. #17
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    If I heard any crunching noises on a carbon steerer fork I'd get a new fork without thinking twice. Decent new fork cost about $100-300 dollars. Far less than potential hospital bills.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  18. #18
    cab horn
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    This is why you sell people torque wrenches.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  19. #19
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    This is why you sell people torque wrenches.
    I think I'll get my son a torque wrench for Christmas. He puts his bike in a box a couple of times a year to fly to triathlons. I'm more anxious than he is about him crunching his fork, handlebars or stem.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  20. #20
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    I decided to go on a short ride of 15 miles on a bike path then exited near a bike shop. I ended up not buying a fork since there was nothing that would remotley look decent on my bike for cheap. I rode home but the bike gods were not kind to me.

    One flat on the way out, another flat on the way home.

    I carry three spare tubes.

  21. #21
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    I think I'll get my son a torque wrench for Christmas. He puts his bike in a box a couple of times a year to fly to triathlons. I'm more anxious than he is about him crunching his fork, handlebars or stem.
    Get him a nice park 2-15nm one and he'll be really happy.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  22. #22
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amen View Post
    I decided to go on a short ride of 15 miles on a bike path then exited near a bike shop. I ended up not buying a fork since there was nothing that would remotley look decent on my bike for cheap. I rode home but the bike gods were not kind to me.

    One flat on the way out, another flat on the way home.

    I carry three spare tubes.
    What you are doing is seriously dumb. Riding a compromised carbon steerer fork is like russian roulette, except you go through the entire chambers worth of bullets. Maybe darwin was right.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amen View Post
    I decided to go on a short ride of 15 miles on a bike path then exited near a bike shop. I ended up not buying a fork since there was nothing that would remotley look decent on my bike for cheap. I rode home but the bike gods were not kind to me.

    One flat on the way out, another flat on the way home.

    I carry three spare tubes.
    Did you ever think that the bike gods might be also giving you a hint to stop riding that crunchy fork??
    You really have to avoid riding it before you find out what might have been damaged.

    Chombi

  24. #24
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amen View Post
    I decided to go on a short ride of 15 miles on a bike path then exited near a bike shop. I ended up not buying a fork since there was nothing that would remotley look decent on my bike for cheap. I rode home but the bike gods were not kind to me.

    One flat on the way out, another flat on the way home.

    I carry three spare tubes.
    It was a sign not ride
    Seriously you won't fill it when riding if and when it goes it will be quick and I hope you are stopped or at least going very slow.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  25. #25
    Senior Member Cross Creek's Avatar
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    If carbon fiber steerer tubes fail similarly to the way carbon fiber fly rods fail, it will be when you are trying to stop, trying to quickly accelerate, or trying to corner, all situations where you are putting extra force on your stem, and all terrifically bad times for the sudden loss of firmly attached handlebars! I wouldn't ride it at all, but then, I hate hospitals and facial reconstruction.
    CC

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