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Old 11-11-10, 10:55 AM   #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?
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Old 11-11-10, 10:59 AM   #2
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Let us know and best of luck.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:06 AM   #3
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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?
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Old 11-11-10, 11:16 AM   #4
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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
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Old 11-11-10, 11:18 AM   #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,
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Old 11-11-10, 11:27 AM   #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.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:31 AM   #7
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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...
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Old 11-11-10, 11:35 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:45 AM   #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.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:50 AM   #10
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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?
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Old 11-11-10, 12:11 PM   #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.
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Old 11-11-10, 12:32 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 12:35 PM   #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).
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Old 11-11-10, 12:39 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 12:53 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 01:10 PM   #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
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Old 11-11-10, 01:28 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:02 PM   #18
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This is why you sell people torque wrenches.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:48 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:54 PM   #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.
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Old 11-11-10, 04:21 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 11-11-10, 04:21 PM   #22
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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.
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.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
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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.
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.

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Old 11-11-10, 05:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
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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.
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.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:51 PM   #25
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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.
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