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  1. #1
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Aluminium corrosion?

    When cleaning the bike today I noticed that there was a weird white thing in a crack like form (picture below). Not sure if it's a crack (ugh) or corrosion (ugh again). It's a 7005 aluminium frame, coming up to two years old this christmas.

    Any ideas?



  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    When cleaning the bike today I noticed that there was a weird white thing in a crack like form (picture below). Not sure if it's a crack (ugh) or corrosion (ugh again). It's a 7005 aluminium frame, coming up to two years old this christmas.

    Any ideas?
    It could be something as simple as a scratch in the paint (aluminum frames are usually painted) and some oxidation of the exposed metal. However, in that location, a crack is also possible. The best way to check is to remove the top cup. If it's a crack, you can see if it has propagated across the head tube. If it's a scratch, it should only be on the surface of the head tube.

    Given where the 'blemish' is, I suspect a crack. It'd be difficult to scratch that area. That's also a high stress area for a frame.
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  3. #3
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Right, so if it's a crack, what happens then?

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    Another way to check to see if it is a crack is with a 10X magnifying glass. If you can see the bottom it is a scratch. If not, it is most likely a scratch.
    If it is a crack say good by to the frame. You may be able t get it repaired by a GOOD frame builder, or a very good welder.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    Right, so if it's a crack, what happens then?
    New frame. This should be a warranty issue. Have the dealer you bought the bike from look at it. Don't go welding it or doing anything else to it before you see if the manufacturer will replace it.
    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kycycler View Post
    Another way to check to see if it is a crack is with a 10X magnifying glass. If you can see the bottom it is a scratch. If not, it is most likely a scratch.
    If it is a crack say good by to the frame. You may be able t get it repaired by a GOOD frame builder, or a very good welder.
    What do you mean the bottom?

  7. #7
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Aluminum will develop a white oxide when exposed to the atmosphere, depending on heat treatment, alloy, etc. That oxide film is part of what makes the material generally corrosion resistant - once it forms, it is a protective barrier. When you have a crack, there is material exposed to the atmosphere that wasn't before - that could be the white stuff you see there. From here - my eyesight is better than I thought to be able to look at a defect from 6000 miles away - it does look crack-like. I would take it to your shop and see what they think.

    By "the bottom", kycycler means the bottom of the scratch - if you use a magnifier and can actually see the bottom of the crack/scratch thing, you likely only have a scratch, as a crack would be expected to be deeper. But depending on what kind of crud is in the opening, you could be fooled on that count. But it is worth that kind of close evaluation - get as good a look as you can before you go to the dealer. I believe you will do that, as cyccommute said, is to remove the cup and examine the top edge of the head tube. From the photo, one would expect a crack to be obvious from that view.
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  8. #8
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    I'm not with the bike at the moment and won't be able to strip bits off it for a couple of weekends yet, but it certainly sounds like you guys know what you're talking about, and the white oxide in the crack was my first thought this morning. I've emailed Land Rover saying

    "Hi

    I've had my 2009 Land Rover G4 hardtail for coming up to two years now, and while cleaning it this morning I noticed a crack in the head tube. I'm a keen cyclist and as the bike is now unroadworthy I can no longer go out with the clubs I belong to.

    Over the last two years I've had pedal, headset and rear wheel bearings fail, the handlegrips wear out in 300 miles, the seatpost come loose every fortnight, paint flake off on the brake calipers, adjusters, handlebars, quick release skewers and the front brake clicks when the brakes are released.

    As I can't attach photos to this I've uploaded them online; the URLs are:
    http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/...on1/photo2.jpg
    http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/...on1/photo1.jpg

    Due to all the problems I've had with the bike I would like a full refund.

    Please could you reply as soon as possible,
    Lewis Desforges"


    So we'll see what happens. Hopefully they'll give me a refund and I will go elsewhere.

  9. #9
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    I'm not with the bike at the moment and won't be able to strip bits off it for a couple of weekends yet, but it certainly sounds like you guys know what you're talking about, and the white oxide in the crack was my first thought this morning. I've emailed Land Rover saying

    "Hi

    I've had my 2009 Land Rover G4 hardtail for coming up to two years now, and while cleaning it this morning I noticed a crack in the head tube. I'm a keen cyclist and as the bike is now unroadworthy I can no longer go out with the clubs I belong to.

    Over the last two years I've had pedal, headset and rear wheel bearings fail, the handlegrips wear out in 300 miles, the seatpost come loose every fortnight, paint flake off on the brake calipers, adjusters, handlebars, quick release skewers and the front brake clicks when the brakes are released.

    As I can't attach photos to this I've uploaded them online; the URLs are:
    http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/...on1/photo2.jpg
    http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/...on1/photo1.jpg

    Due to all the problems I've had with the bike I would like a full refund.

    Please could you reply as soon as possible,
    Lewis Desforges"


    So we'll see what happens. Hopefully they'll give me a refund and I will go elsewhere.
    Unfortunately, I don't see refund. You'll need to review your warranty, but it usually only covers manufacturer's defects on the frame and fork. Seats and other "tidbits" are wear items that were designed to be replaced over time, at least in the eyes of the bike industry.
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  10. #10
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    Unfortunately, I don't see refund. You'll need to review your warranty, but it usually only covers manufacturer's defects on the frame and fork. Seats and other "tidbits" are wear items that were designed to be replaced over time, at least in the eyes of the bike industry.
    This sucks. Do you reckon a replacement might be on the cards? I haven't had any dealings with bike companies before, but I've dealt with HP who refuse flatly to do anything. Hmmm...

  11. #11
    gbg
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    It seems to look like a crack, because of the jagged edge, I would think a scratch would be more of a straight line.
    Even if it is a crack I don't think it is in a critical part of the frame. Even if that piece fell out all together
    I don't think the headset would fall out or even loosen, or that you would loose control of the steering. That piece
    might be 2 or 3% of the entire headset/headtude contact area, so even if it were to break off I think the headset
    would still be firmly in place. Even if all of a sudden the crack turned at 90% and went half way down the tube and the top
    headset cup was loose, you still would have steering control. it would probably be just like a loose headset,
    and I have ridden a lot of those back in the day when cheap headsets loosened all the time (that's why gorilla locks were invented!).
    I would ride it and watch it to see if it gets worse. If you feel uncomfortable with it replace it.

    PS.
    If it is a crack, the stress was probably relieved and it might not get worse, I bet it will stay like that for years.
    If you get a replacement I guess it is a moot point.
    Last edited by gbg; 11-19-11 at 01:13 PM.

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    This sucks. Do you reckon a replacement might be on the cards? I haven't had any dealings with bike companies before, but I've dealt with HP who refuse flatly to do anything. Hmmm...
    Back in the early 80s I was Trek's warranty inspector. My philosophy at the time -- and nobody higher up ever objected to it -- was "when in doubt, just replace the frame." It's not that big a loss for the company; certainly a lot less cost than the bad P.R. from a ticked-off customer!

  13. #13
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Back in the early 80s I was Trek's warranty inspector. My philosophy at the time -- and nobody higher up ever objected to it -- was "when in doubt, just replace the frame." It's not that big a loss for the company; certainly a lot less cost than the bad P.R. from a ticked-off customer!
    As a ticked off customer that would also be my philosophy, but not convinced about everyone else...

    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    It seems to look like a crack, because of the jagged edge, I would think a scratch would be more of a straight line.
    Even if it is a crack I don't think it is in a critical part of the frame. Even if that piece fell out all together
    I don't think the headset would fall out or even loosen, or that you would loose control of the steering. That piece
    might be 2 or 3% of the entire headset/headtude contact area, so even if it were to break off I think the headset
    would still be firmly in place. Even if all of a sudden the crack turned at 90% and went half way down the tube and the top
    headset cup was loose, you still would have steering control. it would probably be just like a loose headset,
    and I have ridden a lot of those back in the day when cheap headsets loosened all the time (that's why gorilla locks were invented!).
    I would ride it and watch it to see if it gets worse. If you feel uncomfortable with it replace it.

    PS.
    If it is a crack, the stress was probably relieved and it might not get worse, I bet it will stay like that for years.
    If you get a replacement I guess it is a moot point.
    This seems a little more than I'm comfortable with. Does anyone else share this opinion?

  14. #14
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    You could consider using Dye Penetrant to test if it's a crack. My guess is that it's not.

  15. #15
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    As a ticked off customer that would also be my philosophy, but not convinced about everyone else...



    This seems a little more than I'm comfortable with. Does anyone else share this opinion?
    Read the "How bad is this crack" thread. This has been like this for "a long time", and I think yours is pretty minor when compared to this.

    IMG_0419.jpg

  16. #16
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    Over the last two years I've had pedal, headset and rear wheel bearings fail...
    It looks like a crack that would have happened when the new headset's upper race was pressed in.

    FWIW, since the race effectively reinforces that area, and most of the load is towards the rear of the upper race, I'd just ride it.

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    Yep id ride it till it was repaired by the dealer. And if they wouldn't do anything id tig it up. Not much of a challenge for anyone worth their salt with the heliarc

  18. #18
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    Read the "How bad is this crack" thread. This has been like this for "a long time", and I think yours is pretty minor when compared to this.

    IMG_0419.jpg
    Erm, where do I find that?

  19. #19
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    Erm, where do I find that?
    It's in this forum "bicycle mechanics" probably just above or below a few post of this thread.
    The point is more that the bike in question is 15 years old and has the crack for a long time (probably years) and it is still ridden,
    then for the responses to the post.
    Last edited by gbg; 11-19-11 at 04:23 PM.

  20. #20
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    Read the "How bad is this crack" thread. This has been like this for "a long time", and I think yours is pretty minor when compared to this.

    IMG_0419.jpg
    Fair point, I think that one was pretty definitive though! I will have to pull the thing apart soon to determine if it is a crack, although I'm pretty certain it is.

    And you're right, it does only make up a pretty small part of the whole contact area, but it's the part that is under the most stress, especially as it's right up near the front. And as I'm riding I would always be wondering if I'm about to get a facelift and overtake my forks.

    Waiting for 2x2 Worldwide to get back to me (the bikes are made under license by them) - really very much hoping they give me a refund, or at least an orange replacement! Regardless, it seems bad for a frame to fail so early and seems a strange place for it to crack - if I hit a pothole (and my logic is correct) then surely all the force goes towards the back of the head tube, and weighing in at a (manly) 105lbs, that's the only way I can see it going.

  21. #21
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    You could consider using Dye Penetrant to test if it's a crack. My guess is that it's not.
    What makes you say that?

  22. #22
    gbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    Fair point, I think that one was pretty definitive though! I will have to pull the thing apart soon to determine if it is a crack, although I'm pretty certain it is.

    And you're right, it does only make up a pretty small part of the whole contact area, but it's the part that is under the most stress, especially as it's right up near the front. And as I'm riding I would always be wondering if I'm about to get a facelift and overtake my forks.

    Waiting for 2x2 Worldwide to get back to me (the bikes are made under license by them) - really very much hoping they give me a refund, or at least an orange replacement! Regardless, it seems bad for a frame to fail so early and seems a strange place for it to crack - if I hit a pothole (and my logic is correct) then surely all the force goes towards the back of the head tube, and weighing in at a (manly) 105lbs, that's the only way I can see it going.

    Actually I would say it is the part that is under the least stress. The most stress by far is the bottom cup that takes the weight of bike and rider.
    The top cup basically stops the steerer from flopping around. I can see in hard sprints where you are really torquing the bars
    that it would increase. But I don't think a headtube ever failed even with world class sprinters torquing on them, steerer tubes, yes, handlebars, yes, headtubes I don't think so.

    But you have to be comfortable with your ride.
    Last edited by gbg; 11-19-11 at 05:18 PM.

  23. #23
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
    As a ticked off customer that would also be my philosophy, but not convinced about everyone else...
    Don't get ticked off prematurely. Give them a chance to respond before you fly off the handle.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    Read the "How bad is this crack" thread. This has been like this for "a long time", and I think yours is pretty minor when compared to this.
    Anyone who would ride a cracked frame that obvious is a fool. A cracked frame is a dead frame. I know that people may not have money to replace bikes but compare the price of a new frame to even a short trip to the ER or, even worse, an extended stay in the ICU. One is in the hundreds range. The other(s) are in the thousands.
    Stuart Black
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  24. #24
    Young wippersnapper Buggington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbg View Post
    Actually I would say it is the part that is under the least stress. The most stress by far is the bottom cup that takes the weight of bike and rider.
    The top cup basically stops the steerer from flopping around. I can see in hard sprints where you are really torquing the bars
    that it would increase. But I don't think a headtube ever failed even with world class sprinters torquing on them, steerer tubes, yes, handlebars, yes, headtubes I don't think so.

    But you have to be comfortable with your ride.
    Hmmm... True. But surely the steered tube is trying to move around at the top all the time anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Don't get ticked off prematurely. Give them a chance to respond before you fly off the handle.
    I am, but it seems a little unreasonable for my frame to break within less than two years of mainly road usage. (it is a MTB)

    Anyone who would ride a cracked frame that obvious is a fool. A cracked frame is a dead frame. I know that people may not have money to replace bikes but compare the price of a new frame to even a short trip to the ER or, even worse, an extended stay in the ICU. One is in the hundreds range. The other(s) are in the thousands.
    Good point; the thought of an involuntary facelift due to a cracked frame is less than pleasing.

    Just went out to have another look at the crack (haven't got time to strip it all off yet) and I noticed that you can't feel anything on the paint - is this crack-like?

  25. #25
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Anyone who would ride a cracked frame that obvious is a fool. A cracked frame is a dead frame. I know that people may not have money to replace bikes but compare the price of a new frame to even a short trip to the ER or, even worse, an extended stay in the ICU. One is in the hundreds range. The other(s) are in the thousands.
    ^^^This.
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