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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 01-11-13, 06:05 PM   #1
ollin
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Well, crap. Is my bike toast?

Riding back home when I look down to find this:


Any options besides throwing it away?

2008ish Trek 7.3FX, I weigh 110kg(220lb), well within limits. I might have converted it to drops and did about 2000km of loaded touring and maybe 8000km of city riding. Doesn't seem to be an unusual amount of use to me :/ but i got it second hand so no warranty.

This is how tall i set the seat post:



there still was 6cm(2.4in) before the minimum insert mark!

Is this goodbye?
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Old 01-11-13, 06:08 PM   #2
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Worst case you can just swap everything over to another frame. Aluminum frames are pretty cheap these days.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:12 PM   #3
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I'd still approach the Trek dealer. Sometimes companies will extend a crash replacement discount. Andy.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollin View Post
I might have converted it to drops
Looking at the photos, I have to strongly agree that you might have.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:50 PM   #5
ollin
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Looking at the photos, I have to strongly agree that you might have.
OK, I did! I couldn't stop myself!

Also... maybe this is the signal for me to go cromoli
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Old 01-11-13, 07:03 PM   #6
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it looks like that crack goes all the way around. if so, that chunk of metal above the seat cluster is just for show anyway. so just cut it off and reassemble. or not, it looks like that seat cluster needs a standalone seat clamp and there may not be enough room for it.

this may have been caused by a seat post that was not inserted far enough into the top tube...

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 01-11-13 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:04 PM   #7
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If that's a crack in the seat tube above the Top tube weld,your frame is golden brown, but may not be toast yet.

First of all, understand what is causing it, which is excess stress from an unsupported seat post. The minimum insetion mark on the pot relates to the posts requirements. However, there's a second requirement that the post extend to about 1" below the top tube. On a frame with a design like yours this may mean that the minimum insertionis deeper than the mark indicates.

Also, an undersized post can cause a similar problem by rocking within the tube. If all is right, the post fully supports the seat tube where yours is cracked.

If it isn't cracked all the way around, you might extend the life with a longer, better fitted post, however the crack will probably continue to grow. If you're willing to sacrifice a post to save the frame, and you have no plans to ever adjust the saddle height, you can get a longer seat post and bond it in place with epoxy, or an anaerobic (loctite) adhesive. Once a strong post is bonded in it will hold the frame together through the cracked area.

Given your weight, it may not be a forever repair, but if done right will last a long time.

If you replace the frame, consider a careful fit for the tallest frame you can manage properly. This will shorten the unsupported post reducing stress at the base. Also a frame design with a minimum extension of the seat tube above the joint will prevent this kind of damage.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:07 PM   #8
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Get a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and fork and put your components on it.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:11 PM   #9
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Giant warrantied some for me. Started at the weld.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:15 PM   #10
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If you bought the bike new before doing anything crazy go to a trek dealer and try and get them to warranty the frame for you. Trek is usually good about standing behind their products and it is not fair to assume the end user will realize their seatpost is not far enough into the frame if they are not above the min insertion line although what FB say's is spot on. Hopefully they will replace the frame for free and try to find a longer post to offer more support, especially since you need a setback post which would put a little more force on the seat tube.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:19 PM   #11
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3 options as I see it.


1) Contact trek, if you are original owner and can prove it

2) Buy a new Frame

3) Get a longer seatpost and do the loctite. The crack is not at a critical juncture in the frame as it is above the weld. A seatpost extending far enough downward will keep the frame together.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:26 PM   #12
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ya know, I saw somewhere on the Specialized webpile where they said most of their bikes were rated for max 200 lb riders. just saying... (I'm 210, down from 230).
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Old 01-11-13, 07:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
If you bought the bike new before doing anything crazy go to a trek dealer and try and get them to warranty the frame for you. Trek is usually good about standing behind their products and it is not fair to assume the end user will realize their seatpost is not far enough into the frame if they are not above the min insertion line although what FB say's is spot on. Hopefully they will replace the frame for free and try to find a longer post to offer more support, especially since you need a setback post which would put a little more force on the seat tube.
i agree see your trek dealer.
if you are the original owner it should have a lifetime free replacement warranty.
lots of clydes have broken there frames and gotten free replacements.
someone in the 50+ threads broke his fork steer tube on a 7.6 fx and trek replaced the entire bike.
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Old 01-11-13, 07:35 PM   #14
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Looks like a prime candidate for a low temperature Alumi-braze or similar process(like HTS-2000) which can be used with a propane or mapp torch. For that juncture I do not think it would pose any risk if done properly in combination with a longer, tight fitting post.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:01 PM   #15
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I believe that frame is fornicated,

Call the Trek dealer and see what they can offer, but after riding 10000 km on a used bike, don't get your hopes up. They may offer you a discount on a new bike or frame, but you may be able to get a new or clearourt replacement frame from another manufacturer for cheaper.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mtbikerinpa View Post
Looks like a prime candidate for a low temperature Alumi-braze or similar process(like HTS-2000) which can be used with a propane or mapp torch. For that juncture I do not think it would pose any risk if done properly in combination with a longer, tight fitting post.
How low is "low temperature"? Anything using any kind of flame would have me worried about having to have the heat treatment on the frame redone to avoid weakening the alloy.
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Old 01-12-13, 12:04 AM   #17
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I'm using the original bontrager seat post that came with the bike, i'm possitive it's the correct size, 27.2mm. I also checked for weight limitations before buying it from the guy; this is what the website says:

  • Max rider weight of 300lbs:
  • All other bikes, including hybrids, urban, commuter, fitness, Ride+ electric assist, cyclocross, and all mountain bikes.
Things are sort of different here, most warranties will be honored for one or two years regardless of the stated duration (you will be blamed for any problems that occur after that period), dealers are not very commited to the brand; trek dealers here always deal other brands and most definitely will not honor the warranty if i'm not the original owner, which i'm not. So, that's pretty much out of the question.

Quite frankly i don't think i'll ever be riding this frame with confidence again; failure might not result in catastrophe, but i'd rather not risk it; i think i'll take the advice from FBinNY, davidad and aramis and just move all my components to a new frame that fits my height better so the weight doesn't cause so much stress on the seatpost (AND SHED SOME POUNDS! do I hear you say? hehe)

thank you all for your opinions!
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Old 01-12-13, 12:59 AM   #18
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Ollin already stated he bought the Trek secondhand. I don't think they'd honor any warranty here, but I suppose it's worth a shot.

Your original post said you weigh 110 kg. That's 242 lb. Maybe you meant 100 kg / 220 lb. You're still well under the 300 lb. stated limit, though.

A small voice is telling me that a drop bar conversion on an aluminum hybrid designed for hybrid bars might have resulted in you doing more pulling on the bars, thereby putting more stress on the seat tube above the top tube, especially if you hammer a lot and go up a lot of steep hills. If there wasn't enough seatpost in the seat tube as others have stated, this might be a contributing factor.

I don't know if there's ever a way of knowing where there were microcracks in the seat tube to begin with or whether drop bar + hammering caused this. Either way, I wish you the best of luck with your frame.
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Old 01-12-13, 01:33 AM   #19
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I suspect you raised the seat post too far for its adequate inserted length..
you should have bought a longer seatpost.
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Old 01-12-13, 04:55 AM   #20
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I suspect you raised the seat post too far for its adequate inserted length..
you should have bought a longer seatpost.
OP already stated that the post was 6cm from the minimum insertion line... That's hardly too far.
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Old 01-12-13, 05:04 AM   #21
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Hope the guy has still some warranty in the frame because that thing is toasted, specially if its aluminum. Was steel it is fixable but probably cheaper to get a new frame or something.

Good luck with the new bike dude!
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Old 01-12-13, 05:46 AM   #22
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Another repair option... [?]... install a collar around that exposed tube area. Glue that securely.

Or.. weld it. [?].
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Old 01-12-13, 05:57 AM   #23
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Or.. weld it. [?].
The frame would need to be re-heat-treated afterwards, to restore its strength in the heat-affected zone.
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Old 01-12-13, 06:13 AM   #24
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The frame would need to be re-heat-treated afterwards, to restore its strength in the heat-affected zone.
It's a given then that all aluminum frames are heat treated?
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Old 01-12-13, 06:25 AM   #25
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It's a given then that all aluminum frames are heat treated?
As far as I know, all welded aluminium frames are heat-treated after welding, as a significant amount of the strength of the aluminium alloy comes from the heat treatment.
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