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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-06-12, 02:10 PM   #1
mprelaw
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Major suckage

OK, I admit that I'm a recovering Clyde, but I've recovered to the point that I weigh around 160 on a 6'2" frame. So I'm not putting a lot of stress on the bike frame.

Story goes like this. I bought a new GT with the aluminum GTR frame on April 18th of this year. I have about 5000 miles on it. I pretty much tore up the rear wheel, and bought a new rim. Not a super expensive one because I intend on upgrading my ride to a CF frame model when the money gets in. So, instead of swapping out the cassette myself, hey, at 5K it's time for a winter overhaul anyway. Dropped it off at my wife's favorite LBS, since the guy who sold it to me is closed for the winter. I could call him and he'd get to it eventually, but he will take his time doing it. So, I drop it off Tuesday on the way home from work.

Yesterday, got the call. They found a crack. One that I should have noticed, but somehow missed. Starts in the seat tube about 2" below the seat post clamp, and extends about 4" into the top tube. Frame is now junk. Stopped on the way home, and yup. There it is. Staring me in the face and asking me, hey, moron, how'd you miss this? I know that they guy who set it up tightened the clamp with a torque wrench, and I've never moved the seat post since, so I doubt that was the cause. And the seat post itself is pristine.

Before anyone asks, I've never crashed the bike. There isn't a dent, chipped paint, or even a scratch along the sides of the crack. Starts behind and travels across the seat tube/top tube weld. The weld is smooth and neat, typical of GT welds.

Guys there are really nice. Offered to call GT and ask how and where to take it for a warranty claim, even though they're a Trek/Raleigh dealer.. In addition to the guy I bought it from, whose availability until March is open to question, there's another small LBS that at least is open weekends. So far, no answer from GT. Which, I have heard, is SOP for their CS department.

Have I said good things about GT frames here? I believe I have. I take them all back.

Last edited by mprelaw; 12-06-12 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 12-06-12, 02:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've been inspired to get a new carbon frame a little earlier than you thought.

Frames crack, especially aluminum. Don't read too much into it. Hopefully GT will take care of it for you.
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Old 12-06-12, 02:57 PM   #3
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Where'd you buy it from?

If it came from a Performance Bicycle, they'll take it back and/or warranty the frame for you.
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Old 12-06-12, 03:39 PM   #4
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Had GT warranty a frame for me once. Got a different year/color and had to pay $90.00 labor to have the shop switch everything over. Beware though, it's not a quick process.
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Old 12-06-12, 04:17 PM   #5
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Where'd you buy it from?

If it came from a Performance Bicycle, they'll take it back and/or warranty the frame for you.
Small LBS in the town where I live. He's closed for the winter, but is probably available by appointment. The shop that has the bike will handle the rebuild. If I get a new frame under warranty. I actually would like to keep it as a back up. Right now my back-up (which is now my main ride pending the outcome) is an ancient Schwinn Super LeTour with 27 x 1-1/4" wheels and a Tenax frame. 6 speed freewheel with some big gaps. I hate the gaps more than I hate friction shifting. I replaced the shifter cables last March, and now it shifts great for a DT friction shifting bike. It's just heavy, and corners like an SUV. The GT is a sweet handling, aggressive geo frame, with a tight 12-25 cassette.

Not 5 minutes after my OP, the shop called. They got through to GT. I can take it to the other GT dealer in my area, where we can take pictures of the crack, and send them along to GT for evaluation of warranty coverage.
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Old 12-06-12, 04:35 PM   #6
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alloy frames are a dime a dozen, worse case scenario buy a frame from nashbar or bikeisland.com and build it up.
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Old 12-07-12, 12:59 AM   #7
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Just looking at some of the GTR series 3, 4, and 5, the seat stays butt up below level where the top tube intersects. The tapering of the top tube thus focuses all the stress into that tiny triangular area where the seat post connects. If you're 6' 2" and ride a slightly smaller frame with the seat post mostly out, the weight of you sitting upright riding no hands puts a massive stress on that triangle. Coupled with the braze on boss underneath the top tube near the seat post, and the weld at the seat clamp, and you've got a potential of a stress fracture initiated just by the various welds. But maybe they did their CAD/CAM and ran some FEA to determine if the frame could take it. Best of luck on getting it fixed.
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Old 12-07-12, 05:38 AM   #8
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I cannot speak for GT but I had the same issue with my Giant. You may need to go to a dealer to get the warranty set. And when the new frame comes, you may need to have a dealer shop put it together. Giant would not let anyone but a dealer do it and if I did it or another shop (my fav shop is not a Giant dealer) the warranty on the new frame would be void. So I payed the 100 bucks to have this shop swap and build the bike up.
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Old 12-07-12, 02:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
Just looking at some of the GTR series 3, 4, and 5, the seat stays butt up below level where the top tube intersects. The tapering of the top tube thus focuses all the stress into that tiny triangular area where the seat post connects. If you're 6' 2" and ride a slightly smaller frame with the seat post mostly out, the weight of you sitting upright riding no hands puts a massive stress on that triangle. Coupled with the braze on boss underneath the top tube near the seat post, and the weld at the seat clamp, and you've got a potential of a stress fracture initiated just by the various welds. But maybe they did their CAD/CAM and ran some FEA to determine if the frame could take it. Best of luck on getting it fixed.
The shop that has it now, pending instructions from GT, measured the frame, since GT markets their compact frames from XS to XXL. Mine is an XL, and it's a 58 cm frame. Before they started pulling components off, they checked my riding position and agreed with me that I was properly fitted to it after I bought it. Plus, I never ride no hands. My weight distribution when I'm riding is correct. It's a fairly agressive geometry frame, and I hardly ever even ride on the tops. I'd say 85% on the hoods/bends, 10% drops, 5% tops.
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Old 12-14-12, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quick update: my LBS who sold it to me called me yesterday. GT is honoring the warranty, and sending me a series 2 frame. I have the lower-grade series 3-5 frame, so it's an upgrade. If it's a 2013 version, it'll have internal cable routing along the top tube. Best part of it is, he's going to do the rebuild for free.
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Old 12-14-12, 03:34 PM   #11
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Should bring him a case of local craft beer for helping ya out. Glad you get a new frameset
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Old 12-14-12, 04:36 PM   #12
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Nice resolution!
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Old 12-14-12, 05:52 PM   #13
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Congrats! Sounds like you'll get a refreshed bike!
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Old 12-15-12, 01:54 AM   #14
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That sucks man, sorry to hear!
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Old 12-15-12, 03:19 PM   #15
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Congrats! Sounds like you'll get a refreshed bike!
Part of me is tempted to throw a 10 speed group on there, but realistically, in this area, a tight 12-25 8 speed is all I really need with a compact up front. Plus, I really like my Microshift shifters. Flawless for 5000+ miles.

I'd rather sink the money into a better wheelset.
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Old 12-16-12, 02:32 PM   #16
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Nice. Nice of the shop to throw the labor in. Sounds like something you should go into their Facebook page and make a big deal about.
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Old 12-18-12, 10:40 AM   #17
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Quick update: my LBS who sold it to me called me yesterday. GT is honoring the warranty, and sending me a series 2 frame. I have the lower-grade series 3-5 frame, so it's an upgrade. If it's a 2013 version, it'll have internal cable routing along the top tube. Best part of it is, he's going to do the rebuild for free.
Hey, good news. Could you post the full details on this LBS. We need to make sure the good word gets out on great LBS's so more can visit and do business with them!
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Old 12-18-12, 10:44 AM   #18
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Just looking at some of the GTR series 3, 4, and 5, the seat stays butt up below level where the top tube intersects. The tapering of the top tube thus focuses all the stress into that tiny triangular area where the seat post connects. If you're 6' 2" and ride a slightly smaller frame with the seat post mostly out, the weight of you sitting upright riding no hands puts a massive stress on that triangle. Coupled with the braze on boss underneath the top tube near the seat post, and the weld at the seat clamp, and you've got a potential of a stress fracture initiated just by the various welds. But maybe they did their CAD/CAM and ran some FEA to determine if the frame could take it. Best of luck on getting it fixed.
I suspect we should all note this as a lessons learned; 1) Get a frame that fits so the seatpost is in the proper distance; or if riding an undersized frame (by choice or need) then get a seatpost that is extra long to make sure in is deeply planted and not putting undo stress on the top of the seat tube area. Agreed?
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Old 12-18-12, 03:45 PM   #19
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Hey, good news. Could you post the full details on this LBS. We need to make sure the good word gets out on great LBS's so more can visit and do business with them!
There are two great LBS involved. The shop that found the crack during a winter overhaul was Tri Town Cycles, in Wareham, Mass. They are a small Trek/Raleigh dealer. They contacted GT and got the info on how to process a warranty claim. They also didn't charge me for any of the work that they had started.

The shop that sold me the bike, and is doing the re-build, and handled the warranty claim with GT is Gregg's Canal Cruiser Bicycles, in Buzzards Bay, Mass. He specialized in used bikes, but is an authorized GT/Schwinn dealer.
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Old 12-18-12, 03:49 PM   #20
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I suspect we should all note this as a lessons learned; 1) Get a frame that fits so the seatpost is in the proper distance; or if riding an undersized frame (by choice or need) then get a seatpost that is extra long to make sure in is deeply planted and not putting undo stress on the top of the seat tube area. Agreed?
The frame is the right size for me. I didn't check how much of the seat post was inside the tube. I do have quite a bit of saddle/bar drop, but it's an aggressive geometry frame with a short head tube. You can be sure that I'll check the length of the post inside the seat tube before I ride the new frame.
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Old 01-04-13, 02:22 PM   #21
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Well, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The saga continues. A month into this, and no resolution yet. They did send me the better 2 series frame, and the accompanying fork. But there's more.

Nice of GT to offer me an "upgraded frame". Nice in the abstract. However, the 3, 4 and 5 frames use a square taper BB. The 2 series uses a BB 30. And, since the 2 series frame has a carbon steerer fork, the entire headset is different. Of course, my present crankset won't fit a BB 30 bracket. So now GT is scrounging their parts inventory to see if they have an adapter that will let me use my present crank with a BB 30 bracket. Of course, the "free" rebuild is also now off the table. And the potential now for $pending $ome $$$. Real $$$. Because I'm wondering whether anyone still makes an 8 speed compatible crank that will fit a BB 30 bracket, if we can't adapt it somehow. I'm not exactly up on all of this technical crap.
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Old 01-04-13, 03:07 PM   #22
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sell your old components on ebay, and build up the new frame. you can probably use the stem , bars, even brakes if you want. Sell the rest and get new stuff...heck a total groupset of apex for instance can be had under 600...brakes, crank, brifters, FD, RD, and chain. think you going to need a bb30 adapter almost any way you go with sram or shimano cranks.
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Old 01-04-13, 03:24 PM   #23
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sell your old components on ebay, and build up the new frame. you can probably use the stem , bars, even brakes if you want. Sell the rest and get new stuff...heck a total groupset of apex for instance can be had under 600...brakes, crank, brifters, FD, RD, and chain. think you going to need a bb30 adapter almost any way you go with sram or shimano cranks.
The old components aren't anything to write home about. FSA Tempo crank, 2300 FD and RD, Sun Race cassette ( probably worn), and Microshift shifters.

I can also get a Microshift Arris 10 speed group for around $400.

Problem is, I'm going to upgrade to a CF frame anyway when my uncle's estate finally gets settled in the next month, so I'm thinking of selling the new frame and fork, and spending $30 to put a new 7 speed freewheel and chain on the old Schwinn, and using that for a back up bike. It has 126 mm spacing in the rear drop-outs and will take a 7 speed freewheel. 13-28 7 speed freewheels are dirt cheap. I think the Cyclone RD can handle a 28t cog. Right now it has a 13-27 6 speed freewheel.

Oh, and it's highly unlikely that the new bike will fly the GT logo.

My guy is currently trying to wheedle a new GTR 3 or 4 complete bike out of GT as a compromise. I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 01-04-13, 06:16 PM   #24
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Hey, congrats on the weight loss and the 5,000 miles since April.
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Old 01-04-13, 07:36 PM   #25
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The old components aren't anything to write home about. FSA Tempo crank, 2300 FD and RD, Sun Race cassette ( probably worn), and Microshift shifters.

I can also get a Microshift Arris 10 speed group for around $400.

Problem is, I'm going to upgrade to a CF frame anyway when my uncle's estate finally gets settled in the next month, so I'm thinking of selling the new frame and fork, and spending $30 to put a new 7 speed freewheel and chain on the old Schwinn, and using that for a back up bike. It has 126 mm spacing in the rear drop-outs and will take a 7 speed freewheel. 13-28 7 speed freewheels are dirt cheap. I think the Cyclone RD can handle a 28t cog. Right now it has a 13-27 6 speed freewheel.

Oh, and it's highly unlikely that the new bike will fly the GT logo.

My guy is currently trying to wheedle a new GTR 3 or 4 complete bike out of GT as a compromise. I'm not holding my breath.
Ribble groupset prices:

Shimano Tiagra: $375
Shimano 105: $566
Campy Veloce: $460
Campy Centaur: $595
SRAM Apex: $473
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