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  1. #1
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    Chrome Lug Cracked?

    Hey everyone, I'm not a framebuilder, but I could sure use help from one. I recently purchased a brand new Soma Stanyan frame and built it up about a month ago. I've put less than 1,000 miles on it and when giving it a good cleaning today I've noticed what seems to be a crack in the top headtube lug. I haven't crashed or anything like that, and I don't weigh very much at all or rode with any cargo yet. I'm hoping that it's just the chrome plating is cheap and cracked or something like that, but I really dont know. The crack starts with a fairly large "chip" and then hairlines off for about a half a centimeter. Are chrome lugs known for getting cracks in the paint like this, or should I return the frame (which is going to be a total pain). What do you guys think?

    chromelug.jpg

  2. #2
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    It can't be a crack in the plating because it's polished stainless, not chrome. I'd start a warranty claim.

  3. #3
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    It can't be a crack in the plating because it's polished stainless, not chrome. I'd start a warranty claim.
    Good catch, I just can't believe stainless lugs, or any lugs for that matter, would crack in that spot.
    Last edited by eric_the_poor; 07-22-13 at 08:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Randomhead
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    investment cast lugs can have defects. Might have been there because of some mishap in the casting process

  5. #5
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    investment cast lugs can have defects. Might have been there because of some mishap in the casting process
    so... I'm safe to keep riding on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eric_the_poor View Post
    so... I'm safe to keep riding on it?
    Yes and no. It's not going to break tommorrow or the day after, but the crack will probably keep lengthening. You might be out of warranty when it finally breaks, so start your claim now. Also it's probably a clause in the warranty that you don't use the bike once a defect is noted, don't give them any leeway.

  7. #7
    Randomhead
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    I wouldn't ride it

  8. #8
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    SS is more sensitive to the brazing temps used as well as the prep in general. This is why many suggest that newbies don't try SS until their skill base is established.

    The manufacture might not yet honor a warranty claim because the frame has not failed yet. A crack might not be considered a failure. But to start the claim process and put the shop (you did buy this bike from a shop, didn't you?) on notice is a good step. I would ride the bike and monitor the crack for signs of it worsening. This is one of the beauties of steel (compared to other frame materials) in that the failure mode tends to be slow and gives a lot of "warning" to those who look for it. If the crack continues past 1/4 of the tube'circumferencece then stop riding. If you didn't buy the bike from a shop (where you could take the bike to and they could document the crack and its size) perhaps consider showing the bike to some one who has a standing and experience with this kind of stuff. A good shop or a builder. They, for a fee, could write up a current condition statement. Not a estimate of repairs or of replacement, that's not for them to do if you're chasing a warranty. If you send the bike back to who ever sold it you need to document the bike in all aspects. The build up of parts, the crack, the dimensioning, the serial#. This way you have a record of what it was if something should happen to the bike either in transit or at the seller's end. Andy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys. Sadly, I bought it from a shop 2,000 miles away...online, not my LBS. They've been real good in the past with another item I had to return, so I'm certainly going to file a claim today and see what they say. It's just a shame because the frame rides looks and rides amazing.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a hard time seeing anything but shiny in that picture , but its a small picture..

    and Im out here on a computer...

    Downside of online buying.. now you have to tear the bike down and box it up and ship it back.

    maybe they will accept just the frame and fork, and so save on shipping , add to teardown and rebuild cost.

    if not DIY.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-24-13 at 02:33 PM.

  11. #11
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    $100 bucks says if you cut that open the down tube isn't butted up against the head tube. I'd file a warr. claim and if they give you a hard time tell them they have a choice.......they can give you a new frame now or they can pay your med bills AND give you a new frame later. Simple choice for them.

    Good luck with the process.


    dave

  12. #12
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    I'd pursue warranty replacement. That type of crack is usually a result of the tube not being fully inserted into the lug, causing the lug to bear loads it was not designed to handle.

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    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    $100 bucks says if you cut that open the down tube isn't butted up against the head tube.
    it's the bottom of the top tube lug. I have entertained the theory that the top tube wasn't inserted all the way in the lug, but I was suppressing the idea because I couldn't believe someone would be that incompetent. Clocked toptubes I can believe, but this isn't a bike-boom Raleigh or Atala.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    it's the bottom of the top tube lug. I have entertained the theory that the top tube wasn't inserted all the way in the lug, but I was suppressing the idea because I couldn't believe someone would be that incompetent. Clocked toptubes I can believe, but this isn't a bike-boom Raleigh or Atala.
    Right you are......my bad typo......think one thing and type another.

    I've been shocked by some of the modern bikes I've cut up and how bad some things can be........this is not just bike shop bikes but in some cases handbuilts. Who knows why it happens but it certainly does.

    I took apart a Colnago years ago where the down tube was square cut and not mitered at all to meet the head tube. It even has a sweet big burr from the abrasive chop saw used to cut the tube.

    All that said there is no way to be sure what's going on in this bike unless it's pulled apart. This is why I'd get it taken care of by the maker/seller.


    dave

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea , ive seen some of the Colnagos that Bruce Gordon Cut up ,

    guess they thought the famous name was all people were buying , so to crank up the sales numbers , cut corners

    to make more sales ... capitalism is such an honest system, isn't it?

  16. #16
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    to make more sales ... capitalism is such an honest system, isn't it?
    The funny thing is, a lot of East Block countries rolled on Italian frames in the Olympics etc., and the industrialized north of Italy where all the bikes are build has a strong union/communist streak. Even today unionism and communism are strong forces among those who assemble 400000€ Ferrari's and 8000€ colnago's. I wouldn't blame capitalism all too quick, nor any economic/political system
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Everything in life is about bikes. Except bikes, bikes are about power.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Orbea* OTOH, the Bike Manufacturer, is owned and managed by the people who work there,

    a social democracy at work..

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation .. *.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbea

    .. http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/ENG.aspx



    Your constitutional rights, [the few that remain] are void in the bosses place,
    once you cross the property line/ door threshold.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-25-13 at 01:13 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    Well, I emailed the dealer I got it from, and they're handling it great so far. One thing I want to be sure of though, that it is actually a crack, and not just a deep scratch somehow. I'd hate to return the frame if its just a scratch. Any easy ways to figure out if its a crack or scratch?

  19. #19
    Randomhead
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    do you have a camera with a macro setting?

  20. #20
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric_the_poor View Post
    Well, I emailed the dealer I got it from, and they're handling it great so far. One thing I want to be sure of though, that it is actually a crack, and not just a deep scratch somehow. I'd hate to return the frame if its just a scratch. Any easy ways to figure out if its a crack or scratch?
    I'm no structural engineer but if the crack was through the tube and lug (or whatever is there at the site of the crack) a penetrating dye aplied to the inside of the crack would bleed through to the outside. Andy.

  21. #21
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    To me it looks more like a defect in the casting than a crack. The end of the crack to the top of pic appears to end in a circle. At the bottom end there is distortion in the reflection.

    I had a SS seat lug with a similar blemish. I did some dremel work on the area and it disappeared.

  22. #22
    Senior Member eric_the_poor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
    To me it looks more like a defect in the casting than a crack. The end of the crack to the top of pic appears to end in a circle. At the bottom end there is distortion in the reflection.

    I had a SS seat lug with a similar blemish. I did some dremel work on the area and it disappeared.
    Thats really what I'm hoping. Being that it's stainless if I sanded it to see if its a scratch or a crack, then couldn't I simply re-polish it to make it look new again?

  23. #23
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if, with the fork removed, there's an expansion hole in the head tube at the top tube joint big enough to fit a flexible fiber optic inspection scope through to look at the inside of the joint to verify the top tube is properly mitered. Some fiber optic borescopes have probes less than a 1/4" in diameter.
    - Stan

  24. #24
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric_the_poor View Post
    Thats really what I'm hoping. Being that it's stainless if I sanded it to see if its a scratch or a crack, then couldn't I simply re-polish it to make it look new again?
    Do not do this unless you are willing to give up any possible warranty claim. Andy.

  25. #25
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    take the bike to 2 acclaimed frame builders

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