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Epoxy for chipping around pack mounts on carbon fork?

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Epoxy for chipping around pack mounts on carbon fork?

Old 07-27-23, 07:35 AM
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Epoxy for chipping around pack mounts on carbon fork?

Got a new bike a couple of weeks ago and only yesterday did I notice that the area around one of the pack mounts on the carbon fork is chipping. Took it back to REI, where I bought it, and their mechanics inspected it, deeming it safe to ride, but telling me to check it and bring it back for a warranty replacement fork if it continues to chip. This has to be a manufacturing defect, as I haven't attached anything to the fork, crashed the bike, smashed into anything, etc. Horizontally across the fork the chip is about 1cm in length, and vertically down the fork from the mount it's about 3mm.

Would anyone advise putting a bit of epoxy on the cracked area for the time being, or do I risk voiding the warranty?

(I would post images, but I haven't hit the 10-post requirement.)
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Old 07-27-23, 08:08 AM
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I would cover the spot with some polyurethane tape (aka Helicopter Tape) This will prevent the spot from chipping more and is removeable so as not to void a warranty from applying epoxy or any other repair attempt, should things get worse. I put it all down the outer side of my CF forks as I tend to get dings on them from locking the bike at racks and just general klutziness on my part and has prevented many dings I'm sure.
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Old 07-27-23, 08:43 AM
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Gosh I don't mean to be a hard ass, safety first, take it back to REI and insist on warranty replacement. You may need to go up the chain of command. You have a new bike you shouldn't have to band-aid a potential problem.
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Old 07-27-23, 08:48 AM
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voids warranty
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Old 07-27-23, 08:57 AM
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Okay, thanks for the replies. Definitely won't be putting any epoxy on it. But I might put some tape on it for now. And I will probably go back to REI and ask for them to warranty it. Going out of town this weekend and was hoping to have this bike with me for some riding.
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Old 07-27-23, 09:07 AM
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Thinking I might ride it while I'm out of town and then go for a warranty replacement afterwards.
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Old 07-27-23, 09:24 AM
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If the chips are only the top coat (what most would call paint) coming off and there's no "structural depth" to them I would have no issues with just continuing to ride the bike.

Has the OP read the warranty statement in their new bike info packet? Some brands have made a distinction between cosmetic and structural problems, WRT warranty coverage.

To some a bike is a tool to use, to others it's an extension of their ego/personality. Andy
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Old 07-27-23, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
If the chips are only the top coat (what most would call paint) coming off and there's no "structural depth" to them I would have no issues with just continuing to ride the bike.

Has the OP read the warranty statement in their new bike info packet? Some brands have made a distinction between cosmetic and structural problems, WRT warranty coverage.

To some a bike is a tool to use, to others it's an extension of their ego/personality. Andy
Most of it does just look like paint, but there’s one tiny part where it looks like a layer of carbon has come off. That spot is a millimeter or two in height and length. Maybe that would be considered “structural depth”?

I don’t care at all if it’s just paint, but I don’t feel great about riding on a fork that has any risk of structural weakness. And I found this in what the the warranty does not cover: “Wear, scratches, chips and cracks to paint, finish, or coating on all Salsa frames and components”
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Old 07-27-23, 09:49 AM
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Simple. Take it back to REI and tell them that a brand new bike isn't supposed to do that and you want a replacement, then very carefully examine that bike for same.
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Old 07-27-23, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
Simple. Take it back to REI and tell them that a brand new bike isn't supposed to do that and you want a replacement, then very carefully examine that bike for same.
This! Back when I became a member, 1978, 6 digit membership #, REI stood behind what they sold. Take it back and insist that they replace it.
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Old 07-27-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut
This! Back when I became a member, 1978, 6 digit membership #, REI stood behind what they sold. Take it back and insist that they replace it.
Planning on this, but it probably will have to be a warranty replacement of the fork because they no longer have this bike in stock at all.
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Old 07-27-23, 05:53 PM
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Back when I became a member, 1978, 6 digit membership #, REI stood behind what they sold. Take it back and insist that they replace it.
That's awesome! I joined in 1976 and still have and use the sleeping bag I ordered (their house brand). It was all mail-order back then as you recall. REI is really good about returns as you said but they have changed their return policy and it's more limited now if you've been using the merchandise for a while. They should have changed that long ago as a lot of people abused that privilege.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:09 AM
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Okay, went back to REI. They were extremely patient and understanding, stating that they understand my hesitancy to ride it with the carbon chipping. They offered to A) do a full exchange for a Cannondale Topstone 2 they had in the store B) start the warranty process with Salsa, estimating 2-3 weeks to get the part and put it back together. I went with option B, but now, of course, I'm second-guessing because I was planning to ride some really nice gravel on a vacation next week and won't have a bike.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
That's awesome! I joined in 1976 and still have and use the sleeping bag I ordered (their house brand). It was all mail-order back then as you recall. REI is really good about returns as you said but they have changed their return policy and it's more limited now if you've been using the merchandise for a while. They should have changed that long ago as a lot of people abused that privilege.
Back then REI had one store on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I purchased my membership there. Second time ever being there since we lived on the other side of the state. By the early to mid 80's REI went through a rapid expansion opening stores in a number of locations and shooting for the one millionth member. Their product selection was far different then than now. More gear, less clothing and fewer sports. They were one of the best sources for fabrics and such for those that made their own gear. Times have changed. Their house brand backpacks and sleeping bags were equal to other brands costing much more. Still a good retailer but not my first choice. Pricing after the patronage dividend is about the same as other outlets for the same items. Where is the value in it being a Co-op? The profit margin that other retailers make must be gobbled up by REI in paying too much overhead (fancy buildings) rather than passing on the profit to members in the way of lower prices or dividends. I do think they still have a satisfaction guarantee but have not had to use it in years.
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Old 07-28-23, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by deepsun
Okay, went back to REI. They were extremely patient and understanding, stating that they understand my hesitancy to ride it with the carbon chipping. They offered to A) do a full exchange for a Cannondale Topstone 2 they had in the store B) start the warranty process with Salsa, estimating 2-3 weeks to get the part and put it back together. I went with option B, but now, of course, I'm second-guessing because I was planning to ride some really nice gravel on a vacation next week and won't have a bike.
no option for them to place the order for the part & to have you bring it back when it's in for the replacement?
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Old 07-28-23, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
no option for them to place the order for the part & to have you bring it back when it's in for the replacement?
Not that was stated to me. The options were exchange for another bike or leave the current bike so they could handle the warranty process.
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Old 08-08-23, 03:05 PM
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Update: Got a call back from REI after they heard from Salsa. The mechanic and the Salsa rep are pretty certain it's safe to ride and REI has offered three different options, just not sure which one to take.

1) Salsa is willing to replace the fork, it just won't be color-matched--plain black and my bike is white.
2) I can outright return the bike and get something else.
3) REI will give me a credit off of the original price of the bike.

I'm feeling somewhat settled on this bike, so option 2 only sounds good if they have something with the same groupset or I happen to find a Canyon bike with the same groupset in stock (directly from Canyon, obviously).

Option 1 sounds fine too, I don't mind the fork color not matching. This would solve the original problem and I would feel confident riding on, and attaching things to, a fork that isn't chipping around one of the mounts.

Option 3 is nice too because I would have money to put towards other gear.

Asked the mechanic if he thought the fork would continue to chip once I start attaching things to it and he said it might, and that even the other mounts might chip a little. Hopefully I can share photos here soon. They're pretty positive it's just paint and not into the carbon.
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Old 08-08-23, 04:28 PM
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#2. but thats my .02
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Old 08-09-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
#2. but thats my .02
Why's that? I mean, it would be a great option if they had a bike in stock with the same groupset, but at this point if I return I'm gonna have to be back on the hunt for a new bike at least a few weeks. I could hold out for a Canyon, but their stock is apparently unreliable.
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Old 08-09-23, 09:21 AM
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Here are some images of the area that is chipping.


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Old 08-09-23, 10:14 AM
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I would just put the screw back on there and forget about it. If you use these rack mounts as intended, it would chip the paint around the screw holes for sure.
The resale value of your bike will take a hit if you replace this fork with a black fork. If I see a mismatched fork on a bike I just assume the original was wrecked.
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Old 08-09-23, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
I would just put the screw back on there and forget about it. If you use these rack mounts as intended, it would chip the paint around the screw holes for sure.
The resale value of your bike will take a hit if you replace this fork with a black fork. If I see a mismatched fork on a bike I just assume the original was wrecked.
I can see your point, although I'm not all that worried about resale value. REI mechanic said the same thing about the mounts chipping just from use. Unfortunate that this particular mount has had zero use and is already chipped, but such is life.
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Old 08-09-23, 12:24 PM
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#1 would likely have the same issue once you mount a rack.
#2 seems like a good option and might give you opportunity to grow having to wait for something you really want. Our society has become too instant gratification.
#3 seem like a great option if I understand it to have your cake and eat it too. Take the discount, maybe have a chat with a bike painter and enjoy your imperfect bike.

FWIW my Specialized Roubaix within the first year had what appeared to be cracks in the fork but upon closer inspection was just cracks in the paint. Specialized replaced the fork under warranty but with a different color. Black carbon with white accent paint, replacement fork is grey. Not glaringly obvious until closely inspected. Functionally works fine. I rock purple rims and bar tape so peoples eyes are drawn to the flashy color, and ignore the subtle different between frame and fork. After about 7 years the clear coat started chipping off like GM 90's vehicles. Looks like crap now but still rides fine. Final answer, if you have vanity and cosmetics matter to you dump the bike and wait for a more perfect bike. Might very well be a long term purchase.
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Old 08-09-23, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut
#1 would likely have the same issue once you mount a rack.
#2 seems like a good option and might give you opportunity to grow having to wait for something you really want. Our society has become too instant gratification.
#3 seem like a great option if I understand it to have your cake and eat it too. Take the discount, maybe have a chat with a bike painter and enjoy your imperfect bike.

FWIW my Specialized Roubaix within the first year had what appeared to be cracks in the fork but upon closer inspection was just cracks in the paint. Specialized replaced the fork under warranty but with a different color. Black carbon with white accent paint, replacement fork is grey. Not glaringly obvious until closely inspected. Functionally works fine. I rock purple rims and bar tape so peoples eyes are drawn to the flashy color, and ignore the subtle different between frame and fork. After about 7 years the clear coat started chipping off like GM 90's vehicles. Looks like crap now but still rides fine. Final answer, if you have vanity and cosmetics matter to you dump the bike and wait for a more perfect bike. Might very well be a long term purchase.
Thanks! I don't think it's a vanity thing because I know it's going to get scratched and dinged. A fact of life. It was more about whether the fork was safe to ride, and I didn't anticipate having three different options that all sound decent.
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Old 08-09-23, 03:01 PM
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Sure looks to be just the finish coat. But what I see is little or no stand off of the boss's top WRT the blade surface. If this is correct then, like the shop guy said, expect more chipping with accessory mounting and use. Andy
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