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Help with Alpha Q Sub 3 fork

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Help with Alpha Q Sub 3 fork

Old 05-11-04, 11:53 AM
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telenick
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Help with Alpha Q Sub 3 fork

I have an Alpha Q Sub 3 fork mounted to a Seven Axiom. I bought the fork 20 months ago from Excel Sports in Boulder and had them mount it. I never had a problem until this weekend. The headset came slightly loose on a ride. I took it to a LBS within minutes of noticing it. They assessed it incorrectly by saying that the steerer tube was cut too long and that I'll need another spacer on the stem. I got the spacer, scratched my head and went on my way. The headset came loose again within miles.

What really happened was the aluminum sleeve where the starfangled nut is placed started to come out. Not the nut ...the sleeve started coming out. As a result there was a tiny verticle crack that formed on the top of the steerer tube on the side near the rider ...about 1 cm. Now I'm working with Excel to determine if there is a case for warranty.

Here's the rub. I was also told by another LBS that the style in which the steerer tube was mounted is not appropriate for a carbon steerer tube. Instead, a compression nut is what should be used. Was this the case 20 months ago? I don't think Excel screwed the pooch on this because the fork comes with aluminum sleeve and star nut from the manufacturer. DO I have any chance of a warranty? Is there something that I'm missing that I should chase down? What does your crystal ball tell you?

I'm thinking that I'll get nothing and like it.
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Old 05-11-04, 04:53 PM
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RacerX
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Generally speaking you must use a compression nut on all carbon steerer forks. If the star-fangled/sleeve is a AlphaQ standard than it should be a warranty repair. I know AlphaQ has some unique design ideas. Whatever you do, obviously don't ride it. It could catastrophically fail now.

I believe True Temper now owns Alpha Q now
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Old 05-11-04, 04:57 PM
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That's promising ...I'll post the conclusion when I get there. Right now, Excel Sports is waiting for a return call from the manufacturer.
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Old 05-11-04, 11:05 PM
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I ride a sub 3 myself and have installed many carbon forks including a few alpha q's in my years wrenching. Most carbon steerer forks DO rely on a compression/wedge system to adjust the headset and to provide structural support underneath the stem. Alpha Q's differ in that their metal sleeve insert is glued into place permanently. I believe this sytem to be superior to the wedge because it is longer (giving more options for stem placement with spacers above or below the stem) and because it wont slip like some wedges do. In your situation it sounds like the insert may not have been glued in properly. There are several steps that should be followed when gluing the insert like sanding the inside of the steerer and then cleaning it with alcohol, and rotating the insert as you slide it in to ensure good glue coverage. It should then be horizontal overnight to allow the epoxy to dry. It sounds like the bond let loose in your fork and as a result your stem cracked the steerer tube. Depending on your stem placement it may be possible to cut off the damaged part and then buy a new alpha q insert (they sell them at any bike shop) and reinstall the whole mess. Hopefully Excel will step up to the plate since they installed it but you just never know with the internet companies. Let me know if they decide they cannot take care of it. Good luck.

-Ryan
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Old 05-14-04, 10:49 AM
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...all is back to normal again. Excel was able to repair. I got bumped to the front of their shop work ...no charge. I owe beer. I hope this issue is closed.

Thank you RacerX and BikerRyan.
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