Notices
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.

Cracks in the head tube

Old 05-16-04, 02:46 PM
  #1  
Hants Commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Hants Commuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cracks in the head tube

I've just been cleaning my bike and discovered 2 cracks in the Headtube. One crack is in the 2 o'clock position and the other is at 8 o'clock ie diametrically opposite each other. They are both about 7-8 mm in length and start at the top of the tube. The cracks must be fairly new as I did an overhaul of the cables and drivetrain about 4 weeks ago and would have spotted them then. The frame is Aluminium and I can't see any cracks anywhere else.

The Bike itself is a 5 year old Radford Xanthos rigid ATB which has done about 13K miles mostly on the roads as my commuter scooter.

Is this the end of the line for my trusty stead?
Hants Commuter is offline  
Old 05-16-04, 06:48 PM
  #2  
RacerX
Senior Member
 
RacerX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Left Coast
Posts: 1,717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Toss it, she be done.
RacerX is offline  
Old 05-16-04, 09:46 PM
  #3  
froze
Banned.
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 4,761

Bikes: 84 Trek 660 Suntour Superbe; 87 Giant Rincon Shimano XT; 07 Mercian Vincitore Campy Veloce

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How long was the frame warranty? Most aluminum bikes are 1 year, but I have heard of a few going as long as 5 years (Trek I believe is lifetime). Never heard of Radford so you need to check with your LBS or the manufacture.
froze is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 12:26 PM
  #4  
Don Cook
Senior Member
 
Don Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis TN
Posts: 816

Bikes: Raleigh, Benotto, Schwinn, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hants Commuter
I've just been cleaning my bike and discovered 2 cracks in the Headtube. One crack is in the 2 o'clock position and the other is at 8 o'clock ie diametrically opposite each other. They are both about 7-8 mm in length and start at the top of the tube. The cracks must be fairly new as I did an overhaul of the cables and drivetrain about 4 weeks ago and would have spotted them then. The frame is Aluminium and I can't see any cracks anywhere else.

The Bike itself is a 5 year old Radford Xanthos rigid ATB which has done about 13K miles mostly on the roads as my commuter scooter.

Is this the end of the line for my trusty stead?
Aluminum can be repaired. If you want to keep your frame, the cracks can be filled (welded). A local professional welding service or if you can use a torch, do it yourself. Now, if I had a cracked aluminum frame that was nearing 7 - 10 years old (or so), I'd probably purchase a new frame. They're probably the least expensive frames on the market. If the frame were a higher dollar frame and still relatively new, I'd fix it.
Don Cook is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 12:32 PM
  #5  
a2psyklnut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Parrish, FL
Posts: 7,963

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bye Bye bike frame!!!

The ONLY cure is the get a Steelheadset from Chris King. Even then, it's a shaky consideration. This headset is designed for DH and DJ mountain bikes and the cups are DEEP cups and will press into the headtube PAST where the crack is. However, they aint cheap and you can find a NEW frame for the same amount of $$$ as one of these headsets.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger
a2psyklnut is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 01:47 PM
  #6  
royalflash
Senior Member
 
royalflash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Munich
Posts: 1,372

Bikes: Lemond Alpe dHuez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
just get a new frame on ebay- you can pick them up dirt cheap - its not worth trusting your life to a frame that is starting to crack
royalflash is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 07:49 PM
  #7  
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd say it's time to sit down with your frame, look over the paint scratches, and recall all those good and bad times the battle scars represent. Then decide whether you want (or can afford) to get a whole new bike or reuse the existing components. If the bike is mostly original, perhaps it's time to just give your old friend a well deserved retirement and start training a fresh new steed.
supcom is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 08:07 PM
  #8  
Rev.Chuck
The Red Lantern
 
Rev.Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 5,965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"Aluminum can be repaired. If you want to keep your frame, the cracks can be filled (welded). A local professional welding service or if you can use a torch, do it yourself"

I am almost 100% certain you can not perform a structural weld on aluminum with a oxyacetylene torch and I know for sure it takes talent and skill to do any kind of decent torch work on aluminum.
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.
Rev.Chuck is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 08:20 PM
  #9  
sorebutt
ber member!
 
sorebutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA.
Posts: 993

Bikes: 2004 Albert Eisentraut

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Don Cook
---<snip>--- ....or if you can use a torch, do it yourself. ---<snip>---
A torch? for Aluminium?? you are kidding right? Aluminum can only be fixed with TIG or MIG welding..
sorebutt is offline  
Old 05-17-04, 09:15 PM
  #10  
Rev.Chuck
The Red Lantern
 
Rev.Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 5,965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorebutt, you can do non structural work, like welding a seam on an oil tank, with a torch but it is hard(Translation: Lots of practice and patience). There is a torch head called the Henrob that is supposed to make aluminum easier to do. It is a little pricy for me and I do mostly brazing and welding anyway. (Of course If I had this gadget maybe I would start hammering out some decorative do-dads in aluminum)
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.
Rev.Chuck is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 12:20 PM
  #11  
Hants Commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Hants Commuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by supcom
I'd say it's time to sit down with your frame, look over the paint scratches, and recall all those good and bad times the battle scars represent. Then decide whether you want (or can afford) to get a whole new bike or reuse the existing components. If the bike is mostly original, perhaps it's time to just give your old friend a well deserved retirement and start training a fresh new steed.
I'll be saying my farewells to the frame this week. (Sniff sniff, it was such a good friend ) I will then use the serviceable bits to build up a new bike.

On a serious note before I dump the frame do you think I should break (or at least seriously dent) the headtube to stop someone from making the mistake of trying to use it?
Hants Commuter is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 01:52 PM
  #12  
Rev.Chuck
The Red Lantern
 
Rev.Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 5,965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I snap off one of the dropouts to render a damaged frame unusable.
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.
Rev.Chuck is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 02:37 PM
  #13  
Don Cook
Senior Member
 
Don Cook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis TN
Posts: 816

Bikes: Raleigh, Benotto, Schwinn, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sorebutt..."A torch? for Aluminium?? you are kidding right? Aluminum can only be fixed with TIG or MIG welding" and
Rev.Chuck..."I am almost 100% certain you can not perform a structural weld on aluminum with a oxyacetylene torch and I know for sure it takes talent and skill to do any kind of decent torch work on aluminum".

No? Read up. Go into any pro welding shop and ask the question. Aluminum is being welded every day by ordinary humans. And yes, even in my garage with a MAPP gas torch and aluminum welding rods I can do it.
Don Cook is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 03:18 PM
  #14  
Rev.Chuck
The Red Lantern
 
Rev.Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 5,965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No doubt. Aluminum is often gas welded in NON-STRUCTURAL applications. It is very popular for doing fuel tanks, oil tanks, and is used in the hotrod industry for panel work. I have several texts on welding, some of them are from the year of tech school I spent learning the various types of welding(And other things). Some Like "The Welders Handbook" or Fourniers fabrication book, I got later. I can, in fact turn out a decent join using nothing but a torch and flux. I would not, however, do this in a high stress place like a head tube. I would cut the crack fully out and tig the area in. then face the tube back out to spec. This would also be easier on the headtube as a whole as little heat would be generated in the part compared to the process of using a torch. I have done stick, mig, tig, and torch work as part of my job as a heavy equipment mechanic(Before I drifted in and out of bikes) since the mid eighties. Just on my home oxy/acetylene rig I run through a set of bottles a year. I also have a 220 ac/dc stick rig for doing heavier work.
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.
Rev.Chuck is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 04:31 PM
  #15  
Hants Commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Hants Commuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MERTON
i say keep it till ya get frustrated one day. then ya can smash it up with a sledge as therapy.
I may not get this pleasure. I've just found my original receipt and owners manual. It seems that Radford is just a re-badged Claud Butler/Falcon Bike (UK Manufacturer). Anyway they provide a Lifetime Warranty on the frame and forks. So unless they argue that its fair wear and tear - which I doubt it is, I'll get the frame replaced under warranty. I'm a happy person again
Hants Commuter is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 05:21 PM
  #16  
Rev.Chuck
The Red Lantern
 
Rev.Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 5,965
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"So unless they argue that its fair wear and tear - which I doubt it is, I'll get the frame replaced under warranty. I'm a happy person again"

I would think you will have no problem. For us a bike has to show some pretty obvious damage, like bent tubes, to void a warranty. I even did one that was twelve years old, the rest of the bike was worn slam out and the bike was so old none of the parts fit the new frame. The bike was a Giant, steel frame FS, and they replaced it with a new Warp aluminum frame
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.
Rev.Chuck is offline  
Old 05-18-04, 07:22 PM
  #17  
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hants Commuter
I may not get this pleasure. I've just found my original receipt and owners manual. It seems that Radford is just a re-badged Claud Butler/Falcon Bike (UK Manufacturer). Anyway they provide a Lifetime Warranty on the frame and forks. So unless they argue that its fair wear and tear - which I doubt it is, I'll get the frame replaced under warranty. I'm a happy person again
Oh happy day! A receipt even! Go forth and do right by your ride. And if the manufacturer gives you any flak, let them know that thousands of cycling enthusiasts are waiting with baited breath (fingers?) to sing praises or curses depending on their decision!
supcom is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 05:38 AM
  #18  
Hants Commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Hants Commuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just a quick update, I took the broken frame to the LBS in 2 weeks ago and got a call at the weekend to say the the new one has arrived, no hassle whatsoever.

Just getting the LBS to fit a new headset and then it will be time to practice my rebuilding skills
Hants Commuter is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 09:36 AM
  #19  
Revtor
I ride my bike
 
Revtor's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
so what did they give you!?!?!

~Steve
Revtor is offline  
Old 06-08-04, 10:59 AM
  #20  
supcom
You need a new bike
 
supcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,433
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hants Commuter
Just a quick update, I took the broken frame to the LBS in 2 weeks ago and got a call at the weekend to say the the new one has arrived, no hassle whatsoever.

Just getting the LBS to fit a new headset and then it will be time to practice my rebuilding skills
Excellent! I'd say that Radford/Claud Butler/Falcon deserves our high praise for standing behind their product and providing good customer service!

Well done!
supcom is offline  
Old 06-09-04, 03:48 PM
  #21  
smurfy
Senior Member
 
smurfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Where I work at we have a Heliarc welder especially for aluminum. Our weld shop had used it to braze on cable ends and cantilever mounts for me (on some steel frames). If my Cannondale frame cracks I MIGHT consider getting it Heliarc-ed, but I would probably trade it in for a new frame.
smurfy is offline  
Old 06-11-04, 05:33 AM
  #22  
Hants Commuter
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Hants Commuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire UK
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Revtor
so what did they give you!?!?!

~Steve
Umm - I don't actually know. I went to look at it in the LBS yesterday, the frame is polished alloy and has no markings on it. What it does have though is a headtube with an integrated headset. The LBS only had a 55 Integrated Headset which they guessed (quite rightly) I wouldn't want fitted. So they are off trying to get me a cheaper integrated HS.

What I did see, or more to the point didn't see, was any braze-ons for a pannier racks which for a commuting bike could be interesting.

I'll keep you posted....
Hants Commuter is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.