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How bad is this crack?

Old 11-20-11, 05:26 AM
  #26  
Trakhak
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If you bought it from REI as a new bike and the headset was original (i.e., not replaced by you or by a non-REI bike shop mechanic), REI should replace the bike under warranty. Worth a try anyway, since it's a textbook no-questions-asked obvious warranty replacement situation.

You mentioned looking for a steel replacement frame. If they offer an aluminum bike as a warranty replacement, take it. Nothing wrong with aluminum for bike frames, as your bike has demonstrated by lasting so long instead of failing immediately, contrary to what would have been predicted by many on this forum.

Last edited by Trakhak; 11-20-11 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:26 PM
  #27  
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Trakhak: Thanks for the information. I'm going to bring the bike down to REI and see what they say. It can't hurt to try. I did buy it from REI and I haven't done anything but change the wheels/tires/tubes over the years. If they take it, I owe you one.
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Old 11-21-11, 10:19 AM
  #28  
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I have broken aluminum frames. This can fail without any further warning and since it is on the head tube, a failure while under way is likely to be painful at best - catastrophic at worst. If this were my bike, it would never be ridden again. Consider yourself fortunate that you made it this far.
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Old 11-21-11, 12:29 PM
  #29  
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Tig Welder
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Old 11-21-11, 01:07 PM
  #30  
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Well, REI has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and there is no time limit on it. That's one of the reasons their pricing tends to be pretty high.

Take it back, you can get a refund or apply it to a different bike, or they may just give you an equivalent current model bike. REI's policies are unbeatable.

http://www.rei.com/help/guarantee
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Old 11-21-11, 03:35 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
Tig Welder
If you go this route, don't grind down the welds on the outside.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 11-21-11, 05:58 PM
  #32  
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claehammer72, If REI doesn't help, and I see no reason why not, go to the frame builders forum.

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Old 11-21-11, 07:24 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by clawhammer72 View Post
Trakhak: Thanks for the information. I'm going to bring the bike down to REI and see what they say. It can't hurt to try. I did buy it from REI and I haven't done anything but change the wheels/tires/tubes over the years. If they take it, I owe you one.
REI is fantastic in this regard, I fully expect that they will give you store credit (or cash if you prefer) for this failure of their product, despite the age. Usually they just look up in the computer what you paid for it and give you that much.
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Old 11-21-11, 08:16 PM
  #34  
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That crack is pretty bad. The frame is approaching the end of its useful life. Will that crack get you killed? Probably not. It looks like that crack will just continue spreading until it reaches the top of the head tube in which case your front end will suddenly feel much looser than it already does. Many of the aforementioned stop-gap measures will help you squeeze the last few miles out of that bike. A talented tig welder may be able to help you save a couple hundred bucks for a longer term fix.
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Old 11-21-11, 09:40 PM
  #35  
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Yeah, I'm not planning on fixing it. I've got it at REI waiting for the word from "The Man." Hopefully, the word gets me a number that helps me into a sweet ride. If not, maybe it will get my 4 year old daughter into her first ride.
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Old 11-21-11, 10:11 PM
  #36  
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Be careful. Aluminum can fail suddenly and catastrophically.
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Old 11-22-11, 09:07 AM
  #37  
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Don't ride it. I expect that REI will definitely warranty it.
If you do keep riding it, keep this thread in mind.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-your-mishaps
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Old 11-23-11, 01:09 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by clawhammer72 View Post
Searching through the threads, I found this from Sheldon Brown. (Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to link to the thread as a quote.)

Begin Quote**********
"If you're going to keep riding it, it would be a good idea to drill a small (3/16"?) hole just where the crack ends. This will stop the sharp end of the crack from acting as a stress riser. If you don't do that, the crack is liable to grow.

The poster who wrote "This crack could result in a sudden failure." is a well-meaning alarmist. The location of the crack means that it is mainly stressed in static weight bearing. It carries no share of braking load.

If the problem does get worse (the crack grows) it will give you plenty of warning. It will feel as if the headset is misadjusted (too loose) LOOOOOOONG before there's any chance of "sudden failure."

Sheldon "Seen This Before" Brown"
End Quote*********

Given that I've been riding this bike for years with the crack, I'm just not ready to throw in the towel unless I can get a little more evidence about why this crack is a big problem. I appreciate opinions, but I would like to know the reasons behind the opinion, at least so that I can make an informed decision.

Of course, I'm not interested in risking life and limb just to save a few hundred bucks.
This is one of the most irrepsonsible, uneducated posts I've ever read on the BF
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Old 11-23-11, 01:51 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
This is one of the most irrepsonsible, uneducated posts I've ever read on the BF
Sounds like the poster never saw or experinced how aluminum fails....... I guess he thinks Al acts like Fe. Even so, his take on how much load that area of the frame takes is wrong. Doesn't he understand that there's live loads going through there just from road shock + weight of the rider & bike??
OP, just go ahead and replace that frame. It's toast!

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