's Forum Archives - Components

Archive Home >> Components(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 )

Trek 5200 Frame Crack?(17 posts)

Trek 5200 Frame Crack?Helduser
Feb 3, 2002 6:58 AM
Has anyone experienced a any frame cracking problems around the bottom bracket area? If so can you describe what it looks like. I'm thinking I might have a problem around that area and just want to be sure before I take it back to the dealer. Currently I have a couple of lines around that area that look like they may be stress factures.

Thanks for the input.
re: Trek 5200 Frame Crack?Jaba
Feb 3, 2002 11:52 AM
If it looks like a crack it probably is a crack. The problem with carbon fiber frames is that the epoxy itself is used as the matrix to transfer stress loads between the actual carbon fibers which give the tubes it strength, so if the epoxy is cracked at all, your frames ability to properly transfer the stresses among the fibers has been hurt and thus the frame has the possibility of failure. Carbon fiber epoxy tubes can't be repaired when they become cracked, they can only be replaced. Yes, you can use an epoxy patch to cover the cracks, but this will not restore the eopxy matrix to its original intended state to properly transfer stress loads amongst the carbon fibers themselves.

If you see cracks and are the original owner I'd take it in immediately for warranty work or at the least a Trek opinion. Some guys will incorrectly say that visibly cracks are "only" cracks in the epoxy and not the fibers themselves so the tubes are OK. This is completely false. Any compromising of the outer epoxy itself, compromises the frames ability to properly transfer the stresses made upon the tube. Now if the cracking is only to the clearcoat, that's a purely cosmetic issue, but there is no way a local dealer could determine this. The frame would have to be sent to Trek and they would do the equivalent of an ultrasound to determine if the visible cracks are to the clearcoat only or to the actual epoxy matrix.
Trek has a history of superficial cracksPaul
Feb 4, 2002 4:14 AM
Frineds of mine have the same problems with Trek and LeMond carbon bikes (made by Trek), especially on the BB. Though I've seen them all over on the LeMond. I think that's the reason LeMond dropped the line. One friend told me that this was normal for Trek (so the LBS told him).

I bought a Look carbon, would never consider Trek due to their history of problems. Only carbon bikes I would consider are Look, Kestrel, or the C-40.

good luck, keep us posted
Trek has a history of superficial cracksKelso
Feb 4, 2002 7:58 AM
The only carbon bike I would consider is a Calfee. Far superior build technology compared to all the other makers.
Calfee the best? Based on what?Paul
Feb 4, 2002 11:46 AM
Their first carbon frames were problems due to theinternal metal insert holding the water bottle cages. A friend of mine had to mail the frame back twice to get it fixed. Outside of that, he's had good luck. Nice paint jobs. But I've never read that they are the best. Bicycling wrote an article about carbon frames, and rated the C-40 the best. Pro teams use the C-40, four teams use the Look carbon. Who uses Calfree frames?
Isn't what pros ride more about sponsorship dollars...........Len J
Feb 4, 2002 12:02 PM
then what the best bike is? If a manufacturer chooses not to sponsor, does that mean he doesn't or can't have a great bike?

Bicycling Mag has had a recent histiory of rating thier sponsors better than thier non-sponsors. Not exactly a recommendation that I would trust.

All that being said, while It seems that Calfee has some of the best experience of working with Carbon bikes in the world, it is hard for anyone to justify any bike as "the Best". I would bet that blind tests (If anyone could figure out how to do them) of Calfee, Look, Trek OCLV & Colnago c-40 would show statistically insignificant differences in ride. The majority of the difference would come down to personal preference.

These broad XXXXXX bike is the best statements make me crazy too.

I agree Len, I've ridden Trek, Look, Kestrel carbon andPaul
Feb 5, 2002 4:08 AM
don't see any difference. Just have to go with the bike that SEEMS to have the least amount of problems.

One data pointpmf1
Feb 5, 2002 5:39 AM
I rode a few miles with a guy on a Tetra Pro. I asked him how he liked it and he was real positive. He said that initially, he had to send it back twice to Calfee to be repaired. After the fixes, it rode well. So, I guess con is that the bike had to go back twice; pro is that the customer service was good.

They're cool bikes and earlier models were ridden by Lemond on the Tour.Personally, I think its cool that they don't sponser a team (its too small a company). That has nothing to do with quality (look at Trek). I wouldn't trade my C-40 for one though.
You'd Be Surprisedgrzy
Feb 4, 2002 2:48 PM
Ever been to the Calfee "factory" in Santa Cruz? You'd be surprised. Ultimately their bikes are made from preformed tubes (made by someone else) set in a jig - similar to Trek. The joints are then wrapped and the whole works is mechanically clamped and the works is "cooked" with some heat. Low paid hourly workers grind away at the excess material which they call fillets. Far better technology is the way Kestrel does it - monocoque construction under pressure and in an autoclave. The entire bike is laid up all at once. Been to see their operation in Watsonville as well. People whoi know composites know the differences and what matters.

Not to put Calfee down, but on what basis and which particular aspects of their process is Calfee far better than all the other makers? Their marketing literature? The Greg Lemond victory in the TdF hill climbing stage where he rode a Carbon Frames bike? Ultimately composite bikes ride like composite bikes. The Trek frame warranty is lifetime - Calfee is "only" 25 years.
re: Trek 5200 Frame Crack?grzy
Feb 4, 2002 10:29 AM
I've seen cracks in the paint at the bond joint between the tubes and the cast CF BB assembly. What you have is a small discontinuity on the flexing of the assembly and a paint that isn't elastic enough. This isn't to say that there is an actual crack or problem with the BB and this is what they'll most likely say. Nothing is infintiely stiff and the joint between the two carbon/epoxy components is no exception. But get ready for the next part - the finish is only warrantied for a year and they'll stick to their guns on this. If you're inside a year you can get your frame refinished, but it may happen again. One of my pet peeves is that they often pick inferior paint and then claim that it's not a defect in manufacturing and materials selection. This is an advantage of something like a Kestrel Cf frame - it's true monocoque construction - not pre-made components glued together which expend, contract, and flex at different rates. A true crack would lead to a sudden and catastrauphic failure.
Calfee is superior based upon their marketing literatureBloobo
Feb 5, 2002 5:45 AM
That's about it. I have ridden both Calfee Tetra and trek OCLV and they both ride the same. Calfee tries to make it sound like his construction method is superior to lugged tubes construction, but in fact his method is virtually the same using outsourced tubes which are then connected by means of wrapping the joints with mattes of CF weave which are then heated and pressurized. The end product is essentially the same from a strength and feel aspect. Now a monocoque frame, that is superior technology IMO as you have no thermal expansion issues at the joint areas since its the ONLY true true 1 piece construction CF frame available today.
Calfee is superior based upon their marketing literaturepmf1
Feb 5, 2002 6:22 AM
Doesn't Look produce a one-piece frame (KG-386?). And what about Aegis? These guys wer epart of the original Kestrel company. I think their frames are one-piece too.

I hate to admit it, but my Kestrel 200 has a similar ride to my C-40. The latter is quite a bit lighter and looks cooler. I sometimes wonder whether once you spend $3000+ whether any bike will not be pretty darn nice.
KG 386 is a monoblock construction, and is repairable.Paul
Feb 5, 2002 9:18 AM
In the info I got, it says, for ex. that the seat stays, if broken, can be replaced. There is a lugged area in the seat stay that can be broken, and a new seat stay inserted (internal lugged). So I guess that's why it's called monoblock. Can a monocoque be repaired? Is the C-40 repairable if you break a stay?
You would know this ...pmf1
Feb 5, 2002 9:28 AM
That bike always looked like a one-piece to me. You're saying its not?

Since a C-40 never breaks, its not an issue, right? Only those funky French and wannabe one-piece bikes break. Honestly, I don't really know if it can be repaired or not. I suppose you could just box it up and send it back to the Colnago plant in Italy. Yeah, right. There was no mention of a warranty when I bought it. From an economic perspective, its not a rational bike to buy. I just wanted it.
You would know this ...Paul
Feb 5, 2002 10:18 AM
It's not one piece, one reason I liked it, in my book, great engineering. It has internal carbon lugs on the main triangle, and there are other sections that be can be repaired. I've read articles that say it's monocoque, but the web site (it's changed), say monoblock. Which, I assume means, assembled in blocks. Maybe it's monocoque in blocks? Could be wrong, but don't know what else to believe.

I think monocoque are throw aways. trek just gives you a discount if you break a frame. I've noticed you're always drafting Kathy, so I imagine you do this to protect your C-40 from the on-rushing beer cans.

Look also states that their HMS carbon is 5 times stronger then ti, so I guess it should never break. Maybe Colnago can re-glue a pipe?

Why rationalize someone you love, it's still the most beautiful bike around (except your ugly color).

Look gives a 3 year warrenty on the frame, checked with other Look owners, and they haven't had problems. Calfee gives 25 years, yeah, sure.

Hope to ride tomorrow when it hits 50.
You would know this ...pmf1
Feb 5, 2002 10:48 AM
Yeah, I sure was bummed when those frames arrived and I got a look at hers, and then mine. Wish I would have gone for an LX blue or red. Then again, it goes with my ugly @ss Litespeed. I have no taste in bikes. And yeah, I'm always drafting my wife for fear of getting bugs on it. What can I say ... I'm pathetic.
Our pathetic livesPaul
Feb 5, 2002 11:27 AM
Whenever I go out to eat, my wife always has the best looking meal. Mine looks, and tastes like crap. She told me from now on, she'll order for me. When I told her I would buy her a Look if she rode more, she said, "I have a real job, and a life". What does that mean? Just because my life evolves around the W &OD, doesn't that count for anything? Is this what I exist for?
I rode 8,220 miles last year. Doesn't that mean anything? Maybe we should start a pathetic riders club, I'm sure we would have a large membership.

A rider in the club who works for the CIA, spent 10 months in Naples. He made me sick with the stories about how cyclists are rspected over there, and life in general. I'm tired of fighting with the red necks, and having cans thrown at me. I'm sure I have some relatives over there somewhere. Maybe a Giro stage winner.

The C-40 geo is just out of this world. Their red, black is awesome. Probably the one I would get. Calfee has a Ferrari red fade, wonder why? Oh well, at least you can save on clothes when you switch from the ugly Lite Speed ti (looks like the pipes under my bathroom sink) to your C-40. Maybe you could stick a Trek 5 lb postal decal on your C-40 to liven it up?

I'll give you a break, it's not really that bad, just make sure your frame is hidden behind Kathy's when you park.

See you on the boring trail.