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Cracked frame, what should I get??(24 posts)

Cracked frame, what should I get??babyhuey77
Jan 27, 2003 9:48 PM
I was out on a nice recovery ride today lust riding along when all of a sudden something just didn't feel right. I stopped, looked down at the rear wheel and wouldn't you know it, the right chainstay is cracked clean through at the weld for the dropout. Called a friend to pick me up, at this point I'm pissed, my frame is toast. Call the builder, local Arizona builder Kavik, and am waiting to here what he is going to do. I shall note that this was a custom Easton Ultralite Aluminum frame made with a mountain bike grade downtube in order to be extra stiff, I am 6'3" about 230 or so. Oh yeah the fram is less than a year old and has never been crashed or even knocked over.

So this is the dilema, do I A) wait for him to tell me that he is going to build me a new frame which could take 4-6 weeks and have me miss the first half of our racing season(I'm in AZ) or B) Do I seek out another frame custom or not.

As posted above I'm a relatively large individual and the bike was custom, 60cm st, 60cm tt, 72.5 degree seat tube angle, 84.5cm standover. What do I do? I'm a full time student on a budget and I want something that is going to last for at least a year and hopefully a lot longer. Is steel and option and can it be made stiff enough for someone my size? What about another aluminum frame, I know that they have a short life span, but 10 months surely they should last longer than this.

Any and all help, advice, etc.. will be greatly aprreciated
Oh by the way for all of you suffering from the cold it was a clear and sunny 80 degress here in Tempe today.

re: Cracked frame, what should I get??rogue_CT1
Jan 27, 2003 10:54 PM
Hey, thanks for the weather update. Last spring when I was looking for a new bike the LBS told me that aluminum wouldn't be a wise choice for a rider my size. I am 6' 4" 230 lbs. They put it this way, pro racing frames that are made from aluminum are designed to last one season, then they are disposed of. Granted, I can't ride the bike as much as a pro, but my added weight will stress a light weight aluminum frame causing it to die an early death. I was told by the LBS that steel or Ti would be more durable and last me longer. I don't know your financial situation, but you may consider a good Ti ( preferably 6/4 Ti tubing)bike or even one of the new breed of Ti lugged carbon tubed bikes like the Serotta or Lemond. Good luck.
Robust Steel, like a Merckx MX. Fit is close...Spunout
Jan 28, 2003 4:05 AM
and available from Wrenchscience (special order only). Maybe the Lemond will have a longer top also, the Merckx is 60X58.5.
Eddy, Eddy ...tarwheel
Jan 28, 2003 4:58 AM
I bet you can't break this frame ...
Beauty! Cold set the rear end, you'll be riding again. nmSpunout
Jan 28, 2003 5:14 AM
that is so beautiful.rufus
Jan 28, 2003 8:41 AM
so much cleaner looking than the fat-tubed bikes today, with tons of gaudy graphics and paint schemes. just a single color frame, with a fairly small decal to identify it.
6'3", 230 lbs and you are riding...........Len J
Jan 28, 2003 4:30 AM
"Easton Ultralite Aluminum frame" and you are surprised that the frame cracked? As I understand it, these are 1 season throwaway frames for 140 lb european pro racers.

Sounds to me like you got exactly what you ordered. I wouldn't be surprised if the builder says: " Yea, so what's your point." I can't believe that he built it for you. Sounds like it was only a matter of time.

I'm not sure what your financial capability is, but if I were you, I would get something "beefier", probably used (You say you are a student so I'm figuring money is tight).

I wouldn't expect much help from the builder though. Sorry.

re: Cracked frame, what should I get??bsdc
Jan 28, 2003 5:08 AM
I'd wait to hear what the builder had to say. Since it hasn't been a year yet, I would think it would be under warantee. I'd ask him to build a steel bike to replace yours. If that's going to leave you bikeless for 4-6 weeks, I'd look for an inexpensive (steel) bike on ebay. It'll be nice to have a backup bike.
Steel hasn't worked for me....burdiman
Jan 28, 2003 5:27 AM
I am 6'5" 220 and have broken three steel frames at the rear drop-out. Once I went to aluminum 5 years ago I never looked back. Recently sheared a look 396 pedal axle and bent another one two weeks later.

I prefer and have had better luck with aluminum. Just my experience though.
What frames ?MR_GRUMPY
Jan 28, 2003 6:52 AM
I would be interested to know what brand and model frames failed on you.
A friend of mine has been racing and training on the same 93 or 94 753 Waterford since he got it. He also weighs 230.
What frames ?burdiman
Jan 28, 2003 8:53 AM
One was a Centurion and the other was a Bianchi Bianchi Trofeo (broke twice). Switched to aluminum and never looked back. Have a Cannondale r4000 now and it weighs in at 19.5 with Dura Ace. Light enough for me, very stiff, and no problems.
neither of those are especially beefy steel frames (nm)ColnagoFE
Jan 28, 2003 9:37 AM
yet heavier than my current AL ride. (nm)burdiman
Jan 28, 2003 12:09 PM
I'm sure you're right there....ColnagoFE
Jan 28, 2003 3:11 PM
Dales are (were?) actually pretty good bikes for heavier riders. Being overly still is usually not as big of an issue for bigger/heavier riders.
what frame have you been riding?ColnagoFE
Jan 28, 2003 7:57 AM
Not all steel bikes are created equal in strength. Try a Colnago MXL or a Merckx MX Leader. or go custom.
Nothing wrong with Alcyclopath
Jan 28, 2003 5:40 AM
You just need good Al and a decent build. I'm 20 lbs heavier than you and have been riding it for years. My oldest current frame is 5 years as it's as good as new - I don't know where you get the one year idea from?
Builder's ErrorKeeponTrekkin
Jan 28, 2003 5:43 AM
IMHO, the builder underdesigned the dropouts. Engineering analysis allows designers to design all the parts of a structure (made from any material) to bear their loads. But, of course, you have to use the tools correctly to get their benefits.

How about a quick repair to get you back on the road and give Mr. Kavik the time to make it right.

Ultralite Ultraheavy not a matchbigrider
Jan 28, 2003 6:08 AM
I am your size and you can't go ultra light on anything. Light will snap, break, bend, and/or wear out quickly. Although I am not an aluminum fan if you get the heavier aluminum frame that is not engineered to the max for lightness but built for durability it will last.

The same goes for ultra light steel and ti designs.

If I was you I would buy a frame used and build it up with what is on the custom. Remember, you can't get back spent money. Have the builder fix the frame and keep as a spare or sell it.

Some suggestions

Lemond Zurich 59cm cc
Lower priced Ti frame
Cheap carbon frame EPX, weyless at supergo
Used 5200 trek frame ( 62cm but it is short in the top tube)
re: Cracked frame, what should I get??MR_GRUMPY
Jan 28, 2003 6:09 AM
It sounds like (A) The bike was made with too light of tubing, or (B) The bike was improperly welded. Either way, the frame should be replaced N/C.
The next frame he makes for you should have heavier tubes. In the meantime, ask if he has a frame that you could use until your replacement is finished.
not surprisingColnagoFE
Jan 28, 2003 7:55 AM
a 230 lb person on a large size frame should not be riding an ultralite anything. Get a beefy steel frame. Or at least an AL frame that's built for your weight.
Same boat last yearAaronL
Jan 28, 2003 8:36 AM
I went through a similar situation last year, only both of my frames cracked within 2 weeks of one another.

What I did while waiting for the warranty situations to work out was buy a Fort( Zona steel frame. It was a great frame, very well made and a great value.

Once I got my other frames back, I made the decision to sell the Fort. ONLY because the replacements were upgrades from the factories. Had either replacement frame been the same level as the one that failed, I would have kept the Fort.

Anyway, I sold it for just a small loss and all was well.

This only works if you do all your own work, paying a shop to swap all the parts back and forth will cost you a bunch of cash.

Finally, you really should reconsider your frame, a big guy like you just can't ride gossamar frames.

Good luck
Kavik? Sweeeeet.Gregory Taylor
Jan 28, 2003 9:39 AM
Did you have the swappable drop-outs on it? Just curious.

As I see it, if you wait for either Kavik or another custom builder to set you up, you are going to miss part of your season. Sounds like you need to pick up a cheap, off the rack frame to tide you over until you sort out the deal with Kavik. GVH usually has a selection of Cannondale CAAD3 framsets for relatively cheap. Either that or look for something used.
re: Cracked frame, what should I get??Vikingbiker7
Jan 28, 2003 10:20 AM
Try a Seven Axiom steel. It has a life time guarentee. Custom is the way to go!!!!! If you can swing the cash. The fact you would not have to buy a new group would make it closer to reasonable. about $1500 for the frame
thanks for all the opinions and advicebabyhuey77
Jan 28, 2003 5:07 PM
Thank you everyone for all of the opinions and advice. Yes it does (did) have the replaceable dropouts. I've shown the frames to two dealers today and both say that it looks like a manufacturers defect. There are oxidation marks around the crack. I"ve been looking at steel Independent Fab and seven as well as possibly a steel Kavik. In the meantime while waiting to hear what there going to do I have transfered all the components to my old road frame, a Specialized M4, hopefully I won't crack this one like my previous Specialzed. Thank you all for your input.


Oh yeah it was a nice and sunny 79 here today!!