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BB cracks


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It seems a number of the high end carbon frames end up with cracks around the BB area and for some reason usually on the side opposite the crank. My specialized SL2 has ahairline crack forming at the 12 o clock region and a mate of mine has a similar crack on his cervelo R3SL, both only 18 months old.

 

The manufacturers say its a paint crack as they use a filler between the BB and the carbon frame to obatin a smooth finish.

 

Chatting to the guys on Saturday after the group ride it seems the problem is not uncommon, but opinions vary on the cause/whether its detrimental to the bike.

 

anyone got any advice or had the same experience?

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An 18month old bike shouldn't crack, even if it is cosmetic. I would push to have the frame replaced under warranty. Then again, most manufacturers use the term "material defect" in their waranty policies. Could you construe a cosmetic crack as material?

 

I had a similar issue on the fork of a Raleigh frame. A bike shop told me exactly the same thing. It was a perfectly straight crack where the carbon part of the fork was bonded to the aluminium. They said that it was the paint that had cracked and there was no risk of failure.

 

To be on the safe side, I contacted Probike (the distributors/manufacturers of Raleigh). They confirmed this statement, but offered to replace the fork even though the 3 year warranty had expired.

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What a load of BS. I wont care if its a paintcrack. You paid a lot of money for that frame. What will you do if paintcracks appeared on your car?

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Good point.Will contact the importer, but as you say the warranties these days are well worded and it seems (from what I hear) that the guys are getting sticky on frame replacement - guess it cause they are not exactly selling tons of bikes at the moment.

 

Biggest problem is I have the limited edition SL2 WC edition (2009) so its not really replaceable...

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My specialized stumpjumper developed a hairline crack around the bb cup area and they replaced the frame within one week!! Excellent service from Olympic cycles and Specialized. I agree though, a crack is a crack. You will never have the same confidence knowing that there is a potential to crash due to carbon failure.

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  • 1 month later...

I know this is an old Thread, but I only managed to find it now.

 

I have just had my second Cervelo replaced due to cracking and this in only 6 months. First frame (R3) cracked just behind the BB on both the rear stays and was replaced and then 3 weeks ago I found that my 'new' R3sl had developed cracks around the BB area on both sides. (pictures attached) This frame was also replaced. I am happy both frames were replaced & for that I thank the guys at Emotion cycling.

 

My query is this.... We pay top price for these frames, which is supposed to be for all the R&D they put into the development of the frame. Yet, I'm already onto my Third Frame in 6 months? If these frames keep breaking every 2/3 months... at what point are they going to tell me to get knotted??

 

Has anyone heard of R3's that have broken frequently?

post-2352-013394700 1283429085.jpg

post-2352-052590100 1283429120.jpg

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My query is this.... We pay top price for these frames, which is supposed to be for all the R&D they put into the development of the frame. Yet, I'm already onto my Third Frame in 6 months? If these frames keep breaking every 2/3 months... at what point are they going to tell me to get knotted??

 

Alot of manufacturers don't have a lifetime guarantees on frames. Most only 5 years. So they will keep on replacing it in that 5 years but come day 1 of year 6 and you are on your own.

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I read the warranty(below) on the web regarding my R3sl. From my limited understanding, The frame has a Lifetime warranty on manufacturer defects for as long as I'm the first time owner? Am I correct in my understanding?

 

 

WARRANTY DETAILS (from Cervelo website)

 

Starting January 1, 2004, each Cervélo SA (Cervélo) bicycle frame purchased after this date is warranted by Cervélo SA against defects in workmanship and materials for as long as the frame is owned by the original owner, excluding paint and decals. (Cervélo bicycle frames purchased before this date came with a four year warranty). This covers ALL bicycle frame models Cervélo offers. This warranty is expressly limited to either the repair or replacement of the defective frame – the decision to repair and replace to be at the sole discretion of Cervélo – and no other remedies are available under the warranty.

Cervélo does not warrant against damage caused by normal wear and tear, improper assembly, improper maintenance, or installation of parts or accessories not originally intended for use with or compatible with the frame or bicycle sold.

Cervélo does not warrant against damage or failure of Cervélo bicycle frames caused by accident, misuse, abuse or neglect. Any modification of the frame or its components shall void this warranty.

All claims under this warranty must be made through an authorized Cervélo distributor. Claims will be processed only after provision by the claimant to Cervélo of proof of purchase and completion of Cervélo’s online product registration (which can be found here).

Purchase Cervélo product only through authorized Cervélo retailers. This is your assurance of original Cervélo quality. Please visit our retailer locator to identify your preferred, authorized Cervélo retailer. All authorized retailers are listed on this site.

Cervélo's warranty policy is valid only for Cervélo products purchased through authorized Cervélo retailers. Cervélo products purchased through any channel other than an authorized Cervélo retailer are not covered by the Cervélo warranty.

Subject to the laws of your jurisdiction which prevail where applicable over the terms of this warranty, Cervélo shall not be responsible for incidental or consequential damages suffered. This warranty does not cover labor charges for parts changeovers.

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You are correct. It is only gauranteed if you are the original owner.

 

Cervelo BBs have a fundemental design flaw than can be rectified quite easily.

 

The BB shell - that's the part of the BB that's inside the frame, comprises two aluminium tubes that are inserted from each side and then bondedd (glued) to the frames. The tubes are threaded on the outside ends for the BB to screw into and at the centre the two tubes overlap. There is no glue in the overlapping section.

 

Water enters from the seatpost, goes down the seat tube and collects in the BB area between the carbon and the alu sleeves. The water enters the gap between the two sleeves and does its evil deeds at night when you're sleeping.

 

The whole affair then rots away. As soon as the overlap is eaten away, the two sides are unsupported and soon crack out of the carbon, exactly like in your picture. If you don't monitor it, the one side will break completely free and your crank will move and moan a lot.

 

The solution is a small, 6mm hole in the bottom of the BB shell. The reason why they don't do it is blah blah fishpaste.

 

Keep on replacing your frame every 6 months. Perhaps they will learn.

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Oh, and while we're bitchin' about carpet fibre bikes and components, I may as well remind you to remove and replace your pedals every three months.

 

 

Some pedals,especially the titanium spindle ones, freeze into the cranks. Since the carbon/aluminium eye is weaker than that on a pure aluminium crank, the eye will turn when you attempt to remove your crank. The gaurantee on Campag stuff is 3 years. Check yours before the three years is over.

 

The remedy here is regular removal and greasing with copperslip before reassembling.

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I'm sure they will keep replacing the frame. They probably cost ten bucks a pop to produce in China, and we just get to pay for the so called "R&D" costs. In a hundred years time we will be trying to figure out ways to try and and recycle all those broken carbon frames. Hopefully my great grand kids will still be riding my steel bikes they inherit from me one day.

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Oh, and while we're bitchin' about carpet fibre bikes and components, I may as well remind you to remove and replace your pedals every three months.

 

 

Some pedals,especially the titanium spindle ones, freeze into the cranks. Since the carbon/aluminium eye is weaker than that on a pure aluminium crank, the eye will turn when you attempt to remove your crank. The gaurantee on Campag stuff is 3 years. Check yours before the three years is over.

 

The remedy here is regular removal and greasing with copperslip before reassembling.

 

I just experienced a frozen quil stem in an old steel bike. I had to cut the stem off and have the alu still inside the steerer milled out. I just went and purchased my first tube of copperslip.

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I just experienced a frozen quil stem in an old steel bike. I had to cut the stem off and have the alu still inside the steerer milled out. I just went and purchased my first tube of copperslip.

 

Don't think your woes are over. Copperslip and grease is evil in this application.

 

If you look at a quill stem's design, you'll realise that it only clamps at the bottom of the stem. The top is left to flop around inside the steerer tube. Water and sweat gets in there and with the moving around, gets "pumped" in and out. If you have grease/copper slip in there, this pumping action makes the water and grease emulsify. Emulsion is great for rust and corrosion since the water cannot evaporate, but still do damage.

 

The quill stem was a rubbish design and we're better off without it.

 

Your rememdy is to not grease/copper slip the stem but remove it regularly and wipe it clean before re-assembling dry.

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Don't think your woes are over. Copperslip and grease is evil in this application.

 

If you look at a quill stem's design, you'll realise that it only clamps at the bottom of the stem. The top is left to flop around inside the steerer tube. Water and sweat gets in there and with the moving around, gets "pumped" in and out. If you have grease/copper slip in there, this pumping action makes the water and grease emulsify. Emulsion is great for rust and corrosion since the water cannot evaporate, but still do damage.

 

The quill stem was a rubbish design and we're better off without it.

 

Your rememdy is to not grease/copper slip the stem but remove it regularly and wipe it clean before re-assembling dry.

 

Doh! I've just thrown the copperslip in the bin. :-)

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On a serious note, it looks like aluminium with any other metal is a recipe for disaster. I got a set of older Dura Ace brake calipers, and the brake cables have fused solidly in the barrel adjusters. There is just no way they will ever be coming out.

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