Friday, October 9, 2009

This totally sucks

After flip-flopping a million times on whether to ride MTB or 'cross at Ironcross, the decision was decisively made while wiping my beloved Dean Ti hardtail down for the race. I discovered the frame is cracked. Thought Ti wasn't supposed to do this. As you can see, the crack starts down the top tube, crosses the seat tube and continues down the wish-bone seatstay. Both sides are cracked. I've seen aluminum frames fail this way. I have noticed annoying creaking the last couple rides and couldn't figure out where it was coming from.

This doesn't suck so much for the race, as I couldn't make up my mind anyway. Now I will race the Ridley 'cross bike. What does totally suck is I was planning to ship this bike out in a couple weeks for a short 4-day excursion down south. There's bits of the southern Appalachians I haven't hit yet in Tennessee and Kentucky. My winter beater hartail is not nearly trip worthy. I will probably have to strip the Ti frame to send it back, so maybe I'll transfer some of those parts over to my $69 Jamis winter beater frame to keep me going this fall.

Monday I'll have to contact Dean. I've purchased five of their Ti frames over the years and still have three of them. They are keepers, my hardtail, singlespeed and road bike. Dean Ti frames carry a lifetime warranty. The Dean Colonel frame that failed is nearly 9 years old. It was the first frame I bought from them. Not sure if the same guys are still running things over there or if anybody will remember me. Warranties often have a lot of wiggle room. It is up to the manufacturer to stand by their product. We'll see how Dean does.

7 comments:

glen said...

Wow, after reading about frame failures, and the prime areas where they occur, i've never heard of a crack occuring in that area. Very unusual looking, especially if it's on both sides like that. Ever seen one in that location before?

Hill Junkie said...

Yep, I bought an aluminum Trek 8900 in 1999. A few months later, it cracked in the same place. Trek's waranty replacement frame was redesigned in that area, having a thicker seat tube wall thickness and larger diameter. Word was they had a "few" failures in that area. I rode the replacement frame for about 7yrs before I decomissioned it due to whacky 22mm chainstay disk brake mounts (parts no longer available).

CB2 said...

Sorry about the frame. That's weird how it cracked across the weld.

Az said...

That bike has seen some miles, both on land and by air being shipped all over the place. To bad. I'm hoping they stand behind the frame. I'm eventually going to get another hardtail, and I love Ti frames.

Chris

rick is! said...

bummer dude, rock it on the cx!

James Scott said...

I hate it when stuff breaks!

You should ask Elden "Fat Cyclist" Nelson about how Ti isn't supposed to crack.

Good luck at Iron Cross!

Matt Surch said...

I recently had a conversation with a friend just getting into building frames, and he mentioned it is not entirely uncommon for brand new steel tubes to have small cracks in their seams. Good building practice is to inspect the tubes with a magnifying glass before using them. I suppose this could be the case with Ti tubes too, seamed ones anyway. I wonder if this could be the cause of your crack? Very odd indeed.