Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Well, I thought I heard something crack...
While screaming down a rocky jeep road at the Dakota Five-O in August I heard a very loud crack resonate from my bike. The descent was a double track access road that had a lot of ruts and rocks. Eventually I cased one. At the time I thought maybe a stone flew up and hit my frame, but deep down I knew what had really happened. I cracked another Ti frame.
The previous frame cracked at the top tube seat tube junction. This crack is located on the non-drive side seat stay/drop out weld. It's much easier to see the crack on film than with the naked eye. Upon close examination, there appears to be three small holes interconnected by a large crack. The crack runs through the weld and wraps around the tube to extend beyond the weld.
This frame is only a year old (previous frame lasted two years). It endured two 6 hour races at Landahl (Spoke Pony Showdown and Rapture in Misery), the Ouachita Challenge, the Laramie Enduro, the Leadville 100, and the Dakota Five-O.
So, it has been raced in very rough and rocky conditions. That doesn't excuse the crack, but helps provide an understanding of how much stress it was put through. My height probably creates more stress on the weld due to the length of the tubes. Plus I weigh close to 200 pounds. The frame weighs only 3.5 pounds. That's a light bike for a super huge 29er frame.
I'm not posting this to bash IF. No way. I love those guys and gals. I only want to inform other riders of a potential problem. This crack could have failed at any time and caused some serious harm.