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Cracked carbon frame: Canyon Ultimate CF SL

ultimatecfultimatecf Posts: 6
edited July 2015 in Road general
Question:

Can one say with absolute certainty that this damage was caused by an impact? Please bear in mind that since it occurred I have squeezed the tube with my fingers to assess the damage.

crack1.jpg

crack2.jpg

Bike/Rider

Canyon Ultimate CF SL, Campag Athena. 6 month old, 1000 miles. Owner weighs 72kg. Bike is otherwise immaculate and has never been crashed.

Background

At the top of a climb i noticed that the lacquer had bubbled up at the top of my seat stay. I'm 99% certain that this happened during the ride as I cleaned my bike and adjusted the brakes the day before. I almost certainly would have noticed as the damage is just below the rear brake.I proceeded to scratch the lacquer off with my finger nail, and much to my horror this revealed that something bad had happened. I squeezed the seat stay between my fingers and I found that it compressed fairly easily around the damage. I then noticed a vertical crack on the underside of the seat stay.

I promptly sent pictures to Canyon. 9 days later they concluded that the damage is consistent with impact damage and that no other frames in this batch have failed ruling out a material defect. They then referred me to the crash replacement warranty.

From my point of view I cannot imagine a single event that could have caused this damage both prior to the ride and during it. The bike lives in my flat and has only ever been transported mech side up (the damage is also on the drive side seat stay) in the back of an estate car with nothing on top of it. I guess it's not impossible that a rock was thrown up on a descent, perhaps from one of my fellow riders, but even that seems extremely unlikely.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Posts

  • Cat With No TailCat With No Tail Posts: 13,581
    I'd say in my purely non-professional opinion that it looks very much like impact damage to me.

    In the top pic you even have what appear to be scuff marks under the main damage.

    Looks like it would have been a pretty significant impact though, I'd be astounded if you'd not felt that if you were riding at the time.

    Has someone maybe knocked it over during a cafe stop and not realized?
  • Thanks very much for your opinion - it's a good point that you raise. It's not impossible that it could have happened at a cafe stop as i didn't have my eye on it 100% of the time. However if you look closely the scuff marks you refer to are actually small cracks in the resin. They've been made worse by me squeezing it to check for the damage in the first place. I've tried to take a better picture to show this. There are no scuff marks I can really make out which seems strange to me if it had been knocked over.

    crack3.jpg
  • lawrenceslawrences Posts: 1,011
    Should have grabbed a pick before you opened it up.
  • frazeredfrazered Posts: 333
    Have you seen this thread ? viewtopic.php?f=40042&t=12974076&start=40
  • apriliariderapriliarider Posts: 222
    Three courses of action if you are adamant it is not impact damage and Canyon refuse to do anything -

    1. Open a Section 75 with your credit card company - there is a chance that getting them involved will encourage Canyon to honour the warranty or credit card company agree and refund your money.

    2. Armed with above "its impact damage" then claim on your household policy under accidental damage (if covered)

    3. Get repaired by someone like these guys - http://www.carbonbikerepair.co.uk/

    Good luck

    MW
  • nibbynibby Posts: 246
    Bad luck hopefully you will get it sorted.

    What's your thought's on the bike apart from the obvious! I'm thinking of one myself.
  • Andy_S_TAndy_S_T Posts: 106
    I'd say just on the photos alone impact damage would be the first thing I thought of. Some of that may have been caused by you squeezing and scratching it though.

    Why did you squeeze it hard enough to crack the resign and finish?

    Images before your own investigation would have been the best option.

    I'd say send it back to Canyon for them to look at in person, but I wouldn't be surprised by them saying no to a replacement.
  • Thanks all for the comments.

    @frazered, Unfortunately my issue isn't such a clear cut warranty case!

    @apriliarider. I agree with your analysis. I've requested some professional opinions / quotes including from the link you provided. I'll post back with details for future reference. I don't want to go route 1 unless an expert can tell me that there is a reasonable chance that the damage could have occured due to a material defect. If they can't I just have to accept that it was impact damage, however hard it is for me to imagine it happening.

    @nibby, It's very nice. I prefer it to my old 2010 Raleigh team bike. I'm not sure about Campag Athena. I don't like the way the consumables are Chorus and therefore very expensive if you do a lot of miles. I also miss having a full size chainset as It's very flat where I live and spending most of your time in a small cog just wears it out faster. I think i'd opt for Ultegra if I choose again.

    @Andy_S_T, I noticed the damage on Alpe D'Huez. I wanted to check whether it was cosmetic or structural before the descent. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo. I thought at first the lacquer was something else.
  • Calfree agree with Canyon. I didn't mention a rock so it's interesting that they suggest that.
    Thank you for contacting the Carbon Repair Department at Calfee Design. This damage does appear to be the result of some type of impact to your frame- even a rock can create this type of damage.

    The carbon repair would be estimated at $300-$400, the results for an inspection to this area will be confirmed once the frame arrives at Calfee for an evaluation.

    Paint would be an ADDITIONAL cost option estimated at $75-100 for a basic clear coat on the area that's damaged, this would not include any decal or design work replicated. To paint the repair area a single color starts at $150-225 and depends on how much of the overall paint scheme needs to be altered. If you prefer to restore the paint scheme to original condition the starting cost would be estimated at $450-$550 to replicate the original paint scheme in the repaired area. We can provide a variety of paint options once the frame arrives at Calfee for an evaluation. All paint options are an additional cost option separate from your carbon repair estimate stated above.
  • VelonutterVelonutter Posts: 4,749 Lives Here
    IMHO it is impact damage, probably a stone flying up that you may never have noticed.

    This company have done some excellent repairs and have some excellent spray shops to match it all up: -

    http://www.carbonframerepair.com

    or this company are good as well: -

    Try http://www.carboncyclerepairs.co.uk/index.html
  • Frank WilsonFrank Wilson Posts: 991
    Should have bought a substantial Tesco BSO.
  • Here's what carboncyclerepairs.co.uk say:
    It does indeed appears to be an impact fracture, and to repair the stay to as strong if not stronger is in the region of £150 - £190, which includes a single colour topcoat and lacquer.

    I think I have to accept the consensus. I guess if it was aluminium it would have had a dent, at least carbon can be repaired.

    The question now is whether to pay €600 for a new crash replacement frame, or void the warranty and get it repaired.
  • lawrenceslawrences Posts: 1,011
    Do both then you a winter bike too.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Definitely impact damage and zero chance of warranty claim IMO. I would get it repaired and put it down to experience - any repair will be stronger than original.
    A friend crashed her Madone 6.9 in a sprint finish which resulted in damage to the seatstay including a longitudinal crack that flexes under finger pressure - still racing it months later.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • FudgeyFudgey Posts: 892
    Have you held the bike in a work stand and over tightened it, or has it been serviced at a shop recently?

    Do you ever transport it on a roof bar mount carrier with a frame clamp?

    I am far from an expert, but it does look like crush damage, if t was impact it would only be on one side surely?
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,388
    Fudgey wrote:
    Have you held the bike in a work stand and over tightened it, or has it been serviced at a shop recently?

    Do you ever transport it on a roof bar mount carrier with a frame clamp?

    I am far from an expert, but it does look like crush damage, if t was impact it would only be on one side surely?

    It's a seat stay.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Looks like its fallen over at a cafe stop somehow.

    I'd definitely get it repaired though and it'll be as good as new.

    Speaking of Canyon - whilst Froome was falling off yesterday - nobody seemed to see Izaguirre having a 'Hincapie' moment....

    https://vine.co/u/990060847475105792
  • slight threadjack but any help greatly appreciated.

    this is an aerorad (no point disguising brand name as crack is over it). I used it about 10 times on open roads in training rides and this crack appeared. Poor pic owing to needing to downsize for website, but essentially it is a subtle crack deep to the paintwork and can only really be seen if the light hits in the right direction.

    'the company' initially said i must have crashed it. I explained that i have rarely used it and then they said a stone must have hit it as there was irrefutable evidence on inspection that an 'external impact' cause the crack. they said it cant be a frame defect as they inspect all batches sold. They said it must be external impact even though i pointed out that there is no blemish at all on the overlying paint

    They said if I do not pay them £750 they will send the broken bike back to me.

    given that I have taken great care of this bike, definitely never had any 'external impact' incident and am basically an honest person, I am really offended by their rather arrogant tone as they are effectively saying that their frames never go wrong and it must be my fault. Can anyone offer advice? They said that they were happy to allow me to get a second opinion on the cause of the crack but because their inspection is 'fair and externally audited' they would not overturn their decision even if another expert agreed that this was due to an inherent defect rather than me crashing it

    ps it cannot be a stress riser from me overtightening the bottle holder bolt as it is not near it
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Fatigue cracks rarely start in the middle of a structure - they usually propagate from a point of higher stress so this is either due to impact or lack of structural integrity i.e. poor joint construction. The fact that it's not straight might eliminate the latter, meaning some sort of crush or impact damage are most likely. The good thing is that it's probably repairable for a lot less cost than a replacement frame.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Fatigue cracks rarely start in the middle of a structure - they usually propagate from a point of higher stress so this is either due to impact or lack of structural integrity i.e. poor joint construction. The fact that it's not straight might eliminate the latter, meaning some sort of crush or impact damage are most likely. The good thing is that it's probably repairable for a lot less cost than a replacement frame.

    I agree with Monty, looks like an impact, irrelevant to whether you've ridden it once or a thousand times.

    Always worth getting a 2nd (professional) opinion though. Someone who can scan the frame.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Thanks for feedback guys. This crack is in the upper third of the downtube so not near a joint. I agree an impact could occur at any time but could a stone hit my bike with enough force to crack carbon yet me hear nothing at the time and also leave no trace of trauma on the overlying paintwork? This is my main bugbear especially as it is the upper surface of the downtube which makes a stone flying up from the road seem all the more confusing.

    Is it feasible that a crack with this appearance could arise from a production defect?

    On a tangent do repairs look OK cosmetically and are they as strong?
  • Is it feasible that a crack with this appearance could arise from a production defect?

    As a rule of thumb I find that if you don't get the answer you are looking for on the first page of a thread then you are not going to get it at all. Subsequent pages are to be read for entertainment purposes only. Once a thread has reached four or five pages then go fetch the popcorn. If you are time crunched then try looking for threads that have been locked by the moderators. These are gold :wink:

    There are exceptions of course. HTH
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,129
    I can't believe a stone could have hit the frame with enough impact to cause that damage without you hearing it. Does look like the bike could have had a topple against a solid object.
  • reds99reds99 Posts: 46
    Is it feasible that a crack with this appearance could arise from a production defect?

    What many folk dnt realise regards carbon, there is a lot of post production work to enable a nice smooth paint finish. Certainly not a production defect thats detrimental to quality.
    In your case, and its only a guess, is the filler similar to car body repair filler could have worked loose.
    To me just looking at the image it looks like an hairline defect, a minor one. Which could have been created in production, by a piece of peel ply cloth even and then repaired by filler.
  • @Andy_S_T, I noticed the damage on Alpe D'Huez. [/quote]

    Did you fly it out there in a bike box?
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