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Frame or paint crack Al bike

wishitwasallflatwishitwasallflat Posts: 3,109
edited December 2013 in Workshop
Spotted this crack on the Top Tube/Seat Tube junction of my 2011 Specialized Sectuer today.

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Its an Al frame done about 9k miles. I first saw this as a wee dark line about five days ago but thought it was dirt but after cleaning bike today it's a crack just below the weld line where the top of Top Tube joins the Seat Tube. I've seen posts like this before but for CF frames and the consensus is these can be paint/lacquer cracks on CF frames due to the fact the CF flexes but the paint doesn't. Can the same happened on an AL frame? Hard to say if there's any noises as there has been a creak noise that has come and gone in the past and I've put it down to saddle and/or rails and Crud mudguards and rough roads don't help ID noises! There is no real play or movement to be felt - I reckon if I pull hard back and up on saddle and press hard down on TopTube I can see the crack open a very very tiny amount (fraction of a mm) but my wife says she can't see anything.

Would appreciate any thoughts/advice/experience ? I can phone the Spesh Concept Store where I got it tomorrow am but I think Will the workshop man isn't there on a Sunday. Is it safe to ride in the meantime? Is the frame cracked? Is it just paint and lacquer?
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Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    I'm 99% (maybe even 100%) certain that is a crack. Personally, I wouldn't ride it - could end up as quite a major failure if it develops.
  • That looks nasty!
  • Does indeed. How high have you been running your seatpost, and how much was extending past the seat/top tube junction into the frame?
  • Cheers - if it helps anyone form an opinion the bike is now mounted in the turbo (that's where it's stored) and if push on the saddle and TT I can definitely open the crack up a bit. I suppose though that could happen if it was just paint that had cracked because the frame was flexing along that line and the pushing caused it to flex again.

    Must say as I type this it feels like I am clutching at straws and I fear this frame is scrap. Internet wisdom says the Spesh lifetime frame warranty is sound and they honour it and I fear I am about to find out for myself how true that is :(
  • Nairnster wrote:
    Does indeed. How high have you been running your seatpost, and how much was extending past the seat/top tube junction into the frame?

    Seat post is pretty low only got 12cm exposed so there's loads left in the seat tube.
  • Yes, Specialized will honour the warranty, no doubt about that. Aluminium alloy is prone to cracking, nothing new, I'm afraid
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    Must say as I type this it feels like I am clutching at straws and I fear this frame is scrap. Internet wisdom says the Spesh lifetime frame warranty is sound and they honour it and I fear I am about to find out for myself how true that is :(

    It is a crack along the weld line which has now started to extend down the top tube. If it was paint, you would not be able to flex it. The line of the crack pretty much confirms it is structural, IMO...

    Will be interesting to see how Spec respond.
  • Bad luck, but hopefully it will get sorted out under warranty.

    Keep us posted.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    If you are the original owner specialized are very good with their warranties.
  • Jim CJim C Posts: 333
    Yes looks like a goner

    Experience within our club of specialized warranties is that they're excellent, and go above and beyond expectation. Don't ride it in the meantime
    jc
  • wishitwasallflatwishitwasallflat Posts: 3,109
    edited November 2013
    Thanks to all, looks like I'm f&f£@?d as this is my only bike - I will post again once I know what Spesh say and do.

    PS Yes I am first owner I bought it from Spesh Concept Store in Aug 11 and have been in a few times with wheel problems which they were absolutely great about and a few other things. They have always been exceptionally good (above expectation as someone said) so I am upset about how long I may be without a bike but confident it will work out ok.
  • Hope it all gets sorted quickly then. What size frame is it?
  • Nairnster wrote:
    Hope it all gets sorted quickly then. What size frame is it?

    58
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    Spesh are very quick. They often send warranty frames out to stores simply after seeing an emailed photo and proof of purchase. It's in effect as quick as the store can build it up for you.
  • Spoke to Spesh Concept Store where I bought it today. They initially said bring it in but when I explained its a 100 mile round trip and asked if anything could be done if I emailed photos to get it moving, and then bought the bike in at a later stage they were fine with that. The said all things being equal it should be sorted by end of this week. I emailed the photos posted here and also one of the number plate thing at the bottom of the seat tube which they asked for. They've replied to say they have the pics and will contact Spesh Warrenty Dept tommorow and sort something out.

    I'm hoping it may be possible to do this with only one trip down to drop of old frame and get new. I'm not sure though if they will swap over components or maybe Im supposed to take the stripped frame down myself, pick up the new one and refit myself. I've never built up a bike but I've done all the individual bits myself in the past so as long as BB shell and FD mounting are compatible with old components it should be ok.

    I am hoping to get a new frame with new fork as the current Secteurs don't match my forks colour. From what I read they are often good at offering upgraded frames in cases like these (people getting the model up the range is not uncommon it appears). Mine is a 2011 elite so I think Comp is one above. Does anyone know if they are likely to ask to fit old fork to new frame? I'm worried about colour matching as none of the current models match mine? Is it reasonable of me to hope for a new frame and fork? The old fork is fine it's just the frame that's damaged. If I have to pay for new fork to match any idea how much it's likely to cost? They don't sell them so I can't find out myself.

    The store have been great so far but It's still high stress, this is the best reason I've ever seen for having at least n+1. My main coping mechanism with lifes challenges is going out for a ride so this is really hard.
  • mattvmattv Posts: 992
    You may well get the same frame. It's only a recent bike. I think the road bikes often come with a fork.
  • Cheers mattv
    mattv wrote:
    You may well get the same frame. It's only a recent bike.

    No complaints from me if that's how it turns out. I will post outcome once I know.
  • Just heard that Spesh HQ want my frame sent back to them because they have never seen a frame crack in that place and want to check it. The store say its usually about 1.5 to 2 weeks turnaround when they send them back but they should have a Roubaix Demo bike in my size tomorrow or Wed which I can borrow while I wait. Hopefully pick up that which will ease the pain while I wait. Personally I can't understand why they wouldn't want to see every frame as otherwise how would they know it wasn't crash damage? If it is because this is first crack in this place it makes even more sense. If I get a loan bike I am not overly bothered; worst case scenario for me is I fall in love with the Roubaix while waiting for my replacement Sectuer frame but I would rather risk that than be bike less for two weeks.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Sounds like a good enough deal until they take a look at your bikes frame. You get to ride a decent enough bike in the meantime.
  • Kajjal wrote:
    Sounds like a good enough deal until they take a look at your bikes frame. You get to ride a decent enough bike in the meantime.

    Absolutely! Indeed a better bike than mine according to both the frame and reviews it seems. Hope I'm not too disappointed when I return to my own bike - I think I will just be relieved to get it back though.
  • I cracked the seat stay on my Specialized Allez. Specialized and Primera were great and swapped the frame for me. BUT even better they gave me a 2010 Allez Comp frame to replace my 2009 Allez Sport!

    As they were rebuilding the bike anyway I cheekily got them to replace the cables and bottom bracket for no extra labour cost too. Might be worth considering if things are a little worn.

    Good luck!
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,524
    Kajjal wrote:
    Sounds like a good enough deal until they take a look at your bikes frame. You get to ride a decent enough bike in the meantime.

    Absolutely! Indeed a better bike than mine according to both the frame and reviews it seems. Hope I'm not too disappointed when I return to my own bike - I think I will just be relieved to get it back though.


    If you do fall in love with the Roubaix won't hurt to ask them if they'll consider it as a replacement for your knackered Secteur. After all it is a demo bike so they could never get RRP or anywhere near for it.

    If you don't ask you don't get :lol:
  • arlowood wrote:
    If you do fall in love with the Roubaix won't hurt to ask them if they'll consider it as a replacement for your knackered Secteur. After all it is a demo bike so they could never get RRP or anywhere near for it.

    If you don't ask you don't get :lol:

    I must confess I had though of that - there are posts of people getting upgrades on warranty but I dont think any were as good as that. Most refer to models of MTB frame though so I'm not familiar with the models they talk about.

    I just picked up the demo bike today and its brand new (it came out the box this pm just before I picked it up!). It's the SL4 disc model so Sora 9 speed and Avid BB7 road disc brakes. Arguably a step down in gearing from my 10 speed Apex Secteur but disc brakes do appeal to me as I do ride in all weathers and my commute includes a stretch of road that seems permanently covered with a fine red dust that must be v bad for rims. Should get out for a spin on it tommorow before the storm arrives Thurs. Very happy to have bike again no matter how this turns out :D .
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    arlowood wrote:
    If you do fall in love with the Roubaix won't hurt to ask them if they'll consider it as a replacement for your knackered Secteur. After all it is a demo bike so they could never get RRP or anywhere near for it.

    If you don't ask you don't get :lol:

    I must confess I had though of that - there are posts of people getting upgrades on warranty but I dont think any were as good as that. Most refer to models of MTB frame though so I'm not familiar with the models they talk about.

    I just picked up the demo bike today and its brand new (it came out the box this pm just before I picked it up!). It's the SL4 disc model so Sora 9 speed and Avid BB7 road disc brakes. Arguably a step down in gearing from my 10 speed Apex Secteur but disc brakes do appeal to me as I do ride in all weathers and my commute includes a stretch of road that seems permanently covered with a fine red dust that must be v bad for rims. Should get out for a spin on it tommorow before the storm arrives Thurs. Very happy to have bike again no matter how this turns out :D .

    I was looking at getting one of those at some point for comfortable long distance riding. How did you find it ?

    Was the wider range of gears a problem ?

    Are the disc brakes any good :)
  • hi Kajjal,

    My verdict on SL4 disc is - frame excellent (I want one), gears rubbish, and disc brakes good.

    Pros over Sectuer

    Instantly noticeable how much stiffer the frame is especially when getting up to speed and climbing. Its a lovely feeling. I was really conscious of flex in the Sectuer (maybe mine was flexing excessively though due to problems but I have been aware of flex for a few months only noticed the crack a week ago so not sure. Should be able to tell when I pick up new Sectuer frame today though (more on that later)!

    Definitely smooth's out the ride - I fitted my old carbon wrapped alloy post and saddle from the Sectuer and even with that (Roubaix SL4 disc comes with a carbon post) I noticed a clear difference. You still feel the big bumps but the edge and harshness of them is greatly reduced and road buzz is noticeably reduced.

    Cons

    I think I said arguably Sora is a step down from Apex in an earlier post - well there is no argument! I found the Sora levers very uncomfortable - with Apex I feel my hand rests on the bar (so where the tape and gel pads are) but on Sora the hood is so long that my hand sits on the unpadded rubber hood cover. Yes MTFU and all that and I am sure I would get used to it (or get padded gloves more likely) but why get used to it? (guess I'm just a SRAM fanboy!) I didn't like:

    the fact the whole top of the shifter opens up when you brake (feels very exposed to dirt water etc etc)
    I found sometimes I would flip the inner paddle and nothing happened and had to repeat to get a shift
    I did definitely notice the more spaced gear ratio - the SL4 has 11-32 9 speed and Apex has 11-32 10 speed - I was surprised that I noticed a difference but there is defo a big jump around 2 or 3 on the cassette which I didn't like (would get used to it though I expect and probably much better with closer ratio cassettes [if you've got the knees for it])

    Disc brakes

    Still a bit unsure of this - I didn't get the chance to try them in the wet (where they are supposed to come into their own) and I am not 100% sure the set I had are fine tuned though (lever pull on front was very long) or maybe not bedded in? I must say though they did feel strong despite those minor queries and I would still like a set (love the idea of sparing the rims).

    The wheels seemed fine felt ok - I'm no expert though and don't have a lot of experience to compare.

    All in I would say its a lovely frame but if I got one I would sell on the Sora ASAP and replace with SRAM.

    On the warranty note - got a call yesterday that Spesh are replacing my frame with a 2013 Secteur Elite frame and it comes with fork and possibly seatpost as well. They are building it today and I will pop down later to pick it up. The guy I spoke to was pretty sure it would be the 2013 model which has internal rear brake cable (so its not slung under the curved toptube like a washing line anymore which I like), Zertz inserts on the seatstays (do they actually work??) and I like the silver - hope its not a 2012 though as I don't like the white and red!

    I asked about the possibility of getting a Roubaix frame (even offered to pay the difference in costs if it wasn't too much) but apparently they have really tightened up on that and won't give the model upgrades that used to be common even a year ago. Apparently there's a new guy in charge of the Dept and he's cracked down on it and they will only give more recent version of same model frames. I'm very happy though as getting a brand new frame and fork and built up seems very fair to me so no complaints on that front and congrats to Spesh.
  • Awesome news mate, pics when you get the new one.
  • Nairnster wrote:
    Awesome news mate, pics when you get the new one.

    Will do :D

    PS - Do you mean
    pics or it never happened
    :!:
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    hi Kajjal,

    My verdict on SL4 disc is - frame excellent (I want one), gears rubbish, and disc brakes good.

    Pros over Sectuer

    Instantly noticeable how much stiffer the frame is especially when getting up to speed and climbing. Its a lovely feeling. I was really conscious of flex in the Sectuer (maybe mine was flexing excessively though due to problems but I have been aware of flex for a few months only noticed the crack a week ago so not sure. Should be able to tell when I pick up new Sectuer frame today though (more on that later)!

    Definitely smooth's out the ride - I fitted my old carbon wrapped alloy post and saddle from the Sectuer and even with that (Roubaix SL4 disc comes with a carbon post) I noticed a clear difference. You still feel the big bumps but the edge and harshness of them is greatly reduced and road buzz is noticeably reduced.

    Cons

    I think I said arguably Sora is a step down from Apex in an earlier post - well there is no argument! I found the Sora levers very uncomfortable - with Apex I feel my hand rests on the bar (so where the tape and gel pads are) but on Sora the hood is so long that my hand sits on the unpadded rubber hood cover. Yes MTFU and all that and I am sure I would get used to it (or get padded gloves more likely) but why get used to it? (guess I'm just a SRAM fanboy!) I didn't like:

    the fact the whole top of the shifter opens up when you brake (feels very exposed to dirt water etc etc)
    I found sometimes I would flip the inner paddle and nothing happened and had to repeat to get a shift
    I did definitely notice the more spaced gear ratio - the SL4 has 11-32 9 speed and Apex has 11-32 10 speed - I was surprised that I noticed a difference but there is defo a big jump around 2 or 3 on the cassette which I didn't like (would get used to it though I expect and probably much better with closer ratio cassettes [if you've got the knees for it])

    Disc brakes

    Still a bit unsure of this - I didn't get the chance to try them in the wet (where they are supposed to come into their own) and I am not 100% sure the set I had are fine tuned though (lever pull on front was very long) or maybe not bedded in? I must say though they did feel strong despite those minor queries and I would still like a set (love the idea of sparing the rims).

    The wheels seemed fine felt ok - I'm no expert though and don't have a lot of experience to compare.

    All in I would say its a lovely frame but if I got one I would sell on the Sora ASAP and replace with SRAM.

    On the warranty note - got a call yesterday that Spesh are replacing my frame with a 2013 Secteur Elite frame and it comes with fork and possibly seatpost as well. They are building it today and I will pop down later to pick it up. The guy I spoke to was pretty sure it would be the 2013 model which has internal rear brake cable (so its not slung under the curved toptube like a washing line anymore which I like), Zertz inserts on the seatstays (do they actually work??) and I like the silver - hope its not a 2012 though as I don't like the white and red!

    I asked about the possibility of getting a Roubaix frame (even offered to pay the difference in costs if it wasn't too much) but apparently they have really tightened up on that and won't give the model upgrades that used to be common even a year ago. Apparently there's a new guy in charge of the Dept and he's cracked down on it and they will only give more recent version of same model frames. I'm very happy though as getting a brand new frame and fork and built up seems very fair to me so no complaints on that front and congrats to Spesh.

    Thanks for that very helpful.
  • To finish this one off - Spesh gave me a 2013 Sectuer Elite frame (with fork) as a replacement under warrenty. Took 3 days from when I dropped it off with them to pick up the replacement. My old frame had a band on FD and this one has braze on and they fitted a replacement FD and re-cabled and built it up for no cost. Anyone want a Force 10 Speed 31.8mm band on FD check out road parts sales!

    I don't know if it's because there was a long standing problem with my original frame but this one feels less flexy and is definitely noticeably better at smoothing road buzz on rear end. The 2013 seatstays are much slimmer and they also added big Zertz inserts so maybe it's those. Anyway I am very happy and once again high praise to all at Spesh Concept Store Harrogate :D

    PS - Yes I have ordered silver bottle cages to replace those skanky old white ones!

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  • Well done for your perseverance and patience in getting things resolved. Some have thrown their toys from the pram for far less.

    The bike's looking good (even with all those headset spacers :P ). Enjoy it.
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