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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:56 am 
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Saturday was a scheduled team ride. The weather was poor, cold and raining the first hour and very windy. Some of the team was off cross racing and I guess others decided since it is off season to pass on this ride due to weather so it was a small group of 6 of us. Cinders are not used where I live in poor weather but for some reason we had quite a bit in places on the roads and experienced a few flats including myself but mine decided to not go flat until over night Saturday. So I woke up to a rear flat on my road bike. I always am cleaning my bike and since I had to change the flat I cleaned my bike and pulled my front wheel. I felt something under the crown of my fork so I took a little better look. This is what I found:

Image

The fork is a 7 year old Alpha Q GS30 that I bought from a builder raw. I would hit it pretty frequently with 303 for UV protection but can't say the underside of the crown got hit that often. I'm not sure if that contributed to this kind of deterioration of the carbon. There are two small holes and you can see the fork mounting bolt on the front brake.

The only good things about this is I have a brand new GS30 that is painted as a spare and the other is that with such a windy day we came back at a pretty fast pace hitting speeds up to 61 km and the fork did not fail!

Words of wisdom? Clean your bike often and inspect everything closely. Also the underside of this crown was fine last time I had a look at it a few weeks ago.

Here is a link to the ride:

http://app.strava.com/activities/90038993" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I guess my being cocky in my title gave me the next day flat. Karma.

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Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:56 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:11 pm 
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looks like delamination with some stress fractures. it that hole caused by rocks/debris hitting and getting stuck up there?

good thing you checked. count your lucky stars.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:34 pm 
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2 things

to me the pic looks like the underside of just about every carbon fork that gets ridden a lot.

the amount of material around that area on an Alpha Q in that area is very thick. 10mm or more. Are you saying the hole goes through the wall?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Nick, that is correct. I cac see the front brake bolt thru one of the holes. I've never had a rock wedge in it either.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Juanmoretime wrote:
Nick, that is correct. I cac see the front brake bolt thru one of the holes. I've never had a rock wedge in it either.


scary...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:58 pm 
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I am glad the bike is okay (and you as well). An ounce of prevention...

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:59 pm 
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I've never heard of a fork breaking in that spot. I'd patch it up with a couple layers of cloth and resin and call it good.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:03 pm 
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^ Darwin award of the year for this character.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:04 pm 
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( I'd patch it up with a couple layers of cloth and resin and call it good. )

Then put that sucker on ebay, no one will ever know. :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:28 am 
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I could see that sort of thing happening if you're running 25c tires (or bigger). I had an older 3t fork that just couldnt take a 25 without the sand and grit rubbing the fork right at that same spot. You can see plenty of scratches leading to that center area which would imply the same type of damage. Just a thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:06 am 
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progetto wrote:
( I'd patch it up with a couple layers of cloth and resin and call it good. )

Then put that sucker on ebay, no one will ever know. :oops:


No, but I'd happily ride it.

Seriously, has anyone heard of a fork breaking in that location? Looks like erosion rather than a structural crack.

First, I'd try to pull the blades apart... and if that doesn't produce any strange sounds then patch it up. That's how they'd fix it if you sent it somewhere anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:32 am 
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Juanmoretime wrote:
Nick, that is correct. I cac see the front brake bolt thru one of the holes. I've never had a rock wedge in it either.


The photo doesn't do it justice then. Just looks delaminated. Cosmetic.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:22 am 
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Juanmoretime wrote:
I've never had a rock wedge in it either.


...an actual hole doesn't just happen from carbon delamination. Even if a rock never got wedged in there u could have hit a rock that got shot onto the underside or a nail or other sharp object. Carbon doesn't just disintegrate and fade away leaving a hole that appears like a puncture wound. EM3

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:39 am 
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Fault in manufacturing along with poor QC would be a pretty safe bet.


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Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:39 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:29 am 
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Location: Seattle
Seven years seem pretty good to me for a non-coated carbon fork.
Both UV radiation and moisture have adverse effects on the mechanical properties of the polymeric epoxy matrix, while the carbon fibers are not affected significantly by either environment. The polymer matrix in a fiber-reinforced composite serves to transfer the loads to the reinforcing fibers and provide shear strength. Its not the non-coated carbon but the non-coated epoxy that leads to reduced damage tolerance and lack of long-term durability. But really seven years is good, consider the flat a blessing.


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