Paint or Carbon crack? - Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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hypercycler
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:04 am

by hypercycler

Hi everyone,

I got a 2017 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX for about half year now and had put appx 1200 miles on it. For the past couple months the bike developed a light ticking sound and I believe it's coming from the bb area so I thought it's time to service / change out the bottom bracket bearings (PF86).

So I used the proper tool (Enduro BRT-003) to remove the original bottom bracket cups that came with the bike (SRAM plastic ones), which went smoothly. However, the problem occurred when I installing a new set of bottom bracket bearing cups (Kogel PF86 ceramic, aluminum cups). With the bearing cups being squeezed into the frame (stress into the frame from both sides, which makes the frame slightly bends), I saw this hairline crack budged up (see pic) and making a very loud popping sound on every 1/4 turn of the press tool (see the video @ 42 seconds mark).

https://youtu.be/2BfNSOYwo-k

It seems like the cups are very tight for the frame. I stopped the installation immediately and discovered that the bottom bracket housing on the frame is not perfectly rounded. The outer edge of the cups would not sit flush with the frame therefore they are being force INTO the frame and created that hairline crack. Now I'm not exactly sure if it's just a paint crack or it's the actual carbon layer but I can see the crack line continued inside into the frame (see the pic I circled). I did the coin tapping method on the crack and it sounds pretty much the same, maybe just a slight difference then the area next to it.

On a side note, my friend also bought an Ultimate EVO frameset and he's using the same Kogel PF86 bb cups and they went in smoothly. But now he's complaining the the bottom bracket has some plays too.

Also there's a crack on the paint on the non driveside of the bb area, I noticed it when I received the bike new but I thought it's a paint crack so I didn't pay too much attention to it. Not sure if it has anything to do with the hairline crack on the bottom of the down tube.

I've emailed both Canyon USA and Canyon German couple days ago but haven't heard back from them. The bike was purchased thru the German site and had it shipped to my Hong Kong address where I brought it back to the U.S. I understand Canyon USA would only deal with warranty works with bikes being purchased in the U.S. but I figured just give it a shot since their office is only 50 miles away from where I live.

What do you guys think?

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Last edited by hypercycler on Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

by Weenie


youngs_modulus
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:03 am
Location: Portland, OR USA

by youngs_modulus

I watched the video, and while it's hard to tell what's causing that sound, I suspect that crack at the center of the BB is through the carbon. At the end of the video, I was pretty sure I saw it shift in time with the very last cracking sound.

The cracking sound itself doesn't sound like a carbon frame cracking, though. It rings on for too long and sounds too metallic, but that might have been the wheel ringing after being "plucked" by the cracking.

Cracking carbon sounds more like a wooden beam starting to fail, while the sound in your video was sort of like the pinging a newly laced, non-stress-relieved wheel makes when you first ride it. Again, that might have just been the wheel in your frame resonating.

The thing is, compressing the bottom bracket shell as you would to install your BB would create bending stress near that cutout, and the crack is pretty close to where the highest tensile stress would be. Oof.

I don't quite follow what you mean when you say the BB shell isn't perfectly rounded. Do you mean that there's some radial runout? In other words, are you saying that if the bearing seat were a wheel, it would be true but out of round? This might be important, so please clarify.

The cracked paint on the NDS isn't in a place where I'd expect structural failure of the carbon, but it's hard to diagnose these things over the internet.

You might call Canyon USA and ask if they'd take a look at your frame. Acknowledge that it's a gray-market frame and that you understand they're under no obligation to fix it. If you come across as someone excited about the brand who doesn't have a sense of entitlement, they might take care of you as a goodwill gesture. (It seems like this is your attitude anyway, so good for you).

If the bearing seat in your BB shell really is out of round, it probably came out of the mold that way. If so, it really is a manufacturing defect. Canyon USA is under no obligation to fix that defect, obviously, but from a QC point of view, it's in their interest to know about it. An ovoid BB is a serious enough issue that they really might feel compelled to take care of you on that basis.

The good news is that if your frame is cracked, that should be a really easy area to repair. Plus, you're quite close to Craig Calfee, who repairs frames like yours all the time. If your frame is truly cracked and your BB is ovoid and Canyon USA declines to help you, you could put your old BB in your repaired frame and be back on the road for not much money. As nearly-new out-of-warranty carbon frame problems go, this is about as mild as you could hope for.

hypercycler
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:04 am

by hypercycler

Thanks for the insight. The bb shell isn't ovoid, or the tolerance would be too small to even notice. Just that when I putting the cup in by hand, it catches at 2 points at the edge.

As a matter of fact I just got a reply from Canyon USA that it appears to be a crack. As expected, they pointed me to contact Canyon Germany directly since I purchased the bike from them. I will update how things go.

2old4this
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am

by 2old4this

I don't know how you took the third picture (good for you) but that small hairline fracture seems to be exactly opposite side of the outside "paint crack". I think it is a crack in the carbon.
I am doubtful on Canyon Germany replacing it through a warranty claim. They can say you used the wrong tools, didn't align the press tool right, tightened the press too much, etc etc.
If you end up sending the frame to Germany, even the shipping cost will be high (unless Canyon Germany agrees to pay for it, based on the pictures.)
Just take a day off on a Friday, take a long weekend trip to NorCal, and meet Craig Calfee. He'll probably give you a tour of the place. You'll be impressed.

lockxchg
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:35 pm

by lockxchg

No idea if that is a crack. That said, installing a pressfit BB into a pure carbon BB shell always seems to make those loud popping sounds, though in the video they are certainly early for how far it's gone in.

I assume you are just unlucky with BB shell and BB tolerances conspiring to produce a terrible fit. An *aluminum* cup seems like a really bad idea for a carbon BB shell that was manufactured to dubious tolerances. The jellybean Shimano BB86 bottom brackets have composite cups and for a good reason.

User avatar
kgt
Posts: 7011
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

According to Hambini's recent test many mass-made frames from big companies have really poor BB tolerances. Smaller 'boutique' brands and in-house manufacturing proved much better.

User avatar
wheelbuilder
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:10 am

by wheelbuilder

Every frame that I have ever built up with a PF system (and there have been a lot). Just about every brand including Canyon, has made that loud cracking sound, (usually several times.) None of my colleagues or myself have ever been able to accurately verify what exactly is making that noise. We have at times thought it was the cups themselves yielding to the pressures, but the sound is the same regardless of cup material......Delrin- Sram, Shimano, FSA, etc, or aluminum-Chris King, Wheels etc. We use Wheels Manufacturing super high quality presses. I'm assuming it is an inherent noise to either yielding carbon fiber, yielding cups, or both. It is ALWAYS cringe-worthy and anxiety producing, but I wouldn't worry about the sound portion of your dilemma. I have cracked one bottom bracket shell on a BBRight Cervelo. One time out of probably close to 100 frames. My shop bought that gentleman a new frame and I took full responsibility and was very remorseful. One thing I have noticed is that the Delrin cups will distort like crazy and fill in any shell imperfections quite easily. However Delrin cups usually start making noise within the first year. With Delrin cups you can press both sides at the same time in almost a careless fashion and they will go in straight. Aluminum cups on the other hand, need to be perfectly squared up to the shell with the small chamfered edges inserted into the frame perfectly before applying any force. One side at a time is the order of the day for these. Aluminum systems however, (particularly Chris King) Give much better performance, quiet operation and durability for a very long time. These systems never come back for creaking, ticking, or looseness. As far as that crack, I would not want to offer an opinion because I am not a carbon expert. However it's location seems to me to not be critical. Sorry you have to fret about this.

UpFromOne
Posts: 726
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Olympic Nat'l Park, WA

by UpFromOne

Cracks tend to expand over time. I'd fix it now.

There are several superb carbon repair shops in CA, and other states. See your online search results and phone them.

AJS914
Posts: 2389
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Wow, I will never buy a press fit frame.

If I couldn't get warranty service, I would DIY fix the little crack in the middle and then install a derlin BB that didn't have to press all the way through.

reedplayer
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:10 am

by reedplayer

UpFromOne wrote:Cracks tend to expand over time. I'd fix it now.

There are several superb carbon repair shops in CA, and other states. See your online search results and phone them.


+1. let pros repair it, and everything will turn out all right.

User avatar
kgt
Posts: 7011
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

AJS914 wrote:Wow, I will never buy a press fit frame.

Not all press-fit BBs are designed in the same way. There are frames with much beefier-sturdier BBs in terms of material. These frames are not ultralight but they never have such issues in such a critical area.

hypercycler
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:04 am

by hypercycler

Thanks for everyone's suggestions and feedback. Looks like things are going to the "right" way... Just got an email from Canyon Germany that they are aware of this and have experienced some issues with the Ultimate frames. So they are asking me to take a few more pics and last, cut the frame into half and send them the pics. They will be shipping me a new frame. This is my 2nd Canyon and I'm glad that they do stand behind their products.

by Weenie


topflightpro
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

wheelbuilder wrote:Every frame that I have ever built up with a PF system (and there have been a lot). Just about every brand including Canyon, has made that loud cracking sound, (usually several times.) None of my colleagues or myself have ever been able to accurately verify what exactly is making that noise. We have at times thought it was the cups themselves yielding to the pressures, but the sound is the same regardless of cup material......Delrin- Sram, Shimano, FSA, etc, or aluminum-Chris King, Wheels etc. We use Wheels Manufacturing super high quality presses. I'm assuming it is an inherent noise to either yielding carbon fiber, yielding cups, or both. It is ALWAYS cringe-worthy and anxiety producing, but I wouldn't worry about the sound portion of your dilemma. I have cracked one bottom bracket shell on a BBRight Cervelo. One time out of probably close to 100 frames. My shop bought that gentleman a new frame and I took full responsibility and was very remorseful. One thing I have noticed is that the Delrin cups will distort like crazy and fill in any shell imperfections quite easily. However Delrin cups usually start making noise within the first year. With Delrin cups you can press both sides at the same time in almost a careless fashion and they will go in straight. Aluminum cups on the other hand, need to be perfectly squared up to the shell with the small chamfered edges inserted into the frame perfectly before applying any force. One side at a time is the order of the day for these. Aluminum systems however, (particularly Chris King) Give much better performance, quiet operation and durability for a very long time. These systems never come back for creaking, ticking, or looseness. As far as that crack, I would not want to offer an opinion because I am not a carbon expert. However it's location seems to me to not be critical. Sorry you have to fret about this.


I remember that noise when we pressed in the Wheels BB86 into my Argon. It was quite awful. In fact, the mechanic told me before hand that it was going to sound bad.

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