Cracked Paint or Cracked Fork?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:41 pm

by Romper

I washed my bike yesterday I noticed that there is some cracking around the bottom of both the fork legs, drive side is worse with the cracking on both the outside & inside of the leg whereas the non drive side only has cracking on the inside of the fork leg.

I have attached some dodgy photo's but am after opinion on whether its just the paint or the carbon underneath.

The two photo's with my toe in them are the non drive fork leg, the rest are the drive side.

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by Causidicus

Last edited by Causidicus on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Location: NYC

by em3

...the jagged-ness of the lines are consistent with actual cracks, not peeling/flaking pain or scratches. So now the question is , how did this happen? What kind of frame/fork is this? Just curious, does your burke do a lot of roof rack miles? Seems strange that cracks would be in same place on both fork legs? I would initially guess over-torquing your skewers but then it appears that the cracks may be far enough rom your dropouts that there is another explanation..EM3

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by Romper

Frame/forks is a 2013 Wilier Centro 1 SR. Bike has been on roof racks once, for a grand total of about 45 minutes. Skewers are just tightened to firm, nothing excessive.

It has been suggested that the paint has cracked where the fork tips are bonded to the bottom of the forks from general flexing.

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Location: Yorkshire - God's Own Country

by Svetty

Prob is just paint due to flexing as you suggest. Still wouldn't ride it until checked.

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by lannes

how come the material around the fork tip has broken away as well in photos 3 and 4, maybe the fork tip has become unbonded and is cracking the paint from flexing inside the fork leg ?

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by Marin

Carbon fork I guess? Sand off the paint and check the matrix for cracks. If none present, cover with white electrical tape or re-paint :)

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by Romper

The internal frame that the bike sits on in my bike bag has sharp edges where the forks attach and covers more surface area then the front wheel normally would. I have only used it for one interstate trip but it was enough to crack the paint as shown in the photo. I don't believe the two are related though.

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by victorduraace

Don't ride it. Sand it down to matrix, or better get fork x-ray ;)

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by uraz

Wilier will give you a new fork if you have a valid warranty.

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by Zakalwe

I'd say it was paint, they probably mask off the dropouts at that point for the first spray then do the rest afterwards. That's solid carbon there, if it gave way you'd probably know about it sooner rather than later. Get it replaced under warranty though, on principle if nothing else.

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by ToffieBoi

Stripping down the paint before talking with manufacturer, I believe is a bad idea. It can void your warrant.

Just go your local LBS of the brand, or send them the photos and learn the warranty process.

Also, I wouldn't ride that bike until everything is fixed.

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by barsook77

Willier will warranty that.

I wouldn't ride it.

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by showdown

I disagree with the seemingly prevailing idea that it's cracked carbon.

The dropouts are solid aluminum and are probably 2-3" long with a majority of that material inside the hollow carbon fork. Aluminum bends, even thick aluminum. Paint does not bend. My guess is that the point at which the paint cracked is where the carbon ends and the aluminum begins. Perhaps there was some flex that caused the paint to crack... who knows. I doubt there's anything wrong with the bike and that it's unsafe...

All that said, I'd certainly have a rep look at it for possible warranty.

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by FIJIGabe

I'm not an expert on carbon, but from my experience, I would err more on the side of a paint crank vs. broken carbon. That being said, I would let an "expert" at your LBS make that determination. I can tell you that I once had a similar experience with my old Madone, and Trek looked at it, before determining that it was a crack in the paint at a joint, and did not effect the structural integrity of the bike (it was later warrantied for other reasons). I think your next step is to take it in and have it looked at.
Madone 9
Madone 5

Madone 4, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

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