Time ASX Titan failure (Happened this morning!)

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Sasha011


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by clm2206

jipperd wrote:
Sasha011 wrote:does anyone have the picture of the duar-ace left crankarm hanging on the shoe of a discovery rider after a fall??? it is from the 2005 season and i think it is manuel beltran...

It was Benoit Joachim in the 2005 Vuelta:

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... p?id=23809

afaik it was Jose Azevedo.

by Weenie

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by Veloviet

What's your name again? Tom b...Just kidding bro!!! I am glad you are OK. Get a replacement then sell it. Time is good on replacement, I return my couple months ago before it happen, I got 100% money back after more than a year of riding to get a campy or pay extra to get a new TIME ULTEAM they look nice too. Good luck!!!
Rolling, keep rolling and rolling faster

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by beatnik

Yep he is Azevedo, Joachim is taller ;)
Biomechanical spreadsheet. Sizing&Fitting.

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... 8e319d185b

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by Alpinist

I gotta say I'm impressed.
I mailed mine back to BikeNut. They feel confident enough with Time's customer service that I am getting a store credit before Time sees the cranks. I owned these for a year and a half.
I have a set of Records on the way with the UT bb.

Just a note: I probably do not keep up with my maintenance like I should. The bolt/nuts probably loosened and wallowed out their holes. The thinning material cracked on the spider and I had a broken set of cranks.
Then Time gives me full credit.
I would have gotten the new Time cranks if they were out but I must ride now. I just would have checked those nuts more often. The Record's will do even those they are not as sexy and light.

BikeNut was a great help and i have to give them 2 thumbs up for their customer service.
Dare to Fail

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by alexedge

I have to point out that all these folks talking about "see, this is why I don't use carbon" or statements to that effect have a complete misunderstanding of why this part failed.

I'm not going to fully explain the way carbon structures derive their strength, or why, but the information is freely available on the net as well as in numerous books to be found at any bookstore. Do some research on composites before making sweeping statements regarding their suitability for a particular application.

As far as this particular failure, I can make both some very specific and very general statements about it, both of which I expected to have already been made, but since they haven't, I feel that someone needs to make them.

First of all, it is quite possible to construct molded structures out of carbon fiber that are quite strong, and extremely light. Arguably, in the case of spider tabs, it makes more sense to design them as a contiguous part of the structure than to bond a metal tab to the primary carbon structure - the bonding point of said hybrid structure being, to borrow a military term I'm rather fond of, an obvious point failure source. Of course, building the tabs out of carbon only works if you design them and manufacture them correctly.

What is 'incorrect' about the design of the tabs that failed? The first thing that jumps out at me is the edges. Having spent many years working as a tool and die/moldmaking machinist (including building molds for carbon fiber parts), quite possibly the first thing I learned was never to leave a sharp edge, either at a junction between two planes, or around the edge of a hole. In fact, one of my first jobs, just after I graduated from sweeping the floor to actually being able to touch the molds themselves, was to crawl all over the molds with a cordless drill mounted with a chamfer bit, which looks sort of like this: \_/. You use this to put a nice little radius on the edge of each hole. Keep in mind, these were holes no more than .75" in diameter, drilled into billets of high-quality steel that sometimes weighed hundreds of pounds. Still, every machinist knows that any sharp edges will become a focal point for stress, and if you apply enough stress enough times, a crack will begin.

That's my specific commentary about this particular part failure. Now to some more generalized statements, mainly to contradict the aforementioned "this is why carbon isn't good for (insert any bicycle part here)" statements.

Most of my hobbies, and several of my jobs, have been focused on weight. Although I haven't really designed and produced any bicycle parts (modified some existing ones, though), I've done quite a bit of work in the auto racing industry, and gained some experience that I feel is applicable. Despite the fact that our minds are always focused on winning, and in the case of the engineer/fabricator that often means designing or building a lighter part, we try not to lose sight of one fundamental rule: it is better to come in second, or third, or last, than for the driver to impact a wall at 120mph. Thus, while light weight is a primary objective, it can never be obtained at the expense of safety. It is the engineer's responsibility to design a SAFE part. The earlier posts in this thread, one of which I believe said "we are not all about building the lightest possible bike, it must also be safe to ride" and another which sarcastically offered to build a 8/12 spoke wheelset, were both quite correct.

To design a component that can handle the applied loads without failure should be relatively simple these days, at least compared to, say, 30 years ago. Nowadays, computer simulations of stress are extremely accurate - if you have an accurate measure of the maximum load that will be applied to the pedals (say, by Tom Boonen or some other extremely powerful pro) and an accurate computer model of the crankset, pedals, and chainrings (accurate meaning the computer has accurately modeled the shape, thickness, density, and composition of the parts, and can thus determine their resistance to stress), you can do a pretty damn accurate modeling of how they will respond to stress.

Of course, you can't really stop with just a computer model and consider yourself to have a safe product, much as many designers wish it was otherwise. To quote Carrol Smith, who before becoming an author was involved in many winning (and light) auto racing efforts (underlined emphasis is mine; capitals are author's):

All structures are designed so that no component will ever develop a stress or strain that will exceed the elastic limits of the material under the maximum predicted load(s). But, since SOME assumptions are always necessary; SOME joints are inevitable; SOME less-than-optimum section changes; SOME manufacturing tolerances must be allowed; SOME errors will occur in construction/fabrication and post treatment; SOME in-service abuse is inevitable. And, because all intelligent structural engineers are devout cowards, various factors are applied to all stress calculations .......... Me? I design by the book and apply the book factors, and then multiply by 1.0 to 2.5 AFTER applying all the book factors. We DO hit things and we DO drop things ......... and I REALLY dislike component failure."

Of course, when you're building structures for a race car, it's often difficult to simulate the exact stresses the structure will receive in actual use (and here I'm talking about "simulate" as in create a real physical test for a real part, not computer modeling). This is because the stresses are so many and come from multiple sources. F1 teams like Mclaren and Ferrari have multi-post test rigs that cost millions of dollars, just for this purpose. This is because the more accurately you test, the smaller "fudge factor" is required, and thus the lighter the structure.

But we're talking about a bicycle crankset, and that should be easy to test. If you're planning to build a crankset for weight weenies, then you should by definition have an accurate testing rig which effectively simulates the toughest real-world conditions you can imagine for you parts. A robotic Tom Boonen should put 50k closely monitored miles on the cranks before they ever go to market. Conversely, if you can't afford to thoroughly test the crankset, you should leave a larger safety factor in the structural design.

Now, all these generalized statements I have made could be applied to any product made from metal - say, a Dura-Ace crankset. Parts made from carbon-fiber, and specifically moulded carbon-fiber, require some further consideration. Because the strength of carbon fiber depends on the fibers themselves, the orientation of these fibers is particularly important. In a compression-moulded area (like the spider tabs), generally speaking, a majority of the fibers should be randomly arrayed so the strands propagate in almost every direction, leaving no weak link. A slightly higher percentage of fibers may be oriented in such a way as to reinforce the direction of primary stress, however.

Making certain of this alignment requires a carefully developed manufacturing technique with excellent quality control. In this case, the hypothetical robo-Boonen should have put 50k miles EACH on numerous test cranksets before they ever hit market, and thereafter should continue to test random pieces from each batch. Each piece would be microscopically examined post-test for signs of stress cracks or other indications of potential point failure sources.

Secondly, and this one should be obvious to anyone who understands the basic strengths and weakness of carbon fiber as a structural material - you SHOULD NOT drill holes in your carbon fiber parts. Why? When you drill a hole, you just CUT all the strands from which that carbon structure derived it's strength. Instead, holes need to be MOLDED in - but this is more difficult and thus more expensive.

I could continue to go on at much greater length, but I have a feeling few of you have even read this far, and I'm sure what I've already written will be torn apart by those more knowledgeable than I - indeed, this is welcomed, as it enhances all our knowledge.

As a final statement, I have to say that I feel, morally and ethically, that if a company cannot meet all the above requirements when designing a lightweight carbon part (lightweight implying that they didn't take their computer-modeled design and multiply by 2.5), they should not be producing that component at all. In the US at least, I suspect that any corporate liability lawyer would tell you the same thing. I guess things aren't quite as cut-and-dry in Europe. I never thought I would praise the litigious nature of American society, but at least it makes people think twice (and then think again) about marketing a product that has the potential to fail, and, in failure, cause injury.

And, for those who found this post interesting, I suggest a copy of Carrol Smith's superb Engineer to Win as a starting point, as it has great, simple explanations of structural materials, their uses, and how/why they fail.

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Samu Ilonen
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by Samu Ilonen


great posting!

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by Amadeus

Alexedge ---------->>>>>>>>> :goodpost:

I enjoyed reading !
My bike is Italian so it is Nervosa and of course has Anorexia I like them thin!
GIOS "New" Carbon Ultra 2006 Campa Record+Special parts.
GIOS "New" A90 2008 Campa Record+Special parts. My winter and vacation bike.

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by DocRay

Alex, it's well known that sharp edges in molds are the start of stress cracks, even for aluminum forgings. Most CF crank failures are not this bad, they are usually loss of bond between the aluminum inserts where the holes are drilled and the CF resin. You can see that Shimano took great pains to reduce this problem with the new CF DA crank. It's still a shame to see that Shimano has had to make a CF crank for no reason other than fashion, as their aluminum technology is still superior to most, if not all, CF cranks.

Unfortunately, marketing has sold the point that CF is better than aluminum, while Shimano aluminum cranks are like nothing else on the market.

Once one wraps his head around this, it's amazing how much money can be saved.

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by alexedge

thanks guys!

Doc, I'm not sure what you're trying to say - are you disagreeing that carbon can be used to build parts that are as strong, stiff, safe, and light as aluminum? Or are you saying that aluminum is actually better as a structural material than carbon?

I suppose the answer to that second question would depend on the application - certainly, for some uses, aluminum would be better than carbon. But the biggest advantage of carbon structures is the ability to control the orientation of fiber structure, thus allowing you to add strength in the plane of primary stress while leaving it with 'just enough' in planes that are very lightly stressed. Aluminum forgings, on the other hand, have an essentially homogeneous grain structure, meaning that when adding material to strengthen the part in the plane of primary stress, you'll also be adding unnecessary strength (and thus weight) in directions that are not highly stressed. The better we get at controlling the layup process, the lighter our CF parts will become....

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by VT to CA


Fantastic post. I'll be picking up Carrol Smiths book...

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Max Gravity
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by Max Gravity

I've just learned that Time cranks are made by FSA nowadays.
Problem solved.
Max Gravity, unfairly treated by gravity!

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by dadoflam08

..or just beginning - those FSA SLK and K-Force crankset owner reviews really give me confidence!

BTW the new FSA version of Titan appears now to be TSX model and now a 790g monster

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=25478

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by cees

alexedge wrote:Now, all these generalized statements I have made could be applied to any product made from metal - say, a Dura-Ace crankset. Parts made from carbon-fiber, and specifically moulded carbon-fiber, require some further consideration. Because the strength of carbon fiber depends on the fibers themselves, the orientation of these fibers is particularly important. In a compression-moulded area (like the spider tabs), generally speaking, a majority of the fibers should be randomly arrayed so the strands propagate in almost every direction, leaving no weak link. A slightly higher percentage of fibers may be oriented in such a way as to reinforce the direction of primary stress

Good post.
The problem is also that people take a metal design and just take another material like carbon ,and think if the just calc and have the right numbers that the whole construction is ok, and really have no idea what it means to construct in carbon ,becuase it take;s a whole differant approach and thinking.

And really how meany people can really calc in carbon most people have no idea .
Even people at Nei Nastran can not calc a pultrusion process
skype Ceesbeers191053

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by jakkel

I've read a lot about failures with the Stronglight Pulsion cranks.
Now I've just bought a young secondhands bike with those cranks on. I've heard somewhere that there are upgraded Pulsion cranks (heavier made), is that true? And if its so, how can I see that I have an upgraded one?


This is a picture of my crank

2004 Cannondale F600SL Sobe
2012 Cannondale SS EVO HM SRAM Red
2013 Cannondale F29 carbon2
2017 Cannondale Slate Apex

by Weenie

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