Sorry, you must be logged in to use the shoutbox!

Author Topic: Broken Steer Tube Question  (Read 1550 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ECFoecking

  • Amateur Billy Goat
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +7/-8
  • Gender: Male
Broken Steer Tube Question
« on: July 25, 2010, 10:20:48 AM »
My son rides a Giant Rincon he bought new in 8/2008.  A couple weekends ago, he was riding at Alafia when he went down an incline, rolled over a root at the bottom of the hill and found himself on the ground.  When he went back to the bike, the steer tube had broken from the fork a little over an inch from where the fork enters into the frame.  While we know it is outside of the warranty period, we took it back to the LBS we bought it from to see if there was anything that could be done.  Upon further review, the mechanic called us to tell us the bike was clearly "neglected" as the bottom washer/seat was missing (my son did pick up some of the parts he found but did not return them with the bike) and they have assumed the steer tube was not adjusted correctly and "jack hammered" the tube until it broke.  They suggested the damage was not done in a single ride but over perhaps a couple hundred miles of riding.  When asked if other parts of the bike showed significant wear, they pointed to the gears and suggested they showed the bike has been ridden in excess of 2000 miles.  Interestingly enough, my son just doesn't have the time to ride more than once a month, on average, and has mostly ridden the loop at Flatwoods until he and another son rode Alafia twice in the last 3 months.

The real question here is how likely is the above scenario?  I can attest to the miles my son has ridden being somewhere less than 500 miles since he bought the bike.  How much "play" is enough to cause this kind of issue?  How common is this issue even with some play?  While my son is not meticulous taking care of his bike, he does rinse the exposed dirt from the bike before he loads it back on the car.  How is it possible the gears shows so much more wear than I know he could have put on the bike? 

I am grateful, after the way the bike came apart, my son is OK but now am very frustrated to be in a contest with the bike shop as to what can and should be done.  I honestly do not want to get something from either the LBS or Giant for nothing but I genuinely believe this to have been a defect with the bike that should be replaced.

Thanks for any thoughts and advice.

Eric
Eric

Words can be your friends if you choose them wisely

Offline ProEdgeBiker .

  • SUPPORTING OUR TRAILS By DONATING $30/yr for a SWAMP FAMILY MEMBERSHIP!
  • SWAMP Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • ****
  • Posts: 2148
  • Karma: +105/-634
  • Gender: Male
  • *SPECIALIZED & SCOTT* My SWEATSHOP BOUTIQUES!
    • PROEDGEBIKER.COM
  • Favorite Trail: BOYETTE/P-TRAIL
  • My Bike: 650b SPECIALIZED EPIC & SCOTT FOIL 15
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 10:44:49 AM »
Taking care of a bike is very important, specially when having to deal with warranty issues.

Lets say your son really did only ride the bike for 500mi since he bought it, how many times did he clean it after his rides?

You mention that he mostly rode Flatwoods (sandy trail) and if he didnt clean the chain after the rides, then yes i can see how an LBS can say that the bike has 2000K miles. A dirty chain can really tear up your drivetrain.

Offline $irWattZZZZ

  • SWAMP Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • ****
  • Posts: 1644
  • Karma: +47/-276
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Ibis Mojo HDR, WaltWorks 29er,Devinci Atlas, Cannondale EVO
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 02:16:21 PM »
The bottom race is driven on to the base of the steerer tube, for it to be missing I would question if it was ever installed in the first place. Did the steerer tube come loose at the fork crown or actually break? If it pulled loose from the crown I could possibly see the race coming free, if the steerer tube sheared above that point the race would have to be  meticulously pried off. As far as drive train wear goes, a streched (worn) or dirty  chain are public enemy #1. That is why the SRAM powerlink is such a great item, it allows you to remove the chain in seconds every 3 or 4 rides for cleaning and lubing ;)

Offline joedaddy

  • First Bike
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • How does this thing work?
  • My Bike: Cannondale Rush, Turner 5 spot
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 02:47:44 PM »
Hey, I'm not familiar w/ this bike or its trail worthiness but assuming the miles are as stated and the terrain your son rides is within the specs of the bike, (no drops off the 3' wall in front of his friends house etc.), I would look at the fork as the culprit. If it is a quality fork you could try contacting them directly.

Offline kj

  • Clipless Mountain Goat
  • ***
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: +13/-49
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text?
  • My Bike: Vassago JabberWocky & Bandersnatch
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 03:12:40 PM »
"Neglect" may be obvious or it may be a judgment call.  Some LBS's around the TB area have blown me away with their professionalism, service and eagerness to help.  Some have not.    If, in your opinion, the LBS judgment call is wrong then tell them so and take your business elsewhere.  Tell them (the elsewhere) why they're getting your business and how they can keep it.  Then come back here and tell everyone how wonderful your new LBS of choice is.   

Glad your son wasn't hurt.

Offline ECFoecking

  • Amateur Billy Goat
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +7/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 03:30:25 PM »
Rincon is a low end Giant MTB.  No suspension - just a basic off road bike.  Understand $400 price tag means generally low end parts but I still don't feel low end should compromise some levels of durability.  My son bought this bike from the LBS specifically expecting he would be better off than the no-name Walmart/Dick's bike.  For what I see now, I am not sure that is a reasonable assumption.  My son had a couple of folks comment while he was porting his bike out of Alafia they had never seen that kind of damage on a bike that someone was able to carry out.  That is my good news.  The bike is a bike.

As far as cleaning, I know my sons would hang and hose their bikes off when they were done.  I know they have access to chain lube but am not sure how frequently it was used.  It does puzzle my how a drive train used as infrequently as I know it has been used could show so much wear.  I am an engineer at heart and have not done any statistical analysis on gear usage vs. miles vs. cleanliness, etc.  I'd certainly trust what folks who have been riding a while offer.

It appeared to me the bottom race was as you said - at least a solid press fit.  If I had to guess, it looks like the steer tube broke just above where the race would have ended (assuming the race to be drifted in about an inch).  It would seem a reasonable gear puller or the like would be needed to get it out without doing other damage.  Also, seems very odd to me the steer tube can actually break INSIDE the frame like that.  It should be secured on the top and bottom by the appropriate race and for it to break inside that tube seems to suggest to me a manufacturing defect of some kind.

The bike is still at the LBS and they are having the local Giant rep come by to look at whether there is anything that they can do about it.  I expected to have heard something by now about it but will give them the benefit of the doubt.  I am certain my son is very soured on spending another like amount on another Giant (assuming he cannot have something resolved in his favor).  Up in the air on what happens as far as his support of that particular LBS. 

Thanks for everyone's comments.
Eric

Words can be your friends if you choose them wisely

Offline ClintonRH

  • Cycling Sherpa
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +19/-179
  • Gender: Male
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2010, 05:19:50 PM »
Steerer tube breakage on a low-end bike which usually have a steel steerer should be exceedingly uncommon, downright difficult even. The wheel tacoing, fork blowing out, fork crown cracking, or the stanchion tubes folding would be expected before I would expect a steel steerer to fail.
I could see aluminum fatiguing to a failure point if the headset was loose but the headset upon disassembly should likely have pitted races if that were the case.

My suggestion would be to pick up a new Tora SL off eBay (about the cheapest fork worth spending anything on) or a used fork (preferably of known vintage from someone upgrading, used fork can be an expensive rebuild), replace the headset and go with it. It's still a better bike than anything you would get a Walmart. A Walmart bike would like be falling apart from just a few rides a Flatwoods.

The LBS isn't trying to cheat you out of anything. They just don't want to be denied reimbursement from Giant. Since the lifetime warranty on the frame wouldn't cover a fork steerer failure they probably can't do much and the profit margin on a Rincon is probably pretty minimal to begin with.

Drivetrains can wear very fast here. The fine sugar sand at Flatwoods just tears them apart. Big heavy riders like myself go through drivetrain stuff at a wallet-emptying fast clip.

Offline Darrinw2001

  • At least this is a Healthy Obsession, right?
  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 2600
  • Karma: +118/-458
  • Gender: Male
  • aka "The OGRE" - Elite Epic Gonzo Soul Rider
  • My Bike: 2012 Salsa EL Mariachi Steel 29er and 2012 Salsa HorseThief
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2010, 08:20:25 PM »
Drivetrains can wear very fast here. The fine sugar sand at Flatwoods just tears them apart. Big heavy riders like myself go through drivetrain stuff at a wallet-emptying fast clip.

True, I just ordered a new chain and cassette for my 9 month old Giant Trance X3...

Offline ECFoecking

  • Amateur Billy Goat
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Karma: +7/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2010, 09:53:00 PM »
Apparently, the base of the frame, where the steer tube goes through, is too badly damaged to do anything with.  Not only does the steer tube/fork have to be replaced, but so does the frame.  The LBS suggested by the time we replaced the frame and the fork, we'd be better with a new bike.  The broken bike son is 155.  He did not get the fat gene I could have given him!  Or should I say the "healthy appetite" gene.  I saved that gene for my oldest son.

I am going to ask my son to give me the other parts he has and see if the wear/damage seems consistent with long term wear.  I would think, as suggested, there would be other noticeable wear in the race or whatever if all the LBS suggests is the case. 

I DO understand about margins and I do not want the LBS to eat the cost of anything.  I am just disappointed that something that by the best of my reckoning is a manufacturing defect is turning into a contest with the manufacturer in getting any resolution.  I may be jumping the gun as I have not heard back from the LBS if the area rep has offered anything.  I have been very pleased with this LBS (5 new bikes in 3 years) until this incident.
Eric

Words can be your friends if you choose them wisely

Offline ClintonRH

  • Cycling Sherpa
  • ***
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +19/-179
  • Gender: Male
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010, 09:47:46 AM »
True, I just ordered a new chain and cassette for my 9 month old Giant Trance X3...

The stock chain and cassette (Shimano Deore) didn't even last 6 months on my HiFi. Admittedly I put a lot of miles on them but when I replaced the chain it was skipping on the cassette. Thought I would replace the chain early to try and get longer life out of the cassette but I ended up having to replace the cassette too.

The 980 SRAM cassette I replaced with didn't last much longer than that either even though I was cycling two chains swapping them every month. Maybe eight months was working great then after a monthly chain swap it was skipping teeth on out of saddle efforts. Chains were a little worn but well within usable tolerances with the one that came off being slightly worse. I was rather disappointed.

I'm a big (6') and heavy (230 lbs) guy but that's really disappointing. Especially considering my road bike sees a LOT more miles and I've had to change one chain and zero cassettes in the time that I've gone through three cassettes and 6 chains on the mountain bike. I'm not buying any more. I'm going to start cycling the old take-offs back into service (with their matching worn chains) until my chainrings are worn to the point of replacement.

I haven't kept track of miles on my fixed well but I bet it has as many if not more the other bikes combined and it's still on it's first chain (I don't count the stock noisy chain because it was replaced after a few rides because it whirred like a tiny lawn mower). That 1/8" chain last I checked it had zero stretch despite getting less maintenance and more neglect. Plus no noticeable wear to the cog or chainring.

Offline Alan

  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 1176
  • Karma: +42/-111
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Monolog, Bruce LeeRoy, Gnarvester of SSorrow
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 11:57:18 AM »
Try taking it to another Giant dealer and maybe get Giant involved in the process.  If it is a rigid fork then the fork should be covered under Giant's lifetime warranty IF you can show it wasn't abused/neglected. 

Do you have any photos of the break and the damage? 

Did your son notice any vibrating, shaking, or clunking coming out of the front end before this incident?

Offline ProEdgeBiker .

  • SUPPORTING OUR TRAILS By DONATING $30/yr for a SWAMP FAMILY MEMBERSHIP!
  • SWAMP Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • ****
  • Posts: 2148
  • Karma: +105/-634
  • Gender: Male
  • *SPECIALIZED & SCOTT* My SWEATSHOP BOUTIQUES!
    • PROEDGEBIKER.COM
  • Favorite Trail: BOYETTE/P-TRAIL
  • My Bike: 650b SPECIALIZED EPIC & SCOTT FOIL 15
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2010, 01:37:23 PM »
Try taking it to another Giant dealer and maybe get Giant involved in the process.  If it is a rigid fork then the fork should be covered under Giant's lifetime warranty IF you can show it wasn't abused/neglected. 

Do you have any photos of the break and the damage? 

Did your son notice any vibrating, shaking, or clunking coming out of the front end before this incident?

Not 100% sure about this one but if my memory serves me right, the Rincon has a Front Suspension, its not rigid.

Offline eclark

  • Cycling Sherpa
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Karma: +29/-165
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2010, 02:20:14 PM »
hey Original Poster,
  First, let me say glad the son is ok and walked away with no harm, thats the most important thing.  2nd, it sounds like your bike shop is still working for you, they haven't told you that they are stumped yet, so hopefully this is all a non-issue.  That being said, if they can't do anything, take it as a sign that it is time to upgrade the bike.  At least it was an entry level bike and not his first dual suspension or something.  Good luck bro.

Offline Alan

  • Yellow Jersey
  • *****
  • Posts: 1176
  • Karma: +42/-111
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bike: Monolog, Bruce LeeRoy, Gnarvester of SSorrow
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2010, 02:23:09 PM »
Try taking it to another Giant dealer and maybe get Giant involved in the process.  If it is a rigid fork then the fork should be covered under Giant's lifetime warranty IF you can show it wasn't abused/neglected. 

Do you have any photos of the break and the damage? 

Did your son notice any vibrating, shaking, or clunking coming out of the front end before this incident?

Not 100% sure about this one but if my memory serves me right, the Rincon has a Front Suspension, its not rigid.

Ah...he said no suspension so I figured rigid.  Even if it does have a suspension fork it may be work his time to contact the maker of the fork.  RockShox warrantied my REBA outside of warranty.  They are pretty good about that stuff.

Offline ProEdgeBiker .

  • SUPPORTING OUR TRAILS By DONATING $30/yr for a SWAMP FAMILY MEMBERSHIP!
  • SWAMP Club Member
  • Yellow Jersey
  • ****
  • Posts: 2148
  • Karma: +105/-634
  • Gender: Male
  • *SPECIALIZED & SCOTT* My SWEATSHOP BOUTIQUES!
    • PROEDGEBIKER.COM
  • Favorite Trail: BOYETTE/P-TRAIL
  • My Bike: 650b SPECIALIZED EPIC & SCOTT FOIL 15
Re: Broken Steer Tube Question
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2010, 02:51:55 PM »
time for an upgrade:


 

Advertisement: