Help Titanium frame repairs ?

#1
Well I thought I'd finally cracked the "getting back into cycling piece" (again), managing a ride almost every weekend recently, so much so that I thought I'd actually give the bike a good clean. Almost wish I didn't - when I turned it over I noticed a thin crack behind the seat-tube above the bottom bracket…

Does anyone know of any ti builders/welders around Tokyo who might be able to help ? I do have a warranty on the frame but by the time I ship it back to the UK and get it back again the spring & summer will be over, so I'd also like to understand my options here first...

Thanks ---

 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#2
I'd guess that this would be expensive, if possible at all. (I'd be looking for a replacement/temporary frame.)

I happen to have a framepr0n "mook" about Japanese made-to-order frames/bikes. (The publication doesn't pretend to be exhaustive.) Unsurprisingly, there's an emphasis on steel; the only companies described as making a titanium frame to order are: Emme Akka (Iwate-ken) and Toyo and Titania (both Osaka-fu).

Sorry, in a rush so I haven't read through the descriptions for any mention of repairs, or visited any of the websites (whose URLs I mindlessly copied from the printed page).

I hope that my pessimism is unfounded.
 
Likes: SteveT

andywood

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#3
I would go with the warranty. Any repairs you make may make the warranty void.

Contact the company and pressure them. Send pictures. Tell them that a mechanic has told you it is dangerous to ride. But that you need the bike for your daily livelihood...

You never know, they may send you a replacement frame and then you return this one. I was lucky th get this service when I cracked a carbon frame a few years ago...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
#4
@microcord, @andywood ,

Thanks for the links and advice . Yes, I guess this reminds me that I don’t really have time (or transport…) to go around looking for titanium workshops in any case. It was the desperation talking.

The maker got back to me quickly which was good, checking that it hasn’t been in a crash etc which I’ve answered (it hasn’t), but said he would have to evaluate the extent of the damage himself… I’ve told him I really do need it asap so will see what he says. I’ve read that they have made good their warranty in the past and sent a new frame to someone in a similar situration… BUT it took them 12 months to sort out...

I’ve never actually thought about getting another bike in the 6 years I’ve been riding this one, and now I’m having to consider it I don’t really know where to start ! Haven’t kept up on my bike porn these last few years. Worst case is that I may have a long wait so I might well go for a new bike or new frame… maybe an excuse to try carbon at last…

- Steve
 

George5

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Oct 16, 2014
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#6
That isn't a repair. The frame maker will likely have to replace. You have a lifetime warranty on the frame I am guessing.
Get a replacement and in the meantime I would get a frame to put all your parts on till you get it back, always good to have a spare:).
His welds aren't the smoothest but that is a material failure not workmanship unless his tubing choices were questionable, IMHO . Good luck.
 
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joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#8
@SteveT, sorry to hear about the cracked frame. Maybe you won't need the frame welded if the supplier will replace it under warranty, but Jose (@Jayves) has had a cracked Ti frame rewelded by a shop over here (I think it was an automotive welding shop). He has not had any problems with it since then.

Joe
 
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#9
Thanks @joewein ,that is indeed good to know. It the replacement frame route for whatever reason doesn't work out I will ping Jose - I don't mind a bit of a "battle scar" on the frame. Still waiting for the supplier to get back to me: I can only assume they are working non-stop to surprise me and send a new frame next week...
 

Forsbrook

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Feb 13, 2008
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#14
Sorry to hear about your trouble.
If I were you I wouldn't ride that bike again.....but that's probably because I am much heavier than you!
However,I'm curious to know,as a heavy rider,if you heard or felt any abnormalities before you discovered that crack.
I always ride steel but even though I trust it very much I always wonder how much can I trust it?
Did you have any indications that the frame was actually cracked or were you totally stunned to discover that crack when you turned your bike over?
 

jdd

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#15
I realize everyone is suggesting caution, along with proper fixes, but I would ride it if...

...I had a seat post long enough to extend below the crack, and then put an extra clamp below at the true base of the post (and another in between?).
 

leicaman

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#16
I realize everyone is suggesting caution, along with proper fixes, but I would ride it if...

...I had a seat post long enough to extend below the crack, and then put an extra clamp below at the true base of the post (and another in between?).
A seatpost extending below the crack? Wouldn't that mean the seatpost would need to enter the Bottom bracket?
 
#18
Thanks to for all the comments, creative suggestions, and some plain good old fashioned innuendo :). Actually the etching examples shown on that Carbondry site are damned cool… a definite upgrade from regular decals.

To answer your question @Forsbrook I really had no idea that it was cracked. I probably would have noticed when I last changed a puncture a couple months ago so some time since then I guess. Haven't noticed any difference in handling. I wonder what would happen if I just kept riding it …

Anyway, usually I would have to ship this back to the supplier to evaluate and then either fix or send another frame - they've confirmed they are happy to do this. But I'm also exploring an alternative option they suggested - I buy a 2015 model at cost from the factory which they will ship direct, without me needing to send back the cracked frame. Need to figure out the total costs now, but it will at least save me air-freight sending back to the UK, plus the hassle/expense of possibly moving parts over to a new frame in the meantime…
 

George5

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#19
they suggested - I buy a 2015 model at cost from the factory
Steve it's your money but lifetime warranty should mean lifetime. The option they gave you would be a good one if you had had a crash, it's pretty typical as a crash replacement but that crack is caused by either (a) bad selection of tubing or more likely (b) faulty prep and attention to detail in the welding. The manufacturer owes you and sold you a high quality frame for the life of the frame as they state on their warranty page. You might want to scoff at that offer and insist on what you are legally entitled to.

To quote them
"E......... Titanium Ltd will at its sole discretion repair or replace any E.......... bicycle frame or component that fails due to manufacturing or material defects within the time periods detailed.
TIME PERIOD
Warranty coverage on E......... titanium bicycle frames extends to the lifetime of the frame*, from the date of purchase for the original purchaser only. *Any carbon content of frames is limited to a 5 year warranty".