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DANGER: Trek multitrack 7300 (hybrid) aluminum bracket sheers off, rips apart entire rear end of bike



 
 
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  #31  
Old April 8th 05, 04:28 PM
Marvin
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Werehatrack wrote:
On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 13:33:58 CST, wrote:

If that's true, now that the Tour de France (and all other races)

are
composed purely of aluminum and carbon bikes, what is the rate of
failures there? After all, these are bikes that are ridden more in a
month than most bicycles get ridden in their entire lifetime.


And in many cases, are then discarded. These are *racing* bikes.
They aren't intended to be racing 2 years from now because they'll be
2 years out of date at that point.


I've got a fairly convincing counterexample to that, and you'll hate
it, because it's composed entirely of fashion victims :-)

Seriously, there are an awful lot of riders who buy a bike "because
it's exactly what Lance rides". Somehow I can't imagine they throw
their bikes away every season, so either they keep riding them or
someone else does secondhand. My dad is currently riding the same
(make of) frame Lance won his second tour on, and I'm sure there are
many more like him. None of them are coming back with complaints, and
believe me if I'd dropped several thousand on a new bike I'd be
complaining if it broke any time soon.

While it is possible to buy a bike
substantially similar to many of those used in the TdF, doing so when
the intent is to obtain a *durable* product is the wrong approach.
Racing hardware, whether it's intended for cars, motorcycles,
skateboards or bikes, is oriented towards short-term performance, not
longevity. It doesn't have to be the best stuff for *any* use, it
just has to be the best for the specific event, for long enough to

get
to the end of the course.

Plus,
they get ridden outside in the rain, get bashed over cobblestone

roads
at high speed, and get washed with corrosive chemicals and blasted

with
a hose every single day of their lives.


And do you really think they don't also have multiple backup bikes,
techs to check them each day, and spares for everything that might
wear or fail?


The Cervelo guys were insisting in a cyclingnews interview that the CSC
riders rode the same bike for all the flat stages (including crashes,
which CSC seemed rather prone to in last year's tour). Reading various
mechanic's diaries, they (claim to) replace a lot less stuff than you'd
imagine. Even after Roubaix they won't be throwing any frames away.
Chains yes, tubs by the handful, frames no.

When WAS the last time a steel bike won any significant race, of any
kind, any where? I'm not old enough to remember.


Probably in the '70s, maybe the '80s. What of it? Those were
tissue-thin steel frames, not intended to be any more durable than

the
beer-can aluminum ones that replaced them. As with the new ones, a
bike for a high-end comepetitive TdF team hasn't been built for a
75000km life expectancy in a very long time. There's no reason to do
so; it's going to be retired at the end of the season, or maybe even
at the end of the race. It's been a long time since *that* wasn't
true.


Sticking with the same team, the Motorola team used to sell their
season's bikes on at the end of every year. I never heard tales of
people complaining about how their Lance mobile broke soon after being
bought, and I rather doubt Merckx (the Motorola sponsor at the time)
would have let anything with his name and the Motorola livery be ridden
if it was likely to break. The potential PR disaster just doesn't bear
thinking about.

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  #32  
Old April 11th 05, 06:04 PM
Werehatrack
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On Fri, 8 Apr 2005 09:28:30 CST, "Marvin"
wrote:

Werehatrack wrote:
On Wed, 6 Apr 2005 13:33:58 CST, wrote:

If that's true, now that the Tour de France (and all other races)

are
composed purely of aluminum and carbon bikes, what is the rate of
failures there? After all, these are bikes that are ridden more in a
month than most bicycles get ridden in their entire lifetime.


And in many cases, are then discarded. These are *racing* bikes.
They aren't intended to be racing 2 years from now because they'll be
2 years out of date at that point.


I've got a fairly convincing counterexample to that, and you'll hate
it, because it's composed entirely of fashion victims :-)

Seriously, there are an awful lot of riders who buy a bike "because
it's exactly what Lance rides". Somehow I can't imagine they throw
their bikes away every season, so either they keep riding them or
someone else does secondhand.


A good many of them seem to get little or no significant accumulated
mileage, and neither get replaced nor sold off very soon. (There are
exceptions; plenty of Trek madones show up on eBay either as frames or
complete bikes with very few limes on them. Not all of the sales are
genuine, of course...) I've known a few people who jsut *had* to have
'the very best", including one person who still has the bike "just
like Greg Lemond's" that he bought back then, and has put perhaps 500
miles on to date. (Today, he weighs about 75 lbs more than he did
when he bought the bike, and says that he needs to lose some weight
before he goes *back* to riding. I scoff; he never rode much in the
first place.) Yes, a goodly number of such bikes *do* get ridden hard
and often, but the status-driven buyer whose image is the most
important thing will buy the status-symbol bike just because of what
it is...and may not get on it more than once every few months.
Eventually, they tend to be a source for really nice older hardware
for the rest of us at a bargain price, often when the ex sells off the
assets cheap. Sometimes, the ex *doesn't* sell it cheap, though...

My dad is currently riding the same
(make of) frame Lance won his second tour on, and I'm sure there are
many more like him.


Make, but is it the identical version? Production vs race-built can
be identical design but not identical execution, and if it's the
production version, I'd bet that it's *better* from a durability
standpoint.

None of them are coming back with complaints, and
believe me if I'd dropped several thousand on a new bike I'd be
complaining if it broke any time soon.


With the exception of certain carbon frames, production bikes "like" a
given race version can have variances from the ones that were actually
used in competition, if for no other reason than the fact that
competition bikes don't have to be production units. In the case of
the current Trek carbon frames, it's my understanding that they may
very well be identical, though, since it's prohibitively expensive to
come up with a new design that you *won't* be putting into actual
production intact and unchanged. For any rule outside physics, an
exception can usually be found, and the cost of OCLV seems to have put
the Trek folks into the enviable position of *really* selling bikes
that are "just like" the winners. This still does not establish that
they've got the long-term material stability to be as durable as steel
or aluminum, but it does predict that while the material holds out,
they're likely to be damn good, and if the theories about their
durability are accurate, then their principle longevity threat is
owners who might expose them to destructive contaminants. (The same
is also true for metal frames, of course, such as salt spray, but the
difference is that while most people will readily recognize the
antagonists that will attack a steel or aluminum unit, the hazards for
carbon/epoxy materials are less obvious.)

And do you really think they don't also have multiple backup bikes,
techs to check them each day, and spares for everything that might
wear or fail?


The Cervelo guys were insisting in a cyclingnews interview that the CSC
riders rode the same bike for all the flat stages (including crashes,
which CSC seemed rather prone to in last year's tour). Reading various
mechanic's diaries, they (claim to) replace a lot less stuff than you'd
imagine. Even after Roubaix they won't be throwing any frames away.
Chains yes, tubs by the handful, frames no.


The frames may be the strong part of the unit, then. Of course, if
they're engineering a metal structure to be able to absorb the
overloads that *might* be present in the TdF, and if (as posited
above) the goal is a bike that has zero chance of a problem in the
race, I guess they very well might be making it strong enough to hold
up in everyday usage quite well. For all of that, though, durability
of the carbon matrix is still (at this point) not established as being
comparable to steel. In another 40 years, it may be...and something
else will very likely have replaced it by then. Maybe several times.

(As for the reported lack of unit swaps, one should also not discount
the possibility that the teams have a PR person watching what goes
into those diaries; if you had to replace a frame for a bike for your
team, would you admit that it had been done? Although I guess there
may be a rules issue involved; how often are the bikes checked for
rules compliance? Would such a swap, undisclosed, be a liability? If
so, then they'd have to engineer for a greater safety margin.)

... Those were tissue-thin steel frames, not intended to be any
more durable than the
beer-can aluminum ones that replaced them. As with the new ones, a
bike for a high-end comepetitive TdF team hasn't been built for a
75000km life expectancy in a very long time. There's no reason to do
so; it's going to be retired at the end of the season, or maybe even
at the end of the race. It's been a long time since *that* wasn't
true.


Sticking with the same team, the Motorola team used to sell their
season's bikes on at the end of every year. I never heard tales of
people complaining about how their Lance mobile broke soon after being
bought, and I rather doubt Merckx (the Motorola sponsor at the time)
would have let anything with his name and the Motorola livery be ridden
if it was likely to break. The potential PR disaster just doesn't bear
thinking about.


I have to wonder how many of those retired racers went into the
equivalent of a trophy case after a certain number of outings. If I
had the money to buy such a bike, it's likely that I'd ride something
else, so that the investment in the collectible unit would not be at
risk. I know this sort of thing has happened with race cars in the
past; one of the old Gulf Porsches of my acquaintance spent a *lot* of
years as a treasured showpiece, trotted out for the occasional token
run around a track somewhere, before being finally retired formally to
a museam. The owner had other cars that he actually *raced*. "The
bike that was ridden in $RACE_X by $RIDER_Y" would be a similar trophy
to a lot of buyers. I doubt that the sellers thought they had
anything to worry about, and I'm sure they also said "If you have any
problems with it, call us."
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  #33  
Old April 12th 05, 03:10 AM
Mark Hickey
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Werehatrack wrote:

(There are
exceptions; plenty of Trek madones show up on eBay either as frames or
complete bikes with very few limes on them.


Well I would hope so - I suspect the citric acid would play hell on
the carbon fiber...

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame

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