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  1. #26
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    Here are pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    I want to alert anyone who owns a 1997-98 Roubaix-elite Road bike that they may have a serious stress flaw in the front fork. I purchased this bike new in the 90's and have ridden it for years on the road. Yesterday on a ten mile spin around my neighborhood I was nearly killed , All of a sudden once I left the smooth road and traveling over pavers in a roundabout circle the front fork broke and I went flying over the handlebars on to the pavement. The next thing I remember in waking up in the back of the ambulance on my way to the hospital. Luckily I did not sustain any broken bones but did some damage to my face and broke a tooth . I feel so fortunate today to be still alive that I felt compelled to alert any who has one of these road bikes . Their seems to be a manufacturing defect in the frame . It snapped like a twig and separated from the bike.
    I would welcome any feedback from anyone who has more knowledge of this happening to anyone else or what you would do if this happened to you. Thanks
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Roubaix-Elite Specialized Frame defect-gerrys-bike.jpg   Roubaix-Elite Specialized Frame defect-bike-damage.jpg  

  2. #27
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    Here are some pictures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Roubaix-Elite Specialized Frame defect-bike-damage.jpg   Roubaix-Elite Specialized Frame defect-gerrys-bike.jpg  

  3. #28
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    here's the thing I see with all the confusions and expectations regarding the use of carbon forks (and frames for that matter). I'll just list my opinions, and not in any particular order of importance

    1. at the very top level of composite R&D, it is the PhDs who are doing it. I'm talking about the PhDs working at the university labs and at the labs of the top companies, such as at Toray, Mitsubishi, Boeing, etc. Bicycle companies do not have anybody with this level of expertise in composite.

    2. then down the rung of knowledge are the "BS" degree engineers. There are many level of engineers at this level. I suspect the top BS level guys are those working for a big aerospace or composite makers. I have a hard time that an aspiring budding BS guy would want to go work for Giant or Merida (that's just my opinion). The engineers working in the cycling industry are probably average composite engineers, or retired or close to retired aerospace guys looking for an easy job.

    3. then down the rung are the technicians. These are the guys doing the grunt of the testing and QA. They are still very knowledgeable thru sheer experience.

    4. then down the rung are the low-wage factory workers (many of whom are females) doing the laying up of the carbon prepeg sheets. They are just going thru the motion of a job. That's about it. But I'll wager that even these workers know more about carbon fiber than an average consumer.

    5. at the bottom of the knowledge rung is your typical consumers. And here is where I see the issue lies. By the time you go from step 1 (PhD) to step 5 (consumer), there is now a big gap in knowledge. When you tell a consumer to check and inspect his carbon parts, what exactly are you asking him to check? What is he to look for? What equipment is he to use? What sort of knowledge is he expected to have while checking? So far, what I see, it's a lot of internet bro's telling each other what they should check for. And to add to the myth of check for failure, there is a lot of confusion/myth that carbon fiber is so stiff and strong (IF built right) that any failure is to suspected of user's error.

    Can you imagine what sales of carbon bicycle would be like if there would be a big and bold sign listing out all the items that the potential buyer is expected to maintain. I'm pretty damn sure that if you put a sign that says "weight limit 200 lbs" or "check your fork on every ride or risk potential faceplant", the sales of carbon bikes will be lowered.

    Now I'm not saying that aluminum or steel bikes won't fail. However, because checking for metal failure is usually easier than checking for composite failure, and in addition, metals usually gives signs before they go completely, from this stance, metal may be safer to operate?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Here are some pictures
    holly! damn glad you didn't crash coming downhill! that would have been catastrophic.
    If you've never crashed this bike previously, then I'm venturing to guess that there are voids (small empty space) in that forks (between the carbon layers). Just my guess.

  5. #30
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    After seeing these photos there is definitely 'more to the story'. Like 'Oh yeah...I did drive into my garage w/ the bike on the roof rack the day before this...'
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    After seeing these photos there is definitely 'more to the story'. Like 'Oh yeah...I did drive into my garage w/ the bike on the roof rack the day before this...'
    and how do you figure that based on the photos? Can a carbon component simply fail over time due to voids? I didn't read anywhere that OP has crashed or run his bike into an immutable object. But let's see what he has to say before branding him user's error.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    and how do you figure that based on the photos? Can a carbon component simply fail over time due to voids? I didn't read anywhere that OP has crashed or run his bike into an immutable object. But let's see what he has to say before branding him user's error.
    I've read too many of these damage reports that happened while "JRA" that I take them all with a grain of salt. The bike looks as if it's been ridden and put away wet a couple of times, with marks and scrapes that that seem to show a hard life, which is probably how it should be.

    But what's that tire rub on the fork? Did it happen when the fork broke, or prior to it breaking? If prior to, why, and during this ride or an earlier one? Ten years after the date of manufacture seems a long time for a defect that would lead to this type of failure to stay hidden.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I've read too many of these damage reports that happened while "JRA" that I take them all with a grain of salt. The bike looks as if it's been ridden and put away wet a couple of times, with marks and scrapes that that seem to show a hard life, which is probably how it should be.

    But what's that tire rub on the fork? Did it happen when the fork broke, or prior to it breaking? If prior to, why, and during this ride or an earlier one? Ten years after the date of manufacture seems a long time for a defect that would lead to this type of failure to stay hidden.
    .
    Exactly. And both legs having the exact same defect in the exact same location? Come on, if you think this is a manufacturing defect you need to think about it a little bit more. From what I can see this is classic crash damage. Prove me wrong.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    My apologies. It is not unheard of here for existing members to create a new account to troll. What were your injuries?
    Dave, I was knocked unconscious and was found lying facedown in the road . I was taken by ambulance to the local hospital emergency room.
    Luckily no broken bones but I have a broken front tooth and scrapes and bruises to my face and body . Thank God for my helmet it took a good hit and absorbed some of the impact and probable saved my life.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    here's the thing I see with all the confusions and expectations regarding the use of carbon forks (and frames for that matter). I'll just list my opinions, and not in any particular order of importance

    1. at the very top level of composite R&D, it is the PhDs who are doing it. I'm talking about the PhDs working at the university labs and at the labs of the top companies, such as at Toray, Mitsubishi, Boeing, etc. Bicycle companies do not have anybody with this level of expertise in composite.

    2. then down the rung of knowledge are the "BS" degree engineers. There are many level of engineers at this level. I suspect the top BS level guys are those working for a big aerospace or composite makers. I have a hard time that an aspiring budding BS guy would want to go work for Giant or Merida (that's just my opinion). The engineers working in the cycling industry are probably average composite engineers, or retired or close to retired aerospace guys looking for an easy job.

    3. then down the rung are the technicians. These are the guys doing the grunt of the testing and QA. They are still very knowledgeable thru sheer experience.

    4. then down the rung are the low-wage factory workers (many of whom are females) doing the laying up of the carbon prepeg sheets. They are just going thru the motion of a job. That's about it. But I'll wager that even these workers know more about carbon fiber than an average consumer.

    5. at the bottom of the knowledge rung is your typical consumers. And here is where I see the issue lies. By the time you go from step 1 (PhD) to step 5 (consumer), there is now a big gap in knowledge. When you tell a consumer to check and inspect his carbon parts, what exactly are you asking him to check? What is he to look for? What equipment is he to use? What sort of knowledge is he expected to have while checking? So far, what I see, it's a lot of internet bro's telling each other what they should check for. And to add to the myth of check for failure, there is a lot of confusion/myth that carbon fiber is so stiff and strong (IF built right) that any failure is to suspected of user's error.

    Can you imagine what sales of carbon bicycle would be like if there would be a big and bold sign listing out all the items that the potential buyer is expected to maintain. I'm pretty damn sure that if you put a sign that says "weight limit 200 lbs" or "check your fork on every ride or risk potential faceplant", the sales of carbon bikes will be lowered.

    Now I'm not saying that aluminum or steel bikes won't fail. However, because checking for metal failure is usually easier than checking for composite failure, and in addition, metals usually gives signs before they go completely, from this stance, metal may be safer to operate?
    hmm nope

    the quality of the engineering at many bike mfrs is highly overstated. They are just not regulated and not following the strictest aviation protocols in carbon frame layup, guaranteeing no voids and weak points. It is the wild west, anyone can make a carbon frame and sell it despite varied or inadequate R&D.

    this according to one aviation composites expert of Luescher Technic, one Raoul Luescher

    https://youtu.be/-qsLYlVWkbQ
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  11. #36
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    Looks like perhaps it could’ve been ridden directly into a curb.

    Maybe the shop you took it to for the “minor tuneup” could shed some light on this. Who test rode it after tuneup?
    Last edited by factory feel; 1 Week Ago at 01:34 PM.

  12. #37
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    it's hard for me to tell what would cause such breakage. Did the fork initially develop a crack on one of the legs, causing the OP to lose control of the bike and then crash into some other object/curb that then resulted in what we see in the pics? Hard to say one way or another. OP was knock unconscious, probably he didn't recall a thing about how he crashed. I'm guessing it'd require some soft of crash forensic expert specializing in composite to analyze this issue. However, I don't see the OP blaming the bike industry, he's issuing a warning, and a fair one.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    hmm nope

    the quality of the engineering at many bike mfrs is highly overstated. They are just not regulated and not following the strictest aviation protocols in carbon frame layup, guaranteeing no voids and weak points. It is the wild west, anyone can make a carbon frame and sell it despite varied or inadequate R&D.

    this according to one aviation composites expert of Luescher Technic, one Raoul Luescher

    https://youtu.be/-qsLYlVWkbQ
    After watching many of Raoul's videos, I have a lot less faith in carbon components. I now will not recommend anyone buying carbon components used unless they know exactly what the hell they're doing.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    Looks like perhaps it could’ve been ridden directly into a curb.

    Maybe the shop you took it to for the “minor tuneup” could shed some light on this. Who test rode it after tuneup?
    ^This^.

    You don't normally see both fork legs breaking in the same exact place/way w/o some kind of help. There's an industry term..."JRA", just riding along. It has been associated w/ issues like this forever. "I was just riding along and both fork legs exploded". Very rare for something like this to happen.
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    here's the thing I see with all the confusions and expectations regarding the use of carbon forks (and frames for that matter). I'll just list my opinions, and not in any particular order of importance

    1. at the very top level of composite R&D, it is the PhDs who are doing it. I'm talking about the PhDs working at the university labs and at the labs of the top companies, such as at Toray, Mitsubishi, Boeing, etc. Bicycle companies do not have anybody with this level of expertise in composite.

    2. then down the rung of knowledge are the "BS" degree engineers. There are many level of engineers at this level. I suspect the top BS level guys are those working for a big aerospace or composite makers. I have a hard time that an aspiring budding BS guy would want to go work for Giant or Merida (that's just my opinion). The engineers working in the cycling industry are probably average composite engineers, or retired or close to retired aerospace guys looking for an easy job.

    3. then down the rung are the technicians. These are the guys doing the grunt of the testing and QA. They are still very knowledgeable thru sheer experience.

    4. then down the rung are the low-wage factory workers (many of whom are females) doing the laying up of the carbon prepeg sheets. They are just going thru the motion of a job. That's about it. But I'll wager that even these workers know more about carbon fiber than an average consumer.

    5. at the bottom of the knowledge rung is your typical consumers. And here is where I see the issue lies. By the time you go from step 1 (PhD) to step 5 (consumer), there is now a big gap in knowledge. When you tell a consumer to check and inspect his carbon parts, what exactly are you asking him to check? What is he to look for? What equipment is he to use? What sort of knowledge is he expected to have while checking? So far, what I see, it's a lot of internet bro's telling each other what they should check for. And to add to the myth of check for failure, there is a lot of confusion/myth that carbon fiber is so stiff and strong (IF built right) that any failure is to suspected of user's error.

    Can you imagine what sales of carbon bicycle would be like if there would be a big and bold sign listing out all the items that the potential buyer is expected to maintain. I'm pretty damn sure that if you put a sign that says "weight limit 200 lbs" or "check your fork on every ride or risk potential faceplant", the sales of carbon bikes will be lowered.

    Now I'm not saying that aluminum or steel bikes won't fail. However, because checking for metal failure is usually easier than checking for composite failure, and in addition, metals usually gives signs before they go completely, from this stance, metal may be safer to operate?
    Pretty funny in bold. Statistically, what percentage of aluminum and steel bikes have carbon forks? Probably 95%
    Statistically, in the bike industry even among boutique frame builders of Ti and Steel, carbon forks are almost universally used.

    In summary, carbon forks far outnumber any other fork material....in fact, if other materials comprise 1% of the industry, it would be surprising.

    How many failures have occurred due to carbon fork failure? Me personally with over 100K miles on carbon, 0. Among all my group riding friends, none I know of.
    Entire bicycle universe? Likely .000000000000001% or about the same odds as being hit by lightening.
    Last edited by 11spd; 1 Week Ago at 04:31 PM.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    ^This^.

    You don't normally see both fork legs breaking in the same exact place/way w/o some kind of help. There's an industry term..."JRA", just riding along. It has been associated w/ issues like this forever. "I was just riding along and both fork legs exploded". Very rare for something like this to happen.
    I posted this only to alert people for safety reasons. If you look at the picture you can see their is nothing wrong with the front wheel to the best of my knowledge I did not hit anything. I was found tangled with the bike in the middle of the road. Believe what you want but I feel that anyone who owns one of these bikes should be concerned .

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    I posted this only to alert people for safety reasons. If you look at the picture you can see their is nothing wrong with the front wheel to the best of my knowledge I did not hit anything. I was found tangled with the bike in the middle of the road. Believe what you want but I feel that anyone who owns one of these bikes should be concerned .
    Was the bike ever in a crash previously? What kind of roads do you ride..smooth or rough? Have you ridden the bike much on gravel? Ever hit a pot hole at a high rate of speed?
    Could you guestimate how many miles are on the bike? Are you the only owner? Has the bike ever been lent to another rider with unknown riding skills?

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    I posted this only to alert people for safety reasons. If you look at the picture you can see their is nothing wrong with the front wheel to the best of my knowledge I did not hit anything. I was found tangled with the bike in the middle of the road. Believe what you want but I feel that anyone who owns one of these bikes should be concerned .
    So it is possible that you hit something, but don't remember?
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    I posted this only to alert people for safety reasons. If you look at the picture you can see their is nothing wrong with the front wheel to the best of my knowledge I did not hit anything. I was found tangled with the bike in the middle of the road. Believe what you want but I feel that anyone who owns one of these bikes should be concerned .
    Any chance that you had some kind of medical issue and the resulting crash caused the damage to the bike? Or that you hit something in the road and crashed/got knocked out and the crash caused the damage, not the damage causing the crash? Can you see my point? This is a hugely unusual thing to 'just happen' while you're riding down the road. It's not unusual at all to not remember a short time before a TBI happens. If you hit a rock or a small animal and then crashed so hard you were knocked out for a short period of time you might never know what happened. It's happened to me, stopped at a stop signed intersection, remember turning right then the next thing I know I'm in a CAT scan and it's 1.5hr later.
    To be clear, you have to think about this damage being a result of a crash and not the cause of the crash. It's just not the normal or even abnormal failure mode of a fork to just fall apart after 10 years like yours did.
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  20. #45
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    I'm with cxwrench on this one, the way it broke seems much more like the damage would be caused by some kind of impact either before (without your knowledge) or during the accident, but not a defect.

    Nonetheless, thanks for the reminder for all of us riding on carbon parts that are getting old to give the old frames and forks a once over...

    BTW it's pretty amazing what a wheel can survive when a frame gets munched... I destroyed a fork and cracked a frame via the old "drive the bike on your roof rack into a building" method, wheels were still perfecto...

  21. #46
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    looking at the upper part of the failure, the front of the fork looks like it's snapped, jagged, but clean, whereas the trailing edge of the fork looks like it been the end of the failure with stuff going everywhere and delamination up towards the crown. Like when it failed it failed backwards, folding under, like it hit something (and that something could be anything small or large) rather than just collapsing...
    also the front tyre looks like it has a big mark on it, but hard to tell from the pic.
    All the gear and no idea

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    looking at the upper part of the failure, the front of the fork looks like it's snapped, jagged, but clean, whereas the trailing edge of the fork looks like it been the end of the failure with stuff going everywhere and delamination up towards the crown. Like when it failed it failed backwards, folding under, like it hit something (and that something could be anything small or large) rather than just collapsing...
    also the front tyre looks like it has a big mark on it, but hard to tell from the pic.
    Good point, the direction of the fork travel upon failure could shed some light.

    I would be under the assumption that a JRA failure would have the wheel going out ahead of bicycle where as a head-on impact failure would have the wheel collapsing into the bicycle.

    So maybe the direction of the carbon fiber “tear” as it were could narrow the potential cause.

    Then we could all sleep better!

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    .
    ? Ten years after the date of manufacture seems a long time for a defect that would lead to this type of failure to stay hidden.
    .
    Twenty years. OP stated it’s a 97/98.

    I’m in agreement with others that it looks like crash damage, not JRA.

    OTOH, what’s the motive for claiming otherwise ?, something tells me we are not getting the whole history of this bike.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Twenty years. OP stated it’s a 97/98.

    I’m in agreement with others that it looks like crash damage, not JRA.

    OTOH, what’s the motive for claiming otherwise ?, something tells me we are not getting the whole history of this bike.
    OP corrected himself and said it's a 2010 bike.

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    About fifteen years ago I was riding with a friend and he ground into a curb (hitting the curb parallel) and he snapped his fork just like the one in the pic after he almost stopped with pronounced horizontal breaks opposite of the 'grain'. He had a carbon fork, but it had aluminum sleeves that went down from the crown to right about the OP's break point. It was easy to see how that could be the failure point for what he did.

    I agree there's more to this JRA story. I can't tell that this bike has been ridden and put up wet, and I don't see the mark on the front tire. There's an identical long mark (label?) on the rear tire. But even with a trashed fork, I wouldn't lay it down on the DS.

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