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  1. #1
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    ALERT -Roubaix-Elite Specialized Frame defect

    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
    Last edited by swiftgerry; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Contact Specialized with pics, and CC the CPSC.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Contact Specialized with pics, and CC the CPSC.
    Marc, Thanks but what is CPSC?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Marc, Thanks but what is CPSC?
    Oh I got it Consumer Protection Safety . Thanks again or your suggestions.

  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    So you're talking about a potential warranty issue/recall...on a 20 year old bike? Really?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    So you're talking about a potential warranty issue/recall...on a 20 year old bike? Really?
    Sounds like he's talking about a safety issue, giving a heads up to others who might own the same bike.

    Why is this a problem for you?

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Because after over 20 years in the industry I have come to the conclusion that there are no 20 year old warranty claims/recall issues. If something is an actual warranty issues or is deserving of a recall it will happen loooooooong before 20 years. I'm 99.9% sure there is more to this story and that it isn't an actual warranty issue. But that .1% is open to anything. That's why it's a problem for me.
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  8. #8
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    Op, do you know where it broke?
    Steerer?
    Head tube?
    Fork leg?

    Do you have any pics?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Because after over 20 years in the industry I have come to the conclusion that there are no 20 year old warranty claims/recall issues. If something is an actual warranty issues or is deserving of a recall it will happen loooooooong before 20 years. I'm 99.9% sure there is more to this story and that it isn't an actual warranty issue. But that .1% is open to anything. That's why it's a problem for me.
    strange, I just reread the op and didn't see anything about a warranty claim.

    I didn't realize he was creating a problem for you.

    Again, why is it a problem for you?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Their seems to be a manufacturing defect in the frame . It snapped like a twig and separated from the bike.
    Glad your OK Did the steering tube break off or the fork break?

  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimb100 View Post
    strange, I just reread the op and didn't see anything about a warranty claim.

    I didn't realize he was creating a problem for you.

    Again, why is it a problem for you?
    Not directly a problem for me but I don't like it when people try to play the industry. If you're just looking for an argument, look elsewhere.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Not directly a problem for me but I don't like it when people try to play the industry. If you're just looking for an argument, look elsewhere.
    why do some manufacturers have a "lifetime warranty" then if they don't expect to warrant a 20 year old bike. BTW, a friend of mine did have a hell of a time trying to get Specialized to warrant his then 8-yr old mtb frame when it broke. Specialized's reason was user's fault, apparently user was not supposed to jump of anything more than 4 inches high, and this was for an mtb. You don't need to defend the industry. They know how to play the warranty game better than most consumers.

    Note, I'm not necessarily defending the OP here. But I question why you'd questioning the OP and not equally the industry's bogus lifetime warranty assurance.

  13. #13
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    why do some manufacturers have a "lifetime warranty" then if they don't expect to warrant a 20 year old bike. BTW, a friend of mine did have a hell of a time trying to get Specialized to warrant his then 8-yr old mtb frame when it broke. Specialized's reason was user's fault, apparently user was not supposed to jump of anything more than 4 inches high, and this was for an mtb. You don't need to defend the industry. They know how to play the warranty game better than most consumers.

    Note, I'm not necessarily defending the OP here. But I question why you'd questioning the OP and not equally the industry's bogus lifetime warranty assurance.
    Because after being in the industry so long I've seen so many instances of people claiming 'warranty warranty warranty' on issues there are obviously not a warranty. Engineers w/ actual degrees in engineering **** design these bikes. If there is a problem that is 'workmanship or materials' you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar it's not gonna take 20 years to show up. I realize the OP isn't actually claiming it's a warranty but what I'm taking from his post is that he thinks there is a problem that caused his fork to break. He's 'warning' people (ALERT!) that he thinks his fork shouldn't have failed. I'd love to see what happened to the OP's fork and if I'm wrong I'll admit it and apologize. If I'm right you'll get the biggest, fattest told ya so ever.
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  14. #14
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    ONE instance of a fork failure does NOT constitute a manufacturing defect.

    Sudden failure is one of the unfortunate potential side effects of carbon forks. I'm not saying it WILL happen, but carbon forks, WHEN they fail, have a fast failure mode whereas steel forks will tend to bend well before they actually separate. I've had it happen twice with steel forks and had plenty of warning something was amiss.

    That's why most manufacturers advise customers, in their owners' manuals, to regularly inspect their frames. But most owners seldom do.

    I think the OP is over reacting to what happened, and likely failed to follow the recommendations in their owner's manual. Who does?

    Ironically, we demand lighter and lighter bike parts and the manufacturers are more than happy to oblige us, but we don't want to pay the price of pushing the limits of weight vs. durability.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Not directly a problem for me but I don't like it when people try to play the industry. If you're just looking for an argument, look elsewhere.
    I didn't know you were an industry protector. I never realized industries needed volunteers to protect them from consumers.

    Good to know!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    ONE instance of a fork failure does NOT constitute a manufacturing defect.

    Sudden failure is one of the unfortunate potential side effects of carbon forks. I'm not saying it WILL happen, but carbon forks, WHEN they fail, have a fast failure mode whereas steel forks will tend to bend well before they actually separate. I've had it happen twice with steel forks and had plenty of warning something was amiss.

    That's why most manufacturers advise customers, in their owners' manuals, to regularly inspect their frames. But most owners seldom do.

    I think the OP is over reacting to what happened, and likely failed to follow the recommendations in their owner's manual. Who does?

    Ironically, we demand lighter and lighter bike parts and the manufacturers are more than happy to oblige us, but we don't want to pay the price of pushing the limits of weight vs. durability.
    Yep, the price exacted by the gods of light weight. Curious to know where the two steel forks broke on you? I've seen them break at the steering tube welds, and right below the head lug. Now I'm seeing pictures of carbon forks breaking in the middle of the blades in crashes steel forks could handle easily!

    Perhaps OP will illuminate the issue with more details!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    why do some manufacturers have a "lifetime warranty" then if they don't expect to warrant a 20 year old bike. BTW, a friend of mine did have a hell of a time trying to get Specialized to warrant his then 8-yr old mtb frame when it broke. Specialized's reason was user's fault, apparently user was not supposed to jump of anything more than 4 inches high, and this was for an mtb. You don't need to defend the industry. They know how to play the warranty game better than most consumers.

    Note, I'm not necessarily defending the OP here. But I question why you'd questioning the OP and not equally the industry's bogus lifetime warranty assurance.
    I just assume the ambitious warranty on frames is like those 'health insurance' policies you get with a credit card. A marketing ploy, with 3,451 loopholes in it.

    OTOH, the one time I exercised such a frame warranty claim, it was honoured. Small company , extremely high priced frame (Klein), like 3 years old.
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Curious to know where the two steel forks broke on you?
    One fork broke at the bottom of the fork crown race. Actually, it started to separate and I noticed funny handling while out of the saddle. I stopped to check things out and couldn't find anything, so I kept riding. Then it started getting worse so I stopped to check again, when I saw the gap forming between the fork crown race and the crown.

    I continued to ride the bike, albeit slower and I didn't get out of the saddle, for about 10 miles, while my friend rode home, got his truck, and returned to pick me up.

    The other frame: My friend threw my mountain bike with rigid fork onto his roof rack but failed to secure the front fork. Within a hundred yards or so it fell over but held on to one dropout, so it was now bent 90 degrees. What to do? I bent the dropout back and we went about our ride.

    The fork lasted another year or two when, on a mountain bike ride, the cantilever brake malfunctioned and one arm dove under the rim sidewall to toward the spokes. I stopped and fixed it. Then it happened again. When I looked, that formerly bent dropout had cracked completely through. I rode the bike 5 miles home, not applying the front brake, without a problem.

    This is what I mean by steel has a slow failure mode. It will usually give you a warning and often you can nurse a broken frame home.

  19. #19
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    Thank You to everyone for your feedback. I need to make a correction after checking my records more closely my bike is a 2010 Roubaix-Elite Specialized . To clarify what happened . The fork completely snapped about a quarter of the way down. I want to be clear I am only looking to warn anyone who owns one of these bikes to get the front fork checked or replaced. I am the original owner of the bike and I checked and maintained the bike on a regular basis. In fact it had been in the shop the prior week for minor tune up. Let me be clear I could have been killed very easily had I been riding faster or had been n traffic. The fork simply snapped with no warning as I stood
    to pedal. By the way I only weigh 165LBS. I hope that this post will save someone from serious injury. This is not about a warranty but safety.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Thank You to everyone for your feedback. I need to make a correction after checking my records more closely my bike is a 2010 Roubaix-Elite Specialized . To clarify what happened . The fork completely snapped about a quarter of the way down. I want to be clear I am only looking to warn anyone who owns one of these bikes to get the front fork checked or replaced. I am the original owner of the bike and I checked and maintained the bike on a regular basis. In fact it had been in the shop the prior week for minor tune up. Let me be clear I could have been killed very easily had I been riding faster or had been n traffic. The fork simply snapped with no warning as I stood
    to pedal. By the way I only weigh 165LBS. I hope that this post will save someone from serious injury. This is not about a warranty but safety.
    Can you explain with greater clarity where the fork broke? Still not clear. 1/4 of the way down from where? Did the fork legs break? Did the steerer break? Did the crown break. One side first?

    I am sorry to hear you were hurt and thank you for your public service to alert Roubaix owners. I own a late 2011 Roubaix SL3 Pro I ride almost daily.
    Specialized as you know has had problematic forks in the past...two recalls of note. I believe it was SL4.Tarmacs and most recent redesigned Allez's for 2018..both with carbon steerers. If anybody has more precise information on Spesh recalls, please post.

    Heal quickly and thanks again.

  21. #21
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    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
    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Thank You to everyone for your feedback. I need to make a correction after checking my records more closely my bike is a 2010 Roubaix-Elite Specialized . To clarify what happened . The fork completely snapped about a quarter of the way down. I want to be clear I am only looking to warn anyone who owns one of these bikes to get the front fork checked or replaced. I am the original owner of the bike and I checked and maintained the bike on a regular basis. In fact it had been in the shop the prior week for minor tune up. Let me be clear I could have been killed very easily had I been riding faster or had been n traffic. The fork simply snapped with no warning as I stood
    to pedal. By the way I only weigh 165LBS. I hope that this post will save someone from serious injury. This is not about a warranty but safety.
    So which is it? Has it ever been dropped or crashed or abused in any way? Did you inspect it regularly or did you count on the shop mechanics to inspect it when they performed your tune ups?

    As much as I'm not a fan of Specialized, something breaking after 10 or maybe 20 years doesn't necessarily a flaw or a defect. Ever hit a pot hole or caught the wheel in a road fissure or crack? A lot of things can happen over the course of 10 or 20 years, I don't remember which, that can lead to a failure.
    Too old to ride plastic

  22. #22
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    gerry maybe this is completely legit but given this was your first post ever at rbr and the bike has changed in age by 10 years at a clip, I am kind of suspicious.

  23. #23
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    Warning

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    gerry maybe this is completely legit but given this was your first post ever at rbr and the bike has changed in age by 10 years at a clip, I am kind of suspicious.
    Dave, They only started selling Roubaix -elite in 2007 . I did the post within 24hrs. of my accident I guess I was not thinking that clearly and reacting to warn people of the danger. I will post a picture of my bike .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Dave, They only started selling Roubaix -elite in 2007 . I did the post within 24hrs. of my accident I guess I was not thinking that clearly and reacting to warn people of the danger. I will post a picture of my bike .
    My apologies. It is not unheard of here for existing members to create a new account to troll. What were your injuries?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftgerry View Post
    Dave, They only started selling Roubaix -elite in 2007 . I did the post within 24hrs. of my accident I guess I was not thinking that clearly and reacting to warn people of the danger. I will post a picture of my bike .
    post some pics of the fork failure

    Another friend of mine had his recent (within 4 years) fork from his Specialized (don't recall if it was a Tarmac or Roubaix, but believe it's Roubaix) snapped at the steering column a few years ago. He was in the hospital for a few days with a busted up face. I told him to get a lawyer because his fork is part of that Specialized fork recall, but he decided that it was too much of an uphill battle, quit cycling after his ordeal. We'll never know the answer to his failure.

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