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  1. #26
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    Carbon frames are constructed from many thousands of
    strips of carbon of various sizes. On raw frames this is visually
    apparent but is not a cause for concern

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 410sprint View Post
    Assuming this flaw is not at or close to the joint of you seat or head tube, I donít think you need to worry about the frame failing. With that said, considering what you paid for the bike, if it was me I would request a replacement frame. At best this flaw is poor workmanship and bad quality control.
    Really?

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 410sprint View Post
    Assuming this flaw is not at or close to the joint of you seat or head tube, I donít think you need to worry about the frame failing. With that said, considering what you paid for the bike, if it was me I would request a replacement frame. At best this flaw is poor workmanship and bad quality control.
    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    Carbon frames are constructed from many thousands of strips of carbon of various sizes. On raw frames this is visually apparent but is not a cause for concern
    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    Really?
    I own my fair share of carbon Mtb frames and components of course they are different in designs and how they were made, I'd conceded that the pic is just one spot and not necessary explain the whole pic but it does not look very pleasing. Sure it's would function the same but come on, after "thousands of strips of carbon of various sizes" what's a few more on the outer layer to make it look good huh?

    At the end of the day that pic alone, it sure looks like Spech dropped the ball. I don't think I've seen Spech carbon frame like that before.

  4. #29
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    Maybe the "carbon experts" should chime in...
    Carbon frames may be manufactured from thousands of "strands" and certainly individual fibres but not "strips".
    I'm not sure how a clearcoat finish can give the illusion that the entire depth of the matrix looks like there are plate tectonics going on.
    It certainly is inexcusable shoddy appearing work.

  5. #30
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    Does your bar end or brake lever "hit" your top tube near there?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Does your bar end or brake lever "hit" your top tube near there?
    No, the handlebars and brakes dont touch no matter how much your turn the wheel in. I hammered the piss out of it riding today on some pretty technical trails and nothing has changed. The whole tiop tube has a funky finish where you can see lines across it though. If you guys are interest I can upload some more pics but yeah, I am not too worried about it anymore. Gonna gkeep an eye on it though. If I notice anything change I will report back

  7. #32
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    agree with those who say the frame is fine but if I paid Specialized money, I want specialized finish. If you paid $300 for chinese no name carbon it would be expected. FWIW, my chinese carbon road wheels look great and have worked flawlessly for a year at my 250lbs so I'm strongly considering going that route for a 29er frame.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    agree with those who say the frame is fine but if I paid Specialized money, I want specialized finish. If you paid $300 for chinese no name carbon it would be expected. FWIW, my chinese carbon road wheels look great and have worked flawlessly for a year at my 250lbs so I'm strongly considering going that route for a 29er frame.
    Yes, I agree. Although I imagine a year after riding it will have many batte scars. It can only look pretty so long. In fact, it's already got a nice coat of dirt on most of it. I would recomend the carbon frame. So far I have enjoyed the stiffness and response from it. Loving the bike so far, even though I only have about 40 miles on it.

  9. #34
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    I've seen those on UD carbon frames including high-end Scotts. I stripped and repainted a Scale Ltd. frame (lost about 50 grams) and I've seen some parts of the frame that looked like that. They usually cover these parts with thin black paint before the designs and the final coating. In contrast, 3K and 12K carbon frame have these unusual surfaces covered by the final 3K and 12K layer and are designed minimally under the top coat to show most of the carbon weave look that carbon parts have been famous with. No need to worry about it.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    I own my fair share of carbon Mtb frames and components of course they are different in designs and how they were made, I'd conceded that the pic is just one spot and not necessary explain the whole pic but it does not look very pleasing. Sure it's would function the same but come on, after "thousands of strips of carbon of various sizes" what's a few more on the outer layer to make it look good huh?

    At the end of the day that pic alone, it sure looks like Spech dropped the ball. I don't think I've seen Spech carbon frame like that before.
    Some manufacturers go exclusively with a raw frame, some offer a weave outer coat as an option, or even paint them. Me, I like the raw look, strips, sand marks etc, as long as you can;t feel anything to the touch. I haven't paid much attention to SPecialized frames, but I would imagine if you look close at the shock mounts, head tube, or any type of gusset area you can make these strips out it out if it isn't painted.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaboo View Post
    Maybe the "carbon experts" should chime in...
    Carbon frames may be manufactured from thousands of "strands" and certainly individual fibres but not "strips".
    I'm not sure how a clearcoat finish can give the illusion that the entire depth of the matrix looks like there are plate tectonics going on.
    It certainly is inexcusable shoddy appearing work.

    Nope, there's strips of carbon laid up on the frame.

  12. #37
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    Nothing structurally wrong with the frame. The person who did the carbon layup just laid a little too much uindirectional fabric in that ply and it sorta conformed to the edge of the next ply when they vac/pressure-molded it and it ends up looking wrinkled along a strip. All the carbon in the frame is hand laid so expect to see this type of cosmetic issues. This is especially obvious near the tube joints because most "monocoque" carbon frames are usually pieced together from several smaller chunks of frame.

    I'm surprised that the builder did not put down a "pretty" decorative ply like a 1x1-12k or 2x2-3k twill (that familiar checker pattern) so that the pretty layer shows through the gel coat and you don't see the problems like this. Could have also put in a little black dye in the gel coat to make darken the color (but still a little transparent to show the CF) of the frame and hide stuff like this.

    -S

    BTW, structural carbon fiber is usually laid up using mixed sheets of woven and unidirectional "prepreg" (carbon fiber with semi-activated epoxy). With complex shapes like what we have on bikes, these sheets are cut up into smaller strips and then laid up (built up in layers) so technically "strips" is correct.

    The other method is the "tape" method where a continuous unidirectional tow of carbon fiber (0.5" to 6" wide depending on what is being made) is "wound" on a pre-formed mandrel core form. This tape can be pre-preg tape or wet laid (this is supposedly what Spesh currently does - but dont quote me on this because I cant remember where I read about their methodology).

    P.S. If you didn't already realize it, I do a good amount of composites work in my engineering company.
    Last edited by shibiwan; 11-23-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Nothing structurally wrong with the frame. The person who did the carbon layup just laid a little too much uindirectional fabric in that ply and it sorta conformed to the edge of the next ply when they vac/pressure-molded it and it ends up looking wrinkled along a strip. All the carbon in the frame is hand laid so expect to see this type of cosmetic issues. This is especially obvious near the tube joints because most "monocoque" carbon frames are usually pieced together from several smaller chunks of frame.

    I'm surprised that the builder did not put down a "pretty" decorative ply like a 1x1-12k or 2x2-3k twill (that familiar checker pattern) so that the pretty layer shows through the gel coat and you don't see the problems like this. Could have also put in a little black dye in the gel coat to make darken the color (but still a little transparent to show the CF) of the frame and hide stuff like this.

    -S

    BTW, structural carbon fiber is usually laid up using mixed sheets of woven and unidirectional "prepreg" (carbon fiber with semi-activated epoxy). With complex shapes like what we have on bikes, these sheets are cut up into smaller strips and then laid up (built up in layers) so technically "strips" is correct.

    The other method is the "tape" method where a continuous unidirectional tow of carbon fiber (0.5" to 6" wide depending on what is being made) is "wound" on a pre-formed mandrel core form. This tape can be pre-preg tape or wet laid (this is supposedly what Spesh currently does - but dont quote me on this because I cant remember where I read about their methodology).

    P.S. If you didn't already realize it, I do a good amount of composites work in my engineering company.
    Thanks for re-assurance. So far the bike has been great and I love the carbon frame. I have been keeping an eye on it but nothing has changed. I have ridden it pretty hard. This glorious pic was from yesterday. I did not even scratch the bike but my side sure is black and blue right now haha.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is my Carbon frame cracked alredy?-untitled2.jpg  


  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Thanks for re-assurance. So far the bike has been great and I love the carbon frame. I have been keeping an eye on it but nothing has changed. I have ridden it pretty hard. This glorious pic was from yesterday. I did not even scratch the bike but my side sure is black and blue right now haha.
    OUCH!!! Hope you feel better.

    I took a nasty spill 3 weeks ago while going downhill. The roadrash (or trailrash) and bruising is mostly healed/healing but I still have a large swelling on my left hip about the size of my palm and it still aches. As you'd expect, I have not ridden much since then (I only averaged 10-12 miles last week instead of 40+).

    Maybe I'm getting too old for this.

    Whatever you do, keep the carbon frame as dry as possible. If you ever end up riding in mud/rain or anything that gets the frame wet, dry it off after the ride. Store the bike in a dry place, out of the sun. Water/humidity is the biggest enemy of carbon fiber composites. Take care of the frame and it'll last 30 years assuming you don't smash it before that with stunts like the one above.

    -S

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Whatever you do, keep the carbon frame as dry as possible. If you ever end up riding in mud/rain or anything that gets the frame wet, dry it off after the ride. Store the bike in a dry place, out of the sun. Water/humidity is the biggest enemy of carbon fiber composites. Take care of the frame and it'll last 30 years assuming you don't smash it before that with stunts like the one above.

    -S
    Really? I didn't know this. How does the humidity affect it? Is it the resin? I just keep my bikes hanging in the garage. I don't expect to keep them 30 years though, lol.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    Really? I didn't know this. How does the humidity affect it? Is it the resin? I just keep my bikes hanging in the garage. I don't expect to keep them 30 years though, lol.
    There are 2 factors:

    1. Water acts as a plasticizer for the resin and will cause resin to degrade faster than anything (no, it won't happen overnight - it could take years). Most well-made carbon fiber parts are made with a water-resistant gel coat that helps protect the cabon-resin matrix but it is not totally waterproof.

    2. Carbon fiber is electrically conductive and when used with bonded aluminum inserts it presents a problem unless precautions are taken to stabilize the galvanic effects at the bonded interface. Cracks or imperfections in the gel coat (often found close to aluminum inserts like the BB and the head tube) allow some water into the carbon-aluminum interface and act as an electrolyte that corrodes the aluminum pretty quick if not taken care of (you can see this within a month or two in a bad situation like salt water). In aerospace and automotive use, proper prep of the aluminum is needed to passivate or electrically insulate inserts (phosphating, nickel plating, or fiberglass base layer).

    Unfortunately I have not seen this type of protection being done on bikes. I may be totally wrong here, but I have not dissected any carbon frames to be completely sure of this. Anyone want to donate one for dissection?

    Sorry for the long rambling post....Just to be on the safe side, the advice with most carbon fiber products is to keep them dry as much as possible. A little heat to keep it warm and dry doesn't hurt either (most carbon fiber products are cured above 200F).

    -S

  17. #42
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    I'd put the dropper post on your list of upgrade


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk

  18. #43
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    I have a dropper post on it. I just didn't drop it in time. Accidents are usually rider errors and well, I made an error.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    OUCH!!! Hope you feel better.

    I took a nasty spill 3 weeks ago while going downhill. The roadrash (or trailrash) and bruising is mostly healed/healing but I still have a large swelling on my left hip about the size of my palm and it still aches. As you'd expect, I have not ridden much since then (I only averaged 10-12 miles last week instead of 40+).

    Maybe I'm getting too old for this.

    Whatever you do, keep the carbon frame as dry as possible. If you ever end up riding in mud/rain or anything that gets the frame wet, dry it off after the ride. Store the bike in a dry place, out of the sun. Water/humidity is the biggest enemy of carbon fiber composites. Take care of the frame and it'll last 30 years assuming you don't smash it before that with stunts like the one above.

    -S
    I keep all my bikes in my basement out of the elements when not riding. I live in Wyoming so getting my bike is pretty rare. Occasionally I will ride in light rain, or ride through some snow but excessive moisture is almost never an issue here.

  20. #45
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    My activities (biking, surfing, kitesurfing and fishing) involve a lot of carbon fiber gear and my stuff is used hard and put away wet. From my experience, water and humidity are no biggie but heat and UV/sunlight is a factor. Here in Florida you do not want to leave your board in the car in the summertime as high temps will cause some bad mojo on carbon layups. Also the biggest damage to carbon in fishing gear and surfboards results from too much time in the sun.

    Riding that carbon frame in full daylight is no worry but leaving a carbon lamination out in extended heat and direct sun will age it more than a thousand wipeouts!

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    Nope, there's strips of carbon laid up on the frame.
    My point is that there may be strips, but not "thousands" of them.
    Nobody seems to have actually defined which method was used to make this frame. the vague crisscross of lines makes it look like a filament wound frame apart from the dramatic dead ends of the supposed unidirectional layers.
    Bottom line is that if this is acceptable then all the endless marketing spiel about the complexity of carbon lay-up and the importance of fiber orientation is a load of BS,
    This frame looks like a. spider web spun by a spider on acid.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaboo View Post
    My point is that there may be strips, but not "thousands" of them.
    Nobody seems to have actually defined which method was used to make this frame. the vague crisscross of lines makes it look like a filament wound frame apart from the dramatic dead ends of the supposed unidirectional layers.
    Bottom line is that if this is acceptable then all the endless marketing spiel about the complexity of carbon lay-up and the importance of fiber orientation is a load of BS,
    This frame looks like a. spider web spun by a spider on acid.
    It's unidirectional prepreg. The criscross is actually the interface of to plies. the first ply goes from top left to bottom right, and the ply under it goes from bottom left to top right.

    Directional carbon fiber layup is critical (I had to write a program to calculate theoretical strength of the layup configuration for grad school that I still use today) however there are so many human factors affecting the actual layup. This is why a statistical models are used to predict the final strength of the composite part. the question now is what happens when the construction is outsourced to a 3rd party... especially when they are overseas...

    -S

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaboo View Post
    My point is that there may be strips, but not "thousands" of them.
    Nobody seems to have actually defined which method was used to make this frame. the vague crisscross of lines makes it look like a filament wound frame apart from the dramatic dead ends of the supposed unidirectional layers.
    Bottom line is that if this is acceptable then all the endless marketing spiel about the complexity of carbon lay-up and the importance of fiber orientation is a load of BS,
    This frame looks like a. spider web spun by a spider on acid.
    It's strips. You don't have to like it, but it is what it is. The woven or detail-less finish you see on some carbon frames is for aesthetics only.

    I don't know what you mean by complexities, I've never heard a carbon frame described that way, but they are stronger and stiffer. This is a fact.

  24. #49
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    Please read more carefully. The frame may be made of strips but not "thousands" of them.
    By complex I mean the theories about fiber orientation of each ply.
    Presumably they are laid up in a set pattern.
    This has nothing to do with my like of the bike or stiffness of frames etc. I'm not sure where you're getting that idea.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaboo View Post
    Please read more carefully. The frame may be made of strips but not "thousands" of them.
    By complex I mean the theories about fiber orientation of each ply.
    Presumably they are laid up in a set pattern.
    This has nothing to do with my like of the bike or stiffness of frames etc. I'm not sure where you're getting that idea.
    They are not laid up in a set pattern. There is a general way they are positioned, but it depends on the manufacturer and specific point strength requirements that will vary from frame to frame. More strips are used in areas that need to be reinforced.

    The direction of the carbon in the strips is uniform, but they are laid up it different directions, that is sort of random in exactness. This is where much of the strength comes from.

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