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  1. #1
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    Hole on welding! Should I worry?

    Hi guys.

    I have just discovered a hole on the welding between the top tube and seat tube of my new steel NS Surge. It is not a see through hole but it is there and I am really worried about it.



    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't worry about it from a strength standpoint but I'm a bit surprised they would have let that go. It doesn't really look like a blow out as the bead looks alright.

    I wouldn't think you would have to worry about a full weld filled with voids.

    curious to see what the others have to say.
    count your blessings

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't worry about it

  4. #4
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    I have ordered this frame from Chainreactioncycles and have already send them an email and waiting for a response. I don't want to be crazy sensitive but a welding shouldn't have any holes in it and from what I asked and also found on the Internet this is considered as bad craftsmanship and bad craftsmanship should be covered by warranty.

    A closer photo.

    Hole on welding! Should I worry?-20140630_202320-1.jpg

  5. #5
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    Are you sure that's not just a hole in the powdercoat?

  6. #6
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    Crappy QC, I'd see about getting it swapped.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by briderdt View Post
    Are you sure that's not just a hole in the powdercoat?
    No. It is definitely on the welding.

  8. #8
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    It won't affect the performance of the frame. If it bothers you the manufacturer will probably swap you out, so it's a question of whether the time/hassle is worth it to you.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Man that would have been so easy to fix with a little silver or bondo!
    I just make frames that I would want, just saying
    I doubt it's structural however, just costmetic likely.
    cheers
    andy walker
    Walker Bicycle Company | | Walker Bicycle Company
    www.flirck.com/photos/afwalker50

  10. #10
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    Isn't this a weak point on the weld that could probably become the starting point of a crack under pressure?

  11. #11
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    Hey;

    No worries. The weld is not where cracks start, as the filler is usually far stronger and more molecularly dense than the parent material. Cracks start at the root of the weld, in the parent material. This is a cosmetic issue. A custom builder would prefer not to have such a pinhole in his frame, but he would also be a liar if he said it never happens to him. These are the instances where the craftsman swallows his pride and lofty principles for a wee moment in favor of practicality, and fills the damn thing before the finish goes on.

    If the manufacturer declines to replace it, drop in a dab of red paint and ride the hell out of it.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  12. #12
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    Thank you for your reply.

    Personally I am not an expert on the subject but I know that I have never seen such a hole in any of my previous frames. And the same applies to my friends ones.

    When it comes to this hole it is difficult to say if the hollow part is limited to this area only or if it continues also under the rest of the weld or at least part of it. I really hope that they will honor their warranty policy and offer a replacement frame but I am always preparing for the worst. I don't know however how I should proceed if they don't agree that this is a defect due to poor workmanship and send me a replacement frame.

    For now I keep copies of our communication and if they don't send me a new frame I will ask them to officially take responsibility for any accidents (knock on wood as we say back home) that may happen due to a failure on this weld. I will also make sure to update all bicycle magazines and forums that CRC and NS sell bicycles with holes in the welds and they think that it is normal.

    Personally this is my back up bicycle so I have all the time in the world to escalate this but I want to believe that a company like CRC will honor their warranty policy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris Galanis View Post
    I will also make sure to update all bicycle magazines and forums that CRC and NS sell bicycles with holes in the welds and they think that it is normal.
    I mean it's really not that big a deal. You should talk to them about this before thinking of trash talking them all over the internet. It's a cosmetic error, they'll probably take it back but there's no reason to react like that for such a minor issue.

  14. #14
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    I am not trash talking them. The part you quoted is a "what if" scenario.

    As I mentioned I hope that they will honor their warranty policy and this is why I have already send them an email and waiting for their response. But in the meantime I am preparing for the worst.

    Also if they their response is positive as I hope I will write back in all forums and praise them for their customer service. Up to now I have only positive feedback for CRC and I hope it remains the same.

    PS. A hole on a weld is a big deal for me and I don't consider it a cosmetic defect. It is not a scratch. It is a hole. Also it is considered as a defect by welding experts and it is called welding porosity. The thing is that nobody can verify 100% that it won't weaken the weld and I don't want to risk it. When I ordered the frame I expected a defect free one and this is what I want.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris Galanis View Post
    I am not trash talking them. The part you quoted is a "what if" scenario.


    CRC and NS sell bicycles with holes in the welds and they think that it is normal"

    You already said it...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    You already said it...
    Sorry to say but most probably you just can't understand what you read. You just quote a small part instead of my total message.

    So let me copy it again below.

    When it comes to this hole it is difficult to say if the hollow part is limited to this area only or if it continues also under the rest of the weld or at least part of it. I really hope that they will honor their warranty policy and offer a replacement frame but I am always preparing for the worst. I don't know however how I should proceed if they don't agree that this is a defect due to poor workmanship and send me a replacement frame.

    For now I keep copies of our communication and if they don't send me a new frame I will ask them to officially take responsibility for any accidents (knock on wood as we say back home) that may happen due to a failure on this weld. I will also make sure to update all bicycle magazines and forums that CRC and NS sell bicycles with holes in the welds and they think that it is normal.

    I hope that it is more clear now. If not you can always go back to school.

    PS. I really appreciate all responses but some people are just hopeless. When it is not your frame it is easy to play smart. But the question is simple. Would you have bought it if you knew that it has a hole in the weld?

    Yes. It is an mtb and it is supposed to be scratched, dent etc but when you buy it you expect it to be in mint condition.

    And speaking about quality control the frame was delivered to me with 2 of the 4 dropout screws missing. And the chainstays seem not to be fully aligned and centered with the rear wheel but I could tolarate this. However I cant tolerate a hole in a weld.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    It won't affect the performance of the frame. If it bothers you the manufacturer will probably swap you out, so it's a question of whether the time/hassle is worth it to you.

    -Walt
    You see this ^^^ quote? This guy welds for a living and he knows what he's talking about.

    There are a boatload of frames out on the trail today that have similar pinholes. Most of them just get a dab of bondo put in before paint so you never see them. Stop freaking out over nothing and go ride your freaking bike. It's a $400 frame that you bought on the internets, not a $4,000 Richard Sachs that you sat on a 4 year wait list to get.

  18. #18
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    So is there a price limit after which you are entitled to complain? I ordered the frame online and I expected it to be in good condition. It is not. If I knew it I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. 400 or 40.000 it doesn't matter.

    As for Walt's opinion I respect it of course but still I just want what I paid for. A defect free frame.

    PS1. I know about companies putting bondo and then painting it over. But this is not the case. It is there and I can see it so I can't ignore it.
    PS2. For now I trust that CRC will honor their warranty policy.

  19. #19
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    Just for the record the bike is this one and it is built to be ridden hard so this is why I am going crazy about this weld defect. Also NS bikes offer only 1 year warranty so I want all issues to be addressed now.

    Hole on welding! Should I worry?-20140621_171438.jpg

  20. #20
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    Ok, you asked if it was ok or not. 4 people whom I know are reputable frame builders all answered the same, it's cosmetic not structural. We all understand you are entitled to not liking the quality of the frame you received. Cool, go through the process of returning it.
    This is one of the problems with buying a frame off the internet, that's one reason I like being a framebuilder where the customer has involvement in the frame build process.
    Maybe on your next frame, get to know a frame builder and go custom
    Or build your own.
    Happy trails
    andy walker

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Hey;

    No worries. The weld is not where cracks start, as the filler is usually far stronger and more molecularly dense than the parent material. Cracks start at the root of the weld, in the parent material. This is a cosmetic issue. A custom builder would prefer not to have such a pinhole in his frame, but he would also be a liar if he said it never happens to him. These are the instances where the craftsman swallows his pride and lofty principles for a wee moment in favor of practicality, and fills the damn thing before the finish goes on.

    If the manufacturer declines to replace it, drop in a dab of red paint and ride the hell out of it.
    That only holds true for a sound weld. Even then it's a blanket statement that doesn't always hold true. For example the high strength steels that bicycle frames are made from are often welded with filler that is weaker than the parent metal. The OP's frame has a giant bug hole in it, which is a great place for a crack to propagate. I've seen plenty of cracked frames that originated from inside the weld zone, most all of them from defects similar to this one. You shouldn't have to buy a Moots to expect a frame that doesn't have weld defects the average rider can blatantly see.

  22. #22
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    Hi again.

    I am still waiting for CRC to reply and in the meantime I did some extra research. For example I quote from the following site Defective Welds: Revealing Welding Flaws through Visual Inspection

    Minor internal porosity does not significantly affect weld performance but surface porosity is a serious condition.

    Almost all fatigue fractures begin at the surface of the metal; anything that interrupts the surface of the metal is a fatigue crack nucleation point. This would include the craters created by surface porosity. Welds with surface porosity should always be replaced.

    And this site as well Troubleshooting the MIG Welding Process

    Porosity occurs when a gas pocket becomes caught in the weld puddle. This discontinuity can appear at a specific point on the weld or along its full length. It can occur on the surface of the weld or inside it. Regardless of the location, the result is always the same: a weaker weld.

    So based on the above I think that I am not (that) crazy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    That only holds true for a sound weld. Even then it's a blanket statement that doesn't always hold true. For example the high strength steels that bicycle frames are made from are often welded with filler that is weaker than the parent metal. The OP's frame has a giant bug hole in it, which is a great place for a crack to propagate. I've seen plenty of cracked frames that originated from inside the weld zone, most all of them from defects similar to this one. You shouldn't have to buy a Moots to expect a frame that doesn't have weld defects the average rider can blatantly see.
    Agreed & agree with post #22. I'm new here so I don't want to rock the boat but I am also a Welding Engineer. You may not have any problem what so ever with that flaw but then again you might find a crack may start from it - it all depends on the load and direction of load surrounding the flaw. Surface breaking flaws are indeed generally worse that non surface breaking ones, and it is in a reasonably highly stressed location. For peace of mind see if they can swap it out. Is it me or does it look like there is a lack of filler around that bigger tube - is that the tube od edge you can see in the picture, and if it is shouldn't that edge be picked up and filled out with a cover fillet...??

  24. #24
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    Just to avoid any misunderstanding I have installed a protective transparent thick tape on the top tube so maybe this is why you see this gap.

    Anyway I did my part and already sent photos to CRC and for now I am waiting in good will.

  25. #25
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    CRC has just replied and they will collect the frame and send me a new one.

    The only thing that I can do is praise CRC for the great customer and warranty service provided by them since they replied in only 2 days and offered the expected and desired solution.

    I couldn't be more satisfied so the only thing that I can say is that *Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run just gained a loyal customer!

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