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  1. #1
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    Niner AIR 9 carbon moondust frame crack

    First of all I want to say it 's not my intention to put Niner in a bad light as they were quick to respond and already offered me a crash replacement frame.
    I'm just curious about you guys having any opinions on what happened to my brandnew Niner moondust frame:

    Last week I built a Niner AIR carbon bike from the frame up in combination with a Niner RDO carbon fork as it was going to be my ride for next winter.
    Monday I did a test ride. On a singletrack section criss-crossed with tree roots I lost control and crashed to the ground.
    The crash itself wasn't that hard in my opinion but when hitting the ground I heard a crack and later on noticed the frame had cracked at both sides of the head tube and at the point where the top tube meets the down tube. See pictures below.
    There was no other damage to the bike, not to the wheels, fork or anything.

    Any opinions on this? Can it be repaired somehow? I always thought the headtube was one of the strongest parts of a bike frame so I'm a bit puzzled by this.





    Last edited by BartG.; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Man, that is a huge bummer. You never can really know how "hard" a crash was without witnessing it. Who knows, that bike could have taken all the impact and saved you neck. Literally, you neck. I have talked to a few of the carbon repair places and from what I've heard they will not touch the HT for liability but it doesn't hurt to call a place like calfee. The crash replacement option hurts for sure, but it hurts a lot less than being laid up in the hospital for weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If I told you I saw a unicorn ****ing a leprechaun trail side, you'd probably be suspicious.

  3. #3
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    My A9C is several years old now and I have crashed it multiple times and some of them were very hard crashes. The frame has taken a beating and the damage has always been cosmetic. I am thinking you must have crashed just right to cause the damage to your frame, or there was some defect in HT carbon.

  4. #4
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    That's what I was thinking about, that there's at least a possibility there was a problem with the carbon since my speed at the moment of impact was only 14 mph (I recorded the ride with GPS so I'm sure about this).
    Or indeed, I might have crashed in just the 'right' way to break a headset tube.

  5. #5
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    Shes a beauty, but Niner will see you right, its a pain in the a$$ but you'll appreciate her more when you get her back.

  6. #6
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    That looks like the frame actually buckled. You say Niner offered crash replacement, but did you have a shop or Niner rep look at it in person?

  7. #7
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    No, just the pictures. I'm not in the US right now so anything else is gonna be a bit more complicated and they only asked for pictures.
    The pictures are pretty clear though. I also checked the inside of the frame, no visible damage there.
    Last edited by BartG.; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    Difficult to say on those pictures, who says the bike didn't go frontwheel first into a tree for example? Anyway, i hope Niner gives you a replacement frame for free.

  9. #9
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    A picture of your front wheel/fork would explain maybe....

  10. #10
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    They have that picture. Nothing to see except the damage to the frame. I know I didn't crash into a tree because at that spot there weren't any near the trail, but I understand it's impossible for Niner to check this.

  11. #11
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    Front wheel into a ditch, causing the bike to stop immediate. Is similar to a wall...
    Anyway, would be the first frame to 'just crack' in this way...

  12. #12
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    This is the place I crashed, in the middle of the trail I hit the ground. There is a small treestomp hidden in the grass on the left, maybe that was the thing I hit, can't say.


  13. #13
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    Still would like to see the fork/front wheel combo...

  14. #14
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    You could see it in the starting post since that's the bike after the crash, but here's a close up. Yesterday I stripped the frame to built up my good old EMD again, so that's all I can do.


  15. #15
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    Those are definitely flex cracks in the paint. That would have happened from hitting something real hard. Are you sure the carbon is cracked, and not just the paint?
    -= 2012+ Niner Air 9 - His
    -= 2015 Trek Skye SLX - Hers

  16. #16
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    Strange that the cracks are symmetrical on both sides of the frame without any deformation marks on the underside of the down tube just below the crack marks. To have flexed the frame hard enough to cause a cracking on both sides of the frame, wouldn't it have also caused a distortion along the down tube. The two dimpled cracks would be from outward deformation and along the down tube would be an inward deformation if the front end was suddenly stopped, like hitting a wall/tree. The bars and wheel would prevent a direct impact to the frame in that location too. The photo of the trail shows a good bit of soft material, maybe you didn't hit anything. Traveling at 14mph while slightly turning, maybe you buried the front wheel, went over the bars with all your weight in just the right (or in this case, the wrong) way to cause enough dynamic pressure to flex the frame. It still doesn't explain the lack of distortion on the down tube. Curious.
    Good luck and ride fast!

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the input beastmaster. I'm pretty sure there was no direct impact to the frame. The frame is at a carbon repair guy/specialist at the moment, he has a camera to check if there's more damage inside the frame.

    Those are definitely flex cracks in the paint. That would have happened from hitting something real hard. Are you sure the carbon is cracked, and not just the paint?
    Yes, definitely cracked at both sides.

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