Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191

    No good Cracked Spearfish Chainstay

    Well, I'm joining the ranks of those with cracked non driveside chainstays. Just wanted to give a little insight into my ordeal.

    I was going over my bike last Friday and noticed a crack going halfway through my chainstay, close to the bottom bracket. I've heard of this happening to a few folks lately, but I'm 150lbs, 5'9", so I didn't really think I'd fall victim as well.

    Anyway, I got ahold of Salsa. Their customer service guy, Zach, was actually really awesome and helpful. He and I exchanged a series of Emails over one day trying to figure out the best course of action. I bought the frame in new condition a couple years ago.. but it was technically second hand. So I didn't have a receipt. No warranty coverage - Okay, I can understand that.

    The biggest bummer is that they don't have any triangles left for the Spearfish 2 / 3. Only the Spearfish 1, which is a 142 x 12 thru axle. Kind of a bummer if you have a Formula hub. Fortunately, I have Stans hubs, which can be converted for ~$50. But the cost for the triangle, sans warranty: $380! Without that Maxle! And I'm pretty sure Zach even helped with getting the price down a bit.

    Anyway, to replace Salsa's crappy rear triangle design with another crappy rear triangle design is going to cost $500 with labor. Honestly, I'm just concerned about it breaking again. This issue isn't going to go away, and they're moving to a different design, presumably because they realize how shitty their "low maintenance" / "innovative" rear triangle was.

    I'm going to get my bike back together, working with the new triangle and put it up for sale and buy a real full suspension.


    From above:


    From below:

  2. #2
    On your left.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,166

    Cracked Spearfish Chainstay

    That really sucks. The Spearfish is a great idea in need of better execution, but don't forget Salsa is a budget bike. The failure is clearly in the heat affected zone of the weld, so maybe it's a technique / QC issue, not necessarily design issue. The 2 axle types was really a strange marketing idea. They should've just offered interchangeable dropouts.
    We'll see if 2014 is better.
    M

  3. #3
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by brdpkns View Post

    This issue isn't going to go away, and they're moving to a different design, presumably because they realize how shitty their "low maintenance" / "innovative" rear triangle was.
    Interesting. Where did you hear that? A bit of a stretch if you ask me.

    Also, you can't swap the triangle yourself? There is pivot torque and bearing info on the salsa site. It's like two bolts to remove if the frame is already stripped down. Took me less than 10 minutes to pull off when I replaced my bearings. Far from rocket science.

    Also, are your surprised that the rear triangle is that much? Seems a little steep, but then again, it is half the bike, basically.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CYCLEJCE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    614
    I think your disappointment is misplaced. Are you upset with Salsa for offering you great communication, and a discounted fix? Or are you upset that you purchased a second hand bike with out a warranty? Bad design or not, it appears Salsa is doing what they can to make these issues right for customers who wanted a warranty and thus bought new, and unfortunate souls like yourself who were not concerned with having a warranty. Just my .02

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    49
    This may sound nutty but..can you bring the rear triangle to a welder/fabricator and just get the crack repaired? Then maybe get that part powdercoated afterwards. I would think that would cost way less than $500. You have no warranty anyways.
    2012 Salsa El Mariachi
    2013 Salsa Vaya

  6. #6
    On your left.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,166

    Cracked Spearfish Chainstay

    Or get a discount on a new '14 model? If they offer you that - I'll buy the new frame from you - then you'll have ~$1000 and can go buy the frame you want. I need size XL.

    In any case you should replace the whole frame and resell it as new - which it is.
    M

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    232
    funny that someone would complain about a used frame and the customer support that goes with it i bought my spearfish and horsethief new and when i "broke"my horsethief (it actually had a creak i couldnt find) salsa sent me a new one in a matter of days.i bought new frames and got everything that goes along with that

  8. #8
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    ^man, that makes too much sense.

    The OP has not commented again either. Weird.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by fast540 View Post
    funny that someone would complain about a used frame and the customer support that goes with it i bought my spearfish and horsethief new and when i "broke"my horsethief (it actually had a creak i couldnt find) salsa sent me a new one in a matter of days.i bought new frames and got everything that goes along with that
    From my original post: "No warranty coverage - Okay, I can understand that." Also said that their customer support was great, if you would actually read what I wrote.

    I'm bummed at the design flaw and how fragile these frames are turning out to be. I didn't expect warranty. Take it down a notch.

    I got my new triangle on the bike. Took it out for a spin and seems to be riding great. ($500 later)

  10. #10
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by brdpkns View Post
    I'm bummed at the design flaw and how fragile these frames are turning out to be. I didn't expect warranty.
    I would also like to point out that you also said:

    "they're moving to a different design, presumably because they realize how shitty their "low maintenance" / "innovative" rear triangle was"

    Any actual facts to back any of those theories up?

    At this point, based on how these bikes ride on the internet: I'm basically going to get a crack in my frame and die tomorrow when I go for a ride.

    I have a living will, and an ID bracelet. FEAR NOT, I'll be safe.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    You seem super smart, so you're right -- My bad for letting other folks know I am not as pleased with Salsa's frame construction as I had hoped.

  12. #12
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    HARK!

    Again, you dodge the Questions.

    Also, the use of the word "ordeal" in your first post cracked me up.

    *****ing about a cracked 29" full sus-frame on the internet you bought used is, like, the most first-world problem ever.

    I broke about $250 of **** today doing something dumb on my spearfish (hbar and the rear .der..oops) but I'm happy to have the "problem" I do.

    Bikes are fun.

    Be happy you could spend "$500" to fix it.

  13. #13
    On your left.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,166

    Cracked Spearfish Chainstay

    Personally I think Salsa MTB bikes are marketing first, design second. I've had 3 and the primary selection criteria has been low cost and frankly that shows in the details and the ride, but I've certainly had some awesome rides, so no real complaints, but I could certainly make a long list of constructive criticism. More engineered bikes cost more - not that they necessarily break less (how could any consumer possibly determine that?), but there is potential for much more attention to detail - like proper welding, cable routing, bearing interfaces, etc.
    M

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by Motivated View Post
    Personally I think Salsa MTB bikes are marketing first, design second. I've had 3 and the primary selection criteria has been low cost and frankly that shows in the details and the ride, but I've certainly had some awesome rides, so no real complaints, but I could certainly make a long list of constructive criticism. More engineered bikes cost more - not that they necessarily break less (how could any consumer possibly determine that?), but there is potential for much more attention to detail - like proper welding, cable routing, bearing interfaces, etc.
    I completely agree. When the chance to purchase a near-new Salsa Spearfish frame came up last I jumped at the opportunity. I actually love the bike. I've put a lot of saddle time in through the Rockies and taken a few trips to Moab and Fruita. (Going back to Fruita next weekend.) The Spearfish is perfect for taking along camping gear and putting in lots of miles.

    Admittedly, my original post was more dramatic than I intended. To address some of the folks that are upset with this thread, I'm not sure if you're employees of Salsa or what your deal is, but for whatever reason, this statement seems to be an issue:

    This issue isn't going to go away, and they're moving to a different design, presumably because they realize how shitty their "low maintenance" / "innovative" rear triangle was.

    I will emphasize my choice of words here. I PRESUME that Salsa may have figured out that their old rear triangle design wasn't ideal. Why do I assume that? Because I've read 6 threads in the last 2 months, (here and on SF's Facebook page) about cracking rear triangle. That seems awfully high. I don't need facts to make a presumption. You're grasping at straws.

    The intent of this thread was to

    1) Call attention to something I consider to be a design flaw on a bike that I think is otherwise spectacular. Other people are having a similar issue. I don't think that's a coincidence. Again, I'm 5'9" 150lbs. Not exactly a huge guy pounding on a bike more than it should be.

    2) Share the fact that I had to purchase a more expensive thru axle version (SF1) of the rear triangle because they completely stopped stocking / producing the QR version. That seems strange to me, to not produce a part that is prone to cracking. I don't have a warranty, so I didn't expect any handouts. But I want to know that if it breaks again, I can replace it. The reason this was an "ordeal" (again, more dramatic wording than I intended.) is because I had to also convert my rear wheel to 144x12, and purchase a Maxle, as it was not included with the $400 rear triangle. If I didn't have Stans hubs that were easily convertable, I'd have to buy an entirely new wheel. That's a lot of stuff and cash. Don't think so? That's fine too. Just my opinion.

    I really shouldn't have to defend myself against some of the folks in here. It's me calling attention to an issue that others are having as well. If that's not you, move along.

    Bikes break. Components fail. Be excellent to each other and party on dudes.
    Last edited by brdpkns; 09-27-2013 at 12:00 PM.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pulser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,571
    Quote Originally Posted by brdpkns View Post
    I completely agree. When the chance to purchase a near-new Salsa Spearfish frame came up last I jumped at the opportunity. I actually love the bike. I've put a lot of saddle time in through the Rockies and taken a few trips to Moab and Fruita. (Going back to Fruita next weekend.) The Spearfish is perfect for taking along camping gear and putting in lots of miles.

    Admittedly, my original post was more dramatic than I intended. To address some of the folks that are upset with this thread, I'm not sure if you're employees of Salsa or what your deal is, but for whatever reason, this statement seems to be an issue:

    This issue isn't going to go away, and they're moving to a different design, presumably because they realize how shitty their "low maintenance" / "innovative" rear triangle was.

    I will emphasize my choice of words here. I PRESUME that Salsa may have figured out that their old rear triangle design wasn't ideal. Why do I assume that? Because I've read 6 threads in the last 2 months, (here and on SF's Facebook page) about cracking rear triangle. That seems awfully high. I don't need facts to make a presumption. You're grasping at straws.

    The intent of this thread was to

    1) Call attention to something I consider to be a design flaw on a bike that I think is otherwise spectacular. Other people are having a similar issue. I don't think that's a coincidence. Again, I'm 5'9" 150lbs. Not exactly a huge guy pounding on a bike more than it should be.

    2) Share the fact that I had to purchase a more expensive thru axle version (SF1) of the rear triangle because they completely stopped stocking / producing the QR version. That seems strange to me, to not produce a part that is prone to cracking. I don't have a warranty, so I didn't expect any handouts. But I want to know that if it breaks again, I can replace it. The reason this was an "ordeal" (again, more dramatic wording than I intended.) is because I had to also convert my rear wheel to 144x12, and purchase a Maxle, as it was not included with the $400 rear triangle. If I didn't have Stans hubs that were easily convertable, I'd have to buy an entirely new wheel. That's a lot of stuff and cash. Don't think so? That's fine too. Just my opinion.

    I really shouldn't have to defend myself against some of the folks in here. It's me calling attention to an issue that others are having as well. If that's not you, move along.

    Bikes break. Components fail. Be excellent to each other and party on dudes.
    I also have a cracked sperfish. Mine is at the driveside dropout. I totally agree with you about it being a bad design. They even state in the marketing for the 14 fishes they went with a DW Split pivot because of lateral flex in the frames. I think that's the reason for the failures. My frame cracked with only 6 months of use. I also think they stopped making the QR rears because of that problem. I have yet to see a broken rear with a TA. I think having that will cut down quite a bit with that lateral flex.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I also have a cracked sperfish. Mine is at the driveside dropout. I totally agree with you about it being a bad design. They even state in the marketing for the 14 fishes they went with a DW Split pivot because of lateral flex in the frames. I think that's the reason for the failures. My frame cracked with only 6 months of use. I also think they stopped making the QR rears because of that problem. I have yet to see a broken rear with a TA. I think having that will cut down quite a bit with that lateral flex.
    Yeah, I have yet to see a report of any quality issues of the TA version of the triangle. It seems to be constructed differently. For example, the seat stay bridge is burlier / slightly closer to the tire than my old QR triangle. (So much so that my 2.4 Ardent just barely rubs. I'll need to get a smaller rear tire.) Maybe it's just the finish / my imagination, but the TA version seems better constructed than the QR. I'm not a huge fan of the red graphics on the black. (Doesn't look great with the green frame.), but whatever...

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pulser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,571
    Quote Originally Posted by brdpkns View Post
    Yeah, I have yet to see a report of any quality issues of the TA version of the triangle. It seems to be constructed differently. For example, the seat stay bridge is burlier / slightly closer to the tire than my old QR triangle. (So much so that my 2.4 Ardent just barely rubs. I'll need to get a smaller rear tire.) Maybe it's just the finish / my imagination, but the TA version seems better constructed than the QR. I'm not a huge fan of the red graphics on the black. (Doesn't look great with the green frame.), but whatever...
    Get some quality black vinyl from a sign place and wrap it around the stays so you can't see it. It will protect the paint from scratches too.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    202
    I sure hope I don't have this problem with mine. I am 6'4 263Lbs and have put several thousand miles on it over the last couple of years. Quite frankly, I love the bike. The trail demos I have attended over the last couple of years solidifies how much. I wouldn't trade it for anything I have ridden. If it were to break, I would buy another one. I hope the new design actually improves the bike. The Spearfish is great for what it is and it definitely fills a niche not covered by any other manufactures. I bought mine new from a dealer so........if it breaks I assume I am getting a replacement.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    This is kind of a turd of a thread, but I figure I should update. Everything is working perfectly now with the rebuilt frame. I dig the thru axle rear as it seems to have stiffened the rear, making it more responsive. I'm running 150psi in the rear shock, a little more than I was before trying to minimize the seat stay flex. Truthfully, I feel like I have to baby the bike a little more than I'd like now that we're finding they're prone to cracking, but that will hopefully go away with more rides. Here's a few shots from this last weekend in Fruita, CO.

    Photos by Garret Schmidt






  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hendricks97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    67
    not saying this is the OPs case, but Im wondering how many of these issues have come up for people that should have bought the Horsethief instead of the Spearfish.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    191
    Quote Originally Posted by hendricks97 View Post
    not saying this is the OPs case, but Im wondering how many of these issues have come up for people that should have bought the Horsethief instead of the Spearfish.
    I agree that the Horsethief is almost certainly more suited for my riding style. My plan for next season is to get an all mountain 26 or 27.5 and "give" the spearfish to my wife, as we ride the same size bike. That will allow me to get something that can take a bit more abuse, give her an upgraded bike and allow me to borrow the SF for bikepacking / races / long rides. I love the Spearfish, but I think this may be my last FS 29er.

    That said, I wonder if the 1st gen HT is going to be having similar issues as we've seen with th SF. Seems to me it would be even more susceptible with more travel.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: progfan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    219
    I have a 2012 'Thief and have had zero problems so far, but that doesn't mean I couldn't in the future, I guess. I rode Whole Enchilada in Moab in the summer and give it a pretty regular beating on rocky stuff back east. That said, I'm disappointed to read that Salsa was already negotiating with Weagle 2 years ago while touting the flexing rear triangle design. It seems like they already saw flaws in it while rolling it out, so why roll it out? I've dealt with Salsa on the phone about some things and they are super nice guys that seem passionate about riding, but I don't know if I'll buy my next bike from them. I likes the idea of buying from a smaller company instead of Trek or the big "S" and not having to spend over 5k, but this gives the impression that they don't stand behind their products as much as others. Why only a 2-year warranty on frames, for example?
    2012 Salsa Horsethief
    2005 Independent Fabrication Deluxe

  23. #23
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    Why only a 2-year warranty on frames, for example?
    huh? Fact checking is easy.

    Salsa Cycles Limited Warranty

    Five Year Warranty
    Steel frames for original owner
    Titanium frames for original owner
    Carbon frames for original owner

    Three Year Warranty
    Aluminum frames for original owner
    All other Salsa bicycle forks, parts and components

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: progfan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    219
    You are correct, except that on the same page it states the following:

    "This warranty applies to 2014 and newer model bicycles and covers only Salsa Cycles branded product. Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer. Any products not specifically included above are hereby omitted."

    I have a 2012 bike and warranty was 2 years. Is 3 years that good, considering that Trek, Giant and (I think) Niner have lifetime warranties?
    2012 Salsa Horsethief
    2005 Independent Fabrication Deluxe

  25. #25
    Ride good on the internet
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    214
    Your 2012 is three years. Trust me.

    Be careful how you view that "lifetime" warranty.

    Those guys you mention generally use the fatigue life of the frame (usually 5 years or so) It's not free bikes forever.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-09-2013, 08:25 AM
  2. What size chainstay guard on a Spearfish?
    By jadedbee in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-09-2012, 02:19 PM
  3. Cracked Chainstay: Best way to repair
    By illcomm33 in forum Frame Building
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-13-2012, 09:12 PM
  4. Remedy 8 cracked chainstay
    By timsan in forum Trek
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 08-21-2011, 02:11 PM
  5. cracked non driveside chainstay repair
    By mountaingoatepics in forum Frame Building
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-17-2011, 10:02 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •