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  1. #1
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    Solo Cracked Frame

    So REALLY bummed right now. Just got my Solo a couple weeks ago and took it on my first mountain bike road trip to Fruita and Grand Junction Colorado. Upon unloading my bike today I noticed this.
    I have owned a couple other CF frames bikes before (One Specialized and one Giant) and I have never had this occur.
    I initially thought this may be a result of my rack, but it can't be. I had the bike properly secured so the frame would not swing at all during transport and used a seat to stem adapter as points of contact. My last ride in Fruita was on Moore Fun trail and it was a bumpy one but nothing this bike could not handle.
    I guess here you guys can follow my saga with this. Contacted both my LBS and Santa Cruz customer service (who in the past have been REALLY good about responding to questions).
    I have no motives other than wanting my bike to work well. I love this bike so far and hope Santa Cruz works with me here. Stay tuned.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Solo Cracked Frame-soloframe.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I hope they work with you on this. Please keep us posted.

  3. #3
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    Can't tell much from the picture.
    Is that a crack/ding/dent/scrape?
    Or, is your clear coat just torn up?

  4. #4
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    There is some paint and layup chipping off. A 6 inch or so hairline crack goes from the chipping to the logo on the top tube. Not sure it is safe to ride.

  5. #5
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    Re: Solo Cracked Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    There is some paint and layup chipping off. A 6 inch or so hairline crack goes from the chipping to the logo on the top tube. Not sure it is safe to ride.
    What kind of rack do you use?

  6. #6
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    One of these. But I use an adapter that goes from the seat post to the stem since this is carbon and since it is a full suspension bike.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Solo Cracked Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    One of these. But I use an adapter that goes from the seat post to the stem since this is carbon and since it is a full suspension bike.
    That's a bummer...
    I hope SC will treat you well.
    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    I've got a few similar looking blems on my carbon Nomad top tube.....all from:
    1. cleats on my shoes scraping top tube on lazy or unplanned dismounts
    2. other riders pedals from shuttling and having bikes crammed together
    3. rock/gravel strikes from about 20K miles of roof rack time for the frame.

    Without being able to inspect it in person, it looks exactly like a pedal cleat was dragged across the top tube when a leg was swung over the frame.

    That's a weird spot for a crack in a carbon frame. Hard to crack top or down tubes without some severe torque and impact.

    SC's clear coat on their carbon frame can be brittle and it's really easy to rip up top coat and a bit of carbon when anything hard scratches and abrades the frame.

    SC's warranty department is awesome, especially so when you are the original owner.

  9. #9
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    Well, it's a bummer cause it's a *****in' bike. I have been really happy with my SC and their customer service so far so I hope they can resolve this.

  10. #10
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    it's repairable if it is a gouge from a cleat, sharp rock, etc.

    if it comes to that, take better pics and send them to these guys for a quote: http://calfeedesign.com/repair/

  11. #11
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    It does look like a gouge, but pretty hard to tell from the pic. The crack actually looks the like the center seam, which is often quite visible on the black models. Of course if the seam wasn't visible before, that's different. Pretty amazing considering how strong carbon fiber is. Check out this SC video of aluminum and CF destructive testing:

    Pinkbike Visits The Santa Cruz Test Lab Video - YouTube

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    One of these. But I use an adapter that goes from the seat post to the stem since this is carbon and since it is a full suspension bike.
    Do you use anything else to secure it to the rack? Problem with those adapters is they rely on the weight of the bike to stay in place. You can hit a bump in the road and the bike moves vertically in the adapter.

    If I were you, I would look into getting a tray style rack.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Do you use anything else to secure it to the rack? Problem with those adapters is they rely on the weight of the bike to stay in place. You can hit a bump in the road and the bike moves vertically in the adapter.

    If I were you, I would look into getting a tray style rack.
    I have the rubber straps holding the adapter down. I had it secured so it wouldn't jump up and down or sway back and fourth. None of it was secured on the top tube. I think it happened during a ride and I perhaps did not notice because it was covered in so much dust/dirt the last day. We will see what SC says tomorrow.
    I understand they don't like giving out new frames but this bike is only 3 weeks old.

  14. #14
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    Hard to tell from the picture but that doesn't look cracked to me. Hopefully its just a paint/CC blem and you can continue riding and enjoying the bike. If it is genuinely cracked, I'm certain SC will take care of you.

    Unless there's some sort of defect in the layup or mfg process (which is certainly possible), I think the force required to crack a TT would leave no uncertainty as to what happened.
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  15. #15
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    Solo Cracked Frame

    That really sucks sure you never backed into something with the solo on the rack???

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Do you use anything else to secure it to the rack? Problem with those adapters is they rely on the weight of the bike to stay in place. You can hit a bump in the road and the bike moves vertically in the adapter.

    If I were you, I would look into getting a tray style rack.
    This is true, but I would hope that anyone using a top tube / rack adapter realizes the issue and secures the bike appropriately. It takes as little as two bungee cords.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mint355 View Post
    That really sucks sure you never backed into something with the solo on the rack???
    I had it on nowhere near the end of the rack. If I backed into something there would be damage on side of downtube/top tube or other parts of the bike. I used a strap that came with the bike to secure it from bouncing up and down. I went through the pedal holes and wheel spokes so it would not bounce and so wheels would not spin while transporting.

  18. #18
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    They are just getting back from Interbike so it might be a couple of days before they get to your email. I'm
    waiting to hear back from Willie about another circle crack on my TRc. If that is indeed a crack, they will take
    care of you.

  19. #19
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    Looks like possible carbon layup above the shock bolt housing area on the top tube. I'm sure they will sort it out. Looks as though it's about to splinter upwards

  20. #20
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    Taking it in to the shop tomorrow. Will keep you all posted!

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    Is there any way that the bars or pedals from one of the other bikes on the rack rubbed or hit it?

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    Always hard to tell from a pic alone but it sure looks like some kind of clamping force or an impact. It's definitely not going to look like that from just riding along.

    Can you explain that adapter you mentioned? Sounds like a pipe or rod from post to stem, above the top tube, and you mount that adapter to the rack? I know you've mentioned straps, etc., but let's just say theoretically you hit a big enough bump to make your bike jump vertically - would your top tube smack your adapter or rack right there?

  23. #23
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    Can you post pics with the adaptor installed and the bike on the rack?
    BTW- we are not piling on. Shop and/or Santa Cruz is going to ask the same.

  24. #24
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    It is one of these.
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  25. #25
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    What does it look like installed and on the rack?
    What are the clearances?

  26. #26
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    It wasn't the rack or adapter. There is no way that it would crack there from being transported unless it was hit.

    Can you take a clearer picture though? I'm just interested in what the heck is going on there.

    I would ditch that rack though and get a rack that won't require an adapter.

  27. #27
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    This goes from the seat post to the stem. I have a dropper and I extend the dropper so there is clearance. I took it across I70 from Fruita to Longmont like that. As I mentioned, I secured the pedals and wheels so it wouldn't bounce or sway. I dont have a picture of it mounted.

  28. #28
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    Planning on a tray rack after this for sure.

  29. #29
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    FWIW I hauled my carbon road bike via a hanging rack like that for years without issue. I own one of those adapters for my wife's hybrid, which is a step-through top tube.

    I have also switched racks, though. I have roof racks on my car and when I need it, which is infrequent, a tray rack for my wife's SUV. *Much* better than a top tube hanger.

  30. #30
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    After looking over the nicks, scratches, dents, paint stripping on my current steel frame, and then reading these posts, I know why I never considered a carbon frame. I have seen the videos re carbon testing by SC, but when it fails, it usually does around the joints and weakest links, not the stiff toptubes, etc.

    GnarBrahWyo ~ I feel bad for you, not because SC will ignore this (you'll likely get an appropriate replacement), but because your replacement will have "5010 C" rather than the collector's item "Solo C."

    Can't wait for my alloy 5010 to come. Good luck.

  31. #31
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    So dropped it off at bike shop. Guy at bike shop said SC is gonna push for crash replacement. He said he was not entirely sure though. I asked what they charge for crash replacement bikes and he said as much as 1/2 price of the frame.
    Given that a frame is ~$2700, I could end up being asked to pay ~$1350 to fix my bike. Starting to question my choice in carbon fiber for the first time after owning three of them. Maybe I should have researched better. This stuff can end up costing you a LOT more down the road...

  32. #32
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    Sounds like you're certain that the frame is damaged.
    However, what if it's just cosmetic?
    what did the shop think?
    Cosmetic or structural?

  33. #33
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    There is a long hairline crack in it. It's pretty damaged. Some of the fibers are loose too.

  34. #34
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    As I said earlier, SC warranty is great, especially for original owners.
    If you get any grief, the magic words for SC carbon frame replacement are "all I did was Endo going uphill."
    Trust me on this.

  35. #35
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    Solo Cracked Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    So dropped it off at bike shop. Guy at bike shop said SC is gonna push for crash replacement. He said he was not entirely sure though. I asked what they charge for crash replacement bikes and he said as much as 1/2 price of the frame.
    Given that a frame is ~$2700, I could end up being asked to pay ~$1350 to fix my bike. Starting to question my choice in carbon fiber for the first time after owning three of them. Maybe I should have researched better. This stuff can end up costing you a LOT more down the road...
    If you didn't crash it then it shouldn't be a crash replacement. That is a strange place to crack, esp if there wasn't a crash. If that isn't a manufacturing defect then that spot couldn't crack without a LARGE force.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    If you didn't crash it then it shouldn't be a crash replacement. That is a strange place to crack, esp if there wasn't a crash. If that isn't a manufacturing defect then that spot couldn't crack without a LARGE force.
    I mean to say "no fault replacement".

  37. #37
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    Solo Cracked Frame

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    I mean to say "no fault replacement".
    Unless you did something to cause this crack you shouldn't have to pay a dime for a replacement. If you did do something then yeah it should be a no fault replacement.

  38. #38
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    Re: Solo Cracked Frame

    If you're bike was structurally damaged on a rack, that's wrong. Every frame I've ever owned can handle a cleat nicking it without structural damage. In my opinion, you absolutely should not pay a dime.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  39. #39
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    Stay tuned, MTBR'ers. I find out tomorrow. I am missing my bike though. Was gonna ride it today. I still recommend this bike for anyone interested in a trail/light AM bike.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    There is a long hairline crack in it. It's pretty damaged. Some of the fibers are loose too.
    This has suddenly started to not sound very much like a scuff from a cleat, bike rack, etc.

    I do think something is up, and I do think SC is going to take care of you.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    This has suddenly started to not sound very much like a scuff from a cleat, bike rack, etc.

    I do think something is up, and I do think SC is going to take care of you.
    Agreed. Please let us know . . . my gut tells me that you won't know anything though until SC gets the frame in their hands.
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  42. #42
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    I'm interested in seeing what SC does for the OP here. Charging him for a new frame under these circumstances would certainly drop them down my short list for my next bike purchase. I'd hardly consider $1,350 a minimal charge for a no fault replacement. I hope it works out in your favor OP and I'm sure you'll keep us informed.
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  43. #43
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    I have one of these and the nut holding the hinge together (clamps around the stem) has left some nice scratches in the top tube of my aluminum Solo. When the bike is on the rack, the adapter is up under the seat and handle bars. Take it off the rack and the adapter slides down and hits the top tube.

    Not sure if this is the location of your damage, but worth checking. I wrapped my adapter with some pipe insullation tube from Home Depot.

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    It is one of these.

  44. #44
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    When the bike is mounted on the rack with the adapter, is the horizontal bar from the rack close to that area? If I'm thinking about this correctly, the adapter would go on top of the two horizontal bars on the rack and your top tube would be underneath. With that setup the bike is lower to the ground than the rack is designed for. If the rack is mounted on a low clearance vehicle, I can see maybe backing out some place at a steep angle causing the bike wheels to compress and eventually pushing the whole bike up. And if the top tube contacts the horizontal bar on the rack when the bike is pushed up, that can definitely crack it.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    When the bike is mounted on the rack with the adapter, is the horizontal bar from the rack close to that area? If I'm thinking about this correctly, the adapter would go on top of the two horizontal bars on the rack and your top tube would be underneath. With that setup the bike is lower to the ground than the rack is designed for. If the rack is mounted on a low clearance vehicle, I can see maybe backing out some place at a steep angle causing the bike wheels to compress and eventually pushing the whole bike up. And if the top tube contacts the horizontal bar on the rack when the bike is pushed up, that can definitely crack it.
    Seems plausible to sustain a hit in that regard, but I'd put my money on the rack breaking before the frame.
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  46. #46
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    that is the area where I think the most force would be if the rear suspension was bottomed while sitting on the seat ? think?
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  47. #47
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    Good luck with that......

    If the top tube cracked under normal riding conditions there would be damage elsewhere on that front triangle.

    Throw the rack in the bin and get a rack made that's of similar design to DH bike racks where the wheels sit in a rail and the crank slides into a "crank holder" on the rack.

    Something isn't right there!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    When the bike is mounted on the rack with the adapter, is the horizontal bar from the rack close to that area? If I'm thinking about this correctly, the adapter would go on top of the two horizontal bars on the rack and your top tube would be underneath. With that setup the bike is lower to the ground than the rack is designed for. If the rack is mounted on a low clearance vehicle, I can see maybe backing out some place at a steep angle causing the bike wheels to compress and eventually pushing the whole bike up. And if the top tube contacts the horizontal bar on the rack when the bike is pushed up, that can definitely crack it.
    The other scenario would be the suspension is fully extended and a wheel drags on the ground which twists the bike in the rack. The bike would rotate around the adapter, since the adapter sits in a cradle on the carrier arm. The top tube is at a downward angle wrt the bottom of the carrier arm and would hit one edge of the bottom of the carrier arm. This edge would put a lot of pressure on the carbon fiber in a very small area. This would probably not damage the carrier arm. If the carrier arm is located just above the point of damage, that may have been what happened. Seems like the damage is a little too far down the top tube though.

    In any event, if SC comes through with a no charge frame, that would be great customer service. I can also see SC deciding on a no fault replacement in this case, since damage to one tube of the triangle is a rare occurence.

  49. #49
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    I had my dropper post extended to max length so no way would the middle bolt brush the top tube. I run pretty high pressure in my rear shock and it has never bottomed out.

  50. #50
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    I do plan on getting a tray rack though. Far healthier for any bike.

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