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  1. #1
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    Checking for Frame Damage on Pivot Mach 429 Trail

    Hi all,

    The driveside rear seatstay on my Pivot Mach 429 Trail recently took a good hit. While there is no visible damage to the seatstay (I had heavily covered it in heli-tape), after hearing all the horror stories about carbon I thought that getting a few extra options couldn't hurt.

    Checking for Frame Damage on Pivot Mach 429 Trail-img_20171216_165125.jpg
    Checking for Frame Damage on Pivot Mach 429 Trail-img_20171216_165130.jpg
    Checking for Frame Damage on Pivot Mach 429 Trail-img_20171216_165143.jpg
    Checking for Frame Damage on Pivot Mach 429 Trail-img_20171216_165148.jpg

    I think the seatstay was hit around where 'Boost148' is written, but as there are no marks, flat spots, or chips I cannot say for sure. Should I have it looked at more thoroughly or am I worrying about nothing? In the future, when should I start worrying about a hit to the frame?

    I am definitely the type who 'loves to worry', so I might be making a big deal out of nothing. However, as this is my first carbon frame, I really want to make sure that I haven't broken anything.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    ...I am definitely the type who 'loves to worry'...
    Well it's a good thing you didn't get aluminum, cuz then you'd have nothing to worry about.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Well it's a good thing you didn't get aluminum, cuz then you'd have nothing to worry about.
    Getting aluminum might have reduced the things I could worry about, but I still would have found something to fret over.

  4. #4
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    If you can't see any damage then just ride it. Impossible to know if it is damage and frankly it is probably not. Not going to say it will never fail, but just because it took a "good hit" means little.

    Carbon is alot tougher than you may think. Most companies are making pretty good stuff these days.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    If you can't see any damage then just ride it. Impossible to know if it is damage and frankly it is probably not. Not going to say it will never fail, but just because it took a "good hit" means little.

    Carbon is alot tougher than you may think. Most companies are making pretty good stuff these days.
    Thanks for the advice. In the future, I'll try not to worry about an impact if the frame shows no damage. I guess I should take reports from a few years ago about carbon failure on road bikes with a grain of salt.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    You could try lightly tapping the suspect area with a hard object. If the carbon is damaged it will sound much different, less hollow and more "dead". Maybe watch some youtube videos to hear what it wounds like.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoodie View Post
    You could try lightly tapping the suspect area with a hard object. If the carbon is damaged it will sound much different, less hollow and more "dead". Maybe watch some youtube videos to hear what it wounds like.
    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll watch some videos and try that tomorrow. Hopefully the taper of the tube will not effect the sound too much.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll watch some videos and try that tomorrow. Hopefully the taper of the tube will not effect the sound too much.
    If there is damage, the noise should be easily distinguished. Good luck and I'll cross my fingers you're good to go

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoodie View Post
    If there is damage, the noise should be easily distinguished. Good luck and I'll cross my fingers you're good to go
    I went ahead and tried tapping the seatstay with a quarter. While some taps produce a muffled sound (probably because they hit a crease in the heli-tape), most taps produced a sharp clack that remained relatively consistent throughout the lower part of the tube. The sound was not extremely hollow, but that might stem from the size of the tube. I can upload a video of the sound if you'd like. However, at least to me, it seems like there is no damage to the carbon.

    Thanks for the suggestion, it has been quite helpful!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    I went ahead and tried tapping the seatstay with a quarter. While some taps produce a muffled sound (probably because they hit a crease in the heli-tape), most taps produced a sharp clack that remained relatively consistent throughout the lower part of the tube. The sound was not extremely hollow, but that might stem from the size of the tube. I can upload a video of the sound if you'd like. However, at least to me, it seems like there is no damage to the carbon.

    Thanks for the suggestion, it has been quite helpful!
    Glad to have helped you find some piece of mind. One other thing that you can do is press on the affected area with your thumb. If the area is damaged it will deflect when force is applied.

    Check out some videos where they are using ultrasound to inspect carbon. That's the "real" way to inspect carbon. Also there are some good videos that go into the science of composites, its really cool how they take this fabric and make super strong frames and wheels.

  11. #11
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    Ultras sound is cool. Last time I visited the urologist she used ultra sound to measure how much pee was left in my bladder. It was like 2 ml.
    Do the math.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoodie View Post
    Glad to have helped you find some piece of mind. One other thing that you can do is press on the affected area with your thumb. If the area is damaged it will deflect when force is applied.

    Check out some videos where they are using ultrasound to inspect carbon. That's the "real" way to inspect carbon. Also there are some good videos that go into the science of composites, its really cool how they take this fabric and make super strong frames and wheels.
    Thanks for the additional suggestion, I will try it.

    Seeing how ultrasound is used to inspect carbon and how carbon fibers are turned into frames sounds quite interesting. I'll definitely have at look at both.

    Thanks again.

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