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  1. #1
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    No good Shot Peening Ruined My Moment

    I have a 2005 Ellsworth Moment that was finished with the shot peening. The factory failed flush the medium from the frame and it worked its way from top tube into the seat tube. When it got between the seatpost and the tubing the beads gouged both the seat tube and the frame. The same beads have ruined my BB threads in a similar manner.

    But what realy sucks about it is that the same beads fell into the headtube area between the steerer tube of my fork and the headseat. The headset is completly gouged and ruined and the steerer tube has a gouge right at the base making it a safety issue. I have contacted Ellsworth but no decision has been made.

    This is unacceptable for a $2300 frame.

  2. #2
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    So who put your bike together? I checked mine out carefully when it came and there was some excess material inside the frame that I cleaned out. No beads, though.

    If you had a LBS assemble the bike, they should have looked it over. I guess this is why they abandoned the shot peening process.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
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    That sucks all right

    I scratched up a Thomson post and needed to re-chase the BB threads because of those pesky balls. I agree this is probably one reason they're getting away from shotpeening new frames (the other could be that now that they're doing anodizing in house, it isn't logistically feasible).

    This is a known issue, but I don't think all customers can be expected to be familiar with it before they build up their frames.

    I think that every shot peened frame that goes out should have a warning included regarding this problem. From what I understand, everything can be fine at the factory, but during shipping, more of the shot peening beads can come out of crevices within the frame and cause trouble.

    For what it's worth, I'm still using that post (it's now on my Pugsley) and I think the scratches are only cosmetic. I'd contact the fork manufacturer and see if they thought there were structural concerns with the steerer tube damage.

    Let us know what you find out.
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  4. #4
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    This saga is going to be interesting since Ellsworth is going away from shot peening and Turner is going to start doing it.

    I will curious to see what happens with Turner frames.

  5. #5
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    From what I understood, Turner was doing it then stopped because of this very issue. I think some of the early 5 Spots had shot peened annodized finishes as options.

    There's no doubt that the shot peened annodized finish with laser graphics is very durable and looks good even years later. But there are some liabilities...

  6. #6
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    I have had this issue

    I built my frame, and honestly I never noticed them till after my first ride, I could hear them inside of the frame when I lifted it to the rack.. Reminded me of when I worked in a shop I would but small ball bearings in my friends frames to mess with em…

    Anyway, if you clean out the tube and BB shell you should not have an issue? If they BB is threaded on and no beads are present they are to large to work their way into the threads after.. Same for Seat post (unless you are a raise / lowerer during the ride)

    I removed my fork a few weeks ago and it was filled with those little buggers, I just cleaned them out and there was no damage to the tubes / head tube , steerer tube or headset. I would think the only damage that could happen besides the seat post would be installing on top of the balls? The HS is pressed in and is tight so they could not get there and the seal between the crown and HS itself would be to tight to allow these in..

    I would check with who built it…

    And I agree they should some with some notice, if I had known before I built it up, I would have flushed the frame (with compressed air)

  7. #7
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    I also had my share of issues. An expensive ruined easton carbon seat post is on of them.

  8. #8
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    Just curious, were the beads an issue for many years or are they more of a recent problem?

    The Truth has the bead blasted finish since 2001. Did the issue exist back then? If not, why now?

    I was aware of this issue so I had my bike shop spray some insulation foam in my Moment's BB area to prevent the beads from migrating. The seat tube and head tube were also cleaned with wire brush and compressed air before installation of parts. The holes from the top tube, however, were not sealed with foam so I wonder if any beads have migrated since.

    My wife's Truth derailleur hanger, BB threads were almost crossed due to bead residues. Some beads came out later and caused some deep scratches on her Thomson as well. Her frame wasn't sealed with foam as I was not aware of the issue last year.

    I almost wanted to wash the tubes with pressurized water but it would probably cause problems with the pivot bolts rusting from the inside.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad1433
    From what I understood, Turner was doing it then stopped because of this very issue. I think some of the early 5 Spots had shot peened annodized finishes as options...
    From what I recall Turner stopped the shot/anno b/c of too many frames that did not make the quality cut. Between the etching, peening, and deep anno processes a lot of pivot tolerances came out of spec and thus did not pass QC, also he mentioned several had issues with consistant color across the entire frame, those too did not pass QC. It accounted for about a third of production not making the quality cut. I recall one poster commenting about the balls remaining in the frame, there may have been others.

    He still shot/peen/anno's the Nitrous and it comes with a warning:



    I thought the new anno Turners (Nitrous excluded) was going to be smooth anno, no shot peening. but I'm not sure.

    Back to your regularly scheduled forum discussion.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 12-01-2005 at 02:50 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I've had the same issues with my Moment- the seat tube had to be reamed and then i used solvol autosol to polish the tube, i also foamed the hole where the top tube meets the seat tube and since then i haven't had any problems- apart from a badly scored seat post and a lot of my time.

    The bottom bracket threads will never be the same- i've had to have them re-cut twice and now use the Raceface Diabolus bottom bracket because it has a much deeper cup insertion than normal. Even when fitting this unit i thought i was in for another trip to the shop, i had to screw each cup in as far as i could by hand and when i couldn't turn it any more then back it right out and use WD40 and a toothbrush to scrub the threads and then re-insert and do the same again...several times. This took quite a while to do both sides, until i could fit the cups by hand and was sure they weren't being cross-threaded. I also removed the threadlock from the cups as i couldn't tell when it got tight if it was crossed or not and just left the last couple of turns needing the spanner.
    This problem with the threads is made worse because the new type of bottom brackets need replacing more often than in the past- in my experience.


    In the UK this frame costs, or did cost around £1800 ( if in USA then get back up off the floor ). Is this acceptable- no way, and my '01 Id had the exact same finish and i never had any of these problems with it.

    If anybody is thinking of buying an '05 Moment then i would still say go ahead ( especially at a knock down price ) but make sure the seat tube is perfect, foam all the tube ends, get the bottom bracket faced and chased and then thoroughly clean it.

    Final quality control has let this frame down badly, and if it wasn't a great bike then i would have got rid.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahimanic
    Just curious, were the beads an issue for many years or are they more of a recent problem?

    The Truth has the bead blasted finish since 2001. Did the issue exist back then? If not, why now?
    The Truth has been shot peened ever since at least 1999 (maybe even earlier). Anytime you send a lot of frames through a process like shot peening you are bound to get some with beads left in them. To my knowledge it was never a real problem until those on this board started posting about it. Maybe Ells has changed shot peening vendors since way back when and have since experienced problems and so they are now getting rid of it.

  12. #12
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    That sucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    From what I recall Turner stopped the shot/anno b/c of too many frames that did not make the quality cut. Between the etching, peening, and deep anno processes a lot of pivot tolerances came out of spec and thus did not pass QC, also he mentioned several had issues with consistant color across the entire frame, those too did not pass QC. It accounted for about a third of production not making the quality cut. I recall one poster commenting about the balls remaining in the frame, there may have been others.

    He still shot/peen/anno's the Nitrous and it comes with a warning:



    I thought the new anno Turners (Nitrous excluded) was going to be smooth anno, no shot peening. but I'm not sure.

    Back to your regularly scheduled forum discussion.
    Any frame that costs that much should come 100% preped and ready to go from the factory. If they can take the time to put that warning lable there then they sould just do the frame prep. Rocky mountain frames come with BB properly faced all the disk tabs and head tube ect are also done for you. I am sure if they did any shot peening they would make sure no pellets were inside the frame.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla

    I thought the new anno Turners (Nitrous excluded) was going to be smooth anno, no shot peening. but I'm not sure.

    Back to your regularly scheduled forum discussion.
    I think you are correct. I misread ball burnishing for shot peening in Dave's repsonse here

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...57&postcount=5

  14. #14
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    Johnny, TBs chase and face their BB's & HTs, I think EWBs does too.
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  15. #15
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    Ellsworth copied Turner !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    Any frame that costs that much should come 100% preped and ready to go from the factory. If they can take the time to put that warning lable there then they sould just do the frame prep. Rocky mountain frames come with BB properly faced all the disk tabs and head tube ect are also done for you. I am sure if they did any shot peening they would make sure no pellets were inside the frame.

    Check out the chain stays on the Turner. Looks to me that is what Ellsworth did for 2006.Tony will be running to the patent attys.It was my idea !! It was my idea , my idea !!

    Ellsworth should tighten up on thier quality control before they send their frames to the dealers.

  16. #16
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    The BB seems to be chased at the factory on the Truth, but I had to do it again when buidling the bike due to the residue. Trying to thread the BB cups in before chasing (even after a good cleaning) wasn't working at all.

    I didn't think about the shotpeening when installing the headset. I do know that this was the most difficult frame to press the cups in I've ever dealt with before. I hope I don't ever have to take them out.

    I like the shot peened finish and hate to see them move away from it - but it does require extra prep with expensive tools that not every shop has.

  17. #17
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    I discussed this issue with folks at Ellsworth before. They told me the frames do go through a cleaning process to be rid of the beads before leaving the factory. However, additional beads would make their way out of the small top and down tube holes and into the seat tube and BB when the frames are rattled during transportation. I would imagine it's really difficult and costly to completely remove all beads out of those tiny holes connecting the top and down tubes.

    It sure is a pesky problem and probably has influenced Ells decision to do away with shot peening in 2006. I think I would still go through the trouble of one-time cleaning and sealing the frame for the sake of having the shot peened finish. It looks great and is really tough. I could be wrong, but I have my doubt that smooth anodized finish would look as good as shot peened anodized after extended use.

    I wonder if Santa Cruz and Specialized also experience the same problem since they also anodize frames.

  18. #18
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    Can someone help define the difference between annodizing and shot-peening/ball burnishing processes?

    I've seen the Specialized annodized frames and they don't look like Ellsworth frames. I've not seen the Titus or Santa Cruz frame finishes.

  19. #19
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    It was explained to me that all three processes can be used depending on what is wanted:

    Ball burnishing uses larger softer copper-like balls in a tumbling bin like a horizantal washer or rock polisher... this smooths out the fiish and gets in areas that a polishing wheel cant reach. I tleaves an orange-ish tint on the frame. I suppose that is removed before going onto other processes.

    Shot peening is like bead blasting and uses smaller harder beads that are fired at the surface at high speed. The impacts make the textured surface. The beads can work their way into the vent holes between the tubes and get stuck in odd places. As stated above cleaning can get most of the beads out but not all.

    Anno is more complex than I initially thought. After the frame is burnished, and peened, it has to be cleaned and I think etched which removes some surface material. Then it get's anno-dipped which is an electronic bonding process which deposits the color on and IN the suface. The darker the color the longer and more dips are required. There can be dificulties in keeping certain hight tolerance parts in spec (pivot points) so the mfgr has to keep a certian amount of product loss in mind, depending on if it can or cannot be brought back into spec. I'd guess that depens on what is off and by how much. I would suppose that is built into the cost of the finish if it's optional or into the MSRP cost of the product line if not.

    Maybe one of the engineers can explain the Anno process in greater detail.
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  20. #20
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    Learn more about anodization.

    http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/chemistry/anodized-surfaces-woc.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anodizing

    http://electrochem.cwru.edu/ed/encyc...-anodizing.htm

  21. #21
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    Here's a link on anodizing

    http://www.focuser.com/atm/anodize/anodize99.html
    It's kind of a cool process, imo. Basically, you oxidize the surface of the aluminum, then dip the parts into dye tanks. The dye gets absorbed into the oxide coating.

  22. #22
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    So anodizing is a form of "painting" or coloring. Shot peening/ball burnishing is used to harden the surface? Therefore, Specialized is anodizing their frames (not the carbon frames obviously) in order to color them.

    So what's this new process Ellsworth is doing? Just a new form of anodizing?

    Also, why isn't anyone doing this? All the Ti frames I see are natural color:

    Aluminum and its alloys are not the only materials that can be anodized. Titanium can be anodized and the coating can create an attractive blue color without dyes. The color formed is dependent on the thickness of the oxide; it is caused by the interference of light reflecting off the oxide surface with light traveling through it and reflecting off the underlying metal surface. Titanium nitride coatings can also be formed, which have a brown or golden color and have the same wear and corrosion benefits as anodization.
    Last edited by chad1433; 12-02-2005 at 09:50 AM.

  23. #23
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    Shot peening is a process that relieves the stress in the metal. Ells shot peened and anodized in the past. Now they are not doing the shot peening, which also gives the textured surface.

    I don't know whether ball burnishing also relieves stress in the metal.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Hair Boy
    Any frame that costs that much should come 100% preped and ready to go from the factory. If they can take the time to put that warning lable there then they sould just do the frame prep. Rocky mountain frames come with BB properly faced all the disk tabs and head tube ect are also done for you. I am sure if they did any shot peening they would make sure no pellets were inside the frame.
    The pellets used are small enough that they can get temporarily wedged in some of the internal miters in the tubes. I'm sure manufacturers make efforts to get out as much media as possible, but ultimately, there's going to be some left over. Putting the warning label on there, should alert the bike builder to make some efforts to detect and remove any additional media.

    re: frame prep. There are obviously different schools of thought about this topic. Regardless of who's doing the frame prep, you're likely to pay for it. If the manufacturer is facing and chasing the frame before shipping, it has to be factored into the end cost, and runs the risk (however slight) of being damaged in shipping (or so the argument goes). I happen to be of the opinion that the shop mechanic building the bike should do the frame prep...

    ...for a couple of reasons: "value added" for the bike shop. Either the shop incorporates this into the cost of building the bike and appears to offer a more professional service OR they charge the consumer extra for it and stand to make a bit more on the sale of the frame. As an "industry" person, anything to help shop owners make more (and therefor have the capability to pay their mechanics more to better enable them to support themselves/family) is a good thing. As a consumer, I see the downside as well, but if you can afford a high end frame, you can afford the extra $50 or so to have it faced and chased. The people who grumble about the fees for service are probably the same people who don't bring beer and pizza to the mechanics on weekends.

    Moral: give beer and food to your mechanic as often as possible.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Elvis
    https://www.focuser.com/atm/anodize/anodize99.html
    It's kind of a cool process, imo. Basically, you oxidize the surface of the aluminum, then dip the parts into dye tanks. The dye gets absorbed into the oxide coating.
    Cool, this looks like the technique Ellsworth is using for the multi-color artzy work..


  26. #26
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    Nice pink gun...for the militant Gay Pride parader in the family this Xmas, who has everything else.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad1433
    So who put your bike together? I checked mine out carefully when it came and there was some excess material inside the frame that I cleaned out. No beads, though.

    If you had a LBS assemble the bike, they should have looked it over. I guess this is why they abandoned the shot peening process.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.

    I had the BB installed by a local bike shop. I looked the frame over closely and did not see any thing during the initial buil. I just recently took the fork of and that is when i saw the dammage and hte beads every where.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Road
    I built my frame, and honestly I never noticed them till after my first ride, I could hear them inside of the frame when I lifted it to the rack.. Reminded me of when I worked in a shop I would but small ball bearings in my friends frames to mess with em…

    Anyway, if you clean out the tube and BB shell you should not have an issue? If they BB is threaded on and no beads are present they are to large to work their way into the threads after.. Same for Seat post (unless you are a raise / lowerer during the ride)

    I removed my fork a few weeks ago and it was filled with those little buggers, I just cleaned them out and there was no damage to the tubes / head tube , steerer tube or headset. I would think the only damage that could happen besides the seat post would be installing on top of the balls? The HS is pressed in and is tight so they could not get there and the seal between the crown and HS itself would be to tight to allow these in..

    I would check with who built it…

    And I agree they should some with some notice, if I had known before I built it up, I would have flushed the frame (with compressed air)
    The H-set was installe by a LBS and no beads were present the damage occured in the space between the inside of the lower cup and the steerer tube, above the crown race.

  29. #29
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    pics??? i'd love to see this...

    Quote Originally Posted by forceyoda
    The H-set was installe by a LBS and no beads were present the damage occured in the space between the inside of the lower cup and the steerer tube, above the crown race.
    it is hard to visualize it otherwise...

  30. #30
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    Just a quick follow up.

    Ellsworth told me that they are going to refinish the frame, replace the seat post, and give me some soft goods. The Ellsworth guy stated that the gouge on the steerer was not that bad and that he was able to buff it out. I am sending the fork fork to Manitou to see what they say about the steerer and have the IT replaced.

  31. #31
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    that is fantastic...

    Quote Originally Posted by forceyoda
    Just a quick follow up.

    Ellsworth told me that they are going to refinish the frame, replace the seat post, and give me some soft goods. The Ellsworth guy stated that the gouge on the steerer was not that bad and that he was able to buff it out. I am sending the fork fork to Manitou to see what they say about the steerer and have the IT replaced.

    well done Ells...

  32. #32
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    Good to hear that your problem has been sorted!

    I just noticed that the pictures of my new Nitrous are circulating the Ellsworth forum. Nice to see that they are being put to good use.

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