Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?

    There was some odd feedback from the rear brake, a sort of knock everytime it was actuated, so I decided to take a look. The photos detail the source. Ugh.


    The crack on the seat stay portion of the rear triangle emanates from a weld at the brake caliper mount. I'm in my 50s and 80KG, definitely no Redbull Rampager, just a weekend CX'er. No event or collision precipitated the failure; the bike has been ridden sparingly and in the manner it was designed for. I suspect the culprit was fatigue acting on weld weakened aluminum.


    Now I'm in a quandary: Ghost says the warranty's lapsed and they DON'T carry replacement stays or even the rear triangle. They will offer a 20% discount on a new bike/frameset but I'm really not in the position to entertain such an expense and b) I'm not impressed with a brand that abandons serviceability of a 3.5 year old frame and so am soured by the prospect of possibly repeating the same exercise a few years hence.


    And I find it repugnant that I should trash a perfectly good frame -- what a waste! -- because a simple part replacement is precluded. Talk about designed disposability.


    Or is it? I'm reluctant to have the stay welded because the chances of a strong, durable repair are typically slim. It's not the prospect of a weld's failure per se that I find daunting but catastrophic failure when I'm careening down a trail.


    I sure would appreciate some thoughts or, better yet, experiences on the matter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?-crack-non-drive.jpg  

    Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?-crack-reverse.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Hang it on the wall, buy a used frame that most of your components will swap to.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Hang it on the wall, buy a used frame that most of your components will swap to.
    /thread

  4. #4
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    Find a competent welder, get it welded and go ride.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Find a competent welder, get it welded and go ride.
    Bad idea. The alu will become soft after welding and break again w/o heat-treating.

  6. #6
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    This subject has been debated into infinity. It's always a case-by-case basis.

    I have seen multiple frames that have had cracks welded and continue to be ridden hard years later with no issues.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    This subject has been debated into infinity. It's always a case-by-case basis.

    I have seen multiple frames that have had cracks welded and continue to be ridden hard years later with no issues.
    How much material is there at the break? Its a serious load bearing link and braking zone. That is sketchy as hell.

  8. #8
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    This is a good example of exercising the 'case-by-case' basis consideration. There is some validity to where the crack is and the material thickness.

    However, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of repair. But, as you said, this could be sketchy (but possible).
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  9. #9
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    I've welded several broken aluminum bikes, the kind people say to scrap. Repairing that one is going to be tough. I won't say it couldn't be done but it's not going to be cheap and could certainty fail again. You can spend a couple hundred bucks to try and fix it or put that money towards a bike that you know is ride able.

  10. #10
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    For the same money, you could probably find someone to make a replacement stay.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatso View Post
    For the same money, you could probably find someone to make a replacement stay.

    That was an option I didn't even consider as the stay actually comprises one half of the rear triangle with brake post mounts, dropouts and three pivot points (brake bridge and at each dropout) integrated into it. A one-off fabrication would be incredibly time consuming and expensive.

  12. #12
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    Did you happen to buy the bike at REI?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Did you happen to buy the bike at REI?
    As a somewhat disgruntled former long time REI employee all I can say is, hahahaha.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like you sour attitude toward the company would have you unhappy about riding it if it were repaired, let alone trusting a repair. I guess you already had an answer in mind and just wanted to poo poo on Ghost by sharing the story. xD

  15. #15
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    Resolution.

    Winding up this thread.

    The reason why I haven't posted in the interim because some unexpected developments re-opened the case and before this forum was updated I thought it would be fair to all involved if some resolution and/or finality was arrived at beforehand.

    I'm happy to report that a) the replacement rear triangle sub-assembly was available, and b) it WAS covered by warranty. I've since received the part and the frame awaits some TLC before re-assembly, i.e., cleaning and lubing the journals and bearings...

    Now the details. A clarification regarding my original post: When I wrote "Ghost says the warranty's lapsed..." I should have written that this is what MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op [Canadian vendor of Ghost]) related to me. At that point all my correspondence was through MEC, Toronto, which sold me the bike. As per our exchanges MEC informed that Ghost's warranties, etc. went through the North American distributor of Ghost bikes, located in the USA.

    I was never in direct contact with Ghost (which is a German brand) until....on a whim, several days or so after initially posting here, I emailed the brand directly using the contact info at their website, https://www.ghost-bikes.com/ Again it was a whim.

    Indeed I thought so little would come of it that I'd gone ahead and bought an inexpensive hardtail frame built it up with the components of the retired Ghost, and was back on the trail when about a week later there came a reply. The part's available and is covered under warranty. By the domain of the email address the Ghost correspondent resided in Germany so I must have unwittingly circumvented the whole North America distribution/warranty bureaucracy, appealing to HQ(?) directly. Germany was good to go even if North America wasn't.

    The German Ghost rep referred me back to the original seller (MEC, again) to get the process rolling. MEC used my German email correspondent to process the warranty and the episode ended with my picking up the part tonight.

    Couple of lessons here: a) sometimes going over heads, even unintentionally, pays and; b) someone in the Ghost/MEC customer service/warranty apparatus really couldn't be bothered to do what took me five minutes, i.e., fire off an email inquiring after a part.

    For others in similar situations take my episode to heart: electrons blindly sent forth sometimes find willing recipients. It worked for me, it may work for you. Photos: Ghost awaiting some TLC; replacement rear triangle sub-assembly .

    Quote Originally Posted by linguinee View Post
    There was some odd feedback from the rear brake, a sort of knock everytime it was actuated, so I decided to take a look. The photos detail the source. Ugh.


    The crack on the seat stay portion of the rear triangle emanates from a weld at the brake caliper mount. I'm in my 50s and 80KG, definitely no Redbull Rampager, just a weekend CX'er. No event or collision precipitated the failure; the bike has been ridden sparingly and in the manner it was designed for. I suspect the culprit was fatigue acting on weld weakened aluminum.


    Now I'm in a quandary: Ghost says the warranty's lapsed and they DON'T carry replacement stays or even the rear triangle. They will offer a 20% discount on a new bike/frameset but I'm really not in the position to entertain such an expense and b) I'm not impressed with a brand that abandons serviceability of a 3.5 year old frame and so am soured by the prospect of possibly repeating the same exercise a few years hence.


    And I find it repugnant that I should trash a perfectly good frame -- what a waste! -- because a simple part replacement is precluded. Talk about designed disposability.


    Or is it? I'm reluctant to have the stay welded because the chances of a strong, durable repair are typically slim. It's not the prospect of a weld's failure per se that I find daunting but catastrophic failure when I'm careening down a trail.


    I sure would appreciate some thoughts or, better yet, experiences on the matter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?-replacement-stay.jpg  

    Ghost gave up the ghost: To weld or not to weld?-frame-disassembled.jpg  

    Last edited by linguinee; 10-05-2018 at 08:36 PM. Reason: grammar

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