2nd Titanium frame failure .

bagpuss

Guru
Location
derby
Have I just been unlucky with frames made from Titanium .
Ist one cracked on its top tube after about 3 years . Exchanged under warranty for a different make, as a straight replacement was not available {following a few months of waiting .
Now that frame has cracked after 8 years of intermittent use . This one has failed on the rear chain stay just behind the botton bracket . The retailer no longer exsits and the manufacturer is based in the USA . It supposedly has a 10 year warranty .
Any thoughts welcome .
 
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HMS_Dave

Grand Old Lady
Location
Midlands
I've never owned a Titanium bike but perhaps your experiences tell you a story.

Time to ditch Titanium.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I am just been unlucky with frames made from Titanium .
Ist one cracked on its top tube after about 3 years . Exchanged under warranty for a different make, as a straight replacement was not available {following a few months of waiting .
Now that frame has cracked after 8 years of intermittent use . This one has failed on the rear chain stay just behind the botton bracket . The retailer no longer exsits and the manufacturer is based in the USA . It supposedly has a 10 year warranty .
Any thoughts welcome .
Contact the manufacturer :okay: with original receipts and lots of photos of frame
 
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Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Sorry @bagpuss that is really unfortunate, but maybe it's more than unfortunate. Titanium as a frame material does seem to have a higher failure rate proportionately than steel or other materials. Two failures in eleven years might be more than unfortunate.
I've never really understood the pull of titanium for bicycle frame when other time tested materials perform perfectly adequately. For the highest flying fastest jet of all time yes, but bikes no.
Vicky's suggestion might work depending on how they value their reputation but don't hold out too much hope. I don't suppose you'll have much confidence riding another one even if they did want to play ball.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
Most broken frames I see, excluding those damaged in accidents, are titanium or steel, although these metals theoretically have a fatigue limit. Possible reasons:

- no-one rides alu or carbon frames far enough for them to fatigue;

-the skill of the TIG welder or brazer isn't up to the job, and the metal gets overheated and changes structure (most cracks in Ti frames are at welds)

- the fatigue limit is exceeded in use by hitting potholes, etc
 
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B

bagpuss

Guru
Location
derby
Some Interesting comments . I must confess I have also had a tubes on steel frame crack in the past . On both occasions I had the frame repaired ie tube concerned replaced . That has always been a big plus point for steel frames for me .
I have had aluminium frames but found the ride to harsh . Given my type of riding I have not considered carbon fibre
As daft as this may sound, I have not been totally put off buying another titanium frame .
 
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Johnsco

Old Fettler
I've spent much of my working life inspecting titanium-alloy tube and machining bar stock.
It was all for very high-spec military or medical-implant applications ...... all very safety-critical requirements.
This was seriously-expensive inspection involving ultrasonic-immersion-testing techniques, using expensive equipment, qualified test technicians and very-exacting QA .
NONE of this testing was for bicycle tube or components ....... Too expensive.
The weak-point in all fabricated structures is the weld.
Many aircraft parts that you might expect to be weld-fabricated are machined from a solid slab of titanium or aluminium-alloy.
Everything you do in processing titanium and its alloys is difficult - Casting it, hot-working it, cold-working it ...... Welding is no exception.
Quality has a price.
It's always a trade-off between cost and required confidence level.
How much are we prepared to pay ??
 
I broke a Ti frame ... it was the steel head-tube that failed.

That was a Raleigh Dyna-tech - I now have an Airborne (old enough that they're no longer made - I bought it 2nd hand in 2009, and it's done all my Audax rides e.g. round northern Scotland, over the Alps, Pennines ruff-stuff etc etc ...)

Now, how about a less controversial issue:
who thinks tubeless is the only way to go now? :P
 
Location
London
Codswallop
All frames of whatever material have stories of failure, not just Ti.
have heard a fair few tales of titanium failure, some first hand.
I have the idea that a lot of folk rely on guarantees, which might not always be cast iron of course.

Can't say I have ever heard of a steel failure that didn't involve some form of impact or corrosion through serious misuse/storage.
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I have posted about my cracked Ti frame on this forum before, it didn't fail on the weld, it was a very light triple butted frame, it cracked under the top tube just behind the head tube on the reduction in thickness, I worked with Ti and some of the best welders in the UK (repairing steam turbines for the generation industry) a mate welded it even though it was paper thin, I rode it on fixed for a while and then sold it on, its still going, back on gears as far as I know.
It was the second Ti frame I owned, I have had four since (still have two) my OnOne Pickenflick CX has had some serious abuse and is still going strong.
The latest is a Spa Elan.
Most failures seem to be in the weld area, we had a very rigorous non destructive testing regime after welding, whether the frame manufactures do is another question, as with any frame material you pay your money and take your chances.
 
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