Charge Plug SS frame failure

Discussion in 'Fixed Gear and Single Speed' started by chug666, 15 Sep 2017.

  1. chug666

    chug666 Regular

    Just posted this on BikeRadar and thought I'd duplicate here, a long winded whinge about a broken frame- sorry!

    I've commuted happily on my Charge Plug SS for 18 months or so, enjoying the low maintenance world of single gear riding. In wet weather I made sure to remove the seat post, turn it upside down to get water out of the frame, and sprayed some GT85 into it by way of TLC. Also occasionally gave it a squirt of waxoil for good measure, although I'm not convinced that was particularly effective. I clean it (occasionally), oil it (regularly), adjust the chain etc etc- so it has been looked after, albeit as a hard worked commuter beasty.

    At the weekend, giving it a quick wash for the coming week, I found a big crack running horizontally from each side of the seat post slot. Did a double take, popped the seat post out, and it is possible to lift the top inch or so of the frame to leave a jagged gap. Not a good look. Its a 56cm (large) frame, I'm a bit over 6 foot so run a fair length of seat tube but well within the limits, and at 75kg I'm not particularly chunky, so I was really surprised to see it fail where it did.

    Confession time- I bought the bike used, from a chap who'd had it a few months but preferred gears. He gave me the receipt, so I know it is a 2015 model. But from a warranty perspective I'm on dodgy ground. I thought it was worth giving Charge a go in any case, and was told there was nothing they can do to help (they weren't at all interested in investigating the failure from a safety perspective either). Similarly Evans, where the bike came from originally, were entirely uninterested.

    So a few questions:

    - has anyone else had a failure like this, and found the reason? If i buy a replacement frame I'm keen to avoid a repeat!
    - any maintenance tips for a daily use steel frame would be great
    - what replacement would you go for? I've looked at expensive (Cotic Roadrat), cheaper (il Pompino) and unknown (fabricrace light alu frame looks pretty good) but I really can'd decide...
    - Do you think Charge (or Evans) should have done more, or am i being unreasonable as a dirty second hand buyer? I was careful not to demand a new frame from Charge, just pointed out the failure and asked if they would look into it, so i thought they'd at least want to see why it happened.

    Will try to attach a photo, but I'm struggling...

    Cheers all!
  2. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Planet X have their very inexpensive holdsworth SS frame for £150. Steel is real :biggrin:

    It's pretty standard for all manufacturers that warranty only covers original owner, so can't see you getting much joy there
    Lonestar and dave r like this.
  3. OP

    chug666 Regular

    thanks, I was fairly sure I was on a hiding to nothing with the warranty but was surprised how uninterested Charge were about their frame cracking. Holdsworth looks like a great option, I prefer it to the pompino and cheaper to boot, cheers for the tip!
  4. OP

    chug666 Regular

    [QUOTE 4957592, member: 45"]Use a longer seat post.[/QUOTE]

    With the cracked frame? I think the crack is too long to continue using it (you can see both ends from the front of the tube!). When it inevitably gives, there will be nothing to clamp the post...
  5. dan_bo

    dan_bo How much does it cost to Oldham?

    Get a welder feller to run a bead round it then spray the burnt bit with laquer and keep on riding it. With a longer seatpost.
    uphillstruggler likes this.
  6. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    [QUOTE 4957592, member: 45"]Use a longer seat post.[/QUOTE]

    Indeed. i've not seen this one so can't comment, but most of the failures in that area have been cause by too little seatpost being inserted. This modern trend for smaller frames with vast acreages of exposed seat post makes me wince.
    raleighnut likes this.
  7. uphillstruggler

    uphillstruggler Veteran

    Half way there
    Plus 1 on this
  8. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Manchester. UK
    If it's a commuter get it welded. The beauty of steel, all is not lost.
  9. Multicyclist

    Multicyclist Regular

    North Yorkshire
    Unlikely that this was your issue, but... years ago I had an alloy mtb frame crack in exactly the same area, it wasn't old... It turned out the bike was fitted with a 27.0mm post & the frame should have had a 27.2mm fitted. I guess this massively increases the strain on the clamp area as the seat tube isn't offering much support & the clamp area takes the strain of the rocking motion of a loose fitting post. I bought the bike new, but the shop kindly said that I must have changed the seatpost! I hadn't. Still get annoyed about that & it was about twenty years ago. Haha.
    gaijintendo likes this.
  10. gaijintendo

    gaijintendo Über Member

  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Cheap, but I already have a SS I rarely ride!
  12. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    that's a good price for sure
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