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Can this be fixed? 6061 T6 aluminum

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    Can this be fixed? 6061 T6 aluminum

    was doing some winter maintenance on salsa rangefinder equipped with a CYC x1 stealth. found the chainstay on the drive side is cracked on the "chainstay side" of the weld at the BB. the crack runs across top and bottom and down the outside. the inside of the chainstay appears to be okay but assume it has been stressed. it is 6061 T6 aluminum.
    can this be repaired? can any welder do it? i am in the baltimore area. open to suggestions Click image for larger version

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    #2
    Have a friend whose acoustic bike did something similar - he decided it was finally time to get a new bike...

    Click image for larger version

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      #3
      Oh yea. No sweat. Anybody in a weld shop can TIG that right up. I can TIG it up and I'm just a yahoo with a stolen TIG welder I bought on Ebay. But you will have to empty out the crank tube so the heat don't mess other things up. Or they charge you extra for their hassle.

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        #4
        went to the local franchise shop and they were pretty much in agreement with AZ guy. That is if you can get them to look at you much less answer a question. I think i have been labeled as a "known time waster" since i ask questions and don't spend $5k a month on franchised products. so sad (no LBS anymore).
        Looks like i should go steel. Got my eye on an out of stock surley ecr 29er from bikeparts.com. i think that is what i am looking for after building and riding now for 2 years or so, i am kinda learning what i don't want.
        doesn't mean i won't attempt to have a repair made.

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          #5
          Personally I think steel is the way to go for an E bike. E bikes are already fairly heavy so the weight gain isn't a big deal since we have the motors to make up for it. You also gain a little more comfort and if you have a failure they are usually pretty slow and give plenty of warning compared to other materials that tend to fail suddenly.

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            #6
            FWIW my buddy's bike was sorely in need of some upgrades... had a decent derailleur but the shifters were crap *and* completely shot and not matched to the cassette so kept on him to replace shifters and cassette but he was just being too cheap to do a $50 upgrade... pretty wild riding behind him and watching the wheel move back and forth... took a quick look and tried to move the wheel around but it felt solid so we finished the ride but at the end I told him something was definitely not right and he brought it by my shop and we put it up on the stand... first just spun the wheel, it looked fine of course, tried flexing it but still seemsed solid... then really grabbed it and flexed hard... then busted out laughing - maybe not the nicest thing to do but when the source turned out to be so dramatic and obvious once I saw it it was pretty funny... I don't know how long he'd been riding it that way but the gap was large enough it clearly had been flexed a bit


            The crack convinced it was time to finally retire it... guided him to purchase an ok low-end bike and it took some convincing to get him to spend an extra $90 to get disk brakes (cable pull) and something more than a 7-speed freewheel (hello, the 70's are calling!!)


            Anyway he's sooooo much happier now... rides a lot more... actually uses the gears now too and turns a decent pedal rpm... before he just put it in a high gear 'cus it shifted so poorly (even after a tune) and pedal slow.... only shift if he got on something steep and so often just push the bike up hills....

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              #7
              Some brands like Trek say they have a lifetime frame warranty.

              Comment


              • 73Eldo
                73Eldo commented
                Editing a comment
                Salsa is 3 years on aluminum frames so depends on how old it is, I'm thinking that's a fairly new model 2019 maybe? Then it depends on your dealer and relationship with the dealer. The Q brands are very loyal to the dealers so it would be up to your dealer to 'go to bat' for you.

              #8
              I am the second owner of the bike, but I have the original invoice. Don't have a lot of experience with vendors but am finding they do not want to work with you w/out an invoice or if not the original owner. also, aren't all warranties voided with the electric motor.
              That being said, it doesn't hurt to try. It is a 2020 and I suppose I don't have to let on that it was motorized. I am not a good fibber.
              thanks for the advice!

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                #9
                Aww pooo, warranty only applies to original purchaser of the bike.

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                • Retrorockit
                  Retrorockit commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Considering how heavy this Trek Navigator based frame is, (and me too) I don't think I could break this if I tried.

                • AZguy
                  AZguy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I recall a few years ago a guy contacted his bike manufacturer (I don't recall which but it was a major one) about just getting information on his bike for doing a conversion and they refused to continue to talk to him once he mentioned electric conversion... if they refuse to even talk to someone once they bring up electric conversion I'm going to bet they aren't going to make an exception for warranty LOL

                  I get it... we have a litigious society and even a passive discussion let alone warranty effort regarding electric conversion would likely imply condonation from a legal perspective, even if only passive, and as such open them up to liability, and if something entirely out of their purview, caused damage or injury... well let's just say it's easy to see how there's pretty much no upside in it for the manufacturer, and even more so if they also sell electric bikes...

                • ncmired
                  ncmired commented
                  Editing a comment
                  To the OP - Salsa framesets come around on eBay quite a bit, which is where I found my NOS Marrakesh frameset.

                  The only pedallable bicycle DIY non-integrated motor frameset manufacturer I've come across that would honor an added-on motorized frame failure is Jones, and probably only for their special motorable frames (https://www.jonesmotorbikes.com/). But even then they have a "only stock," no high-powered motors disclaimer.
                  Last edited by ncmired; 1 week ago.

                #10
                well I have already traveled to pittsburg, picked up a large krampus frame (color "snot nose curry) and swapped most parts from the Salsa. sad to say I put the cyc on it because of the mods described for the bbshd was more than I want to do (and both my bbs's are already on something else) even the bbs02 looked like a tight fit.
                on the otherhand, i have just found a welder that is willing to attempt a repair on the Salsa. Eddy's Welding who happens to be right next to the Daniel's Dam near Ellicott city, a place I pass on a ride down the Patapsco thru trail. they even had a Google review from a customer who was pleased with his frame repair.
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                  #11
                  Rodney, I've read comments in the bike frame community stating if you weld repair a heat-treated aluminum frame, it'll just crack again. Hearsay, depends on where, depends on if reinforced? What's your take or impression?
                  BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

                  Comment


                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I can see that being an issue. The heat treatment will be removed where the metal is melted for the weld. This can cause a tress riser there. Also the metal contracts as it cools locking in some stress.. Hardened metal isn't as flexible as normal untempered material. In steel it often breaks right next to the weld. I guess you take your chances, or you just throw the frame away. The stress can be relieved by heating the area until it gets soft, but again the heat treatment is destroyed by this. This is one of the reasons I suggest basic mid range donor MTBs. The weight saving benefit of high end materials just isn't worth it on a high powered Ebikes.

                  #12
                  My take is, it's probably not the wisest choice to make a weld on a weld. I quess maybe they would grind and fill? I agree it would always be a weak spot but maybe I can return it to "pedal bike" status. However I am really cheap and hate to throw anything away, figure everything can be repurposed into something.

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                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Start cheap, stay cheap. Keep it cheap.
                    I would say weld it and if it doesn't break again you're golden. If it does toss it then. No down side really since it's junk right now.

                  • stts
                    stts commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You guys are making a no brainer into 10,000 piece puzzle. Half the stuff we do in our plant is aluminum. These guys often screw up the cut and have to have it wielded back up. Its just standard operating procedure. This bike, however great it was prepared, cracked the way it is. It's a no brainer. just call a few weld shops and find somebody that will weld it up for about $25. Have a kid walk in with the frame and they will probably do it for free. There is nothing tricky about welding this crack. Then you can put the bike back together and use it. Or sell it, if the weld bothers you so much. The original weld didn't break. It was the tube itself that broke. You can even ask them to weld in a gusset in between for extra strength. Do it and be done with it. Or throw it away in my town so I can dig it out of the trash. Hah.

                    Now I'm not saying that the joint will be factory hard and ready for the down hill run off mount everest, But weld shop quality will be just fine for 75% of the biking public. Find a few shops to drive to on Saturday morning and offer the Saturday welder $20 to weld up the crack for you. Ask him if he can make it stronger with a gusset and offer another $20 if he is optimistic. He's going to go home with free brew money for the weekend or a top off of his tank for something he can do in just 10 minutes. Go to the front desk during the week and the secretary will say scram. Hah. Most all welder extra curricular welding is done on the weekend when the bean counter bosses are home with the families. We got strange guys walk into our shop after hours asking for quick favors for a few bucks. And we usually do it. Wallowing out wheel rims, or hacking on boat and farm machine parts. I don't charge anything, I do stuff for free if it's pretty simple. We got bits to punch 6 inch holes in 5 minutes. Stuff people would waste all weekend doing.
                    Last edited by stts; 1 week ago.

                  #13
                  so the general consensus seems to be "it's pointless but do what you want". thanks for your input and agree the $120 or so could be better spent elsewhere.

                  Comment


                  • lectrik al
                    lectrik al commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Looks like you ride her hard and put her away wet. I'd say ya probably put at least 50 mi on the crack, and It was still going till ya noticed it, so I think you should find that local inexpensive welder to zap that in a couple small sessions and don't even worry about overheating anything else. A good garage type old timer would weld for 20 sec. putz around with sumthin else awhile, hit it with another zap, and let it cool and repeat till fixed. Another 20-50 bucks and there's many more rides left in that pony.

                  • AZguy
                    AZguy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    For me - I look at breaks like this as nature's way of telling me it's time to move on and know that odds are I'll be happier in the end instead of the bad juju of the time and aggravation of this kind of salvage...

                    I recently had a situation where I had to make this kind of decision... had a Honda Accord for many years, very dependable nice car but at 165Kmi was in need of a couple of thousand dollars of work - but doing that work would likely buy another 100Kmi... then I got rear ended hard... trunk would still close but rattled... mmkay, gal that hit me had insurance and they totaled the car and paid me out ($4500) but let me buy it back on a salvage title for $300... cool... then someone steals my catalytic converter... good news is they left the flanges so bolting one in would be ~$500... problem is they yanked the O2 sensor wires... so I decided to see if I could get at the wires easily and if I could, would bolt in a converter and do the other couple thousand dollars with the money from the payout... but after discovering getting at those wires was *very* involved and so.... time to move on... serendipity struck and a friend who's mother aged out of driving needed to get rid of mother's vehicle and I got it for a song, likely less than what the honda would have cost to bring into decent condition and I have a younger vehicle in much better overall shape (literally only driven on weekends by an old lady)...without all the grief and negativity the Honda was becoming... and in the end I'm in a much happier space...

                    I get it - I don't have an endless coin tree in my back yard and will fix stuff when it makes sense, but for me, this wouldn't be one of them

                    We all different

                    YMMV

                  • Retrorockit
                    Retrorockit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Another technique is to find the ends of the crack, and drill a small hole there to keep it from spreading further. Then weld the hole shut.


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