hairline crack in an alu weld, would you ride it?

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  • hairline crack in an alu weld, would you ride it?
  • titusrider


    ive just dicovered a couple of very small cracks in my 5 year old titus. Im not gonna moan about the bike at all, i have given it loads of abuse for 5 years and its been great.

    anyway its pretty much too small for effective pictures so ill give go at describing.
    One crack runs around top of the top tube where it meets the seat tube for around 1.5cm it is about a hairs width wide, hard to see but can be felt. it doesnt run through the weld but where it meets the top tube. The second crack is accross the same weld at about the 9pm position (side of the bike) on the top tube- seat tube junction this runs accross the weld at 90 degrees and into the top tube about 1cm also only a hairs width wide.

    As you might be able to tell i may have looked at it for a little too long!!!

    question is am i being rediculous,do i try and forget about it and ride anyway? im gonna get it checked out by LBS but probly wont be able to get there till next weekend and im supposed to be riding wednesday evening.

    (enter endless stories of ‘i rode my bike for five years with half the down tube snapped off’ etc etc…..)

    I’d probably go for your ride, maybe try and patch it up with duck tape or some sort of support so it wont suddenly just ‘go’ on you?

    If it was the headtube thne I wouldnt risk it, I had a headtube snap off a frame when I landed a jump. Luckily I only got a few grazes but it could of been much worse


    Put it in a skip and buy another, it’ll be much cheaper than a trip to the emergency dentists


    Worse case scenario, it breaks and you receive associated injuries. Probably no worse than a bad fall, which you risk by mountain biking. I’d ride it until it broke, but then thats advice from someone who once set himself on fire before doing a water jump off a jetty, only to find the tide had gone out and I was still on fire.

    Hmm… I wouldn’t trust me!

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    If you’re the original owner I’d definitely look into the warranty situation.

    Beyond that, I’d start planning for a new frame. I’d be OK riding the titus cross country with absolutely no throwing the bike around, but basically as soon as I had the cash I’d get a new frame.

    I’ve ridden a few Cdale frames that have had hairline cracks after 4, 5 years – all in the BB area. They have a lifetime warranty, so were replaced no problem. It was no problem riding them, but it psychologically plays on your mind when you can literaly hear the bike creaking at the area of the crack.


    The frame was creaking for a month or so just couldn’t be bothered to look as i assumed the BB was on the way out. Went to fix it and found that, three quarters of the way round the down tube.

    If i had known i wouldn’t have ridden it, but i did and am still alive.

    All worked out ok,

    got this on Warranty.


    I noticed my 2002 Spesh Enduro developed a hairline crack on the weld that holds the seat tube. It was at the beginning of a weekend at Afan so I thought I’d carry on riding it to see what happened as didn’t want to miss out. Over the weekend it got worse until on the final descent it was squeaking nastily and the crack was no longer just hairline. Spesh replaced it under warranty.

    There you go then, patch it with some tape and it should be fine for your ride


    thanks guys, looks like id better get saving as im well out of warranty. Five years old on a 2 year warranty. you may see a what new frame thread shortly!!!

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    “but then thats advice from someone who once set himself on fire before doing a water jump off a jetty, only to find the tide had gone out and I was still on fire”

    heh heh ! (but worthless without video)

    (wonder if titus might ofer a cheapish replacement? – fingers crossed)


    Common sense would say no. I might give it a go if I Was riding somewhere flatish and unadventurous. But its not sensible. And it’ll only cost a tenner to get a tig welder to re-weld it in a less than perfect looking way.


    hello, i’ve noticed my frame is failing. should i ride it?



    mrmo how did you get a washing machine as a warranty replacement for a bike frame?


    Looks like a dishwasher would have been a better choice.


    titusrider – i’d be inclined not to ride it, if it suddenly goes, so could your chance of fatherhood! Get in touch with Titus and explain it to them. They may be aware of the issue already, or they may offer you a new frameset at reduced price. I had a Marin
    Oh and Duck tape WILL NOT stop the frame going suddenly! Bloody stupid advice if you ask me!!

    (from my days of yore studying materiala) it’s only a hairline crack when the bike is sitting stationary. When you are riding it, the forces may cause the crack to open and close slightly resulting in fatigue causing brittle fracture of the weld (or the adjacent HAZ). With Alu alloys being susceptible to brittle fracture, this usually results in catastrophic failure- in that the joint will fail completely and suddenly. The joint will definately fail completely at some point. I would contact titus and see what there Out of warranty policy was- they may give you a discounted frame.

    Would I be tempted to ride it? mmmmmmmm If you really had to, i would at least do what davidtaylforth says and strap the joint well in duct tape- and take it easy.


    Oh and Duck tape WILL NOT stop the frame going suddenly! Bloody stupid advice if you ask me!!

    Yeah, add a zip tie or 2 just to be safe.

    Duct tape & cable tie WONT work.. you need Exhaust wrap you put on you car to get a decent job done. Why bodge it when you can do a permanent repair (& it will also go thro an MOT)


    You dont know what stress etc there is within the material- Im no engineer and someone hopefully will be along soon but it’ll probably ‘ping’ and ‘go’ when you least expect it? Hey, in these situations it pays to be over-cynical than suck soup through a straw.

    Premier Icon steveh

    Titusrider – Eevn if you’re out of warranty I’d still give the importers a call to see if they’ll help.

    I broke a 6.5 year old Santa cruz bullit around the seat tube with a similar 2 year warranty. I could have got a new front end to fix the problem for around £200ish but in the end got a whole heckler with new shock for a bargain price.


    lol at the cheek of whoever taged taiwanese welding…… it does say made in the USA………….but then again it could be just a sticker!!

    anyway spoken to the importer Axel imports who has offered me……some stickers and a t shirt if i buy a full price 09. therefore titus has not assured my loyalty its currently a decision between Titus FTM and Ibis Mojo SL and the mojo is winning. for the moment at least it looks as if my cotic simple is gonna get a good few rides and my knees will last about 2 weeks!!

    Try a warranty claim maybe…….. if it has cracked on the weld it is not as bad a a crack mid length on a tube. If you take it to a specialist fabrication metal worker he should be able to grind out the cracked weld and weld over. It would be a good idea to try to find what alloy your frame is 6000 series 7ooo series etc the importer or web site may tell you. If the fabricator has this info he can weld it useing the correct rods/wire.

    BTW if you keep riding it the crack will just run……..


    warranty claim is no good, its 3 years outside of the 2 year warranty, also i dont think i would be that happy riding a repaired frame (lack of confidence in it) and its an excuse to get something new and spangly.

    Ill miss it though its been a good friend………..

    ambles off to look at old riding photos and think of happy times together….

    Should a bike have a funeral………..


    There are some posts on cracked Titus frames over on in the Titus forum. See if any of those are similar to yours and if they got a reduced price frame replacement outside warranty (can’t recall if they did).

    Didn’t stop me getting a Racer X though.

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