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Trek Madone 6 forks breaking!

ridebikeme2010-08-03 11:22:34 +0000 #1
Last night while working, I received a couple of calls. It seems that a couple of my customers had seen a report where there was a problem with Trek Madone 6 series forks breaking and wondered if I had the ability to warn potential people. I thoroughly checked their reports both online, and through a couple of friends who are owners of a TRek shop. Unfortunately, it is true and there now are several reports online.( check out Velonews.com)

According to many different sources, it seems that the carbon forks on the Madone 6 series have been breaking. Trek recommends that ONLY the stems that came with the bike are recommended, although the original stem/forks are also breaking. Trek seems to think that it is incorrect installation that may be the problem... improper torque ratings ?? They also suggest that the problem exists with many brands, although again, Trek is also the only one reported. They are currently working with the Consumer Safety Protection.

If this is the case, I wonder why the fork broke on George Hincapies bike several years ago? Not only was his bike serviced and assembled by a professional; it definitely has more care than most people.


aicabsolut2010-08-03 11:37:48 +0000 #2
2 completely separate incidents. George had an aluminum steerer, for one. The Madones have a full carbon steerer and fork instead of a 2 piece aluminum/carbon fork. They are snapping at the part of the steerer that is just below the stem. The design of these carbon steerers is different than George's old bike. It's not a tube of uniform thickness throughout anymore. So, it seems that it's more finicky with torque tolerances. Perhaps it goes farther than that into being a dangerous design mistake.

This has been a problem for a (formally) Trek sponsored team in my area (referred to in the Velonews article). However, local talk indicates that at least one of the steerers broken around here had a stock Bontrager stem.

It seems fishy to me that Trek has been shipping new 6 series bikes with a reinforced steerer tube and also says that people should be using a lot of carbon paste on their steerers when applying the stem plus using certain spacer arrangements above and below the stem to reduce pinching at the top and to reduce overall torque needed. Why have a 6 or 7nm spec on the steerer if you really want someone to use 5nm plus carbon paste? Why also announce in June that the Madones are not compatible with any non-stock, Trek stem?
ridebikeme2010-08-03 11:36:52 +0000 #3
I did realize the difference in Geroge Hincapies fork and the current ones... my point was that something is definitely wrong. As for the new forks, "you're right about some of them coming with Bontrager stems. The other issue here is that the same Bontager stem has a cutout inside the stem where Trek is recommending that consumers stay away from. Seems to be a huge contradiction there.

I have spoken to owners of three Trek shops,and all very good shops and with great mechanics... and very good at working with recalls and issues such as these new forks. One shop did receive the service bulletins from Trek and all mechanics were aware of the problem... the other two shops did NOT receive any of the service bulletins. So this is another issue as well.

The reality is this: as long as we have carbon frames, forks and accessories we will continue to have problems. Now that isn't to say that we shouldn't use this material, it does mean however that the bike owners and the manufacturers need to take responsibility.

Seems to me that this is another example like the Mavic situation last year, where the manufacturer blames everyone else and perhaps they should also be looking at their part in this as well.

At any rate, I hope that this situation is taken care of properly and that no one gets hurt!
Zen2010-08-03 11:47:19 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by ridebikeme

At any rate, I hope that this situation is taken care of properly and that no one gets hurt!

I would like to see a TdF requirement of lugged steel
zoom-zoom2010-08-03 11:39:57 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by ridebikeme

The reality is this: as long as we have carbon frames, forks and accessories we will continue to have problems. Now that isn't to say that we shouldn't use this material, it does mean however that the bike owners and the manufacturers need to take responsibility.

Hubby had a crack in his Specialized Roubaix Pro (I think it's a 2004) where the top tube meats the seat clamp area. The nearest Specialized dealer took it back and sent it back to Specialized. A comparable frame was sent within days.

We thought that was good service, but it made me pretty happy to have an aluminum frame with only carbon fork and seatpost. Sure, it's rough as heck on our chip-sealed roads, but there's a certain sturdiness with this "old school" material, it seems.
aicabsolut2010-08-03 13:37:52 +0000 #6
hmm.. I've seen enough cracked aluminum bikes (often chainstay cracks where the failure wasn't caused by a crash) that I consider aluminum to have no significant durability advantage over carbon.
tulip2010-08-03 12:45:59 +0000 #7
Interesting. I had not heard about this, but then, I don't have any Trek bikes. Makes me glad to be a steel gal, but any material can fail.
Zen2010-08-03 12:11:45 +0000 #8
Yes, but when carbon fails, it fails suddenly and catastrophically.

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