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Easy Racers Gold Rush frame crack- I am sad

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Easy Racers Gold Rush frame crack- I am sad

Old 05-19-19, 08:42 PM
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Jeff Wills
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Easy Racers Gold Rush frame crack- I am sad

So this happened today. I was riding my Gold Rush to Portland Sunday Parkways when my steerer started acting funny- there was some extra noise and friction. As first I thought the headset was loose, but my friend and fellow bike mechanic Paul Heijn looked closely and said:

"Stop. Your frame is cracked."

Fortunately I was able to ride (gingerly) back to RecumbentPDX, call my wife, and get picked up. The bike has had a good life- I've had it about 14 years and ridden the heck out of it.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to do next. The frugal part of me wants to get it repaired (I've posted a question on the Framebuilders forum about this.) but I could replace it if I can find one. Or I might scrap it and get a new bike. I'm not sure, and I'm going to take a bit to consider my options.

Anyone have an extra-large Easy Racers frame or bike they want to sell? I want an aluminum Gold Rush of course but I'd consider a steel Tour Easy or a Ti-Rush. Extra-large size (70.5" axle-to-axle) is a must.


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Old 05-20-19, 07:01 PM
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Sorry for your loss. It's interesting that the cracks started in the heat-affected zone. I wonder if GRR frames were heat-treated after welding? Between the relaxed steerer tube angle and the amount of rake in the fork, there's probably a significant amount of stress on the steerer tube.
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Old 05-20-19, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Sorry for your loss. It's interesting that the cracks started in the heat-affected zone. I wonder if GRR frames were heat-treated after welding? Between the relaxed steerer tube angle and the amount of rake in the fork, there's probably a significant amount of stress on the steerer tube.
Yes, heat-treated after welding. I've posted this in a few places on Facebook and gotten a couple replies with similar failures. The consensus is that the frame is toast and any Gold Rush of similar vintage and mileage might not be the best choice. We'll see where I end up.
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Old 05-21-19, 01:59 PM
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Jeff,
Your "title" states Insane Bicycle Mechanic. Time to step it up and learn how to weld aluminum. That is an oxy/acetylene welded frame. Most likely is 6061 Allow. Yes, it can be heat treated, but aluminum will age harden.

I have ton books on the subject, but WWII aircraft used the same material. TIG didn't exhaust, so you so "Rosy the Riveter" also oxy acetylene welding aluminum. That frame tells a story about metal fatigue (number stress cycles repeated time over time). Aluminum is an excellent material, but that happens. I can be repaired. If you want to learn, I'd recommend taking the frame, yourself, and heading down to Northern California to (yes, of all names) the Tinman! Kent White still teaches classes. I've taken lessons from him and had a blast. I have Parkinson's, so you should see his eyes light up when I was holding a torch!
Oh, it was the HAZ that started the crack, but the change in thickness of the thick weld to the thinner tube. It's a stress riser, so the minute bending concentrated in a smaller area. A friend had an aluminum trailer, he was quite proud of it, and I commented "when you see a crack appear HERE" call me. Six years later he called and thought I had jinked him as the crack started just where I said it would. The manufacturer had double platted the side with an abrupt change in thickness. So 1/4" plate on top of another 1/4" plate. Material changing from 1/4" to 1/2" meant stress concentrated in a small area. My recommendation was that top plate taper with a double taper like a > shape. 4" high, reduce over 12". He still thinks I was a jink, nope just stayed awake in my engineering classes.
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Old 07-12-19, 04:02 PM
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Cracks in the frame, that really sucks! I own a Fold Rush and a Gold Rush. You live in Portland so am sure you can find someone to fix it with all the bicycle frame builders around.
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Old 07-12-19, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
Cracks in the frame, that really sucks! I own a Fold Rush and a Gold Rush. You live in Portland so am sure you can find someone to fix it with all the bicycle frame builders around.
I mulled over my options and consulted She Who Controls The Purse Strings... I am going to get a (mostly) new bike. I ordered a RANS Phoenix frameset through Rose City Recumbents and I'm waiting on delivery.
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Old 07-13-19, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I mulled over my options and consulted She Who Controls The Purse Strings... I am going to get a (mostly) new bike. I ordered a RANS Phoenix frameset through Rose City Recumbents and I'm waiting on delivery.
Congratulations, that was a good choice. Out with the old in with the new. Please give us a personal review/comparison of the bike after you put some miles on it.
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Old 07-16-19, 09:43 AM
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That can be fixed, no biggie. Needs a overlay patch. Can be stressed relieved with a torch. Btw, I'm a retired MIL spec qualified welder, 40 + years running my own shop. Find the right guy.

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Old 07-16-19, 03:49 PM
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Sorry about your loss Jeff and glad you’re safe. Can wait to see your Phoenix.

I still have never ridden a long wheel based bike......
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