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My Flaanimal straight up cracked!

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

My Flaanimal straight up cracked!

Old 09-17-19, 07:39 AM
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cmcintosh
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My Flaanimal straight up cracked!

No major crash, dent, incident I can recall at all. I was riding very easy when it separated itself in the woods. Never seen anything like this. Anyone have a clue how reynolds 725 tubing could just fail like this?

Last edited by cmcintosh; 09-17-19 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:20 AM
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Just me maybe, but I wouldn't want anywhere NEAR that frame after it failed like that. I'd want something completely new. You would have no idea what other surprises might be in store for you.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:37 AM
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Looks like a torsional failure near the welded/brazed cable fitting. Do you have any pictures of the top tube?
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Old 09-17-19, 09:39 AM
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wow, thats a crazy failure! There is no upside to having that repaired- the effort and cost involved would surely exceed the worth(whatever that is to you up to the cost of a frame).
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Old 09-17-19, 09:50 AM
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"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"


I'm betting that that spot is where the butting ends - i.e., the tube wall thickness goes from thicker to thinner.

That's a pretty shocking failure. Best case scenario is that, as someone else suggested, there is a braze-on right there, and it was done in some manner that compromised the tube; worst-case scenario is bad metallurgy. Either way, no way I'd even think about repairing the frame. In fact, I would probably ask for a refund - don't know that I'd want to even ride another frameset that may have the same issue.
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Old 09-17-19, 10:02 AM
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this is what happens when you outsource production to Asia but do not sent someone to babysit the factory. How that frame with severely compromised down tube pass QC and safety tests is beyond comprehension, if they do safety tests at all. Then again Asian factories are well known to disregard safety regulations. After all when the frame fails it is not their name or brand that gets damaged. Rodeo labs need to show the consumers that each frame will get the proper QC and testing. A bike brand is more than ordering a bunch of frames from Asian, put on a killer paintjob and call it a day.


Last edited by Chi_Z; 09-17-19 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 09-17-19, 10:25 AM
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Wow, that is crazy!! I would think a hollow tube would buckle or bend at a weak spot, but that separation is so clean and sharp - almost like a pipe cutter started it.
.....you don't happen to have a crazy, angry ex looking to exact a pound of flesh from you?
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Old 09-17-19, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"


I'm betting that that spot is where the butting ends - i.e., the tube wall thickness goes from thicker to thinner.

That's a pretty shocking failure. Best case scenario is that, as someone else suggested, there is a braze-on right there, and it was done in some manner that compromised the tube; worst-case scenario is bad metallurgy. Either way, no way I'd even think about repairing the frame. In fact, I would probably ask for a refund - don't know that I'd want to even ride another frameset that may have the same issue.
I'll second this.

IIRC...the first batch of Flaanimal 3 frames had wrong butting resulting in overweight frames. I'm guessing this time they went overboard with the butting?
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Old 09-17-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I'm betting that that spot is where the butting ends - i.e., the tube wall thickness goes from thicker to thinner.
That, and it looks like the end of the heat-affected zone for the brazing around the cable routing. A perfect storm?
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Old 09-17-19, 10:46 AM
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Oof that's wild!
I'll be keeping a close eye on mine.
How long have you had yours before the failure?
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Old 09-17-19, 11:02 AM
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I just double-checked my Strava file from the gravel race I did this past Saturday: hit a top speed of 40mph on a descent...And many of the descents were very rough. (And I would bet that most other riders hit higher top speeds, since I am a timid descender.) If I had a frame failure like that during the race, there would have been a good chance that I'd be hurt rather seriously - and in a location that would be inaccessible to an ambulance.

Again, if it were me, I'd be looking for a cash refund and putting the money toward another frame. I might be comfortable on a replacement frame that came from a different production run, but would prefer a different brand.
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Old 09-17-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
this is what happens when you outsource production to Asia but do not sent someone to babysit the factory. How that frame with severely compromised down tube pass QC and safety tests is beyond comprehensions, if they do safety tests at all. Then again Asian factories are well known to disregard safety regulations. After all when the frame fails it is not their name or brand that gets damaged. Rodeo labs need to show the consumers that each frame will get the proper QC and testing. A bike brand is more than ordering a bunch of frames from Asian, put on a killer paintjob and call it a day.
The video sounds like classic outsourcing/contractor woes.

At work...basically every contractor we have come into our building, in spite of our warning them that we are picky, and in spite of warning them that it needs done *right* 100%, and in spite of every time telling them with photos and drawings etc of exactly what we need...and them sending someone out coming out and actually looking.....EVERY time it has gone sideways and over-time and overbudget. Doesn't matter who it is or how vetted they were. Whether it is redoing flooring or seating-units or simply repainting or working on structure--whatever. Every time. They think we won't notice if there's bubble under wallpaper, or the paint is a bit off, or the $250,000USD floor isn't 100% or if 27% of a chair order is the wrong SKU....guess what. We do.

Our facilities boss...every time someone delivers something to the dock, he's there. Opens it up right there and looks, and if it isn't right 100% he signs the RMA before the UPS driver can even take a bathroom break. They prove time and again they need baby-sat.
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Old 09-17-19, 05:45 PM
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Chiming in from Rodeo Labs here to add some thoughts:


Our frames have a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects or design defects. Casey's is the first Flaanimal to ever fail like this, and we will take care in determining the cause. Casey is being taken care of according to that policy. At first he was offered a 4.1 frame to replace his 4.0 but he opted to upgrade to a TD3 at the cost difference between the two.


Beyond our warranty our company culture is to simply take care of everyone like family. When the Flaanimal 3.0 frames were made to the wrong spec we gave everyone who pre-ordered a frameset a heavy 3.0 so that they could get riding and then we also gave them a 4.0 so that they would have a bike made to the standards that we designed it to. To date we've even replaced a number of frames at no cost which were obviously abused and / or crashed by the owners even though we weren't obligated to do so. Our failure rate on our steel and carbon frames is a fraction of a single percent of total production. To date this is the third Flaanimal to ever fail. One was likely due to a crash (although denied by the owner). One was due to a third party accessory fatiguing the down tube in a way that it was never designed for.


A few other thoughts:


1. On our design team we have designers and engineers with over 25 years of steel bike manufacturing experience.


2. Before our bikes hit the market they are subject to rigorous third party testing and certification to ISO and EN standards. We use SGS to run our tests which is one of if not THE most respected tester of bicycles out there. After frames pass those tests they are subject to thousands of miles of real world riding before we ever make them available for sale. If you are familiar with the way we ride our bikes at Rodeo then you know that we ride our bikes extremely hard and in conditions more rigorous than most any of our owners ever will short of outright abusing the bikes. We would NEVER sell or deliver a bike that hadn't had its design and construction rigorously tested and validated first.


3. On Flaanimal 3.0 the frames were made heavy because the CAD file was updated for a specific detail and a butting (9-7-9) default preset was applied on accident to the tubing by the person making the CAD revisions. This resulted in the thicker, more stout tubing being ordered and used used for those frames. What didn't happen on 3.0 and would never happen was someone just grabbing the wrong tubes with the wrong butting and welding them up.


3. Everyone making bikes carries a heavy burden of designing a durable product and keeping people safe. That burden has actually at times caused me to sit up in the middle of the night and go over designs and checklists in my head one more time, and then one more time again. Safety isn't just a commercial burden it is also moral burden that sits on anyone who makes things for a living. I take that seriously, Rodeo takes that seriously, and our manufacturing partners take that seriously. And while it can be tempting to take some shots at us and assume that this is somehow due to cutting corners or some other negative cause I hope that people don't chose to do that. We love riding bikes, we love designing and building bikes, and we care very much about the people out there who ride our bikes.


So wait... how did this failure happen then? I guess everyone here gets to take a guess and discuss as much as they want. Maybe some veterans here on the forum will have some good ideas and maybe some non veterans will punt with whatever idea hits them. I'm not going to speculate. We have manufacturing logs for every frameset we make so we will go back and check through tubing batches, QC checklists, designs, and other relevant details in order to figure this out. I hope that people don't take a jaded approach towards Rodeo and think that we're in this for the quick turn buck. We're here because we passionately want to make awesome machines for riding and adventuring and we want to be doing this indefinitely. Building trust with the community and our customers is probably the biggest factor in getting to do this for a living and doing it indefinitely.


I'm not going to visit this thread over and over but if anyone has questions or would like to follow up personally please feel free to shoot me an email at steve @ rodeo-labs.com
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Old 09-17-19, 06:32 PM
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I did not ask Casey to delete the photos and his warranty is not contingent on him giving up his freedom of speech. Here are the photos hosted on our dropbox in case anyone wants to see them:

bit.ly/2m1m5mn

bit.ly/2lUpbJ0

I most definitely did email Casey asking him why he needed to post all of this in an internet chat forum. He and I have been swapping emails all day and we've been moving through this process of dealing with his frame very collaboratively.


Casey just emailed me that he deleted the photos and here is what I responded:

"Now that it is out in the wild it is out in the wild. To try to hide it or cover it up just makes it look worse."

Obviously I would rather not have internet chat forums digesting this. I am extremely wary of chat forums and internet comment sections because I've been on and off of them for 20 years and in my experience they spiral towards the negative so quickly.
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Old 09-17-19, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Funny the pics got deleted, is that a contingency of the Rodeo warranty and return process?
Must got a good deal on the new frame.

Also it is nice Rodeo labs came here to do some damage control. You can design the perfect bike frame that passes every safety test known to man, but the product is only as good as the how your manufacturing partners follows them. From my experience those factories rather make 50 mediocre products to satisfy or exceed the quota rather than 25 high quality ones. I guess it was left over effects of living under decades of communist rule.

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Old 09-17-19, 07:22 PM
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I deleted my earlier post, I was mainly poking fun but that's not really something that comes across well in writing. Classy response from Rodeo, hopefully this doesn't deter any prospective buyers they seem like a good company.
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Old 09-17-19, 07:44 PM
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I'll poke fun of the "ride steel, it's repairable" crowd.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
I deleted my earlier post, I was mainly poking fun but that's not really something that comes across well in writing. Classy response from Rodeo, hopefully this doesn't deter any prospective buyers they seem like a good company.
It’s called “damage control.“

I really do hope the person from Rodeo will come back and let us know if they ever determine the cause of the failure. I am curious.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:47 PM
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If there ever was a person to wreck a frame like this, I am not surprised it was me. I don't ride as hard, or recklessly as many people do. But I do often seem to have catastrophic strange failures of all different kinds follow me, no matter how careful I am. I keep my mechanic friend entertained to say the least. Working with Rodeo from the start has been the best bike-related experience I've had, it's allowed me to reconsider the possibilities of what a bike can be, and it's really cool to be able to talk to a real person (Stephen wrote me back within a couple hours on a friday night). it served me well up until the other day, just short of 3k miles in a year. I have faith that Rodeo genuinely wants to learn and get to the bottom of why this frame cracked (I do too!!)
And also, I'm almost certain I'm the first person to break a Rodeo frame, and I'm a total dingus, so that's saying something right?
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Old 09-18-19, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cmcintosh View Post
If there ever was a person to wreck a frame like this, I am not surprised it was me. I don't ride as hard, or recklessly as many people do. But I do often seem to have catastrophic strange failures of all different kinds follow me, no matter how careful I am. I keep my mechanic friend entertained to say the least. Working with Rodeo from the start has been the best bike-related experience I've had, it's allowed me to reconsider the possibilities of what a bike can be, and it's really cool to be able to talk to a real person (Stephen wrote me back within a couple hours on a friday night). it served me well up until the other day, just short of 3k miles in a year. I have faith that Rodeo genuinely wants to learn and get to the bottom of why this frame cracked (I do too!!)
And also, I'm almost certain I'm the first person to break a Rodeo frame, and I'm a total dingus, so that's saying something right?
Dude, many, many thanks for posting your photos! They were both fascinating and terrifying. I've never seen anything like it and I will be conducting far more thorough pre and post-ride inspections of my bikes.

I do hope that you and/or Rodeo post the final analysis and findings of this incident. --I would hate for it to be swept under the digital rug.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:01 PM
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I always stick a piece of Gorilla tape on the bike somewhere.... usually thought for booting a tire. Could use it on this frame... right?
Good to get home?
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Old 09-18-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I always stick a piece of Gorilla tape on the bike somewhere.... usually thought for booting a tire. Could use it on this frame... right?
Good to get home?
I hope you are kidding.
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Old 09-18-19, 08:26 PM
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Speed tape. Look it up.
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Old 09-20-19, 06:41 AM
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Not kidding in the least bit.
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Old 09-21-19, 07:22 AM
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I wish I could have seen the pictures before they were taken down. My gravel bike is 725 .
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