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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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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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Old 07-16-19, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Worknomore View Post
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.
Yes, I could have done that... and ended up with a 20-year-old frame. Since I'm getting a new frame I'm going to build a bike with 20 years' worth of advances, among them disk brakes and the possibility of adding electric assist. Time marches on.
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Old 07-17-19, 02:26 PM
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Yep, if you fixed the head tube, the next break would be the fork, then a weld down by the dropouts... This way you get a modern bike with all the newfangled doo-dads. Be sure to post pics!
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Old 07-17-19, 04:16 PM
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Dang! Not a sad ending to the story if you're gonna get a Phoenix!
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Old 07-22-19, 04:53 PM
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Wow, Rans is proud of that bike, and no headset for $3100? Does look like a good replacement for the Gold Rush.
Schlitter not selling their CF bike anymore?, IIRC about same price for full CF bike, but SWB high racer. Even with
disc upgrade, still a good bit less $.

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Old 07-22-19, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sch View Post
Wow, Rans is proud of that bike, and no headset for $3100? Does look like a good replacement for the Gold Rush.
Schlitter not selling their CF bike anymore?, IIRC about same price for full CF bike, but SWB high racer. Even with
disc upgrade, still a good bit less $.
Well, I've done the SWB thing- I had a Lightning P-38 for 12 years before I switched to a Tour Easy (and then I switched to the Gold Rush). I do too much stop & go urban riding to deal with a high crank.
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Old 07-23-19, 12:44 PM
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Well I can certainly understand that. I ride a Rotator Pursuit Ti, long out of production, with the seat is 15" from the ground. OTOH I am height
challenged at 64" (down from 66" in my salad days).
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Old 08-19-19, 09:58 PM
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To wrap this up, here are some photos I took of my Gold Rush over the years. I'm sort-of recycling it: many of the parts are going to be installed on the RANS Phoenix when it arrives and the frame will go to a place of honor in the house.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ohpv/a...57710407882766
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Old 08-19-19, 10:08 PM
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Looks like a poor design. Why is the gusseted part of the downtube and it's weld joined to the thin part of the steerer, completely off the thicker section..?! With the bearings out away from the joint.. It's pretty obvious the considerably thinner steerer was going to fatigue there.
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Old 08-20-19, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Looks like a poor design. Why is the gusseted part of the downtube and it's weld joined to the thin part of the steerer, completely off the thicker section..?! With the bearings out away from the joint.. It's pretty obvious the considerably thinner steerer was going to fatigue there.
Hindsight is 20-20... but this bike gave me 13 years of riding in all sorts of places and conditions. I wish I hadn't lost months of good riding weather but its replacement is on the way.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:48 AM
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The other thing about hindsight is, when you bought it, who knew one of the most popular recumbent brands would self-destruct and leave you with a worthless frame warranty?
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Old 08-21-19, 02:37 PM
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I'm a little "late to the party" but I just wanted to comment that the same exact thing happened to a riding buddy of mine with his GRR as we were riding on a recreational bike trail here in Central Florida. He noticed that the bike felt "funny" and luckily stopped to check it out. The frame had cracked right in the same spot yours did.

The good thing is that we were riding in a group and one of the other riders offered to go back to the parking lot which was by that time a good five plus miles away, get into his SUV, and pick up my friend and his bike to take him back to his vehicle.

Long story short, my friend contacted Easy Racers and they told him to strip the bike of all the components and ship the frame to them so that the crack could be repaired. He did just that and in a few weeks, he was riding his beloved GRR again. By the way, this actually happened more than 15 years ago. How time flies. I'm not even riding any more but hope to change that sometime soon.

Glad to see that your situation has had a resolution.

Cheers
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Old 09-17-19, 02:05 PM
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Wow....

Thats GNARLY !! Have you spoken to Easy Racer? are they willing to replace it ?
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Old 09-17-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by combover View Post
Thats GNARLY !! Have you spoken to Easy Racer? are they willing to replace it ?
No chance of a warranty replacement if there is no viable company.
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Old 09-17-19, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
No chance of a warranty replacement if there is no viable company.
What Jan said. I knew Gardner Martin before he passed. He would have made good on the a fix or replacement even though I wasn't the original owner.

Nowadays even long-time dealers have a hard time getting in touch with Easy Racers. It's pretty sad.

In any case, the point is moot. I received my RANS Phoenix a few days ago and I've had a couple shakedown rides. It's very nice. Here it is with my wife's Gold Rush:

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Old 09-17-19, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
No chance of a warranty replacement if there is no viable company.
I could swear they were still there last time I drove by there...I will go check it out asap
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Old 09-17-19, 11:07 PM
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That Rans is SHARP !! I have a Gold Rush just like your wife's ! what kind of light set up is that on hers in front of the fairing

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