Tag Archives: Repair

The demon bike

Back when I started riding mountain bikes I used to be one of those people who named their bikes. Sometimes they got the name of the brand. For instance, there was “The Huffy“, but normally they got a descriptive name like “The Tank” or “The Green Monster“.  By the time I got my Pro Flex 755 I got past the habit of naming my machines. Well, today I’d like to resurrect that process and introduce to you… The Demon Bike.

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

The bike as I like to remember it

As with many things evil, The Demon Bike was a work of beauty and I had to sacrifice to get it. I sold my Specialized Tarmac Pro and my back up bike, a Specialized Allez. It gave every reason for me to believe it would be a great relationship. I used the bike nearly through the entire 2009 race season.

The first crack in the frame

The first crack in our relationship

Now as I think back, that year was a very rough one. I went down several times – not all of them on the black Giant (what I took to calling it later when I replaced it with a white Giant). The ultimate fall came at the 2009 SC State Road Racing Championship. I was taken out by another rider and ended up pretty beat up. The Giant was beat up more with the top tube cracked right through (see the above image).

I thought the bike was gone. I even replaced it with my current bike — a white 2010 Giant TCR Advanced. Perhaps it should have stayed that way. However, I learned that the frame could be repaired. Seeing how I missed having a back-up bike, I thought it might be a good idea to spend the several hundred dollars to get the bike back in my stable. I did and was impressed with the results.

That brings us to the end of the story. I used the bike for several events and for setting up a test of the iBike powermeter. Then I got some really fly Boyd wheels that just set the black frame off perfectly. I found myself drawn to ride the black Giant more and more.

So it was that loaded up the bike configured as you see it in the first photo above. I planned to race it for the first time since bringing it back on the road. Perhaps I never should have. Just several hours after the above picture was taken the bike looked like this.

The aftermath

The aftermath of the final crash

Notice the head tube and front fork. The bike broke above and below the head tube. That is a lot of force folks! Actually, since this incident, I’ve learned the regional Giant rep is taking a picture of the bike around with him. In his words, “That is pretty impressive!”

Closer shot of the damage

Notice the front fork and wheel

It is funny, I raced most of my 2010 season on the white Giant. I had some close calls as you always will in a Category 4 race, but I never went down. Life was good! Multiple podium finishes had me upgraded to Category 3 and the sky seemed to be the limit.

Then In my first race back on the black Giant — and my first as a Category 3 racer — I had the hardest crash of my life! I’m now out for the season. Wow, even if I could repair that bike frame (not only was the headset and front fork damaged, the head tube was also crushed), I don’t think I would do it! It is time to put The Demon Bike away!

Now, this post is tongue in cheek. I don’t really believe that a bike can contain some type of evil energy that would cause me to wreck. I would more prefer to think that God allowed me to wreck on the black frame so I wouldn’t ruin my white one!

It is just kind of funny how that when I first put the two bikes — a white one and black one — together I joked that they were like the two angels on your shoulders. The black one was the bad angel and the white one the good. I just find it ironic that the joke seemed to be true!

My first paint chip on my 2010 Giant TCR Advanced

I love my Giant TCR Advanced. It is kind of cool because it is somewhat unique. Since it is a replacement frame to replace one that was damaged last year, it has a different paint scheme than what you will see on your LBS floor. Funny, but I have had people comment that they like the look of the replacement frame better than the floor model.

Then the other night I was switching out my rear skewer so I could put it on the trainer. As I released the lock the rear seat stay flexed out (as normal) and a white flake of paint popped off. “Oh great!” I thought to myself. “My first damage to the frame and I didn’t even do anything.”

My first paint chip on the 2010 TCR

My first paint chip on the 2010 TCR

Interestingly, I was able to get a glimpse of the paint job. At least at that point of the bike, it is pretty thick! The chip that came off felt pretty substantial.  I think it would have taken a bit of force to try to break it in two. I didn’t try, of course!

So, I went about fixing it. At first I thought of getting some model paint and touch up the spot. Then I remembered some glue that my son and I were using to fix some of his toys. It was Elmers brand Gorrilla Glue. It did a good job on the toys and since this chip was more like a “piece” than a flake, I decided to try gluing it.

Applying the Elmers Gorrilla Glue

Applying the Elmers Gorrilla Glue

After letting it set for a bit, I took some white fingernail polish and coated it a few times. Later I checked on it and it was pretty solid. I’ve ridden it several times since then and the blemish is still there, but you would have to be looking for it.

The finished repair

The finished repair

I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has had any issues with the paint job on the Giant. This is the replacement frame that is a matte finish. I did not damage the frame by bumping it into anything or crashing.

It almost appears that the rear dropout must flex and it loosened a weak point in the paint causing it to pop off. I say that because the chip actually “popped” away from the frame as though it was under pressure and then released.

Oh well, no big deal, at least I don’t have to be so obsessive about avoiding my first scratch. There is also a measure of relief that the first one was not due to my stupidity! I’m still loving the bike.

A Calfee repair is all it is cracked up to be

Maybe you remember this video I took back in September 2009. It was a sad thing to watch as it shows my 2009 Giant TCR Advanced frame with a massive crack going nearly around the top tube. I had given up for a loss.

Then a friend of mine told me that he was sending a frame off to Calfee Design for a repair. To make a long story short, I decided to give the service a try. Less than two months after sending the frame out to California, it arrived back at Sunshine Cycle Shop when I was out of town last week.

I got to see it today. Wow! It looks even better in person. Yes, if you look close, you can see where the repair was made.  However, as I told someone at the shop… “You won’t be able to notice it when I’m going pass you!” Now I’ve got $1500 quality frame for just a few hundred. Can’t wait to get my SRAM Force group set on that thing!

So, would I recommend you send your next busted carbon fiber frame to Calfee Design? You betcha. Be sure to remember this URL – CalfeeDesign.com.