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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a '14 Niner Air 9 RDO that I don't ride a lot - about 25 hours a year. On my ride today I noticed a small hairline crack on the head tube. Should I try to get it fixed or just ride it as is and keep an eye on it? I don't want to put a lot of money into it since the bike is pretty dated with things like QR dropouts.
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Keep an eye on it. It might have flexed and sprung back to original and simply cracked the paint.
If it is actually cracked it is fixable. But as you say is it worth it. Probably time to start planning the upgrade.
 

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Normally I would say just ride and watch it, but at that location I personally wouldn't risk it. I would either repair it or retire it. If it fails at that location, you're risking a very bad crash.

Edit: That's all to a tricky place for a crack. I imagine that until it actually fails, when you look at it there won't be any stress in the area and it's going to look like a normal crack. The time where it's risking failure (and may show more worrisome signs) is when you aren't going to be able to look at it because you'll be riding it.
 

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One thing I would definitely do if you're going to continue riding it is put a sharpie mark right where the end of the crack is. That way at least you'll be able to see if it starts getting longer.
 

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Pull the fork and exam the inside carefully. If there's visible damage, get it repaired. You can go the tap test with the handle of a screwdriver, but that is not the best way. You can give Calfee designs and email to see what they think. They do good work.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. I marked it with a sharpie, electrical tape and measured it with calipers (8.5mm). I also tried to examine the inside, but it's so small and shallow that the headset cup was blocking it. It doesn't seem very deep but very tough to tell if it goes all the way through or is just the paint. I should also mention that I don't ride very aggressive with this bike and save the bigger jumps, drops, etc for my FS bike. With that said, I don't want to take any chances risking a bad crash if it has the potential for catastrophic failure. I'll email calfeedesign to see what they say. I may ride it lightly a few more times and keep a close eye on it before and after each ride.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Common issue on those Niners. Same thing happened to three of my friends that own those same exact bikes. Niner did step up and give them new frames.
 
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