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Discussion Starter #1
I cracked my 03 Fuel rear triangle this week and just thought I would give everyone a heads up to watch the area where mine cracked as I have talked to a few fuel and sugar owners who have also cracked theirs in the location. Also my LBS also mention that when a fuel rear triangle cracks it seems to always be in this same general location. Trek is replacing the triangle with no problems and I should have it by Friday.

Sorry about the blury picture the crack is on the right in the bottom picture.
 

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Yep - same place I broke mine. Now I'm wondering should I keep this bike or sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well in defense of the bike it has done really well. I'm 6'2 215lbs and have but 1300 miles of single track on it in one year. I am not the smoothest rider and as of late have been doing a lot more down hill and rock gardens and really hammering it. After I noticed the crack I did another 20 mile single track ride and it held together. I will probably put another 50 or so miles on before the triangle comes in.

In the groups I ride with who all ride just about every brand of bike from the big names to the small bike manufactures they have all had some frame issue at one point or another (except for the Ventana)

If I get another year and 1300 miles out of the new triangle I will be happy as I know Trek will again replace it.
 

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Don't get me wrong - I do like my Fuel. However, I just found out that I have now cracked the front triangle. While it's not serious and the bike should get me to the end of the season, I do have to wonder if I want to keep going on this roller coaster. Mind you, my experiences to date may have been tainted by the fact that it took almost 2 months to get a new rear triangle when it broke last year (not LBS fault - Trek had to make more triangles). Due to all these cracks being reported, I can't help but feel there are design flaws and maybe it's time to try something new.
 

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fix implemented already

Trek is(was) aware of this problem. That part of the frame has been redesigned. It should be covered under warranty and you should get the updated version as a replacement. Problem solved. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will take a picture of the replacement when I get it and of course post back here if the issue comes up again. This post isn't about if the Fuel is good or bad it's just a simple keep you eye out since it's not an area that is easy to spot a crack at.
 

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Murchman said:
I cracked my 03 Fuel rear triangle this week and just thought I would give everyone a heads up to watch the area where mine cracked as I have talked to a few fuel and sugar owners who have also cracked theirs in the location. Also my LBS also mention that when a fuel rear triangle cracks it seems to always be in this same general location. Trek is replacing the triangle with no problems and I should have it by Friday.

Sorry about the blury picture the crack is on the right in the bottom picture.
that sux....bummer to hear , and thanx for the heads-up, Murchman (I'm constantly scrutinizing my '01 frame....so far, so good )
 

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rpmrob said:
Yep - same place I broke mine. Now I'm wondering should I keep this bike or sell it.
Same place mine broke. Trek replaced it and they have changed the design of the triangle. Big difference in the area where they cracked.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update

Just thought I would give an update to this post:

Trek did send me the new rear triangle and its a lot more beefy in the are of the failure and so far is running great.

I spoke to soon about the Ventana as it broke at the seat tube last week. So in the past 6 months I have seen just about every bike brand have a frame failure Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Iron Horse, Fisher, Ventana, Ellsworth, Titus, and Canondale. Now none of these bikes have been used to free ride or other heavy abuse riding just your everyday normal single track type of riding in Georgia.

Mt biking is just a rough sport on bikes and it seems no matter who makes it there is always going to be some failures for some riders while others have no problems on the same bike. The great thing is each one of the above companies has taken care of the customer and replaced the failure for no cost.
 

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Murchman said:
Just thought I would give an update to this post:

Trek did send me the new rear triangle and its a lot more beefy in the are of the failure and so far is running great.

I spoke to soon about the Ventana as it broke at the seat tube last week. So in the past 6 months I have seen just about every bike brand have a frame failure Specialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Iron Horse, Fisher, Ventana, Ellsworth, Titus, and Canondale. Now none of these bikes have been used to free ride or other heavy abuse riding just your everyday normal single track type of riding in Georgia.

Mt biking is just a rough sport on bikes and it seems no matter who makes it there is always going to be some failures for some riders while others have no problems on the same bike. The great thing is each one of the above companies has taken care of the customer and replaced the failure for no cost.
I think that the vast majority of broken frames are do to a poor match between rider weight / riding style and bike frame strength. So many people try to buy the very lightest bike they can find. In many cases, the rider is just plain too heavy for the frame......or they ride too aggressively.

The manufacturers won't stop the practice as long as they're making money. They know that most people buy a bike....ride it a couple of times...then never ride it again. That's how Trek can afford to keep replacing frames for riders that abuse / are too big for the frames.

Yes, some frames have defects, but the majority of frames break simply because they're too light for the rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What do you consider to heavy for say a Fuel/Sugar, Cake, or equivalent other brand bike? Most everyone I ride with that has broken a frame this year is well under my weight (220lbs full gear) they are in the 150 to 170 pound range which is what I consider to be avg normal riding weight for 28-30 pound bikes which they all were.

How do you define to aggressive? I only know of two people I ride with where there tires ever leave the ground the rest of us just ride the trail, no drops, no jumps, or hops.
 

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Murchman said:
What do you consider to heavy for say a Fuel/Sugar, Cake, or equivalent other brand bike? Most everyone I ride with that has broken a frame this year is well under my weight (220lbs full gear) they are in the 150 to 170 pound range which is what I consider to be avg normal riding weight for 28-30 pound bikes which they all were.

How do you define to aggressive? I only know of two people I ride with where there tires ever leave the ground the rest of us just ride the trail, no drops, no jumps, or hops.
Geeze. I'm really not trying to bust your hump about this. Thanks for responding in kind.

OK. So we have the 2 major items that cause frame breakage (outside of manufacturers defects).....weight and aggressive use.

If someone is not too heavy but still breaks the frame, that is an indication of use beyond design. I'm not necessarily blaming the rider. It might be due to a crappy design, but if you break a frame and it's not due to a specific defect, you may be riding too aggressively for that frame. If you break the frame twice.....well, read the writing on the wall. Get something beefier.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry didn't mean to sound like I was busting your hump. Long day at work so this is just me getting my mind on things more important like Mt biking. Just trying to figure out why frames are failing with what I consider to be normal intended use.

I believe that some people do buy or are sold a bike to lite for them but there also seem to be a number of bikes that fit the rider perfect that fail. I was one; I should have never been sold a fuel which is why I bought an Enduro last month.

One guy on a sugar has been through 2 front triangles and two rear triangles with each failure being different. While another guy who weights more and rides twice as hard has yet to break anything on his. You look at the two and they way they ride and you would never guess the correct guy who breaks his.
 

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Murchman said:
Sorry didn't mean to sound like I was busting your hump. Long day at work so this is just me getting my mind on things more important like Mt biking. Just trying to figure out why frames are failing with what I consider to be normal intended use.

I believe that some people do buy or are sold a bike to lite for them but there also seem to be a number of bikes that fit the rider perfect that fail. I was one; I should have never been sold a fuel which is why I bought an Enduro last month.

One guy on a sugar has been through 2 front triangles and two rear triangles with each failure being different. While another guy who weights more and rides twice as hard has yet to break anything on his. You look at the two and they way they ride and you would never guess the correct guy who breaks his.
You weren't busting my hump. I was concerned about the opposite. I think that I may have confused your post and another here about Trek Fuels.

I know what you mean. I know a guy that kept breaking his Fuel and he weighs the same as me. I couldn't figure it out then finally, he told me a couple of things that fmade sense. He did 2 things that contributed to the failures. He ran the rear shock too soft and bottomed often. He also had a habit of skidding the rear around turns....occasionally hitting rocks and trees with the rear of the bike. Lateral forces are rough on a frame, especially a lightweight frame.

It would be nice if the LBS would recommend a frame that better fits the weight / usage of the rider. Some LBS do this. Some would prefer to just make the sale.....and deal with breakage as it occurs.

A friend of mine kept breaking his Fuel. It happened 3 times. Finally, he decided to get a new and beefier bike. The LBS sold him a Blur. My friend weighs 240 and that's right at the weight limit, according to Santa Cruz. So now, 6 months go by and he has to replace all of the bearings. I'm surprised that the frame hasn't broken yet.

The LBS should have tried to step him up to a Heckler.....or an Enduro, but noooooo. They make more on the Blur so why not sell that one.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
Geeze. I'm really not trying to bust your hump about this. Thanks for responding in kind.

OK. So we have the 2 major items that cause frame breakage (outside of manufacturers defects).....weight and aggressive use.

If someone is not too heavy but still breaks the frame, that is an indication of use beyond design. I'm not necessarily blaming the rider. It might be due to a crappy design, but if you break a frame and it's not due to a specific defect, you may be riding too aggressively for that frame. If you break the frame twice.....well, read the writing on the wall. Get something beefier.
I agree 100 % I have broken a few fuels and It was mainly do to my own ignorance. After the second break I got a more heavy duty bike. But when you go into a shop sometimes the guys selling you the bike may know less than you do about a particular bike, so you really don't get informed about the different issues you should consider about a that bike.
 

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are you sure thats not my rear triangle murchman!.......

Murchman said:
I cracked my 03 Fuel rear triangle this week and just thought I would give everyone a heads up to watch the area where mine cracked as I have talked to a few fuel and sugar owners who have also cracked theirs in the location. Also my LBS also mention that when a fuel rear triangle cracks it seems to always be in this same general location. Trek is replacing the triangle with no problems and I should have it by Friday.

Sorry about the blury picture the crack is on the right in the bottom picture.


thats precisely where my rear triangle is cracked and i'm just about to get it replaced with a carbon rear for £100 (if i got it replaced with the same alu rear it wouldnt cost me anything ,but i've always wanted a rear carbon to see how different it rides),i'm seriousley thinking about getting either the 05 fuel 100 110 oclv or fuel EX frameset,my friend in my lbs has advised me that the rear triangles have all been reworked and are less likely to crack in this location but he says that the EX is beefier and has carbon chain and seat stays and 4 inches of travel which should take more abuse and possibly less likely to crack.
but the fuel 100 110 oclv is lighter and all carbon apart from the bb area plus it has a new type of rear shock. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well the other area I have seen fail more then three times now on both fuels and sugars is the seat tube where the joint is that connects the bottom bracket to the seat tube. Hopefully they have changed this with the EX.

Also looking at the Nov MBA there is an ad for the EX and I was surprised to see the front derailleur cable routes under the bottom bracket now, which is a bad design choice do to all the dirt there, my enduro routes that way and I hate it.
 

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Add me to the list...

I just discovered the classic rear triangle crack on my Fuel last night. Not sure how long it's been that way, since I don't usually inspect that area. I'm about 170lbs and use the bike for a lot of XC racing, but I consider myself a pretty mellow rider who tries to avoid the big hits and air time. So I guess making it through two seasons before breaking the old style rear tri isn't too bad, and I'm sure my LBS will replace it w/o problems. My question is: What's the risk the rear tri will totally fail? I have a race this weekend and there's no way I can get it fixed before then. Seems like there's still alot of metal around the crack, so I'm not sure if it would really break all the way. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I rode mine for about a week or so after I found it waiting on the part to come in. I pushed it hard trying to get it to break but never could. I did a bunch of 2-3 foot drops and some good size downhills on it. My thinking was that since its the back of the bike the worse that would happen is it would break and cause the wheel to lock up.

But its up to how comfortable you feel with it and what would happen should it fail.
 

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achh murchman! the cable routing is an issue to me......

Murchman said:
Well the other area I have seen fail more then three times now on both fuels and sugars is the seat tube where the joint is that connects the bottom bracket to the seat tube. Hopefully they have changed this with the EX.

Also looking at the Nov MBA there is an ad for the EX and I was surprised to see the front derailleur cable routes under the bottom bracket now, which is a bad design choice do to all the dirt there, my enduro routes that way and I hate it.


the cable routing on the down tube is the last issue for me,what problems did you have on the enduro down tube cable routing?
this is the first time i've noticed trek put the front mech cable on the down tube,the very bike i'm considering! i've often thought... could the cable snap if a rock where to jump up from the front tyre and smack the cable?????? :confused:
 
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