It just requires a different skill set. I have always wondered when i was riding my ss why it hurt less to get up a climb then on my geared bike. Even when i was riding it back to back on the same climbs. Might be to do with the fact that i am pretty light and i prefer to stand up on climbs rather than seat down which requires more power i am guessing. Interesting. My automatic response has being “woah, you are pretty hardcore riding ss” when it is just different and one setup might suit certain people more than others.
Monthly Archives: April 2011
Remember the april fools joke? Yup
I noticed a fair bit of traffic coming to this website isn’t interested in who i am or what i do or where i ride. The search results always show up with the same thing. Yeti ASR5 Carbon. I assume there are a lot of eager people trying to figure out if they should buy one or not.
I could have had the problem solved and then kept riding like nothing ever went wrong but no one would really benefit from that. I might as well detail what i went through and that should help people on the edge of buying a yeti frame or a carbon frame in general an unbiased view to decide for themselves.
After the MONT was done and dusted i pulled apart the yeti completely to give it a check over. Such check overs are necessary and coming up to half a year now i thought it would be a good time to look over everything and re-grease everything. I took everything off and cleaned the frame with hand *as i always do* and placed it aside. All the bolts seem to be in place and the swing arm was tight and apart from a paint chip on the bb shell everything seemed good. It wasn’t until next morning with the help of direct sunlight that i noticed the rear inner swing arm was cracked.
The crack was small and it was hard to spot but running your fingers over the carbon revealed the slightest bit of unsmoothness. It appeared to me that the carbon wasn’t actually cracked but the clear layer was definitely cracked and whatever caused the clear layer to crack would eventually also cause the carbon to crack. The yeti’s rear swing arm is designed to flex slightly to accommodate the shock through its travel and i am taking a wide guess that this flex that is necessary through the seatstays might have caused the crack that you see. Take this point with a grain of salt though because i am not a yeti qualified engineer/design person and i have fook all knowledge in carbon material science. It is simply a general assumption which could be right or wrong.
At this point is where the main purpose of this post comes into play. Is a carbon frame right for me?
I wasn’t surprised when the rear swing arm cracked to be honest. When i saw the crack i was pretty emotionless and in some ways i felt like it was coming. From the varied posts by owners of mtbr.com i have realised that the asr5’s rear swing arm has had a bit of a defect. I don’t know if defect is the proper way to explain it as i dont know exactly what percentage of failure it was that i was seeing but it was enough to know that a problem was present. Not only that i have seen my friends asr5 rear swing arm crack as well and to go through the full warranty procedure. I joked to him that i was expecting mine to crack soon. Surprise surprise. So the first thing you guys need to know is this swing arm is known to have a relatively high rate of failure. A defect if you may.
This point is also clarified as the 2nd warrantied swingarm that came back from yeti is slightly different to the swingarm he sent in. Both in construction at certain points and in carbon weave. I am not sure if this is a 2nd gen swing arm or what have you but i can only assume that the “defect” or at least the higher rate of failure has caused yeti to change a few things with the swingarm. To his scales the “2nd gen” swingarm is actually lighter and the brake tabs are noticeably different in design.
So the notable point i want to make is that the crack is the result of a defective line of products. I know at this point it will be pretty easy to say the carbon failed and walk away and read some other blog but if you do that i would have wasted all this time. Defects can happen to all lines of products. It can happen to carbon and it can happen to alloy and it has and will happen when the manufactures design is slightly off or the fabricators cut corners. The only thing you can do with defects is hope that the problem is solved in a product revision. There are plenty of carbon rear swingarms which has stood the test of time and have not had an abnormal amount of failures.
The day after i found the crack i contacted Yeti Aus directly and asked them if they are willing to help. No was the answer and understandably so. So i fired up gmail and attached a couple of pics and sent it off to the HK dealer. They in turn forwarded my emails directly to Yeti HQ and basically to cut a long story slightly shorter my warranty was approved. Was the process harder than going to my lbs with a cracked frame? Yes, but it wasn’t really that bad. If you can fire off a few emails and take a few pics and send a package at the post office you can complete the process fine. I will be about $50-70 out due to delivery fee’s incurred and most likely an extra week of waiting in transit times but i will have my warranty sorted at the end of the day.
Throughout this whole deal i have being thinking long and hard about the Yeti. Would i have less trust even in the 2nd gen swingarm once the warranty is complete? No doubt, i would be kidding myself to say i would feel 100% confident but the truth of the matter is i wouldn’t know which bike to replace the yeti with. In the worst case scenario i would have purchased a crash replacement swingarm from yeti aus ($550ish) and then sold the frame but i failed to come up with another bike id rather be riding. It dawned on me that if it takes $550 to get a new swing arm and start riding it again then it would just have to be that. I guess it has cemented how good the bike is to me and how irreplaceable it is at the present moment.
Is a carbon mtb the bike for you? It is if you have an understanding of how carbon can fail and what conditions it can fail under. You need to be a little daring for sure but also choose wisely as a reputable manufacture with an open warranty policy makes a huge difference. Is the carbon yeti asr5 for you? Absolutely. Just make sure you talk to the dealer about the swingarm issues and ask for a later batch of asr5’s which apparently has the 2nd gen swingarms. Overall i feel that i have learn’t quite a bit about the truth of carbon frames and purchasing overseas and hopefully you guys will be a little bit more clued in too. Do plenty of research and you will be fine. I was always slightly worried by the yeti asr5 swingarm but on the other hand i have never ever worried about the ibis mojo’s swingarm one bit.
Would i purchase a carbon mtb again? I gave it a fair bit of thought weighing everything up and all i will leave you with is a spec sheet to a replacement race bike which i need before the 22nd of may.
frame 26er = 900 headset = 100 fork = 1650 cassette 370 R.derailleur 210 R.shifter 112.9 xcx-st guide 75 chain 270 crankset 660 sunline stem 120 kcnc seatpost 180 saddle 200 kohosis seatpost clamp 20 syntace 630mm handlebar 146 esi racer grips 50 brakes 700 wheelset 1380 skewers 40 tyres and sealant 1100 pedals 320 cables 50
Let me try though and it might come back to me.
The extended extended long weekend was mostly spent sleeping in. I think i received a record number of hours totalled over the course of 5 days. This is of course thanks to the recent spell of rain we have being receiving. If the weather forecast is correct we will have had 3 weeks of non stop rain soon with no prolonged period of sunshine in sight.
The easter break has also made my body weird. I am not sure if it is the odd sleeping habits/lack of riding/weather but i have being feeling slightly on the border of sickness (basically knowing my body isn’t 100%). I am hoping that this weekend i will be allowed by the weather gods to go for a solid pedal or 2.
I think Friday night was spent at Andrea’s bday dinner which was fun. The restaurant itself was nothing special and the price charged was imo a little high but overall it was good to catch up. She put a lot of effort into the planning of the whole dinner and it really showed in the results.
Saturday was spent doing ….. i can ‘t remember.
Sunday hmmm blank there too.
Monday …….. ????
Tuesday. OK. We went to the Easter show and what a freaking rort. We got absolutely raped a new hole but for the most part it was pretty fun too. I guess when you are getting ripped the only thing you can do is smile and try to ignore your wallet? I have never seen $10 going down the drain as fast as that. I don’t know how the human dna pattern works but it seems to me that when you put females + parades + teddy bears together all reasons of logics are lost. We ended up winning a few toys here and there and now we don’t know what to do with em. Sigh…. But we had funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
Of particular note was the dodgem cars. The guys that operate most of these stands are a little …. weird and this particular dodgem cars stand would have being good enough to test for the ncap ratings or something. The cars went so fast and the whole freaking session lasted way too long. The cars were fast enough to seriously throw you out of your car if you were not careful. I ended up being chucked left and right in the seats and found myself fairly amused generally speaking. Well, as amused as you can be when you feel like you are dying. I crap you not but the jolts were so much harder than anything i have experienced in mtbing *not exactly a smooth sport* that by the end of the session my body was battered. To my memory dodgem cars always never last long enough. Not this one. We went round and round and at some point i thought i heard the guy say 5 minutes left. He then proceeded to say 5 minutes left another 2 or 3 times. By the end i was hoping it would finish so i can gtfo. Still, it was massive fun. My mouth was like 😀 throughout the whole thing and i think if someone took photos of me i would have looked pretty silly.
Overall, i guess i am glad that i went? I can’t deny that i had a surprising amount of fun but i most likely would not go again for another couple of years if ever. Was so wacko walking through SOP and seeing how much it changed for the show whilst thinking about how we used to ride through it.
Since SOP is playing host to the easter show, the guys met up at my place last night for a ride to Kurnell. 50 odd km’s at a very relaxed pace for most of the ride apart from the Kurnell TT section where we got to stretch our legs. I am beginning to learn that road riding is awfully tactical. Since there are no technical stuff to hide your strength behind you really have to focus on the “minor” details. I don’t mean stuff like sucking wheels too, that is pretty obvious. I mean stuff like pacing yourself. Knowing when you are in the red, how long you can hold it for, how to give your legs respite on every little dh. Stuff like that. Even on a 10 minute TT section i realised that you can’t just push yourself into the red from the very start. Do that and you suffer for the rest of the way. You really have to learn where your limits are and ride on the limit at a “smart” pace.
Highlights of yesterday’s ride was Kevin and Trieu’s rapha discussions which happened pretty much whenever they were side by side. lol
On Saturday night, Ley and I attended the final fantasy concert orchasterated by the Sydney Symphony Orchastera. It has being a fair while since i have last visited the Opera house and it didn’t fail to impress.
The concert itself was very “easy” to approach. Classical music ain’t the most approachable music in the world. Even for someone that used to study classical music, i often found myself falling asleep in the midst of a concert. Final fantasy music isn’t what i would call classical music, i would classify the music more like “pretty” music. Very easy listening and very theme-able. As if it wasn’t easy listening enough, they kindly provided a massive projector display that would played final fantasy videos throughout the whole concert as well. I found myself only really watching the display most of the time and thought it was pretty distracting but provided good “atmosphere” to the whole thing.
I have always thought that my highschool life was very different to the life i am leading now and it was like revisiting that life even if for a few hours. A lot of you are like, wtf are you talking about? Different life? Well, i feel that the people from these two parts of my life are from such a different walk of life, it almost feels disjointed in a way. Of course this is just my feelings and many others might feel perfectly normal to attend a piano recital and then go to a sm show afterwards.
Thanks to Ley for purchasing the tix, i thoroughly enjoyed the nerd fest concert.
Yeti and Ibis are both companies that stand out for me in terms of having that something extra. Their artistic/design teams are some of the best in the biking world it seems and having good products to backup that certainly does not hurt. Just the other day i found the newly released ibis cycles manual and i challenge anyone to find a bike company that has made a manual this good. It doesn’t really change the product at all but it does make the experience that much more “special”.