Creak creak - catastophe averted...

There is a golden rule in cycling. If you hear something on your bike creaking, stop riding and check it out. Creaking is bad news. Very bad news.

So what happened to me on the way to work this morning? Yes, the bike started creaking. Well, not creaking exactly, but sort of pinging. Certainly not a normal sound. I did stop and have a look, but couldn’t see anything. However. I did drop the bike into the bike shop near work when I arrived.

The guy there had a look over it, and at first glance couldn’t see anything. I’d mentioned the sound seemed to be coming from the drivetrain or back wheel, but there wasn’t anything he could see. He was about to hand it back, but just looked quickly over the whole bike just in case. And noticed this:

cracked salsa forks

Yes, that is a massive crack in the front forks, just below the Salsa logo. (Here's a close-up.) You might also see a matching one on the other side. The whole fork is literally in danger of folding up at any moment – and it’s going to fold up forward, not backward. Indeed, it’s not clear in this picture but you can actually see the bend in the forks.

I had this bike serviced a few weeks ago, a specifically asked the tech to check over the forks, as I am mindful of this incident from two years ago. Two weeks ago, they got a clean bill of health, so these cracks have developed very fast. Quite extraordinary; the guy in the bike shop was gobsmacked.

So the question is what to do now? Given that this is the second set of Salsa forks that has failed on me, and that my old bike shop (who were a Salsa dealer) said they had seen several other failed Salsa forks of this type, I’m not much inclined to put in yet another one, even if it would be covered under warranty.

For now, the bike shop is putting a fairly cheap new fork on, just to make it safe and so I can ride it. Perhaps I’ll just stick with that, it if rides OK. I will tell Salsa about it, though. For a fork to fail like that after less than two years is very bad form.

(And for the record, I haven’t had any kind of stack on the bike and I don’t jump curbs. For sure, I bump over an occasional pot hole or badly-set lip on a pram ramp, but that’s just Sydney roads for you…)

Views: 819

Comment by DamianM on May 22, 2014 at 12:17am

Bad news indeed... well spotted Dan and glad you're ok.

Took me months to realise that I actually separated my shoulder that night, still bothers me sometimes

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on May 22, 2014 at 8:37am

As I Salsa owner I was very disappointed to hear this though it's my MTB so different forks.  Not good for the brand though.  I suppose steel forks on an aluminium frame not a good idea?

Comment by Jonathon Troy on May 22, 2014 at 10:56am

Hi Dan, it is a shame that you have now gone through your 2nd set of forks. - it may be something Salsa (or the people who make their forks) need to be aware of. Could get the the forks replaced on warranty? I was also wondering how long you have had the bike itself - is there any issues in the frame itself. 

Comment by Dan on May 22, 2014 at 2:27pm

The forks should be covered under warranty, as they are less than 3 years old.

But I'm not sure I want another set...

I've had the bike for about 6 years.

Comment by Colin on May 22, 2014 at 3:17pm

Return the bike and ask for a full refund.

After watching The Checkout last night it seems you'd be quite within your rights.

Comment by baa baa on May 22, 2014 at 4:02pm

I agree bring it to salsas attention, maybe bang off a "what the .... should I do now" type of email to this bloke (in the USA). I have had a quick reply from him in the past. The fork should have some sort of code or number stamped on the steerer to track it back.

Zach Fink | Salsa Customer Service & Warranty |

Comment by Jon on May 22, 2014 at 9:00pm

I agree with Colin and baa baa

Forks are clearly "Not fit for the purpose for which they were sold" As such you are entitled to a full refund of the cost of the forks.

I would consider this quite a serious failure, and that Salsa should issue a recall for these forks. Anyone else agree with that?

Comment by Colin on May 22, 2014 at 9:16pm

My point is that you bought a bike, not forks, and the bike is not fit for its purpose and not sufficiently durable. Replacement forks that are just as likely to break are not a reasonable solution, so you need to a refund on the WHOLE bike. Not only that, but the vendor has to pay your (reasonable) transport costs to get the bike back to the shop, which in your case might be a taxi ride.

Comment by Dan on May 23, 2014 at 9:55am

Thanks for the contact, baa baa. I will send off a note.

Note sure I want a refund on the whole bike though - I really like that bike!

Comment by Jonathon Troy on May 23, 2014 at 10:07am

Just out of interest do you have a rough idea of how many Km you have done on the bike. I am asking because I have a single speed (a cheapie) I have been using as a winter commuter for about 4 years and am looking at getting 20,000 km on it. In light of what has happened to you, I have been wondering how long a cheap single speed would survive.


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